Park City developer’s campaign sign, too big, taken down
September 18, 2015
A campaign sign in support of a Park City developer seeking a spot on the Park City Council was taken down this week at the request of City Hall based on the size of the highly visible advertisement for the candidate and the location where it was placed.
Rory Murphy, one of the six candidates in the City Council campaign, said he did not post the sign himself. The sign was on a fence surrounding the Rio Grande development, which is under construction on the 800 block of Park Avenue. The location is close to Main Street and the Town Lift. Murphy is the lead developer of the project.
The precise measurements of the sign were not available, but it appeared to be significantly larger than municipal rules allow. City Hall limits the size of campaign signs to three square feet. The rules also restrict signs from being placed more than four feet above the ground. The Murphy sign appeared to be placed higher than the allowed four feet as well.
"I have very enthusiastic supporters of my candidacy," Murphy said.
Murphy said the sign was removed quickly after the request by City Hall. He said the request was made midday Wednesday.
He said he is recovering from a surgery and his supporters wanted to ensure his campaign remained visible during his recovery.
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"They’re campaigning for me because they haven’t seen a strong effort from me yet," he said, acknowledging that his campaign must follow the rules.
The Park City Building Department said in a statement there was also concern the campaign sign did not meet the Rio Grande construction mitigation plan, a document that details the operations of a construction project. The Building Department said the construction mitigation plan for the Rio Grande site involved requirements for the fence where the sign was placed.
The campaign sign was posted atop another sign with an artist rendering of the Rio Grande development and information about the project.
The Building Department said Murphy voluntarily removed the sign after he was contacted and the department did not take enforcement action.
The episode involving the Murphy sign was a rare event of note in a campaign season that has seen little activity. There are three seats on the ballot in November. Only one incumbent, Andy Beerman, is seeking re-election. The other candidates are Nann Worel, Hope Melville, Becca Gerber and Dan Portwood.
There have long been issues in Park City with campaign signs that do not meet City Hall rules. In many instances they are placed in locations where they are prohibited, such as on public property. In other cases the signs are larger than is allowed.
In addition to the square footage and the height of campaign signs, municipal rules also require that campaign signs be placed at least 10 feet from the curb or pavement. If the 10-foot requirement would locate a sign inside a structure, the sign can be placed three feet from the structure. Signs cannot be put in a side yard and they cannot be illuminated.
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