Residential Sign Permits
SPECIFIC PURPOSES, POLICIES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CITY SIGN ORDINANCE
What is the purpose?
The purpose of the sign ordinance is to promote economic vitality, enhance the community's appearance, and encourage the effective use of signs in the community by maintaining minimum standards that limit the number, size, design and illumination of signs.
The sign regulations are established to protect pedestrian and traffic safety by minimizing confusing and distracting signs and to provide clear identity and direction to major shopping centers and residential neighborhoods. They have also been established to enable the fair and consistent enforcement of the sign ordinance.
Are there signs which do not require a permit?
Some of the types of signs which do not require a sign permit are street address numerals, holiday lights and similar holiday displays intended for temporary use. Temporary on-site residential real estate signs are excluded from the permit process when they are limited to one (1) sign per residential site or property. Temporary political signs are permitted, as long as a letter of responsibility has been filed with the City's Zoning Administrator. Temporary construction signs are also permitted without a permit provided certain location and size limits are met.
When is a sign permit required?
Most signs located within the City require a sign permit and may necessitate architectural approval (unless the type of sign meets certain size and design criteria which would classify it as exempt from obtaining a sign permit). The permit process helps ensure that proposed signs meet the design standards of the City; that they are installed safely; and that they are beneficial to the community.
An application should typically be accompanied by sign details (i.e., examples of materials, color samples, photographs etc.), a processing fee and any attachments that the Planning Services Department may require. Staff will determine the number of sets of site plans based on the required approval process for your sign application.
How long will it take to process my application?
In many instances the Planning Department staff may administratively process your permit if the sign meets all of the sign ordinance regulations. This process takes approximately five (5) working days.
In other instances, the permit may require review by the San Ramon Architectural Review Board which is comprised of five (5) design professionals who are appointed by the City Council. The Architectural Review Board meets on the first (1st) and third (3rd) Thursdays of each month.
Signs that are not permitted...
Some of the signs that are not permitted within the City are advertisements located within a public right-of-way and any off-site directional sign(s) which could be confused with public direction signs. Signs identifying home businesses are not permitted as well as any "For Sale/Rent/Lease" signs, of any type, which are designated, placed or oriented for freeway exposure and which are visible from the freeway on- or off-ramps. Signage which is either painted-on, placed-on, and/or attached to a vehicle parked on a public or private street for a period exceeding seventy-two (72) consecutive hours which is clearly intended to provide advertisement and/or directional assistance is not permitted within the City of San Ramon.
Temporary On-Site Residential Real Estate Signs...
These types of real estate signs are intended to identify a residential "open house" or residential property for rent, lease or sale. These signs shall be limited to one (1) sign per residential property totaling no more than four (4)square feet in sign face area. The signs shall be installed at the residential property they are identifying and shall not be located in the public right-of-way. These real estate signs shall be removed within seven (7) calendar days from the time of the sale, lease or rent.
The purpose of these signs is to provide directional assistance for a broker's "open house" within the City of San Ramon. Such signs shall be limited to "A-Frame" signs to include directional arrows on each sign; stick signs are strictly prohibited within the City. These signs shall be limited to three (3) feet in height and six (6) square feet in sign face area. Off-site signs are not to be located within the public right-of-way, and shall be located at least six (6) feet from the back of the sidewalk. Temporary real estate signs are not permitted on fences, utility poles or walls. Off-site residential real estate signs are limited to use on weekends only and must be removed no later than sunset Sunday. However, such signs may be used on Thursdays and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for broker's "open house" only, unless otherwise specified by the Zoning Administrator.
Such signs shall be limited to one (1) sign per direction at any intersection per real estate company regardless of the number of listings located in that direction. They will be limited to a maximum combined total of eight (8) temporary off-site residential real estate signs and temporary off-site subdivision directional signs at major arterial/collector street intersections provided motorist visibility is not obstructed. Signs on secondary or residential street intersections shall be limited to a maximum combined total of four (4) temporary off-site residential real estate signs and temporary off-site subdivision directional signs provided motorist visibility is not obstructed.
Temporary Off-Site Directional Signs...
Portable off-site signs provide directional assistance for development that lies within the City of San Ramon or its Sphere of Influence boundary. Such signs shall be limited to "A-Frame" signs designed to include directional arrows; stick signs are strictly prohibited. These signs are limited to three (3) feet in height and six (6) square feet in sign face area. These signs are to be placed behind sidewalks and out of the public right-of-way. Signs on fences, utility poles or walls are not permitted. Subdivision signs shall not be visible from the freeway or along the on- or off-ramps. Use of these signs is limited to weekend use only between Saturday 10:00 a.m. and removed no later than sunset Sunday. Signs must be removed when the remaining unsold units are turned over to brokers for disposal.
Signs are limited to eight (8) signs per subdivision not less than 1,000 feet apart. Such signs shall be limited to one (1) sign per direction at any intersection per real estate company regardless of the number of listings located in that direction. They are limited to a maximum combined total of eight (8) temporary off-site residential real estate signs and temporary off-site subdivision directional signs at major arterial/collector street intersections provided motorist visibility is not obstructed. Signs on secondary or residential street intersections are limited to a maximum combined total of four (4) temporary off-site residential real estate signs and temporary off-site subdivision directional signs provided motorist visibility is not obstructed.
The City's sign ordinance does permit the installation of permanent, multiple blade sign structures along the major public arterial streets which provide directional assistance for residential subdivisions of 100 or more units (and commercial centers consisting of greater than 200,000 square feet) provided a Master Off-Site Directional Sign Program is approved by the Planning Commission and City Council. This program will establish the specific locations and sign structure details.
A majority of the residential sign permits do not require building permit approval following the architectural review process. However, please consult with the Planning Services and Building and Safety Services Departments to determine if any additional permits are required.
A majority of the signs requiring a permit are subject to the architectural review process. In many instances, the architectural review of a sign permit may be conducted and administratively approved by the Planning Services Department staff which requires a processing time of approximately five (5) working days. If the sign permit is not subject to an administrative approval process by the staff, the sign will be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board which meets twice monthly. These applications can be processed in two (2) to four (4) weeks by the City staff. Please call Planning Department staff to determine specific processing requirements for your application.