5 complaints filed over signs
The county’s code enforcement director says he has received numerous calls about signs protesting Natural Heritage 2020.
But only five official written complaints have been made, according to records obtained by The Union Friday.
Nevada County Code Enforcement Director Steve Brown recently mailed letters to two property rights organizations – Protect Your Property Rights and Citizens for Property Rights In Nevada County – giving them 15 days to remove the “No on NH 2020” and “Stop NH 2020” protest signs before he would tell property owners to do so.
The organizations’ names and phone numbers appear on the signs. If they don’t take them down, Brown said, he will notify the owners of property where the signs stand and give them 30 days to remove the signs, at their expense.
The Union obtained a complaint submitted by Ron Milner, who was part of a 1998 lawsuit to keep access to paths alongside Nevada Irrigation District water canals. Two other people submitted and signed copies of his complaint.
This time, though, Milner said he did not plan to pursue any legal action, but instead would “wait for the signs to rot out.”
Milner’s typed complaint listed four signs he said he found “particularly offensive,” one of which is posted on Lowell Robinson’s property.
Robinson, owner of Robinson Enterprises, a Nevada City-based logging company, said he would take down the large signs if people he trusted, whom he declined to name, told him the signs should come down.
“It’s a matter of opinion, if it’s an election sign,” Robinson said. “We’ll follow the rules.” He said he wanted to make sure property rights activists “stick together and are on same page.”
Drew Bedwell, founder of PYPR and 3rd District supervisorial candidate, received Brown’s letter March 29. He said he had removed his own campaign signs, but NH 2020 protest signs belonged to the owners of the property where the signs stand.
In January, Brown said the red, black and white, “No on NH 2020” signs – 32 square feet, the maximum size allowed for signs by the county – are campaign signs, and thus should have been removed 10 days after the March 5 election.
Brown said he did not ask that signs be removed when they started appearing 11/2 years ago because “in the beginning, there were not that many of them.”
The movement to remove the signs started around October, when there were “just huge numbers of them around, a genuine epidemic,” he said.
Brown said he had received many sign complaint calls. But he directed callers to fill out a written complaint, because “We don’t take complaints over the phone.”
A group of citizens, whom Brown declined to name, has created a list of parcels with anti-NH 2020 signs and has offered to show him the list, he said.
Milner said he had not compiled a complete inventory of “No on NH 2020” signs.
“I’m not spending any energy on it,” he said.
Robinson said his family has owned property in Nevada County since 1860, and has “never subdivided any ground.”
“We’ve never had anybody mandate rules that anybody who does have property is going to be policed to somebody’s desires and not recognize the owner’s legal right of personal property rights,” Robinson said.
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