MOUNT VERNON — Placing political signs in your yard is OK under the city Zoning Code pertaining to signs, provided they are not larger than six square feet.
This weekend, at least four signs exceeding that size appeared in the city and Safety-Service Director Dave Glass proceeded Monday morning to notify the property owners the signs are illegal.
Glass said the owners or residents were contacted or messages left and he expects the outsized signs to be gone by today.
Under the city’s ordinances, political signs should not be erected more than 45 days before an election and are not to be more than six square feet.
“There are some Constitutional questions about the 45-day rule,” Glass said, “So we’ve been flexible on that. For that matter, with early voting, it’s hard to say when the 45 days should be counted.”
However, the city can control the size of signs and it has not been a significant problem for several election cycles.
“This is the first time in a while we’ve had complaints about big signs,” he said.
He said the city reminds the political parties about the sign regulations before each election, but not all signs are put out by the parties, or they might be erected by someone who is new to the community or simply doesn’t know. If the signs are removed, nothing is done. If they remain, Glass said he notifies the city law director and a citation can be issued. The citation is for a minor misdemeanor and the maximum fine is $150.
“Sometimes they just find a place out of town to move the sign to,” Glass said. “I don’t know what regulations the townships have.”
He said the city also does not issue permits for larger signs.
He also explained that he is in charge of enforcing the regulations since they are part of the Zoning Code, and he is the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
The signs were all Republican presidential signs.
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