Purpose and Procedures


Signs use private land and the sight lines created by the public right-of-way to inform and persuade the general public by publishing a message. Sign Regulations of the Red Oak Zoning Ordinance provides standards for the erection and maintenance of private signs. All private signs not exempted as provided below must be erected and maintained in accordance with these standards. The general objectives of these standards are to promote health, safety, welfare convenience, and enjoyment of the public, and in part to achieve the following:


To promote the safety to persons and property by providing that signs:
  • Do not create a hazard due to collapse, fire, collision, decay or abandonment
  • Do not obstruct fire fighting or police surveillance
  • Do not create traffic hazards by confusing or distracting motorists, or by impairing the driver’s ability to see pedestrians, obstacles, or read traffic signs

Communication Efficiency

To promote the efficient transfer of information in sign messages by providing that:
  • Those signs which provide messages and information most needed and sought by the public are given priorities
  • Businesses and services may identify themselves
  • Customers and other persons may locate a business or service
  • No person or group is arbitrarily denied the use of the sight lines from public right-of-way for communication purposes
  • Person(s) exposed to signs are not overwhelmed by the number of messages presented and are able to exercise freedom of choice to observe or ignore said messages, according to the observer’s purpose

Landscape Quality and Preservation

To protect the public welfare and to enhance the appearance and economic value of the landscape by providing that signs:
  • Do not interfere with scenic views
  • Do not create a nuisance to person(s) using the public right-of-way
  • Do not constitute a nuisance to occupancy of adjacent and contiguous property by their brightness, size, height, or movement
  • Are not detrimental to land or property values; and areas of districts within the City and orient himself with it


Permit Required

  • A person commits an offense if the person erects, repairs, alters or relocates a sign without first obtaining a building permit from the Building Official and making a payment of the required fee.
  • All illuminated signs, in addition, are subject to the provisions of the Electrical Code, and the permit fees required hereunder.
  • All signs located within the “Highway Control Zone” are subject to the provisions of the Texas Highway Beautification Act-Outdoor Advertising Signs and a Highway Department License is required.

Application for Permit

An application for a sign permit must contain or have attached thereto the following information:
  • Name, address and telephone number of the applicant
  • Location of building, structure or lot to which or upon which the sign or other advertising structure is to be attached or erected
  • Two (2) sets of plans showing the sign location in relation to nearby buildings or structures, signs, property lines, driveways, public streets, fences and sidewalks
  • Two (2) blueprints or ink drawings of the plans and specifications showing method of construction, and attachment to the building or ground, size, type, height, construction materials and such other information as the Building Official may require
    • The Building Official may require plans to be prepared by a registered professional engineer or architect
  • Copy of stress sheets and calculations showing the structure is designed for dead load and wind pressure in any direction in the amount required by this and all other laws and ordinances of the City. Plans must include a registered engineer’s seal for foot-mounted signs or free-standing signs of 50 square feet or larger and 10 feet or more in height
  • Name of person, firm, corporation or association erecting structure
  • Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which or on which the structure is to be erected
  • Any electrical permit required and issued for said sign
  • Insurance policy or bond as required by the Sign Regulations of the Red Oak Zoning Ordinance
  • Zoning classification carried by the property
  • Such other information as the Building Official may require to show full compliance with this and all other laws and ordinances of the City
  • Highway Department License for all signs located within the “Highway Control Zone” (Texas Highway Beautification Act-Outdoor Advertising Signs).

Illuminated Sign: Approval by Electrical Inspector

  • The application for a permit for erection of a sign in which electrical wiring and connections are to be used must be submitted to the Electrical Inspector. The Electrical Inspector will examine the plans and specifications respecting all wiring and connections to determine if the same complies with the Electrical Code of the City.
  • All illuminated signs must bear the Underwriter’s requirements or the application will be disapproved.
  • All electrical service to free standing signs must be underground.

Wind Pressure and Dead Load Requirements

  • All signs must be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure of not less than 30 pounds per square foot of area; and constructed to receive dead loads as required in the Building Code or other ordinances of the City.
  • Plans sealed by a registered engineer are required on all free standing signs of 50 square feet or larger and 10 feet or more in height.

Issuance of Permit

Upon receipt of an application for a permit the Building Official examines such plans and specifications and other data and the premises upon which it is proposed to erect the sign. If it appears that the proposed structure is in compliance with all the requirements of all laws and ordinances of the City, he then issues the building permit. If the work authorized under a building permit has not been completed within 60 days after issuance, the said permit becomes null and void.


The permit holder must notify the Building Official when erection of the sign is complete. An inspection is then made to determine if the sign conforms to the City ordinances and codes. The Building Official may inspect at such times as he deems necessary, each sign regulated by the Red Oak Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of ascertaining whether the same is secure or insure whether it still serves as useful purpose and whether it is in need of removal or repair.

