We are fifteen days from the 2014 midterm elections, and candidates are undoubtedly working hard to get those elusive swing voters to the polls. Yard signs are one tool that candidates use to build name recognition and sway votes. A multitude of signs for federal and state political offices, as well as several ballot initiatives, are jostling for real estate this year. In years past, community associations could rely on restrictive covenants to prohibit political signs from disrupting the neighborhood aesthetic. But, since 2005, Colorado law has outlawed any outright prohibition of political signs in covenant-controlled communities. Colorado statutes provide guidance on what political signs associations can regulate, where signs can be placed, and when political sign regulations can apply.
Under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, an association may restrict an owner to one political sign per political office or ballot issue that is contested in a pending election. Any such sign must be placed within the boundaries of the lot or unit, or in a window of the unit or home. An association may prohibit the display of political signs earlier than forty-five days before the day of an election and later than seven days after an election day. An association may also restrict the maximum dimensions of each sign to the lesser of (i) the maximum size allowed by any applicable city, town, or county ordinance that regulates the size of political signs on residential property or (ii) thirty-six inches by forty-eight inches.
If you can’t wait to see your neighbor’s front yard again, there is hope. Association rules can require owners to remove signs before November 11th.