Albemarle County sign regulations

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Albemarle County's zoning code has a section that regulates how commercial signage is to be treated. This ordinance is under review during 2010-2011 as part of the economic development action plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors in January 2010.[1][2]


Albemarle first began regulating signs in 1969 with the passage of the county's first zoning ordinance. At the time, commercial flags and neon signs were prohibited. In 1973, the Board of Supervisors appointed an Albemarle County Sign Advisory Commission to review the ordinance, but county records do not show how their recommendations were implemented. In 1976, a 'scenic highway overlay district' was adopted which imposed design review, and required signs to be setback from highways, and also shrank their allowed size and decreased the number of signs that could be placed on a scenic highway[3].

Review of signs by the Architectural Review Board began in 1990 when the board adopted an entrance corridor overlay district. On July 8, 1992, another revision was passed that decreased the size, height, number and setbacks for freestanding signs. A requirement for a special use permit for existing signs was inserted into the code to encourage conformance to the new rules. The 1992 revision was adopted after eight public meetings[3].

Further revision took place in 2001 to add descriptions and during which the height of wall signs was raised. This revision was adopted on May 9, 2001[3].


  1. Web. Supervisors adopt pro-business “action plan”; Call for increased economic development, zero-based budgeting, and reduced property taxes, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, January 6, 2010, retrieved November 2, 2010. Also available at the Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center.
  2. Web. Sign Ordinance Zoning Text Amendments Roundtable #3, Albemarle County, retrieved 27 June 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Web. [1], retrieved November 2, 2010.

External links

Signage information page on Albemarle County website