Political signs in Hinsdale might soon be like Christmas lights: if you don’t feel like taking them down, nobody can make you.
The Village of Hinsdale Plan Commission last week recommended that the Board of Trustees approve changes to the section of the village’s zoning code pertaining to political signage that would align it with a state law in effect since 2011 that says no durational limits can be imposed on the display of yard signs supporting candidates or issues.
If and when the Board of Trustees approves the amendment later this fall, gone will be the Hinsdale regulation that says a political sign can only be displayed during the 30 days before an election and the seven days after.
But durational limits are not the only clause of the political-signage section of the code getting the ax.
“In light of this change, the village raised the question of looking at the other aspects of the political sign regulation,” village attorney Michael Mars said at the Oct. 10 Plan Commission meeting.
The amendment would also get rid of a regulation that limits residents to one sign per lawn. It would change the code’s language to accommodate for one sign per candidate or issue on a resident’s lawn, which is already the common practice.
“That is a fairly unusual provision,” Mars said of the current one-sign-per-lawn rule. “The more typical thing is either to have no restriction on the number of political signs somebody can put up, or to allow one sign per candidate or issue.”
Village planner Sean Gascoigne said political signs do not demand a permit, so their section of the zoning code is upheld only through enforcement. And since lawns with more than one sign are not a hot-button issue the village hears many complaints about, it seems practical to align the code with practice.
If the changes are passed by the Board of Trustees, the size limit on political signs to four square feet will be maintained.