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(A) Definitions: The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
APPROVED COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS: Wood, or materials not more combustible than wood.
APPROVED COMBUSTIBLE PLASTICS: Those which, when tested in accordance with American Society For Testing Materials standard method for test for flammability of plastics over 0.050 inch in thickness, burn no faster than two and five- tenths inches (2.5") per minute in sheets of 0.060 inch thickness.
AWNING SIGN: A sign on or attached to a temporary retractable shelter that is supported entirely from the exterior wall of a building. This definition does not include any off premises sign.
CANOPY SIGN: A sign on or attached to a permanent overhanging shelter that projects from the face of the building and is supported only partially by the building. This definition does not include any off premises sign.
COMBINATION SIGN: Any sign which combines the characteristics of two (2) or more types of signs, including roof projecting and ground projecting signs.
DISPLAY SURFACE: The entire area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of a sign. However, such perimeter shall not include any structural elements lying outside the limits of such sign and not forming an integral part of the display.
ELECTRICAL SIGN: Any sign which has characters, letters, figures, designs, faces, backgrounds or outlines illuminated by incandescent or fluorescent lamps or luminous tubes as part of the sign proper, these light sources being either external or internal, or signs which may have movable parts which are moved by electrical force.
FACING: The surface of the sign upon, against or through which the message of the sign is exhibited.
FRONT YARD: The area from one side lot line to the other side lot line and from the main building to the front lot line.
GROUND SIGN: A sign which is supported by one or more poles, uprights or braces in or upon the ground, which are not a part of a building, other than pole or pylon signs as defined in this chapter. This definition does not include any off premises sign.
MARQUEE SIGN: A sign which is attached to a fixed shelter used only as a roof which is entirely supported by the building to which it is attached. The definition does not include any off premises sign.
OFF PREMISES SIGN: Any sign that advertises activities, goods, products, services or facilities that are not sold or offered upon the premises where the sign is located (e.g., billboard).
ON PREMISES SIGN: Any sign related to a business or profession conducted, or a commodity or service sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
POLITICAL SIGN: A sign or poster announcing a candidacy for public political office or a public issue.
PORTABLE SIGN: Any sign which is mounted on a trailer or its own wheels or is otherwise capable of being moved from place to place, and includes such a sign even though the wheels of such sign have been removed and the remaining chassis is attached to the ground.
PROJECTING SIGN: A sign other than a wall sign suspended from or supported by a building or structure or steel column and projecting out therefrom. This definition does not include any off premises sign.
PYLON OR POLE SIGN: A sign supported by or suspended from a freestanding column or columns of structural steel pipe or poles. Such sign may be either an off premises or on premises sign.
REAL ESTATE SIGN: A sign advertising the sale or rental of the premises, or a part thereof, on which such sign is located. This definition does not include any off premises sign.
RIGHT OF WAY: The entire expanse of a roadway including the terrace. Private property starts where right of way ends.
ROOF SIGN: A sign erected upon or above a roof or parapet of a building. Such sign may be either an off premises or on premises sign.
SIGN: Means and includes every sign, billboard, ground sign, wall sign, illuminated sign, projecting sign, temporary sign, pylon or pole sign, marquee, awning, canopy and street clock, and shall include any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustrations or insignia used to advertise or promote the interest of any person, business, idea, activity, goods, product, service or facility when the same is placed out of doors in view of the general public. This definition does not include any type of indoor sign or window display.
SIGN SETBACK: The minimum horizontal distance between the street right of way line and any portion of the sign, including its supporting framework or bracing.
SKELETON PARAPET SIGN: Individual letters mounted on a parapet wall.
STREET (SIGN) FRONTAGE: The horizontal distance of a piece of property which faces a street right of way or is accessible to the street right of way.
STRUCTURAL TRIM: The molding, battens, capping, nailing strips, latching, platforms and letters, figures, characters or representations in cutout or irregular form which are attached to the sign structure.
STRUCTURE: The supports, uprights, bracing and framework for the sign or display.
TEMPORARY SIGNS (Including Political Signs): A sign advertising a candidate or candidates, an issue, a garage or yard sale or other one time occurrence. It also includes signs of cloth or other combustible material (usually attached to the outside of a building on a wall or storefront) for a period of not more than thirty (30) days. This definition does not include any off premises signs.
WALL SIGN: A sign attached to or erected against the wall of a building or structure, with the exposed face located approximately parallel to the plane of the wall. Such sign may be either an on premises or off premises sign. (Ord. 1599, 9-15-1998; amd. Ord. 1665, 8-15-2000)
(B) Applicability And Purpose:
1. Applicability: This chapter shall relate to outdoor signs in the city.
2. Statement Of Purpose And Legislative Findings:
(a) The city council finds and declares that these regulations on outdoor advertising signs are necessary to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety, morals, aesthetic beauty and general welfare of the city.
(b) The sign regulations, controls and provisions set forth in this section are made in accordance with an overall plan and program for the public safety, area development, preservation of property rights and values, and the general welfare of the city, and are intended to aid in the traffic control and traffic safety; preserve and protect property values; lessen congestion of land and air space; provide against undue concentrations of signs which distract and endanger traffic safety and traffic flow; establish reasonable standards for commercial and other advertising through the use of signs in order to maintain and encourage business activity and area development; avoid uncontrolled proliferation of signs; recognize the rights of the public in roads, streets and highways; preserve the wholesome and attractive character of the city; and to recognize that the general welfare includes a community plan that provides for a community that shall be beautiful as well as healthful, spacious as well as clean, and well balanced in its growth and development.
(C) Sign Area: The area of a sign shall be measured by the smallest square, rectangle, triangle, circle or combination thereof which will encompass the entire sign facing.
