The City of Burien announced this week that its temporary sign regulations will begin on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019:

The Burien City Council voted in May to update the City’s temporary sign regulations in response to the Supreme Court decision Reed v. Gilbert. The case stated that local governments could not regulate signs based on their message or content. For example, a city cannot have regulations specific to real estate or political signs and differentiate them from other types of temporary signs. Cities have to regulate all types of temporary signs similarly. Instead, cities can only regulate temporary signs based on the quantity, material, design, or location of the sign.

The City’s permanent sign rules were not changed. A 90-day grace period was given to businesses to comply with the new regulations. Code enforcement on the new rules is allowed to begin on September 9, 2019.

What types of temporary signs are allowed?

  • A-frames:
    •  Residential zones: Six signs per open house, business, or event. The size of the sign cannot be larger six square feet per sign face (or “side”). Each sign is allowed two faces to be displayed. Signs are allowed for a duration of five days in any one-month period.
    • Non-residential zones: One sign per business. The size of the sign cannot be larger than six square feet per sign face. Two faces are allowed to be displayed on each sign. The sign can only be displayed during daylight hours or while the business is in operation.
  • Lawn signs: The size of the sign cannot be larger than six square feet per sign face. Two sides are allowed to be displayed. Lawn signs can only be displayed for up to 180 days within a one-year period.
  • Temporary signs in public rights-of-way: Allowed in rights-of-way outside paved vehicular travel lanes, roundabouts, paved parking areas, sidewalks, pedestrian paths, driveway aprons, and center medians.
  • Temporary shark fin signs: Allowed on-site during daylight hours and for up to three consecutive days in a one-month period.

Where are temporary signs allowed?
Temporary signs are allowed in public rights-of-way outside the areas mentioned above and on private property with consent of the property owner.

When do the new regulations go into effect?
June 11, 2019. There is a 90-day period for non-conforming signs to be brought into compliance before code enforcement action will be pursued.

How will the City enforce the sign code?
The City will enforce the sign code the same way it enforces other code violations. See burienwa.gov/codeenforcement for more info.

More information: