Political Signage: Too Big or Too Small?
Cary Trustees discuss political signage in residential areas in Cary.
Illinois residents are allowed to plant political signs in their yards all year-round within restrictions of their local municipality, due to the new law enacted Jan. 1, 2011.
"Other than reasonable restrictions as to size, no home rule or non-home rule municipality may prohibit the display of outdoor political campaign signs on residential property during any period of time," the Illinois law states.
However, the reasonable size is at the discretion of the village.
Cary Trustee Robert Bragg said a three [square] feet sign is too small for residential areas.
"We have some very large elections coming soon," he said at the administration development committee meeting. "Our sign size is unreasonable."
Mayor Tom Kierna said within the new there's no time frame of putting signs up or taking them down but has never head a complaint about signs not being large enough.
"We are concerned with the appearance of the neighborhoods," Kierna said.
The only thing the village can legislate is a reasonable size, Cary Trustee Rick Dudek said.
"I don’t think residents want a 16 [square] feet sign next to their house," he said. A three-square foot has been deemed reasonable, Dudek said.
Cary Trustee Bruce Kaplan added that people in could make the case that Cary is not reasonable.
"I don’t want to spend one dollar of taxpayer money defending our sign position," he said.
Kaplan wants to make sure the village has one consistent stance on the size of political signs without getting the village attorney involved.
"We want Cary to look nice, we want to have restrictions," Cary Trustee Jeff Kraus said. "I'm against the four by four signs in residential areas."
Trustee Kraus added that many political signs on Route 14, Silver Lake Road and Cary-Algonquin road surpass the three square-feet rule and there wasn't a problem with candidates promoting their campaign in the past.
In industrial and commercial areas in Cary, political signs are allowed to be larger than the typical three-square feet deemed reasonable for neighborhoods.
The administration and development committee has directed village staff to ask local sign companies about typical sizes of political signs and find out what other local municipalities are doing to follow state statue.
Village staff findings will be discussed at a future Cary Village Board meeting.