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COMMERCIAL APPEARANCE

The City of Darlington sign regulations are designed to protect the public safety and welfare and to ensure the maintenance of an attractive community environment while satisfying the needs of sign users for adequate identification, communication, and advertising.

You can talk with the Planning Department (843) 398-4000 x 103 about suggested colors and graphic design for your business. We want your business to attract customers and invite them to #ShopDarlington.

The City of Darlington Codes Enforcement Office handles zoning ordinances, commercial codes, and more.  To speak with the Codes Enforcement Officer, you may call (843) 398-4000 x106.  For more information about Codes Enforcement and permits, please click here.

The complete signage regulations and all other zoning regulations can be found in Article V of the City of Darlington Zoning Ordinance here.

As a current or new business, you should be aware of appearance codes.  From approved colors to outdoor lighting regulations, you can find all important information here.  Click to read more, download applications and regulations.  For more information, please contact the Planning Department.

Commercial Building Appearance

The City of Darlington assembled articles pertaining to Commercial Building Appearance.  All commercial buildings within the city must comply.

Outdoor Lighting Regulations

On February 1, 2000, the Darlington City Council enacted specific outdoor lighting regulations. These regulations are designed to benefit residents and businesses in  Darlington by constituting better nighttime visibility, public safety, energy efficiency, and preservation of the natural night environment.  These regulations have been updated in October 2019.

Color, Awnings & Signage Regulations

When painting or installing awnings and signage, the City of Darlington requires the color choice be approved prior to installation.  Those colors with a check mark represent approved colors. Colors do not have to be any particular brand or name but must be visually similar to colors represented. Also, any paint colors from a historic line of paints would be accepted.
For sign approval, please submit drawings with scale, location, and colors noted along with the required application.
Building, electrical, or mechanical permits may be required depending on the type of sign you are installing. For information about building permits, call (843) 398-4029.

Temporary Signage Rules

Temporary signs may only remain posted for 30 days and may not be reinstalled for six months. Abandoned signs and signage no longer pertaining to a current business or activity must be removed.

In general, temporary signs

  • Shall be properly maintained at all times
  • May not be converted to permanent signs
  • Shall not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic
  • Shall not be attached to utility poles or trees
  • Shall not be located in the public right-of-way

A-Frame signs may be displayed only during operation hours. They must be located in front of the business to which they relate in such a manner as not to obstruct pedestrian movement.

Banners shall be properly maintained at all times. The number of banners shall not exceed one per lot or street frontage, whichever is greater. They shall not extend over a public right-of-way, except for public announcement approved and permitted by DOT and the Zoning Administrator.

Posters shall not exceed one per lot, shall not be allowed on any utility poles or in any public right-of-way, and shall be placed no closer than 5 feet from a street or curb.

Portable signs shall be limited to one per lot, shall have no colored or flashing lights, shall not be wired so as to obstruct or hinder pedestrian or vehicular traffic or pose any potential for such hindrance (i.e. exposed drop cord), shall not exceed 6 feet in height, shall be anchored in accord with the Building Code, and shall not be converted to a permanent sign.

Inflatable signs shall be properly anchored.

Temporary subdivision and work under construction identification signs shall adhere to the Development Standards Section 5-11.

Political signs may be posted 30 days prior to the election and shall be removed within 7 days of the election.

Paper and poster signs intended for short-term use (less than 30 days) may be hand drawn and lettered. Signs designed for longer display periods, such as signs on windows and signs made of more durable, long-lasting material shall be professionally prepared and installed.

Banners, streamers, and signs of lightweight fabric or similar material are permitted in the GC District only, provided they are properly maintained and not allowed to become weathered, discolored, worn, or otherwise deteriorated.

Window signage shall not cover more than 50% of the window area.