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HansonSigns

Sign Permits with Landscaping

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So our local county is forcing us to provide landscaping for monument signs - can't do just grass, there hasto be "shrubs and evergreen ground cover".  They are insisting that this be done before the final inspection is requested, if it's not done they will charge an additional inspection fee.

 

Has anyone else run into this?  What did you do to comply?

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Never have run into it but there seems like a obvious answer. Dig out your rakes and shovels or find a sub and make it another line item on your bill or have the customer take care of it

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Years ago when I had a full service sign co. I did a sign for a city that was a welcome to....  I had to get sign permits but the public works dept was going to install the sign.  I had to go before a sign/design review board. I only provided eng and shop drawings. They rejected it even though the city was going to install and do the planting.  I laughed at them and said fine and to the cities purchasing dept they can handle it from here and will deliver the sign in a few weeks.

 

Government at its finest 

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Just another cost for the customer - and where there's landscaping, there has to be water, even in the Pacific NW.  Plants die in the summer with out it.  I don't object to the landscaping, I object that it's the responsibility of the sign company to do it.  Should be part of the occupancy permit.  (and if the customer doesn't get an occupancy permit, we can't get the sign permit issued).

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Many towns now require landscaping and irrigation plans from a landscape architect  (specifically for the monument sign) along with the plans for the monument sign before zoning will approve sign.  Nobody said sign company has to pay for it, that is part of the conditions portion of your contract where you point out the extras they will need to pay for additionally like the City Fees for review and inspections. 

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I've run into this before but it's been years.

 

Never directly with the city but under circumstances where I'm in front of a neighborhood review design committee, you know.....where you're seeking an approval before you go to the city and you sit in front of a bunch of @s$hole long-haired hippies who have an opinion about everything other than your project and they just like to hear themselves talk. 

 

:P:focus:

 

The pride swallowing situations we find ourselves just for an approval

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There are several Cities around here that require landscaping with monuments. The problem, of course, is that we aren't landscapers and have no interest in discussing different types of plants and arrangements with our customers. So, we leave the landscaping up to them.

 

But then the City holds our permit hostage, and ultimately our license, until the customer gets their landscapers to do the work. But, since they alrady have their sign, they aren't very motivated to pay that landscaper just because we tell them they need to.

 

Same problem with electrical. The City holds our license hostage  until the Electrician finals out their part of the job, and there's nothing we can do about it.

 

I don't really have a solution other than subcontracting the landscaping and electrical, which is a hornets nest of problems. Either that or just don't bother getting a permit in the first place (which is what an increasingly large number of sign companies are doing).

 

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4 hours ago, jamesw001 said:

I don't really have a solution other than subcontracting the landscaping and electrical, which is a hornets nest of problems. Either that or just don't bother getting a permit in the first place (which is what an increasingly large number of sign companies are doing).

 

Or don't sell monument signs if it seems like a hassle.

 

Installing them without permits simply sounds like you don't give a damn except for making money off the customer.  He can just buy another one when he gets popped for the illegal one.

 

The reason they apply the pressure on the sign company is because if it weren't for the Sign and you making a profit on it,  the other two  (landscaping and electric circuit to the spot) wouldn't be needed.   If customer can't afford the landscape architect, bushes, irrigation and electric line then he has high hopes for a broke ass budget.  I know, but you still want your sign money.  

 

The increasingly large number of sign companies line..... just sounds like a "lemming" story or fake news born from sign builders who don't care about the pesky issues of getting sign permits for proper installs.  

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2 hours ago, Mad Scientist said:

 

Or don't sell monument signs if it seems like a hassle.

 

Installing them without permits simply sounds like you don't give a damn except for making money off the customer.  He can just buy another one when he gets popped for the illegal one.

 

The reason they apply the pressure on the sign company is because if it weren't for the Sign and you making a profit on it,  the other two  (landscaping and electric circuit to the spot) wouldn't be needed.   If customer can't afford the landscape architect, bushes, irrigation and electric line then he has high hopes for a broke ass budget.  I know, but you still want your sign money.  

 

The increasingly large number of sign companies line..... just sounds like a "lemming" story or fake news born from sign builders who don't care about the pesky issues of getting sign permits for proper installs.  

 

I agree with you about companies that install signs without a permit. They are just hoping the check clears before the City notices it ... then they can start blocking the customer's calls.

 

It happens.

 

The City of Dallas Chief Building Official was talking to me about four weeks ago about a company that installed a big LED sign right off the highway without getting a permit. The City has restricted LED signs quite a bit (in a ridiculous manner, if you ask me) and this LED sign was not legal under the current ordinance. He wanted my opinion on what it would take to pull the sign down.

 

I came across another one on the southern part of the City where we needed to change a face on the sign and I was shocked that they were ever allowed to install the sign so close to the property line. So I pulled an Open Records request (it's easy to do in Dallas) and found they never did pull a permit.

 

Yet another time, in Arlington, I was called out to service a neon sign (this was a few years ago) and when I got there everything was exposed, no conduit, etc. Well, Arlington does on-site inspections so I called the Inspector (great guy, we've dealt with him for years and he's always been incredibly helpful) and asked him how this managed to pass inspection. He told me they never got a permit in the first place. 

 

 

The part that bothers me the most is if that customer came to me asking for a sign I wouldn't get the order because I know I can't permit it. The dishonest guy gets the order but the customer ultimately pays the price.

 

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One way to look at it is that you are not as hard up as the illegal sign co. and you are doing the owner a favor by pointing out what it takes to do it the right way.  If I were the owner I can get over the bad news but am not left holding the illegal bag so to speak.

Additionally  the customer who has the $$$ to do it the right way is the customer you are looking for.  I don't need the cheapskate and his friends calling me for free consultations because the bottom line is cheap or free. 

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