April 28, 2021 - As the weather has warmed, more and more signs are popping up in locations that violate the City of Fort Wayne’s right of way ordinance, especially on trails. 

Ordinance G-20-07 makes it illegal to place any non-authorized signs within the public right of way. The ordinance also allows for the removal of any illegally placed signs, without notice.

Signs should not be posted within the grass strip, between the street curb and the public sidewalk or trail, as this area is nearly always within the public right of way.

To identify where the right of way ends and private property begins along a street without walks, a good rule of thumb is that the right of way line is typically 11 feet off of the edge of the street pavement.

Municipal Code 99.026:


(A) Any sign placed on public land is in violation under this section. The Director of Public Safety and his/her designees, including law enforcement officers, the Fire Marshal and his/her staff, city right-of-way personnel and all authorized individuals may remove the illegal signage. Notice of such removal and destruction of illegal signage is not required to be given to the person of the illegally-placed signage prior to its removal or the disposition or destruction, under this section.

(B) Exemptions. The following are exempt from the provisions of this section:

(1) Signs authorized through any federal or state statute;

(2) Signs on otherwise public land placed by persons with authority to do so under encroachment agreements, waivers, or licenses authorized through the city’s Department of Public Works.

(Ord. G-20-07, passed 9-11-07)