City of Dubuque News Release

Regulations for Placement of Political Signs

Guy Hemenway, Assistant Planner

Aug. 30, 2019 -- For Immediate Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Election season is here with four Dubuque City Council positions on the Nov. 5 election ballot and two of those positions with primary elections on Oct. 8.  As these campaigns get under way, the City of Dubuque is reminding candidates and residents of the regulations that govern placement of political signs.

The City of Dubuque’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates all exterior signage, including political signage, within the community. The UDC specifically exempts political signage from government regulation except that political signs cannot be placed in any public right-of-way or in visibility triangles (10 feet in each direction of a street corner).

In Dubuque’s residential districts, the property line is generally 10 feet back from the curb while the property line location in commercial districts varies. If a sign is inadvertently placed on the public right-of-way, the City’s Public Works Department may move the sign back on to your property and attach a green slip noting the violation. If the City receives a complaint about a sign, City staff will inspect the sign to determine the actual right-of-way location, which might be more than 10 feet from the edge of the street or curb. Also, political signs cannot be placed on objects in the right-of-way such as trees, utility poles, and medians.  

Complete details, including diagrams, are available online at  For more information or questions regarding the property line location for a specific address, please contact the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department at 563-589-4210 or

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Please do not reply to this message.  If you would like additional information on this issue, please contact the staff person identified at the top of the message or contact the City of Dubuque Public Information Office at or 563.589.4151.

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