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Ask a Cop: Where can I put my garage sale sign?

PHILLIPS(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers’ questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call staff reporter Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

“I want to have a garage sale this weekend. Where I can post my garage sale signs?”

Most of us want to post garage sale signs where the most people will see them. But what people don’t know is that the most common areas where signs are placed are considered public right-of-way.

Lake Oswego Code 47.08.300 governs the placement of temporary signs, and it prohibits attaching any sign to public property — i.e., stop signs, street signs or utility poles. The code also states that signs can’t be placed in the right-of-way abutting any property without permission from the property owner, or be attached to trees, bushes or shrubbery. In addition, signs cannot be placed within two feet of road traffic.

Portable signs — the A-frame type of sign often used by real estate agents or businesses — are allowed within the public right-of-way in any residential zone only on Sundays, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Any other signs are not allowed.

When placing your sign, make sure it will not disrupt pedestrian access on a sidewalk or curb. Signs can be placed elsewhere, such as in your yard or by asking neighbours around your street to post some on their lawns. Just be sure to not staple or tape the signs to any pole or stop sign that may be near your house, or on any tree or bush, even on your property.

To see the full sign code, go to codepublishing.com/or/lakeoswego. The left side of the page will list each chapter of the code and corresponding sections for each one. If you need any clarification, please call our police non-emergency number, 503-635-0238.

— CSO Dan Phillips