Construction Info

Sign Design Criteria

You can download a PDF (9.7MB) of the entire Sign Design Criteria.

What follows is the introductory textual portion of the Criteria document

3.0 Signage Design Standards

3.1 Design Concept

The Larkridge development will accommodate a variety of Retail Tenants with a wide range of requirements for signage. In an effort to create an integrated signage identity for the project, designated locations will be set aside for the project signage. The following Commercial Center Signage Plan will govern the placement and size of signs in this project. Project sign type, location, size and definitions will follow the Signage Design Standards in this document.

3.1.1. Definitions

Awning means a shelter supported entirely from the exterior wall of a building constructed of rigid or non rigid materials.

Gas Station Canopy means a functional rigid roof like structure that is wholly or partially supported by a building structure and/or columns, braces, or poles extending to the ground. This structure is used exclusively by gas or service stations.

Changeable Copy means the portion of a sign on which message copy is changed manually or electrically to indicate gas pricing or time and temperature information.

Concealed Illumination means an artificial light source either internal to a sign structure or shielded from public view and from the surrounding properties used to only illuminate the face of a sign and not any area beyond the face.

Sign means any display or object primarily used to identify or display information about or direct attention to a person, institution, organization, business, product, event, location or otherwise by any means.

Sign Permit means written authorization issued by the City of Thornton for the erection, installation maintenance and display of a specific sign on any property within the city in accordance with the regulations of these Design Standards. Sign permits will be required for all signs.

Sign Area: Sign area shall be measured for all types of signs as follows:

(1) Signs with backing shall include, but not be limited to, cabinet signs or signs that are outlined or framed. The area of a cabinet sign or sign enclosed by a box, outlined or framed, shall be measured by determining the smallest possible area of any rectilinear geometric shape that utilizes eight or fewer lines that join each other at right angles that enclose the extreme limits of the display surface or face of the sign; including all frames, backing, face plated, nonstructural trim or other component parts not otherwise used for support.

(2) Signs without backing. If the sign is composed of individual letters or symbols that are mounted against a surface that has not been painted, textured or otherwise altered to provide a distinctive background for the sign copy, the area of the sign shall be measured by determining the area of the smallest possible area of a rectilinear geometric shape that utilizes eight or fewer lines that join each other at right angles that enclose the extreme limits of each message. Example provided on the next page.

(3) Multi-faced signs. Sign area for signs which have two parallel sign faces assembled in such a way that the faces cannot be viewed from any one point at the same time shall be calculated using only the larger of the two sign faces. Sign area for signs which have multiple sign faces not being parallel, which can be viewed from any one point at the same time, such as a v-shaped, triangles or cubes, shall be calculated using the total of all faces.

(4) When a sign is spherical, free form, sculptural or other nonplanar form, the sign area is measured as the sum of the area of the four vertical sides of the smallest polyhedron that will encompass the sign structure.

(5) An illuminated canopy, awning, or architectural feature of a building is not considered a distinctive background for the purposes of measuring the sign area.

(6) Neon or other outdoor building illumination, which does not identify or convey information, is not considered in the calculation of sign area. All neon lighting must be approved by the Landlord and The City of Thornton.

(7) Works of art, architectural features and building decoration, which contain or portray a commercial message suggestive of the on-site business shall be interpreted to constitute a sign, and the area shall be included in the calculation for determining the allowable sign area.

3.1.2. Sign Type Descriptions:

The following typical signs are included in these Design Standards. Their elevations and location on the site are indicated in the Signage Design Standards. They represent Project signage which may be installed on the site as part of the Signage Masterplan. The Masterplan Project signage includes the following:

Entry Multi Tenant Identity Monument (Sign Type A): Signs are located at the intersection of Colorado Highway 7 and Washington St. Stores under 80,000 SF are permitted (1) one-2'-0" x 10'-0" panel each side. Stores over 80,000 SF are permitted (1) one-4'-0" x 10'-0" panel each side. Maximum height 37'-9".

