Yes, in Lacombe County a development permit is required for the placement of a sign on your property. No sign shall be placed on land or affixed to the exterior surface of a building or structure unless an application for the purpose of a business has been approved by the Development Officer and a development permit has been issued. Signs are permitted uses in all Districts of the County’s Land Use Bylaw, subject to the relevant regulations. A development permit for a sign may be issued subject to conditions as to its location, size and the time it may remain on the site. Furthermore, a development permit is required from the County to structurally alter a sign.
What are types of signs allowed in Lacombe County?
In accordance with Part 6.22 of the County’s Land Use Bylaw No. 1056/07, there are several types of signs allowed including, functional signs, identification signs, directional signs, warning signs, election signs, and other temporary signs. The Development Officer may require the removal or renovation of any sign that is not kept in a safe, clean and tidy condition.
Where can signs be located?
No sign other than traffic and directional signs authorized by the County, or an election sign permitted under the regulations shall be placed in the right-of-way of a County main road or road without the prior approval of the Development Officer. Signs shall not obstruct the view of or be liable to be confused with any traffic sign or signal, or otherwise pose a potential hazard to traffic. All signs must receive prior approval from Alberta Transportation to be placed within 304.80 m (1,000 feet) of a highway, or 0.80 km (0.50 miles) of a highway intersection.
Are there any exemptions for requiring a development permit for a sign and what are the restrictions?
The following signs may be placed on land or affixed to the exterior surface of a building or structure without a development permit provided that such signs are not illuminated:
Functional Signs - These are signs which are needed by public bodies, such as local authorities and utility companies, to give information or directions about the services they provide. There are no restrictions for the placement of a functional sign.
Identification Signs - Signs advertising a business or trade, they may relate to religious, educations, cultural, recreational, medical or similar institutions, or are signs displayed at the farm or other residential sites as means of property identification will be permitted. These signs must not exceed 2.97 m2 (32 feet2) in area, and only one sign may be placed on the premises occupied by the business, trade or institution. Only one identification or directional signs in total of all signs shall be permitted without the approval from the Development Officer on a parcel of 32.38 ha (80 acres) or more.
At the intersection of two rights-of-way (other than lanes), permission from the Development officer is required for a sign to be displayed within the area defined by the corner sight triangles as shown in the illustration below:
Directional Signs – These signs provide direction to a business trade or institution, and must not exceed 1.40m2 (16 feet2) in area and are limited to parcels of 32.38 ha (80 acres) or more where only one identification or directional sign in total of all signs shall be permitted without approval from the Development Officer. Once again, at the intersection of two rights-of-way (other than lanes), permission from the Development Officer is required for a sign to be displayed within the area defined by the corner sight triangles as shown in the illustration above.
Warning Signs – Are signs to be displayed on land or buildings for the guidance, warning or restraint of persons, and these signs must not exceed 0.37 m2 (4 feet2) in area and are limited to one sign per parcel.
Elections Signs – Related to a federal, provincial or local authority election, and there are no size limits, unless the sign is to be place in a County main road or road right-of-way in which case the sign must not exceed 1.86 m2 (20 feet2). All election signs shall adhere to the County’s Guidelines for the Placement and Installation of Election Signs.
Other Temporary Signs – These signs may advertise land or a building for sale or lease, announce the sale of goods or livestock on land or property which is not normally used for commercial purposes, relate to buildings or other construction work in progress, signs intended to advertise a local even for religious, educational, cultural, social or recreational purposes, and for the demonstration of agricultural methods and processes. These signs must not exceed 1.86 m2 (20 feet2) and shall be removed by the advertiser within seven (7) days after completion of the sale, event or work to which the sign relates.
Signs located within the Highways and County Main Roads Overlay District.
All signs located within the area of the County’s Land Use Bylaw Highways and County Main Roads Overlay District has their own requirements. Billboards advertising developments or services off-site are not permitted within the Overlay District. Where more than one business occupies a building, additional signage shall be located in accordance with a comprehensive signage package prepared for the building, and submitted as part of the required landscape plan. Only one freestanding sign per lot may be allowed, and the sign shall not exceed 9.14 m (30 feet) in height with no dimension exceeding 4.42 m (14.5 feet). Illuminated freestanding signs shall not exceed 7.62 m (25 feet) in height. Moving or animated signs and electronic message boards that may distract highway users are not permitted within the Overlay District.
Where buildings abut the highway corridor, signs facing and visible from that corridor may be considered by the Development Authority if they comply with the following principles:
(1) one illuminated business logo sign per visible façade. The maximum dimension of such sign shall not exceed 3.05 metres (10 feet) in vertical and horizontal direction, parallel to the façade of the building, nor exceed a depth of 0.30 metres (1 feet);
(2) one illuminated business name per visible façade shall not exceed 15% of the area of the façade of the building or business premises, whichever governs and shall in no case exceed 40.04 m2 (431 feet2) less the area of any logo referred to in subsection (a); and
(3) to discourage the use of building facades as billboards, a business sign exceeding an area of 10.03 m2 (108 feet2) and 1.52 metres (5 feet) in height, shall be limited to individual letters or shapes.
If you require more information, please contact the County’s Planning & Development Department. Department staff would be happy to meet with you to discuss the process and the type of information that would be required for your specific situation, and if your proposal may be subject to the requirements of the County’s Overlay District. For more information or to set up a meeting with Department staff, please contact the Planning and Development Department at 403-782-6601.