Election Reminder: Keep Campaign Signs in the Right Places

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With the primary election quickly approaching, political campaign signs are popping up in yards all over.

Grand Island Building Department Director Craig Lewis says people need to remember to keep all temporary yard signs - including for sale signs and garage sale signs - under 15 square feet, on their property, and off the public right-of-way.

However, Lewis admits knowing those boundaries isn't always easy.

"Often times yes on a conventional sidewalk it's the back of the sidewalk toward the street," he says. "If you have a curb sidewalk then that public right-of-way can be 12-20 feet from the curbline back. That's why I say it kind of depends on what your area is whether it's conventional walks or curb sidewalks and then what the width of that right-of way truly is."

The Grand Island Free Standing Yard Sign Code also says signs should not be in the "sight visibility triangle" on properties located at intersections. Lewis says that's found by going 30 feet in each direction from the corner property pin, but he says most campaign or sale signs are small enough they don't interfere.

"Signs within that 30 feet visibility triangle should be limited to no more than two feet in height, or at least eight feet in the air, so you have these temporary yard signs, most of those are typically two feet or lower, so usually they're not a problem unless you have a fairly large one," he says.

The Nebraska Department of Roads says any improperly placed signs found on state highway right-of-ways will be removed by maintenance crews and taken back to the maintenance yard where owners can reclaim them.

Grand Island will warn private property owners or campaigns about improperly placed signs, but Lewis says they'll discard those found on public property like parks.

He says the whole thing boils down to a visibility and safety issue.

"If you're driving down the street and you're trying to watch oncoming traffic and all you see is this 15 square feet sign that's in your way that's kind of an obstruction, that's what we're trying to keep from happening," he says.

Lewis says if Grand Islanders are unsure where their sign can be placed they should contact the Building Department at 305-385-5325 and ask.

In Grand Island all temporary yard signs need to be taken down within five days after the event.

If you're unsure of your city's code regarding signs, contact your city administration or building department.