Political Sign Regulation Reminders

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The City of Dubuque is reminding campaigns and residents of the regulations that govern the placement of political signs as election season approaches. The City’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates all exterior signage on property, including political signage, within the community.

First Amendment free speech is protected; the City of Dubuque cannot regulate the content of political signs. However, the City can legally regulate the size, manner, and placement of political signs for safety and visibility.

The City of Dubuque has the following regulations on political signs:

  • Political signs cannot exceed 32 square feet in area.
  • Political signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way or visibility triangle.
  • Political signs cannot be placed on objects in the right-of-way such as trees, utility poles, and in medians.

If a sign is inadvertently placed on the public right-of-way, the City’s Public Works Department may move the sign back on to its property and attach a green slip noting the violation. The City may follow with a notice of violation letter specifying a time frame to correct any violations. The right-of-way area varies throughout the community.

Complete details, including diagrams, are available online at www.cityofdubuque.org/politicalsigns. For more information or questions regarding the regulations or property line locations, please contact the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or planning@cityofdubuque.org.

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