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Local ordinances (chapters 244 and 295, Milwaukee Code of Ordinances) regulate the placement of political signs in the city of Milwaukee. Candidates for office, their campaign committees, campaign workers, and the owners of property on which signs are placed are responsible for complying with these regulations. The highlights of the regulations are listed below. Should you wish a complete copy of the ordinance, it is available for review at Milwaukee public libraries and the Legislative Reference Bureau, City Hall, 200 E. Wells Street, Room B-11.
When a permit is required, apply at the Milwaukee Development Center, first floor, 809 N. Broadway. The Milwaukee Development Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
·         Temporary non-illuminated political signs measuring 6 square feet or less may be erected on private property without a permit.
·         On a residential property, a temporary ground sign in excess of 6 square feet but less than 11 square requires a permit from the Milwaukee Development Center, 809 N. Broadway, first floor. The minimum fee is $85. 
·         Temporary non-illuminated political signs of approved materials may be mounted on residential structures. However, they may not cover exit doors or windows. If such signs are larger than 6 square feet, a permit is required. 
·         The placement of political signs on non-residential properties is governed by the city's zoning ordinance, and rules vary by zoning district. Permits are required for all such signs. Fees are calculated based on the size of the sign; the minimum fee is $85. 
·         City ordinance prohibits the placement of cloth, fabric, plastic or vinyl signs. Should you wish to erect such a sign, you must have approval of the City's Standards and Appeals Commission before you erect the sign. 
·         "Snipe" advertising cards, banners, pictures, handbills, signs, posters or notices of any kind may not be placed on any public property; nor may such advertising deface any surface such as a vacant building or a fence. The candidate is responsible for removing all "snipe" advertising. 
·         All political signs on residential properties shall be removed 30 days after the election.
If you have questions about sign regulations, please call the Milwaukee Development Center at (414) 286-8211. To receive permit applications by mail, call (414) 286-8211. To complain about a sign that violates these regulations, contact the Department of Neighborhood Services, (414) 286-2268. 
Rev. 12/2012


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How to Run for Public Office in the City of Milwaukee

This website was created to assist citizens who are considering a bid for elected office. This cursory review does not replace the candidate's responsibility to review Chapters 5-12 of the State Statutes governing the election process.