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Posted on: September 17, 2020

General guidelines for temporary political signs

General guidelines for temporary political signs

During campaign season, the landscape blooms with a special kind of flower - the political sign. Unlike wildflowers that are welcome most anywhere, putting campaign signs at some locations is illegal.  So before you plant that sign, learn the law and keep Longview safe and beautiful.

What you need to know (RCW 47.42.080(5)) - When conducting a campaign for public office, please keep in mind that it is illegal to place signs on public property (parks, medians, city owned property, etc.) or within the right-of-way of state highways such as Ocean Beach Hwy., 1st and 3rd Avenues, Industrial Way, Tennant Way, etc..

“Temporary political signs” include those signs pertaining to nonpartisan elections, bond measures, initiatives, and similar matters as well as customary partisan politics.

Rules & regulations at a glance:  (LMC 16.13.030 Section 1403)

  • Political candidates must register their intent to place temporary political signs with the city clerk and provide a deposit of $50 as a guaranty that the signs will be removed within ten (10) days after the election.
  • It is illegal to place or post any temporary political sign on trees, telephone poles, traffic signs, and other objects on the right-of-way.
  • Temporary political sign faces may not be larger than four feet in height and eight feet in width.
  • Temporary political signs that are six feet or more above grade are subject to design and construction requirements.
  • Except for state highway right-of-ways, temporary political signs can be placed upon the planting strip/public right-of-way subject to the following regulations:
    • Have the adjoining property owner’s permission to do so.  
  • The temporary political sign cannot impair the site of vehicles, bike riders or pedestrians at intersections.
  • Temporary political signs within a sight triangle can be no taller than 42 inches.
  • Temporary political signs cannot hang over the street, alley or sidewalk.
  • Temporary political signs can be no closer than four feet to the improved portion of the street.

Sign removal - If you’ve placed your temporary political sign in violation to the above listed rules and regulations, or if it is posing a traffic hazard, it may be removed by the City without prior notice. All costs associated with sign removal including possible fines will be paid by the sign owner. Temporary political signs must be removed by the candidates or their designee within ten days after the election.

Contact us - For more information about the specific rules governing campaign signs, please call 442-5000, or call the Code Compliance Division at 442-5093.  For a more detailed fact sheet, visit the City of Longview website at

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