Permanent Signs

All businesses in the County are allowed to have permanent signage affixed to the wall of the building. Most businesses are also allowed a freestanding sign.

All permanent signs require a sign/zoning permit from the County when installed or refaced.   A building permit is also required for a new sign unless the sign is painted on a building, is a flat sign screwed to the building, or is a freestanding sign less than 6’ in height with no lighting.

Zoning requirements for signs are found in Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Building Code requirements are found in 2012 Virginia Construction Code, Appendix H

Submission Requirements:

  • Sign Permit Application

  • Zoning/Building Permit Application

  • One set of detailed drawings to scale showing dimensions of sign, height, colors, and, for building signs, location on building and projection from building.  If a building permit is required, a second set of drawings is required to be provided, and both sets of drawings must include information about materials and details of construction, to include loads, stresses and anchors.  Wind loads shall be designed to meet Chapter 16 of the 2012 Virginia Construction Code 

  • For signs adding a circuit for lighting, two sets of electrical plans showing circuit and wiring diagram, fixture type and bulb type.

  • Site layout showing freestanding sign location, with setbacks from property lines.

  • Fees:   $50 per sign + $2/square foot of signage paid upon issuance of sign/zoning permit.

Plus, if building permit is required:  $100 plus $66.30 per sign, plus $102 if new electrical circuit is proposed in conjunction with sign.  Building fees are paid at time of application for permit.

Process

Once issued, inspections are only required if the permit includes a building permit. 

  • Free Standing – Requires footing inspection

  • Electric –

    • May require a ditch inspection

    • Concealment inspection

  • All require final inspection.

Temporary Signs

The County has special provisions for temporary signs, such as “Grand Opening” signs, or signs announcing a special event or promotion. These signs need to meet certain criteria, but they do not need permits. Instead, temporary signs are registered with the County. This can be done by calling Zoning/Development Services at 540-422-8220.

A Note on Prohibited Signs

The County’s Sign Ordinance does not allow use of moving or animated signs, such as flags, pennants, and balloons.  Other prohibited signs include freestanding temporary signs, signs in the right-of-way, roof signs, parked vehicles used for signage, and any sign attached to a tree or utility pole.  

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