Sitting or lying on public sidewalks prohibited.
A. Prohibition. No person shall sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk, or upon a blanket, chair, stool, bollard, planter, fountain, railing or any other object placed upon a public sidewalk, during the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the following zones:
1. Central Business District (“CBD”) ...
2. The Fairhaven Business District (“FBD”) ...”
A quick visit to either of these districts will demonstrate that sandwich boards may have more rights than people. During a short walk in Fairhaven a few days ago, I photographed a slew of these signs, many of which were blocking the sidewalk in significant ways. I almost tripped over one that, unlike the others, was about one-foot tall and hidden by a trash can until I tried to skirt the can. (Click on the image arrows above to view the problem.)
The city code on “sitting and lying” is purportedly to assist in keeping the sidewalks open and safe for pedestrians. I will not get into a discussion of the possibilities for misuse of this ordinance as that is not the topic here. If the city is intent on safe sidewalks, it ought to enforce elimination of all impediments, sandwich boards included.
There is, in fact, a prohibition of “off premises”* signs in the Fairhaven Urban Village, to wit:
“20.37.370 Fairhaven urban village – Signs ...
1. Unless specified otherwise herein, the following
signs are prohibited:
a. Off-premises*, billboard, and rooftop….”
Rules for signage in the Central Business District are more murky and, as far as I have been able to determine, do not speak to “off premise”* signs. Nonetheless, Fairhaven should deal with its sandwich board sign situation. A look at the Central Business District shall follow on this site.
*Sign, off-premises’ means any sign other than a banner or billboard, defined above, which advertises an establishment, merchandise, service, goods, or entertainment which is sold, produced, manufactured or furnished at a place other than on the property on which said sign is located.