Guidelines on Signs
The Hermitage Board of Directors and Architectural Control Committee (ACC) approve the following variances and consider this to be "prior written consent" for the following signs to be placed within Hermitage, provided they are not political in nature:
- One sign advertising a home for sale, provided it is no larger than 3 x 3 feet and is removed within 7 days of the closing date.
- Decorative garden, celebratory, no soliciting, or home security system sign provided it is no larger than 2 x 2 feet and is located within 10 feet of the perimeter of the home.
- Kids-at-play/slow-down sign no larger than 2 x 2 feet.
- Celebratory sign of any size provided it is placed no closer than 10 feet from the curb and for no longer than 7 days in any given thirty (30) day period.
- Contractors may place a sign to identify a home to workers provided it is removed at project completion.
Anything else requires the prior written consent of the Architectural Control Committee.
Signs left by contractors (e.g. weed treatment) should be removed within 3 days unless safety related.
What about free speech?
The Free Speech Clause of the 1st Amendment applies to government restrictions on speech, not private individuals or organizations unless acting on behalf of government. An HOA is a private organization joined by choosing to purchase that property. While several states have laws that prevent an HOA from regulating political signs, Alabama does not.
The Hermitage Board of Directors unanimously voted against approving signs of a political nature. "With politics more likely than ever to ignite division, we believe this to be in the best interests of our community. We encourage impassioned Hermitage residents to stay active and aware of what happens in our government, but express their politics in other ways - healthy debate, monetary donations, volunteering for a campaign, and of course waging war on social media to their heart’s content."
Hermitage covenants state:
"Section 3. Signs. No sign of any kind shall be erected by an Owner or occupant of a Lot within the Community without the prior written consent of the Architectural Control Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board shall have the right to erect reasonable and appropriate signs. “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs consistent with the Community-Wide Standard may be erected upon any Lot"