Sign Regulations


Generally speaking, a sign permit is required for all signage within the City of Johnston except temporary signs. Signage is defined and regulated by Chapter 187 of the city code.

All signage is subject to placement restrictions as outlined in Chapter 170 of the city code, including the prohibition to place a sign on a public sidewalk or in the areas between the sidewalk and curb (public right-of-way). Placement of signs within the public right-of-way is unlawful and may be confiscated by city staff and disposed of regularly. 

Sign permits shall be submitted to the Community Development Department with the following items for review:

  • Sign Permit Application (PDF)
  • Illustration of the proposed signage with dimensions
  • Site plan for monument and temporary type signs showing the location of the sign with setback dimensions to the property lines
  • Building elevation showing height and width of the building frontage, and location of proposed signage for building signs


  • All building signs up to and including 30 square feet of sign area $65 plus $.65 per sq. ft. of sign area proposed.
  • All building signs with more than 30 square feet of sign area $65 plus $0.80 per sq. ft. of sign area proposed.
  • All ground-based signs (monument, project identification, etc.) $75 plus $0.40 per sq. ft. of sign area proposed.

* All fees are assessed per sign or sign location as determined by the Zoning Administrator.

Temporary Signs

Temporary signs are intended to be displayed for the purpose of viewing from a public street and displayed for a limited period of time only. Temporary signage is regulated based upon the zoning district in which the sign is located and the duration the sign is intended to be displayed. No permits are required for temporary signs.

The maximum total aggregate amount of temporary signage per property shall be:

  • 48-square feet in the CD, R-E, R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-3, R-4, or R-5 zoning districts
  •  96-square feet in the A-R, CO, C-1, C-2, C-3, PC, IC, M-1, M-2, or MUC zoning districts

Click here (PDF) to view a PDF of the Zoning Map to find your district.

Temporary Sign Time Duration:

  • Short-term temporary sign: 120 calendar days or less 
  • Long-term temporary sign: greater than 120 calendar days, but less than 365 calendar days 

More Information

For more information or specific questions, contact Eric Rehm, Building Inspector at (515) 727-7779.