2007-11-30 / Community

Assembly Amends Property Advertisement Bill

By Nicholas Briano

Thanks to the New York State Assembly, Rockaway homeowners will have someone to call upon for assistance when flyers, menus, and other unwanted advertisements are placed on their property.

Law Chapter 585 of 2007 was signed into law earlier this year. It allows private property owners in cities with a population of 1 million or more to post signs stating that advertisements and solicitations of any kind are not permitted to be placed on their property. The law was put in effect on October 14, and holds fines in the amount of $500 and can go as high as $5000 for numerous offenses.

The law was passed by the state legislature this summer, and signed into law by the governor in early August. However, many lawmakers feel that it must be amended, because there is currently no one to enforce the law.

The assembly met last week to amend the law, which would create an enforcement agency with the power to issue fines to businesses for violations. The amended bill will now go through the legislative process. The bill passed with unanimous support in the Assembly and is expected to be approved by the Senate, as well. If passed by the Senate, it will then be signed by Governor Spitzer.

Rockaway Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, supporter of the amended bill, is handing out signs for property owners to place on their doors or front gates, to deter advertisements and solicitations. She also believes an enforcement agency is needed to carry out penalties and provide clarification of the new law.

"We passed the bill and realized it needed more clarification," Pheffer said. "The bill was not clear enough and had to be amended."

The assembly felt that New York City, in particular, especially needed the help, because many homes and hallways throughout the city have been bombarded with solicitations of every kind, with no means to stop them. An enforcement agency in the city is being called upon to divert the advertisers, because despite homeowners' efforts to place signs refusing solicitations, the materials are still left. The assembly believes the amended bill will make small businesses, like the many that operate in Rockaway, more responsive to the needs of the community and improve the quality of life. An enforcement agency can be expected by early next year, and will begin fining businesses that don't comply with the regulations.

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