Changes to City of Omaha Sign Regulations

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					Changes to City of Omaha Sign Regulations

The City of Omaha recently passed Ordinance #38397, changing the regulations for temporary signs.
This letter is being distributed to advise you of these changes to the Omaha Municipal Code (O.M.C).
Please take time to carefully read this information. The code changes are effective beginning April 29,

                     **PLEASE NOTE: Temporary signs, including banners,
                      require a permit and are limited in size and number.

New definitions, Section 55-822, O.M.C.

Banner: A flexible substrate of fabric, plastic, paper, or other light pliable material on which
copy or graphics may be displayed. A banner is one type of temporary sign. This can include
pennants, panels or other similar signs.

Portable sign: Any sign, which by design or construction is intended to be easily and readily
relocated to a particular site but is not permanently affixed to the ground, a building or other
structure. Portable signs shall include, but are not limited to, signs mounted upon a trailer,
bench, wheeled carrier, or other motorized or non-motorized mobile structure with or without

Temporary sign: A sign intended to display either commercial or noncommercial messages of
a transitory or temporary nature including, but not limited to, placards, banners, posters,
pennants, valances or other outdoor advertising displays not intended to be permanently
displayed. Any sign not permanently embedded in the ground or not permanently affixed to a
building or sign structure that is permanently embedded in the ground are considered
temporary signs.

Yard sign: A sign with a metal or wood frame or post designed to be driven into the ground.
This type of sign is typically smaller than five square feet and intended to be temporary in

Prohibited signs, Section 55-823(c), O.M.C.

Yard signs are now prohibited in all zoning districts. (This does not include real estate signs as allowed
in accordance with Section 55-823(d)(2).) Portable signs continue to be prohibited in all zoning

Exempt signs, Section 55-823(d)(8), O.M.C.

Grand openings: Temporary signs for grand openings are no longer exempt from regulation. These
must comply with the new requirements for temporary signs.

Special events: The new regulation limits the exemption for temporary signs to special community
events. The size of these exempt signs has been reduced to 20 square feet.

Auxiliary design elements, Section 55-825(c), O.M.C.

New regulations have been implemented for temporary signs. These regulations are as follows:

(1) Temporary signs may be utilized in those zoning districts specified in this chapter. (See entire
chapter 55 for full regulations. In general, temporary signs are allowed in CC, NBD, CBD, DS, CH, LI,
GI and HI zoning districts.)
(2) Signs temporarily displayed that direct attention to a business, profession, commodity or service
that is offered, sold or manufactured on property or premises shall be permitted with the following
         (a) A sign permit shall be required for the display of all temporary signs.
         (b) Temporary sign permit fees are $2.00 per day for 20 square feet or any fraction thereof,
             with a $60.00 minimum fee. A six-month permit may be obtained for $300.00.
         (c) Temporary signs can be no larger than 20 square feet.
         (d) A maximum of one temporary sign is permitted for any single lot, or one per business in a
             common development.
         (e) Location: All temporary signs must be attached to the face of a building or to the structure
             of another sign. Banners or posters on the inside of windows are subject to Sec. 55-
             824(f). Temporary signs are not allowed to be attached to a pole or poles away from a
         (f) Such signs shall not be placed in public right-of-way.
         (g) Height: A banner sign attached to a building cannot exceed the height of the building.
             Banners on another sign face must meet the standards for that type of sign.

Penalties for violations, Section 55-823(h), O.M.C.

The owner of the property is the party responsible for ensuring compliance with the sign regulations
and shall be held responsible in the event of any violation on their property. Violations may be
criminally prosecuted. When the city notifies the owner of a violation, the city may re-inspect to
determine compliance. The owner shall pay the city an inspection fee of $50 for each such re-

Appeals to any of these regulations may be filed with the city’s zoning board of appeals upon submittal
of an application and payment of the appeal fee. For further information on this process or to obtain a
copy of Chapter 55, including this new ordinance, contact the city’s planning department at 444-3426
or The entire Omaha Municipal Code, including Chapter 55, may be
viewed online at: (These most recent changes to Chapter 55 won’t be
available on the municode site for approximately 4-6 months.)

For information about the sign permit process, please contact Mike Grothe, Sign Inspector, at 444-5362

Thank you for your cooperation and compliance with these new regulations.

Michael J. Grothe, Sign Inspector
Planning Department Permits and Inspections Division
City Of Omaha
Phone: 444-5362
Fax: 444-5233

Answers to Questions E-mailed to Mike Grothe for Clarification

Subject: RE: Questions about new temporary sign ordinance
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 11:48:56 -0500

The answers are as follows:
1. Political signs are exempt from the code. Garage sale signs are prohibited.
2. Contractor signs are prohibited.
3. Flag type signs are prohibited.
4. A locating service would be needed as there is no set dimension.
5. Signs INSIDE of windows are exempt, however may only cover 40% of window.
6. Canopy signs require permits. Any temporary signs attached to them must be permitted.
7. 1 sign per lot or 1 per business in a common development.

Michael J. Grothe, Sign Inspector
City Of Omaha Permits and Inspections Division
Phone: 444-5362
Fax: 444-5233

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Schinzel []
Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 11:25 AM
To: Grothe, Michael (PLNG)
Subject: Questions about new temporary sign ordinance

I recently received the summary sent out about the changes to the temporary sign ordinance. My
neighborhood association is looking to put together a short one page information sheet for businesses
in our neighborhood.

In trying to put this together, I have a few questions that I hoped you could answer.

Does this ordinance apply to political signs and garage sale signs?

Does this ordinance prohibit the use of yard signs by businesses when they are doing work at a home?
(ie roofing contractor placing their sign in the yard of a house they are working on)

Does this ordinance apply to the flag-type signs like those at McDonald's or Cricket stores?

How far back from the curb is the actual public right of way?

Do the signs in the window have to pay the temporary permit fee?

Is the canopy over gas pumps considered a building?

Are temporary signs allowed to be attached to the pillars of a canopy?

Is the limit on temporary signs that any one business can have 1?

Do the window signs count against that number?

Thank you for your assistance!

Dave Schinzel
319 South 50th Ave.

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