Beginning the week of Nov. 30, Town of North Wilkesboro staff will begin removing temporary signs placed in public rights-of-way, on town-owned properties and utility poles, said North Wilkesboro Town Manager Wilson Hooper.
Hooper said removed signs will be available for retrieval by owners at the town maintenance facility at 680 Flint Hill Road for five business days after they are collected, after which they will be destroyed.
“Owners of these types of signs are encouraged to remove their signs as soon as possible. The boundary of the right-of-way differs from location to location, but sign owners should consider any sign placed within 10-feet of the back of the curb to be within the right-of-way,” he said.
The size and placement of all signs, whether on private or public property, is governed by town code.
“Because of their impact on public safety, the town is focusing for now on temporary signs placed illegally in the right-of-way. Such signs can obstruct sightlines at adjacent intersections, become dislodged and become hazards in the roadway, and contribute to an untidy appearance. The town code does contain a provision permitting some temporary signs in the right-of-way, but few of the signs currently in the ground were so permitted.”
Hooper said the town chose late November to begin removal as an acknowledgement of the different standards set for political signs. Courts have established that the First Amendment affords campaign signs a higher level of legal protection than commercial signs, but even campaign signs become subject to local rules 10 days after election day.
“Therefore, campaign signs in rights-of-way will also be removed as part of this effort,” he said.
Business owners or residents with questions may call North Wilkesboro Planning Director Meredith Detsch at 336-667-7129 ext. 3011.