State overrules city limit on campaign signs

Evanston’s time limit on political campaign signs will be a thing of the past starting next year.

Since 1987 the city code at 4-12-6(S) has barred campaign signs from being posted more than 45 days before or seven days following an election.

But Gov. Pat Quinn in June signed a state law, Public Act 096-0904, that starting in January will bar municipalities from placing time limits on the display of political signs.

The statute still would let municipalities regulate the size of campaign signs and doesn’t invalidate restrictions on placing them on public property.

Similar time limits limits on campaign signs had already been successfully challenged in a series of court cases as an unconstitutional abridgement on the free speech rights of citizens.

Update 10:55 a.m.: City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the city’s legal staff has drafted an ordinance to bring the city regulations in line with state law that is scheduled to come before the City Council in late November or early December.

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