Share this page Print

Basic signs (Class A)

​​

Application, bylaws, and design regulations for address, art, banner, construction, directional, flag, gas bar, pedestrian, real estate, special event, show home, temporary, and window signs on private property.

When is a permit required?


All types of signs that fall within the basic sign (Class A) category do not require a development permit when:

  • they meet all the applicable rules
  • there is maintenance or repairs to a legally existing sign
  • there is a change to or reduction of the copy area of a legally existing sign

How to apply


Step 1: Review the checklist​ and sign rules

​​

Step 2: Prepare your application

  • Complete the checklist
  • Review your fees
Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to construction)

Permit fee Advertising fee Development Completion Inspection Total
Discretionary use or relaxations required $669 $32 $163 $864

See the Planning Applications fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees.

Step 3: Apply

Apply onlin​e

To apply in person, complete the sign application​ and visit the Planning Services Centre with the documents from the checklist in step 1. To skip the line, book an appointment​.

​​

Rules


The regulations and rules regarding signage are intended to balance the need for signage with safety and aesthetics. These rules apply to signs on private property and are found in their entirety in the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007.​​

Rules for all signs

  • The sign position, shape, colour, format or illumination cannot resemble a traffic sign, signal or any other traffic control device.
  • Lights cannot be like those associated with danger or used by emergency services.
  • Trees or shrubs must not be removed or damaged to install a sign, make a sign more visible, maintain a sign, or to change the copy.
  • Signs in a residential area cannot be directly illuminated from a light source within the sign itself; however, they can be illuminated indirectly, such as a by a light shining on the sign. The light must not encroach onto adjacent spaces.
​​

Rules for basic signs

Address sign

A sign that indicates the address or name of a building, business or individuals occupying a building. Please note the following information:

  • No maximum size if sculpted out of the building face
  • Maximum 0.30 square metres if affixed to a residence or private garage
  • Maximum 1.20 square metres if not sculpted out of the building, or not affixed to residences or private garage
  • Is considered a fascia sign (Class B) and must follow fascia sign rules when exceeding size restrictions

Art sign

This type of sign is primarily an artistic drawing applied or affixed to a building’s exterior.

  • A maximum of 10 per cent of the sign can be text.
  • Text can acknowledge the business inside the building, and the name of any individual, organization or business that sponsored or contributed to creating the art.
  • When an art sign is in a window, window sign rules apply.

Banner sign

A banner sign is constructed of flexible material that can be displayed without using a flag pole. It can temporarily promote products or services, replace a fascia sign, announce a new business, or it can be purely decorative.

  • A banner sign that is used to promote a product, service or a new business opening may be displayed for a maximum of 90 days per year and is limited to one sign per business/building.
  • The maximum sign area is five square metres.
  • The sign must not project above, or be located on, the building roof.
  • The sign may either be affixed to the building wall or freestanding, provided it does not exceed three metres high when measured from grade to its highest point.

Construction sign

A construction sign is displayed on a property under construction. It identifies who is responsible for the construction, labour, services, materials, or financing. It may also identify future use of the property.

  • When related to an existing development permit or to an undeveloped property, all construction signs on site:
    • Can add up to a maximum of six square metres
    • Must be removed within seven days following completion of the development inspection
  • When related to a development for which a development permit is not required, all construction signs:
    • May have a maximum sign area of one square metre in residential districts
    • May have a maximum sign area of 1.5 square metres in all other districts
    • May be displayed for a maximum of 30 days

Directional sign

This sign guides, warns or restricts people or motor vehicles; it may be either freestanding or attached to a building. Please note the following information:

  • Must not contain advertising or slogans but may include logos and written identification
  • Maximum copy area of 2.5 square metres
  • May be located anywhere on a property
  • Maximum of two freestanding directional signs may be located near a property’s entrance or exit point
  • Maximum four metres high for a freestanding directional sign

Flag sign

A flag sign is made of fabric or flexible material either attached to, or designed to be flown from a permanently constructed flagpole or light standard. Please note the following information:

  • Maximum sign area of two square metres
  • Limited to three signs per property where the property frontage is 30 metres or less
  • Limited to six signs per property where the property frontage is over 30 metres
  • Must not be higher than the maximum height of a freestanding sign (Class C)
  • Must not be on a building roof

