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Billboards and Off-Site Advertising on Private Property

Project Description

FILE NOS PP20-004 & ER20-054   

The proposed project would amend Title 23 (Sign Ordinance) of the San José Municipal Code to consider the following: 

  1. Free-standing billboard structures on freeway-facing non-City-owned sites in exchange for removal of static billboards, and consider building-mounted programmable signage;
  2. Building-mounted signs displaying off-site commercial speech on certain non-City owned sites within the Downtown Sign Intensification Zone and the North San Jose Development Policy Area;
  3. Explore signage on public right-of-way to allow off-premise commercial advertising along public amenities, street furniture, and transit facilities; and
  4. Evaluate illumination parameters for illuminated and programmable signs.



Planning Staff Contact

Aparna Ankola, Planner

When submitting comments by email, please include the project file number in the subject line of the email. 


Alternate languages may be selected through the Google Translate option located at the top of the webpage. If you have additional questions regarding this project and need a translator, please contact the appropriate translator noted below.

  • Spanish: Para información en español acerca de esta solicitud, comuníquese con Jennifer Provedor al 408-793-4100, e índique el número de Proyecto PP20-004 & ER20-054  
  • Vietnamese: To speak with a Vietnamese translator, please contact Kieulan Pham at 408-793-4305 and mention the following project numbers: PP20-004 & ER20-054  


You are invited to participate in the below meetings to provide feedback on this proposed project. Comments are encouraged and accepted prior to the meeting date. Please email comments to:

Monday, July 13, 2020
Virtual Joint Community and Environmental Review Scoping Meeting

Meeting Recording


You are invited to a community meeting to give feedback on this proposed project. Comments are encouraged and accepted prior to the meeting date. Please email

Three Focus Group Meetings
The City’s Planning Division is holding three virtual focus group sessions on the proposed project. Public members who are part of or have an interest in the topics of these focus groups may participate in these sessions. To participate by phone and for complete instructions, see the Focus Group Meetings Invitation:

Thursday, July 23 
Focus: Environmental Groups, Lick Observatory
Meeting Recording


Monday, July 27, 2020
Focus: Sign Companies, Public Agencies
Meeting Recording


Thursday, July 30, 2020
Focus: Historic Preservation, Business Groups
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Zoom Link:

Additional Info and Documents

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the environmental clearance of this project. The Public Circulation Period for the draft EIR has not yet commenced.

Notice of Preparation_Sign Ordinance Update, Phase II_EIR

Frequently asked Questions

1. What is the current Phase II status and timeline? 

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is currently underway for Phase II. If you have questions about the EUR, please contact Upon completion of the EIR in Fall 2020, a City Council Hearing will be scheduled, likely by early December 2020. 

2. What is the public outreach process? 

In addition to the July 13, 2020 virtual public meeting, additional outreach for Phase II with smaller focus groups will be held in July. If you are interested in participating in these meetings, please email the project manager for additional information. We will continue to update information as we move along this process.

3. Where can I find information about Phase I of the Sign Code Update?

The earlier Phase I (General Plan Text, Municipal Code and Council Policy Amendments to allow Signs on City-owned sites including Billboards, Programmable Electronic Signs, and Signs displaying Off-site Commercial Speech) was approved by the City Council in September 2018. A total of 17 sites and 22 signs were identified in this Phase. At this time, no billboard installations are approved or completed. A City Council hearing related to the current RFP process will be scheduled in late Summer 2020.