May 25 2017 10:49 AM

Mayoral, City Council elections bring political signs — some improperly placed

THURSDAY, May 25 — Are you demonstrating your support for a candidate by putting a campaign sign on your property? You might want to make sure you’re not violating the city’s ordinance that prohibits placing signs in the public right of way as well as other locations.

“Section 1022.01 and 1442.18 of the Lansing Code of Ordinances both prohibit the placement of signs in the right-of-way of any public street,” reads a letter dated yesterday to candidates sent by Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope. “Signs in the right-of-way are considered a hazard and may be removed with or without notice by the Public Service Department, Planning Department, or the City Clerk’s Office.”

But that notice was too late for the top two contenders for the Mayor’s Office, state Rep. Andy Schor and City Councilwoman Judi Brown Clarke.

For example, a Schor sign on Saginaw Street between Larch Street and Pennsylvania Avenue appeared to be in the public right-of-way at the entrance to the Motor Wheel Lofts.

Two signs from Brown Clarke, one on Horton Street just off Michigan Avenue and the other at Clippert Street and Grand River Avenue in Frandor appear to be in the right-of-way.

Both candidates issued statements today saying the signs would be moved if they were in fact in the wrong place.

"Any sign that is improperly placed will be moved to an appropriate placement,” wrote Brown Clarke in an email.

Schor said his improperly placed has been moved. He also said that someone from his campaign had placed the sign, not developer Harry Hepler, as reported earlier.

“But in looking at the pictures you provided, it seems that the actual placement is on the wrong side of the sidewalk and in the right of way,” he wrote. “This sign will be either permanently removed or moved to a legal spot immediately. It should be moved within the next hour.”

Swope said this type of scenario is not uncommon because most citizens are unaware of the “finer details” of the sign ordinance.

In addition to prohibiting signs in the public right-of-way, the laws prohibit their placement on city property, the property of a nonprofit agency and on school district property.

“Out goal is to get compliance,” Swope said.

UPDATE May 25, 5:19pm: This story has new content pertaining to an Andy Schor sign.