Citizens of Lee’s Summit frequently post signs to show support for candidates or ballot issues. The City of Lee’s Summit has adopted regulations for non-commercial “Temporary Signs” which include political signs. The regulations which are applicable to temporary political signs are found in Article 9 (Signs), Sections 9.070.B.86.b (definition of “Temporary Sign”), Section 9.220 (Temporary Signs) and Table 9-2 (Permitted Temporary Signs), of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
In an effort to maintain safety, protect property values, enhance appearance and protect free speech, all temporary signs must meet the guidelines. The City is able to regulate sign characteristics such as the physical construction, placement and duration, and the presence of distracting features that block driver vision. The City upholds First Amendment rights based on the content of the signs.
WHERE CAN SIGNS BE POSTED?
All signs must be posted on privately owned property, with the property owner’s permission. Signs cannot be posted on public property, which includes right-of-way, utility poles and public buildings. Generally, signs may not be located closer than 11 feet to the paved portion of a street and must be at least 5 feet from any other privately owned property. Sight triangle regulations may require greater distance at intersections.
The sign regulations also prohibit any sign that obstructs the vision of drivers, or unduly distracts a drivers attention, or obstructs the visibility of any traffic sign or traffic control device by reason of size, location, coloring, or illumination.
WHAT ARE THE SIGN SIZE RESTRICTIONS?
On property that contain a residential use, the maximum size of a temporary sign is 6 square feet. On property in residential districts that contain a non-residential use, the maximum size is 40 square feet. The maximum size for a sign with property in the Agricultural District (AG) is 40 square feet. On property that has multi-family uses in the RP-3 and RP-4 districts, the maximum size is 40 square feet. The maximum sign size for Neighborhood Fringe Office (NFO) and Transitional Neighborhood Zoned (TNZ) districts is 20 square feet.
WHAT MATERIAL CAN SIGNS BE MADE OF?
Signs may be made of plastic, wood or metal, attached to a post or stake.
WHEN CAN SIGNS BE DISPLAYED?
Signs may be displayed the first day of the qualification of candidates or certification of a ballot question. Signs must be removed upon the election of a candidate to office or resolution of the ballot question.
WHAT CAN THE SIGNS SAY?
Generally, the content of the sign cannot be regulated by the City. The City’s sign regulations do prohibit “obscene” signs, which is guided primarily by the reported state and federal court cases that have dealt with profanity and obscenity in signage. The City encourages the content of all signage be appropriate for all ages.
ARE PERMITS REQUIRED?
No. Non-commercial temporary signs, such as political signs that comply with the standards for number, sign area, height, and design as specified in Table 9-2 of the UDO are exempt from permits and permit fees.