Sign Regulations

Signs in Morehead City and its planning jurisdiction are subject to certain rules.

These rules are in place to protect the public by minimizing hazards and distractions to the pedestrians and vehicular traffic, while encouraging the use of signs as a means of communications for businesses and individuals. 

Sign regulations in Morehead City are based upon sign type. Sign types and associated rules are based upon Time, Place, and Manner rather than what a sign says. Freestanding signs, wall signs, feather flag signs, and temporary signs are examples of sign types. Banners may be used as freestanding, wall, or temporary signs, and the requirements are based upon the size and location. 

Certain sign types require permits. Examples include wall signs, which are limited based upon the linear width of a wall, and freestanding signs, which are based upon the square footage of building on a lot. Freestanding signs over sixteen square feet in area or seven feet in height, including the frame, must be designed to withstand wind pressures as specified in the North Carolina Building Code.

In general, signs are not allowed in the street right-of-way. A good rule of thumb to determine if a sign is outside of the right-of-way is if the sign is located on the business or home’s side of the sidewalk and utility poles. A survey is also a good way to determine what is or is not in a street right-of-way. 

Signs also should not be placed on items not intended to support a sign like trees, utility poles, fences, street signs and poles.

Morehead City’s sign regulations allow additional temporary signs outside of the right-of-way at certain times around elections.

Here is the link to learn more information about requirements for signs in Morehead City. 

Additional information regarding sign regulations can be found at the following links:

If you have any questions about the temporary sign ordinance or any section of the Town of Morehead City Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Article 19 – Signs, please contact the Town of Morehead City Planning and Inspections Office:

Jeannie Drake                                                 Barb Lynch

Zoning Enforcement Officer                             Code Enforcement Officer

252-726-6848 x 138                                         252-726-6848 x 119