Purchase the Award-winning Michigan Sign Guidebook

If you have any questions, contact Erica Briggs at info@scenicmichigan.org.

About the Guidebook

The Planning and Zoning Center at MSU (PZC), a part of the Land Policy Institute, has developed a new sign guidebook for use by local government officials. Mark Wyckoff, PZC director led the project and is a co-author. The new Michigan Sign Regulation Guidebook is a necessary addition to the library of Municipal attorneys. Attorneys that handle sign cases, assist with writing, administering or enforcing sign regulations will find expert advice in the Guidebook. In addition, the Guidebook is a “must have” for attorneys that are involved in risk reduction activities in their client municipalities.

Brian Connolly a law student at the University of Michigan (who has two degrees in urban planning) assisted on the Guidebook along with a large advisory committee made up of Michigan local planning practitioners, attorneys and members of the Scenic Michigan Board. Retired city of Troy Planning Director, Larry Keisling is coordinating the project for Scenic Michigan, where he is a board member. In addition, the two leading national experts in sign law are assisted the project team with guidance on challenging federal sign legal issues: Professor Daniel Mandelker, and Professor Allan Weinstein. Gerald Fisher, professor at Cooley Law School is providing similar assistance with regard to Michigan law.

For more information, download the guidebook brochure or contact Scenic Michigan at info@scenicmichigan.org or at (231) 347-1171.

Update Your Guidebook

The guidebook was updated in 2011 and replaces the one prepared by Wyckoff in 1989 for the then Michigan Society of Planning Officials (now Michigan Association of Planning). The guidebook

  • addresses a wide range of issues associated with local sign regulation with a major focus on legal issues and how communities can develop sign ordinances that minimize legal risks;
  • includes information on how to regulate different sign types, as well as approaches to sign regulation that preserve “content neutrality,” a critical issue under federal First Amendment law; and
  • focuses on ensuring signs meet the practical functional purposes for which signs are created, while preventing clutter and where feasible, enhancing the scenic quality of a community.

Updated 2011

The Michigan Sign Guidebook is over 150 pages in length and very thorough. Chapters include important topics for today such as: Contemporary Sign Issues, Legal Context and Constitutional Considerations, Ten Regulatory Principles, Special Cases and Problems, Nonconforming Signage, Review of Model Ordinances from a Michigan Perspective, and others dealing with critical sign regulation issues.