Council approves new sign code with increased options for permanent & temporary signage
Surprise, AZ (March 7, 2018) Last night, City Council voted to approve a new City Code Chapter 113, which addresses signage. The update aims to balance business needs with aesthetics, while meeting the requirements of law.
Under the new code, Businesses will have increased options for permanent signage and are permitted to use limited temporary signage, which was not allowed under the old code.
Highlights of the new sign code related to Temporary Signs include:
- Small A-Frames (Class 1 Temporary Signs, not exceeding 30 inches in height or width) – Only allowed in conjunction with a Lawful Temporary Event being held on land zoned for single-family residential uses. One sign allowed at the event site; one at each local or collector street intersection leading from the site of the event to the adjacent arterial street grid; two signs at the point where the local or collector streets intersect with the arterial street (one sign on the side of the street closest to the event and one on the opposite side of the arterial street). May be displayed one hour prior to the start of the event and must be removed one hour after the event ends for events that occur between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM Monday through Thursday, or any length of time between 4:00 PM Friday and 11:00 PM Sunday.
- Large A-Frame Sign and Pedestal Sign (Class 2 Temporary Signs, not exceeding 45 in height and 36 inches in width) – One sign within 15 feet of the business entrance. May be displayed during the business hours of the business.
- Banner Signs (Non-residential) – Must be equipped with ventilation flaps. One banner may be placed on a building. Max area should not exceed one square foot per linear foot of building elevation, not to exceed 500 square feet. For a single-tenant building, width shall not exceed 80% of the building elevation width. For multi-tenant building, width shall not exceed 80% of the leased tenant frontage.
- Additional provisions for Model Home Complexes and active single-family residential subdivisions.
Highlights of the new sign code related to Permanent Signs include:
- Commercial Wall Signs – 1.5 square foot of sign area per 1 linear foot of building elevation for elevations that face street or parking lot. Additional provisions for increased sign area in certain circumstances.
- Commercial Ground Signs – All freestanding ground signs must be of a monument type with the base of the sign at least 75% of the width of the sign face.
- Minor Monument Signs (Class V, associated with non-residential uses in a residential zone such as schools or places of worship, but not including Cottage Industries or Home Occupations; multi-family uses in multi-family zones; or non-residential uses in a non-residential zone located on a High Volume Collector Street, Residential Collector Street, or Commercial Collector Street) – 8 foot maximum height with additional 2 foot architectural embellishments allowed; 32 square feet sign area. One sign per 150 feet of street frontage. Minimum spacing on same property 150 feet.
- Major Monument Signs (Class VI, associated with non-residential uses in a non-residential zone located along a Parkway, Major Arterial, or Minor Arterial, and Grand Ave.) – One sign per 150 feet of street frontage. Minimum spacing on same property 150 feet. Cannot be located within 80 feet of residential. Height dependent upon proximity to residential up to maximum height of 15 feet with two additional feet of architectural embellishments.
- Freeway Monument Signs – Up to 65 feet in certain specified locations.
- Electronic Messaging Centers – Allowed up to 50% of sign copy provided static sign copy with change rate no more frequent than 8 seconds, and nighttime illumination level not more than 0.03 foot-candles above ambient.
Billboards remain prohibited, as do vehicle signs, inflatable signs, and animated signs that flash, blink or rotate.
The process to update the sign code began in spring 2015. The adopted code was shaped by input from residents, businesses, City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and other stakeholders.
To read the full updated sign code, please visit: www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode
The code is effective April 5, 2018.
Please note that city businesses operating under an existing Comprehensive Sign Program (CSP) will continue to be guided by the rules of their CSP.
The city’s Temporary Sign Code, enacted by City Council in September to address the needs of businesses and residents while the Comprehensive Sign Code was in the revision process, remains in place until the effective date of the new sign code.
For questions, please contact Robert Kuhfuss at 623.222.3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.