Sign Permit Requirements

Building Review Requirements

The following sign configurations require building plan review. They also require structural calculations where indicated. The building plans reviewer may determine that structural calculations are required on sign submittals other than those listed. Structural calculations, details and drawings must be stamped and signed by a civil/structural engineer licensed by the state of Washington.

Free-standing Signs

  • Signs with a height greater than five feet that are constructed entirely of concrete or masonry. Structural calculations are required for signs with a height greater than eight feet.
  • Signs constructed of materials other than concrete or masonry with a height greater than eight feet. Structural calculations are required.

Face-mounted Signs

  • Face-mounted signs with an area greater than 100 square feet or weighing more than 750 lbs. Signs must be connected to the building structure with fasteners at 48 inches on center, maximum, around the perimeter of the sign. Alternatively, provide structural calculations for determination of fastener size and fastener spacing.
  • Structural calculations are required for face-mounted signs with an area greater than 200 square feet or weighing more than 2,000 lbs.

Projecting Signs

  • Projecting signs with an area greater than 30 square feet or weighing more than 250 lbs.
  • Structural calculations are required for projecting signs with an area greater than 50 square feet or weighing more than 400 lbs.

Awning or Canopy Signs

  • All awning and canopy signs require review.
  • Structural calculations are required if the height of the sign is greater than four feet.

Signs Mounted at or Above the Roof

  • All signs mounted at or above the roof level require review.
  • Structural calculations are required.

Design Criteria

Based on provisions of the 2015 International Building Code.

  • Gravity loads - self-weight and applicable live loads as required by Chapter 16.
  • Wind Design Criteria (Chapter 16) - 110 mph, Exposure (site specific, Exposure B, minimum).
  • Seismic Design Criteria (Chapter 16, Section 1613) – Seismic Zone D (unless otherwise specified by a geotechnical engineer).
  • Design for Combined Loading - as specified in Section 1605, Load Combinations.

Sign Requirements

The following structural information is required with your permit submittal:

  • Dimensions of the sign and structural supports.
  • Elevation of the sign above grade and with respect to the roof.
  • Weight of the sign (including frames, etc.).
  • All materials and material grades of structural members and connections.
  • Cross sections showing structural members and fastening methods.
  • Existing building support structure (i.e., the building structure that is supporting the sign).
  • Size, spacing and quantity of all fasteners (lag bolts, nails, welds, etc.).
  • All structural components of the sign itself (including dimensions, materials, etc.).

Definitions

Free-standing Sign – a sign supported directly by a foundation. Examples include a monument sign (wall sign) and a pole sign (vertical “flag pole” sign).
Free standing sign height is measured from the lowest adjacent finished grade to the top of the sign.

Face-mounted Sign - a sign supported by the building structure and projecting less than one foot from the face of the building.

Monument Sign – a wall sign supported directly by a foundation.

Pole Sign – a vertical pole sign (“flag pole” sign) supported directly by a foundation.

Projecting Sign – (blade signs, hanging signs, etc.). A sign supported by the building structure and projecting more than one foot from the face of the building.

Awning/Canopy Sign – a sign imprinted on or attached to an awning or canopy. Note: an awning or canopy without a sign requires a building (BW) permit rather than a sign permit.

  1. Locate and note the size, height and type of all existing signs for the business.
     
  2. Draw all proposed signs (to scale); note the size and type.
     
  3. Show all property lines and note the dimensions.
     
  4. Show existing and proposed building(s) on the site.
     
  5. Show the location and dimension of all entry drives, curbs and driveway approaches.
     
  6. Indicate the zoning of the site on the plans. 
  • Show the façade of the entire building with all other existing and proposed signs included.
  • Show the largest façade of the tenant space and note its area in square feet.
  • Show the largest façade area of the building or tenant space. Show the façade area where the sign is to be mounted and the square footage of the building mounted sign.
  • Show the proposed sign, including dimensions, copy, color(s), materials, building façade and dimensions for the sign, and other information to illustrate the proposal (i.e., photo).
  • Show structural connection details, including:
    • Dimensions of the structural support(s).
    • Weight of the sign.
    • Materials and material grades.
    • Partial cross section showing foundation, structural members (studs, beam, post, wall), and fastening method (bolts, screws, lags, nails, welds).
    • Size, spacing and number of fasteners.
    • All structural components of the sign itself (size included).

Also refer to Sign Requirements for Building Review. 

  • Show an elevation of all existing and proposed signs; note materials, color and finishes.
  • Show the height of the sign measured from the ground level of the sign location to the highest point of the sign.
  • Show setbacks to the sign from driveways and front and side property lines.
  • Show the foundation and structural details for the sign and the means of fastening, including:
    • Dimensions of the support structure (footings).
    • Weight of the sign.
    • Materials and material grades.
    • Partial cross section showing the foundation, structural members (studs, beam, post, wall) and fastening method (bolts, screws, lags, nails, welds).
    • Size, spacing and number of fasteners.
    • All structural components of the sign (size included).

Also refer to Sign Requirements for Building Review.

  1. Show the location, type of landscaping and wheel stops around the base of the sign to prevent automobiles from hitting the sign support structure.
     
  2. Show the planting area around the base of the sign (a minimum of one square foot of landscaping for each square foot of the sign surface area).
     
  3. Show that both the trees and shrubs together will cover a minimum of 25 percent of the required planting area.
     
  4. If the landscaping will not be installed concurrently with the sign, the applicant must provide a Performance Assurance Device in accordance with Land Use Code 20.40.490. All required landscaping must be installed within 60 days of completion of the sign installation unless the code administrator grants an extension in writing for reasons of weather, good planting practices, or unforeseeable construction delay.