San Mateo Law Library
City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, it is unlawful for any person other than a City representative to place a sign on public property or in the public right-of-way where such sign fails to comply with any of the restrictions stated in this section.

(b) Restrictions Applicable to Signs.

(1) No sign shall exceed thirty-six inches in height.

(2) No sign shall exceed six square feet in area.

(3) All signs shall be constructed or anchored to prevent movement of the sign by the wind, except that an anchoring shall not be permanent and shall not damage the property on which the sign is placed.

(c) Restrictions Applicable to the Placement of Signs.

(1) No sign shall be placed during hours of darkness.

(2) No sign shall be placed within the median of any public street.

(3) No sign shall be attached to, or leaned against, any street furniture, utility facility (including poles and boxes), street light, building, fence, or any other sign.

(4) No sign shall be placed within 50 feet of any other sign placed under the provisions of this chapter, except that as many as 4 signs may be placed on sidewalks within 50 feet of the intersection of public streets on each corner of such intersections.

(5) No sign shall be placed in such a manner as to reduce the unobstructed path of travel on any sidewalk to less than 36 inches, and if the existing unobstructed path of travel of a sidewalk is 36 inches or less, no sign shall be placed on that sidewalk.

(6) No sign shall be placed within a curb cut or ramp installed to provide improved access to a sidewalk to the disabled.

(7) No sign shall be placed upon any public right-of-way other than a public sidewalk, except that signs may be placed in unimproved right-of-way with the consent of the owner of the adjoining property.

(8) No sign shall be placed upon public right-of-way within the areas bounded by Baldwin Avenue to the north, Railroad Avenue to the east, Fifth Avenue to the south, and El Camino Real to the west.

(d) No person shall display a sign that would otherwise be in violation of any of the standards provided in subsections (b) and (c) by placing the sign upon, or leaning the sign against, a vehicle parked within the public right-of-way. This prohibition shall not apply to signs placed within the interior of a vehicle, signs that are painted on a vehicle, or to signs that are affixed to a vehicle in such a manner that the vehicle may be driven with the sign attached.