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Trump sign raises zoning question in AACo

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 17:46:20-04
The sign, which has pitted an Anne Arundel County man against the government, can hardly be seen from the road. 
 
It's some 200 yards away, and it carries a simple one-word message---TRUMP.
 
Weeds have grown up around some of the farm implements on David Riggs' farm, which serve as a sign that it's not yet the growing season. But the 4-by-8 foot sign on his barn roof shows it's certainly the political season.
 
"I'm big into politics.  My candidate happens to be Mr. Trump,” Riggs said. “I went and bought the sign and put it up there on my private property."
 
But Riggs' right to display a political sign on his barn apparently violates the county's code, which prohibits signs attached to the roof of a structure.
 
An inspector, visiting the farm for an unrelated violation, spotted the sign and told Riggs' neighbor it had to go.
 
"Used a little profanity, and told him, 'Well just get off...'  My neighbor told him, 'It's best for you just to get off the farm so he left."
 
Riggs says the county is concerned the sign could fall and hurt someone, but some of those closest to him say they suspect the issue really may be whose name appears on the sign rather than its construction.
 
"It's just ridiculous,” said his mother, Galdys Moreland, “If it was a Hillary sign, I bet they wouldn't say a word."
 
Riggs says he'll await the county's final word before he decides his next step, but he has no plans to take down the sign or to back off on his support for his candidate.
 
"I think that you should have a political view and as long as it's not saying (something) derogatory towards someone... I'm not going to put a sign up there that says that I hate Obama.  I'm not going to do that,” Riggs said. “I don't have to agree with him, but I don't hate him."
 
Riggs says if the county is simply worried about safety, he's willing to address that concern.  
 
He plans on paying a structural engineer to come out on Tuesday at his expense to make sure that the sign won't fall down.  
 

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