Sign Code

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Texaco signThis page contains general comments that are not intended as complete information. Individuals are advised to check with the Community Development Department for additional sign code information specific to your situation or business. Call 303-795-3748 to speak with a planner, call 303-795-3831 to speak with code enforcement, or check the online Municipal Code. Sign Permit applications may be submitted at the Permit Center, by mail, or via email to

A permit is required before a sign may be erected, altered or modified in any way. All electrified signs require an electrical permit prior to issuance of the -sign permit.  Permits are submitted and issued through our Permit Center

Types of signs allowed
Permanent free standing signs, wall signs and projecting signs which meet the size and sign area allowances stated below. Directional signs (e.g., “Enter” or “Exit”) are allowed in addition to the sign area limits.

Merchants are allowed portable signs under these conditions:
- An annual sign permit must be obtained (applicants must submit a diagram indicating the placement meets all requirements)
- Portable signs must not exceed 2' wide and 4' tall
- Portable signs in the public right-of-way must provide at least six feet of unobstructed sidewalk access - if less than six feet of unobstructed access is available, the sign must be placed flat against the building in such a manner to avoid falling down or obstructing use of the sidewalk
- Portable signs may be placed outside only during business hours and must be removed during non-business hours
NOTE: Other requirements and exemptions in the city code may apply.

Signs allowed by special permit
Banners, pennants, other wind operated devices are allowed as temporary signs. Temporary sign permits are good for a maximum of 30 days. Business may have four 30-day permits per calendar year.

Signs that are not allowed
Roof signs, rotating or animated signs, billboards, third party signs, signs advertising home occupations in residential areas.

Political and campaign signs
Political ignsDuring election season, you may notice political signs popping up in yards and along streets. Political signs are a strong and long part of the democratic system, but as with other signs, are not allowed in certain locations in Littleton. Signs advertising a political candidate or ballot initiative may only be displayed on private property. The property owner's permission should be obtained prior to placing the sign on the property. Political signs located in a public park or in a public right-of-way, i.e., on power poles, traffic signal poles, in medians or in the tree lawn between the street and a sidewalk, are on public property and are not allowed. The City thanks everyone involved in a campaign for their help in honoring these rules during the campaign season.

Size of signs
Free standing signs are limited to a maximum of 100 square feet per face and 200 square feet per sign. Wall signs are limited to 100 square feet per sign. Projecting signs are limited to 18 square feet per face (36 square feet per sign) with a maximum projection of 3 feet into public right-of-way and an 8-foot clearance above ground level.

Signage allowance
On a lot with one user: 32 square feet or 1 square foot of signage for each 1.5 linear feet of street frontage. An example is: 180 linear feet of frontage allows 120 square feet of sign area. In computing the sign area, all faces of the sign are measured.

A very old sign on Highway 17 near Charleston, South Carolina.On a lot with two or more users: Each use is allowed 32 square feet or 1 square foot of signage for each 1.5 linear feet of building frontage. With two or more users, one joint identification sign is also allowed for each street front. The maximum size of the joint identification sign is 100 square feet per face and 200 square feet per sign.

Allowance within a shopping center: 50 square feet of sign area or 1 square foot of signage for each 1.5 linear feet of building frontage or 1 square of signage for each 30 square feet of gross floor area not to exceed 200 square feet per user.

Joint identification signs are also allowed within shopping centers are subject to the same limitations for a multiple user lot.

The City of Littleton does not control any signs that are within the interior of a building. This includes signs in mall areas or signs not attached to the outer perimeter of the building. 

Height of signs
Maximum height of free standing signs and joint identification signs is 25 feet. Maximum height of wall signs is to the top plate of the wall for buildings with a peaked roof and to the top of the parapet for buildings with a flat roof. Signs in a Planned Development area of a Planned Development Overlay area are controlled by the plan itself. In these cases, the developer must submit the sign performance standards which are approved by the City Council as part of the plan. (The commercial and industrial areas of the South Park Development are examples of this).

Measuring the sign
All faces are included in measuring a sign. The overall sign display is measured by determining the sum of the areas of each square, rectangle, triangle, circle or any combination thereof which creates the smallest continuous perimeter of the sign. Framework or backing is not included unless it is part of the display area.

Appeals and variances
The Littleton Sign Code includes an appeal and a variance procedure. Any applicant who feels the Sign Code is being administered in error or contrary to the intent of the Sign Code may appeal to the Littleton Board of Adjustment. Additionally, if a property of use has problems that are unique to that property of use, the owner may apply for a variance. In approving a variance, the Board must find that the following three items exist:

  1. That there are particular conditions or circumstances that exist which are peculiar to the business or use requesting the variance.
  2. That the variance, if granted, is in harmony with the intent of the code.
  3. That the variance, if granted, is the minimum required to provide relief to the hardship that is alleged to exist.

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