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Sign Removal

Rules of the Road for Political Signs

We are officially into the fall election season. For a community of residents who take their yard signs seriously to show support for candidates or issues, now’s a good time for a friendly reminder on political signs.

Upper Arlington City Government is non-partisan, and City Council does not endorse political candidates. The City does not regulate language on a political sign, as this would infringe upon on individual’s freedom of speech. Call the Ohio Elections Commission (614-466-3205) or click here to register a concern.

Below are guidelines for the display of signs or banners:

  • Signs and banners must be located on the property and not in the public right-of-way. The public right-of-way includes the tree lawns next to sidewalks that are immediately adjacent to the street, in both residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. In instances where there is no sidewalk, signs placed within six to eight feet of the street may still be in the public right-of-way. To determine the right-of-way for your property, visit our Archives Portal, then search for “Right of Way Street Index” in Development Projects, and be sure to include the search timeframe of March 1997 (when the document was created).
  • A maximum of five signs/banners are permitted per property.
  • In addition to the five permitted signs, an additional sign/banner may be onsite for each street frontage if the property is under construction or on the market for sale or lease.
  • Signs/banners should not exceed eight square feet in size.
  • Signs should not exceed four feet in height if free-standing and should not be attached to any roof or roof element if mounted on a building.
  • Signs/banners should not be illuminated.
  • Signs with changeable copy/text are not allowed.

Council recently approved some amendments to the City’s sign code, allowing the use of larger banners – up to three feet by six feet – during the time-period of May 7-July 7. This amendment was made to facilitate the use of graduation banners for students, though the enlarged sign size is extended to all messages during that period.

The City may be able to ask a resident to remove signs/banners only if they exceed the size requirements, are deteriorating or have been placed in the public right-of-way. If you believe this to be the case, call Code Compliance at 614-583-5073 or use our UA Click2Fix smartphone app to report an issue.

If our code compliance officers come across signs placed in our parks or in traffic medians, they will remove them. Any signs that are collected will be kept at the Municipal Services Center until the week following the election. To check that we have your sign and reclaim it, please call 614-583-5070.

Signs placed on private property are considered private property as well, and theft charges will be filed against individuals taking signs. The Police Division recommends that you place your name on your political signs for tracking purposes, so that they can be returned to you if stolen and later recovered.

As evidenced by the many signs placed throughout many neighborhoods, a majority of residents do understand the restrictions, their value in helping to protect the aesthetics of our neighborhoods and abide by them. We respectfully request that all in our community follow suit.

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