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5-12   SIGNS
   5-12(A)   PURPOSE
   This Section 14-16-5-12 is intended to promote and protect the public health, welfare, and safety by regulating all types of existing and proposed signs. More specifically, these regulations are intended to help implement adopted ABC Comp Plan policies, protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve scenic and natural beauty, minimize sign clutter, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, curb the deterioration of the community's appearance and attractiveness, comply with all applicable federal and State laws regarding the First Amendment and free speech, and avoid regulating signage based on content, viewpoint, or message.
   5-12(B)   APPLICABILITY
   5-12(B)(1)   This Section 14-16-5-12 shall apply to the erection of all signs located outside of, or located within but designed to be viewed from outside of, a structure in any zone district, unless specifically exempted by this IDO.
   5-12(B)(2)   Part 14-16-3 (Overlay Zones) may include sign regulations, which prevail over any other standards in this IDO.
   5-12(B)(3)   Additional sign regulations listed in Section 14-16-4-3 (Use-specific Standards) may apply. In the case of conflict, the stricter provision shall apply. 257
   5-12(B)(4)   Notwithstanding Subsections (1), (2), and (3) above, the provisions of this Section 14-16-5-12 shall not apply to any sign erected or required to be erected by any State or federal governmental agency, or public utility provided that the size, height, location, type and illumination of the sign comply with these provisions to the maximum extent practicable, including compliance with the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act, as regulated by the State.
   5-12(B)(5)   Any sign legally erected before the effective date of this IDO that is no longer in compliance with the standards in this Section 14-16-5-12 may be retained in use, subject to the provisions of Subsection 14-16-6-8(F) (Nonconforming Signs).
   5-12(B)(6)   For signs in the public right-of-way, see Section 8-2-2-1 of ROA 1994 (Traffic Control Devices, Signs Restricting Use of Streets) and the DPM.
   5-12(C)   SIGNS PROHIBITED IN ALL ZONE DISTRICTS
   The following signs are prohibited, and these types of signs shall be removed or brought into conformance with this IDO and the DPM in accordance with maintenance standards for signs in Subsection 14-16-5-13(B)(10):
   5-12(C)(1)   Any sign contributing to confusion of traffic control or resembling traffic control lighting; unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device that purports to be or imitates official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals; unauthorized sign that attempts to control traffic on any public right-of-way or private way; or sign that hides or interferes with the effectiveness of any official traffic control devices or any railroad signs or signals.
   5-12(C)(2)   Any sign located in a clear sight triangle.
   5-12(C)(3)   Any on-premises sign that advertises an activity, business, product, or service no longer produced or conducted on the premises upon which the sign is located for more than 30 calendar days after the vacancy or change of business that causes the sign to become inaccurate.
   5-12(C)(4)   Any rotating, pulsating, or oscillating beacon of light; searchlight; or HID strobe light.
   5-12(C)(5)   Any sign with an audible device.
   5-12(D)   PERMITTING
   In addition to complying with the applicable provisions for signs in this IDO, a sign may require a Sign Permit as described in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(D) and in Subsection 14-16-6-5(C) (Permit – Sign).
   5-12(D)(1)   Signs that Require a Sign Permit
   5-12(D)(1)(a)   Unless exempted by Subsection 14-16-5-12(D)(2) (Activities That Do Not Require a Sign Permit), new signs that meet any of the following criteria may not be erected until a Sign Permit is obtained pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(C) (Permit – Sign):
      1.   Signs with an area greater than 24 square feet.
      2.   Signs taller than 8 feet.
      3.   Illuminated signs.
      4.   Signs with moving elements.
      5.   Freestanding and projecting signs.
      6.   Portable signs.
      7.   Electronic signs, including changes to an existing sign that turn it into an electronic sign and expansion of the electronic area of an electronic sign.
   5-12(D)(1)(b)   Electronic signs require an annual permit, pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(C).
   5-12(D)(2)   Activities That Do Not Require a Sign Permit
   The following operations shall not require a sign permit provided that they comply with the standards applicable to that type of sign in this IDO.
   5-12(D)(2)(a)   Changing the advertising copy or message, including the interchange of the sign face, on an approved painted or printed sign structure or on a marquee or similar approved sign, provided that the size of the sign is not changed.
   5-12(D)(2)(b)   Painting, cleaning, and other normal maintenance and repair of a sign or sign structure unless a structural change is made.
   5-12(E)   STANDARDS APPLICABLE TO ALL SIGNS
   5-12(E)(1)   Content
   5-12(E)(1)(a)   The regulations in this Section 14-16-5-12 shall be administered and implemented without regard to sign content or message, except as required to determine the applicability of and compliance with Subsection 14-16-5-12(G) (Off-premises Signs).
   5-12(E)(1)(b)   Any sign content or message may be substituted for different sign content on any sign allowed under this Section 14-16-5-12, or on any sign that is a legal nonconforming sign under this IDO.
   5-12(E)(2)   Location
   5-12(E)(2)(a)   No sign or part of a sign shall be located on any property without the consent of the owner, holder, lessee, agent, trustee, or other party controlling the use of such property.
   5-12(E)(2)(b)   Signs shall not be located within public waterline or sanitary sewer easements.
   5-12(E)(3)   Clearance
   5-12(E)(3)(a)   Any part of a sign extending over a public right-of-way, private way, or private walkway shall have a minimum vertical clearance of 8 feet above any sidewalk or walkway and a minimum vertical clearance of 12 feet above any vehicle driving surface, unless it is a sign allowed by Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(4)(b) (Portable Signs), 14-16-5-12(J) (Construction Period Sign), or 14-16-5-12(K) (Transit Shelter Signs).
 
