Amherst Co-Owners Association Bans Prohibition Signs

AMHERST – Residents of an Amherst condominium complex change site’s main act to ensure that no one living there will be prevented from posting posters supporting political candidates or promoting their religious or moral beliefs.

In a free speech exercise, in part following a successful ACLU case earlier this year that allowed a Belchertown resident to retain her Black Lives Matter registration, residents of Hampshire Village Condominium voted for file a revised master deed with the Hampshire County Register. Acts.

“We deeply appreciate the directors and residents of Hampshire Village recognizing the importance of the fundamental right to speak,” said Bill Newman, attorney at the ACLU Massachusetts office in western Massachusetts, in a statement.

A Hampshire Superior Court judge ruled in January that a woman should be allowed to display a Black Lives Matter sign outside her Summer Hill Estates home in Belchertown, citing the Massachusetts Constitution’s free speech provision by ruling against the development of the co-ownership.

And in 2019, a federal district court permanently barred Holyoke from enforcing an order banning “temporary” lawn signs on private city property for three months of the year and banning bumper stickers all year round. ‘year. Plymouth recently agreed to stop enforcing similar orders following the ACLU’s action.

The new Hampshire Village rule, inspired by legal analysis provided by the ACLU, states that “All unit owners have the right to display non-commercial signage (e.g., sign, flag, banner). or other decoration), including display of a political, religious, moral, cultural or scientific nature, or which otherwise contributes to the free market of ideas.

The new language limits the size of panels to 20 inches by 30 inches, and limits where panels can be placed, such as the garden bed adjacent to a unit owner’s building, or on the front door of a unit. a unit owner or their executive, or in a unit owner window.

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