I called the San Jose building department day before yesterday. This is the crew that will issue permits to begin construction, and (except for the county health dept) basically holds any and all power in my quest to open the doors. Anyway, it was for me a big and scary step to make first contact with these guys. I called to inquire about restaurant signage requirements.
From my days working PR for Apple, I remember a story about unbelievably strict signage requirements for a new Apple retail store in some suburb. Something about the town not liking logos (least of all fruit logos) as signs, and the town DEFINITELY not liking signs that were backlit. Career #1 in PR served many big and little purposes. Remembering this story about Apple served a small, but important purpose for the business, I suppose. Anyhoo, I came across a very friendly woman in the building department, who had a lot of good information about signage (AWESOME). There are semi-ridiculous requirements (NOT AWESOME).
- If, for example, the front of your building is 30 linear feet, your sign can be no more than 30 square feet in size. 50 feet, 50 square feet....you get the idea.
- A freestanding sign over 10 feet tall must be set back 10 feet from the property line. A sign 6 - 10 feet must be set back 6 feet. 6 or fewer feet tall means 4 feet from the line.
- Max height of a freestanding sign is calculated by total possible square footage of sign itself (as based on linear feet of the building), divided by 4. Sure, sounds good.
- This one hurts. Absolutely no animation. The sign will not (APPARENTLY) feature a giant anamatronic Tony stirring a pot of sauce.