Chapter 9.50
SIGNS Revised 6/19


9.50.010    Purpose and Applicability.

9.50.020    Pre-Application Conference.

9.50.030    Definitions. Revised 6/19

9.50.040    Permit Requirements and Sign Districts. Revised 6/19

9.50.050    Signs Exempt from Permit Requirements.

9.50.060    Temporary Signs.

9.50.070    Prohibited Signs.

9.50.080    Sign District Regulations. Revised 6/19

9.50.090    Standards for Permanent Signs. Revised 6/19

9.50.095    Mural Sign Regulations. Revised 6/19

9.50.100    General Requirements.

9.50.110    Procedures.

9.50.120    Amendments.

9.50.130    Formal Interpretation.

9.50.140    Variance.

9.50.150    Adjustment to Standards.

9.50.160    Appeals.

9.50.170    Sign Plan.

9.50.180    Historic Landmarks. Revised 6/19

9.50.190    Nonconforming Sign.

9.50.200    Enforcement.

9.50.210    Severability.


9.50.010 Purpose and Applicability.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate signs that are visible from streets or which are visible from one site to another to provide reasonable regulations for the design, construction, placement and maintenance of signs in order to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the community. The intent is not to regulate content, only the number, type, location, height and size of signs. This chapter has the following objectives:

A.    To ensure that signs are designed, constructed, installed and maintained to assure public and traffic safety;

B.    To reflect and support the desired character and development patterns of the community;

C.    To allow adequate and effective signs without dominating the visual landscape;

D.    To balance the needs of business with the desire to preserve and enhance the visual character of the City.

The sign standards are intended to allow for signs with adequate visibility to streets that abut the site but not necessarily to streets farther away.

All new signs must comply with the provisions of this chapter in effect when the sign is installed or a permit is applied for. [Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.020 Pre-Application Conference.

A pre-application conference with the City of Bend is recommended for applicants who are unfamiliar with the sign permit process. The purpose of the conference shall be to acquaint the applicant with the procedural requirements and to identify issues likely to arise in processing an application.

9.50.030 Definitions. Revised 6/19

The following definitions apply in this chapter:

Alteration means the modification of the size, shape, or height of a sign; also includes changes to the sign location, illumination, and the replacement of sign materials with other comparable materials, such as the replacement of wood parts with metal parts. “Alteration” does not include normal maintenance and repair of an existing sign or changing the sign colors or sign copy on a removable sign face or sign panel insert in a cabinet style sign.

Animated sign means any sign that incorporates movement by electric, mechanical or kinetic means including, but not limited to, rotation, revolving or wind activation of all or a portion of sign; or incorporating flashing or intermittent light for sign illumination, including rotating or intermittent lighting in windows and on buildings.

Awning means a shelter projecting from and supported by the exterior wall of a building and composed of a covering of rigid or nonrigid materials and/or fabric on a supporting framework that may be either permanent or retractable.

Awning sign means a sign displayed on or attached flat against the surface or surfaces of an awning. The entire awning shall be included in the sign area calculation when the awning is backlit and the awning material exhibits the characteristics of luminosity obtained by means of a source of illumination.

Banner means a flexible material on which a sign or graphic may be displayed. Banners are temporary signs and do not include flags as defined in this section. Banners include tear drop flags and similar signs.

Billboards are only those freestanding sign structures which are identified in Table 3.

Building signs are those that are attached, painted, etched or otherwise installed on a structure. Building signs include wall signs, window signs, projecting signs, awning and canopy signs.

Canopy, attached means a multi-sided overhead structure supported by attachments to a building on one or more sides and either cantilevered from such building or also supported by columns at additional points.

Canopy, freestanding means a multi-sided overhead structure supported by columns, but not enclosed by walls, which is installed as a permanent building structure under which vehicles can be driven.

Clear vision area means the area in which no sign structure or device is permitted to dangerously limit the visibility of persons in motor vehicles on streets or alleys.

Copy means the text, graphics or message of a sign.

Directory sign means a sign with multiple sign panels designed to be read on site, located at a multi-tenant development or group of buildings.

Discernible means the physical attributes of a sign that allow for an observer’s differentiation of its letters, words, numbers, or graphics.

Flag means a piece of fabric attached to a flag pole or other support on one side, excluding banners. The length at right angles to the support must be at least as long as the length of the attached side.

Freestanding sign means a sign principally supported by one or more columns, poles, or braces placed in or upon the ground. Ground-mounted, monument and pole signs are subtypes of freestanding signs.

1.    Ground-mounted sign means a freestanding sign with a solid base directly and continuously connected to at least 50 percent of the sign face width or with two bases of at least 12 inches in width, measured at the narrowest dimension, each. The lowest portion of the sign face in a ground-mounted sign is at least 12 inches, but less than eight feet, above grade.

2.    Monument sign means a freestanding sign that has a solid supporting base equal to or greater than the width of the sign face and at least 12 inches high with no separations between the sign and base. The sign and base may be one integrated unit. If not an integrated unit, the supporting base shall be a minimum 12-inch vertical height.

3.    Pole sign means a freestanding sign with the lower edge of the sign face located from one to eight feet above grade and that is not a monument or a ground-mounted sign.

Grade means the existing landscape before construction or newly established landscape after construction, exclusive of any berming, filling, mounding, or excavating solely for the purpose of elevating a freestanding sign.

Illuminated sign means a sign that contains or consists of lights or a light source or that is illuminated by another light source intended primarily to illuminate the sign. The following definitions apply to illuminated signs:

1.    Exposed illumination means a light source that is seen such as neon, fiber optics and bare bulbs that are not external illumination.

2.    External illumination means an external light source directed to illuminate the exterior surface of the sign. External illumination includes downlit (lit from above), uplit (lit from below) and backlit; provided, that the light does not transmit through translucent material.

3.    Internal illumination means a source of illumination entirely within the sign which makes the sign face visible at night by means of light being transmitted through a translucent material and where the source of illumination is not visible.

