Costumed character waving a sale sign in the street? Sandwich boards on the sidewalk? The Department of Community Development is reaching out to business owners to let them know that these and other kinds of non-conforming signage are not permitted under the Sacramento County Zoning Code.
“Improving overall signage in the unincorporated area will help retain businesses, and as a result, benefit the entire region,” said Carl Simpson, Chief of Code Enforcement. “We know many business owners are completely unaware that some of these signs are not permissible. We are working to get the word out to help improve the state of our business properties.”
While in most cases signage and advertising can help business; improper placement can pose problems by disturbing surrounding businesses, generating criticism from customers and rivals, and endangering public safety by reducing visibility and creating distractions on roadways.
Recently, County teams notified and visited businesses to inform owners about potential non-conforming signs on their property. Teams looked at overall signage but focused on illegal signs in the public right of way (e.g., road medians and sidewalks) and utility poles. Fifteen-day warnings were issued with no fines attached if compliance occurred within the time frame.
Permitted signage, provided for in the County Zoning Code, depends on where the business is located, the type of business, the unit’s frontage as well as the lot size. Business owners are directed to contact the Planning Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about their properties.
Prohibited Signage: (Partial list)
Portable A-Frame signs
Banners and string pennants
Flags other than the flag of the United States, State of California and approved government agency flag or registered non-profit organization
Signs on fences
Moving, flashing, or rotating signs (except barber poles)
People holding or acting as signage
Signs that include the words “Stop, Look, Listen” or that interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic
Temporary signs other than construction signs (e.g. balloons)
Inflatable or lighter than air devices of any kind
Signs projecting above the roof or roof signs
Any other advertising device attached to a building, fence, pole, or vehicle on display unless specifically mentioned in the Code.
Promotional displays and special advertising devices such as banners, flags and searchlights for grand openings and events not exceeding 30 days within a given year may be permitted, and is subject to approval of a Temporary Use Permit. Contact the Planning Department at email@example.com for details.
Violation of the Zoning Code may result in an issuance of a citation for each sign violation, administrative penalties, which could be assessed daily until the violation is corrected and possible legal action. All costs incurred for enforcement may be billed to the property owner and/or violator.
For information about signage, please call the Code Enforcement Officer of the Day at 916-874-7908 or visit the
Code Enforcement website.