   5-12(E)(3)(b)   Approval from one of the following entities is required for any part of any sign extending over a public right-of-way, private way, or private walkway:
      1.   The City, for signs that extend over a public right-of-way.
      2.   The owner of the property containing the pedestrian traffic area, for signs that extend over a private way or private walkway.
   5-12(E)(4)   Design and Construction
   5-12(E)(4)(a)   All signs shall be constructed of durable material and maintained in good condition and repair, shall be securely anchored and constructed to prevent lateral movement that would cause wear on supporting connections, and shall be constructed to withstand expected wind loads appropriate to design and installation.
   5-12(E)(4)(b)   No sign may have overhead wiring to supply electric power, except for a freestanding off-premises sign where underground power cannot be accessed from the site.
   5-12(E)(4)(c)   Sign supports for building-mounted signs other than allowed rooftop signs shall be covered in a manner that integrates the sign with the building design.
   5-12(E)(4)(d)   Building-mounted signs, with the exception of wall signs, shall not extend more than 2 feet above the wall of a building, except in the following small areas, as noted.
      1.   East Downtown – CPO-4
      Rooftop signs are allowed pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(3)(a) (Standards Applicable in Small Areas).
      2.   East Downtown – HPO-1
      Rooftop signs are allowed pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(3)(b) (Standards Applicable in Small Areas).
      3.   Downtown Small Area 258
      Rooftop signs in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in or within 330 feet of the Downtown Center are allowed pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(3)(b) (Standards Applicable in Small Areas).
      4.   Nob Hill/Highland – CPO-8
      Higher building-mounted signs are allowed pursuant to Subsection 14-16-3-4(I)(5)(c) (Signs).
      5.   Uptown Small Area 259
      In the mapped small area below, signs may extend more than 2 feet above the wall of the building if the following criteria are met:
         a.   The sign is a continuation of the plane where it is mounted.
         b.   No more than 25 percent of the sign height extends above the wall where it is mounted.
 
   5-12(E)(4)(e)   Freestanding sign structures shall not use guy wires, bracing, or external supports.
   5-12(E)(5)   Illumination and Motion
   5-12(E)(5)(a)   General
      1.   Signs may be internally or externally lit, provided that the light source is not directly visible from the public right-of-way or from adjacent properties unless specified otherwise in this IDO.
      2.   No portion of an illuminated sign shall have a luminance greater than 200 foot lamberts or 685 nits at night.
      3.   No sign or any part of any sign shall move or rotate at a rate of more than once each 10 seconds, with the exception of wind devices, the motion of which is not restricted.
      4.   No sign or any part of any sign shall change its message or picture at a rate of more than once each 8 seconds.
   5-12(E)(5)(b)   Residential Zone Districts
   In any Residential zone district or within 50 feet in any direction of any Residential zone district, all of the following provisions apply.
      1.   Illuminated signs are prohibited on lots with low-density residential development.
      2.   No more than 1 sign per premises with multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development shall be illuminated, apart from the general illumination of the premises, between 11:00 PM and sunrise, unless Subsection 14-16-5-12(H)(4) (Illumination, Brightness, and Images) applies a more restrictive standard.
   5-12(E)(5)(c)   Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
   An illuminated sign or illuminated element of a sign in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district may turn on or off or change its brightness, provided that the following requirements are met, unless Subsection 14-16-5-12(H)(4) (Illumination, Brightness, and Images) applies any more restrictive standard or Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(4)(a) (Neon Signs along Central Avenue) applies any less restrictive standard to eligible signs.
      1.   The sign is not within 200 feet in any direction of any Residential zone district and visible from that zone district.
      2.   The sign is not within 330 feet in any direction of Major Public Open Space.
      3.   Change of illumination does not produce any apparent motion of the visual image, including but not limited to illusion of moving objects, moving patterns or bands of light, expanding or contracting shapes, or any similar effect of animation except twinkling.
      4.   There is no continuous or sequential flashing in which more than 1/3 of the lights are turned on or off at one time.
   5-12(F)   ON-PREMISES SIGNS
   5-12(F)(1)   Signs in Residential Zone Districts
   5-12(F)(1)(a)   The provisions in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(1) and Table 5-12-1 apply to all signs in any Residential zone district unless specified otherwise in this IDO.
   5-12(F)(1)(b)   Notwithstanding the provisions in Table 5-12-1, a Neighborhood Association representative on file with the Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) or the applicant for a subdivision is allowed 1 monument or freestanding sign for every 5 acres of land within the Neighborhood Association boundary or proposed subdivision area, up to a maximum of 4 signs. If mounted on a perimeter wall, a letter of authorization from the property owner must be submitted with the application.
Table 5-12-1: On-premises Signs in Residential Zone Districts
Sign Type
Zone District
R-A
R-MC
R-1, R-T
R-ML, R-MH
Table 5-12-1: On-premises Signs in Residential Zone Districts
Sign Type
Zone District
R-A
R-MC
R-1, R-T
R-ML, R-MH
Residential Uses[1]
Wall Sign[2]
Number, maximum
Low-density residential development: 1 / dwelling
Multi-family residential development: 1 / building / street frontage
Area, maximum[3]
4 sq. ft.
2 sq. ft.
Low-density residential:
2 sq. ft.
Multi-family residential: 24 sq. ft.
Window Sign
Prohibited
Limited to signs not discernible from a public right-of-way.
Yard Sign
Number, maximum
1 / dwelling in lieu of wall sign if dwelling is more than 30 ft. from street
Prohibited
Area, maximum
2 sq. ft.
Monument Sign
Number, maximum
Prohibited
Multi-family residential: 1 / street frontage
Area, maximum
24 sq. ft.
Height, maximum
4 ft.
Allowed and Nonconforming Non-residential Uses
Building-mounted or Freestanding Sign
Number, maximum
1 / street frontage
Area, maximum
24 sq. ft.
Height, maximum
Freestanding sign: 6 ft.
[1] This section of the table applies to residential uses and uses accessory to the primary residential use, including but not limited to home occupation and agricultural sales stand. For other non-residential uses, see the Allowed and Nonconforming Non-residential Uses section of this table.
[2] For low-density residential development, wall signs are only allowed for a use accessory to the primary residential use on the property.
[3] For wall signs, the maximum size in this table is the sign area allowed per premises and may be achieved through one or multiple signs, as allowed by this table.
 
