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HOA Sign Language

One of the attractions of living in a homeowner association is the ability to control the look and feel of the community. This is achieved by adopting reasonable standards that all residents must follow. In homeowner associations, uniformity reinforces value while extremes generally detract from value. This principle applies to signs as well. When sign size, subject matter, look and location are not controlled, they detract from the community’s residential character.

When it comes to size, the basic 18″ x 24″ real estate sign usually passes muster. Smaller is better but bigger is not. There are several types of signs that are generally permitted: For Sale, For Rent and Garage Sale. Where they are placed is an issue. Nailing signs to trees and fences is destructive and shabby looking. Requiring them to be mounted in metal frames like used by real estate agents is a reasonable standard. The numbers of signs should be controlled. In difficult to navigate communities, multiple Burma Shave like directional signs may plot a path through the neighborhood to the goal. One directional sign with the address on a main arterial street will suffice.

Sign type, size and placement restriction is good policy. While free speech has many forums, posting opinions on signs is not proper for homeowner associations. First Amendment advocates may fight the restrictions, but most owners will understand and comply. Establish a reasonable compromise and deal with the rest on a case by case basis.