11-04-012: SIGNS:
   1.   Purpose: The purpose of this Section 11-04-012 is to:
      A.   Protect the health, safety, property, and welfare of the public;
      B.   Provide for the neat, clean, orderly, and attractive appearance of the community;
      C.   Improve the effectiveness of signs;
      D.   Provide for safe construction, location, erection, and maintenance of signs;
      E.   Minimize adverse visual safety factors to the traveling public; and
      F.   Comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal law regarding freedom of speech and sign content neutrality.
   2.   Applicability:
      A.   All signs and advertising devices within the City boundaries shall be established, altered, changed, erected, constructed, reconstructed, moved, divided, enlarged, demolished, or maintained in compliance with this Section 11-04-012.
      B.   This Section shall be interpreted and enforced so as to avoid violation or inconsistency with applicable state or federal law.
   3.   Prohibited Signs: The following signs are prohibited in all zoning districts, unless specifically permitted by another provision of this Section 11-04-012, this Code, or other City, state, or federal law.
      A.   Signs or posters that are visible from a public way and are affixed to walls, buildings, trees, poles, fences, bridges, or other structures;
      B.   Signs placed on any public street right-of-way, sidewalk, pole, bridge, or tree; such signs may be deemed nuisances and removed by the City without prior notice;
      C.   Banners, pennants, strings of lights, ribbons, streamers, balloons, mechanically aided, or similar devices that call attention rather than contribute to the establishment décor;
      D.   Portable signs except those allowed as temporary signs and those allowed in the MX-5 district.
      E.   Signs whose lighting, location or appearance would cause such signs to have the appearance of traffic safety signs and lights, or municipal vehicle warnings;
      F.   Any sign attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer that is parked on public or private property or driven on public streets, except for signs that comply with the following standards:
         (1)   The primary purpose of such a vehicle or trailer is not the display of signs; and
         (2)   The signs are magnetic, decals or painted upon an integral part of the vehicle or equipment; and
         (3)   The vehicle or trailer is in operating condition, currently registered and licensed to operate on public streets, and actively used or available for use in the daily function of the establishment to which such signs relate;
      G.   Roof signs;
      H.   Animated signs;
      I.   Strobe lights and flashing lights;
      J.   Any sort of sign used to advertise or display any visually communicated message by letter or by picture, of any kind, on any seating bench, or in direct connection with any bench unless authorized by the regional public transportation system authority as permitted from the Planning Director; and
      K.   Abandoned signs, including but not limited to any on-premises sign that relates to an establishment that no longer occupies or operates on the property where the sign is located.
   4.   Signs Not Requiring a Permit: The following shall be exempt from requirement to obtain a Sign Permit under Section 11-05-05.1.B or shall be required to comply with other applicable provisions of this Section 11-04-012, unless an exception or deviation from those standards is authorized by other provisions of this Code or other City, state, or federal law.
      A.   General Signs:
         (1)   Official notices authorized by a court, public body, or public safety official;
         (2)   Directional, warning or information signs authorized by a government;
         (3)   Memorial plaques, establishment identification signs and building cornerstones when cut or carved into a masonry surface or when made an integral part of the building or structure;
         (4)   The flag of government or noncommercial institution, such as a school;
         (5)   Religious symbols and seasonal decorations;
         (6)   Works of art containing no form of advertising;
         (7)   Street address signs and combination nameplate and street address signs that contain no advertising copy and that do not exceed six square feet in area;
         (8)   Signs oriented only to the property on which they are located and that are not visible from the public right-of-way, such as restaurant menu boards;
         (9)   Signs in the display windows of an establishment that are incorporated in a display of merchandise;
         (10)   "No Trespassing," "No Dumping," or similar signs not to exceed one and one-half square feet in area and not exceeding four per parcel;
         (11)   Window signs that maintain 25 percent or less aggregate area of the window area;
         (12)   Political signs that are not placed in any public right-of-way and do not obstruct traffic visibility; and
         (13)   Neighborhood identification, and wayfinding signage approved as a community program.
      B.   Temporary Signs:
         (1)   Non-illuminated real estate signs that comply with the following standards:
            (a)   One per residential parcel;
            (b)   One per frontage for nonresidential;
            (c)   Six square feet for a single residential lot;
            (d)   32 square feet in Residential and Open Land zoning districts; and
            (e)   64 square feet in Mixed-Use and Industrial zoning districts.