   5-12(F)(2)   Signs in Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
   5-12(F)(2)(a)   General
      The provisions in Table 5-12-2 and this Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(2) apply to all signs that are not located within any Residential zone district unless specified otherwise in this IDO.
Table 5-12-2: On-premises Signs in Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
Sign Type
Zone District
Mixed-use Zone Districts,
NR-C, NR-LM, NR-GM
NR-BP, NR-SU, NR-PO, PD, PC
Table 5-12-2: On-premises Signs in Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
Sign Type
Zone District
Mixed-use Zone Districts,
NR-C, NR-LM, NR-GM
NR-BP, NR-SU, NR-PO, PD, PC
Wall Sign
Number, maximum
N/A
Per approved plan[1]
Area, maximum
Shall not exceed the following percentages of façade area, inclusive of door and window openings:
MX-T, MX-FB-ID: 5%
MX-L: 10%
MX-M, MX-H, MX-FB-FX, MX-FB-AC, MX-FB-UD, NR-C: 15%
NR-LM, NR-GM: 25%
Location
Where there is no side setback between 2 establishment frontages in the same or abutting buildings, no wall sign may extend closer than 2 feet to the shared edge of the frontage.
Window Sign
No more than 15% of window and door areas may be covered with signs.
On the ground floor, between 4 feet and 8 feet above ground level, window signs shall be limited to 25% of that area.
Canopy Sign
Number, maximum
1 / establishment frontage
MX-FB: 1 / entry/exit
Per approved plan[1]
Width, maximum
50% of building frontage width
MX-FB-AC, MX-FB-UD: full building frontage width
Height of message surface, maximum
Letters and images must be located on vertical surfaces,
which may not exceed 18 in. height
Marquee Sign
Number, maximum
A marquee sign is allowed in lieu of – not in addition to – an allowable wall sign.
1 / theater or performance venue frontage.
Per approved plan[1]
Area, maximum
Same as allowable maximum area of wall sign.
Height of message surface, maximum
3 ft.
MX-FB-AC, MX-FB-UD: 5 ft.
Projection, maximum
50% of the distance over any abutting sidewalk
or 10 ft. from the façade, whichever is less.
Projecting Sign
Number, maximum[2]
1 / establishment
MX-H and MX-FB: 1 / establishment frontage
Per approved plan[1]
Area, maximum
Same as allowable maximum size of freestanding sign.
Projection, maximum
30 in. from the façade
In the DT area and North 4th Corridor – CPO-9, if the lower edge of sign is =12 ft. above sidewalk:
50% of the distance over any abutting sidewalk
75% of the distance over any abutting sidewalk on Central Avenue between 1st and 8th Streets
Rooftop Sign
Number, maximum
1 / building
Rooftop signs are only allowed in small areas pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(3) (Standards Applicable in Small Areas).
Per approved plan[1]
Area, maximum
75 sq. ft.
Height, maximum
15 ft. or 25% of the height of the building, whichever is less.
Freestanding Sign
Number, maximum[2]
1 / premises / street frontage. A freestanding sign is allowed only where there is at least 100 feet of street frontage.
or 1 / Joint Sign Premises, pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(2)(b).
Per approved plan[1]
Area, maximum
MX-T, MX-FB-ID: 50 sq. ft.
MX-L: 100 sq. ft.
Any other Mixed-use zone district, NR-C, NR-LM, NR-GM:
100 sq. ft. at allowable locations abutting a local or collector street.
200 sq. ft. at allowable locations abutting an arterial street or interstate highway.
300 sq. ft. at allowable locations within 200 feet of a through lane of an interstate highway and visible from the interstate highway.
Height, maximum[3]
MX-T, MX-FB-ID: 9 ft.
MX-L: 18 ft.
Any other Mixed-use zone district, NR-C, NR-LM, NR-GM: 26 ft.
[1] Per approved NR-BP Master Development Plan; NR-SU, PD, or PC Site Plan – EPC; or NR-PO Master Plan as applicable. If no Master Development Plan is approved or if the approved Master Development Plan does not specify sign standards, see Subsection 14-16-2-5 (B)(3)(c)3.
[2] For premises where freestanding signs are allowed, for each street frontage, either a freestanding sign or projecting signs are allowed, not both (i.e. projecting signs can be used on any street frontage where a freestanding sign is not used).
[3]For any freestanding sign that is within 200 feet of a through lane of an interstate highway, the maximum height is measured from the highway road grade at the closest point from the premises.
 
