As some residents prepare for garage sales, city officials said they want to remind residents of an ordinance approved last year that regulates how the sales are advertised.

Union Alderman Jim Albrecht said he has heard some complaints about the law that requires permits for signs, as well as permission from landowners where signs are placed.

He told The Missourian that many residents are not aware of the ordinance, or are uncertain of how the code works.

Just over a year ago, aldermen approved the ordinance that regulates yard and garage sales or auctions, as well as temporary signs for business advertisements and signs promoting community organizations’ events, billboards, electronic signs, political and real estate signs.

The code was passed in an effort to a clean up the city yet not hurt retail business.

City Attorney Tim Melenbrink prepared the ordinance with help from Police Chief Norman Brune, as well as planning and zoning board members.

The ordinance is intended to help officials know who placed which signs and at what locations as well as outline which signs require permits and which areas in Union they are allowed.

Garage and yard sale signs, which are considered temporary signs, are movable, and are allowed in both residential and business/industrial zones. These signs also include but are not limited to private sale and auction signs.

Temporary signs on the premises where the event will take place will not require a permit, while off-premises temporary signs will require a permit.

The fee for a permit for an off-premises temporary sign is $3 and no one parcel of property may have more than five off-premises temporary signs at one time.

Temporary signs require signed permission of the property owner where the sign will be erected or placed.

Signs are always prohibited on utility or street poles or in the right of way of highways, streets or roads in Union.

Private or garage sale signs will be allowed in residential and business/industrial zones but will require a permit when off premises. On-premises private or garage signs do not need a permit. Private or garage sale signs must be removed no later than seven days after they are posted.

Temporary signs advertising special events of a civic, educational, philanthropic, religious, political or similar nature not exceeding 32 square feet in area will require a permit when off premises but not require a permit when on premises.

There is no fee for a permit for temporary signs for special events. Like other temporary signs, no one parcel of property may have more than five off-premises temporary signs for special events at one time.

Additionally, the ordinance states that no temporary sign for special events can be placed or erected more than six weeks before the event. They also must be removed no later than five days after the event.

Political, Real Estate

Political signs not exceeding 6 square feet will be allowed in residential and business/industrial zones, but political signs larger than that will not be allowed in any zone. Real estate signs no larger than 6 square feet will be allowed in residential and business/industrial zones.

Real estate signs greater than 6 square feet and smaller than 12 square feet will only be allowed in business/industrial zones, not residential.

Real estate signs larger than 12 square feet are prohibited everywhere.

Living signs which include people carrying signs or people dressed in costumes to promote businesses will be prohibited in residential areas but allowed in business/industrial zones.

These do require a permit and can only be allowed on the premises of the business being advertised. Living signs cannot be in the right of way of highways or streets.

Signs larger than 10 square feet on vehicles that function primarily as a sign rather than for transportation will be prohibited in Union.

Seasonal signs for holidays must be removed within 14 days after the holiday.

Permits can be obtained at Union City Hall, 500 E. Locust St. For questions about if a permit is needed for any type of sign, people may call city hall at 636-583-3600 or the police station at 636-583-3700.