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Posted on: February 14, 2020

Press Release: Sidewalk Sign Fee Waiver Deadline is March 23

Mayor Gavin Buckley

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

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

Sidewalk Sign Fee Waiver Deadline Approaches
City reminds business owners that all sidewalk signage requires a permit. 
 Fees apply after March 23.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 12, 2020) – The Annapolis City Council passed a sidewalk sign ordinance in late September authorizing sidewalk signs. Sidewalk signs are typically used by businesses to advertise restaurant specials or call attention to merchandise in retail outlets. This legislation ensures that signs are placed in a way that does not impede pedestrian traffic or ADA access. The goal of the legislation is to make City walkways safe, open, and accessible to all.

Prior to this legislation, sidewalk signs were not permitted in City Code. They may now be placed in the public right-of-way with certain standards. Sidewalk signs must be placed on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the permit holders’ building. They shall not be permanently affixed or anchored to the sidewalk or attached to structures; they must be removed when the business is closed and from dusk to dawn; they are limited to one sign per business or tenant; and they shall be no more than 7 square feet per face and no more than 4.5 feet high.

All such signage in front of a business in the City of Annapolis requires a permit. Even if the sign is not sitting on a public right-of-way or sidewalk, if there is a sign out front, it needs a permit.

In order to enforce these standards, all sidewalk signs now require a sign permit. At the time of passage, City Council agreed to waive related permit and application fees for six months. The deadline for this waiver is March 23, 2020.  

After March 23, the cost of the sign permit is $60. Businesses located in the Historic District will additionally need to submit a Historic Preservation Commission Administrative Approval Application for Certificate of Approval. This process requires an additional fee of $35.

Please note that sidewalk signs placed within the right-of-way also require an indemnity bond. The bond form is attached to the sidewalk sign application, which can be obtained from the Department of Planning and Zoning. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 410-260-2200. 

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