Commercial Building Sign Restrictions That Affect Michigan Business Owners

Commercial Building Sign Restrictions That Affect Michigan Business Owners

Today’s post reviews some basic and advanced commercial building sign restrictions that all Southfield business owners must follow. Read on to learn about Southfield design standards, as well as how we help with applications for permits and variance.

Basic Commercial Building Sign Restrictions In Southfield, MI

As per Section 8.46 of the Southfield Code of Ordinances, the following commercial building signs are prohibited for use in permanent displays in all Southfield zoning districts:

  • Festooned signs
  • Flashing signs
  • Moving signs
  • Painted wall or window signs
  • Designs parodying traffic signs
  • Roof signs
  • Portable signs

Advanced Illuminated Commercial Building Sign Restrictions

Additional restrictions apply to illuminated commercial building signs:

  • Special permits and inspections required. All electrified signs in Southfield must obtain electrical permits and electrical inspections prior to installation, regardless of size sign.
  • No flashing or intermittent illumination. All illuminated signs must have constant lighting, so ditch the strobe effects. If you want something more dynamic, consider some of our dynamic digital sign options instead.
  • All illumination must be contained. Section 8.42(3) states that “there shall be no spillage of illumination or glare onto public or private roads… [or] adjacent properties.” Accordingly, your dream lighted sign design may require some extra components to control glare and spillage.
  • Southfield commercial buildings limited to one (1) electronic changeable copy sign. “Documented studies show that there is a correlation between electronic copy signage and the distraction of drivers,” states Section 8.50A of the Southfield Code of Ordinances. To combat this problem, Southfield businesses are restricted to one changeable copy sign per development, consisting of a single LED color (i.e. monochrome digital sign).

Apply For A Commercial Building Sign Permit Or Variance In Southfield, MI

In most communities, the permit application process requires two rounds of approvals:

  1. Administrative approval, based on analytical criteria and Southfield sign code compliance
  2. Aesthetic approval, which is much more discretionary, based on subjective community standards

SignScapes offers complete support with all commercial building sign permitting and applications in Southfield, MI. We’ll help you identify, complete, and submit all necessary forms, and tweak your commercial building sign design for fast and easy aesthetic approval.

If your dream design is not compliant with local codes, it is possible to receive a variance. As described on the International Sign Association website, obtaining a variance is really about justifying your signage. You might argue for a sign law exemption on the basis that:

  • Complying with sign code would hide your sign behind obstructions (e.g. buildings, trees)
  • Complying with sign code would block motorists’ view of the road or otherwise be unsafe
  • Complying with sign code creates environments concerns, such as alteration of topography, filling of wetlands, or obstruction of natural drainage
  • Large signage would be more aesthetic and appropriate because of the size of the building
  • Your proposed sign design enhances neighborhood safety, aesthetics, or value

Whether you need an experienced eye to sign off on your design, or you want to put some extra muscle behind your variance application, SignScapes’ sign code experts are standing by to guide you through the federal, state, and local requirements.

Free Commercial Building Sign Code Consultations In Southfield, MI

Book online on the SignScapes website, or call 248-354-8346 to speak with a sign code expert in Southfield, MI.

 

 

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