CHAPTER 154:  SIGNS
Section
   154.01   Definitions
   154.02   Obscuring vision or hindering traffic prohibited
   154.03   Compliance required
   154.04   Permit required; exceptions
   154.05   Application information; approval considerations
   154.06   Installation requirements
   154.07   Conformity required; exceptions
   154.08   Inspection; notice to correct defects; removal
   154.09   Permit issuance; fee and record
   154.10   Permit for banner signs
   154.11   Small sign restrictions
   154.12   Removal of abandoned signs
   154.99   Penalty
Cross-reference:
   Signs in historic districts, see §§ 161.10 - 161.22
Statutory reference:
   Power to regulate billboards and  signs, see R.C. § 715.27
§ 154.01  DEFINITIONS.
   For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   BANNER SIGNS.  Display signs painted or printed upon cloth, with or without frames.
   SIGNS and SIGNBOARDS.  Any or all display boards, screens, or other devices having letters or illuminations painted or raised thereon.
(`63 Code, § 1313.01)
§ 154.02  OBSCURING VISION OR HINDERING TRAFFIC PROHIBITED.
   No person shall place any sign, display, advertisement, or other object which would obscure vision or hinder traffic within any public street, alley, highway, sidewalk, or curb lawn.
(`63 Code, § 1313.02)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.03  COMPLIANCE REQUIRED.
   No person, being the owner or occupant of any store or other building within the corporate limits of the city shall install, hang, place, or erect, or permit to be installed, hung, placed, or erected, any sign or signboard projecting into or hanging at any angle over any public street or sidewalk upon which such store or building may front or abut, except as provided in this chapter.
(`63 Code, § 1313.03)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.04  PERMIT REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS.
   (A)   No sign or signboard shall be erected or constructed unless a permit has first been obtained therefor from the City Engineer.  This chapter shall not apply to flags and pennants installed on poles inserted in holes in the sidewalks, such holes having been placed for that purpose.
   (B)   All portable signs are included under this chapter, with small real estate, temporary, and sale signs to be excluded.  No flashing light will use the colors of red, white, or blue.
(`63 Code, § 1313.04)  (Ord. 52-80, passed 6-23-80)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.05  APPLICATION INFORMATION; APPROVAL CONSIDERATIONS.
   Written application for the permit required by § 154.04 shall be filed with the City Engineer and shall contain a description of the proposed sign or signboard, the location, material from which constructed, the method of securing or fastening same and such other information as may be required.  Plans and specifications for signs or signboards shall be filed showing the dimensions, materials, and required details of construction including loads, stresses, and anchorage.  The application shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign or signboard is to be erected.  The City Engineer may refuse to issue a permit for the erection of any such sign or signboard, unless such details of construction and manner of erection shall be such as will insure the safety of such signs and signboards when erected.  The City Engineer, in determining whether or not a permit should be issued, shall determine the reasonableness of the sign or signboard, having regard to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the citizens of the city.
(`63 Code, § 1313.05)
§ 154.06  INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS.
   (A)   No sign or signboard shall be erected that obstructs free access to or egress from any building or that obstructs any opening required for ventilation.
   (B)   No sign or signboard shall be erected so as to create a traffic hazard by obstructing the view of traffic at an intersection, curve, or bend, or by obstructing or confusing the view of traffic lights, railroad crossing lights, or warning signals.
   (C)   The base of any sign shall be located 18 inches back from any sidewalk or pavement.
   (D)   Signs or signboards shall not project out from any building or base so that any portion of the sign extends within 18 inches from the inside of the curb line or pavement.
   (E)   All signs projecting over city property shall be installed so as to insure a minimum of ten feet of clearance from the bottom of the sign to the sidewalk pavement.  If extended over any roadway or alley, 14 feet of clearance from the bottom of the sign to the roadway pavement shall be provided to permit safe vehicular traffic.
   (F)   No permit will be issued for the installation of any new sign, the base of which is located between the sidewalk and curb or on city property.
   (G)   All signs shall be attached, suspended, or fastened securely and to the full satisfaction and approval of the City Engineer.
(63 Code, § 1313.06)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.07  CONFORMITY REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS.
   All such signs, signboards, banners, and the like now in use shall at once be made to conform to the provisions of this chapter, upon orders from the City Engineer except as follows.  Signs now in existence installed on permanent bases by permit between the sidewalk and curb may remain under the following rules and regulations:
   (A)   If the supporting post does not obstruct the view of the driver of a vehicle coming out of a street intersection, alley intersection, or private or public driveway.
