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Signs O’ the Times

The Building Department requires installation of a sidewalk shed to protect pedestrians when a building owner needs to perform repairs on a section of a buildings façade at an elevation more than 40 feet above curb level. This requirement can be problematic to the retail establishments these structures are installed directly in front of. Visibility is essential to a retail establishments ability to maintain the foot traffic they need to remain viable. With their store frontage views temporarily obstructed, these businesses often install temporary signage along the sheds top upper portion (parapet) or directly underneath them in order to continue to demark their respective locations and indicate to the public they remain open for business as usual.

construction fence ad wrap

Advertising wrap on signage shed.


Store signage hanging under a sidewalk shed.

The Building Department may also require temporary construction fence or barricade be installed in conjunction with a proposed modification to an existing store front. While under construction, these new retail spaces will often install a banner advertising wrap directly on the barricades themselves to promote that they will be open for business in the near future.

The Building Department will not issue work permits for either type of  temporary signage aforementioned. However, their published guidelines indicate when a temporary structure obscures the view of a lawful existing (non-advertising) sign, a temporary sign may be posted on the protective structure.  As long as the temporary signage meets code requirements, no violation enforcement should occur as a result of the installation. They understand the temporary nature and need.

The greater violation risk may be failure to provide the type of signage that IS required to be installed on these structures, and not properly posting the respective work permits for the alteration itself. Project sites with construction fences or sidewalk sheds permitted after July 1, 2013 must meet requirements that emphasize (1)  the type of work underway and (2)  highlight the project’s contact information.

Questions about signage? Have a project that needs consultation or expediting? Contact Outsource Consultants here.