Is a Sign Permit required for a business sign?
This is the number one question we get from new business owners, and the answer is Yes…
All Exterior commercial sign projects require a Planning Division Permit and most require a Building Division permit.
Note: Interior Signs do not need a sign permit.
How long does the City take to issue a sign permit required for a commercial sign project?
This varies by City, but it can take as little time as a 1 Hour meeting and we pull the permit “Over the Counter” or it may need to be submitted into the city and can take upwards of 2 months.
Amcoe Sign will typically not start fabrication until a Sign Permit has been issued by the City – The city has the authority to make drastic changes to your sign program and this will change fabrication and costs. So, Please, Please, Please leave enough time for city paperwork, design & fabrication before you open your doors.
Some clients have asked for another solution when dealing with some difficult cities, they have asked to speed up the process and they are willing to take the risk. Please see waiver…
Submittal to City Offices
Since a sign permit is required for my commercial sign project, what plans and forms do I need to submit to have a complete submittal?
(Typical Application Forms)
- Sign Application (provided by each city)
- 3 sets of Complete Sign Elevations, Site Plan & Fabrication Plans
- 2 sets of Energy Documentation Forms (Blank forms provided by State)
- Property Owner Information Form (maybe included on City Sign Application)
- Project Contact Information Form ***Additional Information if necessary****
- 1 Set of Materials List or Sample Set of Materials
- 2 sets of Structural Calculations may be required
- 2 sets of Footing Details and Engineering design may be required for signs over 6′
Amcoe Sign can provide full design drawing sets if your Architect or Designer has not completed the sign drawings.
A price list is available for sign design drawing sets.
Where are the forms and plans submitted?
Each City has a Planning and Building department, Amcoe Sign will submit to one or both if needed.
When I submit my plans and forms, will I need to pay a plan check fee deposit?
A plan check deposit is required at the time of submittal for any new commercial sign project.
Public Works Deposit?
Any Projects that involve hanging signs over public “Right of Way” may need Public Works approval. Most “Public Works”departments need a “Hazzard Deposit” for potential damage on installation. “Hazzard Deposits” can be anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 dollars. Remember, this money is returned back to you when the sign is installed and the City Sign Inspector signs off the open permit.
After I submit my plans what happens next?
At the time of submittal, the project will be assigned a tracking number (plan check number) that will be used to track the progress of the plans and plan review. The plans will then be distributed by the Planning and/or Building staff to the necessary City Departments for their review and comment. Upon receipt of the plans, each department will assign a staff member to the project.
Each department’s staff member will perform an independent review of your project and forward their comments to the person designated on the Project Contact Information Sheet. The contact person is responsible for addressing each department’s comments and resubmitting revised plans, as needed. This step will continue until each department’s comments have been adequately addressed.
After the plans are approved by all required City departments, what is the next step?
Once the reviewing departments (Planning & Building, sometimes Public Works) approve the project, Amcoe Sign will be notified of their approval. At this time final fees due will be calculated and the project paperwork will be prepared for permit issuance.
Fees And Permit Issuance
Wow, this seems like a lot of trouble just to get a sign installed, why all this government bureaucracy, and what’s this all gonna cost me?
Your 100% right, it has become quite a nightmare, some cities are worse than others, but if you wish to have a sign for your business, all City and County governments in the entire United States require you to get a sign permit. Long story short, city governments are broke, and they need money (now more than ever) and this is one way how they get revenue. Some older cities still use the “single cost” payment method, around $350 for the planning permit and $400 for the building. But most cities in California are implementing the “Percentage of the Project” payment method. Prepare to pay around 7% of the cost of the sign project, and we will need to furnish the city with a formal cost estimate of the sign project, signed by the client.
Amcoe Sign charges $85.00 per hour to meet with the city or county planning and building departments, discuss your project, answer any questions about fabrication materials, manufacturing and method of attachment of the sign to the existing structure and walk it through the permit process.
Once Amcoe Sign pays the permit fees, will the permit be issued?
Yes. Once your plans are approved any additional or outstanding permit fees that may apply to the project will need to be paid. Amcoe Sign will tally any additional City fees and add them into the project invoice. All copies of the City Receipts will accompany the final invoice. Once all required fees are paid, the planning and/or building sign permit will be issued.
Once my sign permit is issued and my sign is installed does Amcoe Sign request an inspection from the City Building Division?
Yes. Inspections that follow the issuance of the permit are provided to ensure that work completed on your project meets current building health and safety codes and standards. Amcoe Sign will contact your cities building department and call for a final inspection. The Permit card will be left at the sign installation location for the City Inspector to sign off. The sign owner is required to keep that paperwork on site at all times for future Sign Inspector viewing.
Once my project passes its final inspection, is there anything else I need to do?
No. After your final inspection, your project will be considered complete.