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Ordinance No. 806





The Board of Supervisors of the County of Riverside Ordains as Follows:



         It is the intent of this ordinance to regulate temporary signs which are not regulated by Article XIX of Riverside County Ordinance No. 348 and Riverside County Ordinance No. 679.  The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve and enhance the aesthetic, traffic safety and environmental values of our communities and growing commercial and industrial areas, while at the same time, providing channels of communication to the public.   It is the County's intent to regulate non-permanent signs based on their size, height, number, location and duration and to allow more non-commercial signs during election periods to encourage public debate.  The County finds that it is in the interest of both aesthetics and traffic safety that signage be kept to a minimum.  It is the intent of this sign ordinance to enhance traffic safety by ensuring that signage does not distract, obstruct or otherwise impede traffic circulation.  The County finds that signs which exceed the dimensions, design and location restrictions specified in this ordinance are unreasonable and adversely affect public welfare and safety, including traffic safety.

         All signs described herein shall conform to the applicable provisions of this ordinance.  If any specific zoning classification within Ordinance 348 shall impose more stringent requirements than are set forth within this article, the more stringent provisions shall prevail.



         For purposes of this ordinance, the following words or phrases shall be defined as follows:


A.      ELECTION PERIOD means the period of time ninety (90) days prior and ten (10) days after any local state, regional or national official election.


B.      HEIGHT means the highest point of the structure or sign measured from the average natural ground level at the base of the supporting structure.


C.      LOT.  The definition of "lot" set forth in Ordinance No. 348 (Section 2144) shall be incorporated by this reference. 


D.      NON-COMMERCIAL SIGN means any sign that does not do any of the following:

              1.  Advertise a product or service for profit for a business purpose;

              2.  Propose a commercial transaction; or

              3.  Relate solely to economic interests.


E.       PERMANENT FOUNDATION means concrete or other semi-permanent material used to affix a sign to the ground.


F.       REAL ESTATE SIGN means a temporary sign advertising a property or structure is for sale, lease, rent or exchange.  The advertising contained on a Real Estate Sign shall be limited the following information:

              1.  That the property is for sale, lease, rent or exchange by the owner or his or her agent.

              2.  The property is in escrow or there is an “open house”.

              3.  Directions to the property.

              4.  The owners or agent’s name, address and telephone number.


G.      SIGN means any structure, housing, device, figure, statuary, painting, display, message, placard or other contrivance, which is designed, constructed, created, engineered, intended or used to provide data or information for advertising purposes.


H.      SURFACE AREA means that area of a sign as measured by the smallest geometric form such as a square, rectangle, triangle, or circle, or combination thereof, which will encompass the face of the sign on which the message is displayed.


I.       TEMPORARY SIGN means a sign that is not intended to be permanent. Temporary signs shall not be constructed or erected upon a permanent foundation or attached to a sign structure having a permanent foundation.  Temporary signs shall include non-commercial signs (including non-commercial signs during an election period), real estate signs, yard or garage sale signs or event signs.  All other commercial signs, not constructed or erected upon a permanent foundation, are prohibited by this ordinance.  If the sign is constructed or erected on a permanent foundation, it is regulated by Article XIX (Section 19, et seq) of Riverside County Ordinance No. 348.



         Temporary signs are permitted in all zoning classifications subject to the limitations imposed by this ordinance.  No person shall erect, use or maintain a temporary sign in the unincorporated area of the County, except in accordance with the following provisions:


A.      Standards For All Temporary Signs

         1.       No temporary sign shall be artificially lighted.

         2.       No temporary sign shall be erected, placed, used or maintained within the road right of way, except non-commercial signs during an election period.

         3.       No temporary sign shall be erected, placed, used or maintained upon property without the consent of the owner, lessee, person or entity in lawful possession of the property.

         4.       No temporary sign shall be erected, placed, used or maintained so that it does any of the following:

                  (a)      Mars, defaces, disfigures or damages any public building, structure or other property.

                  (b)      Endangers the safety of persons or property.

                  (c)      Obscures the view of any fire hydrant, traffic sign, traffic signal, street sign, or public informational sign.

                  (d)      Blocks motorists' line of vision to areas of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.


