|What a Candidate Should Know About Political Signs in Chandler
A candidate running for office is faced with many issues, including meeting requirements for proper posting of political signs.
In Chandler, the candidate or campaign committee identified on a political sign, or an agent of the candidate or campaign committee, or any other person engaged in installing the political sign is held responsible for the proper size, construction and placement of the sign; the proper maintenance of the sign; and the timely and proper removal of the sign. All such persons are expected to comply with applicable law to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians, and to respect the wishes of the owners of the lands where the political signs are posted. Generally, the relevant law is found at City Code Sec. 39-10.8 and at A.R.S. Sec. 16-1019 and regarding excavation at A.R.S. Sec. 40-360.21-32.
Here are the principal factors to be considered in posting political signs in Chandler:
Political signs -- attributes. In Chandler, “political signs”: (a) are temporary signs allowed in all zoning districts and do not require a permit; (b) must state support for or opposition to a candidate for public office or support for or opposition to a ballot measure; (c) must not exceed 16 sq. ft. in area or 5 ft. in height in any district zoned for residential use and must not exceed 32 sq. ft. in area or 8 ft. in height in any other zoning district; (d) must contain the name and telephone number or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.
Sign placement. In Chandler, placement of political signs must comply with the following:
- Excavations- Arizona law requires all underground utilities to be located and marked before any type of "excavation" - this includes the installation of signs on public or private property. For more information or to report excavations occurring in violation of title 40, contact the Arizona Corporation Commission's pipeline safety division at 602-659-7500.
- Private property. Placement of a political sign on private property requires the permission of the property owner. The owner or the owner’s authorized agent may remove the political sign placed on the owner’s private property. The City does not restrict the placement of a political signs on private property so long as the sign is not in an unsafe location (see below).
- Public property. Placement of any private sign, including a political sign, is prohibited within the public right-of-way (including any utility structure within the public right-of-way) and upon any other City-owned property or structure.
- Unsafe locations. In all cases, a political sign is prohibited from being placed in an “unsafe location”, i.e..., a location, private or public, which is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A sign located in a public roadway median; in, on or over a public sidewalk; or in, on or over a handicap curb ramp is generally considered to create an unsafe or hazardous condition. However, unsafe locations are not limited solely to the above.
A sign placed so as to violate the City’s site distance standards may be considered to be in an unsafe location. The following “rules of thumb” may be followed:
-- The sign should be set back at least 12 feet from the adjoining curb edge(s) of the adjacent roadway(s) or, if no curb or sidewalk exists, from the edge of the pavement.
-- If the sign is 3 feet or less in height, it should be set back at least 3 feet from any driveway/entrance; if the sign is more than 3 feet in height, it should be set back at least 12 feet from any driveway/entrance.
-- Under the City’s zoning code, a sign more than 2 feet in height is considered an obstruction to visibility if placed at an intersection of two (2) right-of-way lines within the triangular area formed by the right-of-way lines and the line connecting them between points located thirty (30) feet from the intersection of said lines.
Sign removal. A political sign is subject to relocation or removal by the City as follows:
- Private property. Any sign, including any political sign, located within an unsafe location is subject to relocation or removal by the City. However, the City generally seeks the cooperation of the owner of the private property before doing so.
- Public property – not right-of-way. The City will relocate or remove private signs, including political signs, placed on City-owned property or structures.
- Public property – right-of-way. The City will relocate or remove private signs, including political signs, placed on public right-of-way, including any political sign placed on a state highway or route or on an overpass over a state highway or route, subject to the following restrictions:
-- During the period beginning 60 days before a primary election and ending 15 days after the general election (except that for a sign of a candidate in a primary election who does not advance to the general election, the period ends 15 days after the primary election), the City will not relocate or remove a political sign in the public right-of-way, except any political sign placed on a state highway or route or on an overpass over a state highway or route or any sign in an unsafe location or lacking the attributes described above.
-- Removal or relocation by the City will occur upon at least 24 hours’ notice to the candidate or the campaign committee contact, except that, in an emergency, the City will immediately relocate or remove the sign and provide notice of the action within 24 hours of the action. The City will retain the sign for at least 10 business days so the candidate or campaign committee may retrieve the sign.
If you have any questions regarding the posting of political signs, please contact Code Enforcement at 480-782-4320.