Residents urged to post addresses

Friday, May 19, 2006

If an ambulance had to find your house in an emergency, would the address be clearly marked?

In recent months, area police, fire and ambulance personnel have reported difficulty in responding to emergency calls due to lack of visible property addresses at driveways and on structures.

County officials are asking residents to comply with a 1991 ordinance on property addressing, placement and size of address numbers.

"Subdivisions are the biggest problem," county planner Kim Hyten said. "An indicator post with an arrow helps. We don't want to send out violation letters."

It can be confusing also when more than one residence is located on a lane, or when driveways serve more than one structure. And when mailboxes are grouped together at the entrance to a subdivision or residential area, posting house numbers at individual driveways and on structures is essential for finding the correct location.

"If people care about their families, and if there is more than one person living on a lane, then we are asking them to clearly post that," he said.

According to the ordinance, once a property address has been assigned to a specific structure, it is the responsibility of the property owner or resident to provide the primary address number on the structure or on the mailbox, or on a sign facing the street or road.

If the structure is within 100 feet of the main road, the address should be located near a main entry door or on a cornice or porch above the main entry door. In the case of rural mailboxes, if the mailbox is located at the driveway along the main road, the address can be posted on both sides of the mailbox or mailbox post. The address can also be posted on a sign or post if no mailbox is present.

The numbers should be at least three inches high and should contrast with the background in order to be readable. The numbers should also be kept clear of debris or foliage.

Violations of the ordinance can be warned in writing by the county planning director, and if the number is still not properly displayed within 30 days, the property owner can be cited $10 per day until it is remedied.

Hyten emphasized that it is not the county's desire to collect the fine, but to encourage property owners to clearly post their addresses.

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