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The St. Croix County Highway and Planning & Zoning Departments would like to remind all residents of the sign regulations that apply to St. Croix County. Unauthorized signs within the road right-of-way, including political/campaign signs, garage sale, for sale, etc., pose potential hazards.
Improperly placed signs can:
• Obstruct a motorist’s view
• Distract a driver’s attention
• Compound damages or injuries in the event of a crash
• Endanger the safety of individuals who are erecting signs along busy highways
• Present obstacles to crews who maintain (mow/grade) roadways and shoulders
Political/campaign signs are allowed during election campaign periods granted they comply with the standards of Wisconsin Statute Section 12.035 and St. Croix County Zoning Ordinance Section 17.65. These signs are not allowed to be located within a rural road right-of-way. Political/campaign signs, especially larger billboard-type signs, are particularly dangerous when placed in vision areas at intersections. Wisconsin Statute Section 86.19, found at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/86/19 does provide for a $10 to $100 fine for signs that violate the law.
Typically, the Highway Department will remove political signs found within the State and County Highway right-of-way, especially if the signs pose a safety hazard. Reasonable attempts are made to preserve campaign signs that are taken down, and to provide campaign offices with an opportunity to claim the signs. Cities, villages or towns should be contacted for further information on political signs in their road right-of-ways.
Rural address signs, red with white lettering (formerly called fire number signs) are issued to rural properties for address identification, mail delivery and emergency purposes. Emergency personnel are trained to look for these specific signs at high speeds in order to identify their proximity to the emergency location. Personalized or customized address signs do not offer this type of consistency and can cause delays in emergency response times. Therefore, under no circumstance should the issued address signs be removed or blocked from view. Rural municipalities have the right to maintain these signs within the right-of-way. From the road, these signs should be placed on the right hand side of the driveway on the edge of the right-of-way.
Please refer to the St. Croix County Sign Ordinance for any sign related questions in municipalities that are under county zoning. A complete copy of the St. Croix County Sign Ordinance can be found online by clicking on the “Ordinances” tab on the home page of the website, www.co.saint-croix.wi.us. If you have further questions or comments, please contact Dan Sitz, Zoning Technician at 715-386-4683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.