A publication of the Cedar Mill Business Association
Volume 1, Issue 8


July/August 2003

Cornell/Barnes Road Projects and Business Signs

The Cedar Mill Town Center project is underway, and Washington County has scheduled the reconstruction of Cornell Road (Murray to Saltzman) and Barnes Road (Saltzman to 119th alignment) for early in 2004.

One of the first effects to be felt from the project will be on signage. Some existing business identification signs on Cornell and Barnes roads will need to be removed or relocated if they are in existing right-of-way or in right-of-way acquired for the project.

Washington County’s Community Development Code regulates signs on private property. Generally, these are business identification signs visible from the street. On-site signs that are not visible to the public or are on private streets and are less than four feet in height, such as directional signs and building directories, are not regulated.

Here’s what the Code says regarding signs that are regulated and may have to be moved.

  • “Lawfully” established signs are those having received sign permit approval, or erected before the 1959 sign regulations (“grandfathered.”) Lawfully established signs may be relocated on site subject to an approval of a Type II land use decision.
  • For signs that are not lawfully established, new replacement signs must meet current sign standards.

Current sign standards applying to Cornell and Barnes roads can be summarized as follows:

  • Ground-mounted signs and building mounted signs (marquee signs) are permitted. Pole mounted or freestanding signs, while permitted in some areas in the County, are not permitted along sections of Cornell and Barnes Roads due to the “Town Center” status of this area.
  • Ground-mounted signs can have up to 45-sq. ft. of text or identifying logos. They can be up to 15’ high. They need to be located 5 feet behind the property line.
  • The text and or identifying logos on building mounted signs are limited to 5% of the building face.

As part of the right-of-way acquisition process, the County will determine value and compensate owners for lawfully established signs, and work with the sign owners on removal of the sign. There is no reimbursement for other signs.

Although sign relocation could impose a burden on some, there may also be an opportunity within the Cedar Mill community to consider new signing reflecting a common community theme or logo. This is a chance for the Cedar Mill Business Association to “brand” our business community and begin to guide the development of the Town Center.

For more information about County sign regulations, you can contact Steve Conway, Senior Planner, at 503-846-3833. If you have a question about right-of-way acquisition, you can contact Tara Heesacker, Right-of-Way Agent, at 503-846-7876. The County project manager for the Barnes and Cornell projects is Alexander Sander, at 503-846-7817. Additional project information is available on the County’s web site at www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/cap_proj/cornell.htm