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Houston Changes Sign Code

Recently, the Houston City Council approved significant changes to the Houston Sign Code. Among the changes is a reduction in the size and height of signage allowed on highways throughout Houston, including US-59, I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road.

Other changes include the required removal of abandoned signs, changes to permitting for LED lighting and new roof attachment standards

Contact Sign Advisors to see how this Sign Code change may impact your Houston business.

According to the City of Houston documents, the amended Sign Code (1) creates an Airport Corridor District, (2) defines “abandoned signs” and “signs not in use,” and (3) allows for the refurbishment of and upgrades to on-premise signs, including upgrading to LED lights, that are grandfathered.

Further, the City of Houston, states the purpose of the change is to reduce distraction to drivers, improve the quality of life for area residents, and improve the first impression of travelers driving into the City from the City’s airports by reducing the height and size of on premise signs along the

freeways between the City’s airports and its central business district.

Gregg Hollenberg, President of Sign Advisors, was appointed to this task force and was involved in the original development of the proposed Sign Code changes.

According to the City of Houston - City Council document, The Sign Code Ordinance changes were supported by the following organizations:

See below for the revised Houston Ground sign heights and sizes by sign type and category of right-of-way, including the newly adopted Category E.

Houston Sign Code Heights and Sizes for Ground Signs
Houston Ground Sign Table

The changes to the Houston Sign Code added the following definitions:

ABANDONED SIGN shall mean an on-premise sign that has been without

a permit for a period of two years. A multi-tenant sign shall be deemed an

abandoned sign only after no cabinet on the sign structure has been permitted for

a period of two years.

AIRPORT CORRIDOR DISTRICT shall mean the areas described in

Appendix B of the revised Sign Code.

SIGN NOT IN USE shall mean an on-premise sign that does not identify,

advertise, or provide information about at least one existing business, person,

activity, good, product or service at the premises. A multi-tenant sign shall be

deemed a sign not in use when no cabinet on the sign structure identifies,

advertises, or provides information about an existing business, person, activity,

goods, products or services at the premises.

Below is a new provision that benefits Houston signage owners that are seeking to modify or change their signage:

The owner of an existing, previously permitted sign must apply for all

appropriate permits to make changes to advertising display features. The

following advertising display changes to a previously permitted sign shall

not trigger compliance with the requirements in Section 4611(i), so long as

they remain within the existing cabinet:

a. Ornamental features.

b. Channel letters.

c. Symbols.

d. Flex face, Lexan or other similar elements or materials.

e. Conversion of an illuminated sign to a high technology sign.

f. Conversion between the types of advertising display listed in a

through d.

See the complete Houston Sign Code changes in the document below.

City of Houston Sign Code Changes
Download PDF • 681KB

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