New wave of campaign signs take over Scottsdale street corners, state law protects election signage


Under “normal” circumstances, the City of Scottsdale does not allow temporary signage in the public right-of-way.

The city’s Signs Ordinance states that temporary freestanding signs must be on private property or set back at least 20 feet from the street sidewalk or street improvement. Also, signs over two feet high are not permitted in a 25-foot “safety triangle” on street corners.

However, political election cycles are apparently not “normal” times.

According to the City of Scottsdale website, on April 4, 2011, the State of Arizona passed Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019 which prohibits municipalities from enforcing temporary sign laws during cycles. electoral.

The law protects the placement of campaign signs beginning 71 days before a primary election and 15 days after the general election. However, candidates who do not make it to the general election must remove the temporary signs 15 days after the primary election.

The law states that political signs that support or oppose a candidate or a ballot measure may be placed in the public right-of-way during the aforementioned period.

The law also states that signs must not be placed in a manner that is “hazardous to public safety” or “obstructs a clear view of the area”, but does not offer examples of these situations. Other sign requirements include not interfering with disabled access, having a maximum area of ​​16 square feet in residential areas or 32 square feet in commercial or agricultural areas. The poster should also contain the name and phone number or website of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.

Even though Scottsdale is bound by Arizona Statutes 16-1019, the city’s webpage dealing with campaign signs during the allotted time contains the following statement.

“During this time, the City strongly encourages election and campaign officials to be sensitive to the City’s by-law on sign placement and public safety by posting signs on private property and not in the public right-of-way; install signs that do not constitute a danger to traffic and pedestrians; and install signs that do not obstruct or impede sidewalks, pathways and road safety triangles at street corners and driveways.

In addition, two state-sanctioned “no-sign zones” were created in late 2011. One encompasses parts of Scottsdale’s “Old Town” neighborhood and the other, further north, surrounds an area north of Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. and south of Bell Rd.

Residents concerned about unsafe or misplaced campaign signs can contact the Scottsdale Code Enforcement Hotline at (480) 312-2546, by email at or by using the ScottsdaleEZ Electronic Services site from the city.


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