What is a sign permit? Your local city is a jurisdiction and is the ”Permitting Authority” for new sign construction. Failure to get a permit could result in fines, penalties, and the removal of the sign
What is a sign ordinance? The official answer is that your city writes Municipal Ordinances. One part of the Municipal Ordinance is the sign ordinance. This is a set of rules, regulations, or codes enacted into law by local government.
Why do you need one? The city requires it and has the ability to enforce this with fines, penalties, and other legal actions. The truth is enforcement of sign ordinances is spotty and there are a large number of ‘illegal’ signs out there. Statistics are hard to come by, but as many as half of the signs in a large city are not permitted.
Are sign ordinances enforced? Enforcement depends on money and the will to do it. Many cities only enforce sign ordinances when there is outside pressure applied.
How much does it cost? The cost is calculated with a formula that varies by city, but the size and complexity of the sign, the value of the sign and the cost of the permit review and inspection are all likely factors
Who issues the permit? The cost is calculated with a formula that varies by city, but the size and complexity of engineering, environmental, and cost are calculated with a formula that varies by city, size, and complexity of the sign.
What do they want from me? They are looking for building owner and tenant approval. They are also looking for a parcel number, a site map, a drawing of the sign, the attachment method, the cost of the project, and the electrical usage. Provide Signs for San Diego with your property manager’s contact information and whatever else you have, and we will take it from there.
How long does it take? This is the biggest question. Permitting is the most difficult step. Preparing the permit takes time. The City requires a lot of information and much of it is in their records. Finding that information can be difficult. Some of the information depends on the building details and requires a site survey. Once the form is submitted, questions will come back. It normally takes about 4 hours of time to work through their queue. If questions can be answered on-site, it saves time. However, some of these questions are obscure. If we need to take the application back or deal with exceptions and questions, it will probably take another week. While two weeks is a reasonable amount of time to prepare the permit, it sometimes takes months.
What are the normal problems? Permit delays, weather, or scheduling issues are the most common.