Sign Code

Project Status

The Olympia Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the proposed sign code and related code amendments Monday, November 5, 2018. After completing its deliberations, the Commission is recommending the City Council approve the proposed code amendments. The Land Use and Environment Committee recommended minor changes reflected in the DRAFT Sign Code, below. The revision includes keeping the current “hold time” for signs that have an electronic message. The City Council considered the proposed changes at its meeting on January 22, 2019.  The Council voted unanimously to approve the Sign Code Update revisions.  The second reading is anticipated to occur on February 5, 2019.  If the second reading is approved, the new Sign Code will go into effect approximately one week thereafter.

Illustration of a City street with buildings, pedestrians and various sign types

Sign Code Update

The City is updating its Sign Code because the existing code can be confusing for businesses and the public, and is challenging to administer for city staff. The updated sign code will be streamlined and simplified to increase clarity.

The update will address recent court cases and changes in the sign industry over the last several years, including newer types of signs that are becoming more common.

Work to update the Sign Code began in September 2016 and is expected to conclude in 2018. The planning process incorporates input from residents, businesses, and stakeholders. Several public meetings have already taken place and more will be scheduled. For a summary of past meetings, click "Public Process, Meetings & Materials" below.

Explanation of Primary Updates

The updated sign code will contain a variety of changes from the existing code. We have provided detailed explanations of the 5 topics that may be of the most interest below. Click each for details.


Contact Joyce Phillips at 360.570.3722 or