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City drops regulation from lawn litter law

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The city Sanitation Department agreed last week to drop a requirement that homeowners notarize a complaint form if they want to report a violator of the Lawn Litter Law.

The law, authored by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), bars companies from placing fliers, restaurant menus and other advertisements on properties if homeowners display a sign stating they do not want the literature.

The notary provision was seen by the law's supporters as a deterrent to filing a complaint against violators.

Instead of going through a notary, homeowners will have to sign the complaint form that their gripe "is truthful and accurate." The new rule will take effect Aug. 2.

"When many homeowners and civic leaders reached out to Assemblyman Weprin and I to express their opposition to the onerous requirement to have all complaint forms notarized, we immediately submitted a joint letter to the Department of Sanitation urging them to reconsider this proposed provision," Padavan said in a statement.

"I commend the city and the Department of Sanitation for working in good faith and making the complaint and enforcement process of the 'Lawn Litter Law' easier for homeowners throughout the five boroughs," he said.

Rick Duskiewicz, the Creedmoor Civic Association president, said the new rule takes away the hassle of reporting a violator.

"There's going to be a lot more complaints if they don't have to go through that process," said Duskiewicz, who has a sign placed in his front window. "I love coming home and not having to bend down to pick these things up."

Weprin said the law "is a great example of government responding directly to constituents' concerns. People around the city complained for years about receiving unsolicited advertisements on their property, and this law will put a stop to it."

He said a heap of lawn litter can be a sign to burglars that homeowners are away. In addition, elderly and disabled residents have trouble picking up the advertisements.

Complaint forms will be available through the Sanitation Department Web site at www.nyc.gov/html/dsny or by calling 311.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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