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Spring is yard sign season – make sure they are placed on your property and not in the public right of way

Yard Signs

IOWA CITY -- Whether it's for a garage sale, home rental, or political support, yard signs are a great way to share messages with neighbors. In Iowa City, residents must place these signs on their residential property. Be sure to follow these basic rules:

  • Signs must be on the resident's property – not within the right of way 
  • Signs on a corner lot cannot block the vision triangle of the street

Public Right of Way 

The strip of land between the street and sidewalk is called the public right of way and is technically City property. This area may contain water, sewer, gas, and other utilities below the surface. It is important to maintain easy access to these utilities and to keep it clear of visual clutter that can distract drivers or hinder those using sidewalks. Property owners are still required to maintain that land, and it is important to keep it free of signs and other encumbrances.  

Illegal Sign Removal

As time allows, City staff will remove signs from the public right of way if observed or if they are reported. Signs are removed without regard to content. City staff will not remove signs from private property. When a sign is placed in the vision triangle, staff will contact the resident and grant a reasonable amount of time to move the sign to an appropriate location. For questions about sign location, call 319-356-5123.

Reclaiming a Sign 

Each year, the City collects a large amount of material from the City right of way. Metal sign holders may be reused by staff for other City purposes before ultimately being recycled. Signs are typically kept for a week before being recycled or landfilled. If a sign was mistakenly placed in the wrong location, there is a chance the City may still have it. To inquire, call 319-356-5123. 

More Information 

Keep these rules in mind to make the most of signs. For more information, contact Building Specialist Marnie Teagle at 319-356-5123. 


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