City of Fairhope Sign FAQ
1. What is the sign jurisdiction for the City of Fairhope Sign Ordinance? The sign jurisdiction in the City of Fairhope is the Police Jurisdiction.
The City of Fairhope has a “Map Viewer” on line for your convenience:
2. Where can I find a copy of the City of Fairhope Sign Ordinance?
City of Fairhope website www.fairhopeal.gov/home/showdocument?id=7002
3. Do signs in the Fairhope Police Jurisdiction require a permit? Some signs do require a permit from the City of Fairhope:
a. Permanent signs: building/wall signs and free-standing signs, including copy change, require a sign permit prior to placement. Minimum permit fee is $25.
b. A-frame/sandwich board signs require a no-cost a-frame permit and may require insurance verification if within the CBD and the a-frame will be used within the right of way/sidewalk. 3’ ADA compliance is required.
c. Banners require a no-cost banner permit. Other “temporary” signs such as political signage, yard sale signs, and real estate signs do not require a permit but must adhere to procedures outlined in the City of Fairhope Sign Ordinance.
d. Temporary signs such as political, yard sale, estate sale and real estate signs do not require a permit. Banners do require a no-cost permit as stated above.
4. How do I apply for a sign permit? Submit a sign permit application for review to the Planning and Zoning Department. After zoning review and upon zoning approval, the Building Dept. will conduct a structural review (for permanent signs) and issue a permit accordingly. To obtain a sign permit application, contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 251 990-2877 or visit the City website: www.fairhopeal.gov/departments/planning-and-zoning/publications-and-forms
Permits are not required for temporary signs such as yard sale signs, estate sale signs, political signs and real estate signs.
5. What are the rules for temporary signs such as yard sale signs, estate sale signs, political signs or real estate signs? Signs must be placed on private property and only on the property represented by the advertisement. With a few exceptions (see #12), signs are not allowed on the right of way. Refer to the City of Fairhope Sign Ordinance for size restrictions and quantity restrictions.
6. Can signs be placed at intersections, on public right of ways, and/or off site? Signs cannot be placed on public property or right of ways. Even yard sale, estate sale and real estate signs must be placed only on the property represented and therefore behind all public infrastructure (such as sidewalks, power poles, ditches, flower beds, etc.). For exceptions, see #12.
7. How can I differentiate between the right of way and private property? Generally speaking, private property will be located behind public infrastructure. The area between the sidewalk and the road, for example, is the right of way. If you place your sign on the property represented behind sidewalks and power poles/power lines, this usually represents placement on private property and out of the right of way.
8. What happens to signs placed on public property and right of way? Unless the event signage has been pre-approved by the Mayor or City Council for placement in the right of way, signs within public right of ways are subject to immediate removal by City staff. This includes placement after hours and on weekends.
9. What happens to signs removed by City Staff? Signs removed by City staff are placed in a discard pile at Public Works (555 South Section Street) and are usually available for reclamation on the next business day. Public Works is open 7 – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 – 3 p.m. on Saturday.
10. What is the City of Fairhope’s enforcement procedure for illegal signs, including signs placed within the right of way? One or more of these actions may occur: City staff (usually Planning and Zoning Department) may remove the sign from the right of way and place it in the discard pile at Public Works; City staff may issue a warning, verbal or written; City staff may issue a citation or Municipal Offense Ticket for repeat offenders.
11. How can I advertise my listing or my event without sign placement in the right of way?
a. Place signage on the property it represents (for yard sales, estate sales and real estate signs). b. Use social media to advertise events.
c. Non-profit events are welcome to submit “pole banners” to the City of Fairhope for placement on utility poles around town. Up to three pole banners may be submitted for placement two weeks prior to the event. To request a copy of the City of Fairhope Pole Banner policy and guidelines contact the Planning and Zoning Department or visit the City website:
12. Are any signs allowed on the City right of way? Yes, there are a few exceptions. See below:
a. A-frames are allowed on the right of way in the Central Business District of Fairhope with a pre-approved a-frame permit.
b. Pole banners may be submitted for placement at intersections on utility poles. Pole banners are provided by the event organizer and installed by the City of Fairhope Electric Department. Pole banners are only an option for non-profit events and must be pre-approved by City staff.
c. Some events (such as races and festivals) may require sign placement on the right of way for public safety, community awareness or regulatory reasons. This must be pre-approved by the Mayor or City Council.
13. Who do I contact with questions or for permitting of signs in Fairhope? City of Fairhope Planning and Zoning Department, Kim Burmeister, Code Enforcement Officer, (251) 990-2877. [email protected]
Thank you for adhering to the rules and regulations listed in the City of Fairhope Sign Ordinance. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.