Rules for Signs

1. Aggregate square footage* of all signs on the property, in your zone:

A. B-1, B-4 and Industrial Districts: 48 square feet.

B. Village Zone, B-2, B-3 and Marine Districts: 36 square feet.

2. Signs which are painted on or attached to a building shall not exceed 10% of the area of the wall or the total square footage for your district, whichever is less.

3. Freestanding signs (These are signs that are not attached to a building or a wall, but does not include sandwich board signs.) cannot be any taller than 20’ from the natural grade (the ground). See Photo 5

4. Hanging signs (See Photo 6) can be placed within 10’ of any front property line and must also:

A. The lowest part of the sign must be at least 8’ above any pedestrian way (sidewalk).

B. Any arcade-style signs are to be oriented perpendicular to the street, attached to the bottom of an overhand roof or walkway covering or storefront and cannot exceed 4 square feet (which means you do not need a permit for this kind of sign!)

C. In the B-1, B-4 and Industrial Districts: no side of a hanging sign can exceed 8’ in length/width.

D. In the Village Zone, B-2, B-3 and Marine Districts: A hanging sign cannot exceed 18 square feet. 

5. Neon and LED signs:  

A. Not permitted in the Village Zone.

B. Only all to have 3 on a property.

C. Turn them off when you close!

D. They cannot be located on the outside of buildings.

E. When calculating square footage, we measure a rectangle within which all parts of the sign are located.  Each sign can’t be more than 6 square feet, with the longest side of the rectangle no more than 42”.  See Illustration 1

F. The 3 signs cumulatively can’t have more than 15 square feet. 

6. If you are located in a Shopping Center each store is allowed:

A. A sign on the front of the building, the size not more than one square foot per each linear foot of store frontage

B. An arcade sign if there is a courtyard or covered walkway

C. A small sign (up to 4 square feet) on a main freestanding sign which is for the entire Shopping Center.

7. If you are located in a Multiple Tenancy Commercial Building or Multiple Building Complex in all Business, Marine and Industrial Zones, each tenant is allowed:  

A. If there are multiple units in one structure or more than one structure on a property, then each unit gets one square foot of signage per linear foot of structural frontage.

B. One freestanding sign is allowed on the following terms:

i. No more than 20’

ii. Shall not exceed 36 square feet (not including the tenant panels)

iii. Each tenant may add 1 small sign (not to exceed 4 square feet)

iv. The total square footage cannot exceed 72 square feet.


Application Forms

  1. DRB

Zoning Regulations

Photo 5: Example of a freestanding sign

Photo 6: Example of a hanging sign

Measurement of neon sign
Shopping Center Freestanding Sign
Photo 7: Shopping Center Freestanding Sign


This is a summary of the Zoning Regulations.  Do not depend upon this publication as law!  Please refer to Section 28 of the Clinton Zoning Regulations as they may be updated and amended from time to time and are the official regulations.