As the political season approaches, residents are reminded of the requirements for posting political signs.
I realize this may be confusing, so residents are encouraged to contacted Jim Atkinson at Lakeland City Hall (867-2717) with specific questions.
Note that one requirement is that ALL CANDIDATES must post a $500 bond before any signs can be posted. Please call City Hall if you are not sure if your candidate has posted the bond.
Also note that political signs are not allowed until 30 days before "early voting" starts.
We appreicate your cooperation in complying with these requirements.
Political Signs (14-404.2(11))
Political signs shall be allowed, provided that:
(a) Such signs shall be limited to not more than one (1) per candidate or issue on any single occupied parcel except polling places on election day where signage may be placed in accordance with Election Commission guidelines for signage at polling places;
(b) Such signs shall be located on private property, with permission of the property owner;
(c) Such signs shall not be placed closer than fifteen (15) feet from the edge of pavement or five (5) feet behind a sidewalk, whichever is greater;
(d) Such signs shall not be erected or placed in such a manner that they interfere with, obstruct, or confuse or mislead vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
(e) No such sign shall be erected or displayed earlier than thirty (30) days before the election including Early Voting to which it relates, nor later than three (3) days following such election;
(f) Such signs shall not be located in the public right-of-way or on other public property or on any public utility pole or tree, except within specified proximity of polling places on election day, under the rules established by the Shelby County Board of Election;
(g) No signs will be allowed at polling places earlier than one (1) day before an election or early voting period and must be removed not later than one (1) day after said election or early voting period. For signs placed at polling places no permit or bond will be required, but requirements of all other sections of this Ordinance shall apply;
(h) Such signs shall not exceed five (5) square feet in area per side and 48 inches in height;
(i) Such signs erected or maintained not in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property upon which the sign is located, shall be deemed a public nuisance, and may be abated, without notice, by such property owner, the candidate, or person advocating the vote described in the sign, or the Building Official or his/her designee;
(j) Any candidate or political committee desiring to distribute, cause to be distributed, display, place, or erect any political sign shall file an application for a Political Sign Distributor’s Permit with the City of Lakeland upon forms furnished by the City, and provide such pertinent information as said application may require;
(k) The Political Sign Distributor’s Permit application shall include an agreement, which obligates the applicant to reimburse the City of Lakeland for costs associated with removal of signs specified in Section 14-404.2 (11) (a) through (h) of this Ordinance. Upon filing such application, the Building Official or his designee shall issue a Political Sign Distributor’s Permit to the applicant together with the issuance of a permit number; and
(l) Any person desiring to post or erect any political sign including but not limited to signs advertising a political party or the candidacy of any individual for any nomination or office, shall, in addition to obtaining the Political Sign Distributor’s Permit required by Section 14-404.2 (11) (i) and (j) of this Ordinance, first deposit with the City of Lakeland a cash bond in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00), which bond shall be conditioned upon removal of each and every such sign within five (5) days after the announced results of the nomination, election, or referendum to which the sign pertains. If such removal is not made within the specified time, the bond shall be forfeited to the City of Lakeland, and may be used by the City to defray the cost of removing such signs.
(m) The City Manager may, at his discretion, establish a uniform policy whereby a specific portion of the bond is assessed per sign not removed within the specified time so that part but not necessarily all of the bond shall be forfeited, depending upon the number of signs per candidate City Staff is required to remove.