4.    Opaque means any material which does not allow light to pass through it.

5.    Translucent means any material which allows light to pass through it.

Light pole means any luminaire set on a pole which raises the source of light off of the ground. The pole must be permanent and supported by a footing. New luminaires must comply with the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance.

Lot means a legally created parcel of land.

Mansard roof means a four-sided roof having a double slope on all sides, with the lower slope much steeper than the upper.

Model means any three-dimensional object displayed for advertising purposes including, but not limited to, graphics, logos, models of people, bottles, animals, buildings, ships, and aircraft; sculpture; vehicles; hot air balloons.

Multiple-faced primary freestanding sign means a primary freestanding sign with three or more separate sign cabinets, or one or more sign cabinets with three or more separate sign panels, designed to allow replaceable copy without altering the sign. “Alteration” is as defined in this section.

Mural signs are a subcategory of a wall sign and consist of paint applied directly to the exterior wall of a building, or the mural sign consists of paint applied directly on a structure and is not a sign type included in Table 1. Mural signs may not include any additional materials including, but not limited to, electrical components or lighting, dimensional structural elements, or automated methods that cause changes in the appearance of the mural.

Nonconforming sign means a sign that was lawful when erected, but that does not comply with this chapter.

Nonstructural trim means the molding, battens, caps, latticing, cutouts or letters attached to the sign structure.

Parapet wall means the extension of a false building wall that extends above the edge of the roof.

Permanent sign means any sign that is affixed to a building, window, or structure, or to the ground in a manner that enables the sign to resist environmental loads, such as wind, and that precludes ready removal or movement of the sign.

Portable sign means a movable sign that is not attached to a structure or the ground. Portable signs include A-frame signs, T-frame signs, and similar signs.

Primary facade means that portion of a building facade providing the primary public entrance into the primary use building and which may or may not face the public street, also known as a storefront. Multiple-tenant buildings may have individual primary facades or share a common primary facade. The primary is located on the first story and provides pedestrian access into the building from sidewalks, parking lots, and/or other areas from the first floor. The primary shall be the basis for determining the permissible sign area for building signs.

Primary freestanding sign means a freestanding sign installed adjacent to and oriented towards a right-of-way.

Principal use building means the building in which the principal use of the site is conducted. Sites with multiple principal uses may have multiple principal buildings; however, storage buildings, garages and other accessory structures or uses shall not be considered as the principal use building.

Projecting sign means a sign that projects from and is supported by a wall of a building with the display surface of the sign in a plane perpendicular to or approximately perpendicular to the wall.

Recreational vehicle means a vehicle with or without motive power that is designed for human occupancy and to be used temporarily for recreational, seasonal or emergency purposes and as further defined, by rule, by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services.

Right-of-way means land that is owned by the public for transportation and utility facilities.

Roof sign means a sign which is affixed on the slope of the roof or roof-mounted equipment structure or projects higher than the roofline or roof eave. Signs on parapet walls or mansards are considered wall signs.

Roofline means the top edge of a roof or building parapet; excluding any cupolas, chimneys, or other projections.

Sign means the physical components of materials placed or constructed primarily to convey a message or other display.

Sign band means the prominent flat horizontal area located on the first story of a building directly above storefronts or primary entrances and architecturally designed for wall-mounted signs.

Sign District means a specified boundary within the City, as designated by City Council and incorporated into the Sign District Map, which is attached to and made a part of this chapter. See Exhibit B.

Sign face means the surface upon, against or through which the sign copy or message is displayed or illustrated.

Site means a lot or contiguous lots under common ownership developed under a development approval.

Street frontage means the width of a legal tax lot measured along the line separating the lot from a street.

Suspended sign means a sign attached to the underside of a canopy or awning and supported by the canopy or awning.

Temporary sign means a sign that is intended to be placed for a brief time, and is not a permanent sign.

Urgent care center means a medical facility that delivers unscheduled ambulatory treatment for issues that require immediate care but are not serious enough to require treatment at a hospital 24-hour emergency department.

Wall sign means a single-sided sign that is attached to or painted on an exterior wall of a building, parapet or mansard so that the sign face is parallel or approximately parallel to and within 18 inches of a building wall, parapet or mansard. A mural sign is a subcategory of a wall sign.

Window area means an individual pane of glass or a contiguous area of glass separated by nonstructural elements of dissimilar (non-glass) material or by structural materials.

Window sign means any sign applied, painted, or affixed to a window, or displayed inside the building within two feet of a window or building opening so that it is oriented to the window. Customary displays of merchandise behind a store window are not considered window signs. [Ord. NS-2340, 2019; Ord. NS-2303, 2018; Ord. NS-2292, 2017; Ord. NS-2279, 2016]

9.50.040 Permit Requirements and Sign Districts. Revised 6/19

A.    Sign Permit Required. Unless exempted under this chapter or as authorized by BC 9.50.190, Nonconforming Signs, sign permits are required for:

1.    New signs.

2.    Alterations to an existing sign.

3.    Relocation of a sign.

4.    Mural signs.

B.    Sign District Boundaries. Sign districts are shown on the map attached as Exhibit B. Sign district boundary lines are at the centers of public rights-of-way or the center of a river. [Ord. NS-2340, 2019; Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.050 Signs Exempt from Permit Requirements.

The following signs are allowed in all sign districts without a sign permit and are not included in the determination of the type, number, or area of permanent signs allowed. All signs, even those exempt from permitting, must comply with sign placement and maintenance requirements.

A.    Flags mounted on a pole in the ground or on a building are exempt but are subject to Development Code height regulations and must be located and constructed so that, if the pole should collapse, its reclining length would be contained on the property on which it is installed, subject to the following limitations:

1.    Three flags per site under six acres.

2.    Six flags per site over six acres.

B.    Required or Authorized Signs.

1.    Official and legal notices required or authorized by a court or governmental agency;

2.    Signs placed in the public right-of-way by the entity responsible for administering the right-of-way, or by a governmental authority providing transit services within the right-of-way to the extent that the signs are part of a transit stop.

