As you drive on almost any busy street in the City of Gastonia, you will notice in some areas a sea of signs promoting various businesses, services or political candidates running for office. Some of the signs are placed in rights of way (ROW), violating the City’s ordinance about temporary signs. The Gastonia City Council voted on Sept. 15 to make changes to the current sign ordinance that may affect where candidates place temporary signs for the General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
“We wanted to relax the ordinance slightly to give unknown candidates an affordable way to get their name out to the public,” said Mayor Walker Reid, III. “However, no sign should block a driver’s visibility.”
The City of Gastonia’s ordinance prohibits all signs from street rights of way within the municipal limits of Gastonia. The change this year is that temporary signs can be placed in the ROW only on the 30th day before the beginning date of “one-stop” early voting and ending on the 10th day after election day. In this election cycle, temporary signs will be allowed in the ROW only from Sept. 15 through November 13.
The right of way is generally defined as those areas between the road and the backs of either utility poles, street signs, or sidewalks, whichever is furthest away. The City is asking the public to follow the sign ordinance restrictions when placing temporary signs on properties within the City. These signage restrictions are in place to ensure public safety and welfare and to help keep the community clean and litter free.
The sign ordinance is on the City’s website and violations can be reported to the City by calling 704-854-6652.