New Signage Laws in the City of Frederick

New Signage Laws in the City of Frederick

Announcement: Off-Site Real Estate Signs Prohibited in City of Frederick

On Thursday, July 19, the City of Frederick Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 to adopt amendments to the City’s signage regulations. One of those amendments eliminated the use of directional and open house signage within the public right of way.

Going forward, all real estate signage shall be limited to the owner’s property.

The following real estate signage is now allowed in the City of Frederick without a permit:

1 sign not exceeding 6 square feet per property in residential and downtown districts – this covers most post or frame residential real estate “for sale” signs currently used by REALTORS®.


1 additional sign may be posted on the property while it is offered for sale and continuing until 30 days following execution of the contract – allows on-site open house or other signage related to the home sale.

In addition, the following amendments were made which may impact real estate marketing practices:

All balloons must be set back from the public right of way by a distance equal to their height – for example, balloons attached to the top of a for sale sign post or open house sign at the curb may exceed the required setback; balloons attached to the dwelling itself would likely comply.

Freestanding signs continue to be prohibited on limited access highways

Sandwich board signs are allowed in the DB district but must leave a travel path of at least 5 feet clearance

These revisions were drafted in response to a 2015 Supreme Court decision which prohibits government from creating regulation based upon the content of the signs – meaning there can no longer be special carve-outs for real estate uses. Rather than allow all forms of temporary signage in the public right of way, the City instead eliminated the use of off-site signage.

FCAR will continue to monitor the impact of these changes and work with City officials on solutions which comply with the Supreme Court ruling.

These new rules go into effect 10 days post-approval which happens to be on Sunday, July 29. Thanks to our GAD Lisa May for keeping us updated!

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Maryland REALTORS®
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