Apply for a Sign Variance

You may want to apply for a sign variance if your sign cannot meet regulations in the Salem Revised Code (SRC) due to unique or unusual physical conditions of your property. [SRC 900.040]

Procedure type

An application for a sign variance is processed following the Type III application procedures under SRC Chapter 300.

Most decisions are issued within 80 days of application submittal (State law requires the City of Salem;to issue a decision within 120 days of the date the application is deemed complete).

  • You must submit all required items listed in the Application Checklist section below to the Permit Application Center.

  • City staff reviews the application for completeness. You may track the status of your application online at the City of Salem permit tracking webpage.

  • If the application is not complete, you will be notified as to what information is missing and allowed 180 days to submit the additional information.

  • After all required information is submitted and the application is deemed complete, staff sets the date for public hearing with the Hearings Officer and sends notice of the hearing to the applicant, property owner, neighborhood association, and property owners within 250 feet. (Staff prepares the notification list of property owners within 250 feet).

  • Staff prepares posting sign(s) and sends notice of posting requirements to you.

  • You must post sign(s) along street frontage(s) of property 10 to 14 days before the public hearing.

  • The Hearings Officer holds the public hearing. Staff presents the staff report, followed by testimony from the applicant, neighborhood association representative, proponent(s), and opponent(s), and then there is time for rebuttal.

  • The Hearings Officer renders a decision based upon whether the proposal meets the applicable criteria for a sign variance under SRC 900.040(d).

  • Staff sends copy of the decision (noting a 15-day appeal period) to the applicant, property owner, neighborhood association, and anyone who submitted testimony for the record prior to the close of the public hearing.

  • If no appeal is filed and the City Council does not initiate review of the application, the sign variance decision becomes effective.

Application checklist

An application for a sign variance must contain the following:

  • Land use application form. The land use application form must be signed by the applicant(s), property owner(s), and/or duly authorized representative(s). If the applicant and/or property owner is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), please also provide a list of all members of the LLC with your land use application.

  • Land use application fee. The application fee must be paid when you file your application.

  • Recorded deed/land sales contract with legal description. You must submit a copy of the recorded deed/land sales contract of the total contiguous ownership of the applicant.

  • Written statement. You must submit ritten statement describing the proposal and how it conforms to the following approval criteria [SRC 900.045(d)]:

    • The sign will not create or significantly increase street level sign clutter.

    • The sign will not adversely impact the neat, clean, orderly, and attractive appearance of the surrounding vicinity to a significant degree.

    • The sign will not create a traffic or safety hazard;.

    • The sign complies with all other standards of SRC Chapter 900, including, but not limited to height and placement standards.

  • Site plan. You must submit one reproducible plan (not more than 11 inches by 17 inches and not less than 8.5 inches by 11 inches), and the a plan must be drawn to a standard scale. It is your responsibility to provide clear and accurate information. Include the following on your plan:

    • Title Block:

      • Type of application (i.e., "Sign adjustment application")

      • Date

      • Applicant’s name

      • Location of subject property

      • Scale

      • Directional (north) arrow

    • Street names

    • All property lines with dimensions

    • Use of main and accessory buildings such as single family, duplex, garage, service station, retail sales, office, etc.

    • Location (distance to property lines) of all buildings, fences, driveways, parking areas, off-street loading areas, etc.

    • Square footage or acreage of subject property

    • Location of sign(s)

  • Proposed signs. Submit one reproducible plan of all existing and proposed signs with the following information:

    • Sign dimensions (height, depth, and width)

    • Size of letters

    • Overall height from grade to highest point of sign

    • Illumination type

    • Construction

  • Sign permit application(s) and permit fees.

​Forms

Contact us

Permit Application Center Planning Desk
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mailing address:
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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