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Political Signage

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
27
Our sign ordinance restricts political signage by stating: "Temporary political signs are permitted in any zoned district, provided that all of said signs are located on private property and shall be removed within five days after the date of said election. A sign permit shall not be required for temporary political signs, and the signs shall not exceed a total of six square feet."

In the past, we have said on each property we would allow one sign per campaign. Meaning that a property could have more than one sign, providing they are for difference elections. The above language has been interpreted to imply that permanent signs, and/or signage over 6 square feet is NOT allowed.

However, there has been discussion by the ACLU stating that regulations on political signage violates Freedom of Speech. Here is the Detroit Free Press article regarding this issue.

Anyone else deal with this, or have an opinion? If you have an ordinance that deals with political signs, could you please post it?

Thanks, Christine
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
This is an old issue and one that comes up every election... and it's even the same in Canada!

I dealt with this issue a few years back with the City of Vancouver. Our City Attorney came in and trained our Sign Ordinance Update Committee on freedom of speech and political signs. It is his opinion that the City cannot regulate election signs on private property. The notes from the meeting, including a summary of the City Attorney's position can be found here (pdf), if anyone is interested.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
We use our code as a guide.. if you call in, we'll tell you what's allowed, but don't expect it to be enforced. We took the same stance on post 9/11 banners, flags, etc.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,554
Points
42
Aside from prohibiting political signs in the public rights-of-way, we do not regulate them in any way, shape, size or form.

That's not to say that I don't see tons of them hanging from telephone poles or in the verge... B-)
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,452
Points
34
Other than keeping them on private property, I would leave them alone. I think they are protected speech and other than property and safety issues you would lose. I'm not sure you can even make them take them down after the election if push comes to shove.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,424
Points
34
I dealt with this last local election. Stay away from regulating political signs as much as possible. All we really enforce is the removal date and keeping them out of the ROW (10 working days after election unless there's a runoff).
 
Messages
15
Points
1
SW MI Planner said:
Our sign ordinance restricts political signage by stating: "Temporary political signs are permitted in any zoned district, provided that all of said signs are located on private property and shall be removed within five days after the date of said election. A sign permit shall not be required for temporary political signs, and the signs shall not exceed a total of six square feet."

In the past, we have said on each property we would allow one sign per campaign. Meaning that a property could have more than one sign, providing they are for difference elections. The above language has been interpreted to imply that permanent signs, and/or signage over 6 square feet is NOT allowed.

However, there has been discussion by the ACLU stating that regulations on political signage violates Freedom of Speech. Here is the Detroit Free Press article regarding this issue.

Anyone else deal with this, or have an opinion? If you have an ordinance that deals with political signs, could you please post it?

Thanks, Christine

A few years ago (2002) our City Attorney (Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins) rewrote part of our Zoning Ordinance on signage. One such change deleted zoning control on Political Signs. The Zoning Ordinance refers to Temporary signs. Such signs may be posted no longer than 60 days. I recently had posted Notice of Violations that the signs that have been posted may not be posted prior to September 4, 2004 with the 60 day window being applied to the election on November 4, 2004.

I was advised by our attorney that the signs may be posted but not for more than 60 days. I now must identify when the signs have been posted and than notify the residents when they must be removed. One such resident has recently challenged this indicating they will remove the sign and replace it with another such sign after the 60 days expires.

The resident wrote and article in the local paper. I haven't seen it yet but I will keep you posted.

This is really tough things to regulate. On top of it Real Estate signs are exempt from the temporary sign ordinance.

To refer to our Ordinance you may go to www.parkridge.us. Refer directly to the Zoning Ordinance.
 
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