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Some in the community have expressed a concern about digital display signs including the brightness, overall aesthetic, and possible future effect on the streetscape of Fort Collins. The City currently has sign code regulations in place that specifically address digital display signs, their size, appearance, and color. The code was most recently updated in 2006; signs existing prior to that year that do not comply with the provisions must conform by December 29, 2013.


  • The displayed message cannot change more than once per minute.
  • Messages cannot change with the use of scrolling, flashing, fading or other similar effects.
  • The digital sign must have automatic dimming software or solar sensors to control brightness for nighttime viewing.
  • The message must be one-color and can only be amber, green, blue or white.
  • The area of the electronic display cannot be more than 50 percent of the total area of the sign.
  • Flashing, moving, blinking, chasing or other animation effects are prohibited on all signs, except time-and-temperature signs.


Some have expressed that a single- or double-pole sign is generally not as attractive as a monument sign, and that design criteria to limit the amount of air space under the sign cabinet would be beneficial.


A pole sign is a type of freestanding sign with a considerable amount of air space below or around the sign cabinet. These sign cabinets are often supported by only one or two poles. Such signs can be no more than 18 feet tall. A monument sign, in contrast, is a type of freestanding sign that has a substantial base and has no more than 20% of air space between the ground and the bottom of the sign. Monument signs can be no more than 12 feet tall. Business owners are allowed to choose between using a pole sign or a monument sign.


  1. What do you like or dislike about digital signs that you see in Fort Collins?
  2. Should the City Sign Code continue to allow for regulated digital signs or prohibit them outright?
  3. If continued, should additional regulations be added?
  4. Do you think that the continued use of digital signs as currently regulated by the City would add, detract, or have no impact upon community appearance now and in the future?
  5. Should design criteria for pole signs be added to the City Sign Code?
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