New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

Printed: 9/30/2023 6:22:16 PM

24.7 General Construction Standards

24.7.A Construction   

All signs constructed, erected, modified, or altered shall comply with the provisions of this Article and all requirements of the City Code.

24.7.B Sign Structure and Installation   

Supports and braces shall be designed as an integral part of the sign. Supports or braces shall be hidden from public view to the extent technically feasible. All signs attached to a building shall be installed and maintained so that wall penetrations are watertight and the structure does not exceed allowable stresses of supporting materials.

24.7.C Wind Pressure and Direct Load Requirements   

All signs shall be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure and receive dead loads as required by the City Code.

24.7.D Electrical Components   

All electrical fixtures, devices, circuits, conduits, raceways, or apparatus used to illuminate, move or project any sign shall be installed and maintained as required in the City Code. All signs with an electronic component require an electrical permit and sign permit.

24.7.E Glass   

Glass forming any part of a sign shall be safety glass.

24.7.F Lettering   

All letters, figures, characters, or representations in cut-out or irregular form, maintained in conjunction with, attached to, or superimposed upon any sign shall be safely and securely built or attached to the sign structure.

24.7.G Limitation on Items of Information for Permanent Signs   

1.  All permanent signs shall limit the number of items of information on any single sign face to no more than eight (8)  items to prevent traffic hazards for passing motorists and to minimize the cluttered appearance of signs.

2.  Each piece of information on a permanent sign is considered an item of information. For example, each of the following would be defined as one (1) item of information, including multi-word items: a telephone number, the name of the business, rate information, or the business logo. The street number address of the business is not counted as an item of information unless the street address is used as the name of the business.

3.  In the case of electronic message sign, the electronic portion of the sign counts as one (1) item of information. In the case of a changeable copy sign, the area where the items of information are changed manually is also counted as one (1) item of information.

4.  For a sign that contains a time and temperature component, the time and temperature component is not counted as an item of information.

5.  All signs on a lot shall be related to services offered on the premises.

6.  Rate information is a permitted item of information for gas station and parking lot uses.

7.  Signs for multi-tenant commercial buildings that advertise the tenants of the development are limited to one (1) item of information per tenant within the development, which may exceed the eight (8) item limitation, in addition to the name and address of the development.

8.  Directory signs, A-frame signs, banners, and restaurant menu board signs are exempt from the items of information limitation. 

24.7.H Data to be Posted   

Every sign or other advertising structure shall have the date of erection, the sign permit number, and the voltage of any electrical apparatus used in connection with the sign either painted on the sign or by a metallic sticker applied to the sign. This information does not count toward the limitation on the items of information. 

24.7.I Sign and Premises Maintenance   

1.  All signs, and the premises surrounding the sign, shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary, and inoffensive condition, and free and clear of all noxious substances, rubbish, and weeds.

2.  If the City finds that any sign is unsafe or insecure, is a menace to the public, or has been constructed, erected, or maintained in violation of this Article, the Director of the Department of Safety and Permits shall be immediately advised of such condition and give written notice to the sign permit holder. If sign permit holder fails to remove or alter the structure to comply with the standards of this Article, the sign may be removed by City at the expense of the sign permit holder or the owner of the property upon which it is located. The City may cause any other sign that is an immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.

24.7.J Illumination   

1.  All lighting shall concentrate the illumination upon the area of the sign to prevent glare upon the street or adjacent property. All sign illumination shall be designed, located, shielded, and directed to prevent both the casting of glare or direct light upon adjacent publicly dedicated roadways and surrounding properties and the distraction of operators of vehicles or pedestrians in the public right-of-way.

2.   In the Vieux Carre Districts, the following illumination standards apply:

a.  Internally illuminated signs are limited to an eighteen (18) inch separation between sign faces. Lighting fixtures and all light sources shall be a steady light concealed behind standard glass or other substance of equal or smaller light transmission factor, hoods, or a method deemed acceptable by the Vieux CarrĂ© Commission.

b.  Illuminated signs shall conform to the following wattage restrictions to avoid concentration of illumination:

i.  Signs measuring eighteen (18) inches by forty-two (42) inches are limited to one-hundred fifty (150) watts total for each sign. The wattage may be distributed evenly over the surface area of any one (1) side or over each of the two (2) sides of the sign, behind opaque glass. The same wattage maximum and even light distribution is required for an indirectly lighted sign.

ii.  Signs measuring twenty-four (24) inches by forty-eight (48) inches are limited to two-hundred twenty (220) watts total for each sign. The wattage may be distributed evenly over the surface area of any one (1) side or over each of the two (2) sides of the sign, behind opaque glass. The same wattage maximum and even light distribution is required for an indirectly lighted sign.

iii.  Signs smaller than eighteen (18) inches by forty-two (42) inches are limited to seventy-five (75) watts. The wattage may be distributed evenly over the surface area of any one (1) side or each of the two (2) sides of the sign using opaque glass over all light openings. In no case can a sign smaller than eighteen (18) inches by forty-two (42) inches using the maximum allowable wattage concentrate the emitted illumination through a smaller area on each side than one (1) foot square. The same wattage maximum and even light distribution shall is required for an indirectly lighted sign.