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Enforcement of Temporary Sign Rules Helps Clear the Visual Clutter

Signs grab your attention, call for action and inform. But too many of them, set in locations that obstruct or cause distraction, can be a safety problem for a community and counteract beautification efforts. 

Yes, temporary signs (including political yard signs) are allowed here, but there are rules surrounding their use. Based largely on citizen requests, these rules were enhanced prior to 2010 to add restrictions regarding temporary signs to help reduce clutter. 

However, the need to monitor the number of signs on a property and their locations increases prior to any election, due to an uptick in complaints. 

Why monitor the signs? Regulation related to the use of these signs  “helps address safety, aesthetic and environmental issues,” notes Planning and Zoning Director Paul Drury. “The goal of our sign regulations is not to limit free speech or personal expression, but to control signs to a degree so they do not create visual safety hazards and also degrade our community’s character by overuse on a property.” Many signs end up on private property without an owner’s consent, in the public right of way, or even on public property such as Township Greenspace, so the township resolution also helps in these situations, Drury said. 

Here are Anderson’s basic rules related to the use of temporary signs.

• Temporary signs cannot be placed on public property or in public rights-of-way, attached to utility poles, or located in places where placing a sign creates a safety hazard.

• Temporary signs that are placed on public property may be removed by Anderson Township and stored until the sign is retrieved. After about 30 days the sign will be discarded.

• Signs are permitted on private property with the property owner’s permission. They must be set back out of the right-of-way, which is usually 10 feet from the pavement edge or curb, but the right of way can be greater in some areas. It’s always best to check with the Township before placing such signs. 

Anderson Township’s Zoning Resolution was updated more than 15 years ago.  Signs are not regulated based on the content or message and are only regulated based on size and location. 

Last year, the township responded to 818 illegally placed signs. Drury noted that the township does not have “sign police.” Our township planners are also cross trained and serve as our zoning inspectors. We have very limited staff, and signage enforcement,” he said. “With only several hours a week to devote to this effort, it’s not easy to cover the nearly 200 miles of roadways in Anderson Township. This takes time and energy away from community planning and key enhancement efforts,” he added. 

A Temporary Signage Quick Reference Guide that lists further detailed information is available at 

For more information or to report violations, contact (513) 688-8400 ext. 3, or