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Banners, sign ordinance cross swords

Fundraising event fails to comply with city laws

Posted: October 9, 2013 6:22 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2013 6:22 p.m.

Organizers of events meant to dispose of old or obsolete electronics were told their low-tech method of getting the word out — banners hung streetside — violates Santa Clarita’s sign ordinance.

Amy Daniels, president of the Hart Parent Organization that helps organize the “e-waste” recycling events, brought the matter up at Tuesday’s meeting of the Santa Clarita City Council, saying that not being able to use the banners may make it difficult for people to find out when and where the next event will be held.

“It has become a really viable, requested and necessary community service,” Daniels said of the event. “But we have to stick to the law and everybody has to follow the rules.”

The e-waste recycling events, which started as a way to raise money for Hart High School, are held throughout the year so residents can safely dispose of old, broken or obsolete electronics that might otherwise be tossed into the trash.

But Daniels said was told the banners ran afoul of the city’s sign ordinance, which restricts signs from being displayed in public rights-of-way, during a phone conversation with City Councilman TimBen Boydston.

Boydston, who is also the executive and artistic director of the nonprofit Canyon Theatre Guild, said he raised the issue because the sign ordinance has to be evenly applied.

“The Santa Clarita Valley has hundreds of nonprofits,” he said Wednesday. “And if we were to make an exception for one of those hundreds of nonprofits, then we would have signs on every corner every day of the year.”

Boydston said in most cases nonprofit organizations can hang banners advertising events or services on the city’s paseo bridges, though that can cost hundreds of dollars.

“I know the banners work, but we all have to play by the same rules,” he said during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Daniels said the events will continue to be advertised online and possibly at schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District.

She is also looking for ways to partner with the city for the next e-waste recycling event, which will be held in January, to try to make sure everyone knows about it.

“We’re trying to work with the city in the best way we can,” she said. “We just want to make things work.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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