City Council Updates, Simplifies Sign Code

Changes will allow the city to better serve businesses.

On June 24, City Council approved Northglenn’s first comprehensive Sign Code update in the city’s history. The original Sign Code was adopted in 1978, with only minor modifications over the last 35 years.

The result was outdated regulations for signage, which made it difficult for the city to objectively and consistently enforce. Thus, businesses suffered and new technologies rarely fit into the framework of the old code as written.

The main focus of the new Sign Code is businesses. The changes to the Sign Code make it more user friendly and easier for local businesses to understand and comply with. It will create a level playing field and allow creative ways to promote businesses while avoiding sign pollution.

Other notable provisions of the Sign Code relate to limited duration signs in residential areas.

During the first reading of the Sign Code at the June 3 Council Meeting, council removed proposed restrictions on limited duration signs that would have had a negative impact on garage sales, open houses and other temporary sales. After carefully considering their impact on residents, these provisions were removed from the proposed ordinance.

The previous Sign Code relied heavily on regulating signs in Northglenn based on their content. Sign regulation by content creates issues with free speech rights as well as being open to interpretation by code enforcement. The new Sign Code is content neutral and regulates based on size, duration and location.

Northglenn plans to follow up the new Sign Code with an outreach program. An updated sign brochure will be published, an updated application will be available and a sign calculator will be placed on the city’s Web site so that business owners can quickly determine if the sign they wish to display meets the city’s standards.

The process of revising the Sign Code started this past October and included seven public meetings. That culminated in a March public hearing before the Planning Commission. Then came a second public hearing process before the City Council, where it received final approval on a 7-2 vote.

If you’re a business that is looking to add a sign to your location, the city requires that a sign permit be obtained. City staff will be happy to guide you through the process. Please contact City Planner Becky Smith at 303-450-8741 or for questions or more information.

City of Northglenn
11701 Community Center Drive
Northglenn, CO 80233