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Upon occurrence of a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the code enforcement official shall notify the responsible person representing the sign in violation that a violation of this chapter exists. A notice of violation and order to correct or cease activity as provided in Chapter 1.25 ECMC, Administrative Enforcement, shall be issued. The owner of the property upon which the sign is located shall be presumed to be the owner of all signs thereon unless facts to the contrary are brought to the attention of the code enforcement official. All violations of this chapter shall be deemed to constitute a public nuisance and may be abated by the city.

(1) When a sign is removed, altered, and/or stored under these enforcement provisions, removal and storage costs may be collected against the sign owner and the person responsible for the placement of the sign. The city council shall establish the fees for removal and storage of signs, and for other associated fees, by resolution, from time to time.

(2) Any sign installed or placed in the public right-of-way or on city-owned real property, except in conformance with the requirements of this chapter or other applicable provisions of this code, may be removed by the city planner or his/her designee as follows:

(a) Immediate confiscation without prior notice to the owner of the sign.

(b) If the city can ascertain contact information for the owner of the sign or for any person or business responsible therefor, the city shall contact that person or business and advise that: (i) the sign was found in a location that the city believes to be a public right-of-way or city-owned property; (ii) that no permit was issued for the placement of the sign in that location, and that the sign is not otherwise lawfully permitted to be in that location; and (iii) that the city has confiscated the sign and shall destroy it after 30 days from the time notice was sent to the person or business responsible for the sign, unless either (A) the sign is claimed and the removal and notice costs are reimbursed to the city in full, or (B) a request for hearing is submitted by the person or business responsible for the sign to the planning commission.

(c) If notification is not possible, the city shall store the sign for 30 days from date of confiscation. The sign shall then be destroyed.

(d) The city shall continue to store the sign for any additional period during which an appeal or review thereon is before the municipal court. (Ord. 466 § 2, 2012)