City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 17C
Chapter 17C.240
Section 17C.240.060

Title 17C Land Use Standards

Chapter 17C.240 Signs

Section 17C.240.060 Exemptions

The following signs are exempt from a sign permit (unless otherwise noted). The area and number of such signs shall not be included in the area and number of signs permitted for any site or use, however, all other relevant requirements of this chapter shall apply. This shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility of its erection and maintenance and its compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any other law or ordinance.

  1. Flags. Any flags, provided that they conform to all provisions of this chapter for signs. Freestanding flagpoles require a building permit for structural review.

  2. Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings, stained glass windows, and dates of erection when cut into the surface or the facade of the building or when projecting not more than two inches.

  3. Governmental signs. Signs installed by the City, County, or a federal or State governmental agency for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare, including, but not limited to, the following: 

    1. Emergency and warning signs necessary for public safety or civil defense;

    2. Traffic and/or wayfinding signs erected and maintained by an authorized public agency;

    3. Signs required to be displayed by law;

    4. Signs showing the location of public facilities including public and private hospitals and emergency medical services; and

    5. Any sign, posting, notice, or similar sign placed by or required by a governmental agency in carrying out its responsibility to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.

  4. Signs of public utility companies indicating danger or which serve as an aid to public safety or which show the location of underground facilities. 

  5. Flush-mounted wall signs, used to identify the name and address of the occupant for each dwelling provided the sign does not exceed two square feet in sign area.

  6. Non-visible signs.  Signs not visible beyond the boundaries of the lot or parcel upon which they are located, or from any public right-of-way. Such freestanding signs require a building permit for structural review.

  7. Changes to the face or copy of changeable copy signs, digital signs, electronic messaging signs, provided such changes do not change the material or appearance of the sign as originally permitted by the City.

  8. The normal repair and maintenance, (painting, repainting, cleaning) of conforming or legal nonconforming signs that does not involve structural alteration of the sign or supporting structure.

  9. Sculptures, fountains, mosaics, murals, public art and design features which do not otherwise constitute a sign.

  10. "No trespassing," "no dumping," "no parking," "private" signs identifying essential public needs (i.e., restrooms, entrance, exit, telephone, etc.) and other informational warning signs, which shall not exceed three square feet in surface area.

  11. Publicly approved non-illuminated interpretive signs, or historical signs, or tablets displayed by a public, educational non-profit agency, or private development pursuant to SMC 17E.060.820 through SMC 17E.060.840, strictly for the purpose of informing or educating the public.

  12. Illuminated wall highlights that do not contain words, logos, or corporate images.

  13. Interior signs. Signs or displays located entirely inside of a building and located at least three (3) feet away from transparent doors and windows.

  14. Temporary signs (provided they comply with 17C.240.244, Temporary Signs).

Date Passed: Monday, January 29, 2018

Effective Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018

ORD C35577 Section 5