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Planning, Development & Building ConstructionSign Permits

The purpose of the Town's sign standards is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare through a comprehensive system of reasonable, consistent and nondiscriminatory sign standards and requirements.

  • Most signs on non-single family properties must obtain a permit from the Town of Hilton Head Island. For exceptions, see Sec. 16-5-114.E.1.b. For regulations related to signs within Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), see Sec. 16-5-114.H.12.
  • Applications for signs pdf icon (new signs and changes to existing signs) up to 40 square feet in size (including the sign panel and supporting structure) are reviewed by Town staff. Applications for signs over 40 square feet (including the sign panel and supporting structure) in size are reviewed by the Design Review Board.
  • Signs shall meet the standards for Island Character as defined in the Town's Design Guide pdf icon.
  • Any proposed alterations to or relocation of an existing, permitted sign requires approval by Town staff or the Design Review Board.

Who can apply?
Anyone can apply for the permit. The applicant should be either the sign contractor or the business owner and should be the point of contact for Town Staff. The applicant should be able to answer any questions and will be the person responsible for compliance with any conditions of the permit.

When to apply?
As soon as you know the preferred sign design. Please allow enough time for staff review and any revisions that may be required. The applicant should receive a comment letter or other correspondence one week after submission of a complete application.

Prohibited signs

These types of signs are not allowed in the Town:

  • Signs attached to trees or utility poles.
  • Abandoned or dilapidated signs.
  • Signs towed behind a vehicle, watercraft or aircraft.
  • Banners or pennants.
  • Internally illuminated signs, neon signs or signs which contain a visible light source.
  • Inflatable signs or balloons of any type.
  • Political signs in rights-of-way.

For a complete list of prohibited signs, see LMO 16-5-114.I.

How to apply for a Sign Permit

Hard Copy: Complete and submit the Application for signs pdf icon

Fees are determined by the number of signs and sign faces and must be submitted at the time of application.

The checklists below list the application requirements for each type of sign under "Required Information & Materials". The checklists list the criteria staff will use to review the application under "Design Review". You do not need to submit the checklist with the sign permit application form.

When deciding to make changes to any sign or install a new sign, call the Community Development Department for more information on the applicable regulations and fees.

For questions regarding this procedure, please contact the Community Development Information Center email icon at 843-341-4757.