CalTrans Sign Placement Policy

The California Department of Transportation asks that a reminder be distributed to our members regarding placement restrictions for temporary Open House directional signs. The CalTrans sign placement policy is strong and unambiguous. It is illegal to place any such signs in the public right-of-way. This prohibited area includes more than just the paved roadway. The no placement of signs area includes the shoulder, whether paved or unpaved, as well as bike lanes, and the raw land adjacent to the State Highways. The placement of signs within the public right-of-way is simply not acceptable to our state roads stewards.      

Town of Truckee Informal Sign Placement Agreement

A few years back your Board of Realtors met with Town staff to identify a mutually acceptable approach to allow open house signs to be utilized, when deployed in a reasonable fashion. To ensure our ongoing ability to use real estate directional signs, we urge all Realtors to comply with these good faith efforts to balance our marketing needs with public safety and visual intrusion concerns. Please comply with this series of eight points associated with the appropriate use and placement of temporary open house directional signage on Town of Truckee roadways. The eight-point series of limitations on use and placement of temporary open house directional signs are:

  1. Do not place signs in the asphalt section of the public right-of-way, to include designated paved pedestrian or bicycle lanes of travel.
  2. No portion of such a sign should encroach onto any paved surface.
  3. Do not place such signs on other people’s private property without their expressed consent.
  4. Do not leave temporary signs up overnight, or beyond the time the open house is active.
  5. Do not place signs recurrently along the same stretch of roadway. To avoid clutter deploy such signs only at points that require the interested party to change direction, such as at street corners or intersections leading the driver to the property.
  6. Do not attach objects i.e. balloons, banners, streamers, etc. to directional signs. These add-ons can encroach into the public right-of-way, and create a visual impediment to travelers.
  7. Do not attach lights, highly reflective materials, or other symbols that could confuse or distract motorists. Violating item F or G can create a hazard, with undue attention being drawn away from the roadway.
  8. Do not use open house or ski lease type signs in front of the real estate office. One must obtain a use permit from the Town of Truckee to utilize such sandwich type signs that front a commercial, office or retail business.

Let’s work together to ensure that this vital aspect of real estate marketing is not taken away. Know the applicable laws, codes, ordinances, rules, regulations and guidelines that affect placing temporary open house signs in the jurisdictions in which you operate. When in doubt, find out directly from the governing authority, or don’t place a sign. Please inform yourself, your officemates, or any colleagues who might be engaging in unsafe or imprudent sign placement practices.