   5-12(F)(2)(b)   Joint Sign Premises
   A Joint Sign Premises may be created by the owners of 2 or more abutting premises who wish to cooperate in order to jointly obtain permission for 1 freestanding sign on the Joint Sign Premises. To qualify for a freestanding sign, the Joint Sign Premises shall meet the following requirements:
      1.   The individual premises included in the Joint Sign Premises must each have less than 100 feet of street frontage along the same street.
      2.   The combined premises shall have no less than 100 feet of frontage along the same street.
      3.   The owners of the individual premises shall submit a joint agreement with their application for a Sign Permit pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(C).
   5-12(F)(3)   Standards Applicable in Small Areas
   In addition to other standards for on-premises signs, this Subsection 12-16-5-12(F)(3) applies as noted in the following small areas.
   5-12(F)(3)(a)   East Downtown – CPO-4
   Rooftop signs are allowed in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in the East Downtown – CPO-4 if they meet all of the following standards:
      1.   At least 70 percent of the sign area shall consist of open space, through which the structural framework may be viewed.
      2.   The remaining portion of the sign area may consist of channel letters, channel graphics, open lighting elements, or a solid panel.
   5-12(F)(3)(b)   East Downtown – HPO-1
   Rooftop signs are allowed in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in the East Downtown – HPO-1 if they meet all of the following standards:
      1.   At least 70 percent of the sign area shall consist of open space, through which the structural framework may be viewed.
      2.   The remaining portion of the sign area may consist of channel letters, channel graphics, open lighting elements, or a solid panel.
   5-12(F)(3)(c)   Downtown Small Area 4
   Rooftop signs are allowed in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in or within 330 feet of the Downtown Center if they meet all of the following standards:
      1.   Only 30 percent of the sign area shall consist of channel letters, channel graphics, open lighting elements, or a solid panel.
      2.   The structural framework of the sign shall be visible for the remaining 70 percent of the sign area.
   5-12(F)(3)(d)   East Gateway Small Area 5
   Projecting and freestanding signs shall be a maximum size of 75 square feet in any Mixed-use zone district in the following mapped small area.
 
   5-12(F)(3)(e)   La Cueva Small Area 262
   The following provisions apply in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in the following mapped small area.
 
      1.   Wall signs are prohibited on façades that face abutting Residential zone districts.
      2.   Freestanding signs shall be monument signs only and shall be a maximum of 50 square feet with a maximum height of 8 feet.
   5-12(F)(3)(f)   Sunport Boulevard Small Area 7
   The following provisions apply in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in the following mapped small area.
 
      1.   Only wall and freestanding signs are allowed.
      2.   Wall signs shall have a maximum size of 15 percent of the façade area, inclusive of door and window openings.
      3.   Freestanding signs shall have a maximum size of 75 square feet and a maximum height of 12 feet, except that properties over 5 acres may have 1 freestanding sign up to 26 feet in height within 200 feet of Sunport Boulevard.
      4.   The base of freestanding signs shall be surrounded by a landscaped area of at least 36 square feet with a minimum of 75 percent vegetative cover.
      5.   No sign or any part of a sign shall rotate.
   5-12(F)(3)(g)   Unser Boulevard Small Area 264
   The following provisions apply in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district in the following mapped small area.
 
