Are signs free speech or a violation of city code? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Are signs free speech or a violation of city code?

SUNNYSIDE, Wash -- Tom Paul has been arguing with the City of Sunnyside for several years over the expansion of First St. -- off of exit 67.

He's placed about twenty signs on his property -- defending his position -- and accusing the city of illegally taking his land.

This week, a judge may decide whether the signs are legal. The city says they violate commercial code because the land is zoned for commercial use.

"He can have a pole sign on his building," Robert Stockwell, the City manager for Sunnyside, "but what he has done is ignore the sign code and has installed a vast number of signs more than he is entitled to."

Paul believes the signs are free speech -- and that the charges against him are just payback for his refusal to give up his land. A claim the city disputes.

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