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Thread: AIB: Seasonal display time limit ordinances

  1. #1
    Jun 2007

    AIB: Seasonal display time limit ordinances

    I find that many political sign ordinances, including my county, limit the display duration to a specified time before and after the election. My attorney is saying we gotta’ fix it. He say:

    There is a considerable body of case law on political signs, and the applicable First Amendment free speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection protections under the U.S. Constitution. We are not so much talking about politicians’ rights, but the free speech rights of the landowner to express his/her political views by placing a political sign on his/her own property. If it were only the politician, and not the landowner, that wanted the sign there, it would be an off premises sign, a whole different analysis, and likely not permitted. Under that Federal Constitution analysis, local regulations that include a blanket ban on political signs more than X time before and after elections have typically been found unconstitutional.

    So, given that the political crazy season is about to start, any of you run into this? This issue came up for us because it has, in fact, started.

  2. #2
    Jun 2009
    Chicago Region
    I agree with your attorney and that's the approach we use...

    "political" (campaign signs, anti war signs even anti-zoning signs) signs placed on private property by the owner of the private property are untouchable. However, they're not allowed anywhere else... if you put a campaign sign on "my" street r.o.w. it's going to be collected as litter.

    In our newsletter, cable channel we ask residents to be mindul of visual clutter and remove campaign signs shortly after the election.

    It works fairly well tho we did have one resident who had "no blood for oil" spray painted on an old bedsheet nailed to her proch for about a year. Eventually the weather & elements took care of it

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