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Glen Cove OKs location of political signs

Glen Cove city code permits “temporary signs” to

Glen Cove city code permits “temporary signs” to be placed on property for a variety of reasons, including political speech for up to 30 days upon permission of the City Council. (Dec. 22, 2010) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

The Glen Cove City Council on Tuesday approved 112 addresses or locations where political signs can be erected in the city from Aug. 28 through Nov. 10. Glen Cove’s city code restricts how property owners can place signs on their property.

The city code permits “temporary signs” to be placed on property for a variety of reasons, including political speech for up to 30 days upon permission of the City Council.

The council approved the political signs for a period longer than 30 days at 51 locations for the Republican party, 44 locations for the Glen Cove Voters Party -- a party founded by Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi -- and 17 locations for the Democratic Party.

Suozzi said the process was done this way so the city would know where the signs went and if they caused any visibility issues that could affect traffic.

“No one’s denying the signs,” Suozzi said. “It’s just a protocol.”

While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that municipalities can’t single out political signs for restrictions, Robin Charlow, a professor at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, said the city’s statute didn’t appear to run afoul of the First Amendment because the underlying rules covered all signs.

“The only issue might be that it gives discretion to the City Council to approve or not approve exception, but as long as the City Council is exercising that discretion in a content neutral way it’s permissible,” Charlow said.
 

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