      1.   Only wall and freestanding signs are allowed.
      2.   Freestanding signs shall be a maximum size of 75 square feet with a maximum height of 12 feet.
      3.   No sign or any part of a sign shall move or rotate.
   5-12(F)(4)   Standards for Specific Types of Signs
   5-12(F)(4)(a)   Neon Signs along Central Avenue
   The provisions of this Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(4)(a) provide size and height bonuses for qualifying neon on-premises signs, allow animation, and provide incentives and flexibility from otherwise applicable sign regulations in specific areas of the city. In case of conflict between these standards and other sign standards applicable to the same property, these standards shall prevail.
      1.   Applicability
         The following additional regulations apply to:
         a.   Signs on all lots that abut or have direct frontage to Central Avenue.
         b.   Signs on all lots located within 300 feet of the edge of the public right-of-way of Central Avenue.
         c.   Signs located on lots located within 300 feet of an intersection of Central Avenue and the following streets: Tramway Boulevard, Juan Tabo Boulevard, Eubank Boulevard, Wyoming Boulevard, Louisiana Boulevard, San Pedro Boulevard, San Mateo Boulevard, Yale Boulevard, University Boulevard, I-25, Broadway Boulevard, Atrisco Drive, Old Coors Drive, Coors Boulevard, Unser Boulevard north of Central Avenue, and 98th Street north of Central Avenue.
      2.   Eligibility for Incentives
      In order to qualify for incentives in Subsection 3 below, the applicant must comply with all of the following criteria:
         a.   Amount of Neon
      Luminous neon shall comprise at least 50 percent of the sign face area and include text and/or images.
         b.   Location
      The sign shall not obscure portions of a building that contribute to architectural character, including but not limited to doors and windows.
         c.   Lighting Technology
      Signage that uses LED tubing or a similar alternative and has the appearance of neon is allowed if it produces a continuous lit appearance similar to neon lighting technology, and does not create darker and/or shadowy spaces between individual LEDs that make the linear, illuminated image appear non-continuous. Incandescent bulbs, another historic sign illumination type, or compact fluorescent bulbs that appear to be incandescent bulbs shall comprise no more than 50 percent of the sign face area.
         d.   Design Elements
      Consistency with at least 1 of the following design elements:
            i.   Sign Restoration
            Restoration of a historic sign that includes neon and/or incandescent light bulbs qualifies the applicant for the neon sign incentives in Subsection 3 below.
            ii.   Neon Design
            The neon portion of the sign shall be intricate, creative, and expressive. There shall be added text and/or imagery, preferably both, highlighted with neon.
            iii.   Sign Design
            If the sign is a rectangle or a square, the mounting structure shall have a unique design that integrates with the sign.
            iv.   Illumination
            One hundred (100) percent of the sign illumination shall consist of neon or other historic forms of illumination, such as incandescent bulbs. Illumination calculations exclude any portion of the sign that is backlit plastic panels where sign content is painted or printed on the panel, instead of originating from luminous tubing.
         e.   Compliance with National Electric Safety Code
         All signs must be in compliance with the latest enforced clearance section of the National Electric Safety Code, which governs minimum required clearance distances for electric utilities. Electric overhead transmission lines are located perpendicular and parallel to Central Ave. Electric overhead distribution lines are frequently located in or overhanging the public ROW, generally crossing or paralleling Central Avenue. All proposed neon installations at these locations must be approved by PNM through the Sign Permit process in Subsection 14-16-6-5(C) to ensure vertical and horizontal safety clearances.
      3.   Incentives and Flexibility
      The following incentives and flexibility apply to signs that meet the requirements of Subsections 1 and 2 above:
         a.   Sign area for a freestanding or projecting sign may be up to 50 percent larger than the sign area allowed in the underlying zone district, up to a maximum of 250 square feet after the bonus is applied. Lettering is allowed a proportionate size bonus.
         b.   Sign area for a building-mounted sign, except projecting signs, may be up to 25 percent larger than the sign area allowed in the underlying zone district. Lettering is allowed a proportionate size bonus.
         c.   The height of a freestanding sign shall not exceed 30 feet, except that the height of a sign within 200 feet of a through lane of an interstate highway shall not exceed 26 feet, as measured from the highway road grade at the closest point from the premises.
         d.   The height of a building-mounted sign shall not exceed 110 percent of the building height or 35 feet, whichever is less. Building-mounted signs shall be located below the top edge of any non-residential portion of the building to which it is attached, or shall otherwise be located so that the illumination from the sign is shielded from any residential portion of the building.
      4.   Animation
         a.   Flashing and physical movement of a sign and/or its elements are not allowed and do not qualify as an animated sign.
         b.   Signs that meet the other standards of this Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(4)(a) may be animated by changing the neon illumination in a sequential or radial manner to produce apparent motion of the visual image. 265
   5-12(F)(4)(b)   Portable Signs
      1.   Portable signs are only allowed for land uses in the Food, Beverage, and Indoor Entertainment or Retail Sales categories in Table 4-2-1, provided that they comply with the standards in Table 5-12-3.
Table 5-12-3: Portable Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Table 5-12-3: Portable Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Number, maximum
1 / establishment
Number of sides, maximum
2
Size, maximum
6 sq. ft. / side
Width, maximum
2.5 ft.
Height, maximum
3 ft.
Location
Must be located in front of the premises owned or occupied by the person or entity placing the sign.
May be located in the public right-of-way, on a private way, or on a walkway but not within 2 feet of the curb, and not in areas that are required to be clear for pedestrian movement next to any street furniture.
Construction
Must be constructed of wood, metal, or other durable materials in such a manner as to resist movement by high winds. May consist of a changeable writing board, chalkboard, or surface that accommodates changeable letters. Paper signs, balloons, banners, and wind-activated devices shall not be used or attached to a sign.
Must be constructed in a manner that incorporates a base from which no supports or feet that may cause pedestrians to trip extend. No external cables, brackets, wires, or props shall be allowed. No sign that requires electricity or any other power source shall be allowed.
Pedestrian clear passage
Sidewalk <8 ft. wide
>3 ft. wide shall be maintained at all times
Sidewalk >8 ft. wide
>6 ft. wide shall be maintained at all times
Removal of signs
Sign shall be removed outside of business hours and stored inside the business and away from public view and shall be removed when weather conditions create potentially hazardous conditions.
 
