Community Signs and Banners in the Public Right of Way


A program for installing community oriented signs and banners within County of San Diego road right-of-way has been established to:

  • Welcome travelers, tourists and visitors;
  • Help motorists find services;
  • Locate local points of interest and places of historical significance;
  • Provide directional guidance to events, attractions and centers of commerce;
  • Enhance community character, beauty and safety for residents and communities.

Sign & Banner Types:

Permanent Signs:

  • Community Identification Signs
  • Community Information Signs
  • Directional Way Finding Signs
  • Neighborhood and Business Watch Signs

Temporary Community Event Banners:

  • Horizontal Street Spanning Banners
  • Vertical Pole Mounted Banners

Step 1 – Initial Project Planning

Applicants should work closely with their regional community planning or sponsor groups for concept concurrence.  Applicants will be required to ultimately obtain formal input from the applicable community group.  Additionally, proposed projects for installation of Community Signs & Banners located in the Road Right of Way should obtain location concurrence from DPW Traffic Engineering Section at (858) 694-3850 before submittal of Site Plan application package in Step 2 below.  

Community Signs & Banners Links:

Step 2 – Discretionary Site Plan Permit

A Discretionary Site Plan Permit is required for:

  • Installation of Community Identification Signs
  • Installation of Community Information Signs
  • Installation of Directional Way Finding Signs
  • Installation of poles for temporary Horizontal Street Spanning Banners
  • Approval of poles for Vertical Pole Mounted Banners

Site Plan Permits will be reviewed for consistency with applicable Community Design Guidelines and/or Community Plan and with the desired community character. Additionally, Site Plan Permits will be reviewed by the applicable Design Review Board, Community Planning Group or Community Sponsor Group.

Site Plan Permit content shall include the following information:

  • Plans, drawings and sketches to provide information as required by the applicable Design Guidelines and/or Community Plan.
  • Input from the local Community Planning or Sponsor Group.
  • Plot plan that identifies the location(s) of each proposed sign.
  • Elevation drawings that show the general appearance of the sign(s) with regards to color(s), dimensions (width, height and area), type face, font size(s), and material(s)
  • For Community Identification Signs and Community Information Signs, details on any proposed lighting including, but not limited to, luminosity, type, and size, appearance, number and orientation of fixtures.
  • Details on any proposed grading, clearing, trenching and/or any other proposed work in the right-of-way to install the sign(s).
  • A text description of the general appearance of the sign(s) and type.

Site Plan Permit Links:

Step 3 – Implementation

All sign types named in these Program Guidelines require an Encroachment Permit prior to installation.  All sign types that have construction activity to install permanent structures require a Construction Permit.  Land Development counter staff will review all applications for substantial conformance with the approved Site Plan.

Encroachment/Construction Permit applications for signs and banners in the public right-of-way shall include:

  • Notation of the approved Site Plan Permit number.
  • Traffic Control Permit application with certification that roadway safety criteria are met.
  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the applicant and responsible organization, if different from applicant.  The applicant and responsible organization shall each be considered a permittee.
  • A certificate of insurance naming the County of San Diego, and the County’s officers, agents and employees as an additional insured with general liability coverage of not less than $1 million per occurrence.
  • For temporary banners, date of banner placement and planned removal, applicable community event, and name of the organization hosting the event.

Encroachment/Construction permit applications for banners shall be submitted at least 30 days, but not more than 90 days, prior to an event to which it relates.  Application requests shall be scheduled on a first-come first-served basis and all scheduling decisions shall be at the discretion of the County.

Implementation Links:

For more information, please contact Michael Kenney from the Department of Public Works at (858) 694-3857 or via email at