Campaign signs face timelines to be removed

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:56 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Campaign signs are still up on roadways throughout the Truckee Meadows. They must be removed per city, county, or state ordinance.

On the state level, signs must be 660-feet from the roadway on private property. From a hazard perspective, it’s obvious why the signs must be removed 30 days after the election.

A damaged sign should be removed before then.

“Traffic safety,” says Meg Ragonese from the Nevada Department of Transportation. “Political and other advertising signs have the potential to be windblown, land in the roadway, which could also create a hazard. They also could be a visual distraction for drivers. So, this Nevada state law is really critical to help protect and enhance safety on our roadways,” she says.

Here in the Reno Sparks Area, residents may be surprised some portions of major roadways like South Virginia Street, Kietzke, McCarran, and Pyramid Highway are all state roadways.

Signs located on private property in these areas are subject to those state laws as well.

Washoe County has perhaps the most stringent political sign laws. Those signs posted on private property in the county must be removed 10 days after the election.

There is a $100 dollar fine for the first violation notice. That fine by the way goes to the property owner. “They are very compliant,” says Alex Woodley of candidates running for public office. Woodley is director of code compliance with the City of Reno.

He says there is a 95-day deadline to remove signs after the primary and the clock started ticking June 10, 2022.

That means candidates won’t have to remove the signs in the city of Reno until September.

If the candidate made it to the general election?

“You go in the general election, then what we would do, if it is brought to our attention, we would contact the candidate. and let them know it has to be changed it has to removed,” says Woodley. “And then placed back on the same property. But we would need at least 24 hours to start the clock all over again,” he says.

Woodley says due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2005 the city cannot discriminate between a campaign sign, and any other sign posted properly on private property.

The size, placement, and length of time will be regulated just as a campaign sign.

So, depending upon the sign, and where it is located drivers and residents alike may be seeing advertisements for candidates on streets and in neighborhoods throughout the summer.

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