Frequently Asked Questions about Signs

Do I need Planning Commission approval to install a new sign?

Yes. The City of Berea Charter requires that all signs to be permanently displayed must be approved by the Planning Commission. 

Do I need Planning Commission approval to install a new temporary sign?

No. You will still need a permit to install a temporary sign but this permit can be approved by the Building Department. In recent years many people have used temporary signs (banners, flags, yard signs, etc.) on a continual or permanent basis. Temporary signs are designed and intended to be displayed for a short period of time. If you need signage on a continual basis, you should consider installing a permanent sign. 

Do I need Planning Commission approval to change the face of my sign?

Yes. The Planning Commission must approval changing the face of a sign.

What do I need to do to appear before the Planning Commission?

In order to appear before the Planning Commission, you must submit 12 copies of the following items: an Application to Appear before the Planning Commission; an Application for a Sign Permit; color elevations, photos or some other type of rendering of what the sign will look like including the sign dimensions; a letter of intent; a hardship letter (if you need a variance); and a site plan (if the sign is freestanding). You must also submit a check for $50 made payable to the City of Berea. 

Why do I need to submit 12 copies?

The 12 copies are distributed to the seven members of the Planning Commission, the Mayor, the Zoning Administrator, the City Engineer, the Director of Public Service and the Director of Public Safety. 

How do I know if I need a variance?

A variance may be necessary because of the size, location or height of the sign. In order to determine whether you need a variance, please submit the following information to the Zoning Administrator for a preliminary review: the address where you would like to install the sign: the length of the front wall of your building; the proposed size of the sign (in square feet); the proposed height of the sign, the proposed location of the sign including the setback from the right of way for free standing signs.

When can I install my sign once a variance has been approved by the Planning Commission?

Once a variance has been approved by the Planning Commission, there is a 20‐day waiting period before a building permit to install the sign may be issued to you. 

Is my property in the Town Center District?

The Town Center District is defined by “Bagley Road to the North, Eastland Road to the East, Prospect Road and Henry Street to the West and South Rocky River Drive south to the City limits, and all properties that lie along, within, or are immediately adjacent to these boundaries.” 

What does it mean if my property is in the Town Center District?

If your property is in the Town Center District, any proposed sign must first be reviewed by the Heritage Architectural Review Board before the Planning Commission can review the sign. For further information about the Heritage Architectural Review Board, please see that section of the website.


The Planning Commission meets at 7:30 p.m. within the City on the first and third Thursday of each month. Meetings are held in Council Chambers and open to the public.

Planning Commission Secretary

Alycia Vale
11 Berea Commoms
Berea, Ohio 44017

City of Berea - 11 Berea Commons - Berea, Ohio 44017 - (440)826-5800
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