         (2)   Non-illuminated signs temporarily erected during construction to inform the public of the nature of the project that comply with the following standards:
            (a)   One per residential parcel;
            (b)   One per frontage for nonresidential parcel;
            (c)   Six square feet for a single residential lot;
            (d)   64 square feet in Residential and Open Land zoning districts;
            (e)   96 square feet in Mixed-Use and Industrial zoning districts; and
            (f)   Eight feet maximum height.
         (3)   Such signs shall not be displayed until after the issuance of construction permits and shall be removed not later than 24 hours following issuance of an occupancy permit for any portion of the project.
         (4)   Signs and posters advertising a special community event, including in or over public rights-of-way, subject to approval by the Planning Director as to the size, location, and method of erection based on considerations of pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle safety and impacts on surrounding areas. Signs that might impair safety or obstruct traffic visibility shall not be approved.
         (5)   Pennants, flags, banners, balloons, and promotional sandwich boards during and for community events in the Grove that comply with the following standards:
            (a)   Signs shall not remain in place overnight.
            (b)   Sandwich boards shall not exceed a maximum height of four feet or a width of three feet.
   5.   Signs Requiring a Permit: Unless specifically exempted by Subsection 4 above or other provision of this Code or other City, state, or federal law, each erection or installation of a sign in the City shall require the approval of a Sign Permit pursuant to Sections 11-05-05.1.B, Sign Permit for On-Premise Sign 11-05-05.1.C, Temporary Sign Permit, as applicable. Sign Permits are not required for change of copy, repainting, or other normal maintenance and repair, provided there is no expansion of the sign structure or face.
   6.   General Sign Standards:
      A.   Sign Measurement:
         (1)   Sign Height: The distance from the adjacent ground elevation supporting the sign to the highest point of the sign. A landscape berm or other structure erected to support the sign shall be measured as part of the height. If the street to which the sign is oriented is higher than the grade at the base of the sign, then the street elevation shall be used as the ground elevation for purposes of calculating the permitted height of the sign.
         (2)   Sign Area:
            (a)   Sign area is calculated as the area within a continuous perimeter with up to eight straight sides that encloses the limits of text and graphics of a sign. Additionally, this area includes any frame or other material or color forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate the sign's message from the background against which it is placed. The area excludes the structure upon which the sign is placed (unless the structure is an integral part of the display), but includes any open space contained within the outer limits of the display face of a sign, or between any component, panel, strip, or figure of any kind composing the display face, whether this open space is enclosed by a frame or border or not.
            (b)     When computing the sign area, only the face or faces that can be seen from one direction at one time, shall be considered.
Figure 4.51. Sign Area Measurement
      B.     Design:
         (1)   Pole support structures shall be covered with an enclosure.
         (2)   Signs shall complement the architectural style of the building.
      C.   Traffic Visibility:
         (1)   Signs shall not be permitted in the clear vision triangle as defined in this Code and ACHD.
         (2)   Signs shall not be erected at any intersection or driveway entrance location that will obstruct the view of traffic, as determined by the Planning Director, ACHD, or the Idaho Transportation Department.
      D.   Adjacent to Residential Zones: Signs in Mixed-Use, Industrial, or Open Land zoning districts shall not be located within 50 feet of a Residential zoning district boundary. Where a zoning district boundary is the centerline of the street, the distance shall be measured to the opposite street side.
      E.   Street Trees: Trees shall not be topped or removed to facilitate better view of signs.
      F.   Maintenance and Repair: Signs shall be maintained in accordance with the standards set forth in Section 11-04-013, Operations and Maintenance.
   7.   On-Premise Signs:
      A.   Accessory On-Premise Signs:
         (1)   Awning Signs:
            (a)   Applicability: Awning signs are prohibited in the Residential zoning districts (excluding the R-3 zoning district), and in the A-1 and A-2 zoning districts.
            (b)   Standards: The copy area of awning signs shall not exceed an area equal to 25 percent of the background area of the awning to which the signs is affixed, or the permitted area for wall or fascia signs, whichever is less. Background colors, striping, patterns, or valances shall not be included in the computation of the sign area.
