Supervisor David Chiu targets handbills 

Those menus, political fliers and other handbills that accumulate around the entryways into apartment buildings are coming under attack.

Some residents are fed up with the paper, which they say ends up flying around as litter. And they also say it ends up on their front steps, railings and door handles, even if they have the “no handbills” sign that should prohibit them from being left there.

But that’s supposed to change. City Hall has listened.

The Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee approved legislation Monday that makes it illegal to distribute handbills in way that they are not securely fastened and it will make it easier for The City to penalize violators. The proposed law also gives residents the option to install a smaller “no handbills” sign.

Handbills would have to be “secured,” which means “attached or placed in a manner that does not prevent a door or gate from properly closing, latching or locking, and ensures that the wind cannot blow away the attached object.”

“Many residents in my district and throughout the city over the last few years have come to me with concerns about the large amounts of litter that end up in our neighborhoods generated by fliers, particularly because they are not affixed to any premises,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who introduced the legislation.

Violations of current handbill codes are considered criminal penalties. But who is going to call the cops for the illegal placement of a menu? The legislation makes violations of handbill codes a penalty that can be administrated by the Department of Public Works.

Currently a “no handbills” sign must be eight square inches to have legal force, but resident say that size is just too unattractive. Under the legislation, the requirement is smaller, at least 30-point sized letters of the words “no handbills.”

The full board is expected to vote on the legislation next Tuesday.


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