C.    Signs which are placed inside a building or structure and which are either not visible through window or building openings or are not intended to be visible from outside the building or structure.

D.    One nonilluminated wall or window sign located on or below the second story window opening for nonresidential uses with a maximum sign area of three square feet or one nonilluminated sign located on site in a residential zone with a maximum sign area of three square feet.

E.    One wall or window sign limited to two square feet in area per primary facade or below, except in Sign District 5 the sign must be nonilluminated.

F.    Signs not greater than four feet in height with a sign area not exceeding six square feet per side and not discernible from a public right-of-way or private street with a public access easement.

G.    One permanent freestanding sign not greater than four feet in height with a sign area not exceeding four square feet located at a driveway entrance to a nonresidential property.

H.    Signs located within a sports stadium or athletic field and oriented to the playing field or spectator areas.

I.    Signs that are carried or worn by humans or animals are allowed at all times while they are being carried or worn.

J.    Light Pole Banner. Banners attached to light poles must comply with the following minimum standards:

1.    Banners attached to light poles are allowed for nonresidential uses. Banners must not be located in or project over a street or right-of-way or be attached to a City-owned pole except as authorized by the City of Bend.

2.    Not more than two banners are permitted on a single light pole.

3.    Banners must be vertically installed and must not project more than 36 inches from the light pole. Banners’ sizes must not exceed 30 inches in width and 60 inches in length. Supporting brackets must be attached to the top and bottom of the banner. The banner must be a minimum of eight feet above the finished grade below the sign, 16 feet when located above areas accessed by vehicles.

4.    Stringing attachments or supporting devices between any two or more light poles or between light poles and other objects is prohibited.

5.    Light pole banners must be maintained in accordance with BC 9.50.100(E)(2).

6.    Light pole banners must be attached only on light poles that were legally installed.

K.    Nonilluminated signs on an operable motorized vehicle that has a current registration or nonilluminated signs on an operable motorized vehicle or recreational vehicle on a property with an active vehicle dealer certificate. [Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.060 Temporary Signs.

A.    Temporary signs that meet the standards of this section are not included in the determination of the type, number, or area of permanent signs allowed. Temporary signs must be nonilluminated. Temporary signs must be located on site except when allowed to be located in the right-of-way by this section. Signs that do not meet the standards of this section are subject to the standards for permanent signs in BC 9.50.090, Standards for Permanent Signs.

B.    The following temporary signs are allowed without a sign permit:

1.    One window sign located on or below the first story with a maximum sign area of six square feet may be displayed for a period of up to 14 consecutive days with a maximum of four display periods per calendar year.

2.    Temporary signs with a maximum sign area of six square feet in residential zones and 16 square feet in other zones and a maximum height of six feet in residential zones and eight feet in other zones may be displayed for the period starting 60 days before and ending seven days after any election date established by State statute.

3.    Where a site is under construction, one on-site sign with a maximum sign area of six square feet in residential zones and 32 square feet in other zones and a maximum height of six feet in residential zones and eight feet in other zones may be displayed for two weeks prior to construction, through construction and for one week after completion of construction.

4.    Where a site is offered for sale, rent or lease, one on-site sign with a maximum sign area of six square feet in residential zones and 32 square feet in other zones and a maximum height of six feet in residential zones and eight feet in other zones may be displayed while the property is for sale or rent and for one week after the transaction is finally completed and possession transferred. In addition, portable signs are allowed subject to the following:

a.    Portable signs must be erected during daylight hours and must be removed the same day they are erected;

b.    Portable signs may be up to four square feet in area with a maximum height of four feet and a maximum width of two feet;

c.    Portable signs may be located on site or may be located in the right-of-way not including sidewalks, medians, roundabouts, and streets; and

d.    Portable signs must be placed to avoid conflict with parked vehicles.

5.    Portable signs in the Downtown Economic Improvement District may be allowed subject to the following:

a.    One portable sign is allowed per public entrance in lieu of a merchandise display. If there are multiple tenants in a building, which share the same public entrance, only one portable sign may be displayed.

b.    Portable signs may be up to six square feet in area with a maximum height of four feet and a maximum width of two feet.

c.    Portable signs must be displayed only during the hours the business is open to conduct business.

d.    Portable signs must be located in front of the public entrance’s storefront.

e.    Portable signs must be spaced a minimum of six feet apart from any other portable sign.

f.    Portable signs must be placed to avoid conflict with parked vehicles.

g.    Portable signs are prohibited at building exits or fire escapes.

h.    Portable signs may be located on private property or may be located in the public right-of-way on the sidewalk when authorized by the entity responsible for administering the right-of-way. Portable signs must not adversely affect easements, nor restrict or impede pedestrians. Portable signs must be placed to conform to all relevant standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and maintain an accessible passageway no less than six feet wide.

i.    All portable signs must be registered.

Placement of Portable signs

Downtown Economic Improvement District

C.    The following temporary signs are allowed if a sign permit is obtained:

1.    The following temporary sign(s) may be located on a site where a development project has received land use approvals or, if no land use approval is required, a building permit.

a.    Lot or parcels less than four acres may display one sign up to 32 square feet in area and eight feet in height.

b.    Lots or parcels over four acres may display a maximum of two signs. Each sign may be up to 64 square feet in area and eight feet in height.

c.    The signs may be installed up to two weeks prior to the start of construction project for which a permit has been issued and must be removed within seven days after the completion of the development project or within one year of issuance of the sign permit, whichever occurs first.

2.    Banners.

a.    One banner up to 60 square feet in area.

b.    Banners that are freestanding are limited to a maximum height of eight feet and banners that are placed on a building must be located on or below the first story at a maximum height of 14 feet.

c.    One banner may be displayed on a site for a maximum of 60 days per calendar year.

