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City of Willmar reminds candidates of yard sign rules

The placement of these political campaign signs along Trott Avenue Southwest is apparently in violation of the city zoning ordinance which prohibits placement of campaign signs in the public right-of-way. Signs may be placed behind sidewalk where sidewalk exists or a minimum distance of 14.5 feet behind the curb. (Tribune photo by David Little)

WILLMAR — The city of Willmar is reminding candidates for public office of the rules for proper placement of campaign yard signs.

“As election time approaches, the problem of improperly located campaign signs surfaces again,’’ wrote Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services, in a letter to candidates.

Signs prohibited by Willmar zoning ordinance include signs placed on any public property or street or highway right of way by any person other than one having authority from a government to place sign sign.

Peterson reminded candidates that no signs other than official governmental signs are allowed in the public right of way. He wrote that improperly placed signs can be a visual distraction and hazardous to those using the right of way.

He wrote that signs shall be placed behind the sidewalks where sidewalks are present. Where sidewalks do not exist, signs shall be placed a minimum distance of 14.5 feet behind the curb.

He said the city of Willmar requests that all signs in violation of the above standards be brought into compliance by Tuesday. Failure to do so may result in the confiscation of signs in violation of the standards, or a citation being issued for violating the the Willmar Zoning Ordinance.

Megan DeSchepper, city planner, said metal stakes on larger signs and pounded into the right of way could hit a utility line such as a cable line or power line.

“It’s just for safety,’’ she said.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150