Signs and street graphics are regulated in Madison to be sure they are safe, attractive and effective (City Ordinance Chapters 28, 31, and 33).

Process Overview

  1. Discuss with City Zoning

    If you want to erect a sign or banner contact the Zoning Staff before ordering it. Each zoning district has its own standards for the number, size, height, location, type, illumination and other aspects of street graphics. Zoning staff can help you determine what is allowed at your site.

    Who to Contact

    Zoning at Building Permits: (608) 266-4551.

    Where to Go

    215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd  017
    Madison, WI 53703

    Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

  2. Application Review

    Street graphics are evaluated on these criteria:

    • compatibility with their surroundings
    • appropriateness to the type of activity
    • expression of the identity of the proprietor
    • legibility
    • design and position for traffic safety
    • use as an accessory to land and improvements

    Zoning staff and, if necessary, Urban Design or Landmarks Commission will review the application.

  3. Permit Approval

    If the permit is approved, the permit will be issued once the fee is paid.

Related Forms & Handouts