SMC Regulations and Enforcement Process for Temporary, Non-Commercial Signs

Release Date: June 15, 2020

Temporary, non-commercial signs are regulated based on their placement and are not regulated by sign content. Signs are enforced through periodic sign sweeps that emphasize major arterials and that address complaints submitted to Code Compliance. If a concern is expressed about a specific sign(s), it will be investigated. Sign complaints (if not sight-distance related) fall under the low-priority category as defined in SMC 23.20.010, and are handled as time allows.

Below is a summary of applicable code sections as it applies to any temporary, non-commercial signage:

SMC 21A.45.100 (2) states that signs need to be in good repair and safe condition. Signs that are fallen or deteriorating are collected.

SMC 21A.45.040 -  Prohibited Signs include the following:

  1. Signs that may be confused with traffic control signs or signals
  2. Signs located in the public right-of-way if placed within travel lanes or on sidewalks, which also means they cannot be attached to traffic control signs, utility, or signal poles

SMC 21A.45.070 – Temporary Signs on private and public property are allowed as long as they meet the temporary sign conditions:

  1. Temporary signs shall not obstruct sight distances
  2. No temporary signs shall be located within center medians or within roundabouts, nor within the amenity zone along the outside turning edge of a roundabout, traffic circles, or islands.
  3. Signs shall not be displayed in a manner that negatively affects the health of trees, shrubs or other landscaping.
  4. Signs must meet the following size regulations and duration:



Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type I – Placed in Public Right-of-Way (Non-A-Frame)

Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type II – Placed in Public Right-of-Way (A-Frame)

Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type III – Private Property (All Sign Types) (1)

Size Limit

4 square feet

6 square feet

32 square feet

Height Limit

3 feet above grade

3.5 feet

8 feet


180 consecutive days per calendar year

5 consecutive days

180 consecutive days per calendar year

Signs collected by City staff are retained for one week before being discarded. If you believe your sign has been collected and you would like it returned, please contact Code Compliance by emailing to arrange for pick-up.


For full information about temporary signs, please visit the SMC at