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HOA & Texas Law about Yard Signs
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GP
Mueller Community

Posts: 282
Joined on September 17th, 2007
HOA & Texas Law about Yard Signs
by GP on October 9th, 2008

I saw this today. It appears to be extremely relevant to Mueller right now.

Quote:

Political Signs - New Law Says Homeowners' Associations Cannot Prohibit Them
By Lou W. Burton
Some homeowners' associations may not have gotten the word yet that they may no longer prohibit property owners from displaying political signs on their property, even if deed restrictions or restrictive covenants purport to ban the practice.

Effective June 18, 2005, Texas law provides that a homeowners' association may not enforce or adopt restrictive covenants that prohibit property owners from displaying political signs on the property owners' property. Permitted political signs include those advertising either a political candidate or a proposition or other item on the ballot. Property owners cannot be prohibited from displaying such signs (on their own property) during the period of time beginning 90 days before an election to which the sign relates and continuing until 10 days after the election is held.

Restrictive covenants which require a sign to be ground-mounted (as opposed to, for example, displayed in a window or on the side of a home) or limiting a property owner to one sign for each candidate or ballot item are enforceable, but only if the restriction is contained in a restrictive covenant. Mere rules or by-laws passed by a homeowners' association are probably insufficient to allow enforcement of even these two limitations on a homeowner's right to display political signs.

A group of homeowners can also adopt a covenant which prohibits signs (a) containing roofing material, siding, paving materials, flora, balloons, light, or similar building, landscaping, or "nonstandard" decorative components, (b) are attached to plants, traffic control devices, a light, a trailer, a vehicle, or any other existing structure or object (as opposed to ground-mounted), (c) which include the painting of archit ectural surfaces, (d) which threaten the public health or safety, (e) which are larger than four feet by six feet, (f) which violates a law, (g) which contain language, graphic, or any display that would be offensive to the ordinary person, or (h) that are accompanied by music or other signs or streamers or is otherwise distracting to motorists.

BUT those restrictions are enforceable only if specifically contained in restrictive covenants prohibiting such signs. Absent such restrictive covenants, even those limitations cannot be enforced. If such restrictions are adopted, a property owners' association may remove a sign displayed in violation of the restrictive covenants permitted by the new law. However, doing requires careful attention to and compliance with other applicable laws (such as those prohibiting trespassing, which may not apply where entry onto a homeowner's property for this purpose is authorized by valid restrictive covenants).

The law is Texas Property Code section 202.009. The lawyers at Williams, Birnberg & Andersen, L.L.P. stand ready to assist homeowners' association in drafting appropriate covenants to allow associations to enforce the limitations on political signs allowed by Texas law and to advise associations concerning how to enforce those rights and other HOA issues.

________________________________


Here is the actual text of Texas Property Code section 202.009:

Texas Property Code - Section 202.009. Regulation Of Display Of Political Signs
Legal Research Home > Texas Lawyer > Property Code > Texas Property Code - Section 202.009. Regulation Of Display Of Political Signs

§ 202.009. REGULATION OF DISPLAY OF POLITICAL SIGNS.
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a property owners' association may not enforce or adopt a restrictive covenant that prohibits a property owner from displaying on the owner's property one or more signs advertising a political candidate or ballot item for an election:

(1) on or after the 90th day before the date of the election to which the sign relates; or
(2) before the 10th day after that election date.
(b) This section does not prohibit the enforcement or adoption of a covenant that:
(1) requires a sign to be ground-mounted; or
(2) limits a property owner to displaying only one sign for each candidate or ballot item.
(c) This section does not prohibit the enforcement or adoption of a covenant that prohibits a sign that:
(1) contains roofing material, siding, paving materials, flora, one or more balloons or lights, or any other similar building, landscaping, or nonstandard decorative component;
(2) is attached in any way to plant material, a traffic control device, a light, a trailer, a vehicle, or any other existing
structure or object;
(3) includes the painting of architectural surfaces;
(4) threatens the public health or safety;
(5) is larger than four feet by six feet;
(6) violates a law;
(7) contains language, graphics, or any display that would be offensive to the ordinary person; or
(8) is accompanied by music or other sounds or by streamers or is otherwise distracting to motorists.
(d) A property owners' association may remove a sign displayed in violation of a restrictive covenant permitted by this
section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1010, § 1, eff. June 18, 2005.
 
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