Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

We couldn’t live our lives without signage. They are necessary. Going to a new doctor’s office at a large medical complex? Thank goodness for those letters or numbers on each building as we weave through a maze of buildings. Looking for that new restaurant that you’ve been dying to try? Thank goodness for that marquee sign on their building. New to a town? Thank goodness for street signs. We use signage multiple times a day and never once give them a thought. What about those feather banners or blow up figures dotting the landscape? Are they visual pollution in a community?

The City of Glendale is in the process of revising its codes and the proposed revisions should be ready for public comment in May or June. One section of the code deals with signage…every imaginable form of signage.

Permanent signage can be regulated fairly easily. The proposed code will stipulate how much square footage, permissible materials and placement is permissible. The problem for all of us to consider are temporary signs. Under Section 4.5.13 Temporary Signs are listed as:

  • A-Frame – no time limit specified
  • Banners – maximum display time of 14 consecutive days; minimum of 10 days between display periods

    A little much…
    3 banners
    A Frame
    More than 50% window coverage

  • Community/Individual event – on individual lot up to 90 days a year, not to exceed 30 consecutive days; in residential common area up to 40 days, not to exceed 20 consecutive days
  • Downtown promotional banner – 45 consecutive days 4 times a year with minimum of 15 days between each special event



  • Feather/Swooper – up to 15 days, 4 times a year

    9 Feather signs

  • Inflatables – no time period specified


  • Elections, non-commercial – controlled by Arizona Revised Statutes 16-1019
  • Seasonal – no time period specified
  • Sign Walkers – no time period specified
  • Pennants – up to 15 days, 4 times a year
  • Flags – up to 3 years for a temporary flag
  • Subdivision advertising/directional – until 95% of homes are sold or sales office closes
  • Construction and development – to be removed within 7 days after expiration of the building permit
  • Open House directional – to be posted only when a salesperson on duty for a maximum of for no more than 9 hours a day
  • Real Estate activity, on-site – no time period specified
  • Light pole banner on private property – no time period specified

Note that some categories have no specified time period and that could be problematical. What is even more problematical is the ability of the city’s code department to enforce the time limits for temporary signs when the department only has a staff of 15 people.

I would like to see the code department use volunteers with no power to issue citations. We used to have volunteers that collected small, temporary signs, such as Yard Sale signs, placed in the city’s right-of way. Why not resurrect volunteers and have them note when they see a temporary sign go up and then check in 15 days to see if the temporary sign has been removed? They could pass this information on to a code inspector to start the necessary process to get it removed.

I also do not think that 30 days to remove a temporary sign is reasonable. It’s temporary. How long does it take down to take a feather sign staked in the ground? Or to turn off the compressor of an inflatable sign and remove it? A day or two? Why 30 days?

I have seen inflatables, feather signs and banner signs up for more than a year. Unless a specific complaint is made, these illegal signs are never dealt with. The proliferation of temporary signs is no more than visual pollution.

How junky do we want to allow Glendale to look? Since city council will be reviewing all of the code revisions, including those of temporary signs, I would really like the readers of this blog to weigh in. If it were up to me, I would not allow the use of inflatables and feather signs in Glendale…anywhere. What’s your opinion? Please let me know so that I can share your comments with the city council when this issue is discussed.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       


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