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New Sign Code Regulations

  • Sign regulations are “content-neutral;”
  • Classification of signs are based on structure, materials, components and durability, lighting, number, height, area and dimensions, duration, location, and maintenance; 
  • Signs are identified as permanent signs - attached or detached and temporary signs -attached or detached;
  • There are four Sign Districts that correspond to Zoning Districts:
    • Olde Town (OT)
    • Commercial/Industrial (CI)
    • Multi-family Residential (RM)
    • and Single-Family Residential (RS) 
  • Each sign type has its own standards;
  • Some signs are exempt from permits but must comply with the sign regulations; 
  • Sign permits for permanent signs are issued within seven days after submittal of a complete application.

Note:  For signage that does not strictly conform to the sign criteria, appropriate processes are provided that would allow additional flexibility (i.e an alternative sign program or relief of other development standards associated with a sign, minor modifications, variance).

How to Apply

  • Each sign needs a separate sign permit (wall signs separated by a distance of more than three feet shall be considered separate signs)
  • Provide the following with the application;
    • Sign Elevation and Detail plan with measurements indicated
    • Site Plan
    • Signed letter of permission from property owner (form can be found under resources)
    • For signs in Olde Town, you need to include a Design Review Certificate (Apply through the Planning Department)
    • Follow the details from the Permanent Sign Submittal Requirement Details attached to application 
  • Is there electrical involved (including any internal or external lighting)?
    • If it is just a disconnect/reconnect then no electrical permit is required
    • If there is new wiring or a service change then an electrical permit is required and you need to complete the Sub-Contractor Application found in resources
  • Is the sign a Digital Electronic Message Center or is one incorporated in the sign?
    • Complete the Digital Electronic Message Center Supplement found under resources


Apply Online



Sign Code Update Background History

The sign code revision was necessary after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert.  The Court ruled that the Town’s sign code placed unconstitutional content-based restrictions on speech in violation of the First Amendment. 

The City’s Planning Department and Todd Messenger, Attorney at Fairfield and Woods, P.C., consultant drafted the sign code to comply with the Supreme Court ruling and with input from the community.  Public participation included an open house in December 2015 and a 20-member advisory committee representing the community -business owners and sign companies, non-profit and religious institutions and representatives from the Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission.

The Arvada City Council approved the new sign ordinance effective January 17, 2017.


  •  Main Telephone Number:
    720-898-7435 (Planning)
  • Email:  (Planning questions)
  •  Street Address:
    8101 Ralston Road, Arvada, CO 80002