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 City has adopted a new sign ordinance

Purpose | Collaboration | Adoption ScheduleSign Ordinance | Comment

Update:  The City Council adopted the new sign ordinance at its March 14, 2013 meeting, which became effective immediately. Reference documents:

About the sign ordinance    
Sign regulation requires the careful balancing of business needs and community planning goals related to streetscape aesthetics and traffic safety. Although the City has changed significantly over the past 30 years, the current sign regulations had essentially remained unchanged during that time period.

The Planning and Development Services Department has developed a new sign code to replace the previous one. 

Purpose of the new sign regulations   

1.   To stimulate a healthy economy by:  

  • Permitting businesses to inform, identify, and communicate effectively; and
  • Directing the general public through the use of signs on buildings and sites.

2.  To protect and enhance the physical appearance of the community in a lawful manner by:

  • Providing standards for the appropriate design, scale, and placement of signs;
  • Satisfying the community‚Äôs desires for signs that are attractive;
  • Avoiding sign standards which are so rigid and inflexible that all signs have a monotonous look and design;
  • Considering that areas outside the City may one day be annexed into the City; and
    Addressing abandoned signs that may cause an area to look blighted.

3.   To foster public safety along public streets within the community by:

  • Ensuring that all signs are in safe and appropriate locations; and
  • Ensuring that the information displayed on a sign is clearly visible and legible so that a sign achieves its intended purpose without causing undue distraction.

4.   To have administrative review procedures which are the minimum necessary to:

  • Balance the community's objectives and regulatory requirements with the reasonable advertising and wayfinding needs of businesses;
  • Allow for consistent enforcement of this Chapter;
  • Address non-conforming signs;
  • Minimize the time required to review a sign permit application; and
  • Address changes in sign manufacturing technology, as necessary.

Sign ordinance development

Initial collaboration      
Over the past few years, a sign taskforce, the Planning and Zoning Commission, homeowners/neighborhood associations, the City Council, sign companies, the Texas Sign Association, and local businesses worked with city staff to develop concepts and review the draft regulations. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Planning and Development Services conducted an informational meeting with the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce.  The meeting introduced the new regulations to the business community by providing an overview of the sign ordinance draft. The presentation can be downloaded below.

New Sign Ordinance - presentation to the Chamber of Commerce, 9/25/12 (PDF)

Adoption process           
Meeting video (including presentations), agenda and minutes are available at Round Rock Replay  

  • Nov. 7, 2012: Presentation to Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Dec. 5, 2012: Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation 
  • Feb. 14, 2013: City Council first reading
  • March 14, 2013: City Council second reading; new ordinance adopted 

New sign ordinance       
The new sign ordinance documents are posted below:  
      Chapter 30: Signs (G-13-03-14-F2)       
      Resolution R-13-03-14-F4: Building & sign fees (The existing fee structure for sign permits did not change. All fees are based on sign valuation.)
      Sign application packet  

Highlights of the new sign ordinance   
The following table has some highlights of the new ordinance as compared to the old code.

Old Ordinance

New Ordinance

Sign standards in 2 different ordinance chapters.                        All sign regulations are in one ordinance chapter.
Building sign standards based on zoning districts.Building sign standards are based on road type.
For wall signs, maximum sign display area was 25% of wall area above doors & windows.Maximum building sign display area is determined by road type and length of the lot's building frontage.
Number of freestanding signs allowed was determined by lot size; total number of freestanding signs was capped.Number of freestanding signs allowed is determined by length of the lot's street frontage and a minimum distance between freestanding signs.
Pylon (pole) signs allowed on all sitesPylon (pole) signs only permitted on IH-35, SH-45, SH-130 or within 500 ft. of the main lanes of these freeways
Monument signs typically limited to 5 ft. tall and 50 sq. ft.Allows larger and taller monument signs than the previous code; specific standards vary by road type
Separate ordinance section for signs on historic propertiesStandards for specific special areas (historic properties and others)
 New: measurement standards added in order to consistently measure sign height and display area 
 New: maintenance standards added so that signs are maintained in a condition appropriate to City standards and their intended uses  

Questions and comments      
If you have comments or questions about the new ordinance, please contact Joelle Jordan via email or at (512) 218-5422. If you have questions about the new application and review process for a sign permit, please contact David Bost at (512) 341-3175.

Planning and Development Services
301 W. Bagdad Avenue, Suite 210
Round Rock, Texas 78664
Phone: (512) 218-5428
Fax: (512) 218-3286

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