Interior Multi Tenant Monument (Sign Type B): Signs are located at the intersection of Washington St. and the main entry drive (signalized). Stores under 80,000 SF are permitted (1) one-2'-0" x 10'-0" panel each side. Stores over 80,000 SF are permitted (1) one-4'-0" x 10'-0" panel each side. Maximum height 30'-0".

Tenant Highway Monument Sign (Sign Type C): Signs are located west of Major 1 along I-25. Monuments will be provided for Major 1,2,3, & 4. Maximum height is 35'-0".

Single Tenant Monument (Sign Type D): Signs are located along Colorado Highway 7, Washington St. and at interior access points. Maximum height 6'-0".

Village Pedestrian Directory (Sign Type E): Signs are located along internal village road. Maximum height 8'-0".

Project Identity/City Gateway Monument (Sign Type F): Sign is located at the northwest corner of the site on Colorado Highway 7.

Village Blade Signage (Sign Type G):

Seasonal Banners (Sign Type H):

Building Signage (Sign Type I):

Project Identity Sign (Sign Type J):

3.1.3. Permitted Signage:

Seasonal or festival banner means any sign intended to be hung with or without frames. See Sign Type H.

Canopy Sign means a sign attached to a gas station canopy

Construction Sign means a temporary sign erected on the parcel on which construction is taking place, indicating the names and addresses of the architects, engineers, landscape architects, contractors, owner and financial supporters and others having a major interest in the structure or project.

Future Use Identification Sign means a temporary sign that identifies the future use of a site or building.

Informational Sign means a non-commercial sign whose sole purpose is to convey information or directions with respect to the site or premise on which it is maintained. Examples include a sign whose copy is limited to the name and address of a building, designating the entry or exit from a parking area, prohibiting trespassing, indicating danger or giving similar information, caution or directions.

Interior Window Signs are die cut vinyl, screen printed and or gilded, applied to the inside surface of the storefront glazing, or artistically rendered skeletal neon depicting Tenant's identity or product graphics. All transformers must be concealed within tenant's soffit.

Monument Sign means a freestanding sign supported on the ground and having a solid base.

On Site Sign means a sign directing attention to a business commodity, service, product, sold or conducted on the same property or site as that on which the sign is located.

Projecting Sign or Blade Sign means a sign constructed of a rigid material affixed perpendicularly to a wall of a building or structure and extending horizontally 12 inches or more beyond the surface of the wall.

Real Estate Sign means a temporary sign advertising real estate for rent, lease or sale on private property or in the public right of way.

Wall Sign means a sign painted on or affixed to an exterior wall or an upright structure of masonry, plaster or other building material serving to enclose, divide or protect an area and is not a projecting sign, roof sign, canopy sign, or fence sign.

3.1.4. Prohibited Signage:

Animated Sign means a sign having an intermittent or continuing variation in the illumination or physical position of any part of the device, except variations required for displaying time or temperature information.

Awning sign means a sign attached to an awning

Billboards means a sign advertising products not made, sold, used or served on the premises displaying the sign or that conveys an informational or ideological message.

Fence Signs means a sign affixed in any way to or painted on a fence.

Off Site Sign means a sign directing attention to a business commodity, service, product, or property not located, sold or conducted on the same property or site as that on which the sign is located. Off site signs are not permitted except as indicated in the Signage Masterplan.

Pennant means a flag tapering to a point usually strung together by line or rope.

Portable Sign means any sign designed to be moved easily and not permanently affixed to the ground or to a structure or building.

Roof Sign means a sign erected above the highest point of a flat roof or mounted on a gable pitched or hipped roof.

Vehicular Sign means a sign or business identification affixed to any vehicle, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, tractors, trailers, wagons, carts, manufactured homes and similar vehicles and their accessories.

Exterior Window Sign means any sign painted or applied to the exterior of the window of a tenant.

3.1.5 Exemptions:

The following types of signs are exempted from the regulations of these Design Standards.

a) Official governmental traffic control signs or signs required by law.

b) Official governmental informational signs or signs and temporary notices.

c) Official governmental recognition sign that may include signs and banners.

d) Flags of nations, or an organization of nations, states, and cities, if the intent is to display the flag and not utilize the flag to direct or attract attention to a person, institution, business product, event, location or otherwise by any means.

