What is a sign?
A sign is defined by the Broward County Zoning Code as: every device, frame, letter, figure, graphic, character, mark, permanently fixed object, ornamentation, plane, point, design, picture, logo, stroke, stripe, symbol, trademark, reading matter or other representation for visual communication that is used for the purpose of bringing the subject thereof to the attention of others.
Why are signs regulated in Broward County?
Signs in commercial and industrial areas are regulated by a balanced system of sign control to ensure clear and pleasant communications of needed goods and services. Compliance with the sign codes will ensure that signs:
- Are compatible with their surroundings
- Are legible under the circumstances in which they are seen
- Are expressive of the identity of individual businesses or organizations or the community as a whole
- Promote the aesthetic appearance of the community
- Effectively and efficiently communicate the intent and nature of the business
- Are not distracting drivers by being animated, cluttered or blocking view along public rights-of-way
Permits may be required for the installation of permanent signage or temporary signs that are larger in size, unless specifically exempt by the Zoning Code. Please check with the Zoning Section before installing or placing any signs at your business location.
What types of signs are prohibited?
- Animated signs
- Banner or pennant signs*
- Balloon signs*
- Bench signs on private property
- Flags that are in poor condition
- Pole signs
- Projecting signs
- Roof signs above roof line
- Sandwich or sidewalk signs*
- Snipe signs
- Trailer signs**
- Vehicle signs
- Advertising signs attached to utility poles, traffic signs, fences and public utility equipment
- Any sign located in swales, medians and public rights-of-way unless specifically authorized by a governmental agency
- Signs that are abandoned or in a state of disrepair
*allowed on the premises of a commercial enterprise, other than a home office, with a 14-day temporary sign permit for the following occasions: (1) grand opening; (2) holiday sale; (3) change of management; (4) special promotions
**trailer signs without animation
What are common examples of sign code violations?
- Signs installed without permits or inspections
- A-Frame sandwich signs on sidewalks, impairing pedestrian and disabled persons’ travel
- Signs illegally placed on utility poles, utility equipment, fences, trees and public signs/posts
- Signs exceeding maximum permitted area and quantity
- Off-premises and advertising snipe signs on public rights-of-way, vacant lots and medians
Are any signs exempt from obtaining a permit?
Yes. The following signs are exempt from permit requirements:
- Holiday or seasonal signs
- Opinion signs
- Public service signs
- Traffic control signs
Permits may be required for the installation of permanent signage or signs that are larger in size, unless specifically exempt by the Zoning Code. Please check with the Zoning Section before installing or placing any signs are your business location.
What signs may be erected as temporary signs?
- Contractor Signs
- Election signs
- Model signs
- Project signs
- Real Estate signs
- Sales Office signs
What are the requirements for displaying temporary real estate signs?
- A permit shall be required for any temporary sign 6 square feet or larger in size
- Temporary signs shall be limited to 1 sign for each 1,000 lineal feet of street or waterway frontage of plot
- All free-standing signs shall be set back a minimum of 5 feet from any plot line
- Signs may not be displayed on swale or public rights-of-way
- Signs in residential area may be increased in size by a maximum of 50% of the permitted sign size to accommodate information such as “By Appointment Only,” Sold” or “Open House”
- Open House signs may only be displayed while the premises is actually available for viewing and be located only on private property
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