         (2)   Canopy and Marquee Signs:
            (a)   Applicability: Canopy and marquee signs are prohibited in the Residential zoning districts, excluding the R-3 zoning district, and in the A-1 and A-2 zoning districts.
            (b)   Standards for Under Canopy or Marquee Signs (Hanging Signs):
               i.   There shall be no more than one under canopy or under marquee sign per public entrance to any tenant or user space, and shall not exceed 16 square feet;
               ii.   Each sign shall maintain a clear vertical distance above any sidewalk or pedestrian way a minimum of eight feet; and
               iii.   Each sign shall be mounted perpendicular to the building wall.
            (c)   Standards for Above Canopy and Above Marquee Signs
               i.   The maximum sign width shall be no more than 33 percent of the canopy background width;
               ii.   The minimum space between the bottom edge of the letter and the top of the canopy background shall be 1.5 inches; and
               iii.   The maximum height of each letter shall be no more than three times the canopy background height, with a maximum of 30 inches, whichever is less.
            (d)   Standards for Signs on Marquees:
               i.   No more than one sign shall be permitted on each side of a marquee, and any such sign shall be in lieu of a wall, canopy, or projecting sign;
               ii.   The sign area of each side shall not exceed two square feet of total area per lineal foot of building frontage or 200 square feet, whichever is smaller;
               iii.   The vertical dimension of the sign shall not exceed six feet; and
               iv.   The bottom of the sign shall have a minimum vertical clearance of twelve feet above the sidewalk or pedestrian way.
         (3)   Freestanding Signs: Freestanding accessory signs shall comply with the standards set forth in Table 11-04.19 and the following standards. Freestanding signs:
            (a)   Shall be located within a landscaped area no smaller than the background area of the sign; new landscaped areas shall be reviewed as part of the sign application. Decorative rock may be a component of the landscaping area counted to calculate its area for this purpose;
            (b)   Shall include the street address in letters at least three and one-half inches tall;
            (c)   Shall be oriented perpendicular to the street providing frontage to the establishment and be located toward the front of the parcel and as close to the main vehicle entrance as possible. Orientation to interstate highways or the I-184 Connector is prohibited;
            (d)   Shall be set back at least five feet from the front property line in Residential and Mixed-Use zoning districts, and one foot in Industrial and Open Land zoning districts. The entirety of the sign shall be located outside of the setbacks.
            (e)   Shall be set back at least five feet from side property lines in all zoning districts;
            (f)   Shall not exceed one per street frontage, except that:
               i.   Where two signs are allowed for a single establishment on a street corner or a collection of buildings within an integrated commercial center, each sign shall be designed and located so as to be viewed only from the street on which it is located; and
               ii.   In lieu of two signs, one corner sign designed to be viewed from both streets is allowed, provided it complies with other provisions of this Code;
            (g)   May have architectural appurtenances with no text extend up to two feet over the allowed height.
R-1A, R-1B, R-1C, R-2, R-3, A-1, A-2
1 per 3 lineal ft. of street frontage up to 50
1 per 3 lineal ft. of street frontage up to 50
MX-3, MX-4, MX-5, MX-U, I-1, I-2
[1]   Applies to freestanding signs oriented toward the following streets:
   Capitol Boulevard; Vista Avenue from 1-84 north; Broadway Avenue from I-84 north; State Street from State Capitol to Highway 55; Myrtle Street; Front Street; Federal Way from Capitol Boulevard. to Bergeson Street; Warm Springs Avenue; Park Center Boulevard.
         (4)   Directional Signs:
            (a)   Up to two directional signs shall be permitted at the street entrance to any parcel. The maximum area is four square feet and the maximum height is four feet.
            (b)   Non-accessory directional or wayfinding signs may be erected by governments giving direction to places of general interest such as colleges, parks, hospitals, or Neighborhood Associations. Such signs shall be subject to approval by the Planning Director as to the size, location, and method of erection.
         (5)   Electronic Message Displays (EMD):
            (a)   Applicability:
               i.   EMDs are permitted for all uses located in the Mixed-Use, Industrial, and Open Land zoning districts.
               ii.   EMDs are only permitted for nonresidential uses located on collector or arterial roadways in the Residential zoning districts and in the A-1, and A-2zoning districts.
