Santa Clara County Sign Ordinance Reference Guide

This guide is a reference to understanding the sign ordinances for each city in Santa Clara County. It is still the responsibility of the individual agent to understand how local laws actually apply. If you have questions you can find the contact information for the planning department of the city you are selling real property in by clicking here.

Campbell

  • Off-site open house signs to direct people to a property offered for sale, rent, or lease during an open house event are allowed.
  • On-site real estate signs are allowed.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.
  • Application: required for on site and off site real estate signs

Cupertino

  • Each lot is allowed to have one on-site open house sign
  • One off-site sign per street frontage
  • Maximum of two signs per off-site parcel
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here and here

Gilroy

  • One (1) on-site real estate sign pertaining to the sale, lease, rental or display of a structure or of land.
  • Signs, advertising a new residential development having five (5) or more units for sale or lease, may locate one (1) freestanding or wall on-site sign.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here and here

Los Altos

  • For any given property currently open for inspection, a maximum of one open house sign may be placed on public property at an intersection and placed so as to minimize interference with pedestrian traffic.
  • Beyond intersections, signs are not allowed on city street medians or right-of-ways, and or within Foothill Expressway medians or right-of-ways.
  • Individual Dwelling Units. Each separate residential dwelling unit, whether in attached multi-family, detached single family, townhome, condominium, or apartment type structures, is allowed a display area of twelve (12) square feet at all times; however, this cumulative area limit does not include name plates, address signs, or flags.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here and here.

Los Altos Hills

  • Temporary directional signs indicating the location of improved or unimproved parcels of land for sale that are having an open house are permitted.
  • Real estate signs on public property are permitted
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

Los Gatos

  • Nonilluminated, on-site signs advertising a residential subdivision are permitted, limited to one.
  • Open house signs must be nonilluminated, off-site, portable signs directing customers to the location of an open house which is for sale are permitted, unlimited in total number, but limited to one double-faced sign per corner of an intersection or zoning plot.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.
  • Application (Required):

Milpitas

  • Freestanding signs shall be erected in on-site landscaped planter areas and maintained in a neat and healthy manner in perpetuity with vegetation that is appropriate to the site. 
  • Only two open house signs allowed for individual property for sale per intersection.
  • On-Site Temporary For Sale or Lease Signs are limited to one (1). However, if the property has over one-hundred (100) feet of street frontage, a maximum of two (2) signs per parcel is allowed
  • Site Development Permit review shall ensure that the erection of off-site directional signs does not create visual clutter or other operational impacts on surrounding uses, with the intent of promoting co-existence of off-site directional signs and coordinating their locations, while regulating the type, location, size, number of such off-site directional signs
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.
  • Application (required):

Monte Sereno

  • One non-illuminated sign may be erected on each street frontage for any lot or building which serves solely to advertise the sale, lease or rental of or an offer to build to suit on the premises where the sign is located.
  • Non-illuminated, off-site, portable signs directing customers to the location of an open house which is for sale are permitted, unlimited in total number.
  • For the full ordinance please click here

Morgan Hill

  •  on-site directional information signs permitted 
  • no more than three real estate signs off-site
  • One per premises or subdivision;  location, no closer than five feet from property line; nonilluminated; shall be submitted by sign applicant at time of permit issuance for subdivision real estate sign only
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.
  • Application (Required) :

Mountain View

  • No more than one (1) on-site, temporary subdivision sign declaring a group of parcels, dwellings or occupancies within a subdivision for sale, rent or lease shall be permitted for each preexisting street frontage of the subdivision site
  • On-site signs permitted
  • Off-site signs prohibited
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here and here.

Palo Alto

  • Signs. Any person or firm offering real estate for sale in an approved subdivision may erect not more than two signs indicating the location of the subdivision
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

San Jose

  • One temporary sign may be displayed that is related to the lease or sale of the real property on which the sign is placed, while such property is for sale or lease and for a period of thirty days after such property is sold.
  • Off-site signs prohibited
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

Santa Clara

  • Off-site subdivision signs shall be permitted only in agricultural, commercial, or industrial zoning districts after first securing a use permit.
  • On-site signs permitted with use of a permit
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here

Saratoga

  • One temporary on-site sign may be located on a property that is actively marketed for sale or lease.
  • Any number of temporary off-site signs (including but not limited to real estate open house signs) are allowed.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

Sunnyvale

  • An open house directional sign may be placed on private property or the public right of way without a permit provided that sign is not placed on a traffic median, sidewalk, bicycle lane or other travel way or path. 
  • Real Estate Signs on Private Property. A lease, sale or construction sign that consists of a banner or a temporary ground sign, and meets all of the following criteria: (1) One sign per street frontage is permitted.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

Santa Clara County

  • Illumination: Signs on the property for sale, rental, or lease may be illuminated with continuous
  • (non-blinking) lighting. The only permissible forms of lighting are neon tube lighting, if fully
    contained within a cabinet covered with a clear glass or plastic face, or if comprised of individual
    pan channel letters covered with a clear glass or plastic face; external lighting; internal lighting;
    or halo lighting.
  • Signs are limited to eight square feet.
  • Public property: Only permitted by obtaining an encroachment permit
  • Signs are not allowed on county roads, expressways, and public right of way.
  • Please see a 2015 letter from the Santa Clara County Roads and Airport Department here.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.

Scotts Valley

  • ne For Sale Sign on the property offered
  • Up to 4 Open House/Directional signs on weekends, holidays, and open house caravan days (Thursdays), while the property is available for viewing.
  • Signs can be redeemed by paying $44per sign at Scotts Valley Public Works Dept. located at 701 Lundy Lane. They are destroyed after 15 days.
  • Misplaced signs are picked by police or public works staff when complaints are received, and occasionally staff will make a sweep of the area and pick up signs when the rules are ignored.
  • Read the 2017 Sign Ordinance Enforcement Letter from the Scotts Valley Police Department here.
  • For the full sign ordinance please click here.