The City of Salem has a City Ordinance that regulates the type, size and location of all signs in the City of Salem.
City of Salem Sign Ordinance
Electronic Sign Regulations – Section 66-77
Prohibited Signs – Section 66-259
New Business Sign Information
Electric Sign Information
Vehicular Sign Information
Sign Violation Information
Purpose of Sign Ordinance
To permit the use of publicly visible signs, displays or graphics in a manner that protects the public welfare and safety. Specific objectives to these ends include controlling the use of such public displays in order to:
- Promote the safety of the traveling public and pedestrians by assuring quality construction and maintenance of signs, providing for appropriate sign location relative to rights-of-way and other structures in order to maintain safe sight distances and access; minimizing distractions for motorists; preventing traffic signs and signals from becoming obscure; improving motorists' ability to quickly identify roadside destinations; and maintaining appropriate sign standards that support police surveillance activities.
- Equitably distribute the privilege of using the public environs to communicate private information, preserve sight lines for use by all, and avoid competing, confusing signage which is a safety problem for motorists and pedestrians.
- Enhance the visual appearance of the city, with particular emphasis on protecting views of its significant surrounding natural features, including the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, and with emphasis on improving the visual quality of the built environment.
- Protect property values by improving the quality of the built environment and eliminating nuisances to the use of other properties due to sign brightness, size, height or movement.
Do I Need a Permit for a Sign?
Permits are required for all signs, permanent or temporary. A sign permit is required prior to erecting, installing, altering or relocating a sign. Per City of Salem Sign Ordinance, Section 66-36.
How Do I Get a Permit?
Complete a Sign Application
Provide the following:
- Site plan showing the location of the sign on the property
- Building elevations if sign is located on building
- Renderings showing sign(s) and dimensions
After the review and approval, the sign permit can be issued.
** Any Electrical work associated with a sign will require a separate Electrical permit. All Electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician.
Do I need an Inspection?
Yes, all signs must be inspected. Ground signs required a footing and final inspections. The footing inspection is required prior to pouring concrete and after the hole is dug and steel reinforcement is installed, if required. The final inspection is required after the sign is installed. All other sign types require a final inspection.
Signs Exempt from Having a Permit
- Real estate signs – not exceeding 6 square feet in area in residential districts and not exceeding 32 square feet in area in business districts and industrial districts.
- Signs denoting the architect, engineer or contractor, when placed upon work under construction and not exceeding 32 square feet in area.
- Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible materials.
- Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, railroad crossing signs, danger signs and such temporary, emergency signs.