There is one issue that I have struggled with during my years on the Huntersville Town Board — signage. Especially political and campaign signs. It always made me crazy to see candidates put their signs in illegal locations — unapproved and/or in the public right-of-way, intentionally breaking Huntersville’s ordinance. I have always wondered how someone who wants to represent the citizens could blatantly ignore the ordinances of our Town.
This year, the State voted on a bill that overrides the Town ordinances and gives considerable leeway to candidates with their signage. But that doesn’t mean that the signs you see being put up are legal. So, for the benefit of those who want to check on the candidates, here’s the updated State language:
Campaign Signs on State Maintained Roads
In August 2011, the NC General Assembly enacted into law Senate Bill 315 which permits the placement of campaign signs on state maintained roads. The new legislation takes precedence over the City’s local sign ordinance with respect to state maintained roads. This means that political signs are permitted on state maintained roads with the following restrictions:
(1) No sign shall be permitted in the right-of-way of a fully controlled access highway (i.e. I-77, I-85, I-277, I-485, etc.)
(2) No sign shall be closer than three feet from the edge of the pavement of the road
(3) No sign shall obscure motorist visibility at an intersection
(4) No sign shall be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement of the road
(5) No sign shall be larger than 864 square inches
(6) No sign shall obscure or replace another sign
The new law applies only to “campaign” or “political” signs and does not include any other type of sign. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will be enforcing these new regulations. The time frame for permitted political signs on state maintained roads begins on October 1, 2011 and ends on the 10th day after the primary or general election. If you have questions about placement of political signs on state roads, please contact Lewis Mitchell at NCDOT (704-596-6900).
If someone has placed my signs illegally, I want to know. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Huntersville business owners, I know that signs are a testy subject. If you have ANY questions about signage for your business, I encourage you all to make an appointment with Brian Richards in the Town Planning Department (704-875-7000) to ask him to look for options and opportunities for putting signage for your business. In the past few years, there have been business owners who have worked with Brian to their advantage. Our Planning Department wants to help, truly they do.