photo credit

The Planning Division is updating the city’s Sign Code (Title Xl, Chapter 11 of the city’s Municipal Code - give it about 15-20 seconds to load).

This code addresses signs as a means of visual communication for the public and enables the use of signs to identify businesses, services and other activities within the city.

Throughout this update, multiple factors will be kept in mind, including:

  • The United States Supreme Court case from June 2015 (Reed v. Gilbert), that places strict limitations on local, state and federal governments as to what may and what may not be encompassed by sign regulation. 
  • Improving the organization of the document to eliminate any inconsistencies or contradictions. 
  • Updating information relative to current business practices related to sign design, purpose and scale, and looking at refinements to meet the needs of different neighborhood or district contexts within the community.
  • Revising the code to make it more user-friendly and easier to administer.  

The following goals have been established for the new code:

  • Make it easier to read and understand; simple and highly visual in nature.
  • Use tables, charts, definitions and graphics to promote ease of understanding for all sign types.
  • Assure it’s legally sound, defendable and enforceable.
  • Create it with a straightforward, transparent process.
  • Make sure it fairly balances the needs of the city’s business community with the needs of the community at-large.
  • A possible variation of standards based on different neighborhood contexts rather than a “one size fits all” approach.  

Preliminary efforts for the Sign Code Update effort began in December 2017. On March 1, 2018, the city put out a Request For Proposals for a consultant to create the new code. At its public hearing on May 14, 2018, the Westminster City Council approved funding for the selected consultant group, White & Smith (partnered with Winter & Company and Kendig Keast Collaborative) to undertake the project. The project officially kicked-off with a series of meetings between June 11-14, and is expected to take 12-18 months to complete.

Latest News

Aug. 9 - Sign Code Update visual preference survey available online

July 24 - Sign Code open house a success; survey coming online Aug. 8

June 11 - Sign Code Update gets underway 


An all new sign code will be put into place featuring graphics, charts, tables and other tools to aid in understanding and ease of use.  

The current Sign Code is listed on the city's website under Westminster Municipal Code, Title Xl, Chapter 11 (give it about 15-20 seconds to load).

The existing code is hard to understand and may include standards that are too restrictive or not well defined. The city wants to ensure that the code complies with the Reed v. Gilbert  Supreme Court decision and is fair, clear and easier to work with.
The city hopes to release the first draft by January 2019. The city will  post regular status updates, so please check back from time to time. 
The city is working with its consultant group to ensure that the best possible code is created. This means research and significant stakeholder outreach. The city will be doing a lot of listening to hear what works, what does not work and what could be improved with the city’s Sign Code. The city will be meeting with numerous stakeholders over the coming months to gather opinions and input before writing a draft sign code.
Signs of all types, electronic reader boards included, are being considered and discussed.


Give us your thoughts about signs in the City of Westminster through our Open Feedback Form. 


Contact Us:

Senior Planner, David German,