10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, April 28, 2011

By DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
The Press-Enterprise

The Grand Terrace City Council will consider lifting restrictions on the posting of campaign signs.

The council voted this week to hold a public hearing on changes recommended by the city attorney, who contends that limits on the length of time signs are posted, their height and requiring a city permit to put them up violate First Amendment constitutional rights.

Community and Economic Development Director Joyce Powers said she expects the hearing to be held May 24.

A change in the city’s political sign regulations would repeal provisions enacted in 1990.

Those provisions forbid candidates from posting signs earlier than 30 days before an election, limit their overall height to 6 feet above grade and require candidates to obtain a city permit that includes a map showing the location of the sign.

A $50 permit fee required by the ordinance “would restrict persons that were not able to pay the fee,” Powers wrote in a report to the council.

The report, presented to the council Tuesday, said that court rulings since the ordinance was passed suggest that Grand Terrace’s ordinance could be successfully challenged in court.

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