The Business of Politics

Seven Out

Member
Oct 14, 2023
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I couldn't find any specifics online, so I'm asking here. When people post signs on street corners, business lawns and personal lawns, do they need a permit to do so? I know that billboards require permits, but what about all the signs that make everything look ugly that advertise political candidates?
 
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I couldn't find any specifics online, so I'm asking here. When people post signs on street corners, business lawns and personal lawns, do they need a permit to do so? I know that billboards require permits, but what about all the signs that make everything look ugly that advertise political candidates?

Good question. Pretty much everywhere I've lived those types of political signs seem to be pervasive along roadways and intersections during election season. It can really be a mess to look at and I'm honestly not sure the value of basically spamming the neighborhood with your candidate's name. I guess they think it's important to show an abundance of public support? Who knows...

As far as permitting, maybe @Fatima Naz can has some perspective she can share? I can't imagine you'd need permits to put up political signs on your own lawn. If anything, that might be something an HOA would regulate but probably not your local government. But I'm sure your local municipality would have something to say about that kind of signage in public areas.

As a point of reference, I took a quick look at sign regulations in San Diego's Municipal Code. In San Diego at least, the regulations make clear that "permanent or changeable copy on signs shall contain on-premises or public interest messages only." The regulations define "public interest messages" to include "political and ideological signs and notices related to any federal, state, or local election issue or candidate." I assume "political and ideological signs" are generally allowed throughout municipalities, just based on how prevalent they appear to be. I think different municipalities probably vary, however, in terms of the locational rules for such signs. I noticed that San Diego, for example, has sections in their code detailing requirements for signs posted on "Public Property and in Public Rights-of-Way" and within "Commercial and Industrial Zones," both of which could apply to political signs, I would think.
 
In many places, posting signs on street corners, business lawns, and personal lawns without a permit is not allowed. While billboards usually require permits, local regulations may also govern smaller signs. The debate over political signs often centers around free speech rights versus aesthetics. However, the rules and enforcement vary, so it's important to check local ordinances to determine the specific permit requirements for posting signs in your area.
 
Generally speaking, you don't need a permit for temporary political signs on your private property. However, you will have to follow guidelines on size, placement, and duration. On public property, like roadsides, you need permits. These permits come under the jurisdiction of local governments.
 
Yeah where I come from they usually require a permit in order to place signs. I think in some locations you need to ask permission from homeowners otherwise. Or it likely is both. If it's on public land, a business, etc, then it likely will require a permit. Especially if it's on a public roadway, location etc. Best bet would be to check in your area, as it will be different in some areas.
 
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