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President King sponsors ordinance to deal with obstructive street furniture dumped in public right of way

Thursday March 29, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyat 574-4137/526-3622
               Stephen Haag 574-1204/645-1752

From Bardstown Road to Dixie Highway, from Poplar Level to Shelbyville Road, you will see them. On a corner, near the sidewalk, in some cases two side by side. On every major thoroughfare throughout Metro Louisville, concrete ad benches appeared to have taken over.

Many placed there without permission and with no regard for public safety.

“It is a problem that has gotten totally out of hand,” says Metro Council President Jim King (D-10). “This kind of advertising clutters our sidewalks, blocks a driver’s view but more importantly it changes our communities natural beauty into an eyesore of concrete clutter.”

President King is sponsoring an ordinance currently before the Metro Council’s Public Works, Bridges and Transportation Committee which deals with the problem of concrete advertising benches that have been showing up on street corners and near bus shelters in the public right of way.

“Since the beginning of the year, my office has tracked and pinpointed more than 150 concrete ad benches which have shown up in unbelievable numbers. These benches were placed there as a way of making money with no regard for public safety and respect for the businesses and neighborhoods where they have been placed,” said King.

The ordinance requires advertising benches to be permitted before being placed anywhere in Metro Louisville. Metro Public Works will be the clearing house for such approval. The permit process requires detailed information about the company involved and a specific set of requirements to be followed for the size and design of the bench. There is also a $50 fee for each bench and the permit is for one year. Renewal is required every year.

“The problem is, a company just places a bench in the public right of way to make money and doesn’t think anyone is going to notice,” says King. “It is time to put this practice to an end. We require all of our businesses to play by the rules if they advertise with signs and billboards and it’s unfair to them to allow this to continue.”

The ordinance lays out provisions for removal. If the bench is found not to be permitted, it is immediately removed. The law calls for a $10 fee for impoundment and $8 for storage per day. If the owners do not comply, the benches are discarded.

Council members Rick Blackwell (D-12), Bob Henderson (D-14) and Robin Engel (R-22) have signed on as cosponsors of the ordinance.

The Committee approved the ordinance and it moves on the Metro Council for a final vote.

Sponsors:
Jim King (D) 10
Rick Blackwell (D) 12
Bob Henderson (D) 14
Robin Engel (R) 22