3.    Portable Signs.

a.    One nonilluminated portable sign may be up to six square feet in area with a maximum height of four feet and a maximum width of two feet.

b.    The portable sign may be displayed on a site for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year.

c.    Not more than two temporary portable sign registrations can be issued per site per year. [Ord. NS-2303, 2018; Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.070 Prohibited Signs.

The following signs or devices are prohibited and may neither be erected nor maintained:

A.    Fluttering, spinning, windblown or inflatable devices including three-dimensional models, pennants, propeller discs and banners as permanent signs.

B.    Signs on benches.

C.    Roof signs.

D.    Signs or devices, including searchlights, spot lights and holograms, that contain or are illuminated by flashing, chasing, or intermittent effects and/or signs that have any movement or are animated signs.

E.    Signs affixed to utility poles except signs not exceeding one square foot in area placed by the owner of the pole.

F.    Sign Emissions. No sign which emits smoke, visible vapors, particles, sound or odor shall be permitted. Open flames used to attract public attention to a place of business or to an advertising sign shall not be permitted.

G.    Mirrors. No mirror device shall be used as part of a sign.

H.    All other nonexempt signs that are not expressly permitted under this chapter.

I.    Signs attached to trees. [Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.080 Sign District Regulations. Revised 6/19

Table 1 in this section establishes the types of signs allowed in the City’s Sign Districts. BC 9.50.090 provides standards for each type of sign and BC 9.50.100 provides general requirements including illumination standards.

Table 1 









Awning/Canopy Sign







Projecting Sign







Wall Sign







Window Sign







Suspended Sign







Roof Sign







Primary Sign







Billboard Sign







Directory Sign







Drive-through Sign







P:    Permitted as allowed in BC 9.50.090 and 9.50.100

N:    Not permitted

[Ord. NS-2340, 2019; Ord. NS-2279, 2016]

9.50.090 Standards for Permanent Signs. Revised 6/19

A.    Determining Building Sign Area Allowance.

1.    Building signs include awning or canopy signs, directory signs, drive-through signs, projecting signs, suspended signs, wall signs and window signs.

2.    The combined permitted sign area of all building signs, excluding suspended signs, directory signs and drive-through signs, must be limited to one and one-half square feet of sign area for each one lineal foot of width of the primary facade up to the maximum sign area allowed in each sign district identified in Table 2, unless a different amount allocated to the building occupant is identified in an approved sign plan pursuant to BC 9.50.170. Sign area allowances for suspended signs, directory signs, and drive-through signs, where permitted, are allowed in addition to the building sign area allowance. For window signs, see subsection (B)(4) of this section.


Table 2 

Sign District

Maximum Sign Area

Minimum Sign Area


200 square feet

30 square feet


150 square feet

30 square feet


100 square feet

30 square feet


100 square feet

20 square feet


12 square feet

12 square feet


Special standards apply

3.    Sign area is computed based on the width of the principal building’s primary facade in elevation view. The width is measured using a straight line beginning at the corner at one end of the side of the building and continuing to the other corner on the same side of the building. If multiple entities occupy a single building, each entity may apply for a sign based on that entity’s primary facade, and the total sign area may not exceed the total sign area for the entire building. Screening walls, fences or other extensions are not included when calculating the building width. Accessory buildings are not used to calculate sign area allowance. Sign area allowances shall not be transferred to other separate tenants or separate uses on the site.

4.    Building signs may be installed on the primary facade or subordinate facades, except in Sign District 6 where special standards for sign number, size and placement apply.

a.    Exception: Buildings located in Sign District 6 are limited to one sign on a subordinate facade visible to the Bend Parkway. The sign shall not exceed 10 percent of the maximum sign area allowance. The sign area is deducted from the total sign area allowance, and the sign shall not be internally illuminated. All other building signs shall comply with the underlying Sign District regulations.

B.    Standards for Specific Signs. Where allowed by BC 9.50.080, the following standards apply to specific types of signs:

1.    Awning and Canopy Sign.

a.    Awning and canopy signs are allowed for nonresidential uses. Awnings and canopies shall be installed in compliance with current editions of adopted building codes and subject to permitting and inspection by the Building Safety Division.

b.    Awning and canopy signs may be permitted only as an integral part of the awning or canopy to which they are attached or applied. Signs shall not be attached on top of or project beyond the fascia of a freestanding canopy. Signs may be installed on top of a canopy that is attached to and supported by the building, provided the sign does not extend above the roofline or eaves of the building. The sign area shall be deducted from the building sign area allowance.



Not Allowed

c.    Awnings and canopies shall not interfere with trees or traffic signs.

d.    Awning and canopies attached to the building are allowed on the first story only. Attached awning or canopy structures shall maintain a clearance of eight feet above a public right-of-way or finished grade. The valance shall maintain a seven-foot clearance. An awning or canopy shall not extend within two feet from the street curb. Posts or columns beyond the property line are not permitted. Awning and canopies shall not project above the roofline.

2.    Projecting Sign.

a.    Projecting signs are allowed for nonresidential uses.

b.    Projecting signs shall be installed on the primary use building. Multiple-tenant buildings may have one sign on each tenant’s storefront that provides customer access.

c.    Projecting signs shall be located on the first story except that a projecting sign may be installed on the wall of the second story, provided the sign and sign supports are installed no higher than the second floor window opening or 24 feet above grade, whichever is lower. Projecting signs shall not extend above the roofline or roof eave or above the parapet of the building.



Not Allowed

d.    Projecting signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area and shall be no more than 36 inches wide and have a maximum thickness of 18 inches. Projecting signs shall extend no more than 42 inches from the building or within two feet of the curb, whichever is less. The sign area shall be deducted from the building sign area allowance.

e.    A minimum clearance of eight feet between the bottom of the sign and the finished grade below the sign is required. At alleys, when no curb exists, a minimum height of 14 feet between the bottom of the sign and the finished grade below the sign is required.

