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Updated: Are Political Signs in Los Gatos Allowed Next to Public Streets?

According to the town's municipal code, the temporary freestanding placards must come down 10 days after the Nov. 6, 2012 election.

Update: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11: According to Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson political signs of any type, for or against any office or measure, are not allowed on any government property.

That includes public buildings, parks, streets, medians, sidewalks, traffic islands or public property adjacent to streets, Larson said. "This has long been the practice in Los Gatos as past candidates will attest. Town staff removes signs on public property when they are identified and/or when complaints are received."

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The Los Gatos municipal code states a political sign is any intended to influence the vote for the passage or defeat of a measure, or nomination, election or defeat of a candidate in any governmental election.

And there are now plenty all over town, particularly those of the only two candidates who filed papers to run in the uncontested Los Gatos Town Council election Nov. 6, 2012—Los Gatos Vice Mayor Barbara Spector and Planning Commission Chairwoman Marcia Jensen.

We found Jensen's signs outside Los Gatos Health and Fitness, right next to the sidewalk along East Main Street.

According to the code, any number of non-illuminated political signs, either freestanding or attached, is permitted, limited to a total sign area not exceeding six square feet in residential zones and not exceeding 18 square feet in other zones.

There is no area limit for political window signs, and their area is in addition to that allowed for other political signs.

No political sign shall be erected for an unreasonable period of time in advance of the election, and all persons who erect political signs or who own or control the premises where political signs are erected, are jointly liable to remove such signs within 10 days after the election or convention to which the sign pertains, according to the code.

Monday, Sept. 10 also began the period until Oct. 23 for those interested in running as write-in candidates in the Los Gatos Town Council race during the Nov. 6 general election.

So far, only Spector and Jensen have completed the required paperwork to run, but the

and Los Gatos Realtor Dennis Byron, who says he's been discouraged from running, hasn't ruled out participating in the campaign yet.

Their names, however, even after completing the required nomination paperwork, won't appear on the ballot, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' Office.

Sheila Sanchez September 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Hi Larry, trying to get an answer for you about the placement of signs on rural sidewalks from the Town Manager's Office, but the code does answer the question. Signs are allowed on private property with permission from owners.
Sheila Sanchez September 11, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Larry, according to Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson If the signs are on private property, with the permission of the owner, and they otherwise comply with the size limits, they are fine. However, if they are on public property, whether raw land, landscaping, sidewalks, streets or structures, they are not allowed. Hope this answers your question. Thank you!
Isis Moonheart September 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Please have the horrible larouch stand removed it is so foul disrupting our beautiful visits downtown.
Sheila Sanchez September 11, 2012 at 08:30 PM
What is the "larouch stand" and where's it located?
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz September 11, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I don't think they should have a "right" to do this. I think that they should always ask if they can put a sign up anywhere. That's just not respecting Peoples property & crossing boundaries! A political sign was put in front of my Condo. Four years ago. I took it down.

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