Billboard-free Forever: Defending our Legacy Victory Hawaii has a long standing tradition of regulating the size and placement of signs. In the early 1900s billboards and other inappropriate signs proliferated throughout the islands, particularly on O‘ahu. After many years of consumer actions and boycotts, The Outdoor Circle in 1926 persuaded the Territorial Legislature to pass Hawaii's law banning billboards in the islands. Today Hawaii is one of only four states that prohibit billboards. The others are Vermont, Maine and Alaska. For more detailed information about Billboards & Sign Control in the USA, visit the Scenic America website: <scenic.org/billboards-a-sign-control>
Why Regulate Signs? Regulating signs protects the natural beauty of Hawaii. Sign regulations allow businesses and others to display important information while protecting the visual environment. Sign laws provide public safety for vehicles and pedestrians by reducing inappropriate distractions. Sign laws ensure that Hawaii remains free of all billboards.
General Sign Guidelines Sign regulations have standards that must be followed. These standards primarily relate to size, location, placement, motion, illumination, height and setbacks. Violators may face stiff penalties including criminal charges. Sign makers and users need to check the law BEFORE creating and/or posting signs.
Political Signs Political signs fall under different regulations than commercial and other signs because the courts have given them special protection as political expression. The Outdoor Circle asks candidates to limit the size of their signs and the length of time they will be displayed. We hope candidates will voluntarily comply with the common-sense request and truly respect Hawaii's special sense of place.
What the law says: • Hawai'i law prohibits the placement of political signs on any public property, including median strips, sidewalks, fences and rights of way. Officials will issue citations for and/or remove any signs posted on public property. • There are no laws regulating the size or number of signs placed on private properties, which include businesses and residences. Signs are legal on private property year-round and for any duration of time.
What the Outdoor Circle recommends: • Each sign displayed should be no larger than 4 feet by 2 feet, and the total area of all signs for each private property should not exceed 16 square feet. • No campaign signs should be illuminated by any form of artificial lighting. • No sign should be erected more than 45 days before the day of the election, and all signs should be removed by 10 days after the election.
Please let the political candidates know that displaying huge signs months and months before an election shows disregard for the benefits of our state. If you see unattended political signs on highway rights-of-way and other public property, let the candidate know he/she is breaking the law.
Complaints About Signs Persons who believe specific signs might be in violation of State or County regulations should double check the standards before making a complaint. When making a complaint be sure to have an address where the sign is located and a detailed description of the sign in question. Note: The Outdoor Circle does not have authority to issue citations.
City & County Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) Contact Information <honoluludpp.org/AboutDPP/ContactUs.aspx> DPP Sign Complaints 808-768-8000 DOT Sign Complaints (on Rights of Way on State Highways) 808-831-6714 Even better - take a photo, note location and date and email complaint to: email@example.com City & County of Honolulu Sign Ordinances Click here to view/download the sign ordinances for the City and County of Honolulu (Revised Ordinances of Honolulu: ROH Article 7).
State of Hawaii Sign Ordinances Click here to view/download the outdoor advertising sign laws for the State of Hawaii (Hawaii Revised Statues: HRS 445-111-445-121).
Quick Reference Guide for the Oahu Sign Ordinances ~ What’s allowed, What’s not Click here to view/download a quick reference guide to signs.
The Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle ~ Keeping Kailua Clean, Green, and Beautiful since 1948!