Need to Know: Loudoun Changes Temporary Sign Rules; New State Law Addresses HOA’s Treatment of Signs

Over the past few months, there have been several changes made to rules pertaining to the placement of temporary signs on private property in Loudoun County and the treatment of real estate signs by Property Owners Association (POA) or Condo Owners Association (COA) in the state of Virginia.

Temporary Signs on Private Property in Loudoun County
Recently, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved changes to the county’s regulations governing temporary signs on private property. The category of Temporary Signs includes political, construction, and some real estate signs on private property. Please remember that no signs may be placed in the public right-of-way (a distance from the curb to a certain point inward) per the statewide rules governing signs via the Code of Virginia, Title 33.2, Chapter 12, Outdoor Advertising in Sight of Public Highways, Sections 33.2-1216, 33.2-1217, 33.2-1224, 33.2-1227, and 33.2-1229. 

The recent Loudoun County changes of most interest to REALTORS® only impact on-site and off-site open house, and off-site directional signs on private property. There were no changes made to residential “For Sale” post signs.

The changes were prompted by a United States Supreme Court ruling and the Virginia Attorney General’s opinion concerning governmental regulation of political campaign signs. The following changes were adopted in effort to bring consistency to the regulation of temporary signs in Loudoun County:

  • An unlimited number of temporary signs are permitted on all parcels. Previously, on-site open house signs were limited to 1; off-site open house signs were limited to 4; and off-site directional signs were limited to 2 per lot.
  • Each sign may not exceed 32 square feet in size. Previously, on-site open house signs were limited to 4 square feet; off-site open house signs were also limited to 4 square feet; and off-site directional signs were limited to 8 square feet.
  • Each sign may be placed for up to 120 days during a 12-month period. Previously, on-site open house signs were limited to 1 month for no more than 3 consecutive months; off-site open house signs were limited to 2 days on the weekends, 3 days if there was a Monday holiday, and ½ day during the week; and off-site directional signs were limited to 24 hours before and 24 hours after an event.

Additionally, all signs must be installed safely. Penalties will be imposed for improperly secured signs. 

For more information on these changes, visit Loudoun County’s website on Political/Temporary Signage.

What has not changed is the requirement to obtain permission in advance of placing a sign on private property. REALTORS® should always obtain permission from home owners before they place signs on private property.

Also, what has not changed are the requirements concerning the need to obtain a permit in order to place signs on private property in Loudoun County. In Loudoun County, real estate brokers may obtain a sign permit for all temporary signs and real estate agents under his/her brokerage. Click here for more information about obtaining a sign permit.

State-wide Change on POA/COA Treatment of Real Estate Signs
A state-wide change in sign rules also became effective July 1, 2017. This change was proposed by the Virginia REALTORS® and limits the regulation of signs by a POA or COA. Under the new law, unless expressly authorized under the association’s governing documents, no POA or COA may require a for sale sign that is: 1) an association sign; or 2) a real estate sign that is not in compliance with the Real Estate Board regulations. Associations may regulate the placement and number of signs. Keep in mind that neither the Virginia Code nor Loudoun County Ordinances supersede a local association’s governing documents regarding temporary signs.

A Reminder about Print Advertising
As you know, the language that must appear on real estate signs is regulated by the Virginia Real Estate Board.   For more information on the advertising rules click here.

Interested in Learning More?
Join us for a panel discussion to learn more about the rules governing the placement of signs, permitting procedures and licensee print advertising requirements on Monday, October 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sign up here to reserve your seat! Free for DAAR members.

Questions? Contact Brenda Morton, Government Affairs and Communications Manager, at (571) 291-9804 or bmorton@dullesarea.com.