§ 161.21  NONCONFORMING SIGNS.
   (A)   The continuance of an existing sign which does not meet the regulations and requirements of this subchapter shall be deemed a nonconforming sign which shall terminate by abandonment.  A sign shall be considered abandoned:
      (1)   When the sign is associated with an abandoned use.
      (2)   When the sign remains after the termination of a business.  A business has ceased operations if it is closed to the public for at least 90 consecutive days.  Seasonal businesses are exempt from this determination.
      (3)   When the sign is not maintained or does not conform to the following:
         (a)   All signs, together with all supports, braces, guys and anchors shall be kept in repair and in proper state of preservation.  The display surfaces of all signs shall be subject to periodic inspection in accordance with the Building Code.
         (b)   Every sign and the immediately surrounding premises shall be maintained by the owner or person in charge thereof in a clean, sanitary and inoffensive condition free and clear of all obnoxious substances, rubbish and weeds.
      (4)   Abandonment shall be determined based upon the above definitions, at a public hearing.  Upon a finding that the signage is abandoned, the right to maintain and use such sign shall terminate immediately.
   (B)   A nonconforming sign shall not be structurally relocated or replaced unless it is brought into compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.
   (C)   A nonconforming sign shall be maintained or repaired in accordance with the following provisions:
      (1)   The size and structural shape shall not be changed or altered.  The copy may be changed provided that the change applies to the original nonconforming use associated with the sign and that the change is made by the owner of the sign at the time the sign became nonconforming; the copy area shall not be enlarged.  Any subsequent owner or user shall bring the sign into compliance within 30 days.
      (2)   In case damage occurs to the sign to the extent of 50% or more of either the structure or the replacement value of the sign, the sign shall be brought into compliance.  Where damage to the sign is less than 50% of the structure or its replacement value, the sign shall be repaired within 60 days.
   (D)   The Grandfather Clause shall terminate at the end of ownership of lease. All new signs replacing Grandfather Clause signs shall conform to all signage regulations in the Downtown Historic District.
(Ord. 22-94, passed 3-14-94; Am. Ord. 45-96, passed 6-10-96)  Penalty, see § 161.99