The City of Orlando is launching a new Temporary Window Wrap Pilot Program that will seek to codify how long and with what materials a storefront’s windows can be covered.

Paperwork filed by City staff state that the act of some business and property owners of covering/screening ground floor windows with materials like brown paper, posters, and sheeting can create a “chaotic appearance” that detracts from abutting businesses and the public right-of-way.

City staff also has apparently found that a number of businesses that temporarily covering their windows are doing so to hide unpermitted work inside as well, so the City of Orlando is looking to use the pilot program to formalize policies that clearly state how window graphics, decals, and wraps can be used going forward.

The policy will also allow for businesses or property owners to activate vacant properties with temporary artwork in the windows that will benefit the “vitality of Downtown Orlando during transitions” with the following parameters.

Eligibility. Properties located within the downtown CRA that are either vacant or going through a renovation, provided that a permit has been secured for said renovation.
Permits. Typically, a permit is required for any sign to be installed within the City of Orlando. Temporary window wraps will be allowed within the Downtown CRA without a permit, however, a Minor Certificate of Appearance Approval must be obtained before installation. The application for a minor certificate of appearance approval is free of charge and subject to review by the Appearance Review Official. Code Enforcement officers will issue violation notices for window wraps that do not obtain certificates of appearance approval or remain installed for longer than specified in this pilot program.
Installation. Window wraps shall be installed and removed by the property or business owner, who shall bear all costs associated with the installation and removal. By participating in this program, each business and property owner agrees to release the City from any liability that may arise due to the installation, display or removal of the window wrap pursuant to this pilot program.
Design. The property owner or tenant must create their own design based on the specifications below and submit an application for a Minor Certificate of Appearance Approval. The application must be approved before the window wrap is printed and installed by the business or property owner.
Vacant Properties. As a tenant attraction strategy, vacant properties are allowed to incorporate text into the window wrap design. Text and logo combined cannot exceed 32 sq. ft. or up to 25% of the window area, whichever is more restrictive, and may not be displayed for more than 120 days.
Properties under interior renovation. Properties that have permits for interior renovation are allowed to include a logo on the window wrap incorporated into the overall design. The logo cannot be more than 25% of the total window area. The window wrap is permitted to stay for as long as the building permit remains

No off-site content. Off-site content shall not be allowed on window wraps.
Limit text. Text shall be limited to up to 10% of the area of the artwork, except for vacant properties as described above.
QR Code. A QR code limited to 1 sq. ft. will not count against the maximum copy area or text limit.
Materials. The window wrap must be vinyl and have a professional finish. In no circumstance shall plastic, fabric or paper be fixed to the storefront window.
Certificate of Occupancy (CO): For properties under renovation, the CO will only be issued after the window wrap has been removed.

Prior to this pilot, City codes do not allow for the use of text in window graphics or graphics that are too large as that would qualify as a sign, and signs have size limits based on the square footage of the space.

The Temporary Window Wrap Pilot Program will run for a window of two years during which the CRA and DDB will consider whether or not to ask for the program to be made permanent.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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