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Posted on: October 21, 2019

Press Release: City Council Approves Annapolis Sidewalk Sign Ordinance

Mayor Gavin Buckley

Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Media contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or

City Council Approves Annapolis Sidewalk Sign Ordinance. Rules Changed to Maintain Sidewalk Accessibility.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 17, 2019) – The Annapolis City Council passed an ordinance in late September strengthening the rules related to sidewalk signage.  Sidewalk signs are legal, with the appropriate permits, in Annapolis. The legislation also delayed the sidewalk sign permit fee until March 23, 2020.

These signs are typically used by businesses to advertise restaurant specials or call attention to merchandise in retail outlets.

The ordinance change allows the Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning, the entity that issues the permits, to revoke an existing permit should the sign create an obstruction for pedestrians or vehicular traffic, or cause a disruption to safety  or visibility (especially for drivers navigating narrow downtown streets).

The bill, sponsored by Ward One Alderwoman Eleanor Tierney and Ward Five Alderman Marc Rodriguez came about after resident complaints about sidewalk signs that create a nuisance. Prior to the passage of the bill, there was no sanction available once a sign permit was issued. This legislation corrects that by allowing Planning and Zoning to revoke a sign permit.

“We love the signs and the excitement they create,” said Alderwoman Tierney. “But as public sidewalks needing to be handicap-accessible, we needed to think about safety.  Existing businesses will be waived the one-time only fee so we’re making it as easy as possible to comply.”

All sidewalk signage guidelines remain the same in regards to applying for a permit, sign height, overall size, materials, etc. Residents and visitors who feel a sign violates the rules should contact the Department of Public Works, 410-263-3322 and give the name of the business, the address, and if possible, a photo of the violation.

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