Sign Permit

The purpose of obtaining a sign permit is to protect property values, to encourage the most appropriate use of land, to secure safety in the streets, to achieve a more desirable living environment, to protect and enhance the attractiveness of the City of Tahlequah and generally to promote the public safety and welfare. 

 All rules and regulations may be found in Part 12, Chapter 9, of the Tahlequah City Ordinances. However, the following applies to all signs in the City of Tahlequah:

  1. A sign permit shall be required for the new construction of any sign 16 square feet or more in area unless otherwise specified.
  2. Signs must be constructed of durable materials, be maintained in good condition and not be permitted to become dilapidated.
  3. Signs shall be illuminated only by shielded light sources directed solely at the sign, or internal to it, without causing glare for motorists, pedestrians, or neighboring premises.
  4. Any sign which advertises an activity, business, product, or service which has ceased operation, existence or production or which no longer carried a message, for a period of 3 years shall be removed at the end of said year. Any such portable sign shall be limited to 30 days.
  5. All signs erected or maintained pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall be erected and maintained in compliance with all applicable State laws and with the building code, electrical code and other applicable City codes. In the event of a conflict, the more restrictive provision shall prevail.
  6. No sign shall occupy a parking space required under the minimum standards of the zoning code.

Sign Permit Applications


  • $50 per permit and review, plus $10 for roof and $20 for electrical


Below are the definitions used in the City of Tahlequah for different types of signs.

Construction Sign

Any signs identifying individuals or companies involved in design, construction, wrecking, financing or development when placed upon the premises where work is under construction, but a multi-faced sign shall be included in the computation of display surface area.

Display Surface Area

The net geometrical area enclosed by the display surface of the sign, including the outer extremities of all letters, figures, delineations and characters; provided, however, display surface area shall not include the structural supports for freestanding signs if said structural supports are not arranged to become a part of the attention-attracting aspects of the sign; provided further, that all sides of a multi-faced sign shall be included in the computation of display surface area.

Ground Sign

A sign supported by one or more columns, uprights, poles or braces extended from the ground or from an object on the ground, or sign which is erected on the ground, and not attached to any buildings.


The vertical distance measured from the mean curb level of the lot upon which the sign is located to the uppermost point on the sign or sign structure.

Highway Commercial District

This District shall include land and lots abutting the southwest bypass (State Highway 51), the southeast bypass (State Highways 51 and 82 and U.S. Highway 62), the northeast bypass (State Highway 82), the northwest bypass (when built), and State Highways 51 and 82 and U.S. Highway 62 outside the loop of the bypass and inside the City limits of the City of Tahlequah.

Identification Sign

Any sign containing only the name and/or address of the dwelling/building occupant or of the dwelling/building, or of the dwelling/building owner or manager.

Illegal Sign

Any sign erected in violation of the terms of an applicable ordinance.

Instructional Signs

Instructional signs which notify or instruct the public as to limitations or regulations relating to designated uses of certain parcels of property or private streets or rights of way, and including a warning sign, exit signs, traffic signs and directional signs for parking or parking restrictions.

Non-Commercial Sign

Any sign which communicates information or ideas and is not typically a commercial sign.

Off-Premises Sign

Any sign which does not direct attention to a profession or business conducted, or to a commodity, service, activity or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.

On-Premises Sign

Any sign which directs attention to a profession or business conducted, or to a commodity, service, activity or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.

Portable Sign

Any sign which is not permanently attached to the ground; a structure, or any other sign, and, which is mounted or designed for mounting on wheels, or which is mounted or designed for mounting on a self-propelled or towed vehicle. Such signs shall include, but not be limited to: mobile advertising signs attached to a truck, chassis, detachable vehicle trailer, or other such mobile signs, but shall not include: signs painted or otherwise inscribed on a self-propelled vehicle or towed vehicle which identifies the product, service, or activity for which the vehicle is used.

Projecting Sign

Any sign which is attached to a building or other structure and extends beyond the line of said building or structure or beyond the surface of that portion of the building or structure to which it is attached by more than 12 inches.

Real Estate Sign

A sign pertaining to the lease, rental or sale of the premises upon which located.

Roof Sign

Any sign on the roof of a building, supported by poles, uprights or braces extending from the roof of a building.


Any writing, picture, drawing, decoration, emblem, trademark, flag, banner, statue, or any other object of similar character which is designed to attract attention to the subject thereof or is used as a means of identification, advertisement, or announcement.

Site Triangle

The area within a triangle formed by measuring a distance of 30 feet along the front and side lot lines of a corner lot formed by 2 intersecting streets, from their point of intersection, and connecting the points so established to form a triangle on the area of the lot adjacent to the street intersection.

Temporary Sign

Any sign, banner, pennant, balloon or similar device or display which is intended for a temporary period of display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard, wood or other light materials, with or without frames.

Wall Sign

A sign attached to and supported by the exterior surface of the wall of a building or structure in a place substantially parallel to that of the supporting wall including a sign painted directly on the surface of the building.

Window Sign

Any sign which is painted on, applied or attached to or located within 3 feet of the interior of a window. (Ordinance 870, February 3, 1997)

  1. Ryan Young

    Code Compliance Officer

  2. Richard Coffron

    Building Inspector

  3. Ray Hammons

    Compliance Coordinator

  4. Ashtin Hummingbird

    Finance Support Assistant