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Hillsdale Officials Request Faster Sign Law Enforcement

An ordinance approved in October 2011 has gone largely unenforced because borough staff have numerous commitments.

Hillsdale businesses that violate the borough's sign law may need to make a change soon.

The Hillsdale Council asked Borough Administrator Jonathan DeJoseph Tuesday to come up with a plan to increase the speed with which the borough's most recent sign ordinance can be enforced.

The ordinance was originally approved in October 2011 and officials reiterated their desire to enforce the law last May.

To date, about 26 violators of the ordinance have been notified and six have been dealt with, according to Code Official Keith Durie. 

"We're working slowly and steadily," Durie said.

Durie said packets explaining the law had been given to business owners found to be violating the new ordinance. He wanted to give them some time to understand the new law, which in some cases makes illegal signs that business owners had used for 30 or 40 years.

Council members said they wanted to increase the speed of enforcement, possibly by setting one date by which all businesses are required to have their signs up to code.

"We keep going like this, we should be done around 2019," Council President Tom Kelley said.

Durie said that more violations had not already been corrected because he and other municipal employees were already busy with other tasks like fire inspections, real estate inspections and reviewing permits. Cleanup from Hurricane Sandy also delayed the work, he said.

"It becomes a balancing act," Durie said.

The council asked DeJoseph, the administrator, to come up with a plan in the next 30 days.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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