Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is a temporary sign?

    A: Temporary signs alert people to information about short-term activities or issues such as garage sales, open houses, grand openings, events, or causes.

  • Q: Do I need a permit for a temporary sign?

    A: No

  • Q: Why are temporary signs regulated?   

    A: The City of Salina allows promotion of certain events and activities, while maintaining the safety and aesthetics of the community and public streets. Improperly placed signs may create safety hazards, distract drivers, and become litter when abandoned.

  • Q: Who is affected?   

    A: Sign regulations affect all citizens in Salina. 

  • Q: Is this a new ordinance?   

    A: No, a temporary sign ordinance was already in place. However, on June 18, 2015 the US Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, which imposed new standards under the First Amendment to the US Constitution with respect to determining the content-neutrality of municipal sign regulations. This decision prompted the Governing Body to amend Chapter 42 of the Salina Code in order to ensure compliance with the First Amendment and to update and clarify sign regulation and enforcement generally within the City.

  • Q: Are the new standards less or more restrictive than before ?

    A: The new standards are less restrictive. This ordinance adds a message of substitution provision to the Salina Code, allowing any sign permitted under the provisions Chapter 42 of the Salina Code to display, or be substituted with, any noncommercial message, so that the City’s regulations satisfy the constitutional mandate that it not restrict noncommercial signage to a greater degree than commercial signage.

  • Q: Which regulations and standards must signs conform to?

    A: All signs must conform to the regulations and design standards of the building code of the city and all wiring of all electrical signs must conform to the electrical code of the city.

  • Q: Where can I find the City ordinance?

    A: The ordinance can be found online in municipal code chapter 42-501-509.

  • Q: Can I place a sign on someone else's property?   

    A:  With the owner’s permission, yes. With the owner’s permission, yes.

  • Q: I noticed there are size restrictions. What is considered when determining the gross surface area?

    A: The gross surface area of a sign shall be the sum of all surface areas of all sign faces, except that for signs designed as double faced signs, with both faces parallel and the distance between the faces does not exceed two feet, then only one face of the sign shall be considered in determining the gross surface area. When two or more signs are located on a zoning lot, the gross surface area of all signs on the lot shall not exceed the maximum allowable for the district regulations. For computing the area of any wall sign which consists of letters, numbers and symbols mounted or painted on a wall, the area shall be deemed to be the area of the smallest rectangular figure which can encompass all of the letters, numbers or symbols.

  • Q: How is the height of a sign measured?

    A: Sign height shall be measured from ground level at the base of or below the sign to the highest element of the sign.

  • Q: What is the height limit for signs?

    A: Temporary signs are limited to six ft. in height or eight sq. ft. of sign area .

  • Q: Can I place a sign on the sidewalk, or in the right-of-way?

    A: Signs may not be placed on sidewalks or in right-of ways.

  • Q: If I do not have a sidewalk, where can I place a sign?

    A: If no sidewalk is present, sighs should be placed a minimum of 10 ft. back from the curb.

  • Q: What is the Right-of-Way (ROW)?

    A: Generally, the area between the sidewalk and the street is public right-of-way. Corner lots have right-of-way along both sides of the corner. Although right-of-way is public property, the adjoining property owner has a legal duty to maintain it.

  • Q: What are the consequences of improperly placing a sign in the ROW?   

    A: Without notice, signs may be confiscated and taken to Sign Jail, which is located at the Carver Center, 315 N. 2nd Street. The sign will be held for a period of three business days. If it is sign is not picked up by the owner, it will be disposed of by City staff.

  • Q: What if I improperly placed the sign in the ROW by accident?   

    A: Whether an individual realizes they are placing a sign in the ROW or not, under no circumstances is it permitted and must be removed as soon as possible.

  • Q: Can I attach a sign to a utility pole or tree?

    A: No sign shall be attached to a tree or utility pole whether on public or private property.

  • Q: How far away from electric wires should signs be placed?

    A: No metal sign shall be located within eight feet vertically and four feet horizontally of electric wires or conductors in free air carrying more than 48 volts, whether or not such wires or conductors are insulated or otherwise protected.

  • Q: Can signs be placed near traffic signs?

    A: No sign shall be maintained at any location where by reason of its position, size, shape or color it may obstruct, impair, obscure, interfere with the view of, or be confused with any traffic-control sign, signal or device, or where it may interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.

  • Q: How many signs can I place in proper locations?

    A:Two temporary signs can be placed per lot, and an additional four signs can be placed per lot 45 days prior to a federal, state or local election or ballot issue that represents the district in which the property is located.

  • Q: How do I report improperly placed signs?

    A: Reports can be made online, by phone at (785) 309-5715, or in person at 300 W. Ash Street, Room 205.

  • Q: What happens once a report about improperly placed signs is made?

    A: City staff will attempt to contact the owner or organization responsible for the sign to advise them of the regulations and to remove the sign.

  • Q: Who enforces sign regulations?   

    A: The Community and Development Services Department enforces sign regulations. Questions, comments or concerns can be made by calling (785) 309-5715.