Fairview Addresses Political Sign Ordinance

With spring elections drawing near, political signs can be seen all over Mountaintop.

At its March 7 meeting, the Fairview Township Board of Supervisors addressed its ordinance for candidate signs and how it chooses to enforce or forgive those in violation, as supervisors work to protect residents’ First Amendment rights.

Attorney Donald Karpowich explained that residents do not need permits to post political signs and the signs can be posted anywhere, from private properties to public right-of-ways. There is an ordinance, however, that specifies the time period when signs can be posted.

Signs should not be posted earlier than 30 days before an election, according to the ordinance. But, Karpowich stated, “The municipality chooses not to enforce that because we believe it unduly restricts one’s freedom of speech.”

What the township will enforce is the requirement that signs be removed within five days after an election, he said. If this time period is exceeded, Fairview’s zoning officer will send a notice of violation to the property owner, giving him time to comply. If action is not taken after that, fines will be issued for each additional day of violation.

As for other specifics of the ordinance, signs must be no larger than 30 square feet in residential areas and 60 square feet in commercial zones. No limit is made on the number of signs one can post and the signs are allowed anywhere, as long as they do not interfere with traffic safety. Further, signs cannot

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