Sign & Special Event Banner Permits

Sign Permit Process

Whether you are installing a permanent sign on your commercial property, would like to set up a temporary sign, or would like to hang banners for a special event, you will need to apply for Sign Permit. Please follow the steps below to proceed with submitting a sign permit application.

Step 1: Planning Sign Permit Submittal and Review

Please send a completed Sign Permit Application and project plans electronically to, all reviews will be done electronically. Planning staff will provide an invoice that needs to be paid prior to plan review. Once payment is received, Planning Staff will begin review. Each review is typically 2-3 weeks. The Planner will work with the applicant to submit revised drawings responding to the Planning corrections.

Step 2: Building Permit Submittal and Issuance

Once the Planning Sign Permit review is approved, the Planner will direct the applicant to apply for their Building Permit by submitting a completed Building Permit Application and project plans to The Building Counter Technician will facilitate Building Department review and Building Permit issuance.


Sign Permit Submittal Requirements

Completed Sign Permit Application

Sign Permit Application

Landlord Approval

Provide written authorization from the landlord for the sign type, size, design, and location.

Sign Plans

Application for sign permits require plans be submitted consisting of a minimum of a title sheet, site plan and sign elevations containing the following information*:

  1. Project Name
  2. Site Address
  3. Applicants contact information: Name, address, phone number and email
  4. North arrow and scale.
  5. Location of existing buildings or structures, parking areas, and vehicular access points to the property. For monument/ground mounted signs, provide location of the sign relative to existing driveways, easements, objects, mature landscaping, and city right-of-way.
  6. Location of all existing and proposed signs for the property.
  7. Distance to the property line(s) for all proposed freestanding sign(s).
  8. Provide an elevation for all proposed sign(s) which specifies the following:
    1. Dimensions and area (square feet) for all existing and proposed sign(s).
    2. Materials and color the sign(s) will be constructed of.
    3. Type of mounting.
    4. Source of Illumination, if any.
    5. Proposed sign copy (text/lettering/design of proposed sign).

*Additional supporting information may be required from applicant depending on standards, requirements, scope, design and/or property constraints.

Application Fee

The invoice will be provided once the application and associated documents are provided to Planning Staff.


Sign Permit Types

Standard Sign permit

A sign permit is required before the placing, erecting or installing, of any sign or sign structure unless such sign, sign structure or action is expressly exempted by SBMC 17.64. A sign permit is also required before installation of any sign approved pursuant to a comprehensive sign plan. The purpose of the sign permit is to ensure that the proposed sign complies with SBMC 17.64, the Highway 101 Corridor Specific Plan, and any approved comprehensive sign plans.

Comprehensive Sign Plan (CSP)

A CSP is a unified sign program developed to integrate signs with building and landscaping design to achieve architectural unity.A CSP is required for all commercial, office, industrial, and civic uses consisting of four or more tenant or occupant spaces on a lot or on two or more lots subject to a common development permit or plan. Only signs which substantially conform to the comprehensive sign plan may be permitted.

Temporary & Special Event Banners

SBMC 17.64.055 states the following:

Temporary and special event banners shall be allowed only as follows:

A. Banners may not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage, and not exceed 32 square feet in area.

B. Such banners shall be displayed for a consecutive period not to exceed 14 days, for a maximum period of 30 days per year, with the exception of grand opening banners which may be displayed for a period not to exceed 60 days. Grand opening banners may begin display not later than two months past the start of the business operations, nor more than two months before the anticipated opening. Only one grand opening banner shall be permitted for the life of the business. A subsequent grand opening banner may be permitted when business ownership has transferred to another owner.

C. Such banners shall be wind and water resistant and be securely fastened.

D. Such banners shall be consistent with the standards of this chapter as to location, height and type.

E. Applicants for such banners must apply for, and have approved, a sign permit.

(Ord. 173 § 4, 1993)


Sign Permit Regulations

SBMC 17.64 Comprehensive Sign Ordinance

Please refer to SBMC 17.64 for the City's standard sign regulations.

Highway 101 Specific Plan Sign Regulations

If the property is within the Highway 101 Specific Plan as shown in our Overlay Map, please refer to table 5-4 of the specific plan for superseding sign regulations. 


Contact Us

Planning Department (858) 720-2440