City Code Compliance Staff Addresses Signs Not Compliant with the City Code

The City of McMinnville announces an effort to address signs that are not compliant with the city code and will start working with property and business owners after the Thanksgiving holiday to bring properties into compliance.

This is not to be confused with the discussion the city recently engaged in with the business community about large pole signs and billboards that are considered non-conforming signs, but rather all other types of signs that are not compliant with the code.

Non-conforming signs are grandfathered in because they were installed prior to the city code establishing standards about signs,and the city has established a program to be these signs into compliance with different types of permits and improvements. Non-compliant signs are signs that do not meet the sign code and installed after the code was adopted.

Some examples of non-compliant signs include multiple flag signs on a property that are inserted into the ground, temporary signs that no longer meet the definition of temporary, properties with multiple signs inserted into the ground, etc.

As voting season comes to a close, the City of McMinnville Code Compliance team will begin reaching out to property owners who have non-compliant signs on their properties. Although political signs won’t
necessarily be the only focus of the efforts, the 14-day timeline to remove political signs following the close of an election creates an opportunity to address signs as a whole. “We’ve fielded several calls regarding the sign-cluttered state of some properties around town, and it has been our goal since early spring to work our way through the various locations where non-compliant signs are present.” Code Compliance Officer Nic Miles said.

Code Compliance Officers will start by conducting in-person visits to high-volume areas to explain the sign ordinances. Once a timeline for compliance has been established, they’ll work with property owners to assure that signs are either relocated to a permitted area on the property, or removed if noncompliant.

Officers will begin conducting in-person visits during the week of November 26-30, and work to have themajority of the sign sweep completed by the end of 2018.The staff say they would rather not point out specific properties in this article before having the chance to visit them in person to explain the code.

“Our sign ordinances exist for a number of reasons,” said Planning Director Heather Richards. “Sign ordinances establish guidelines and procedures designed to enhance the health, safety and visual environment of the community while still permitting adequate visual communication through the use of signage.”

Code Compliance staff recognize that these ordinances may come as a surprise to many – especially those who have had their signage up for months, even years, and are prepared work with property and
business owners on mutually beneficial solutions.

“Our goal is to help folks understand the language of the code so they can prosper as well as maintainthe attractiveness of our community,” Miles said.

For more information or questions about sign ordinances or to contact the City of McMinnville’s Code Compliance staff, please call 503-434-7305 or visit

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