B.      Standards For Real Estate Signs.

         1.       For lots zoned for one and two family residential uses: one sign not exceeding six (6) square feet in surface area and not more than six (6) feet in height.

         2.       For lots zoned for multiple family residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural uses: one sign on each separate frontage of the lot on the street, each sign not to exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in surface area and not more than six (6) feet in height.  No more than four (4) signs are allowed per development.

         3.       Riders, not to exceed two (2) square feet in aggregate surface area may be added to the real estate sign to identify the specific agent offering the property for sale, to show that the property is "in escrow" or for an "open house".

         4.       The sign(s) shall be removed within ten days of the close of escrow on the property or structure, or portion thereof, being sold, leased or rented.


C.      Standards For Yard Or Garage Sale Signs And Event Signs.

         Temporary signs that advertise items for sale or events located on the property on which the sale or event will be conducted are permitted in every zoning classification, subject to the following standards:

         1.       The yard or garage sale or event is in conformance with Riverside County ordinances.

         2.       No sign shall exceed four (4) square feet in surface area.

         3.       No sign shall exceed four (4) square feet in height.

         4.       No sign shall be posted more than fifteen (15) days before the event or sale, and shall be removed within five (5) days after the event or sale.

         5.       Only one (1) sign per lot may be displayed at any time and no more than three (3) such signs may be posted on any lot per calendar year.





D.      Standards For Non-Commercial Signs During Election Period. 

1.       In addition to the temporary signs permitted in Section 3 of this ordinance and the signs allowed by Ordinance 348, Article XIX and Ordinance 679, temporary non-commercial signs shall be permitted in all zoning classifications during an election period, subject to the following limitations:

                (a)      No sign shall exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in surface area.

                (b)      No sign shall exceed six (6) feet in height.

                (c)      No lot shall contain such signs having an aggregate surface area in excess of eighty (80) square feet.

                (d)      Such signs shall be permitted along road right-of-way provided no sign shall be erected, placed, used or maintained on any publicly owned tree or shrub or upon the improved portion of any street or highway right of way used for traffic or parking or upon any street divider or median strip.

                (e)      All signs shall be removed within ten (10) days after the election has occurred.



         A non-commercial sign or message is permitted to be displayed, in lieu of a commercial message, wherever and whenever a commercial sign or message is permitted by this ordinance.





A.      County employees, representatives or agents shall be authorized to remove and dispose of any temporary sign in violation of this ordinance upon the expiration of ten (10) days after posting a written notice of violation on the sign, and mailing of a written notice to the property owner and to the sign owner, if identified on the sign.  The notice shall contain the right to appeal this determination by submitting a written appeal to the Department of Building and Safety within this ten (10) day time period.  The appeal shall be conducted by review of the written appeal by an administrative hearing officer.  The submission of a written appeal to the Department of Building and Safety within the ten (10) day time period shall stay the removal and disposal of the sign upon a decision of the hearing officer granting the appeal or until ten (10) days after mailing of a decision of the hearing officer denying the appeal. 


B.      The procedures, remedies and penalties for violation of this ordinance and for recovery of costs related to enforcement are provided for in Ordinance No. 725, which is incorporated herein by this reference.



A.      Every temporary sign which was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this ordinance, and does not conform to this ordinance, shall be deemed a nonconforming temporary sign and shall be removed or altered in accordance with this ordinance as follows:

              1.     All temporary signs with a nominal value of $100.00 or less shall be abated or brought into conformance immediately after the effective date of this ordinance.

              2.     All temporary signs with a value of more than $100.00 shall be abated or brought into conformance within six (6) months of the effective date of this ordinance.


B.      All temporary signs not in lawful existence prior to the date of enactment of this ordinance shall be abated or brought into conformance immediately.


C.      For purposes of this section, the above referenced terms have the following meanings:

              1.     The “value” of the temporary sign shall mean the cost of sign, less depreciation, and shall not include the potential revenue generated by the sign.

              2.     A temporary sign “in lawful existence prior to enactment of this ordinance” means a temporary sign that conforms with all other County ordinances, State or Federal laws and Uniform Codes in effect at the time of enactment of this ordinance, including any applicable permit requirements.




      Adopted:    9/12/2000  - 12.5    (Effective: 10/12/2000)