Beginning July 1, the Town of Wake Forest will resume enforcing signage regulations in accordance with Chapter 11 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The Town will also resume enforcing regulations related to temporary structures, including patios and outdoor dining areas introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past year, the Town relaxed many of its signage rules to help businesses affected by COVID. In particular, the Town waived permit requirements for temporary signs, so businesses could advertise with banners, flags, and/or sandwich-board/A-frame signs that they were open or hiring or even their delivery and pickup information.
Now that conditions are improving and North Carolina’s pandemic restrictions are being loosened, Town officials are urging businesses to follow the sign permitting process as outlined in Chapter 11 of the UDO. Chapter 11 authorizes “the use of signs whose size, type, and location are compatible with their surroundings; to ensure signs do not become a public hazard, traffic hazard, or nuisance; to preserve the characteristics of each district; and to protect and enhance the overall appearance of the community.”
It also states “it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, move, or replace any sign without first obtaining a sign permit.”
Chapter 15 of the UDO requires businesses that made changes to their site over the past year to either remove them or obtain Town approval. Businesses wishing to make the changes permanent are urged to contact the Planning Department to initiate the approval process. The process typically takes several weeks to complete, so anyone considering making temporary changes permanent is urged to begin the process now.