Frequently Asked Questions about Signs

To keep Redmond aesthetically pleasing and safe for pedestrians and vehicles, the City has adopted rules concerning the display of commercial, real estate, construction, and political signs. Following are the questions most frequently asked regarding these regulations.

Is a permit required for all permanent signs in the City? And is there a cost involved?

Yes. A sign permit must be obtained to install a new, altered, or relocated sign. Fees are based primarily on the estimated value of the proposed sign. Any business applying for a sign permit will also need to obtain a City of Redmond business license.

How do I get a sign permit?

Sign permit applications are available at the Development Services Center, located on the second floor of Redmond City Hall or on the City's website. Applications are reviewed for size, location, and placement. If necessary, they are forwarded to the Building Division to make sure they meet the standards for safety and weight. In some cases, especially if it is for a large commercial or residential project, a sign program is sent to the City's Design Review Board for its assessment of how well it fits in with the rest of the community.

Is there a height restriction on signs?

Wall mounted signs must not extend beyond the building's roof. Ground mounted signs are restricted to a maximum height of ten feet. Any sign currently exceeding that height had to have been installed prior to the adoption of the current sign code. If they are altered or relocated, they will be required to meet today's standards.

What are the rules for political signs?

Political signs may be placed on public rights-of-way or on private property with permission of the owner. However, they must be situated in such a way so as to not impede driver vision. Political signs may not exceed six square feet in size (unless located at the candidate's headquarters) and are restricted in height to six feet. All political signs must be removed within seven days following the election.

Are businesses allowed to advertise with sandwich board signs?

Sandwich board signs (also known as "A-boards") are allowed only when the establishment is open for business. These signs are limited to six square feet in size, may not block sidewalks, bike trails, or driveways, and should not be placed in street medians. Banners are not allowed.

What about real estate properties? Are they allowed to display sandwich board signs?

Yes. Real estate properties located in single family residential zones are allowed to display three six square foot sandwich boards off site - but only while a seller, agent, or person providing information is on the advertised site. When the seller or agent leaves the property, the signs must be removed. No balloons may be attached to the signs and no property outside Redmond is allowed to advertise within Redmond City limits.

How many signs are permitted for a multi-tenant building?

Tenants in a multi-tenant building are allowed a permanent wall sign advertising their place of business. Individual ground mounted entry signs are not allowed. In order to reduce the number of signs along the street, the City encourages property owners to group tenants onto a strategically placed sign. In addition, each multi-tenant complex must provide city and landlord approved guidelines for the tenants in order to provide a consistent visual appearance. Multi-tenant buildings may also display one six square foot sandwich board when the selling or rental agent is on site.

How many signs may I display at my construction site? Do I need to remove my signs each night?

A construction site may display two 32 square foot signs anywhere on the construction site (including the construction fencing). Because construction signs are there to alert the public that construction is taking place, construction signs may be displayed at all times through the completion of the project.

Does the City allow moving signs?

No. Moving signs, whether animated, revolving, rotating or waved, are not allowed. This does not include such features as the hands of a clock, barber poles, or digital changing date/weather signs.

What other signs are prohibited?

Any sign that resembles a traffic device/sign and may confuse pedestrians or drivers is prohibited as well as any sign that is considered obscene under the prevailing statutes or U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Advertising signs placed along a roadway or attached to a tree, utility, or telephone pole are not allowed and no new billboards may be constructed within the City.

What does the City do with illegal signs?

The City may confiscate illegal signs that are placed on public property or rights-of-way and holds on to them for 30 calendar days. The advertiser may retrieve their sign(s) only after paying a retrieval fee and/or any associated fines. City personnel try hard to inform all business owners of the City code(s) before ever issuing a fine.

For additional information, or for sign related questions please e-mail Code Enforcement at or call (425)556-2474.

as of April 15, 2011

As part of the new Zoning Code Update, the Sign Code and Sign Design Standards was updated with the following changes:

Sign Code Changes
Clarified, reduced redundancy, and reformatted the Old Purpose, Permits, Review, Exemption, and Prohibited Sign sections into new Purpose, Applicability, Administration, Exemption, and Prohibited Sign sections.

Reformatted, clarified and added illustrations to the Permitted Sign charts.

Reformatted and clarified the Temporary Sign section.

Added new section – Sign Programs – for clarity. The section includes Purpose and Intent, Applicability, Approval Authority, Application Requirements, and Standards and Revisions subsections.

Repealed and deleted old code references.

Added multiple new definitions and illustrations for the sake of clarity.

Sign Design Standards Changes
Reformatted and added Purpose, Applicability, Compliance, and Administrative Design Flexibility sections.

Reformatted, clarified and added illustrations to the General Design Standards section including adding Sign Compatibility, Sign Legibility, Sign Placement, Location and Size subsections.

Added a new Design Standards for Specific Sign Types section with Wall Signs, Projecting Signs, Blade Signs, Awning Signs, Window Signs, and Monument Signs subsections in order to add clarity for specific sign types allowed.

A business must have an approved business license before they are issued sign permits.

Banners are prohibited, however, a six square foot sandwich board is allowed during open hours. Sandwich boards must be removed at the close of each business day.

Signs behind windows are exempt.

Only one sign per wall elevation is permitted for each business.

Home Businesses

In order to maintain residential character, home businesses are not allowed signage.

More Info: Carl McArthy, Code Compliance Officer
Phone: 425-556-2412