Signs

The City of Greenville regulates signs to ensure public safety, to protect property values, to maintain the visual attractiveness of the city and its environment and to promote the economic well-being of the community. Regulations govern the location, size and type of signs, and require that most signs have permits.

With the exception of governmental or institutional signs, no sign may be displayed in a public right-of-way, on a utility pole or on a roadside structure such as a trash can, bus stop, tree or bench. This includes temporary, permanent, permitted or unpermitted signs. Such signs are subject to immediate removal by the City of Greenville.

Signs in the DOWNTOWN District

Permanent signs located within the Downtown Design Overlay area must adhere to the Greenville Downtown Design Guidelines (PDF), adopted in May 2017. Signs within the overlay need an approved Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) before any sign permit application should be submitted. In order to obtain an approved Certificate of Appropriateness, the proposed signage must demonstrate congruence with the Design Guidelines. Please contact the Design Review Board staff liaison to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness application.

Permanent or temporary signs that project into or are located within the city's street right of way must also obtain an encroachment agreement as part of the sign approval process. Please contact the Construction Engineering Division for more information.

SIGN APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

A sign permit application should be submitted online using the appropriate sign application e-form. An application is required for each sign proposed. An application will need to include sign drawings and a plan sheet illustrating the existing and proposed conditions. A site plan will be needed for freestanding signs. All plans should be drawn to scale and include dimensions.

Sign permit applications generally need to be submitted by a licensed sign contractor. Sign contractors must hold or obtain a city business license. After application submission, applicants will be notified to pay the required application fee. The application fee must be paid before the application will be reviewed. The fee varies by sign type and is listed on the application form. If the sign will be illuminated, an electrical permit application may also be required. 

Applicants should plan for a three-week review period for all sign permit applications. Signs will be evaluated for compliance with the city's sign ordinance and, if applicable, the Certificate of Appropriateness. If the sign is associated with a new business, the sign application may be held until an occupancy permit has been obtained. 

Once a sign permit is issued, the applicant shall install the sign to the approved plan. A footing inspection is needed for all freestanding signs prior to installation. A final inspection is needed for all signs once installation is completed. Failure to complete inspections may result in enforcement action. 

Please note: Due to the quantity of permits received, the City does not accept pre-application reviews for sign permits. You may submit your sign permit application online for review at any time.

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