1. The maximum height of a flagpole is 35', or the height of the building, whichever is greater.

e) Works of art, architectural features or building decorations that are integral to the design of a building or provide an artistic accent if they:

1. Do not identify or advertise a business, business activity or product that is available for sale on the premises.

2. Do not consist of a company name, symbol, or trademark designed to be readily identifiable as a logo and

3. Comply with building height limits and setback requirements applicable to the property on which they are located.

f) Any sign on or constructed in association with a bus shelter or bus bench that is specifically allowed by a valid written contract with the City.

g) Holiday decorations that are commonly associated with any national, local or religious holiday. Such decorations may be of any type, number, area, height location, illumination or as long as they do not advertise or identify a product or a business and are located so as not to conflict with traffic regulatory devices.

3.1.6. Maintenance Requirements

a) Refer to Section 18-969 (c) City of Thornton Code.

3.1.7. Sign Permits

a) Refer to Section 18-996 (c) City of Thornton Code.

3.1.8 Other Signs

a) Any sign not specified above is per The City of Thornton Code.

3.2 Sign Requirements

3.2.1 Wall Signs:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area Major and Sub-Major Tenants:
  • 90 square feet or 17.5% of the square footage of the largest elevation of a single tenant user building on a zone lot or the end cap of a Sub Major bar, whichever is greater shall be used to determine the maximum sign area.
  • The maximum percentage on any one face is not to exceed 8% of the largest elevation.
  • If the building is a joint use building with 2 elevations available for signage, 60 square feet or 12% of the square footage of the largest leased exterior wall of a leased space shall be used to determine the maximum sign area.
Maximum Number of Signs No limit
Maximum Height Controlled by the wall the sign is attached to
Illumination Only concealed illumination
Special Requirements


Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area Maximum Sign Area Village and In-Line Shop Tenants:
  • 6% of the square footage of the front building elevation of a single tenant of a Village shop or In-Line shop shall be used to determine the maximum sign area for the front of the building. Maximum sign height is 2'-0".
  • 5% of the square footage of the rear building elevation of a single tenant of a Village shop or In-Line shop shall be used to determine the maximum sign area for the rear of the shop. Maximum sign height is 2'-0".
  • 3% of the square footage of the side building elevation of a single tenant end cap of a Village shop or In-Line shop shall be used to determine the maximum sign area for the exposed side of the shop. Maximum sign height is 2'-0".
Maximum Number of Signs No limit
Maximum Height Controlled by the wall the sign is attached to
Illumination Only concealed illumination
Special Requirements If there are continuous Village or In-Line shops sign faces for the different spaces must be centered in the sign band have a minimum of 5 feet separating the signs.

3.2.2 Highway Monument Signs:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area Refer to Sign Type C
Maximum Number of Signs 2
Maximum Height 35'-0"
Illumination Concealed illumination or up lights with shielded fixtures

3.2.3 Monument Signs:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area Refer to Sign Type A
Interior Multi Tenant Monument:
Refer to Sign Type B
Entry Single Tenant Identity Monument:
Refer to Sign Type D
Maximum Number of Signs Refer to Signage Location Plan
Maximum Height Below top of canopy
Illumination Concealed illumination or up lights with shielded fixtures

3.2.4 Canopy Signs (Gas Station):

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area 60 square feet
Maximum Number of Signs 2 per canopy
Maximum Height Below top of canopy
Illumination Only concealed illumination. Illuminated sign(s) on canopy. Canopy fascia not to be illuminated.

3.2.5 Menu Signs:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area 30 square feet
Maximum Number of Signs 2 per drive through
Maximum Height 6'-0"
Illumination Only concealed illumination.

3.2.6 Construction Sign:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area 32 square feet
Maximum Number of Signs 1 per Major, Sub-Major or Pad Site tenant only
Maximum Height 6'-0"
Illumination Not Permitted

3.2.7 Future Use Identification Sign:

Sign Criteria
Maximum Sign Area 32 square feet
Maximum Number of Signs 1 per Major, Sub-Major or Pad Site tenant only
Maximum Height 6'-0"
Illumination Not Permitted