      2.   Portable signs and signs that are mounted on wheels or a movable vehicle, or made easily movable in any manner, are prohibited in the following small areas.
         a.   Coors Boulevard – CPO-2
         b.   North I-25 – CPO-10, in the Alameda Boulevard Sub-area
   5-12(F)(5)   Alternative Signage Plan
   An Alternative Signage Plan is allowed pursuant to all of the provisions in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(F)(5) and shall be reviewed and decided pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(C)(2)(c) (Alternative Signage Plan).
   5-12(F)(5)(a)   The subject property must be a minimum of 5 acres and located in an Urban Center and in an MX-M, MX-H, MX-FB, NR-C, or NR-BP zone district.
   5-12(F)(5)(b)   An Alternative Signage Plan may allow different sign types, materials, location, means of projecting images, or forms of sign illumination or motion, as well as greater individual sign area or height, than allowed by other provisions in Subsection 14-16-5-12(F) (On-premises Signs) or 14-16-5-12(H) (Electronic Signs), subject to all of the following limitations:
      1.   No Alternative Signage Plan may allow a sign area greater than the combined sign area that would be allowed by Subsection 14-16-5-12(F) (On-premises Signs) for all lots within the subject property.
      2.   No Alternative Signage Plan may allow a taller sign on a lot than would otherwise be allowed by any Overlay zone regulating that lot.
      3.   No Alternative Signage Plan may allow an electronic sign in an area where electronic signs are prohibited by Subsection 14-16-5-12(H) (Electronic Signs).
      4.   No Alternative Signage Plan may allow a change in sign illumination or motion beyond that allowed by any part of Section 14-16-5-12 (Signs) for a property that is within 50 feet in any direction of any Residential zone district or for a sign that is visible from any Residential zone district.
   5-12(G)   OFF-PREMISES SIGNS
   5-12(G)(1)   Locations
   5-12(G)(1)(a)   Off-premises signs are prohibited in any Residential zone district.
   5-12(G)(1)(b)   Off-premises signs are prohibited in the MX-T, MX-FB, and NR-PO zone districts.
   5-12(G)(1)(c)   Off-premises signs are only allowed in the NR-BP, NR-SU, PD, or PC zone districts if the maximum number, size, height, and location of such sign(s) are specifically authorized in the EPC or City Council decision approving such zone district, including an associated Master Development Plan or Site Plan.
   5-12(G)(1)(d)   Off-premises signs are prohibited within 660 feet of Interstate Highway 25 or Interstate Highway 40.
   5-12(G)(1)(e)   Off-premises signs are prohibited in the following small areas: 266
      1.   Coors Boulevard – CPO-2
      2.   Downtown Small Area
 
      3.   East Downtown – CPO-4
      4.   East Downtown – HPO-1
      5.   East Gateway Small Area
 
      6.   La Cueva Small Area
      Off-premises signs are prohibited in any Mixed-use zone district in the following mapped area.
 
      7.   Los Candelarias Small Area
 
      8.   Los Duranes – CPO-6
      9.   Nob Hill/Highland – CPO-8
      10.   North 4th Corridor – CPO-9
      11.   North I-25 – CPO-10, in the Alameda Boulevard Sub-area
      12.   Rio Grande Boulevard – CPO-11
      13.   South Yale Small Area
      Off-premises signs are prohibited in any Mixed-use zone district in the following mapped small area.
 
      14.   Sunport Boulevard Small Area
 
      15.   Unser Boulevard Small Area
 
      16.   Uptown Small Area
 
      17.   Volcano Mesa – CPO-13
   5-12(G)(2)   Standards
   5-12(G)(2)(a)   Off-premises electronic signs must follow the regulations in Section 14-16-5-12(H) (Electronic Signs).
   5-12(G)(2)(b)   A new off-premises sign will be approved only upon removal of an existing off-premises sign and support structure of equal or greater sign area. The removed signs must be located on property of equivalent or less intense zoning than the location of the proposed off-premises sign, as determined by the Planning Director based on the maximum height and size of development allowed in each zone district.
   5-12(G)(2)(c)   Where allowed, off-premises signs shall comply with the standards in Table 5-12-4.
Table 5-12-4: Off-premises Signs in Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
Topic
Zone District
MX-L
MX-M, NR-C
MX-H, NR-LM,
NR-GM
Table 5-12-4: Off-premises Signs in Mixed-use and Non-residential Zone Districts
Topic
Zone District
MX-L
MX-M, NR-C
MX-H, NR-LM,
NR-GM
Type allowed
Area of Change
Freestanding or Wall
Area of Consistency
Wall
Number, maximum
New sign with removal of existing sign, pursuant to Subsections 14-16-5-12(G)(2)(b) and 14-16-5-12(H)(3)(b)
Separation, minimum[1]
From residential use
150 ft.
From another off-premises sign
300 ft.
From an existing on-premises sign of any type (for freestanding signs only)
100 ft.
Setback, minimum
From public right-of-way
12 ft.
7 ft.
Size, maximum
72 sq. ft. plus 6 sq. ft. for add-on sign
Freestanding: 300 sq. ft. + 18 sq. ft. for add-on sign
Wall: Same as allowable on-premises sign
Freestanding: 672 sq. ft. + 34 sq. ft. for add-on sign
Wall: Same as allowable on-premises sign
Height, maximum
15 ft. plus 3 ft. for add-on sign
26 ft. plus 5 ft. for add-on sign
29 ft. plus 5 ft. for add-on sign
Illumination
Prohibited
Same as allowable on-premises sign
Motion of sign or sign parts
Prohibited
Same as allowable on-premises sign
[1] Separation distances do not apply to 2 sign faces of a “V” sign where only 1 sign face may be viewed at one time from any given lane of traffic, or signs separated by a building or other obstruction so that only one sign is visible at one time from the street.
 
