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Patriotic signs in front of business violate Hillsborough County code

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 18:10:51-04

PLANT CITY, Fla. — Kevin Johnson owns a lot in Plant City and added several patriotic signs to go along with one advertising his business, Quality Septic, Inc.

One honors all the military branches. Another all first responders. And one says “We thank you for your service.”

Michelle Valdes works at the lot.

“We actually have a lot of customers that are first responders and our military. So it was a great feedback we got from our community,” she said.

But last week someone registered a complaint with Hillsborough County. And code enforcement found despite the message, they are in violation.

“It’s just unfortunate because we don’t even know who the complainant is,” said Valdes.

County officials say they have a complicated formula to decide how many and how big signs can be even on private property.

It’s based on how much of that property faces public roads. Now the lot’s owner has to get rid of the signs or apply for a permit.

He could get fined if he does nothing.

But Valdes says her boss is applying for a permit. And he’s even willing to take down the business sign. He just wants to leave the others up.

Valdes just wonders if someone really objects to them or if this might be related to business.

“If you are a competitor why pick up on the appreciation signs? Why bring this up? Let’s pick a fight with someone else,” she said.

Any possible fines would be determined after a hearing.