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Next on summer reading list: RH sign ordinance
Reporters notebook
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If you want to give yourself a headache, try reading through Richmond Hill’s new sign ordinance.
To wade through it you need to really be into signs, or really need a sign to make money. Fortunately, the 40-page ordinance has photos to kind of break up the monotony. Unfortunately, they’re of signs. And I digress.
Take this single paragraph, which I lifted verbatim, as an example of why reading the ordinance isn’t for the faint of heart:
“Official governmental signs are signs placed by or at the direction of a governmental body, governmental agency or public authority, such as but not limited to traffic signs, signals or regulatory devices or warnings; official emblems, public notices or official instruments; signs providing directions to specific facilities or locations; signs of historical interest; signs designating special events or areas of architectural or historic significance or gateways; signs announcing or providing directions to a government sponsored event; or other similar governmental signs or devices. Such signs are authorized within all rights of way or other properties controlled by such governmental body, agency or authority; and at such other locations as a governmental body, governmental agency or public authority may direct.”
Or, this:
“Aggregate sign area means the combined sign area of all signs of a particular category on a single parcel. For example the aggregate sign area of all freestanding signs on a parcel is the sum total of the sign areas of all freestanding signs on such parcel.”
Or this:
“Incidental sign means a small sign, emblem or decal no larger than 1½ square feet in area. Such signs are normally located on doors, windows and gas pumps or in parking lots or loading areas, may be freestanding or building signs, and are generally not readily visible or legible from public rights of way. Although the message on the sign is not regulated, the following are examples of incidental signs: (nine photos of incidental signs follow).
Or, finally, this:
“Miscellaneous freestanding sign means a freestanding sign, other than a freestanding principal sign, a temporary event sign or an incidental sign, commonly found on multi-family and nonresidential use properties located at entrance and exit driveways and drive-through window.”
 Try getting all that on a sign.
More from the June monthly code enforcement reports of Richmond Hill Code Enforcement Officer Capt. Mark Long:
From June 21 under the heading “unlawful property nuisance” comes this:
“Complainant came up to my vehicle in front of City Hall and stated that there (were) numerous vultures behind this building, on the building and on the dumpsters area.”
And, as proof we’re no longer in a drought, are these entries:
From June 25, also under “unlawful property nuisance:”
“The grass on the lots needs mowing. Some of the lots are as tall as me in places.”
From June 11:
“The grass needs to be mowed. The front’s not that bad, however, the back is about 3 feet tall. The complainant advised he’s killed several snakes coming from this yard.”
From June 6:
“The grass is somewhat high. There are weeds that are really high.”
Also from the July 16 City Council agenda packet is this information from OMI:
In 2012, there were 12.72 inches of rain at the city wastewater treatment plant, which in 2013 has treated more than 262 million gallons of wastewater.
To break it down, that means the city has treated an average of 1.45 million gallons of wastewater a day and discharged more than 96 million gallons so far in 2013, according to OMI figures.
OMI says that averages to more than 530,000 gallons of discharged wastewater a day.
That’s a lot of wastewater treatment going on.

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