Number, Date and Voltage to be on Sign

Every sign or other advertising structure erected must have painted in a conspicuous place thereon, in letters not less than one (1) inch high in height, the date of erection, the permit number and the voltage of any electrical apparatus used in connection therewith.

Maintenance Required

The sign permit holder must maintain all parts and support of said sign in good condition to prevent deterioration, oxidation, rust and other unsightly conditions.


The sign provisions and regulations do not apply to the following signs provided, however, said signs must not obstruct visibility as determined by the Building Official and are subject to the provisions of Unsafe and Unlawful Signs Regulations:
  • Signs not exceeding 8 square feet in area which advertise the sale, rental, or lease of the premises upon which said signs are located.
  • Signs not exceeding 32 square feet which advertise the sale of residential tracts larger than 5 acres; or commercial tracts which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which said signs are located.
  • Name plates not exceeding 1 square feet in area.
  • Bulletin boards not over 16 square feet in area for public, charitable or religious institutions when the same are located on the premises of the institution.
  • One temporary construction sign denoting only the architect, engineer or contractor when placed upon work under construction; sign must not exceed 16 square feet in area.
  • Occupational signs denoting only the name and profession of an occupant in a commercial building or public institutional building and not exceeding 2 square feet in area.
  • Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible materials.
  • Flags, emblems and insignia of any governmental body, decorative displays for holidays or public demonstrations which do not contain advertising and are not used as such.
  • On-site directional signs not exceeding 2 square feet, provided such directional signs do not contain advertising and are not used as such. Placement of such directional signs must have the approval of the Building Official and conform to visibility standards.
  • Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, railroad crossing signs, danger and such emergency, temporary or non-advertising signs as may be approved by the Administrative Official.
  • Political signs which meet all the following restrictions:
    • The sign can not exceed 8 feet in height
    • The sign can not have an effective area greater than 36 feet
    • The sign can not be illuminated or have any moving elements
    • The sign can not contain primarily a political message on a temporary basis and be generally available for rent or purchase to carry commercial advertising or other messages that are not primarily political.
  • Window signs meeting the following restrictions:
    • Window signs do not exceed 40% of the total window area per elevation; or
    • Window signs exceed 40% of the total window area per elevation, and are approved by a valid SUP; and
    • Window Signs can not have been originally constructed for any purpose other than display as commercial signage to the outdoors or be constructed of a material subject to fading and/or decay due to exposure to the elements regardless of whether the sign is placed indoors or outdoors.
    • Advertisements for fund-raisers, and civic, educational, or community service organizations are exempt from Window Sign Regulations.
    • Sign area measurements in determining coverage percentages are calculated as follows:
      • For a window sign which is framed, outlined, painted or otherwise prepared and intended to provide a background for a sign display, the area and dimensions include the entire portion within such background or frame. For a window sign comprised of individual letters, figures or elements, the area and dimensions of the sign encompass a regular geometric shape (rectangle, circle, trapezoid, triangle, etc.), or a combination of regular geometric shapes, which form, or approximate, the perimeter of all elements in the display, the frame, and any applied background that is not part of the architecture of the building. When separate elements are organized to form a single sign, but are separated by open space, the sign area and dimensions are calculated by determining the geometric form, or combination of forms, which comprises all of the display areas, including the space between different elements. Minor appendages to a particular regular shape, are not included in the total area of a window sign.
      • Required address markings, hours of operation, business phone numbers, and enter/exit signs are not considered in the calculation of coverage percentages unless they collectively equal more than 40% of the total window area per elevation.

Bond or Insurance Requirements

An applicant for a permit to erect a sign must, before the permit is granted, file with the Building Official a continuing bond in the penal sum of five thousand ($5,000) dollars executed by the applicant and an approved surety company and conditioned for the faithful observance of the provisions of Red Oak Zoning Ordinance sign regulations, and all amendments thereto, and all of the laws and ordinances relating to signs which indemnify and save harmless the City from any and all damages, judgments, costs or expenses which the said City may incur or suffer by reason of the granting of said permit. A liability insurance policy issued by an approved insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Texas may be permitted in lieu of a bond.

Signs not to Constitute Traffic Hazard

  • No sign may be erected or maintained in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision; or at any location where by reason of position, shape, color, degree, manner or intensity of illumination, it may interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • No sign may be erected or maintained in such a manner as to be likely to interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device.
  • No sign may make use of the words, “stop”, “go”, “look”, “slow”, “danger” or any other similar word, phrase symbol or character or employ any red, yellow, orange, green or other colored lamp or light in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.


  • Goose neck reflectors and lights are permitted on ground signs and wall signs provided, however, the reflectors are provided with proper shielding or lenses to concentrate the illumination upon the area of the sign so as to prevent glare upon the street or adjacent property.
  • Any spotlight or other illumination of a sign must be so directed or shielded that the light source is not directly visible from any street, sidewalk or adjacent property.