JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – A state lawmaker wants to bar homeowners associations from banning political signs, for 90 days before an election and 10 days afterward, so long as they are no larger than 4 by 6 feet.
“Should a private organization allow you to contract away constitutionally protected inherent rights?” the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Kurt Bahr, asked the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Bahr, R-O’Fallon, said the constitutional issue overrides HOAs’ concerns about esthetics and property values.
Opponents of his bill claimed the signs can create clutter and nuisance and drive down property values. Some said the bill is too broad and that its language permits abuse, as it does not prohibit a condo owner from putting up signs throughout a jointly owned project.
Similar laws are in effect in 10 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, sponsored a similar bill that would bar new subdivisions from banning political signs, and make it easier for residents in existing developments to change the rules. That bill would also make other changes in laws on subdivision associations.