Signs sprout as spring election nears
While many residents view posting a political sign supporting one candidate or another as a exercise of their right of free speech, their neighbors aren’t always enamored with the idea. So the state and most of its cities and counties have estalished rules on size, number, placement and duration of posting.
The Oregon Department of Transportation holds sway on state highways. It has developed a set of rules for both permanent and temporary signs, with political signs typically falling under the temporary category
It does not allow signs within highway right of way, according to Jill Hendrickson. She said they must be placed on private property and accessed from private property.
ODOT may remove improperly placed signs and notify their owners to pick them up, she said.
Temporary signs may not encompass more than 12 square feet or be posted for more than 60 days at a time unless an exemption is obtained. Exemptions can be granted for signs of up to 32 square feet or posting for up to 90 days.
Hendrickson said enforcement is largely complaint-driven, and most of the complaints are lodged anonymously. She said the agency can lodge fines of up to $1,000 a day for particularly flagrant violations.
Yamhill County and its various municipalities maintain their own regulations, all of which prohibit signs in public right of way.
Yamhill County allows signs to remain up only one week after the election.
In residential zones, temporary signs are allowed from six weeks before an election and two weeks after. They may not exceed six square feet in area or 30 inches in height.
In commercial and industrial zones, signs may range up to as much as 16 square feet.
In Lafeyette, signs may not exceed 16 square feet and must be removed within a week after the election. Dundee only allows one temporary sign per parcel and limits posting to 90 days.