Background: The provisions of the Borough of Doylestown Code of Ordinance, PAUCC, and the ICC Property Maintenance Code, shall control the design and installation of signs.

Definitions: Any permanent or temporary structure or part thereof, or any device attached, painted or represented directly or indirectly on a structure or other surface that shall display or include any letter, word, insignia, flag or representation used as, or which is in the nature of an advertisement, announcement, visual communications, direction, or which is designed to attract the eye or bring the subject to the attention of the public.

Permit Requirements: Installation of any sign requires a permit. Temporary political signs do not require a permit.

Sign Requirements

  1. Fixed, immobile signs are of seven basic types:
    1. Free Standing
    2. Parallel (mounted to a wall)
    3. Projecting (mounted to a building such that it projects from the building.)
    4. Directory (Provides a list of persons or other activity within a building.
  2. Other sign types are:
    1. Moveable
    2. Non-stationary (rotating or shifting)
    3. Temporary Banner
    4. Vehicular
  3. Signs are considered on premises if they are on the same lot to which they direct attention. Any other sign is an off-premises sign.
  4. No signs are permitted within sight triangles or in other locations or configurations that present a hazard to motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
  5. Flashing signs, signs that hang from awnings, movable signs, festoon lighting, roof signs and non-stationary signs are generally not permitted. In some zoning districts you can apply for a special exception asking that a sign such as these be permitted.
  6. The total square footage of signs facing any one frontage must be less than 100 square feet.
  7. Where two or more businesses in one building share an entrance their directory signs must be grouped together.
  8. Some signs are permitted on a temporary basis and subject to specific limitations. These include temporary signs such as “for sale” signs, open house signs, special event signs, contractor signs placed while working, and directional signs. Please contact a zoning or code officer for more information on the requirements and limitations for this type of sign.
  9. To determine exact sign requirements and rules you must know what zoning district you are in. You can find your zoning district using the zoning map online or in the Borough Office.
  10. Sign regulations are very specific to the zoning district the sign will be placed in. Please contact the Borough office for specific requirements and direction on the restrictions and guidelines applicable to your specific location.
  11. Signs installed or displayed without a permit may subject you to penalties.
  12. It takes approximately two months for a sign permit application to be processed through the Historic and Architectural Board and then the Borough Zoning Department. You should apply for your sign permit as soon as you know where you want to post the sign and what you plan on putting on it.
  13. Sign size is dependent on multiple factors. Use the Sign Size Worksheet to determine the allowed size of signs for your specific building.
  14. The Office of Zoning and Planning staff will be happy to assist you in understanding the signage zoning requirements. Please be sure you contact the office before ordering your sign from a sign shop.


Sign Permit Application

HARB Certificate Of Appropriateness Application

The information provided in this guide is intended only to assist residents in understanding the code requirements for signs. It is not a complete recitation of the code. Property and business owners should consult the Doylestown Borough Code of Ordinance for answers to specific questions.