Supervisors Sign Off on Road Signs

People living in or visiting San Diego County’s unincorporated communities may soon start seeing a lot more signs — welcoming them to town; telling them about special events; or directing them to local attractions — after County Supervisors unanimously approved new sign rules Wednesday.

“I think the new sign and banner ordinance is going to help distinguish the unique characteristics of each of the unincorporated communities,” said Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob.

The board’s vote Wednesday will repeal the County’s current policy of banning community signs on County roads and create new rules that allow a number of different kinds of signs and banners — permanent and temporary.

Because the rule changes will create a new County ordinance, the action must be approved by the Board again when they meet Jan. 29, and would take effect 30 days after that.

The staff report that was presented to the Board Wednesday said that allowing signs to be put up on County roads could establish a greater sense of place and community character without sacrificing road safety.

Supervisor Bill Horn, who, with Jacob, brought the issue to the Board’s attention in 2012, said that cities have long been able to put up signs on their roads and that it was time that unincorporated communities had the same opportunity.

“Signs bring new visitors and visitors bring money,” Horn said. “And that’s pretty simple.”

The new rules would allow six types of community signs and banners to be put up in the public right-of-way in unincorporated communities:

  • Community Identification Signs: ground mounted or street-spanning non-commercial civic-oriented decorative signs.
  • Community Information Signs: ground mounted, non-commercial, civic-oriented decorative signs with changeable shingles that identify upcoming community events and enhance community character.
  • Directional Wayfinding Signs: Networks of uniform, permanent, directional and destination signs to show people how to get to civic, cultural, visitor and recreational areas, so long as they are placed in or near established village areas.
  • Neighborhood and Business Watch Signs.
  • Horizontal Street Spanning Signs: temporary, decorative signs to announce or promote community events in a village area.
  • Vertical Pole-Mounted Banners: temporary, decorative signs on street light poles to announce or promote community events or recognized holidays.



Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact