Architectural Review Committee (ARC) Sign Review Policy & Requirements

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Planning Office
570 Pacific St
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 646-3885
Fax: (831) 646-3408

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. - Fri.
Closed: noon - 1 p.m.
Planners are available from
10 a.m.- noon & 1 to 3 p.m.

Kim Cole
Managing Principal Planner

Elizabeth Caraker
Principal Planner

Todd Bennett
Senior Associate Planner

Christine Hopper
Senior Associate Planner

Joyce Halabi
Administrative Assistant II

Jenny Nelson
Administrative Assistant II

The installation and display of signs is regulated by Chapter 31, Signs, of the Monterey Municipal Code. In Monterey, there are a few basic requirements, but the ultimate approval decision is made by the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or staff based on compatibility with the area, the building, and general principals described in the City’s Sign Standards, Regulations & Guidelines. With few exceptions, all permanent signs require a Sign Permit.

Sign GuidelinesAdobe PDF

Sign Application Process

ARC vs. Administrative Review
Certain sign applications may be reviewed administratively by City staff while others require the full consideration of the ARC. In general, staff considers replacement signs that are consistent with past approvals and use the same materials, general sizes and shapes, and design. Major changes to the signs or increases in area will likely require full ARC review. Internally-illuminated signs or new freestanding signs automatically require full ARC review

Temporary Signs
Businesses may install a 30 square-foot banner or sign for a period of 30 consecutive days, twice a year. This banner or sign must be installed flat against a building and may not be electric or illuminated.

In order for the ARC to consider an application, it must first be determined to be complete by City staff. Once the application is determined to be complete, the application is generally scheduled for hearing within 30 days on a first-come, first-served basis. At the hearing, the ARC may choose to approve the project, approve it with conditions, deny the project, or continue it for redesign. Any project decision, except continuance, may be appealed. If the application is continued, the resubmittal will be reviewed by staff for completeness and will be rescheduled for a future hearing. If not appealed to the Planning Commission within 10 days, all ARC decisions are final. Administrative review is similar, though staff will not deny or continue a project, but will instead refer it to the ARC for consideration. Administrative reviews generally take between two and four weeks.