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That Political Sign in Front of Your Yard May Be There Legally

political yard sign 300xThe City of Ferndale posted an article on their website today explaining the rules for political candidates to follow when placing yard signs around town. It is as much written for the candidates as for citizens who may wrongly assume a sign has been placed on their property. 

According to the Ferndale municipal code. section 18.80.430, political signs may be located in public right-of-ways as long as they don’t create a hazard. They may also be located on private property with the owner’s permission.

What many people may not realize is their property often ends several feet before reaching the roadway. This space is referred to as the public right-of-way and that space is fair game for political signs. Apparently there are often complaints that political signs have been placed on someone’s property but when investigated it turns out the sign is located in a right-of-way.

public right-of-way graphic
Graphic: Discover Ferndale via Ferndale GIS map viewer

The city’s article points out,

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Now, before you go sign crazy in public rights-of-way, we want to point out that often times the community has public right of way in front of properties where the property owner may not realize it. While you’re not required to contact the property owner to place a sign in that right of way, it might save everyone some grief if you do. Also, we’ve heard that signs sometimes go missing when people place them in front of a property (even in a legitimate right of way) where an abutting property owner is unhappy about it. We don’t have campaign sign detectives, so it could be hard to prove a culprit. Long and short of it, again, please just use common sense.

For other criteria and requirements for legally locating political signs, refer to the article from the city and the Ferndale municipal code. section 18.80.430.

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