Signworld Tips: Beginner’s Guide To Sign Permits And Variances

Signworld Tips: Beginner’s Guide To Sign Permits And Variances

Failing to obtain required permits or variances for your signage may result in fines for your business. Today’s post shares some beginner tips to help you understand what’s required for sign permits and variances.

How To Obtain A Sign Permit In Your Area

In most cities across America, you need a sign permit in order to install permanent signage, even on properties you own outright. Some communities even require sign permits for the installation of temporary signs and banners.

While it may be inconvenient, the permitting process is important. It ensures that all signage is safe and in-line with the overall community aesthetic, and permits also keep the competition between rival businesses fair (e.g. preventing enterprise-level firms from dominating city signscapes with massive ads).

Fortunately, getting a sign permit isn’t that difficult—and when you work with a SignWorld partner, it’s downright easy. Most permit applications receive two rounds of approvals: administrative approval and design approval, the latter of which is considered much more discretionary.

Because the SignWorld business alliance spans the entire United States, it’s impossible to give any objective criteria; design standards vary from between jurisdictions. But we can give you a guarantee: no matter where you’re located, a SignWorld partner can assist you with:

  • Preliminary research for compliance with local by-laws
  • Site surveys
  • Structural design work
  • Professional mock-ups and design specifications

Additionally, we’ll head off any problems that may arise due to potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or Occupational Health and Safety Association standards, which all our partners have experience in.

Visit the SignWorld Business Alliance website or call 888-765-7446 for help locating a local SignWorld partner to obtain necessary permits and identify potential sign exemptions.

How To Obtain A Sign Variance In Your Area

If for any reason your sign design is not compliant with local codes, we can help. One option is to redesign your sign; another option is to obtain a variance. Put simply, a variance is a legal exception from your city’s sign code, which may be granted for many different reasons, including:

  • The sign would not be visible to passing motorists due to obstruction by buildings, trees, and other structures
  • Passing motorists do not have enough time to safely read the sign and react
  • Existing signs obstruct visibility
  • If built to code, the sign would block visibility or reduce road safety
  • Environmental concerns (e.g. changing topography, filling of wetlands)
  • The sign size is not appropriate due to the scale of the building

If you need help obtaining a variance, contact a SignWorld partner near you. A local expert will help you identify a justifiable reason for the variance and put you in touch with relevant authorities.

Find A Signworld Partner Near You

Visit the SignWorld website or call 888-765-7446 to speak with a representative and find a local SignWorld partner.


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