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Sign Ordinance

The City of Pacifica's sign ordinance requires issuance of a sign permit for all new permanent signs. New businesses are particularly affected by the ordinance because all new signs are subject to the regulations.

All new permanent signs are required to receive an administrative sign permit from the Pacifica Planning Department. Temporary advertising signs are allowed without a sign permit provided that they are installed on the interior side of a window only. For more information on the permitted sign area for both permanent and temporary signs, please refer to the sign ordinance or speak to a city planner.

Specific regulations apply to businesses that are located in a multi-unit development (defined as a building or group of buildings comprising two or more businesses that are planned, developed or owned and managed as a unit). In an effort to achieve uniform and consistent signage for multi-unit developments, the city requires preparation of a master sign program for the entire complex when a new sign is proposed. The owner of the multi-unit development of the person proposing the new business would be responsible for developing the sign program and for installing the approved sign for the new business. As other businesses in the multi-unit development change or as existing signs meet the criteria contained in the "Nonconforming Signs" section of the ordinance, they will be required to be brought into conformance with the master sign program.

Finally, it should be noted that banners, pennants and other similar temporary signage placed on the exterior of a building are generally prohibited, although they may be permitted at the opening of a new business or for special events with prior approval of the planning director. In such case, the banners or pennants may be displayed only for 30 days.

Please visit the planning department at 1800 Francisco Boulevard or call 650-738-7341 to apply for a sign permit or to get more information about the sign ordinance.