Sign Permits

Sebastopol has six types of sign permits. All of which can be applied for on our online permitting system.

  • Sandwich Board Sign
  • Banner Review
  • Administrative/staff level review Sign Permit
  • Individual/Minor Sign Permit
  • Sign Design Review Board
  • Sign Program

It is important that the applicant and/or his representative must be present for any meetings. Failure to do so may result in continuance of the application.

Upon receipt of this information the Planning Department will determine if the application is complete and will make a determination or, if necessary, schedule a hearing before the Design Review Board within six to ten weeks. The Design Review Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Sebastopol City Hall, City Hall Conference Room., 7120 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol, CA at 3:30 p.m.

The submittal information shall be provided to the Planning Department. All submittal information shall be presented along with the Planning Application form, related fees, and any additional information required by the Planning Department before the application can be accepted as complete.

Sign Permit Submittal Requirements:
  • Planning Application (Completed online on the permit portal and signed by the applicant and the property owner)
  • Fee (As defined on the fee schedule listed on the Master Planning Application. Checks should be made payable to the City of Sebastopol.)
  • Location Map (Indicate the subject parcel(s) and adjacent streets on an 8 1/2″ by 11″ map.)
  • Sign Inventory: A sign inventory of all existing signs to remain as well as new signs, must be submitted for any sign evaluation. This should include the type (freestanding, wall, projection, etc.), height, width, depth, area, height above finished grade, locations of all existing and proposed signs, type of material(s), and method of illumination. Please note this can be combined with the written statement.
    Example of Sign Inventory: Sign #1: Wall sign, (proposed), 25 square feet, 5’x 5′. Sign is plywood, lettering is red on white background. Sign is not illuminated. The sign will be mounted in front of the building next to the main entrance to the business.
  • Written Statement: Written Statement providing a description of all proposed and existing signs.
  • Sign Details: Detailed drawings of all proposed signs, indicating the letter style, color scheme, cabinet colors, and material specifications (minimum scale 1/4″=1’0″). Height above the finished grade must also be shown.
  • Site Photographs: Clearly show the views of and from the project, including existing signs and, if necessary, including neighboring development. Include a key map indicating where the pictures were taken from and in what direction they were taken. Label the pictures accordingly.
  • Site Plans: Site plans of the project shall be fully dimensioned and accurately drawn. The plans shall contain the following basic information unless the Planning Department determines that additional information is necessary to properly evaluate the project. Use as many sheets as necessary. You may combine information so long as the plans are easy to read. If details are not reviewed during the approval process, they will be subject to review and approval prior to the issuance of building permits.
    Site plans shall include the following information. For small projects, some of these requirements may be waived. Check with the Planning Department.
    a. Signs on Buildings: All existing sand proposed signage for buildings and structures. Include their outside dimensions, height, location, and use. Include the length of building frontage(s) onto a public right of way. (If the building has more than one frontage, identify the length of each frontage).
    b. Exterior lighting: Show the location, height, size, and type of exterior lights to be used for signs.
    c. Elevations: Fully dimensioned building elevations showing sizes and locations of existing and/or proposed wall signs (minimum scale 1/8” = 1’0); signs shall be dimensioned. Photos with superimposed signs may satisfy this requirement.
  • For sign examples, click here.

Portable Signs

Portable signs, subject to the following criteria:
i. No more than one (double-faced) sign per parcel of property.
ii. Each sign face shall not exceed six square feet in area.
iii. Height of sign shall not exceed three feet.
iv. Location of sign shall not reduce the width of any pedestrian sidewalk or way to less than four and one-half feet.
v. If located within the public right-of-way, an encroachment permit shall be secured from the State (for State Highways 116 and 12), or from the City.

Sign Variance

1. Sign exceptions are intended to allow flexibility to the sign regulations while still fulfilling the purpose of the regulations. Creative design is encouraged by the provisions of this chapter, therefore, an exception from these regulations may be approved consistent with the following findings. The findings below allow for modifications to address unusual site conditions and/or allow signs that enhance the overall character of an area or building or are appropriate for a particular business.
2. Applications for exceptions from the provisions of this section may be filed in writing with the Planning Department for action by the Design Review Board. Such applications shall be made upon forms prescribed by the Planning Department and shall be submitted with supplemental application material specified by the Planning Department. Fees will be charged for services provided by City staff in conjunction with the processing of a sign permit exception.
3. The supplemental application material, including statements, plans and other evidence, shall show that:
a. The exception will allow a unique sign of exceptional design or style that will enhance the area or building, or that will be a visible landmark; or
b. The exception will allow a sign that is more consistent with the architecture and development of the site or site context or is appropriate given the nature of the business; or
c. The granting of the exception will not constitute the granting of a special privilege inconsistent with the sign limitations upon other properties in the same vicinity and district. (Ord. 1111, 2018)