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Temporary signs are permitted in very limited situations:
Real Estate signs. Signs which provide information concerning the rent, lease or sale of the real estate upon which it is located.
- One (1) additional sign on the property stating that the house is open for inspection by the public; and
- Four (4) additional signs providing direction to the property, placed off-site on private property with the permission of the owner of the property on which it is placed. Where a house is open to public entry, but no agent is present, the permitted open house sign shall be limited to one sign on the property.
- Two (2) signs in addition to those mentioned in subparagraph (b) above shall be permitted where the location of the open house is more than two miles from an arterial public highway.
Signs announcing a special civic or cultural event. Signs announcing a special civic or cultural event, such as a fair or exposition, play, concert or meeting sponsored by a school, student association or a governmental, charitable or nonprofit organization, and off-site directional signs for such events, subject to the following conditions:
- Such signs shall have a sign area of not more than thirty-two (32) square feet and a height of not more than eight (8) feet.
- No such signs shall be erected on property used for residential purposes.
- Such signs shall be displayed no sooner than forty-five (45) days before and no later than ten (10) days after the event involved.
- No more than one (1) such sign shall be permitted along each public right-of-way abutting a single lot or parcel of land; provided that, however, in the case of public school grounds, more than one (1) such temporary sign for school-related events may be permitted so long as the combined area of all temporary signs erected along each public right-of-way abutting and exterior to the school site does not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet.
- Signs erected on public school grounds under this subsection may be attached to a building or the ground in any reasonable manner, provided that they are not affixed to utility poles, towers, fence posts, trees and similar objects as snipe signs.
- Signs erected on public school grounds under this subsection shall be made of materials enabling the signs to maintain their structural integrity and clarity of graphics for as long as the signs are to be maintained on the premises. No permit is required for this type of sign
Garage Sale signs. The maximum sign area for a garage sale sign is 4 square feet and 4 feet in height. A permit for a garage sale must be obtained prior to erecting any signs. One sign is allowed in the front yard of the sale location and one additional sign is allowed at the terminus of side and collector streets where the streets intersect major thoroughfares during the time of the sale. Signs must be located on private property with the property owner’s permission. Signs are not permitted in the right of way. Only a garage sale permit is required to post a garage sale sign.
Signs on residential property which announce a special family event or function. Signs announcing a special event such as a birth, anniversary or school graduation, provided that any such sign must comply with the following requirements:
- The sign does not exceed twenty (20) square feet in sign area.
- The sign does not include any commercial message or advertising or any commercial name visible beyond the lot where the sign is located.
- The sign is located outside the public right-of-way and does not obscure traffic visibility.
Grand opening. Special sign displays used for purposes of advertising the opening of a new store, business or profession. Such displays may be erected for a period of up to thirty (30) days. Such displays may include the following: the use of additional signage, including pennants, balloons and similar materials, equal to twice the signs area normally permitted for the site. No off-site signs shall be authorized under this section.
Special sale event. Special sign displays for a special sale or similar event occurring at an establishment. Such displays may be erected up to a maximum of two (2) times in any calendar year, for a period of up to fifteen (15) days each time. The permitted temporary signage shall be the same as that set out in subsection (a) above.
The maximum area for political signs is 32 square feet. If the sign is not more than 8 square feet in sign area and not taller than 4 feet, there are no setback requirements, otherwise the sign must meet setback requirements for freestanding signs. On residential/agricultural/conservation zoned property the sign area cannot exceed 4 square feet, with two - 2 square foot rider panels.
Real estate signs may only be placed on the property being sold. Real estate signs can never be placed in the public right of way.
The following "open house" real estate signs are also allowed, provided that they are displayed only during the hours that the real estate agent is in the house to show it to the public:
All open house signs shall be a maximum of four (4) square feet in sign area and four (4) feet in height. In instances where such signs have an A-frame or sandwich board shape, only one sign face will be used to calculate the sign's sign area, regardless of the distance separating the sign faces.
No permit is required for a real estate sign.
No permit is required for this type of sign.
Permit required, $50 fee.
Permit required, $50 fee.
Prohibited Signs. Prohibited signs are those signs for which a permit has not been issued or cannot be issued. Prohibited signs fall into several different types:
- Festoons. Materials or devices, whether or not they contain printed material, which are attached to real or personal property with the purpose or effect of attracting public attention to an object or site. Festoons include flags, pennants, balloons, ribbon, tinsel and other similar materials, regardless of size. Festoons are deemed to be signs.
- Snipe Sign. A sign of any material whatsoever that is attached in any way to a communication tower, utility pole, fence post, tree or a similar object located or situated on public or private property.
- Signs displayed on motor vehicles are prohibited unless certain requirements are met. (See handout for signs on motor vehicles.)
- Signs that display flashing or intermittent lights or lights of changing degrees of intensity, except a sign indicating time or temperature with alternating changes of not less than a five second cycle.
- Signs that are displayed on a public right-of-way.
- Signs that are located off-site on another property, which is not connected to or a part of the business enterprise.
All illegal signs located in the right of way are removed and immediately destroyed, and the sign owner is issued a notice of violation.
If an illegal sign is located on private property, the property owner is issued a notice of violation.
The above consists of portions of the Chesapeake Sign Ordinance which have been found to frequently affect an individual business location. There are other provisions that could impact a business location; therefore, you are urged to contact a Codes Compliance Inspector whenever you have any questions related to sign requirements. Zoning Administration can be contacted at (757) 382-8454.