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Just a sign of the times

7/3/2012

By DAWNE LEIKER

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

On lawns and vacant lots around town, political signs are popping up as the 2012 election takes shape. State and local governments dictate a few basic rules governing the posting of those signs.

Locally, political signs are subject to the city of Hays general signage regulations.

According to Jesse Rohr, superintendent of planning, inspection and enforcement, signs should be placed on private property and not within city right of way.

In addition, city code states no sign shall block any required accessway or window, shall not be attached to a tree or utility pole, whether on public or private property, and shall not obstruct, impair, obscure, interfere with the view or have the potential to be confused with any traffic or railroad control signal.

Resident complaints heard by city employees about political signage are infrequent, Rohr said.

"We typically don't have too many issues with political signs, as long as they aren't creating a traffic hazard by obstructing view of oncoming traffic, primarily at intersections or driveways," he said.

Political signs also are prohibited in county right of way, according to Ellis County Clerk Alberta Klaus, who is not seeking re-election.

In addition, they also are prohibited on state right of way.

A Kansas Department of Transportation press release said political advertising, when found by KDOT maintenance crews on state right of way will be removed immediately without notice.

However, political campaign advertising is allowed on private property bordering state right of way.