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Prohibited Signs

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Signs that are prohibited in Tumwater

(from TMC §18.44.080)

  • Signs that can be confused with or construed as a traffic-control device or that hide traffic or street signs, or obstruct the view in any direction at a road intersection.
  • Signs that resemble an official traffic sign or signal and bear the words “stop,” “caution,” “danger,” “warning,” or similar words.
  • Signs with spinners, strings of light bulbs, blinking or fluctuating lights, or other similar devices, except public service signs or changing message signs which show time and temperature only.
  • Signs affixed to utility poles, trees, other signs, rocks, or other natural features. This does not include the use of engraved rocks as monument signs.
  • Any sign that is not permanently anchored to the ground, structure or building, including any signs displayed on an abandoned vehicle. Advertising on moving vehicles on public streets and certain signs outlined in TMC 18.44.075, such as A-board signs, product dispensers or wall signs, are not prohibited. 
  • Signs on the roof or the parapet of a building, or located on any portion of a parapet that’s two feet higher than the main roofline. 
  • Any sign or illumination that causes direct glare onto other buildings unrelated to the sign.  
  • Signs on public streets, sidewalks or rights-of-way, except those of an official nature.
  • Signs which are attached to fences, except at wireless communication sites or ball parks.  
  • Freestanding signs which are greater than thirty feet in height.
  • In order to avoid action by the City, you must remove signs that are not in compliance with City regulations. The City periodically impounds signs without prior notice, and they’re not saved. If repeated infractions continue, civil penalties may be levied.


For the full text of sign regulations in the Tumwater Municipal Code, see TMC §18.44. For questions about exempt signs, contact the Community Development Department at (360) 754-4180 or