At Visual Impression Signs, we know that permitting can seem like a mysterious and frustrating process for business owners. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to demystify sign permitting and help you understand exactly what it takes to get your signage approved.
As your trusted partners in signage, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our goal is to make permitting as smooth and stress-free as possible, so you can focus on what matters most: connecting with your customers.
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The Ins and Outs of Sign Permitting: A Visual Impression Signs Guide
Why Do I Need a Permit in the First Place?
We get it—permitting might seem like nothing more than tedious red tape and fees standing between you and your sign. But permits serve an important purpose in keeping communities safe and orderly. Sign codes establish reasonable limits on things like size, location, and lighting to maintain aesthetics, prevent driver distraction, and ensure proper construction.
Think of it this way: Permits are about playing by the rules so everyone can showcase their business in a fair, unobtrusive way. As your local sign experts, we know these rules inside and out for your area and can navigate permitting efficiently.
What Exactly Does the Permit Cover?
At a minimum, you’ll need a permit for the sign itself. The specifics of what’s covered depend on your location’s ordinances, but generally this allows for:
– The overall size of the sign, including the width, height and square footage. Size limits keep signs proportional to the location.
– The sign type and design. Permits ensure appropriate styles for the area. Certain types like electronic message centers might have special rules.
– Materials used in fabrication. Things like wood, metal and plastic are standard but specifics could be restricted.
– How the sign is positioned. There are often setback limits from roads or height limits on poles.
You may also need separate permits for:
– Lighting or electricity. If your sign will be illuminated, you’ll likely need an electrical permit for the wiring.
– The structure and installation. Building permits related to construction may be required.
We’ll determine exactly what permits you need and handle every one.
How Does the Permitting Process Work?
Now that you know why permits matter, let’s break down how the process unfolds:
1. Consultation and proposal. First we meet to discuss your business, vision and location. Then we develop a custom sign proposal to suit your needs and area requirements.
2. Submit application(s). Next we handle completing and submitting the necessary permit applications on your behalf. This is where our expertise comes in handy!
3. Plan review. Your application goes through zoning reviews, which normally takes 1-4 weeks. Quick approvals happen but larger projects can take longer.
4. Pick up permit(s). Once approved, we’ll collect your permits from the zoning office. Revisions or meetings may be needed if issues arise.
5. Fabrication and installation. With permits in hand, it’s full steam ahead! We’ll get your sign constructed and put in place safely and professionally.
6. Inspection. Most areas require a final inspection to ensure proper permitting and construction. We’ll schedule this for you.
Then you can open for business and get your message out there! As you can see, permitting has a lot of moving parts, but we’ll make the process as turnkey as possible while you focus on operations.
What’s the Difference Between Variances and Conditional Use Permits?
Sometimes a project needs an exception to standard rules, requiring additional approvals:
Variance: Allows you to deviate from dimensional requirements like size or placement. Variances are harder to obtain and require proof of hardship.
Conditional Use Permit: Allows you to do something not normally allowed like certain sign types or locations. More commonly approved if appropriate.
We’ll advise if a variance or conditional use permit makes sense and take care of the extra applications and meetings.
Can My Project Be Denied After Submitting for a Permit?
It’s always possible for a permit to be denied, but we do everything possible to avoid that! With our extensive knowledge of local sign codes, we’ll only propose and submit applications we’re confident should be approvable.
In the rare case where projects hit snags, we’ll work closely with you on revisions to get permits secured. We also attend meetings to present your case if needed. While nothing is ever 100% guaranteed, securing permits is our specialty. We know how to stack things in your favor.
How Long Does the Entire Permitting Process Take?
There are a lot of variables, but typically plan 2-3 months from consultation to installation. Smaller projects can sometimes be faster, while larger-scale approvals take longer. Weather, workload variations and potential hiccups also impact timing.
The good news is you can count on us to expedite the schedule whenever possible. Our expertise combined with strong relationships with many approval offices really helps speed things along. We’ll also keep you updated on progress so you know what to expect.
Does Working with Visual Impression Signs Make Permitting Easier?
Absolutely! You’re putting permit pros in your corner who will:
– Take the burden off your plate completely
– Provide start-to-finish guidance and support
– Draw on decades of experience specific to your area
– Leverage established relationships with local officials
– Resolve any surprises quickly and proficiently
We pride ourselves on making the permitting process as turnkey as it can be. Let us sweat the details so you can stay focused on your business!
Why Should I Start the Process Sooner Rather Than Later?
We recommend engaging us as early in your project as possible—here’s why:
– Permits can take time, so starting early creates a buffer.
– It allows us to provide guidance to inform your branding and design.
– We can flag any red flags before finalizing plans and proposals.
– You can take care of permitting while handling other startup tasks.
– Last-minute permitting under tight timelines can be stressful!
Giving yourself plenty of runway minimizes delays down the road. We can also help you map out timelines and milestones to keep everything on track.
Ready to Get Your Sign Permit?
We hope this overview has helped unwrap some of permitting’s mystery and given you confidence in the process. Although permitting takes time and diligence, with our expertise it can be accomplished smoothly.
We’re eager to provide guidance every step of the way, from initial planning through installation and beyond. Let’s connect to kickstart your project! Getting your branding, messaging and permits aligned now will have you making that lasting visual impression sooner than you think.