A sign ordinance can help a municipality reduce the visual clutter of signage and end business sign wars. It also can help protect, establish, or enhance community identity.
By regulating the type, size, and location of signs in a municipality (as well as the process for erecting new signs), a sign ordinance can help preserve or create community character and stop visually distracting sign competition between businesses. A municipality may adopt a sign ordinance as a part of the zoning ordinance or as a stand-alone ordinance.
Links to a variety of helpful guides, model ordinances, and examples for establishing and improving sign ordinances are provided below.
These guides provide a comprehensive look at understanding, designing, and implementing sign ordinances. Some also include model ordinances.
In addition to the guides listed above that include model ordinances, see:
Below are examples of sign ordinances from municipalities in Pennsylvania and other states. (For more examples, see the Scenic City Certification Program’s Example Ordinances webpage.)
Nate Lotze compiled this guide.
The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association produced this guide with support from the William Penn Foundation, the Colcom Foundation, and the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
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