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Permit Packaging in SoCal

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Sign Permit Packaging

By May 22nd, 2011, under

OK…today I am going to go over sign permit packaging in Southern California. For the most part, most cities require 3 sets of plans. There are exceptions, so it would be smart to call prior to making a long trip. I am going to touch on the basics that should be included in all of your packages.

First of all, the site plan (or plot plan) should be clear in scope and show the locations of the proposed signs. Sign Companies of late have been taking advantage of Google Earth when “knocking out” a plot plan. A lot of cities will accept this, however, some cities like Los Angeles will not.The sit plan should show a plan view (bird’s eye) of the property with the tenant space clearly indicated and dimensioned. If your plans include a ground sign, it is a good idea to show the property line and a setback (perhaps in a blow up detail) of your proposed sign in relation to the PL. That is easier to show in a line drawing. Most cities will require some sort of visability justification of your ground sign is in close proximity to a driveway. Check with Planning or Public works to find out what the city’s requirements are. D.B.S provides a service of drawing site plans if your art department is backed up and you are in a hurry. The site plan should also include the address of the property.

City codes usually are based on the tenant space frontage in regards to determining the allowable size of wall signs and the property line dimension when calculating the allowable size for ground signs.

Second, your plans need to include elevation drawings of all of the signs the you are proposing. Most citys are accepting photo simulations showing the signs (to scale when at all possible). You can add the lease space frontage on the elevation if you like. The fascia dimension and the height of the sign from grade is also nice to have (and required in some citys). It is always a good idea to have who ever is doing your survey to get these dimensions while they are there taking pictures so you won’t have to waste another trip in case the city requires these items of information on the plans.

Third, you wll need a sheet that shows all of the specs for your signs. This should include colors, materials, method of lighting, and attachment details. Some sign companies have pre designed attachment details that cover a wide range of optional situations (wood framing, stucco, masonary, etc.) . Items that most plan checkers are looking for in Building are disconnect switch, UL listing, the type, size and number of fasteners that will attach the sign to the wall, and,of course, footing details for ground signs (even small directionals). Larger monument signs , pole signs or projecting signs usually require stamped calculations by a Civil Engineer.

Last of all, more and more citys are starting to ask for title 24 sheets for electrical signs (SLTG-1c)

There you have it! I have found that the more complete your plans are and the more professional your plans look, the more likley they are to sail through plan checks and get the benefit of the doubt when there is any. I also would like to stress that the easier the plans are to determine the scope of the project, the better. If a plan checker has to work or think too hard to figure out what you are doing, the chances are you will get corrections. It is nice to have the proposed signs labeled on the site plan (Sign 1, Sign 2, or A,B,C, etc.) and have the same designation on the elevations. I always say that if a 15 year old kid can’t understand it – SIMPLIFY!

I hope this helps.

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