Commercial Signs


Businesses are allowed a total of 1 square foot of sign area for every 4 linear feet of building frontage. This includes the total area of all commercial signs for the business. More area is allowed if a business has more than one building frontage. Additional area may be granted if a sign exception is approved. A minor exception may be granted by Town staff for signs that deviate from the sign area or height requirements by less than 20 percent or no more than 5 square feet, while a major exception must be approved by the Design Review Board. 


Permanent signs, such as wall signs, hanging or projecting signs, marquee or mansard signs, and freestanding signs are permitted, subject to the size limits above. No more than two permanent signs are allowed per business, although shopping centers and multi-tenant buildings are allowed some additional signage. Some types of informational signs, including building addresses, directional signs and restaurant menus, are exempt. Click here for an illustration of sign types. Temporary signs, such as banners for grand openings, are permitted, but no more than two signs, with a total area of no more than 12 square feet, are allowed for each business and only allowed for a total of 30 days per calendar year. Portable signs, such as A-frame signs, are prohibited. 

Lighting and Illumination 

Signs may be lit, but only by external lighting sources. Neon portions of a sign cannot exceed 10% of a sign’s area. Internally illuminated signs, electronic signs and blinking or flashing signs are prohibited. 

Colors and Materials 

A variety of sign colors and materials are allowed, as long as the sign: 1) is physically compatible with the building and its surroundings; 2) uses high quality and durable materials; and 3) any metal or reflective materials have matte or non-glare surfaces. 

Permits Required 

A sign permit is required for all permanent signs. The Planning Division reviews all signs and can approve most signs, while larger signs and requests for major exceptions must be approved by the Tiburon Design Review Board. Temporary and informational signs that comply with the requirements listed above do not require a sign permit.

Download a Permit Application