Signage Site Survey + City Codes

Site surveys and city codes are an important part of the sign design process. They provide the necessary information and approvals to move your signage project forward.

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Why is a site survey so important for signage?

A thorough site survey is crucial to the success of the project. It provides the necessary information to make recommendations and create design mock ups. There is a lot to think about, look at and measure.

What happens during a signage site survey?

  • Take building measurements
  • Color match walls
  • Measure the placement area
  • Photograph sight lines, close up and distant
  • Photograph building architecture and surrounding buildings
  • Walk the area looking for the best visibility vantage points
  • Look at traffic patterns
  • Map property lines, utilities and right of way locations
  • Measure and photograph existing landscaping
  • Confirm attachment options
  • Verify electricity is present for illuminated signs
  • Note and communicate any potential obstacles
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Spectrum Wall Survey

How is the information from a signage site survey used?

We take all the information gathered in a site survey and combine it with the information we gather from city code research, historical district requirements, if applicable, and landlord requirements to make recommendations for your project. We use it to calculate the size, number and type of signs your project can have. Part of our process includes confirming with the building owner or landlord the types of attachments allowed on their buildings. We can also provide Certified Professional Engineered drawings when required. All of the information gathered helps us maximize your brand’s visibility.


What are city codes and permitting?

Whether you are installing a new sign or updating an existing exterior sign, you will need a city permit. City codes, site surveys, engineering approval, variances can all be a part of the permitting process.

By issuing sign permits, cities ensure that you meet the standards of public safety, design aesthetics or heritage preservation requirements. And these rules and regulations differ from city to city. Failing to follow the rules and regulations may result in fines, delays or denial. Trying to figure out the rules, regulations and documents you need to submit for permitting can be an arduous, time consuming task, which is why we do it for you.

Centennial Shops exterior wayfinding sign

What do city codes cover?

City codes cover things like:

  • Types of signs allowed
  • Sign placement
  • Set back requirements and property line information
  • Size allotments
  • Materials and construction requirements
  • Installation, anchoring and inground installation requirements
  • Lighting and digital display requirements
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Stairway wayfinding sign, level 1R on wall

Dedicated staff for city code research

We have dedicated permitting professionals who research city rules and regulations. Our team has over 20 years of experience in permitting and the intricacies of city processes. We’ve built relationships with city planners, and start talking to them on the front end of a project so we know what is allowed. We fill out required forms and create sign drawings for city approval.

Types of documents that may be needed for submission:

  • Sign drawings, site survey and site plan with property lines and markers
  • County maps
  • Google aerial photo and other photos of the property
  • Elevation and structural drawings
Fairview Corporate Services wayfinding sign

What’s a conditional use permit and variance and when do you need one?

Sometimes the sign you want doesn’t meet city code. It might be too high or it might be bigger than the allotted square footage. A conditional use permit is needed when a sign follows code, but isn’t allowed in the zoning district. It is the step before a variance. A variance is needed when asking for an exception to city code.

Both require a city meeting for approval. We will attend any meetings needed on your behalf, to explain why a variance is needed and answer any questions the commission has. 

Retail - Pylon Sign - Cobblestone Court (4)

Let us handle it for you

The permitting process is complicated, arduous and time consuming. Let Spectrum Signs’ 20 years of experience, relationships with city planners, and dedicated permitting professionals, handle the process for you so you can focus on more important aspects of your job.

Learn more about the permitting process and why you want to leave it to us to handle for you.

Read Permitting 101 Blog

Have questions about the permitting process?

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