News Flash

City of Manhattan News

Posted on: August 11, 2020

Placement of Signs in the Public Right of Way

photo of a sign with the word political

Since political campaigns generally involve the use of signs, the City finds it helpful to remind candidates and campaign organizations that the City’s sign regulations are applicable to political signage in the same manner that they are applicable to other types of signs. The most common violation of the City’s regulations is the placement of signs in the public right-of-way. This is a general overview of requirements related to campaign signage within the right-of-way and is being provided to all candidates to distribute to campaign workers.

Similar to other types of signs, the Manhattan Zoning Regulations do not allow campaign signs to be located on public property, or within, or over a public right-of-way. However, campaign signs are permitted on private property. To ensure that campaign signs are not placed in a public right-of-way, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Where sidewalks exist along a street, signs should always be placed behind the sidewalk, not between the sidewalk and the street.
  • The curb of the street is not the edge of the public right-of-way. If there is no sidewalk along a portion of a street, signs should be placed at least 15 feet behind the street curb along smaller local streets, and at least 35 feet behind the street curb along Juliette Avenue, which is greater in width than most streets. Anderson Avenue varies in width, and where no sidewalk exists along Anderson Avenue, please call for assistance.
  • Major arterial and collector streets such as Seth Child Road, Fort Riley Boulevard, Tuttle Creek Boulevard, Scenic Drive, Kimball Avenue, US Highway 24, Claflin Road, North Manhattan Avenue, and College Avenue usually require much greater setbacks and often include right-of-way fences, large drainage ditches, or other unusual conditions. Signs must be placed entirely outside of these areas of the public right-of-way. The Community GIS web page is a good tool for determining the location of the edge of the right-of-way along these and other streets with unusual conditions. However, if you have a question about a particular area, please call the number below for assistance.
  • Also, please take care to ensure that vehicular and pedestrian vision is not blocked near the intersection of two streets, a street and driveway, or a street and alley.

No sign permit is required and there are no restrictions limiting the time period when political signs can be erected or removed. In addition, political signs are not subject to the Zoning District Regulations in which the signs are posted.

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