OAKLEY -- The city's cracking down on annoying signs.

In an effort to reduce eyesores around town, the Oakley City Council this week unanimously agreed to tighten the rules on where and what advertising signs can be used.

"Garage sale signs are ... everywhere," said Mayor Kevin Romick, who was bothered when he spotted one attached to a traffic light pole in front of Main Street's Carpaccio Ristorante.

The city's amended sign ordinance actually will give people holding a yard sale more flexibility by allowing them to post up to four signs somewhere other than their property. However, the fliers and placards must not show up on public property, including on trees or utility boxes and poles in public right-of-ways.

The city now can remove offending signs immediately and, if they have damaged public property, it can charge whoever posted them for the cost of repairs assuming it can identify the culprit.

In addition, the updated ordinance stipulates that the portable A-frame signs businesses use first must pass muster with the planning department to ensure they look professional. They may not be placed in public right-of-ways where there are shrubs and other low-lying plants that could be damaged, and multiple A-frame signs must be at least 20 feet apart to avoid a cluttered look.

But the city has eased up on another form of advertising: In addition to streamers, search lights and balloons, businesses now can use large inflatable figures at events that require a temporary use permit, such as grand openings, parking lot sales, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree lots.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.