   5-12(H)   ELECTRONIC SIGNS
   5-12(H)(1)   Applicability
   5-12(H)(1)(a)   The standards in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(H), in addition to any other applicable standards in this Section 14-16-5-12 (Signs), apply to electronic signs, a specific type of illuminated sign. In addition to a sign that is all electronic, the following also constitute an electronic sign:
      1.   An existing sign that is modified to be partly or wholly electronic.
      2.   Any expansion of the electronic area of an electronic sign.
   5-12(H)(1)(b)   Unless specified otherwise in this IDO, the standards in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(H) apply to both on-premises and off-premises electronic signs.
   5-12(H)(2)   Prohibited Areas
   Electronic signs are prohibited in the following areas, as noted.
   5-12(H)(2)(a)   Within any HPO zone or State or nationally registered historic district.
   5-12(H)(2)(b)   In residential development in any Residential zone district. For other types of development in any Residential zone district, electronic signs are limited to 25 percent of the total sign area.
   5-12(H)(2)(c)   Within 660 feet of the outer edge of the public right-of-way of the following streets:
      1.   Alameda Boulevard.
      2.   Griegos Road.
      3.   Rio Grande Boulevard.
      4.   Tramway Boulevard.
      5.   Unser Boulevard.
   5-12(H)(2)(d)   Within 660 feet of the outer edge of the public right-of-way of Coors Boulevard along the following 2 segments:
      1.   Between Calabacillas Arroyo and Saint Joseph Drive.
      2.   Between Central Avenue and the southern City limit.
   5-12(H)(2)(e)   Within 1,320 feet (¼ mile) in any direction of Major Public Open Space.
   5-12(H)(2)(f)   In the following small areas as noted:
      1.   Downtown Neighborhood Area – CPO-3
      Electronic signs are prohibited in the R-ML, MX-T, MX-L, and MX-M zone districts in the Downtown Neighborhood Area – CPO-3.
      2.   East Gateway Small Area 267
      Electronic signs are prohibited in Mixed-use zone districts in the following mapped small area.
 
      3.   North 4th Corridor – CPO-9
      Electronic wall signs are prohibited in the following mapped area.
 
      4.   Sawmill/Wells Park – CPO-12
      Electronic signs are prohibited on any lot abutting Mountain Road in the Sawmill/Wells Park – CPO-12.
      5.   Volcano Mesa – CPO-13 268
      Electronic signs are prohibited in Volcano Mesa – CPO-13, except within the Volcano Heights Urban Center as mapped in the ABC Comp Plan, as amended, where they are allowed.
   5-12(H)(3)   Type and Maximum Number of Electronic Signs
   5-12(H)(3)(a)   On-premises Signs
      1.   If a premises meets the requirements for an electronic sign in this Subsection 14-16-5-12(H), the premises shall not have more than 1 electronic sign.
      2.   The type of electronic sign is limited to a freestanding, wall, or canopy sign and is also subject to provisions in Table 5-12-1, Table 5-12-2, and Table 5-12-4.
   5-12(H)(3)(b)   Off-premises Signs
      1.   The modification of an existing off-premises sign that makes the sign an electronic sign shall constitute a new electronic sign. However, such modification shall not cause an existing off-premises sign located in one of the following areas to forfeit its status as a nonconforming sign only with respect to its location along an interstate highway:
         a.   Within 660 feet of Interstate Highway 25.
         b.   Within 660 feet of Interstate Highway 40.
      2.   A new off-premises electronic sign may be allowed if the applicant can demonstrate that existing off-premises signs and support structures containing at least 3 times the advertising area of the proposed electronic sign will be permanently removed.
      3.   The removed signs must be located on a property of equivalent or less intense zoning than the location of the proposed off-premises electronic sign, as determined by the Planning Director based on the maximum height and size of development allowed in each zone district.
      4.   Off-premises signs that have been removed and not replaced may count as removed advertising space for the purposes of permitting a new electronic off-premises sign.
      5.   Subsections 2, 3, and 4 above shall not apply to the improvement, upgrade, or replacement of an existing electronic sign so long as the advertising space is not increased by such improvement, upgrade, or replacement.
   5-12(H)(4)   Illumination, Brightness, and Images
   Electronic signs shall comply with all the following requirements, in addition to any applicable and more restrictive requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-12(E)(5) (Illumination and Motion).
   5-12(H)(4)(a)   Electronic signs shall have automatic dimming controls, with either photocell (hardwired) or software settings.
   5-12(H)(4)(b)   Electronic signs shall not exceed an illumination level of 0.3 foot candles above ambient light as measured from a distance indicated in Table 5-12-5 based on sign area.
Table 5-12-5: Illumination Measurement Distance
Area of Sign(sq. ft.)[1]
Measurement Distance (ft.)
Area of Sign (cont.)[1]
Measurement Distance (cont.)
Table 5-12-5: Illumination Measurement Distance
Area of Sign(sq. ft.)[1]
Measurement Distance (ft.)
Area of Sign (cont.)[1]
Measurement Distance (cont.)
10
32
65
81
15
39
70
84
20
45
75
87
25
50
80
89
30
55
85
92
35
59
90
95
40
63
95
97
45
67
100
100
50
71
300
150
55
74
378
200
60
77
672
250
[1] For signs with an area other than those specifically listed in this table, the measurement distance may be calculated with the following formula: Measurement Distance (ft.) = square root of [Area of Electronic Sign (sq. ft.) x 100].
 
