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Placement of campaign and other advertising signage on any county highway right of way is not allowed under state law, according to the Olmsted County Public Works Department. All state, county, city, and township roads and highways fall under the same state law.
Highway right of way includes driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches, back slopes, and sight corners at intersections. Typically, the right of way is marked with triangle signs that are green and white.
Landowner consent is needed before signs are placed on private property outside of the right of way.
Olmsted County crews will remove unlawfully placed signs and impound them at one of its local maintenance truck stations.
Violation of the law (Minn. Stat. 160.2715) is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties may also apply if the placement of signs contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.
The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act (Minn. Stat. 173.15) also prohibits placing advertising materials on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.
When improperly placed signs are removed by Olmsted County, they are temporarily stored at the Olmsted County Public Works Service Center (PWSC) for a period of two weeks. The PWSC is located at 1188 50th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904. Pickup may be coordinated by calling 507-328-7060.
Minnesota Statute 160.2715 further prohibits the placement of fences, buildings, planting of crops or landscape (trees, bushes, flowers, rocks, etc.) within county right of way. Further right of way information can be found on the Olmsted County website.