            (b)   Standards: All electronic message displays shall comply with the following standards:
               i.   Only one EMD is permitted per establishment. For establishments located in a center, only one EMD is permitted for the center.
               ii.   No EMD may be installed on a non-conforming sign.
               iii.   EMDs shall contain static messages only, and shall not have movement, or the appearance or optical illusion of movement, of any part of the sign structure, design, or pictorial segment of the sign, including the movement or appearance of movement of any illumination or the flashing, scintillating, or varying of light intensity.
               iv.   Each message or frame shall be displayed for a minimum of eight seconds.
               v.   The area used for an EMD shall not occupy more than 50 percent of the total sign area.
               vi.   The brightness or intensity of the EMD shall be factory set not to exceed 5,000 nits on clear days and 500 nits from dawn to dusk. The EMD shall also not exceed 50 percent of its maximum brightness on clear days and 10 percent of maximum brightness from dawn to dusk. Each display shall have a light sensing meter that will adjust the display brightness as the ambient light changes.
               vii.   Text-only single-color message displays with letters no higher than 12 inches may scroll or travel without the static message limitation. The maximum area for such displays is eight square feet.
         (6)   Portable Signs:
            (a)   Applicability: Portable signs are only permitted in the MX-5 district and shall comply with the following standards.
         (b)   Standards:
               i.   Number:
                  A.   Each ground floor establishment with street frontage is allowed one per street frontage.
                  B.   One sign per building frontage may be permitted for upper levels and one for below ground uses.
               ii.   Maximum Sign Area: Maximum sign area is seven square feet.
               iii.   Location:
                  A.   Signs shall be located outside vision triangles in the furnishing zone or close to the curb in front of the establishment and shall not obstruct pedestrian traffic or violate ADA guidelines.
                  B.   A portable sign located on a sidewalk or walkway shall not extend more than 27 inches above the grade level of that sidewalk or walkway. A portable sign attached to a building surface shall not extend more than four inches horizontally over any portion of a sidewalk or walkway.
                  C.   If adequate space does not exist in a furnishing zone or near the curb, a sign may be placed in a vestibule or alcove near a building entrance, provided that a five foot clear horizontal pedestrian passage zone with a minimum clear vertical height of at least 80 inches above grade is maintained. Signs shall not be placed within five feet of the curb abutting an on-street accessible parking stall.
               iv.   Materials: Signs shall be made of stable and durable materials and complimentary in design to the immediate area.
         (7)   Projecting Signs:
            (a)   Applicability: Projecting signs are prohibited in the Residential zoning districts, excluding the R-3 zoning district, and in the A-1 and A-2 zoning districts.
            (b)   Standards:
               i.   Maximum Background Area: The maximum background area shall be:
                  A.   The lesser of five percent of the wall area facing a street or 50 square feet in the MX-1 district.
                  B.   The lesser of 10 percent of the wall area facing a street or 75 square feet in all other districts where allowed.
                  C.   When both projecting and wall signs are used, the maximum area for both signs is reduced by 50 percent.
               ii.   Number Allowed:
                  A.   One per street level establishment for each street frontage.
                  B.   Where there is more than 150 feet of frontage for one establishment, a second sign is permitted.
            iii.   Projection Above Building Height: No sign shall extend vertically above the highest point of the building façade upon which it is mounted by more than two feet.
            iv.   Projection from Wall: The projection from the wall shall be no more than 10 feet, or to within two feet of the face of the curb, whichever is less.
            v.   Clearance: Clearance over public property shall be a minimum of 12 feet.
            vi.   Maximum Height: No portion of any projecting sign shall extend more than 30 feet above the ground.
         (8)   Wall Signs:
            (a)   Wall Signs Oriented to Interstate Highways:
               i.   Applicability: In the Mixed-Use, Industrial, and Open Land zoning districts, properties that abut I-84 or I-184 southwest of 15th Street may have one wall sign per establishment oriented to the highway, provided the sign complies with the following standards:
               ii.   Standards:
                  A.   Area: One square foot in sign area for each lineal foot of wall up to 32 square feet.
                  B.   Height: Shall not exceed the height of the wall or 30 feet.
               iii.   Prohibited Signs: EMDs and other forms of signage using light emitting diode (LED) technology are prohibited.