3.    Wall Signs.

a.    Wall signs are allowed for nonresidential uses.

b.    A wall sign may be painted, attached or pinned away from the wall. A wall sign shall not project from the surface upon which it is attached more than required for construction purposes and, in no event, more than 18 inches. A wall sign located over an alley shall have a minimum 14-foot clearance unless it projects less than 12 inches from the building.

c.    One or more wall signs may be allowed. The total area shall be deducted from the building sign area allowance.

d.    Wall signs shall be located on the designated sign band. When a sign band does not exist, the sign shall be located between the first and second story of a multiple story building. The sign shall not be installed higher than the top of the second story window opening to which it is adjacent and shall not be more than 24 feet above grade.

Designated Sign Band

Signs located below second story window opening

e.    Wall signs installed on mansard roofs may be installed vertically when installed on the lowest portion of the sloped roof.

f.    Wall signs shall not extend above the roofline, eaves, wall or building facade or more than 24 feet above the finished grade below the sign.

4.    Window Signs.

a.    Window signs, in combination with temporary window signs, for nonresidential uses located on or below the first story are permitted as follows:

i.    Window signs 25 percent or smaller of the total window area are permitted without a sign permit.

ii.    Window signs larger than 25 percent of the total window area require a sign permit and must deduct the total square footage of the window sign area from the building sign area allowance in Table 2 in this section, Standards for Permanent Signs.

iii.    Illuminated window signs must not exceed 15 percent of the total window area in which they are displayed.

b.    Second story nonresidential uses are allowed only one nonilluminated window sign up to three square feet without a permit.

5.    Suspended Signs.

a.    Suspended signs shall be placed only under an attached awning or canopy on the first story facade for nonresidential uses with direct exterior pedestrian access.

b.    The sign shall not exceed six square feet in area and is in addition to the building sign area allowance.

c.    A minimum seven-foot clearance above finished grade below the sign is required.

d.    Only one sign shall be allowed at each public entrance. Tenant spaces with two separate elevations may install one sign on each elevation.

e.    Suspended signs shall not be internally illuminated except when the clearance is greater than eight feet.

6.    Primary Freestanding Sign.

a.    No portion of a freestanding sign shall be in, or project over, a public right-of-way.

b.    The numerical address of the property must be included on the primary sign and must be clearly visible and legible from the street on which the property fronts. Numbers should be no less than six inches tall and shall not be considered signage nor shall they be included in the calculation of sign area.

c.    Primary freestanding signs shall be either a monument or ground-mounted type sign except in Sign Districts 1 and 2 where pole signs are permitted if freestanding monument or ground-mounted signs would be inconsistent with clear-vision standards at intersections or driveway access points.

d.    One primary freestanding sign is permitted per site. A second freestanding sign is allowed in either of the following situations:

i.    In Sign Districts 1 and 2 on sites with street frontage on two or more arterial streets. The two signs shall be separated by a minimum of 300 feet measured along the street frontages.

ii.    When included in a sign plan approved under BC 9.50.170.

iii.    Multiple-family dwellings of 10 units or more and subdivisions are allowed two monuments or ground-mounted signs located at the principal entrances to the site.

e.    The primary freestanding sign shall be located and oriented to the street.

i.    Exception: Freestanding signs on sites that abut the Bend Parkway shall be located and oriented to the street frontage farthest from the Bend Parkway and shall not be oriented to the Bend Parkway Overlay. Where an intervening access street separates a site from the Bend Parkway Overlay, and that street serves as the primary access to the lot, the freestanding sign may be installed and oriented towards the street consistent with the requirements of the underlying Sign District.

f.    Freestanding signs are not allowed within 10 feet of a lot line that abuts another site.

g.    The maximum size allowed in each Sign District is as follows:

i.    Sign Districts 1 and 2.

(A)    Eighty square feet in area and a maximum of 11 feet in height on sites with a principal building 30,000 gross square feet in area or less or on a site less than six acres in size.

(B)    One hundred twenty square feet in area and a maximum of 15 feet in height on sites with a principal building over 30,000 gross square feet in area or on a site over six acres in size.

ii.    Sign Districts 3 and 5: 32 square feet in area and a maximum of five feet in height.

iii.    Sign District 4: 40 square feet in area and a maximum of eight feet in height.

7.    Billboard.

a.    The maximum number of billboards allowed within the City limits is 43. The inventory of billboards existing on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter is included in Table 3. No new billboard may be erected unless it replaces an existing billboard. Billboards must have existed within the Bend Urban Growth Boundary as of December 18, 1985, in order to be included in the maximum number allowed.

b.    Before erecting any new billboard, a permit must be secured from the Building Official. Where applicable, evidence must be provided of a State-issued permit in accordance with the Oregon Motorists Information Act of 1971.

c.    All billboards moved after the effective date of this chapter shall be located in Sign District 1 or 2 on commercial or industrial zoned properties only. Billboards are not permitted west of the Deschutes River.

d.    Billboards shall be freestanding and shall not be installed on any building.

e.    All billboards shall be spaced a minimum of 500 lineal feet apart.

f.    The sign face shall not exceed the maximum size permitted by the State-issued permit or 10.5 feet in vertical height and 24 feet in horizontal length, whichever is less. Extensions beyond the sign face shall not be permitted.

g.    The billboard shall not exceed 24 feet in height, as measured from finished grade; however, if a variance is granted, the maximum height shall not exceed 35 feet.

h.    Internally illuminated and/or animated billboards are prohibited. External illumination shall comply with the Lighting Ordinance. Electrical wiring to the billboard shall be located underground.

i.    All billboards erected or moved shall be installed behind the legal setback line of each parcel of property as determined by the Development Code.

j.    All structural supports for billboards shall be constructed of steel.

k.    Only flat, single-faced or double-faced billboards shall be permitted. As used in this section, double-faced means a billboard with two display surfaces visible to traffic from two directions of travel. A single-faced billboard means a sign with one display surface visible from one direction of travel.

