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Thread: Human billboards

  1. #1
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    Human billboards

    I'm drafting an ordinance prohibiting human billboards. It's not really an issue, but I got a direction to do this before this becomes an issue. Any good wording and definitions?

    Thank you
    Last edited by luluhead; 13 Apr 2012 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luluhead View post
    I'm drafting an ordinance prohibiting human billboards. It's not really an issue, but I got a direction to do this before this becomes an issue. Any good wording and definitions?

    Thank you
    I haven't really seen any regulations on it but make sure you exclude normal free speech signs such as picketers, protesters, political signs, etc. Seems like one to make sure your attorney reviews for free speech issues. A guy carrying a "Joe's Bar and Grill" sign might be legally different than a similar sign stuck in the ground.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I remember a town back in Colorado had issue with a Hot Wings place having a guy in a chicken suit standing on the street so of course they clarified the issue in an ordinance.

    EDIT: Looks like how they skirted the 1st Amendment issues is by having it only apply to businesses.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luluhead View post
    I'm drafting an ordinance prohibiting human billboards. It's not really an issue, but I got a direction to do this before this becomes an issue. Any good wording and definitions?

    Thank you
    Tread very lightly... you may be running into a whole host of 1st amendment rights issues.
    No Signature Required

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    My city enacted an ordinance a year or so ago. We took the stance of protecting the safety of those holding the sign or wearing the costume. We created language that stated any commercial business that wished to utilize "human signs" could do so but prohibited their location off site and/or in public rights-of-way.

    We still have a few businesses that utilize this type of signage, but for safety reasons are no longer permitted at intersections. Which is where prior to the ordinace they were locating. We've had minimal complaints by business owners and Council seems to happy with the results.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    State statute prohibits us from regulating them through zoning or sign ordinance. However, the police will get involved if the human signage is found to be dangerous to pedestrians or motorists- ie reaching into the roadway, blocking sidewalks, or obstructing turning movements and site distances.

    We haven't had much of a problem with them though. You'd have to pay me 10x what I make now to stand on a corner holding a sign for a day.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    What is the difference between a someone wearing a small board that says "Eat at Joe's" and someone wearing a tee-shirt that says "Eat at Joe's". In one of my communities, we allow them as long as they don't create a pedestrian traffic obstruction on the sidewalk.
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism." - George Washington

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    What is the difference between a someone wearing a small board that says "Eat at Joe's" and someone wearing a tee-shirt that says "Eat at Joe's". In one of my communities, we allow them as long as they don't create a pedestrian traffic obstruction on the sidewalk.
    Or for that matter, a guy standing on a corner wearing outrageous clothing saying "Hey, you should eat at Joe's, it's great" to everybody who passes by? I'm with Raf and Mskis and the others. I leave the sign spinners alone unless they really start causing a true nuisance and advise my Council of the same about once a year when they bring up how annoying they are.

    Also, nobody skirts anything by calling something commercial speech. It has some protections as well.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  9. #9
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    We have that same issue, especially with individuals dressed as cows for Chik-Fil-A or tax services in the month of April. We currently have a moritoria on enforcing signage, but once that is removed, I think we consider them to be temporary signage, similar to a banner sign or an attention attracting device. This type of permit is valid for 7 days every 6 months. They may not apply until the 6 month period has lapsed.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    No Human Signs

    From City of Clearwater, FL Code

    Section 3-1803. - Prohibited signs.

    The following types of signs are prohibited:

    S. Signs carried, waved or otherwise displayed by persons either on public rights-of-way or in a manner visible from public rights-of-way. This provision is directed toward such displays intended to draw attention for a commercial purpose, and is not intended to limit the display of placards, banners, flags or other signage by persons participating in demonstrations, political rallies and similar events.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

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