Sign Ordinance

The City of Detroit is developing a new sign code accompanied by a clear, user friendly visual guide, supported by our consultant, Interboro Partners.  We are evaluating national best practices which can be leveraged by the internal, cross-departmental working group, led by the Planning & Development Department (PDD), to develop the City's new sign ordinance. We are integrating regulations for both on and off-premises business signs into the zoning ordinance for ease of use.  We are updating the ordinance to better address new technologies and new developments, such as the proposed Entertainment District.

In order to promote clear understanding and straightforward enforcement of the new ordinance, Interboro Partners will develop easy to use visual guides to support both business owners and advertisers in designing signs, as well as the City’s inspectors charged with enforcing the new ordinance.  It is anticipated that the ordinance will be presented to the City Planning Commission for consideration in April. 

The goals for this work are:

  1. The new ordinance should be clear and easy to use for everyone—including City staff, business owners, and residents.
  2. The new ordinance should be easy to enforce. Enforcement efforts must be well-supported and well-coordinated across the entire city.
  3. The new ordinance should protect and encourage the unique signage practices and visual character that help make Detroit special.
  4. The new ordinance should help catalyze the City’s broader planning and development goals- like better streets, better business climate, better safety and better image.
  5. The new ordinance should promote practices that are in the public interest. It should consider diverse groups across Detroit, from businesses and developers to residents and visitors.

Project Lead: