Your excited to get your new sign and you need to open in a few weeks. You work with your sign company to expedite the sign design and fabrication. But then you find out you need a permit prior to the sign installation. More times than not, the customer does not think or know about the requirement for sign permits. We thought it may be a good idea to just explain the process and how it fits into the timeline of your sign.
First and foremost, your sign company should inform you of the permitting process before you start.
Your sign company should be aware of the local code and requirements for signage. Here are a few things to know before you start:
Allowable size of your sign
Number of signs allowed at your location
Type of signs allowed at your location
Special requirements such as color restrictions, illumination restrictions, ie. illumination type and allowable hours for illumination.
These elements will determine your design. With this knowledge, you can create your sign design knowing you won’t be delayed during the permit review process.
If your requirements demand a deviation from the municipal code, municipalities have a process called a “Variance” . This involves completing their variance request documentation as well as a non-refundable fee. Sometimes requiring legal assistance to represent you at a zoning board hearing. The board will review the request and determine if the request makes a reasonable and compelling case to approve.
Property owner or representatives contact information
Property owner or representatives’ approval for the sign
Contractors information such as contractor’s license and Certificate of insurance
Contractor registration application(if not already registered in that municipality)
Sign layout: Sign sizes, sign drawing, sign location, setbacks from the street if necessary, mounting system, electrical connection if required.
Sealed drawings: More complex and larger signs may require sealed engineer drawings. Typically, structural and electrical designs are evaluated. Safety and structural integrity for the sign must be reviewed and confirmed.
With the requirements needed to complete the permit submission documentation, it will take about 1-2 weeks depending on workload with the engineering firms as well as design team to create the submission drawings.
When the municipality receive the permit documents, they typically allow 30 days for review. This timing can vary quite a bit depending on their workload. But they will have the review completed within the 30 day timeframe. Some municipalities may have a different review period than others.
If you submit for a variance, typically the review board meets once per month. This means you should plan on that additional month in your time scale.
In summary, your project timeline must consider the significant impacted by the permitting process. 30 days for the permitting process. Typically we do not recommend production to start until permit approval just in case any change requests are required by the municipality. Having said that, the production time needs to be added after the 30 day permitting process.
Remember, “getting you noticed is Paramount”