County law allows campaign signs to be posted outside a polling center. Credit: File photo

The Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services will conduct a “sign sweep” Thursday to remove illegally placed signs, including campaign signs posted for the July 19 primary election, throughout the county, officials said. 

The department will remove signs placed in public rights-of-way on county-maintained roads and at intersections with state highways, but not from private property, according to a press release.

Greg Nichols, permitting services department zoning and code compliance manager, said the department has “received dozens of sign complaints this year and will continue to address complaints even after the sign sweep.”

Inspectors will form teams to target assigned areas around the county. “We will be removing any type of sign — not just campaign signs — that are placed illegally in the public right-of-way,” Nichols said. 

Staff will deliver signs to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station in Derwood for recycling and disposal. 

More than 600 signs were removed in a similar cleanup event in 2020, Nichols said. 

The department will not issue fines Thursday for signs places illegally, according to community outreach manager Sonya Burke.

Christine Zhu of Gaithersburg, a rising junior at the University of Maryland who is studying journalism and Spanish, is the Bethesda Beat summer intern.