Biloxi planning new regulations for campaign signs
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - In Biloxi, those political signs you see up all over town are violating city ordinances.
That’s because city rules say political signs can only go up 60 days before an election.
The August primary is still 68 days away, but signs for state and county races have dotted the landscape for weeks.
In a 6-5 vote Thursday, the planning commission okayed changes to allow signs to go up 120 days before an election - and to allow for signs twice as big as the current regulations.
The city’s planning director Jerry Creel told us there’s been leniency on the current rules so the city is working to ease restrictions.
“If there’s a violation to the piece of property of the sign ordinance, we have to write up the property owner,” he said. “Yes, we can notify the campaign that put the signs out there, but if we want to have any action on it, we have to write up the owner and make them remove the sign, which can be a costly burden on them, and they might have been innocent not knowing what the regulations are.”
At Thursday’s meeting, planners discussed a letter they were given citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Arizona case that said it was unconstitutional for a city to put restrictions on political signs, calling it a violation of free speech.
We’re told Biloxi’s City Attorney is reviewing that before the proposed new regulations now go to the city council for a final say.
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