Sign Ordinance Amendments Adopted


Sign Ordinance Amendments Adopted

The South Burlington City Council adopted an amended Sign Ordinance at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 3. The Sign Ordinance was last amended in 2010. This newest version includes some key updates that modernize the Ordinance and offer a greater diversity of signage options for our business community.

The driving force of these proposed amendments was to make sure that the ordinance aligns with the development taking place in City Center, incorporates lessons learned from the pandemic, and accounts for recent rulings on signage issued by the United States Supreme Court.

The most notable changes made in the amended Ordinance include the following:

  • Perpendicular projecting signs affixed to buildings are now allowed city-wide, and especially encouraged in the City Center district, in an effort to encourage a wider range of sign types that are suited for a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.
  • New free-standing sign structures are prohibited in the core of City Center, but will continue to be allowed along Williston Road, Dorset Street, White Street, and Patchen Road.
  • All businesses are now allowed to maintain one sidewalk sign of up to 12 square feet in size year-round, near their business entrance, and properties are allowed to have a larger event sign once per month for up to 7 days. The goal of this change is to allow business owners to more easily communicate specials or sales with customers.
  • Properties in City Center are no longer required to obtain Master Signage Permit approval from the DRB before adding or altering signage. This change will simplify the signage permitting process, reduce permit fees for property owners, and reduce the DRB’s workload.
  • Language was updated to clarify that all inflatable and feather-flag signs are prohibited in all parts of the City.
  • To reduce glare and light pollution, all new internally-illuminated signs must have opaque backgrounds and must be turned off at midnight unless the business is open after that time.
  • Single-tenant buildings may now display 3 wall signs instead of 2 wall signs – however, the total square footage of allowable signage has not changed. This change will allow business owners to use their signage more creatively and will especially help businesses on corner lots.

Prior to adoption by the City Council, these amendments were presented to and supported by the Economic Development Committee last fall. Please feel free to get in touch with Planning & Zoning at (802) 846-4106 with any questions about the amended Ordinance. The Ordinance can also be found online at

June 11, 2024