Sign Ordinance Text Amendment


As part of the City’s ongoing Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) project, the Charlotte City Council adopted changes to the Sign Ordinance. Approved and effective as of October 21, 2019, the changes to the Sign Ordinance are comprehensive and far-reaching. So, what’s been approved?

  1. Content-neutral standards – New regulations are based on sign type and physical characteristics
  2. New sign types – For example, A-frame, roof and skyline signs
  3. Consistent & uniform standards – Regulations in and across zoning districts are more similar
  4. Standards are easier to use & understand – More illustrative graphics are included in the ordinance language
  5. Substantial elimination of the scattershot of sign regulations throughout the Zoning Ordinance – Brings sign regulations into one location in the Zoning Ordinance

NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES were adopted for Outdoor Advertising (i.e. billboard) signs.

High-Level Overview of New Regulations

Sign Ordinance Text Amendment

New Sign Regulations – ADOPTED & EFFECTIVE October 21, 2019*
*Scrivener’s errors corrected January 29, 2020


WHY CHANGE THE SIGN REGULATIONS? Charlotte’s sign regulations had remained largely unchanged since they were adopted in 1992. The city’s rapid growth, changes in the sign and advertising industries, and recent court rulings warranted an update of these standards.

WHAT HAS CHANGED? The new sign regulations are based on sign types and physical characteristics, not the content/message of the sign. New sign types (e.g. A-frame, rooftop, and skyline signs) are now allowed in some places. New standards for size, materials, location, lighting, portability, and quantity of signs are also included.

WHAT HAS NOT CHANGED? No significant changes were made for Outdoor Advertising signs (i.e. billboards).

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE ADOPTED CHANGES? The amendment to the sign regulations is part of the ongoing Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) project. Eventually, the new sign regulations will be incorporated into the UDO. The new sign regulations provide consistency and uniformity in standards, are easier to use and understand, contain more graphics and illustrations for greater clarity, and bring all of the scattered sign regulations in the current Zoning Ordinance into one location.