            (b)   All Other Wall Signs: Wall signs shall comply with the standards in Table 11-04.20 and the following standards:
               i.   Wall signs shall not project above the wall to which they are attached.
               ii.   Wall signs shall face the street or streets that the building faces, except that a sign on a building wall in a Mixed-Use, Industrial, or Open Land zoning district that does not face a street may be permitted if it complies with the following standards:
                  A.   The sign area may be borrowed from that allowed on the building wall facing the street; and
                  B.   The sign area shall not exceed 10 percent of the building wall; where multiple tenants or users are located in a single building, and allowable sign area is allocated between some or all of those tenants or users, the calculation of the 10 percent maximum sign area shall be allocated among each tenant or user based on the square footage of the ground floor wall space of the building frontage occupied by that individual tenant or user, rather than the wall area of the building as a whole.
                  C.   For commercial centers with multiple tenants, allowed signage for each tenant is based on the percentage allowed for the zone and calculated based on the square footage of the ground floor wall space of that individual tenant; and
                  D.   The sign faces an abutting property zoned Mixed-Use, Industrial, or Open Land.
               iii.   In Mixed-Use, Industrial, or Open Land zoning districts, the sign area allowed may be divided among multiple signs according to Table 11-04.20 below.
R (Multiple-Family and nonresidential signs), A-1, and A-2
One square foot per three lineal feet of building wall facing the street. Maximum 50 square feet.
One square foot per two lineal feet of building wall facing the street. Maximum 75 square feet.
MX-3, MX-4
15% of building wall facing the street.
MX-2, MX-5, MX-U, I-1, I- 2
20% of building wall facing the street.
      B.   Temporary Signs:
         (1)   Special Promotions, Event and Grand Opening Signs: Any lawful location for a nonresidential use, except a Home Occupation, may have one temporary, portable sign that complies with the following standards, after obtaining a Sign Permit pursuant to Section 11-05-05.1.C Temporary Sign Permit:
            (a)   Within any calendar year, each establishment shall be limited to the display of one temporary sign for a maximum of three 30 consecutive day periods. Each 30 day period shall be separated by at least 30 days.
            (b)   Maximum sign area is 32 square feet.
            (c)   Maximum sign height for freestanding signs is eight feet.
   8.   Alternative Sign Plan:
      A.   Multi-tenant nonresidential developments that are planned and developed as an integrated center or a single, multi-tenant building shall obtain approval of an Alternative Sign Plan pursuant to Section 11-05-05.2.A before constructing or installing any sign on the property. This includes but is not limited to:
         (1)   Hospital complexes on sites of two acres or larger;
         (2)   Office centers with multiple building on sites of two acres or larger;
         (3)   Industrial parks with multiple buildings on sites of five acres or larger; and
         (4)   Single, multi-tenant buildings on sites of two acres or larger.
      B.   The Alternative Sign Plan shall establish standards and criteria for all signs that require Sign Permits and shall address location, materials, design, and quantity.
      C.   One freestanding center sign is permitted on each street frontage, with a maximum of two, according to the provisions of the following Table 11-04.21. Where there is more than 1,000 feet of frontage on a street, a second sign is allowed. Center signs on Gateway Streets shall not exceed the Gateway Street height standards.
      D.   Freestanding signs shall be located as near to the primary access driveway to the maximum extent practicable.
      E.   Freestanding signs in Mixed-Use, Industrial, and Open Land zoning districts shall not be closer than 150 feet from any Residential district.
      F.   Separate building pads within centers and parks are allowed one monument style sign with a maximum height of six feet and a maximum background sign area of 32 square feet but shall not exceed the standards in Table 11-04.19.
      G.   Wall signs are permitted in any number, location, or orientation, provided they do not face a Residential district, and provided the total square footage does not exceed 18 percent of the ground floor tenant wall face upon which the signs are placed.
      H.   Sign height and placement shall be consistent throughout the development.
      I.   Signs shall incorporate materials, colors and design motifs that are compatible with buildings in the development.
MX-3, MX-4, MX-5, MX-U, I-1, I-2
   9.   Off-Premise Signs:
      A.   Off-Site Identification: When off-site identification is needed because of excessive distance from a public street, lack of street frontage, unusual topography or other special circumstances, an off-premise sign may be allowed with a Conditional Use Permit. The standard conditional use approval criteria and the special circumstances noted above shall be used to evaluate the request. The base zoning district standards for sign size and location shall apply.