   5-12(H)(4)(c)   The luminance level shall also comply with any regulations for illumination of on-premises or off-premises signs in Section 14-16-5-12 (Signs) as applicable.
   5-12(H)(4)(d)   Electronic signs shall have only static messages and images.
   5-12(H)(4)(e)   The message or image on an electronic sign shall not change more often than once each 8 seconds.
   5-12(H)(4)(f)   Transition between messages or images on an electronic sign shall not exceed 1 second and shall not include any visual effects during that time.
   5-12(I)   TEMPORARY SIGNS
   5-12(I)(1)   Standards
   Temporary signs may be erected without obtaining a sign permit, provided that they comply with the standards in Table 5-12-6. They shall not count toward any maximum number of signs or sign area allowed on a property.
Table 5-12-6: Temporary Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Table 5-12-6: Temporary Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Number, maximum
4 / premises
Size, maximum[1]
16 sq. ft.
Height, maximum[1]
4 ft. above the top of the highest wall on the lot where the sign is placed.
8 ft. if no walls exist on the lot where the sign is placed.
Illumination
Prohibited.
Location
Prohibited on the wall of any building in a low-density residential development.
Prohibited in common areas, such as homeowner’s association areas and easements, unless approved by the owner of the common area, or in the public right-of-way.
[1] Maximum size and height apply to the total sign area that may be used for up to 4 signs.
 
   5-12(I)(2)   Time Period
   Temporary signs may be in place no longer than 15 calendar days, with the following exceptions:
   5-12(I)(2)(a)   One (1) temporary sign per street frontage may be displayed during any time period that the property is actively listed for sale or for rent.
   5-12(I)(2)(b)   One (1) temporary sign per street frontage may be displayed during any time period when the property is under construction allowed by a valid building permit.
   5-12(I)(2)(c)   One (1) temporary sign may be displayed for up to 60 calendar days prior to and 10 calendar days after an election.
   5-12(I)(2)(d)   Temporary signs associated with a Temporary Use must comply with the standards in Table 5-12-6 and may be displayed during the time period allowed pursuant to any Use-specific Standards in Subsection 14-16-4-3(G).
   5-12(J)   CONSTRUCTION PERIOD SIGN
   Signs during construction are allowable, provided that they comply with Table 5-12-7 and the other provisions of this Subsection 14-16-5-12(J).
   5-12(J)(1)   Requests to erect such a sign shall require approval from the Planning Director.
   5-12(J)(2)   Remediation or removal of substandard or improperly maintained signs shall be in accordance with Subsection 14-16-5-13(B)(10).
Table 5-12-7: Construction Period Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Table 5-12-7: Construction Period Sign Standards
Topic
Standard
Number, maximum
4
Size, maximum[1]
20 sq. ft.
Height, maximum[1]
5 ft.
Height, individual sign
Between 9.5 in. and 11 in.
Width, maximum[1]
5 ft.
Illumination
Prohibited
Allowed locations
On private property or in the public right-of-way at a location approved by the City Department of Municipal Development, but not within a median or at an intersection.
Prohibited locations
Facing any low-density residential development.
On a local street.
Within 100 ft. of any Residential zone district on a collector street.
Within 50 ft. of any residential use on an arterial street.
[1] Unless referring to individual signs, maximum size, height, and width apply to the total sign area that may be used for up to 4 signs.
 
   5-12(K)   TRANSIT SHELTER SIGNS
   Signs that are attached to or part of the structure of a transit shelter as allowed in Section 6-5-5-18 of ROA 1994 (Sidewalks, Drive Pads, and Curb Ramp Repair and Maintenance; Permitting Commercial Advertising on Transit Shelters) shall comply with the provisions in Table 5-12-8.
Table 5-12-8: Transit Shelter Sign Table
Topic
Standard
Table 5-12-8: Transit Shelter Sign Table
Topic
Standard
Number, maximum
1 / transit shelter
Size, maximum
24 sq. ft.
Height, Maximum
7 ft.
Illumination
Shall comply with all standards for a sign of that type established in this IDO.
Allowed locations
In the public right-of-way or on private property abutting the public right-of-way, with permission from the City Transit Department.
Prohibited locations
Facing any low-density residential development.
On a local street.
Within 100 ft. of any Residential zone district on a collector street.
Within 50 ft. of any residential use on an arterial street.
 

 

Notes

257
257   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Revised editorially to fix grammatical error.
258
258   2020 IDO Annual Update – Small Area Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. See Council memo. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to reference where this allowance would apply. Revised editorially to change heading for consistency with small area terminology.
259
259   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
4
260   2020 IDO Annual Update – Small Area Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. See Council memo. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to remove the term “open space,” which is defined by the IDO to be used in a very different context. Revised heading editorially for consistency with small area terminology.
5
261   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
262
262   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
7
263   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
264
264   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
265
265   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to correct the reference.
266
266   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
267
267   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially to use defined term “small area” for consistency.
268
268   2020 IDO Annual Update – Small Area Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1.F. Revised editorially for consistency with the IDO.