Campaign Signs

Given Scottsdale’s longstanding approach to minimizing visual blight, the City utilizes the Sign Ordinance to balance multiple community goals: aesthetics, public safety, and informing the electorate. This section is intended to provide guidance and direction on Campaign/Political Signs requirements to the public and campaign and election representatives to ensure compliance with City and State regulations.

Background & City Requirements

On March 30, 2007, to address sign proliferation and to preserve the aesthetics of Scottsdale’s streetscapes, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 7181 which prohibited all signs in the public right-of-way. On April 4, 2011, the State of Arizona adopted House Bill 2500 (Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019) which restricted Arizona municipalities from enforcing local temporary sign laws as it relates to Political Signs during election season. On July 5, 2017, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 10727, updating the Sign Ordinance by regulating all temporary signs not by the content of the message, but by the zoning district and duration of activity occurring on-site.

Refer to Sign Ordinance Section 8.102.B and Section 8.600 for the City’s temporary sign requirements.

Outside of the period established under Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(C) (see the section ‘State Law on Political Signs’ below), the City’s temporary sign regulations apply. All temporary signs are prohibited in the public right-of-way.

Section 8.102 – Requirement of Conformity links to external site
Regulation that prohibits all signs in the right-of-way, and the provision which allows any non-commercial sign may be substituted for any commercial sign allowed by the Sign Ordinance.

Section 8.600 – Temporary Signs Allowed links to external site
Temporary signs allowed by the Sign Ordinance.

State Law on Political Signs 

Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(C) links to external site  applies only during the period commencing 60 days before a primary election and ending 15 days after the general election, except for a sign for a candidate in a primary election who does not advance to the general election, the period ends 15 days after the primary election. Outside of this period, Scottsdale’s temporary sign regulations apply.

Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(C)
Notwithstanding any other statute, ordinance, or regulation, a city, town, or county of this state shall not remove, alter, deface, or cover any political sign if the following conditions are met:

  1. The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.
  2. The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure.
  3. The sign is not placed in a location that is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with disabilities act (42 United States Code sections 12101 through 12213 and 47 United States Code sections 225 and 611).
  4. The sign has a maximum area of sixteen (16) square feet if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two (32) square feet if the sign is located in any other area.
  5. The sign contains the name and telephone number, or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.

State Political Sign Requirements

During the period established under Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(H)links to external site , the State’s Political Sign requirements apply. During this period, the City strongly encourages campaign and election representatives to be sensitive to the City’s regulation on sign placement and public safety by installing signs on private property and not in the public right-of-way; installing signs that does not constitute a hazard to traffic and pedestrians; and installing signs that does not obstruct or impede sidewalks, pathways, and any traffic safety triangles at street corners and driveways. Refer to the Scottsdale Parcel Information Map to look up the approximate locations of property lines.

Residential Districts

Political Sign Requirements in Residential Districts
Maximum Area: Up to 16 square feet
Maximum Height: 5 feet, or 10 feet in height if placed behind a dedicated scenic corridor easement or abutting the Loop 101 Pima Freeway frontage road.

All Other Districts

Political Sign Requirements in All Other Districts
Maximum Area: Up to 32 square feet
Maximum Height: 5 feet, or 10 feet in height if placed behind a dedicated scenic corridor easement or abutting the Loop 101 Pima Freeway frontage road.

City Temporary Sign Requirements

Outside of the period established under Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(H)links to external site, the Scottsdale Sign Ordinance applies. The City’s temporary sign requirements are regulated by the zoning district and the duration of activity occurring on-site, and not by the content of the message. On-Premise Commercial Activity Post-and-Panel Signs and On-Premise Non-Commercial Yard Signs are the sign types commonly used for Campaign/Political Signs.

Any Non-Commercial Sign may be substituted for any Commercial Sign allowed by the Sign Ordinance.

Residential Zoning Districts

Sign Ordinance Section 8.600.A.2 and Section 8.600.H outlines requirements for temporary On-Premise Commercial Activity Post-and-Panel Signs, and On-Premise Non-Commercial Yard Signs in Residential Zoning Districts:
Section 8.600.A.2 and Section 8.600.Hlinks to external site

Commercial, Industrial, and Mixed-Use Zoning Districts

Sign Ordinance Section 8.600.A.1 outlines requirements for temporary On-Premise Commercial Activity Post-and-Panel Signs in Commercial, Industrial, and Mixed-Use Zoning Districts:
Section 8.600.A.1 links to external site

Definitions

Sign Ordinance Section 8.200 provides a glossary of sign terminology, definitions, and graphics:
Section 8.200 links to external site

Temporary Sign Placement

All temporary freestanding signs are required to be placed on private property outside of the public right-of-way. Actual right-of-way dimensions will vary depending on the type of street improvements and street design. Refer to the Scottsdale Parcel Information Map to look up the approximate locations of property lines, easements, zoning district, and aerial photography. Because of this variation between the location of property lines and the back-of-street improvements, all temporary freestanding signs must be setback a minimum of 20 feet from the back-of-street curb or back-of-street improvement (see Figure A) or on private property, whichever is the more restrictive requirement. All temporary freestanding signs over 2 feet in height must be placed outside of the 25-foot safety triangle at street corners (see Figure B).

Figure A
Temp Non Commercial Signs - 20 ft Setback

 

All temporary freestanding signs must be placed on private property and be setback at or greater than 20 feet from the back-of-street curb or back-of-street improvements (whichever is the more restrictive requirement).

Figure B
Temporary, Non-Commercial Signs 25 ft Safety Triangle

 

On street corners, any freestanding temporary signs that are over 2 feet tall are prohibited within the 25 feet safety triangle.

Sign-Free Zones

Sign Free Zones         

On December 6, 2011, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 8853 which established two Sign-Free Zones as authorized by Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019(F). In the Sign-Free Zones, the State Law's limitations on local enforcement for campaign, political, and ballot signs do not apply.

Follow this link to the Scottsdale Interactive Map that shows the City's two sign-free zones.

Online Parcel Information Map

Enter an address in the map search area or zoom in to a location to find the zoning of a lot and to measure distances.

Need Help?

480-312-3111

General City Information/Speak to a Citizen Service Specialist


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