Temporary Sign Regulations in a Post-Reed America

Zoning Practice — February 2016

By Wendy Moeller, FAICP, Alan Weinstein


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Any community planner who has had the responsibility of administering and enforcing a zoning code has likely had to deal with the often complex issue of temporary signs. These same planners may understand the need for the signage to advertise local events, business activities, elections, and the like, but they are also charged with regulating the temporary signs to prevent their excessive use, often to preserve community character.

This issue of Zoning Practice summarizes the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, and explores how it impacts local temporary sign regulations. It presents a series of recommended practices for regulating temporary signs in a post-Reed America.


Page Count
Date Published
Feb. 1, 2016
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Wendy Moeller, FAICP
Ms. Wendy Moeller, FAICP, is a principal and owner of Compass Point Planning. She has worked in the planning field since graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1996. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Moeller worked for 11 years as a project manager for McBride Dale Clarion. Wendy is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has a certificate in form-based codes from the Form Based Codes Institute (FBCI). In 2018, she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Planning (FAICP), the highest distinction given to certified planners, in recognition of significant contributions to communities and the planning profession. Wendy has served as a project manager and planner for numerous planning, regulatory, and development projects throughout her career including, but not limited to, comprehensive and growth management plans; zoning, subdivision, unified development codes, and other land use regulations; form-based regulations; design standards; and historic preservation guidelines; Her experience comes from working on projects across the United States with extensive work in the Midwest. Wendy is a regular speaker at local, state, regional, and national conferences. Wendy currently serve as the Region IV Director for the American Planning Association.

Alan Weinstein
<p>Alan Weinstein is Professor Emeritus of Law &amp; Urban Studies at Cleveland State University. He is a nationally-recognized expert on planning law and has extensive experience with free speech and freedom of religion in the planning law context. He also has studied the division of regulatory authority between states and their local governments. Professor Weinstein taught Land Use Planning Law in both the CSU College of Law and the College of Urban Affairs and as Professor Emeritus&nbsp;offers a seminar on Marijuana Law &amp; Policy at the CSU College of Law.</p>