Table 3

Billboard Inventory as of May 17, 2011 






63655 N HWY 97






20505 ROBAL LN



63594 N HWY 97



63595 N HWY 97



63450 N HWY 97



3520 N HWY 97






3197 N HWY 97



3305 N HWY 97


















913 NE 3RD ST












1052 NE 3RD ST



197 NE 3RD ST






1791 NE HWY 20



273 SE 9TH ST



880 SE 3RD ST



919 SE 3RD ST



625 SE 9TH ST















61445 HWY 97






61210 HWY 97



61360 S HWY 97



2405 NE HWY 20



2035 NE HWY 20












1325 S HWY 97 (CANAL)



1835 NE HWY 20



2215 NE HWY 20

8.    Directory Signs.

a.    Directory signs shall be allowed in addition to other freestanding or building signs; provided, that there is a minimum of three separate tenants.

b.    Directory signs shall be located on the first story facade adjacent to a public entrance or adjacent to the parking lot. The sign shall not be oriented or intended to be legible from a public street or right-of-way.

c.    Not more than one freestanding directory sign may be displayed per site. One or more wall-mounted directory signs may be displayed.

d.    The maximum sign area is 20 square feet when installed on a building or 32 square feet and eight feet in height if freestanding.

e.    Illuminated directory signs are not permitted in residential zones.

9.    Drive-Through Signs.

a.    Drive-Through Signs. Drive-through signs are allowed only for businesses with drive-through services.

b.    Type, Location and Orientation. Drive-through signs may be wall-mounted or freestanding. Freestanding signs shall be on the left side of and oriented to the drive-through lanes. Drive-through signs shall not be intended to be legible from the public rights-of-way.

c.    Maximum Number, Area and Height. One sign of up to 45 square feet in area and eight feet in height is allowed per drive-through lane for up to two drive-through lanes.

d.    One additional sign per site of up to 15 square feet in area and eight feet in height is permitted at the entry to the drive-through area. The signs allowed by this section shall be located on the left side and oriented to the drive-through lanes. [Ord. NS-2340, 2019; Ord. NS-2292, 2017; Ord. NS-2279, 2016; NS-2148, 2010]

9.50.095 Mural Sign Regulations. Revised 6/19

A.    Standards for Mural Signs. The following standards apply to mural signs in addition to the general requirements provided in BC 9.50.100:

1.    Mural signs are allowed on properties designated as commercial, mixed-use, public facilities, or industrial on the Comprehensive Plan map, in addition to any other sign allowed on a property.

2.    Except for sites zoned Urbanizable Area (UA) District, mural signs are allowed in the residential Comprehensive Plan map designations in addition to any other sign allowed on a property when they comply with the following:

a.    The mural sign is located on a developed site that abuts an arterial or collector street and the site does not include a residential use.

3.    Mural signs are not subject to size and height limitations.

4.    Mural signs must be kept in good condition until they are removed.

5.    A permit is required for mural signs. All artists and owners of the property must sign the mural sign permit application. When a mural sign is part of a school or similar group project, the signature of a responsible official of the school or other group will be deemed signature by all artists. All artists and owners of the property must agree to the following:

a.    The mural sign must remain in place, without alterations, for at least 12 months from the date of permit issuance, unless the property is transferred during that period.

b.    After 12 months the mural sign may be painted over, or at any time the mural sign becomes noncompliant with this code.

6.    Murals may be allowed on structures within the public ROW if authorized by City Council motion, following an establishment of a program for murals in the right-of-way. [Ord. NS-2340, 2019]

9.50.100 General Requirements.

A.    Placement.

1.    All signs and sign structures shall be installed and attached on or within the site or property behind any applicable setback or right-of-way.

2.    Any sign or portion of a sign that obstructs any window, doorway, transom, architectural details, fire escape, stairway or standpipe; interferes with exits through any window; obstructs any door or required exit from any building; or obstructs any required light or ventilation is prohibited.

3.    Signs or structures that may pose a hazard to pedestrians or vehicular traffic, including but not limited to signs that obstruct the clear view of pedestrians and drivers, and signs interfering with the effectiveness of traffic signs or signals are prohibited.

4.    Signs in the public right-of-way except those exempt or permitted under this chapter, not including signs on vehicles lawfully using the right-of-way or legally parked, are prohibited.

B.    Clearances.

1.    Vision Clearance Areas. No sign shall be placed in a clear vision area as identified in BDC Chapter 3.1.

2.    Vehicle Area Clearances. In areas outside of rights-of-way, when a sign, sign structure or awning extends over an area in which vehicles travel or are parked, the bottom of the sign or awning must be at least 14 feet above the finished grade below the sign except when reasonably protected with a permanent structure as approved by the Building Official. Vehicle areas include driveways, alleys, parking areas, and loading and maneuvering areas.

3.    Pedestrian Area Clearances. When a sign, sign structure or awning extends more than 12 inches over a sidewalk, walkway, or other space used by pedestrians, the bottom of the structure must be a minimum of eight feet above grade.

4.    Clearances from Fire Escapes, Means of Egress or Standpipes. Signs, sign structures and awnings are prohibited from being erected in any manner that interferes in any way with the free use of any fire escape, means of egress or standpipe. Attaching signs, sign structures or awnings to a fire escape is prohibited.

5.    Clearance from High Voltage Power Lines. No sign or part of a sign support may interfere with any utility wires or supports. All signs must be sufficiently clear of high voltage power lines so those signs can be safely erected and maintained. Signs shall be located not less than six feet horizontally or 12 feet vertically from overhead electrical conductors that are energized in excess of 750 volts.

6.    Clearance for building signs shall be measured as the smallest vertical distance measured between the finished grade directly below the sign and the lowest point of the sign, including any framework or other embellishments.

