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Investigating A Sign

1. Once you’ve found a suspicious sign, photograph it (if possible) and try to find the municipal address. Use tools like Google Street View if you’re not sure of the address.

2. Use that address to check the sign with the NY Department of Buildings Building Information Search. Look through the permits and complaints. Sign permits are Job Type “SG – SIGN”

3. Call 311 and file a complaint. Use the Department of Buildings website to track your complaint.

4. If the city determines the sign is legal, find some way to make sure they’re right. If you see a permit for a Non-Accessory Sign make an appointment to view the approved plans:
Manhattan Office 280 Broadway, 3rd floor;

– Carefully check the approved plan against what was built. Is it too high? Too large? Facing the wrong direction?

– If the sign complies with the approved plan, check the approved plan against both the Building Code and the Sign Code and answer the question: Was the permit properly issued?

If you have questions, our forums and the Municipal Art Society may be able to help.