The city of Worthington no longer will look the other way when political signs crop up in the public rights of way.

The city of Worthington no longer will look the other way when political signs crop up in the public rights of way.

With the local election season approaching, the city engineer's department has announced that it would either move or confiscate political signs that are illegally posted too close to the street, in parks or on other public land.

In the past, the city enforced the local ordinance only when it received complaints. This year, the city will do a weekly sweep. Signs that aren't in compliance with the local law will either be moved onto private property or, if not near private property, will be taken to the city engineering department and placed in an outside storage area.

Stored signs may be recovered by a candidate or candidate's or cause's representative. Those that aren't recovered will be destroyed after the election.

Though enforcement will be tighter, the ordinance has been loosened a bit to make it easier to enforce.

The former ordinance outlawed political signs in the public rights of way or within 10 feet of a right of way.

The 10-foot rule has been eliminated. Now signs are prohibited only in the right of way or on public property.

Because 10 feet from the right of way is close to structures on some properties, it could have been difficult for city employees to move the signs to comply with the former law.

Political signs still are limited to 12 square feet in size and must be removed within one week after an election.

Following the deadline for filing with the Franklin County Board of Elections on Aug.10, each candidate and the filing agency for each issue will be sent a letter outlining the city's new regulations.

Besides moving illegally placed signs, the city will notify the property owner and the candidate if a political sign on private property exceeds the allowable sign area.