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Published: Thursday, 7/19/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Suit protests Sylvania law on yard signs

Limit to 70 days before an event unconstitutional, teacher says

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Daniel Greenberg pauses with his daughter Nina, 7, at the sign that a Sylvania zoning official ordered him to remove. Mr. Greenberg has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Toledo saying the ordinance violates his First Amendment free speech rights. The sign is to remain until a hearing Monday. Daniel Greenberg pauses with his daughter Nina, 7, at the sign that a Sylvania zoning official ordered him to remove. Mr. Greenberg has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Toledo saying the ordinance violates his First Amendment free speech rights. The sign is to remain until a hearing Monday.
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Daniel Greenberg has posted political signs in the yard of his Sylvania home numerous times, so he was stunned when a city zoning official came to his door last week to tell him he had to remove his Obama/Biden sign or face a criminal citation.The city's sign ordinance prohibits any yard signs from being posted more than 70 days before an event -- in this case, the general election in November, Zoning Administrator Robert Oberly told him. The penalty for violating the rule: up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

"My first thought was, I don't want to have any trouble. I didn't want to create any issues," Mr. Greenberg said, explaining that he initially took the sign down. "When I read the zoning ordinance and saw how restrictive it is on all things -- whether it's a sign for your church or a sign for political reasons -- it upset me that it was so restrictive."

He promptly put the sign back in his yard and soon found a warning from the city posted on his front door: Take the sign down within 48 hours or else.

READ MORE of this story at ourtownsylvania.com



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