C.    Signs Extending Over the Public Right-of-Way.

1.    Signs shall not be located in or project over the right-of-way except in the Central Business District where signs, awnings and canopies are allowed.

2.    If rights-of-way are widened so that an existing sign is in, or projects into, the expanded right-of-way, the City may allow the sign to remain in place if the City determines that it will have no impact on safety. The City may require the sign to be moved.

D.    Sign Illumination. The artificial illumination of signs, either from an internal or external source, shall be designed to eliminate negative impacts on surrounding right-of-way and properties. The following standards shall apply to all illuminated signs:

1.    No sign or light source shall create an unduly distracting or hazardous condition to a motorist, pedestrian or the general public. Colored lights or colored sign faces shall not be used at a location or in a manner so as to be confused or construed as traffic control devices.

2.    External light sources shall be directed and shielded to limit direct illumination of any object other than the sign.

3.    Internally illuminated signs and signs with exposed light sources are prohibited in all residential zoned properties and Sign Districts 4 and 5, except internally illuminated signs on the site of 24-hour emergency medical facilities and urgent care centers, during business hours.

4.    Signs shall not have blinking, flashing, or fluttering lights, or other illuminating devices that have a changing light intensity, brightness or color.

5.    Internally illuminated sign faces shall be constructed to have an opaque background and translucent copy or a sign that has a translucent dark colored background and light colored copy. White, off-white, light gray, creams or yellow colors are not permitted as background colors.

E.    Design, Construction, Inspection, and Maintenance.

1.    Design. All signs and related structures must be designed, constructed, inspected and maintained in compliance with this chapter and current State of Oregon Structural Specialty Code including any applicable City, State and Federal code, rule, law or regulation.

2.    Maintenance. All signs including structures and components including supports, braces, anchors, and other components shall be maintained in a state of good repair.

3.    Materials. All signs except exempt and temporary signs shall be constructed of permanent materials and permanently affixed to a structural support in the ground or on the building.

4.    Supports. All sign permit applications shall include the specific support details. The design of the support will be reviewed by the Building Official for compliance with the applicable building code standards. The Building Official may require a design prepared by a State-licensed engineer.

F.    Determining Sign Area and Dimensions. Sign area shall be measured by drawing the smallest geometric shape created with a maximum of eight straight lines drawn at right angles (squares or rectangle) which will enclose all words, letters, figures, symbols, designs and pictures, together with all framing, nonstructural trim, background material, colored or illuminated areas and attention-attracting devices forming an integral part of an individual message except that:

1.    Wall signs having no visible boundary or clearly defined background area shall have the areas between letters, words or logos intended to be read together and any device intended to draw attention to the sign message included in the computation of sign area.

2.    Spherical Signs and Signs with Three-Dimensional Objects. Signs that are spherical or have three-dimensional objects that project less than eight inches from the sign support structure shall be measured as a flat sign. Signs that project more than eight inches from the sign support structure shall be measured using the smallest two-dimensional geometrical shape or shapes which will best approximate the greatest actual sign area visible from any one direction.

3.    Double-Sided or V-Shaped Sign. Only one side of a double-sided sign or V-shaped sign is calculated provided the distance between the two sign faces is less than two feet apart. Where two sides are not of equal size, the larger of the two sides is measured. Where the sign faces are more than two feet apart all sides are calculated.

4.    Awning and Canopy Sign. The sign area on awnings and canopies attached to the building shall include the sign and all areas that are translucent when illuminated. When the ends of awnings are parallel and contain a sign or are translucent, only one side is counted in addition to the front. Signs on all sides of a freestanding canopy structure are calculated.

5.    Freestanding Sign. Sign area does not include the sign support posts or poles that are clearly incidental and are used only to support the sign cabinets, panels or nonstructural trim or serve another permitted purpose separate from the sign, such as a retaining wall, fence or other structure. The first 12 inches in vertical height above grade is not included when calculating the sign area of a freestanding sign provided it does not contain sign copy; the first 12 inches is considered necessary to elevate the sign above grade or to provide a sign base for a monument type sign.

G.    Determining Sign Height.

1.    The height of a freestanding sign shall be measured from average grade of the base of the sign to the highest point of the sign, unless the average grade at the base of the sign is lower than the grade of the street frontage nearest to the sign. If the grade at the base of the sign is lower than the grade of the street frontage where the sign is located, the height is measured from the top of the curb, if there is one, or from the average street grade of the street nearest the sign.

2.    The height of a sign attached to a building shall be the vertical distance as measured from the highest point of a sign attached to a building, including supporting frames and material to the ground below the sign. [Ord. NS-2292, 2017]

9.50.110 Procedures.

A.    Applications. Applications for sign permits shall be submitted on City forms. The application form shall include the name and address of the property owner, sign owner, sign manufacturer and sign installer and must be accompanied by a fee in the amount set by Council resolution. The minimum submittal requirements include drawings showing the design, location, content, and dimensions of the sign and the design and dimensions of any measures used to support the sign or used to affix the sign to the building or structure.

B.    Approval and Inspection. The City shall issue the sign permit if the application is properly submitted and the proposed sign meets the standards of this chapter and other applicable laws and regulations. The approved sign shall be constructed and installed within six months of the approval date. The City shall use a Type I development review process for sign permits except as otherwise specified in this chapter. The Community Development Director may elevate any application to a Type II or Type III process at his or her discretion.

C.    Revocation of Permits. The City may revoke sign permits if a sign is found to be in violation of this chapter, if the violation cannot be cured, or if the permittee fails to take steps to cure the violation. The City may revoke sign permits if it determines the permits were mistakenly issued in violation of this chapter. Sign permits shall become void if sign installation is not completed within six months of permit issuance.

9.50.120 Amendments.

Amendment to this chapter shall be processed in accordance with the procedures and criteria contained in the Bend Development Code for map and text amendments.