Gas bar sign

This type of sign typically advertises products or services sold at a gas station, and stored outside. Examples include windshield wiper fluid, motor vehicle oils, firewood, ice, air and propane. Please note the following information:

  • Maximum area of one square metre
  • Must not be illuminated

Pedestrian sign

This type of temporary sign has no external supporting structure and is placed near a sidewalk to attract attention from passing pedestrians. Please note the following information:

  • Must be located within three metres of a public entrance to the business; however there are exceptions in Business Improvement Areas; see the Land Use Bylaw, Part 3, Division 5, Section 89 (2) for details.
  • May only be displayed during the business’ operating hours
  • Must not be placed on a public sidewalk
  • Must not be illuminated
  • Maximum one sign per business located on the floor closest to ground level
    • Maximum one metre high
    • Maximum one square metre in area

Real estate sign

A sign that contains information about the management, sale, lease or rental of a property or building. It may take the form of any other sign type.

  • When the real estate sign is freestanding:
    • There must not be more than one real estate sign per frontage
    • Maximum sign area of 1.5 square metres and maximum height of two metres if the frontage is equal to or less than 30 metres
    • Maximum sign area of three square metres and maximum height of three metres if the frontage is over 30 metres
  • When the real estate sign takes the form of a fascia sign, it must meet all fascia sign rules
  • When the real estate sign takes the form of a banner sign:
    • Must not be located above the third storey of a building
    • Must not be displayed for more than 90 days in a year

Special event sign

A sign that promotes a charitable, educational, community, civic, cultural, recreational, religious or sporting event. A special event sign may take the form of any other sign.

  • Must not be on a property containing a residence
  • Must not contain advertising other than promoting the specific event, but may display any event sponsor or contributor
  • May be displayed for up to 15 days prior to the event date and for the event duration, but must not be displayed for more than 30 days in total
  • Can take the form of any other type of sign

Show home sign

This sign identifies a newly constructed residential building as a sample of the type of building a builder is providing, and where prospective buyers may receive information about the community and about buying a home from that builder.

  • Maximum total sign area is six square metres

Temporary sign

This type of sign is not permanently affixed to a structure or is affixed to a structure that is easily movable.

  • Must not be located in any of the locations listed in section 89 (1) and (2) of the Land Use Bylaw​
  • Must not be placed on a property where an approved digital message sign is operating
  • Must be stabilized or anchored to ensure it will not be unintentionally moved, blown over, or detached
  • Sandbags and guy wires may only be used to stabilize or anchor a temporary sign if the sign is on a hard surface
  • Must not be located within 7.5 metres of vehicle access to a property
  • In residential districts the maximum sign area is:
    • One square metre if a residence is on the same property
    • Three square metres if there are no residences on the same property
  • In all other districts the maximum sign area is:
    • 1.5 square metres if the frontage of the property is 30 metres or less
    • 5.5 square metres if the frontage of the property is greater than 30 metres
  • The maximum height is:
    • 1.5 metres if the sign area is 2.5 square metres or less
    • Two metres if the sign area is greater than 2.5 square metres, but less than three square metres
    • Three metres if the sign area is three square metres or more
  • A temporary sign with a sign area greater than 1.5 square metres must be located on a temporary sign marker that has been approved and must:
    • Be no further than one metre away from the temporary sign marker​
    • Not be closer to the street than the temporary sign marker
  • Only one temporary sign may be located on a property with a frontage less than or equal to 75 metres
  • A maximum of two temporary signs may be located on a property with a frontage greater than 75 metres but less than or equal to 200 metres
  • A maximum of three temporary signs may be located on a property with a frontage greater than 200 metres

Window sign

This type of sign is attached to, painted, or displayed on the interior or exterior of a building window, so it is visible to someone outside the building; it:

  • Includes signs that are placed 0.90 metres or less behind a window
  • Does not include any type of product or window display intended to be visible outside of the building

Sign area cannot exceed 30 per cent of the window’s surface area​​​​​

​​​​​​​​

Development completion inspection

All discretionary signs and signs that require a relaxation of the Land Use Bylaw will need a development completion inspection to ensure the sign was installed in the correct location, and meets conditions of approval.

Development completion inspections can be booked through the Planning Services Centre.

Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​