Political Campaign Signage and Enforcement of the Howard County Sign Code

I was forwarded this email yesterday and thought it would be a good thing to share…especially good read for candidates…there has been A LOT of talk about campaign signs this year…so here is some guidance from Howard County Government:

Date: May 24, 2018

To: Affected and Interested Parties

From: Robert J. Frances, P.E., Director

Subject: Political Campaign Signage and Enforcement of the Howard County Sign Code

Recent court rulings on sign codes, including codes similar in some respects to Howard County’s, have raised questions regarding how those codes may apply. In light of this evolving development in the law, we are not taking any enforcement action with respect to section 3.503(f) of the County Sign Code, which deals with political campaign signs.

This section by its own terms already exempts political campaign signs from most requirements of our Sign Code, however, it still spells out size, setback and time limitations. We will not be taking any enforcement action based upon these provisions as they are currently written.

This means that political campaign signs can be erected anywhere on private property, at any time, can stay up for as long as the property owner desires, and can be of any size.

This is only applicable to signs that are on private property. Signs on public property, such as in a County right-of-way (R-O-W), are not permitted. Also, a sign cannot create a physical or traffic-safety hazard, irrespective of its location on public or private land.

None of this alters, of course, the need to have the permission of the property owner to post a sign on their property. It also has no bearing on the potential application of private covenants or other private restrictions that may not allow or may still restrict signs, but which restrictions are not enforced or interpreted by the County.

Please share this information with your campaign staffs and check your sign locations. Signs improperly placed in a public R-O-W will be removed and discarded.

If you have any questions, please contact our Sign Code Enforcement Section at 410-313-1830, or my office at 410-313-2433.

Thank you.

Here is what was attached to the email (same stuff…just converted the PDF into an image for easy viewing:

The more you know…

Scott E

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