Signs in Gunnison County are regulated by the Gunnison County Land Use Resolution, Section 13-109: Signs.
Signs Allowed Without a Permit
The following signs do not require a sign permit:
- Advisory Signs: Signs warning of prohibited activities including trespassing, hunting, fishing, or swimming may be posted without limitation as to numbers, but are limited to 2 square feet or less per sign.
- Business Hour Signs: "Open / closed" and related hours-of-operation signs that do not exceed 2 square feet.
- Construction Sign: A temporary wall or ground sign not more than 32 square feet advertising the construction, remodeling, or rebuilding of a certain structure for a permitted use on which the signs are located. One sign shall be allowed per project, shall not be illuminated and shall be removed immediately on completion of construction.
- Holiday and Seasonal Decorations: Decorative, customary signs commonly associated with designated national, local, or religious holidays or a season.
- Livestock Drives: Signs necessary for the safe movement of livestock on public roads.
- Memorial and Historical Signs: Cornerstones, monuments, commemorative tablets and historical signs of not more than 10 square feet.
- Occupant and Home Occupation Signs: One residential identification sign per residence, containing the name(s) of occupant(s), address of the premises, and/or identifying any home occupation as defined and regulated in this resolution. These signs shall be limited to wall and ground signs that are no more than 6 square feet in area, and may be illuminated by a concealed, non-flashing light source. Wall signs may be attached to any structure and/or fence.
- Political Campaign Signs: Political signs that do not exceed 32 square feet in area are permitted. The signs shall be removed no later than one week following the date of the subject election.
- Public Directional Signs: Signs required or authorized for a public purpose by law or statute, including traffic control signs, and excluding those defined by Gunnison County Resolution Series 1989 No. 42: Concerning Placement of Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs, pursuant to C.R.S. 43-1-420 (3).
- Public Utility Location Signs: Signs placed by a public utility showing the location of underground facilities.
- Real Estate Sign: A temporary wall or ground sign not more than 6 square feet advertising the sale, rental, or lease of a designated structure or land area for a permitted use on which the sign is located. One sign shall be allowed per lot, shall not be illuminated, except that when the subject property abuts two public roadways, there may be one sign facing each roadway. The sign(s) shall be removed immediately after the property is sold, rented, or leased.
- Signs Located Within a Building: So long as such signs are not oriented to and are not viewed from a public right of way, private road, parking area or public space outside the building.
- Temporary Signs: Pennants or banners advertising a special event. Notice of such signs shall be required to be filed by the sponsoring organization with the Community Development Department before display. Such signs may be erected no sooner than two weeks before the event, and shall be removed in one week after the event; but in no event shall a banner be erected more than 30 days.
Signs That Are Part of Land Use Change Permits
When a sign design is included in the plans for a use that is being reviewed for a Land Use Change Permit, the design can be approved as part of the Land Use Change Permit, so no additional sign permit is required.
Commercial, Industrial & Business "Cluster Signs"
Multiple businesses, commercial, or industrial establishments that are part of an industrial or business park may construct one cluster sign at each approved access to the development that includes the name of the development and/or listings of individual businesses in the development. Within the development, one sign per establishment is allowed that complies with the sign requirements of the Land Use Resolution.
All signs that existed as of the effective date of the and were in compliance with the Gunnison County Sign Code can be retained so long as they are kept in a state of good repair, and so long as they are not relocated, replaced, structurally altered, or damaged by wind, fire, or other cause to the extent that 50% or more of their replacement value has been destroyed. General standards for signs:
- External Light Shall Be Minimized: Externally lit signs shall be designed, installed, and maintained to eliminate or minimize upward directed light and glare and so that lights illuminate only the sign and not property that adjoins or is nearby. Such light shall not interfere with the vision of motorists.
- Internally Lit Signs Prohibited: There shall be no internally lit signs.
- No Misleading Information: Information presented on a sign shall not be misleading, erroneous, or patently untrue.
- No Setback Limitation Specific to Signage: There shall be no setback limitation except that sign placement shall not interfere with snow removal or vision of motorists, and shall not significantly detract from the environmental or aesthetic character of the county.
- No Sign in Road Right of Way: No signs shall be allowed on any county or development road right of way, and existing signs in either of these rights of way shall be removed immediately upon request of the governing body.
- On-Site Location: All signs shall identify or advertise only the business or establishment upon which the sign is located.
- One Sign Per Use: There shall be one sign per primary use, except that when the subject property abuts two public roadways, there may be one sign facing each roadway.
Construction & Maintenance of Signs
- Repair or Removal: The county building inspector shall have the authority to order the repair, alteration, or removal of any sign or structure that constitutes a hazard to public health and safety, or which is otherwise not pursuant to this section. In the event that such a sign has not been removed, altered, or repaired within 60 days after written notification by the inspector, the board may, after due public notice and hearing, require that sign or structure to be removed at the expense of the owner of the sign.
- Sturdy Construction: All signs and sign structures shall be constructed of materials of sufficient strength and quality to withstand weathering or deterioration by wind, moisture, and other natural elements, and shall be maintained in a state of good repair with all braces, bolts, supporting framework, fastenings, lettering, and design work free from deterioration.
- Wind Load: Wind load requirements shall be equal to or greater than 26 pounds per square foot of sign area.
Sign Area Measurement
- Maximum Aggregate Sign Area: The maximum permitted aggregate area for cluster signs shall be 70 square feet.
- Maximum Individual Sign Area: The maximum permitted area of individual signs shall be 50 square feet.
- Maximum Height: The maximum height of a sign shall be no greater than 16 feet above the natural grade of the ground on which it is placed, except that a sign located over a property's entrance way or exit way may be 20 feet above the road over which it is placed.
- Measurement of Multifaceted Sign: Where two faces are placed at greater than 45-degree angles to one another, the sign area shall mean the total area of both faces.
- Measurement of Single Surface: To determine the surface area of a sign, the county building inspector shall measure the perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of the display surface(s) of the sign, including all graphic elements, borders, and riders, but excluding the sign's structure or bracing unless those elements are part of the message or face of the sign. Where there are two faces back to back, the total area of the largest face shall determine the area of the sign.
Signs Allowed Only by Variance of the Board of Commissioners
The board may authorize a variance from Section 13-109 of the Land Use Resolution. The following signs are not permitted, except by variance issued by the board: Sign Variance applications may be found in the building office forms.
- Non-Compliant Signs: Any sign not in compliance with the Land Use Resolution.
- Off-Premise Signs: Off-premise signs except public directional signs, and those signs permitted pursuant to Gunnison County Resolution Series 1989 No. 42: Concerning Placement of Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs, which are allowed without a variance.
- Oversize Home Occupation Signs: Signs of more than 6 square feet identifying a home occupation.
- Projecting Roof-Mounted Signs: Roof-mounted signs that project above the highest point of a roof-line or fascia of a building.
- Signs Advertising Condominiums and Town Houses: Signs advertising condominium and town house construction may be posted after approval of Preliminary Plan, but before approval of the Final Plan. A variance for this type of sign may be granted for up to one year.
- Signs Advertising Lots in Proposed Developments: Signs promoting lots or units for sale in a proposed development after approval of Preliminary Plan, but before approval of the Final Plan. A variance for this type of sign may be granted for up to one year. The sign shall include language that the development is pending approval.