A Sign Permit is necessary when an occupant wishes to erect or change a ground and/or building mounted sign at his or her place of business (see "Chapter 4", Sign Ordinance (PDF) for district regulations). In addition to permanent signage, the Sign Ordinance (PDF) regulates the use of temporary signs. The city, recognizing the need for marketing "special offerings", will allow temporary signs to be displayed inside the window of a business, which are erected on a temporary basis for a period of up to 30 days. No other such temporary signs will be allowed.

Signs located on the exterior of the building, as well as ground mounted and erected on a permanent basis, are considered permanent signage and must count toward the sign allotment as designated by the zoning district in which located. Certain signage, such as those displaying the hours and credit cards accepted, are allowed. Specifically, wind activated signs, such as banners, streamers, pennants, etc. with verbiage, are not allowed. However, during "Grand Opening" celebrations, such banners are allowed for a period of up to 30 days. Banners may, however, be hung inside a window on a temporary basis.

To apply for a Sign Permit, review the Sign Ordinance (PDF) within the Zoning and Land Use Control Regulations. A Sign Permit Application may then be completed and submitted for review.

Off-Premise Directional Signage Policy

In an effort to prevent the distracting influence of an uncontrolled use of off-premises signs and preserve the overall landscape quality of the City of Alcoa while allowing the reasonable use of signs to inform the traveling public, all off-premise signs are prohibited with the exception of certain off-premise directional signs which have been authorized and directed by the city administration. To be authorized, such off-premise directional signage must meet the following criteria:
  • Be a civic, cultural, recreational or educational (as approved by the city administration) use;
  • Be architecturally compatible with criteria specific to a given location;
  • Be in conformance with MUTCD requirements (for example, school signs will consist of green background with white lettering, arrows, etc.).
City staff will be responsible for constructing and installing off-premise directional signage. All signs will follow an established design with the exception of those sites located within specific design criteria areas. In such cases, city staff will make the necessary design changes. The applicant will be responsible for the cost of materials associated with the construction, installation and maintenance of the signs, including any costs necessary to comply with site-specific design criteria. These costs must be collected by the city staff prior to the construction and installation of the sign. While requests may be made as to the placement of such sign, the city administration will determine the exact location and will be responsible for installing the sign.

Flag Pole Installation Policy

Flag poles may be constructed on site and shall be at a height typically in the range of 30 feet to 40 feet with appropriately sized flags. Flag poles should be no more than 40 feet in height and flags should be sized according to the size of the pole (i.e., the maximum size flag for a 30 feet pole is 5 feet x 8 feet, or 40 square feet, and the maximum size flag for a 40 feet pole is 8 feet by 12 feet, or 96 square feet).