9.50.130 Formal Interpretation.

Formal interpretation of the text or application of this chapter may be made by the Community Development Director following the Type II process. The Director shall base his or her interpretation on the following criteria:

A.    The interpretation is consistent with the purpose of this chapter;

B.    The interpretation is consistent with any dictionary of common usage if subsection (A) of this section cannot be applied.

9.50.140 Variance.

Variances to the standards in this chapter will be reviewed in accordance with the procedures and criteria contained in Bend Development Code for Class B Variances.

9.50.150 Adjustment to Standards.

A.    Purpose. This section is intended to provide for flexibility to specific criteria of the Sign Code in order to allow for creativity in sign location and design relative to the particular topography and/or building architecture where a sign otherwise complies with the provisions of this code in all respects except size, height, location or other numeric standards. This chapter provides uniform procedures for the granting or denial of applications for an adjustment to standards.

B.    Applicability. Adjustment of up to 25 percent may be approved by the Community Development Director to each of the specific numeric standards in this code that regulate the following:

1.    Wall Sign Location. Increase the maximum height on which a sign may be installed on a building wall.

2.    Sign Dimension and Area. Increase the maximum allowed size of individual signs or of the total allowed building sign area.

3.    Sign Height. Increase the maximum allowed height of on-site ground, monument or pole signs, or of building or wall signs.

4.    Other numeric standards in this code except where an exception is expressly prohibited.

5.    Legal Nonconforming Signs. Allowing legal nonconforming on-site pole, ground or monument signs to be structurally altered at their existing base or pole structure location; provided, that the extent of nonconforming sign height or sign size is reduced.

C.    Application Requirements. Applicants for a sign permit may seek an adjustment to the standards of this chapter by filing an application for an adjustment to standards. The application shall contain information as specified on the application form and shall be accompanied by the required fee.

D.    Approval Process. An adjustment to standards is reviewed under the Type II procedure contained in the Bend Development Code. If the adjustment to standards is denied, a party may appeal the decision to the Bend Planning Commission in accordance with the appeals section of the Bend Development Code. A request to exceed a numeric standard by more than 25 percent may only be approved through the variance process.

E.    Criteria of Approval. The Community Development Director or designee shall review the application and approve, approve with conditions or deny the request. A decision and any conditions placed on the decision shall be in writing. The decision shall include findings demonstrating that all of the following criteria have been met:

1.    a.    Unusual conditions associated with the sign location have been identified that interfere with the reasonable visibility of the sign;

b.    There are proposed sign design elements that are in scale with and compatible with the landscape, topography, building design and surrounding district but are not otherwise permitted by this code;

2.    The request does not create a vision clearance hazard for pedestrians, motor vehicles or bicyclists;

3.    The request does not impede public safety or adequate emergency access to the site;

4.    The request does not impact public or private easements;

5.    The request does not limit solar access standards for abutting properties. In order to meet this criterion, the Director may require that the sign structure be placed as close to the south property line as possible; and

6.    The request otherwise complies with the provisions of the Sign Code.

F.    Additional Requirements.

1.    If the adjustment to standards involves a setback, the plot plan shall be prepared by an Oregon registered surveyor.

2.    Adjustment will not be granted for prohibited signs or to construction and maintenance standards.

3.    Approval of an adjustment to standards shall become void if the approved work is not completed within six months of the approval date. (Ord. NS-2154, 2010)

9.50.160 Appeals.

Appeals shall be processed in accordance with the procedures contained within the Bend Development Code for appeals.

9.50.170 Sign Plan.

A Sign Plan is intended to integrate the signs proposed for a nonresidential development project with the overall site design.

A.    Applicability. The submittal of a Sign Plan shall be optional.

B.    Approval Process and Limitation. Sign Plans shall be reviewed through the Type II adjustment to standards process. An increase in sign height or sign area of more than 25 percent or an increase in the number of signs is not allowed.

C.    Application Requirements. An application for a Sign Plan shall include filing fees and all plan views, building elevations, square foot sign area allowances, sign location areas and examples of appropriate building signs and freestanding signs.

9.50.180 Historic Landmarks. Revised 6/19

The City will not consider a sign permit for a sign on a historic resource until the sign request is determined by the City to be in conformance with BC Chapter 10.20, Historic Preservation Code. [Ord. NS-2340, 2019]

9.50.190 Nonconforming Sign.

A.    Any sign lawfully existing or lawfully permitted and constructed within the time allowed by the sign permit but which is made nonconforming by adoption or amendment of this chapter is a nonconforming sign.

B.    Nonconforming signs must be removed or brought into compliance if any of the following occurs:

1.    The sign or sign structure is moved, removed, replaced or structurally altered unless the moving is required by the City or other public entity to accommodate a public project. Changes in removable faces or panels are not structural alterations.

a.    Exception: When a nonconforming sign is damaged by causes beyond the control of the owner, the sign may be rebuilt to the same size and height, using the same types of original material.

2.    The use of the property where the sign is located changes to a different use. For purposes of this section, a change in use includes situations in which services or goods offered or provided on the property are changed.

a.    Exception: When a nonconforming multiple-faced primary freestanding sign is located on a developed site where there are three or more separate uses the copy may be changed without losing the nonconforming right unless and until the sign is moved, removed, replaced or altered. [Ord. NS-2303, 2018]

9.50.200 Enforcement.

A.    Violations. A violation of any provision of this chapter is a Class A infraction. Each day shall be a separate violation. Violations will be enforced through the Bend civil infraction procedure.

B.    Confiscation. The City may remove any sign installed or placed on public rights-of-way or on City property in violation of this chapter. The City shall have the right to recover from the owner or person placing such a sign all costs of removal and disposal of a sign removed under this section, in addition to other remedies within this chapter.

C.    Violation Declared a Nuisance. The location, erection, construction, maintenance, repair, alteration or use of a sign in violation of this chapter is declared a nuisance and may be abated in either the manner provided for in this chapter or in the same manner as all other nuisances.

9.50.210 Severability.

If any part, section, subsections, sentence or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.