Portable Signs



Enforcement of this Code is carried out by the Code Enforcement Staff of the Department of Inspections, Permits & Licenses. If a portable sign is found on property that does not conform to the guidelines contained in Chapter 8, of the Land Development Code, the Responsible Party (Owner and/or Tenant) will be cited. Failure of the Responsible Party to remove the sign may result in criminal court action and/or confiscation of the sign.

Portable Signs are signs that are freestanding and can be moved. They are considered personal property unattached to the real property on which they are placed. Portable signs have no non-conforming or grandfather rights to exist.

Refer to Chapter 8 of the Land Development Code for each zoning district, if the proposed sign is located in one of the following districts:

  • Any Local Preservation District
  • Downtown Development Overlay District
  • Bardstown Road Overlay District
  • Waterfront Development Area
  • Gene Snyder Corridor
  • Any Parkway or Scenic Corridor

There are several sub categories of Portable Signs.

Small Freestanding Business Signs

Only one Small Freestanding Business Sign is permitted on premises located in C-N, C-1, C-2, C-M only. Examples of this type of sign is “sandwich board” or “A frame” signs.

To ensure that your Small Freestanding Business Sign is in compliance with the law, please check the following guidelines:

  • Cannot exceed 12 square feet per face
  • No more than 2 faces per sign
  • Cannot be over 4 feet tall
  • Must only advertise the business and/or products on site
  • Display is limited to hours of operation
  • Cannot be illuminated
  • Cannot have any electrical components
  • Cannot be displayed in public right-of way or public easement unless it is properly permitted by the Department of Public Works
  • Cannot interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  • Must be kept in good repair
  • Must be kept clean, free from weeds and rubbish

Temporary Freestanding Business Signs

One Temporary Freestanding Business Sign may be permitted in lieu of a permanent freestanding business sign with a permit in C-1, C-2, C-M, M-1, M-2, M-3 and EZ-1 districts only (Exception: Suburban Marketplace Corridor). This type of sign may be displayed a maximum of 120 days per year.

The following criterion must be adhered to when displaying a Temporary Freestanding Business Sign:

  • Must have valid permit
  • Cannot exceed 32 square feet per face
  • No more than 2 faces per sign
  • Cannot be over 6 feet tall
  • Must only advertise the business and/or products on site or religious, charitable or non-commercial messages
  • May be illuminated if electrical components are UL approved and connected to a ground fault interrupter
  • Illuminated signs may not flash and must be constant in intensity and color
  • All components must be non-moving and stationary
  • Cannot be displayed in the public right of way or public easement
  • Cannot interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  • Must be kept in good repair
  • Must be kept clean, free from weeds and rubbish

Temporary Banner Signs

Temporary Banners made of cloth, plastic or other soft material are allowed with a permit. Permits must be affixed to the sign. Only one Temporary Banner is allowed on any business premise. The size of a banner cannot exceed 50% of the allowed sign area for that building. Temporary Banners may only be displayed for 30 days at a time per permit, for a total of 90 days per calendar year. Upon expiration of the permit, the banner must be removed. Temporary Banners may only be attached to permanent structures (canopies, buildings, fences).

Special Event Sign

One Special Event sign is permitted for institutional uses with the proper permit. Permits are valid for 120 days per calendar year. The expiration date of the permit must be affixed and visible at all times.

All Special Event Signs must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Must not exceed 32 square feet per face
  • No more than 2 faces per sign
  • Cannot be over 6 feet tall
  • May be illuminated if electrical components are UL approved and connected to a ground fault interrupter
  • Illuminated signs may not flash and must be constant in intensity and color
  • All components must be non-moving and stationary
  • Cannot be displayed in the public right of way or public easement
  • Cannot interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  • Must be kept in good repair
  • Small special event signs not to exceed 4 square feet are allowed without a permit and must be removed 3 days after the event