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Planning & Development

Sign Permits

You will need to obtain a zoning permit prior to the erection, replacement, or reconstruction of a sign.

In order to apply for a zoning permit for a sign, you will need to submit a number of required materials with the completed application form. Please use the tabs for more information on zoning permit applications for signs.

Once a zoning permit has been issued, you may begin work. Dane County Zoning will conduct inspections on the property to verify that the sign is constructed in accordance with the zoning permit.

A location survey may be required if any proposed sign is to be located within 10 feet of a required setback.

Zoning staff will issue a certificate of compliance if your project meets all applicable ordinance provisions after the post-construction inspection.

Your project may also require local permits. Please check with your Town Clerk for any local permit requirements.

A zoning permit for a sign may be obtained by either coming into our office directly or by mailing in all
appropriate information and fees to:
Dane County Planning and Development
Zoning Division
210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd RM 116,
Madison, WI 53703.

Please call our office at (608) 266-4266 or contact us by e-mail with any questions.

Required materials to be submitted with zoning permit applications for signs:
  • Completed zoning permit application for a sign.
  • Site plan. The locations of all buildings and structures on the lot shall be provided. The locations of all existing and proposed signs shall be provided. Distance of the proposed sign to property lines shall be provided. Dimensions of property lines shall be provided. Site plan shall be drawn to scale using an Architect’s scale(i.e. 1/8”=1’0”) or Engineer’s scale (i.e. 1”=10’).
  • Detailed drawings. Drawings of all proposed and existing signs shall show the design, layout, and dimensions of the signs. Total copy area of all proposed and existing signs shall be provided. All drawings shall be to scale using an Architect’s scale (i.e. 1/8”=1’0”) or Engineer’s scale (i.e. 1”=10’).
  • Elevation plans. Height of all proposed and existing signs shall be shown from finished grade. Any proposed landscaping shall be shown. If a sign is proposed to be on a wall, then the entire wall that such sign will be attached to must be depicted showing the location of all proposed and existing signs on said walls. Elevation plan shall be drawn to scale using an Architect’s scale (i.e. 1/8”=1’0”) or Engineer’s scale (i.e. 1”=10’).
  • For illuminated signs, the method of illumination shall be provided. The number and type of lamps and luminaires shall be provided.
  • All other information deemed pertinent by the Zoning Administrator or designee thereof shall be provided.
Computation of Copy Area and Height:

 

  • Copy area. The copy area of signs which have a face, border or trim shall consist of the entire surface area of the sign on which copy could be placed. Copy area of a sign whose message is applied to a background which provides no face, border or trim shall be the area of the smallest rectangle which can encompass emblems and other elements of the sign message.
  • Height. The height for ground and pylon signs shall be measured from ground level at the base of the sign to the top edge of the sign. The height for billboard signs shall be measured from the elevation of the centerline of the adjacent road to the top of the sign. The height for wall signs shall be measured from the base of the building below the sign to the top of the sign face.
Zoning Permit Fees for Signs:
  • On-Premise Advertising/Subdivision     $100
  • Limited Family Business/Home Occupation    $50
  • Billboards     $500 each face