Montgomery Co. Council Member Pitches Bill to Ban Roadside Signs

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Roadside signs pop up like weeds in some Montgomery County neighborhoods advertising everything from houses for sale to political candidates. But that could soon change.

County Councilmember George Leventhal believes it’s time for those signs to come down and he’s introduced a zoning law amendment that would ban all temporary signs in the publicly owned right of way.

Under county law, the signs are illegal unless the owner of the sign applied for a permit. But according to Montgomery County Council staff, there were no applications or permits on file with the Department of Permitting Services.

Leventhal said banning all signs outright would clarify the existing law and remove what he described as an eyesore and potential safety hazard from area roads.

“They are unsightly, they distract drivers, and fundamentally, they are against the law,” Leventhal said

Government agencies and utilities could still erect temporary signs as long as the signs are related to their public duties under his proposed amendment.

.During a hearing Wednesday, Leventhal said the proposed amendment isn’t targeting political signs.

“The (amendment) applies equally to political signs, commercial signs, signs of any kind that are placed illegally in the right of way.”

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 at the County Council office building in Rockville.

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