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Mission Hills examining one-sign restriction as Aug. 7 primary nears
As the August 7 primary elections near, a request from the American Civil Liberties Union has prompted Mission Hills administrators to temporarily push pause on enforcement of a city ordinance limiting the number of signs homeowners can display in their yards.
City Administrator Courtney Christensen said she’s contacted members of the city council to solicit their feedback on whether the city should rigorously enforce the ordinance – as it had in the previous weeks — that only allows homeowners to place just one yard sign in front of their homes during the months of July and August.
The Mission Hills signage ordinance does allow homeowners to display up to three temporary signs in their yards in March, April, October and November — the months of heavy campaigning before general elections for city, state and national offices. But January, February, July and August — the months when campaigns take place for primary elections — have a one-sign-per-yard limit.
It’s caused an issue as Mission Hills homeowners have looked to demonstrate their allegiance to candidates in several races, including the House District 25 race and Senate District 7 race, in the run up to the Aug. 7 vote.
“The ordinance is the ordinance, and it’s quite clear about only allowing one sign in yards in July and August,” she said. “But we’re looking at whether we need to alter the ordinance to include the expansion of the number of signs we allow into months when primary campaigns occur.”
Since the next city council meeting won’t be held until August 13, the city won’t be able to formally suspend or revise the ordinance until the primaries are over.
“Timing-wise, it doesn’t work out so well,” she said. “We can’t do a moratorium until we have an official city council meeting. But the city council members can tell me not to have our contractor be so, shall we say, efficient at removing multiple signs.”
She said she expects to have received input from individual council members and mayor in the coming days and will proceed according to their direction. Christensen said the city will, however, continue to strictly enforce the part of the signage ordinance that bans display of yard signs on city property, which, in Mission Hills, includes a 10 foot setback from the curb.
“In Mission Hills, the city does own the right-of-way, and we require people to display their yard signs out of that setback,” she said.
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