Huntington Beach Council Cuts Time for Political Signs

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Political candidates and election-related causes must wait an additional 25 days before posting their campaign signs in Huntington Beach, giving residents an extra few weeks before the signs begin to populate city street corners and light poles.

The Huntington Beach City Council voted 6-1 Monday to reduce the number of days campaigners may post signs in the city from 75 days before and election to 50. Councilman Keith Bohr proposed the new restriction in January.

“It seems every two years during the election season that many of our Huntington Beach residents grow more irritated by the display of visual blight caused by the thousands of legally and illegally posted political signs,” wrote Bohr in a Jan. 10 memo to his fellow council members.

Councilman Matthew Harper cast the sole dissenting vote.

For regular November elections, this means campaign signs are forbidden until mid-September instead of the second half of August.

The changes also require signs to be removed within 10 days after an election instead of 15. Anyone may remove signs from public property beginning the Friday after election day.

A staff report stated the city attorney recommended against the changes “because of potential legal issues.”

Huntington Beach’s zoning code defines a political sign as “identifying either a candidate for public office or an issue relating to a forthcoming election.”

Bohr said he first brought the issue before the council around 2005 but that no action was taken at that time.

— NICK GERDA

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