   (B)   If the main part of the sign is at least eight feet from the ground surface to the bottom of the sign.
(`63 Code, § 1313.07) Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.08  INSPECTION; NOTICE TO CORRECT  DEFECTS; REMOVAL.
   The City Engineer may cause any and all signs or signboards to be inspected as to the safety of construction and erection.  If any sign is found in such condition as will endanger the public safety, the owner or person having control thereof may be required to correct the defects therein within ten days from the date of written notice given to such owner or person.  Upon failure of such owner or person to have such defect corrected within ten days, the City Engineer may cause such sign or signboard to be removed at the cost of such owner or person having control thereof.
(`63 Code, § 1313.08)  (Ord. 63-76, passed 10-4-76)
§ 154.09  PERMIT ISSUANCE; FEE AND RECORD.
   (A)   Upon approval by the City Engineer a permit shall be issued for the erection of a sign or a signboard upon payment of the following fees:
      (l)   Up to 50 square feet of readable surface, $5.
      (2)   Over 50 square feet of readable surface, $10.
   (B)   All fees received shall be credited to the general fund.  The City Engineer shall keep a record of all permits issued and fees received therefor.
(`63 Code, § 1313.09)  (Ord. 52-80, passed 6-30-80)
§ 154.10  PERMIT FOR BANNER SIGNS.
   No banner signs shall be hung or suspended on or over the streets or sidewalks of the city unless a permit shall have been first obtained therefor from the City Engineer.
(`63 Code, § 1313.10)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.11  SMALL SIGN RESTRICTIONS.
   (A)   For the purpose of this section SMALL SIGN shall mean political signs, porch, yard, or garage sale signs, or circus or other special event signs, that are placed on public property or upon utility poles or are placed between the sidewalk and curb.  No such sign or any other sign shall be placed on any city sign post or upon any tree located between the sidewalk and the curb.
   (B)   Political signs shall be erected no more than 45 days prior to each election, and shall be taken down within one week after the election.
   (C)   Porch, yard, or garage sale signs, shall be erected no more than one week preceding the sale, and shall be taken down the day after the sale is over.
   (D)   Circus and other special event signs shall be erected no more than two weeks prior to the event and shall be taken down within two days after the event.
   (E)   The responsible party in each of the above instances shall be as follows:
      (1)   In all cases, the person actually placing the sign.
      (2)   In the case of political signs, the candidate whose name appears on the sign.
      (3)   In the case of porch, yard, or garage sale signs, the owner of the property if he resides therein and has an interest in the sale, otherwise the lessee or other occupant of the property who is conducting the sale.
      (4)   In the case of circus and other special event signs, the sponsoring organization shall be the responsible party.
   (F)   Small signs as defined in this chapter shall be restricted from public areas known as ISLANDS at the intersections of Jefferson Avenue and Southgate Parkway and Woodlawn Avenue and Southgate Parkway.
(`63 Code, § 1313.11)  (Ord. 63-76, passed 10-4-76; Am. Ord. 35-84, passed 4-9-84; Am. Ord. 30-09, passed 5-11-09; Am. Ord. 63-14, passed 11-24-14)  Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.12  REMOVAL OF ABANDONED SIGNS.
   If any business or firm discontinues operations for a period of 90 days or more, such discontinuance shall be considered conclusive evidence of an intent to abandon the business or operation. All signs erected in conjunction with the business or operation that has become abandoned are declared to be unnecessary and a nuisance and shall be removed.  Whenever the Building Inspector finds that any business or firm has been abandoned within the meaning of this section, he shall give notice in the same manner as service of summons in civil cases, or by certified mail addressed to the owner of the record of the premises at his last known address, or to the address to which tax bills are sent, or by combination of the above methods to remove all signs and other advertising media from the premises within 30 days after receipt of such notice.  If the business or firm fails to remove or dismantle such signs, so as to comply with the provisions of this section, such signs may be removed by the city at the expense of such business or firm.
(Ord. 34-84, passed 4-9-84) Penalty, see § 154.99
§ 154.99  PENALTY.
   Anyone violating any provision of this chapter, shall be fined not more than $100.  Any such violation shall constitute a separate offense on each successive day continued.
(`63 Code, § 1313.99)