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What’s your sign?

In their 1971 hit entitled “Signs”, the 5 Man Electrical Band sang, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

Chances are they were not talking about political signs but you never know. After all, it was the 1970s.

With the political season in full swing and the primary election June 11, when driving around Boulder City, more and more signs are popping up in yards and outside of businesses for those seeking a variety of offices, including city council and justice of the peace.

While political signs are legal in city limits, there are some restrictions, specifically when it comes to size and placement.

According to City Clerk Tami McKay, noncommercial messages, such as political signs, are not subject to permit requirements per the city’s current sign ordinance. In residential zones, people are allowed to have noncommercial message signs on their property at any time of the year subject to them being no larger than 6 square feet per sign, a maximum of 4 feet high and they cannot be illuminated.

City code states there is a temporary increase in noncommercial message signs during the period beginning 60 days before any primary, special or general election, and ending five days thereafter.

The temporary increase is:

■ In commercial and industrial zones: An additional 18 square feet of sign area;

■ In residential zones: An additional 14 square feet of sign area per sign.

For example, the temporary increase permitted before the June 11, 2024 primary election began April 12, 2024. The temporary increase for the primary election would end five days thereafter on June 16, 2024.

“I would encourage candidates to visit the city’s elections page at bcnv.org/189/elections to learn more about political sign requirements,” McKay said.

The temporary increase permitted before the Nov. 5, 2024 general election begins Sept. 6, 2024. The temporary increase for the general election would end five days thereafter on Nov. 10.

McKay stressed that political signs cannot be placed on city property, public utility poles or within highway rights of way. And, permission must be obtained by the owner of private property before a sign can be placed.

The code states, “Subject to the property owner’s consent, a noncommercial message of any type may be substituted for any duly permitted or allowed commercial message or any duly permitted or allowed noncommercial message, provided that the sign structure or mounting device is legal without consideration of message content. Such substitution of message may be made without any additional approval or permitting. This provision prevails over any more specific provision to the contrary within this chapter. The purpose of this provision is to prevent any inadvertent favoring of commercial speech over noncommercial speech, or favoring of any particular noncommercial message over any other noncommercial message. This provision does not create a right to increase the total amount of signage on a parcel, lot or use; does not affect the requirement that a sign structure or mounting device be properly permitted; and does not allow the substitution of an off-site commercial message in place of an on-site commercial message.”

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