Metro Codes: Putting up flyers on city poles is illegal

Posted at 11:56 AM, Jun 20, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In Music City, musicians perform in venues all across town every night of the week, and many of them advertise their shows by putting up flyers, but according to Metro Codes, many of those flyers are illegal.

A 2009 ordinance made it illegal to post flyers and other signs or advertising materials on any post or pole within Davidson County.

“This is just something to make sure that we keep the poles clear for utility workers,” Sean Braisted, public information officer for the Metro Codes Department, said. “A lot of times people put up signs, a lot of times they don’t take them down and so eventually those deteriorate, they fall off, they get into the storm water, they get into the roads, it just creates a mess.”

While the ordinance has been around for a decade, it again became a topic of discussion when one of the owners of The 5 Spot in East Nashville posted about the issue, saying Metro Codes officials reached out about flyers advertising shows at The 5 Spot.

“It’s just a situation where we got some complaints, we addressed those complaints, and hopefully the venues that have been notified of the problem will help us to fix the problem,” Braisted said.

According to the 2009 ordinance, the business advertised on the flyer itself is responsible for the flyers that are posted, even if they didn’t post them. That is unless the business can inform Metro Codes of the person who posted them, whether it be a band member or promoter, in which case Metro Codes will work with that individual to remedy the situation.

“We send an abatement notice, which is a notice to fix the problem, and they have two weeks to fix the problem,” Braisted explained, adding that Metro Codes doesn’t seek to fine people, but instead enforces code infractions and addresses any complaints they receive.

Instead of utility poles, Metro Codes encourages artists and venues to advertise shows online and through approved posting areas.

“A lot of restaurants or bars or coffee shops around East Nashville allow people to put up signs to advertise their shows, so there’s plenty of opportunities that don’t involve utility poles.”

As of June 19th, only 9 violation notices had been sent out in Davidson County in 2019.