A Sign of the Times


It’s no secret that Auburn Hills is a big business community.  Our business community is thriving and with all the hustle and bustle of traffic that moves through the community each day, we also seem to be a desirable place for businesses to want to advertise their products and services.  In a more controlled and aesthetically pleasing way, this is done by permanent signs on buildings and ground signs out front of corporate locations.  And in other ways, advertising is done utilizing digital billboards along the highways.  These examples take into account private property decisions with proper local or state approvals. 

However, there is another sign method used around town which is not so pleasing for the landscape of the community or for our citizens.  These are the many, many temporary signs that pop up along roadways and on street corners, mostly on the weekends, and advertising everything from soup to nuts.  On one hand, the people directing these signs to be installed in the public rights-of-way perhaps think they have the right to do this.  The fact is, they do not.  The elected body of Auburn Hills, the Auburn Hills City Council, has control over what can and cannot be placed into the public rights-of-way.  And based upon the dozens and dozens of signs that are showing up, it is incumbent upon us to take a stand to stop this from happening.  We love to promote business in this town, but not to the detriment of our residents.  As I drove through the intersection of Walton Boulevard and North Squirrel Road on Saturday morning, and then turned north and drove up North Squirrel Road to Dutton Road, I counted more than twenty signs.  Twelve of them alone were located at that intersection and I realized just how much it negatively impacts the image of our community.  While some of the signs are advertising products and/or services within Auburn Hills, many do not.  As a result of this recent barrage of signs that have drawn much attention, I have directed our staff to begin a greater enforcement initiative to remove these signs.  We have been doing this all along, but now there will be even more of our staff actively engaged in keeping the streets of Auburn Hills even tidier than before.  

As is the case with all code violations, our goal is to seek compliance.  We ask those who have chosen to place signs throughout our community in violation of our local ordinances to cease from doing so.  We always work diligently toward a more beautiful Auburn Hills and hope that we can gain the support of everyone who lives, visits or passes through our town. 

Tom Tanghe, City Manager


One comment

  1. Tom, I agree with you wholeheartedly. They do not serve any purpose especially when they are posted every 20-30 feet, as what happens on Baldwin Road near Great Lakes Crossing. We know that they are being placed every weekend so why can’t the city make a quick drive through on Saturdays to remove these signs in addition to notifying the offenders of the violation.


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