What is a Sign Design Review?
The City of Pleasanton's sign regulations are intended to provide sufficient opportunity for site and business identification while maintaining the attractiveness of the community and discouraging sign clutter. Sign design review provides for the review of the proposed sign design, size, location, materials, texture, colors, and illumination. Most sign applications are reviewed administratively by the Zoning Administrator. However, if your proposal is for design review of a new commercial development, conceptual sign review by the Planning Commission and/or City Council is required. Please do not proceed with the manufacture of any sign without first obtaining City approval.
Regulations for signs are governed by the Pleasanton Municipal Code based on the zoning district for the property, as well as the use for which the sign is intended. Specific sign programs or guidelines apply in certain areas of the City, such as the downtown. Sign design review considers aesthetics and visibility, as well as the requirements of the Municipal Code and specific sign programs. A planner can assist you with information regarding sign regulations for specific zoning areas, the downtown area, and areas with adopted sign programs. In most cases, signs which are consistent with previously approved sign programs for a shopping center or business park may be approved "over the counter" without an application for sign design review.
If you are designing signs for a commercial or office complex involving signs for multiple tenants, we encourage the submittal of a comprehensive sign program. The application should include a proposed set of criteria for the design and review of all types of signs in the complex. Once a comprehensive sign program is approved, individual tenant signs which meet the adopted criteria can be approved at the Planning Department counter.
- Site Plan Drawings
- Colored Elevation Drawings
- Application + Fee ($15)
- Property Owner Signature Photographs
A total of twelve (12) complete sets of exhibits are required to accompany the application materials. Plans should be drawn to scale and no smaller than 8½" x 11" nor larger than 24" x 36".
Site Plan Drawings - An exhibit which clearly shows the proposed sign locations, location of all adjacent structures, landscaping, pedestrian building entrances, and vehicle access to the site. Dimensions, street location and the address of the property should also be shown.
Elevation Drawings - An exhibit which indicates details of the sign's appearance, including: dimensions, materials, colors, illumination, location on the building, and/or placement of a ground-mounted/monument sign. A cross section is required to show the manner of construction and installation on the building.
Application + Fee ($15) - A complete application form and $15.00 fee is required.
Property Owner Signature or Letter of Authorization - Property owner must sign the application form or provide a written letter of authorization prior to the review of the application.
Photographs (Proposed location, samples of similar signs, etc.) - Not required but strongly encouraged.
The Application Process
**PLEASE ALLOW 2 TO 3 WEEKS FOR A COMPLETE SIGN DESIGN REVIEW APPLICATION TO BE PROCESSED**
When your application is considered complete, it will be reviewed at the first available Planning Department staff meeting. Staff meetings generally occur weekly on Monday mornings. The project will by analyzed for conformance with City standards and assigned to a staff planner who will contact you to report the status of the project and obtain additional information if necessary.
Zoning Administrator Action
The Zoning Administrator will generally take action on applications for Sign Design Review within two to three weeks after the application is considered complete. You will be notified in writing of the project's status and any conditions that are attached to an approval. The decision becomes effective 15 days after the Zoning Administrator's action, as long as the project is not appealed. In some cases, the Zoning Administrator may refer the application to the Planning Commission for review which requires approximately four to six weeks.
If a sign application is not processed administratively, as may be the case when signs are part of a development plan (Design Review or Planned Unit Development) for a new commercial or office center, the application is scheduled for review by the City's Planning Commission and, in some cases, the City Council. Please refer to the "Informational Guide for Design Review Application Submittal" and the "Informational Guide for PUD Application Submittal" for further information concerning this process.
The Zoning Administrator's decision does not become effective until 15 days after the ruling. During this time you or any concerned party may appeal the decision of the Zoning Administrator to the Planning Commission by submitting a written request and an appeal fee (equal to 25% of the original application fee) to the Planning Department. An appeal will be scheduled for the first available Planning Commission meeting. Aditionally, any member of the Planning Commission or City Council may appeal the Zoning Administrator's decision to their respective body.
If the Zoning Administrator approves your application and no appeal is filed during the 15 day appeal period, this decision is considered final and you may proceed with your sign proposal as directed by the approving body. Sign design review approval is valid for a period of one year from the date of approval, after which the approval lapses if the sign has not been installed. An extension may be approved by the Zoning Administrator if requested prior to the expiration date.
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