Local sign ordinances are often posted on the websites of local building departments connected with city municipal governments, according to Signtronix. You can also visit the local city building and planning office and ask for a copy of the city's sign ordinances.
Local sign ordinances fall under the jurisdiction of city zoning laws, and signage regulations vary from city to city, notes Signtronix. Sign ordinances dictate how large of a sign a business can display in a public area, types of signs allowed and where business owners can place signage. Cities may require business owners to obtain a city permit before a sign can be placed on business premises. Sign ordinances are usually enacted by city governments to satisfy a community's environmental preferences. Cities do not have the legal right to regulate the content of commercial messages on signs but can regulate how the message is delivered.
Sign ordinances also address issues such as how an electric sign is illuminated, including flashing signs and signs that use neon lights. Cities can be specific about sign placement, requiring all business signs to be attached to a building, explains Nolo. Businesses and individuals seeking to erect a sign must never follow the actions of previous tenants regarding signage, because zoning laws are subject to change.