[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Municipality of Kingston: Art. I, 5-4-1992 as Ord. No. 1992-8. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 181.
Article I Political Signs
[Adopted 5-4-1992 as Ord. No. 1992-8]
Unless it appears from the context that a different meaning is intended, the following words shall have the meanings given to them in this section:
- The Municipality of Kingston, a home rule government of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SIGN
- Any sign urging the election or defeat of any candidate seeking any political office or urging the passage or defeat of any ballot measure, but does not mean or include any billboard or other advertising space owned or maintained by a commercial firm or advertising company.
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- All publicly owned property, including but not limited to streets, right-of-way easements and everything affixed thereto and thereover, including municipal shade trees and tree lawn areas.
- Includes any bill, poster, placard, handbill, flyer, painting, sign or written matter in words, symbols or pictures or in any combination thereof.
- ZONING OFFICER
- The Municipal Code Enforcement Officer/Zoning Officer.
Posting on public right-of-way prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to post a political campaign sign on or over any public property, including tree lawns, in the municipality.
Posting on utility poles prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to post a political campaign sign on any public utility pole or other public utility structure or to post, paint or otherwise affix such signs to trees, rocks or other natural features.
It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to remove a political campaign sign within fourteen (14) days after the election for which the sign was posted.
For the purpose of removing political campaign signs posted or erected in violation of the provisions of this Article, the Zoning Officer or his authorized agents are empowered to enter upon the property where the signs are posted and to remove any political signs posted in violation of this Article, and the Zoning Officer is further authorized to enlist the aid or assistance of any other department of the municipality and to secure legal process to that end to insure that all such signs shall be expeditiously removed from any property where posted.
If the Zoning Officer or his agents remove any political campaign signs, he shall keep a record of the location from which the sign was removed. He shall store the political campaign sign in a safe location for at least thirty (30) days and shall immediately notify by telephone the candidate, committee person or person responsible for the posting of the sign, indicating the fact of removal and the location where it may be retrieved. If the Zoning Officer is unable to make telephone contact, he shall provide written notice if the address of the candidate, committee person or person is known or can be ascertained. The Zoning Officer shall return any political campaign sign upon the payment of the fee provided in § 150-6.
The municipality shall be entitled to receive the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.) for every sign removed by the Zoning Officer to cover the expense of removal, notice and storage. In cases where unusual effort is needed to remove a sign, such as the cutting or removal of supporting structures, use of aerial devices, towing of trailer signs or other unusual situations, the municipality shall collect from the person responsible a sum sufficient to cover costs and hourly wages of employees so utilized.
In a campaign for political office, the candidate for such office shall be deemed the person responsible for the posting of political campaign signs, unless he first notifies the Zoning Officer of another person who is responsible. In such case, the candidate shall provide the name, address, telephone number and signed consent of such other responsible person. In a campaign regarding a ballot measure, the president or chairman of the committee supporting or opposing such ballot measure shall be deemed responsible unless he first notifies the Zoning Officer of some other person responsible, in the manner described above. The candidate or, in the case of the ballot measure, the committee president or chairman or other responsible person, if so designated, shall be liable to pay any fees or costs for the removal and storage of illegal signs, as set out herein. Further, such candidate, committee president or chairman or other designated person shall be subject to prosecution for any violation of this Article. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to make any person liable, civilly or criminally, for any sign posted by persons unknown to him or her or by persons over whom he or she has no control.
Political campaign signs in violation of this Article are hereby declared to be public nuisances and may be abated as such by the municipality. The collection of removal fees shall not preclude the municipality from prosecuting any person for violating this Article.
Any person who shall erect or alter, or who shall do or cause to be done any work in the erection or alteration of any such sign in violation of the provisions of this Article shall be liable, upon conviction thereof, to a fine and penalty of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.) and costs of prosecution.
Each day's violation of any of the provisions of this Article shall constitute a separate violation.