Sign Ordinance

Signs are an important and necessary means of communication.  When properly regulated, signs can serve as a great economic and aesthetic asset.  The City’s Sign Regulations are consistent with land development patterns.  Signs are to be well maintained and they must not create a traffic safety hazard. 

All signs, even temporary banners, within the City require a permit before installation.  Application for permits are filed with the Planning Department. Applications should include a site plan showing location of the sign, setbacks from the property lines, renderings of the proposed sign showing dimensions and construction materials, the square footage and location of existing signs on the property, a description of the structural members the sign will be attached to, and electrical wiring components (if applicable). After review of the sign permit application, the applicant will be required to pay a permit fee in accordance with the City’s established fee schedule. An additional fee will be added to the permitting fee for work completed without obtaining a permit prior to installation. The City requires the installation of all signs be completed by a Sign Contractor.  The Sign Contractor must bonded and have all local and state licenses.

Allowable signage is calculated differently depending on the Zoning District in which the sign will be displayed.  Please note many streets within the City are subject to special sign regulations, designated as Sign Overlay Districts.  The purpose of Sign Overlay Districts is to improve the appearance of the major corridors of the City by reducing visual clutter caused by freestanding signs and to provide for controlled implementation of electronic changeable copy signs. Please contact the Planning Department at 501.975.8835 to determine if special sign regulations apply to your location.


Variance and Appeals of the North Little Rock Sign Regulations

The Board of Zoning Adjustment reviews administrative decisions and variance requests regarding the City’s Sign Ordinance, which would result in an unnecessary hardship.  A variance application is not guaranteed approval, and the request must meet the City of North Little Rock requirements to be granted.  A variance allows the Board to modify an otherwise legitimate restriction when, due to unusual conditions, the restriction may be more burdensome than was intended.  The variance must not impair the public purpose of the Sign Regulations. 

For the Board to grant a variance on the grounds of unnecessary hardship there must be proof that a particular property suffers a disadvantage through the enforcement of the sign regulations.  An owner is not entitled to relief from a self-created or self-inflicted hardship.  A claim of unnecessary hardship cannot be based on conditions created by the owner nor can one who purchases property after enactment of a sign regulation complain that the nonconformity would create a hardship on them.  When deciding whether to grant or deny a variance, the Board is not free to make whatever determination appeals to its sense of justice.  Rather, the Board must apply the standards prescribed by the sign regulations when making findings of fact, with regard to a variance request from the sign regulations.       

For information regarding variance or appeal processes and for guidance in determining the application filing date, please contact the Planning Department at 501.975.8835. 

The sign ordinance can be viewed by clicking here. 

Please contact the City Planning Staff for complete details about the Sign Ordinance.