      B.   Poster Panel and Bulletin Panel Off-Premise Signs (Billboards): Each application for a billboard shall be accompanied by a demolition permit for an existing billboard. The number of billboard signs in the City shall not be increased except through annexation. Off-premise poster panels and bulletin panels are only permitted in the MX-2, MX-3, I-1, and I-2 zoning districts, and only after approval of a Conditional Use Permit, provided that no signs may be located on Capitol Boulevard or on Federal Way between Capitol Boulevard and Bergeson Street.
         (1)   Approval Criteria: The Planning and Zoning Commission shall make the following findings:
            (a)   That the sign will not negatively impact the visual quality of a public open space.
            (b)   That the sign will not block the view of a structure of historical or architectural significance.
            (c)   That sign height is compatible with buildings within a 300 foot radius. Where view of the sign would be blocked by buildings, or where view of buildings would be blocked by the sign, the sign height shall not exceed the building height by more than 12 feet. Where there are no buildings within 300 feet, sign height shall not exceed 22 feet.
            (d)   That sign lighting will not trespass onto adjacent properties.
         (2)   Design and Location: New signs shall comply with the following standards:
            (a)   Sign area height shall not exceed 10.5 feet.
            (b)   Sign area shall not exceed 248 square feet for poster panels and 378 square feet for bulletin panels.
            (c)   Sign height shall not exceed 40 feet but may be limited to less by 11-04-012.9.B(1)(c) above.
            (d)   No sign may be located within 1,000 feet of another billboard on the same side of the street. However, if a sign is larger than 312 square feet, the distance to another such sign shall be at least 2,000 feet.
            (e)   A sign on one side of the street may be no closer than 150 feet from a sign on the opposite side of the street, as measured along the line of travel.
            (f)   At any street intersection, there may be no more than 496 combined square feet of billboard sign area within 250 feet measured from the street corner curbs.
            (g)   Back-bracing is prohibited.
            (h)   View of the sign should be unobstructed for 250 feet along the line of travel.
            (i)   Electronic message displays are allowed with static frame effects that change with no transition - no more frequently than every 8 seconds. Brightness levels shall comply with Section 11-04-012.7.A(5)(b)vi. A change from non-EMD to EMD requires the approval of a sign permit.
            (j)   Setbacks shall be at least five feet from any property line. When adjacent to a Residential zoning district, the setback of that residential zoning district shall be met.
   10.   Special Sign Districts:
      A.   Capitol Boulevard Sign Standards: In addition to the generally applicable sign regulations of this Section 11-04-012, these special standards apply in the Capital Boulevard Special Design District.
         (1)   Review:
            (a)   Signs require Design Review approval as an overall sign plan for the site.
            (b)   The Design Review Commission shall provide recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission on requests for Variances and Conditional Use Permits.
         (2)   General Standards:
            (a)   One wall sign, or one projecting sign, or one canopy sign, or one freestanding sign per building is permitted for each street frontage in accordance with the following standards.
               i.   Wall signs shall not exceed 15 percent of the wall area or 65 square feet in size, whichever is less.
               ii.   Projecting signs shall not exceed 25 square feet in area and shall not exceed the building height or 20 feet, whichever is less.
               iii.   Freestanding signs are allowed as per the size and height regulations for Gateway Streets in Table 11-04.19.
            (b)   One wall sign per street frontage may exceed the maximum size allowed in Subsection (a) if it is reviewed and approved by the Design Review Commission. The Design Review Commission shall take into account the scale and height of the building, the visibility and orientation of the proposed sign, and impacts on the Capitol Boulevard view corridor when evaluating these requests.
            (c)   In addition to the signs in Subsection (a), each building with more than one tenant or occupant is allowed either: one 20 square foot wall sign or one 12 square foot projecting sign per tenant or occupant located on the ground floor of the building.
            (d)   Colors, materials, and lighting shall be restrained and harmonious with the building and site.
            (e)   Use of neon is encouraged for illumination.
            (f)   Electronic message displays are permitted only with a Conditional Use Permit. Manual readerboards require approval by the Design Review Commission. (Ord. 27-23, 7-18-2023, eff. 12-1-2023; amd. Ord. 43-23, 12-5-2023)