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Political yard signs will soon be dotting Lansing as the election season draws closer. Some signs are placed contrary to local regulations, however, and with primaries coming up soon, city staff asks candidates to watch carefully where they place their outdoor signage.
Most candidates are usually cooperative in relocating their signs. However, there are times when compliance is difficult to achieve. The following is a guideline for candidates and supporters:
1. Political Signs: Political campaign signs, not exceeding eight (8) square feet in area in residential districts and sixteen (16) square feet in commercial districts, may be displayed no more than 45 days prior to, and seven (7) days following, an election.
2. Over-sized Signs: Signs larger than the permissible size must obtain a sign permit (no fee charged) in order for City staff to track locations of larger signs.
3. Private Property: No sign shall be placed on any private property without the consent of the owner of the property.
4. Prohibitions: While signs are now temporarily allowed in the Road Right-Of-Way, they are not allowed in areas where they block motorists’ line of sight – near intersections, for example. Signs found in these areas will be picked up and retained for a period of five (5) working days, then disposed of.
According to the sign ordinance, political signs are banned from being attached to traffic signs or devices, trees, stones, fence posts and utility poles.
Staff is contacted constantly by representatives of all parties involved in the election process concerning the placement of these signs, with staff spending considerable time removing and/or contacting each representative to clarify the requirements and obtain compliance while not impeding the political process. When a sign is placed in a non-conforming location, the candidate or property owner, if readily available, will be contacted and asked to remove his or her sign. Should it not be removed or the responsible person not immediately available, city staff will remove the sign, which will then be stored for a short period of time, allowing the candidate a chance to retrieve it. If a sign is not retrieved, it will be disposed of.
For questions about compliance, contact the Lansing Code Enforcement Officer at 913-727-2400.