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Changes to the Town's Sign Regulations

On June 5, 2012, Town Council approved changes to the Town's sign regulations.

  • The changes are not a large-scale overhaul of the sign standards; the standards regulating number, location, size, materials, colors, lighting, landscaping and overall design standards of permanent, highly visible commercial signs have not changed. The most visible changes will be the allowance of short-term signs for large-scale special events (such as Wing Fest or Rib Fest), high-quality (wood frame with a chalkboard background) signs advertising sales or specials and holiday decorations allowed year-round (instead of just the year-end holiday season.)
  • The changes to the Land Management Ordinance (LMO) sign standards were made for several reasons:
    • The sign standards were contained in two chapters of the LMO, which was confusing, and some language was unclear and needed to be clarified both through changes in text and the addition of photographs.
    • In working with business owners, sign manufacturers and the general public over the years, staff identified ways in which the sign code could be more flexible and helpful to business owners while still maintaining the character of Hilton Head Island.
    • Since the standards were adopted in 1987, there have been changes in sign technology (notably the trend of video/electronic signs), and the code was amended to make it clear that these types of signs are not permitted on Hilton Head Island.
    • There have been many challenges to the constitutionality of sign regulations in other municipalities, generally due to the regulation of political signs and to the lack of both a strong purpose statement and a severability clause. These items have all been corrected.
To ensure the Town’s sign standards are up-to-date and that they will withstand judicial scrutiny.

LMO Revision - Sign Standards & Regulations pdf icon

If you have any questions, please contact Anne Cyran, Senior Planner email icon at (843) 341-4697.