Council limits sign posting

The Huntington Beach City Council voted Monday to restrict the number of days campaign and political signs can be posted.

The decision came after months of studying the issue in an effort to accommodate both residents and candidates while also reducing clutter and blight during the summer season.

The council voted 6 to 1 to go with the Planning Commission’s recommendation, allowing candidates no more than 50 days before an election to display signs, a change from the previous 75 days period the city allowed for political signs. Councilman Matthew Harper opposed the changes.

“This reduces the clutter for about 25 days,” said Councilman Keith Bohr. “That’s progress. It’s a nice compromise.”

In addition, the signs must be removed no later than 10 days following election day, a reduction from the previous 15 days the city allowed for the signs to be removed.

Signs on public property and public right-of-way can be removed by anyone the Friday following election day, according to a city staff report.

The council had previously considered allowing political signs for candidates running in November elections in even-numbered years to post their signs the first Tuesday following Labor Day, and candidates running in all other elections to have no more than 60 days before the election to post their signs.

The Planning Commission, though, opted to make the changes applicable across the board.

City Attorney Jennifer McGrath recommended against the day restrictions. She said judges have ruled in prior cases that cities cannot limit sign-posting to less than 60 days before the election.

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