Applications for sign permits may require plans, diagrams and other necessary information so the zoning administrator can determine whether a proposed sign complies with the provisions of the City's sign ordinance, the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and any other applicable ordinance or regulation.

Fees are set forth in section 8-31 of the City Code. Decisions of approval or denial are made within 30 days, provided all the required information is provided for the zoning administrator's review. 

What defines a sign?

Any structure, display, device or other object or thing that's visible to the public that:

  • Includes any word, letter, series of words or letters, painting, mural, logo, insignia, emblem, service mark or other graphic or pictorial representation and 

  • Identifies or advertises, or directs or attracts attention to, any product, merchandise, service, business or establishment;  

  • Suggests the identity or nature of any business or establishment; 

  • Invites or proposes a commercial transaction; or

  • Communicates a message of a noncommercial nature.

What isn't considered a sign? 

It does not include architectural elements incorporated into the style or function of a building, numerals signifying a property address, dates of erection, monumental citations, commemorative tablets and the like when carved into stone, concrete or similar material or made of bronze, aluminum or other permanent type construction and made an integral part of the structure.