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(a) Signs Not to Constitute Traffic Hazard. No sign or other advertising structure as regulated by any of the provisions of this chapter shall be erected at the intersection of any streets in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision; or at any location where, by reason of the position, shape or color, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with, any authorized traffic sign, signal or device; or which make use of the words "stop", "look", "drive-in", "danger" or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
(b) Advertising Matter. On permanent signs, advertising matter shall be restricted to include only the name, type and logo of the use displaying each sign, in addition to the name of the owner, proprietor or manager of such use.
(c) Measurement Standard. For ground (pole) signs with the two sides in parallel, back-to-back arrangement, only one side of the sign shall be included in the measurement of the area. Measurement for electric fees, includes both faces. In determining the location of a sign in relation to lot lines, distances shall be measured from the vertical projection of the lot line to the closest point on the sign. The height of a ground sign shall be measured to the top of the sign.
(d) Removal of Certain Signs. Any sign or illumination pole or structure now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises, or illuminates, a bona fide business conducted, shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent, or person having the beneficial use of the building or structure upon which such sign, or illumination pole, may be found, within ten days after written notification from the Building Inspector. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the time specified in such order, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to cause removal of such sign, or illumination pole and any expenses incident thereto shall be paid, by the owner of the building. (Ord. 2006-94. Passed 7-3-06.)
(e) Unsafe and Unlawful Signs. If the Building Inspector's inspection finds that any sign or other advertising structure regulated herein is unsafe or insecure, or is a menace to the public, or has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, notice shall be given in writing by the Building Inspector to the permittee thereof. If the permittee fails to remove or alter the structure so as to comply with the standards herein set forth within ten days after such notice, such sign or other advertising structure may be removed or altered to comply by the Building Inspector at the expense of the permittee or owner of the property upon which it is located. The Building Inspector shall refuse to issue a permit to any permittee or owner who refuses to pay costs so assessed. The Building Inspector may cause any sign or other advertising structure which is an immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
(f) Nonconforming Signs. Signs made nonconforming by the adoption of the Code shall not be enlarged, structurally altered or reconstructed unless designed and arranged in compliance with this Code. Normal maintenance such as painting, cleaning or minor repair is permitted.
(g) Presumption of Responsibility. The owner or occupant of any premises upon which a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is apparent or the owner of any sign placed or remaining anywhere in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed prima-facie responsible for the violations so evidenced and subject to the penalty provided therefor.
(h) Variances. All signs exceeding lot requirements, square footage, height and width requirements, or not conforming to setbacks shall require a special use permit approved by the Planning Commission. There is a fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) for the process. The Commission shall have the authority, by a majority vote of the members and without a public hearing to:
(1) Hear appeals from the decisions of the City Manager and to grant relief from those decisions; and
(2) To grant variances from the strict application of any provisions of this chapter, provided that such variances are in accordance with the general intent of this chapter.
(i) All billboards are by special use only and approval of Council.
(j) Nonconforming businesses or industries shall abide by sign regulations for C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 (Commercial), M-1, M-2 (Industrial) Districts. Nonconforming means a building in a residential zone being used as a commercial use.
(k) The signs with definitions are the only ones allowed and no other type of commercial signage is allowed within the confines of the City limits.
(l) No industrial, commercial business or advertising sign shall be permitted on public rights-of-way which includes sidewalks.
(m) No flashing lights are permitted on any type of sign.
(n) All foreign attachments to utility poles are hereby prohibited without the express written consent of the utility owning the pole upon which it is placed. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) or no more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each sign or violation and imposed on the person or persons or corporation cooperating in the violation. Such ordinance shall be passed under the police powers of the City, for such signs not only on poles at street corners but on any other pole along a street carrying vehicles. A pole may cause blockage of vehicular driver's vision and/or distraction of such driver from the road as he attempts to read such sign.
(o) Unlawful Signs.
(1) Egress obstructions. The Building Inspector shall notify the owner or lessee of the building or structure by registered mail whenever a sign is so erected as to obstruct free ingress to or egress from a required door, window, fire escape or other required exitway element.
(2) Projecting signs. A projecting display sign erected at other than right angles to the wall of a building or structure outside of the building line which extends above the roof cornice or parapet wall, or above the roof level when there is no cornice or parapet wall, and which obstructs access to the roof is deemed unlawful. Such signs shall be reconstructed or removed as herein required.
(3) Alley signs. No signs shall be permitted to project beyond public alley lot lines.