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Growth Management Building Division
Code Enforcement - Signs

The following information addresses the requirements for placement as well as time restraints for temporary signage. It includes additional information pertaining to signage but only lists excerpts from County Ordinance 91-1, as amended.

This information is to be used as a guide only. There are many other restrictions related to signage. To obtain further information regarding signage, please contact the Department of Growth Management, Planning Division, at (850) 651-7180.

Temporary Signs:
Any sign that is used only temporarily and is not permanently mounted. ( County Ordinance 91-1, Chapter 8, as amended)

Temporary signs are allowed throughout the County, subject to the following provisions:

  1. Temporary signs shall be posted securely in the ground or on a building.

  2. Temporary signs may display messages of construction in progress or announce temporary events such as fairs/carnivals, sporting events, or any public, charitable, announcements, educational or religious events. Such temporary signs shall not be installed more than seven (7) days prior to the special event, and shall be removed within five (5) days after the special event.

    One (1) Construction sign may be permitted for each parcel, identifying the name of the development, company and general contractor, and other pertinent similar information, which shall be removed at the time a certificate of occupancy, is issued for the building or structure. The following restrictions shall apply to construction signs:
    1. In residential zoning districts, temporary signs shall be placed a minimum of ten (10) feet from the roadway or curb, and shall not exceed six (6) square feet in size.
    2. In commercial zoning districts, temporary signs shall be placed a minimum of ten (10) feet from the roadway or curb, and shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet.
    3. The permit board used for the required display of permits issued by the county shall not exceed sixteen (16) square feet.

  3. Real Estate signs located at subdivision entrances and model homes, exceeding eight (8) square feet, but not exceeding thirty-two (32) square feet are permitted during the marketing of the property provided that the sign maintains a ten (10) foot setback from the right-of-way.
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Signs Exempt from Permitting:
The following signs are exempt from the permitting process required by this code:

  1. Any sign required to be maintained or posted by law or governmental order, rule or regulation;
  2. Public warning signs which indicate the dangers associated with trespassing, swimming, or similar hazards;
  3. Incidental signs and any signs not exceeding one (1) square foot in area and bearing only property numbers, post office numbers, names of occupants of premises, or other identifications of premises not having commercial connotations;
  4. Real estate signs which are securely constructed and erected on the site listed for sale, rent, or lease and do not exceed eight (8) square feet in size. The sign shall be removed when the property is no longer for sale, rent, or lease;
  5. Flags and insignia of any government except when displayed in connection with commercial promotions;
  6. Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings except letters, trademarks, and moving lights, and
  7. Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking, but bearing no advertising matter, and not exceeding four (4) square feet in size. Off-site directional signs for churches, schools and other not for profit organizations shall not exceed six (6) square feet in size.
  8. Normal servicing of previously permitted sign structures, including a change of copy for billboards and a panel change in structures designed to allow changeable copy. 
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Prohibited Signs:
It shall be unlawful to erect any sign not authorized or exempted from this code.

The following signs are expressly prohibited:

  1. Signs which are in violation of the building codes adopted by the county;
  2. Any portion of a sign, including its surface supports, closer than ten (10) feet to the right-of-way line (property line) of any public street or the side or rear of the property lines, excluding signs for subdivisions and Planned Unit Developments, which may be located in the median where the entrance street is divided as approved by the County Public Works Department;
  3. Abandoned signs,
  4. Vehicles not used for operating purposes and parked on any parcel solely for advertising purposes, and
  5. Signs, commonly referred to as snipe signs, made of any material whatsoever and attached in any way to a utility pole, tree, fence post, stake, stick or any other object located or situated on public property, except as otherwise expressly allowed by, or exempted from this code.
  6. Wind signs
  7. Any description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement, when it is patently offensive to contemporary standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable sexual material for minors, and taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
  8. Any sign which emits audible sound, vapor, smoke, or gaseous matter,
  9. Any sign which obstructs, conceals, hides or otherwise obscures from view any official traffic or government sign, signal or device, is erected or maintained so as to obstruct any fire fighting equipment, window, door, or opening used as a means of ingress or egress for fire escape purposes including any opening required for proper lighting and ventilation, or constitutes a traffic hazard, or detriment to traffic safety by reason of its size, location, movement, content, coloring, or method of illumination, or distracting the vision of drivers or pedestrians.
  10. Signs located upon, within, or otherwise encroaching upon County or public right-of-way, except as may be permitted by the Board of County Commissioners and those erected by a governmental agency or required to be erected by a governmental agency.
  11. Neon type signs except where permitted within all commercial and industrial districts.
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Click HERE for additional information concerning the requirements for placement as well as time restraints for temporary signage. It includes additional information pertaining to signage but only lists excerpts from County Ordinance 91-1, as amended.

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Elliot Kampert, Director
1804 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 200
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Phone: (850) 651-7180
Fax: (850) 651-7058