Signs plague Steamboat

City officials note increase in illegally placed placards


— City officials say signs such as sandwich boards, easels, dry-erase boards and even banners are cluttering the streets of Steamboat Springs.

"The Steamboat Springs City Council and city staff has observed an increase in the number of illegally placed and non-permitted signs and banners throughout the community," read a statement released Thursday. "City Council is very concerned about 'sign clutter' throughout the community."

City planner Dave Gardner said although enforcement of city sign codes has been "a slow process" in recent months, the issuance of citations and municipal fines could speed up if necessary.

"Because of the real estate market, there are a number of 'For Sale by Owner' signs," Gardner said, referring to real estate signs illegally placed in common areas of subdivisions or blocking public rights-of-way such as sidewalks.

City regulations stipulate that real estate signs must be no larger than 6 square feet, may not be located off premises or on a public right-of-way and must be limited to one sign per lot or parcel.

Other sign code regulations include:

  • Old Town: Sandwich boards, easels, dry-erase boards, etc. are not allowed. In other parts of the city, a sign code variance from the Board of Adjustment is required.
  • Temporary banners: All banners require a permit and may not be more than 30 square feet in size. The permit is valid for 14 consecutive days, two times per year, per business.
  • Garage sales: No permit is required, but garage sale signs may not be more than 4 square feet in size, may not be displayed more than three days before the event and must be remove no later than two days after the event.
  • Political signs: May not be on a public right-of-way or public lot. Are not allowed on the side of highways. Placement on the lawns of private residences is OK provided the sign does not block a sidewalk.

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail


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