Sign Variance Process

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Construction Types

Sign Variance Process
A variance is a modification of specific requirements of the sign regulations found in Chapter 18 of the City of Richardson’s Code of Ordinances. The City Council authorizes the Sign Control Board to sit as a board of appeals in public hearings for purposes of this chapter. In considering the requests for variation to requirements of this chapter, the sign control board shall consider, but not be limited to:

  • The degree of variance
  • The reasons for variance requested
  • The location of variance request
  • The duration of the requested variance
  • The effect on public safety
  • Protection of neighborhood property
  • The degree of hardship or injustice involved
  • The effect of the variance on the general plan for signing within the city.

The Sign Control Board shall grant the variance requested, grant a variance of a greater or lesser nature than requested, or deny a variance request.

Below are helpful links to the required forms and outline for the sign variance process. If you have any additional questions, please contact staff at 972-744-4180.

Sign Variance Application 
Sign Permit Application 
Sign Control Board Calendar

  1. An applicant for a sign variance must submit a completed variance application, sign permit application and the appropriate application fees.
  2. In addition to the application, the applicant must submit the following materials:
    1. A summary explaining the need for the variance being sought.
    2. An abbreviated, scaled, site plan showing the nature of the variance request, including, but not limited to:
      1. Property boundaries
      2. Existing and proposed buildings or structures
      3. The location(s) of the proposed sign(s)
      4. Unusual physical features of the site
      5. Abutting streets
    3. An electronic copy of a drawing(s) or eleven paper copies of the proposed sign(s) indicating the size, dimensions, materials, height, letter height, electrical standards, and any additional applicable information.
  3. A variance request must be submitted to Building Inspection at least twenty one (21) days prior to the desired Sign Control Board meeting. Please see the calendar provided above for the upcoming scheduled Sign Control Meetings.
  4. At least seven days before the sign control meeting, Building Inspection will post the agenda for the public hearing in the newspaper and at City Hall.
  5. The sign contractor and property tenant/owner’s attendance to the public hearing is strongly suggested. If you cannot attend, you should have someone attend on your behalf.
  6. At the public hearing, Building Inspection staff will review each variance request to the Sign Control Board. This review will include an analysis of the request.
  7. Once City staff has completed their review of the project, the applicant is given the opportunity to address the Sign Control Board about the variance. Should you require specific audio or visual equipment to make your presentation, please contact Building Inspection at 972-744-4180. Your request must be received at least two (2) business days prior to the scheduled meeting.
  8. After the applicant has completed his/her presentation, the Sign Control Board may ask questions about the proposed variance request. When this question period is completed, the Sign Control Board will open the public hearing in which surrounding property owners may comment on the request or simply ask questions about the proposal.
  9. When the public hearing is completed, the Sign Control Board will discuss the request once again, in an effort to reach a decision. The decision reached by the Sign Control Board must be reached by a positive affirmative vote of at least three (3) members of the Sign Control Board. If the request does not receive at least three (3) votes it is denied.
  10. All action on variance requests shall be submitted to the city council for review and such decisions of the board shall become final unless reversed or modified by the city council no later than at the second city council meeting following the sign control board meeting at which formal action was taken by the board. In reviewing the action of the board, or variance requests, the council shall consider the records made at the hearing before the sign control board.