City of Shawnee

2021 Sign Code Update

The purpose of the Sign Code is to create a comprehensive and balanced system to regulate signs of all types. Shawnee’s current Sign Code needed updating to addresses key Federal and State regulatory issues related to signs, protect free speech, be more user-friendly, incorporate best practices, and to ensure consistency with the City’s long-range plans, policies and the City’s Zoning Regulations.

Overall the changes make the Sign Code more:

  • business-friendly by providing sign flexibilities,
  • reduces some restrictions,
  • Improves overall readability, and
  • Updates policies and procedures.
Process and Timeline

City staff has been working with our consultant team since December 2020 on the Sign Code update, and now are in the final stages of the Sign Code draft review and approval process. City staff from the Community Development Planning Division and Codes Enforcement Division, City Prosecutor, and Legal Services conducted a code analysis including review of what was and was not working, most frequent complaints from businesses, sign contractors, and other external users of the code, a summary of the annual number and type of sign variance requests, sign technology advancements and user trends, and regulation best practices.

The following is the proposed public review and adoption timeline:

  • Planning Commission Workshop Discussion & Public Hearing Authorization: October 18, 2021
  • Planning Commission Text Amendment Public Hearing: November 15, 2021
  • City Council Committee discussion: December 13, 2021
  • City Council consideration: January 10, 2022
  • Sign Code effective: January 1, 2022
The timeline has been modified slightly to allow for review and consideration for approval by the City's new councilmembers (terms beginning on December 13, 2021).
What’s Not Changing?

A key consideration when drafting the new code was to ensure that the new regulations did not create new non-conforming signs in Shawnee, which would put hardships on property owners, businesses, and tenants, and incurring administrative burdens. Most of the sign types, size, number, location, design, and illumination allowances currently in the Sign Code are the same in the proposed Sign Code.

The following is a summary of consistencies between the current Sign Code and the proposed Sign Code:

  • General requirements – not permitted on or above rooflines, maintenance required, signs cannot interrupt architectural details or block sight views.
  • Sign face area calculation the same for all sign types;
  • Monument Signs - size and number for individually developed commercial parcels;
  • Wall Signs – size;
  • Awnings - size, number and location;
  • Attached Canopies - size, number and location;
  • Freestanding Canopies - size, number and location;
  • Projecting Signs – size, location and number;
  • Painted Wall Signs - location;
  • Sign Size Variances limited to 25% of the size that is normally allowed;
  • Permits are not required for subdivision monument signs and incidental signs;
  • Permits are still required for monuments, wall, projecting, canopies, awning signs, and temporary signs;
  • Temporary signs limited to 90 days per calendar year, cumulative;
  • Permit fees are incorporated in Policy Statement 56 (PS-56), not the Sign Code;
  • Non-conforming sign removal requirements;
  • Illumination types;
  • Appeals of administrative decisions and interpretations reviewed by Board of Zoning Appeals; and
  • Administration & Enforcement of Code by the Community Development Department.
Key Changes
The table linked here is a summary of key changes and differences between the existing Sign Code and the proposed Sign Code. The items were either missing from the current regulations, considered too restrictive, and/or were adapted based on both external and internal (staff) user feedback.

The complete draft of the proposed Sign Code can be reviewed by clicking here.
Anyone who would like to provide feedback about the proposed Sign Code update can attend the scheduled public hearing (see the Process and Timeline section above), or by sending comments to Planning@cityofshawnee.org. Public comments will be accepted through December 5, 2021.

Questions? Call (913) 742-6011 or email Planning@cityofshawnee.org