(D) Alterations: A sign which was erected before passage of this section shall not be rebuilt, relocated, enlarged or extended without conforming to the requirements of this section. Such a sign, however, may be repaired and maintained. The changing of movable parts or the repainting or reposting of display matters shall not be deemed an alteration.
(E) Maintenance: All components of a sign shall be kept in good repair at all times. The zoning officer may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(F) Housekeeping: The area in proximity to the signs shall be maintained and kept free of litter, debris, and excess grass or weeds. The zoning officer may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this section.
1. No sign shall be erected, constructed or maintained so as to prevent free passage from one part of the roof to any other part thereof.
2. No sign shall be attached in any manner to any fire escape; or erected, constructed or maintained so as to obstruct such fire escape.
3. No sign shall be placed in a manner so as to interfere with required light and ventilation openings (windows, doors, vents or similar devices).
4. No sign shall be erected, constructed or maintained which closes off the effective use of any required wall opening.
(H) Relocation: Any sign that is moved to another location, either on the same or other premises, shall be considered a new sign; and a permit shall be secured for any work performed in connection therewith.
(I) Display Of Unauthorized Signs, Signals Or Markings:
1. No sign shall be constructed which resembles any official marker erected by the city or any other governmental agency.
2. No person shall place, maintain or display upon or in view of any street or highway any unauthorized sign, signal, marking or device which purports to be or is an imitation of or resembles any official traffic control device, railroad sign or railroad signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic.
3. No person shall place, maintain or display upon or in view of any street or highway any sign which hides from view or interferes with the movement of traffic, or inhibits the effectiveness of any traffic control device, railroad sign or railroad signal.
4. No person shall place or maintain upon any street or highway traffic sign or signal any commercial advertising or handbill of any kind.
5. When it is deemed necessary for municipal purposes by the city council that a sign be moved or removed, the sign owner shall, within ten (10) days after notification from the zoning officer, move or remove any sign which extends into a street right of way. (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012)
(J) Administration And Enforcement:
1. Appeals: An appeal of the sign ordinance requirements may be requested by any person affected. Such an appeal shall be taken to the joint planning and zoning commission.
(a) Commission; Powers: The commission shall have the power to: (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012; amd. Ord. 3041, 12-3-2013)
(1) Hear and decide appeals by the sign permit applicant where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the building inspector in the enforcement of this section.
(2) Grant variances from the requirements of this section where the zoning officer has denied to grant a sign permit as a result of noncompliance with the requirements of this section. (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012)
(b) Commission; Criteria For Decision: The commission shall grant a variance from the provisions or requirements of this section only where: (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012; amd. Ord. 3041, 12-3-2013)
(1) The literal interpretation and strict application of the provisions and requirements of this section would cause undue and unnecessary hardship to the sign user because of unique or unusual conditions pertaining to the specific building or property in question.
(2) The granting of the requested variance would not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare.
(3) The granting of the variance would not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity nor substantially diminish or impair property values within the adjacent area.
(4) The unusual conditions applying to the specific property do not apply generally to other buildings or properties in the city.
(5) The granting of the variance will not be contrary to the general objectives. (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012)
(c) Commission; Determination Of Conditions: In granting a variance, the commission may impose such conditions regarding the location, character or other features of the proposed sign as it may deem necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this section. (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012; amd. Ord. 3041, 12-3-2013)
(a) Required: No person shall install, erect, repair, alter, relocate, demolish or dismantle a sign without approval from the zoning officer and obtaining a permit, if applicable.
(b) Application: Application for the approval permit under this subsection (J)2 shall be made upon a form provided by the zoning officer who may include the following information:
(1) Name, address and telephone number of the property owner.
(2) Address or location of property where sign is to be installed or removed.
(3) Zoning of property where sign is to be installed.
(4) Description of sign to be erected.
(5) Location of sign in relation to the building, structure or lot to or upon which it is to be erected or removed.
(6) Name, address and telephone number of person, firm or corporation installing or removing the sign, if different from the owner.
(7) Evidence that the person who will install or remove the sign has the appropriate insurance.
(c) Fees: Will comply with BOCA construction schedule.
(d) Penalties: Any person who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with or who resists the enforcement of any of the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than thirty five dollars ($35.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
(K) Regulations For Specific Types Of Signs:
1. Flashing Sign:
(a) Flashing signs shall not be used in a manner that will create a traffic hazard or where their use may be confused with traffic control devices or emergency vehicle signals.
(b) Revolving beacons shall not be used where they will conflict with traffic signals or emergency vehicles.
(c) The flashing bulb in a flashing sign shall not be larger than a forty (40) watt incandescent bulb.
(d) The bulb in a traveling light sign shall not be greater than a forty (40) watt incandescent bulb.
2. Illuminated Sign:
(a) All illuminated signs shall be constructed in accordance with the standard for electric (UL 48) of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
(b) No sign shall be so illuminated that it interferes with the effectiveness or obscures an official traffic sign, signal or device.
(c) Signs which are not effectively shielded to prevent beams or rays from being directed at any portion of traveled ways and are of such intensity or brilliance to cause glare or impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle or which otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited.
3. Portable Sign: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this section, no portable sign shall be erected or displayed in this city.
(a) Signs of this nature shall be allowed only in commercial districts (B-1, B-2 and B-3) with the exception of temporary portable signs in residential districts as set forth in this section. In any district where allowed, portable signs may not obstruct parking spaces or vehicle or pedestrian travel lanes. Such signs shall not be located so as to obstruct or interfere with traffic vision and lighting shall be of a type that cannot be confused with traffic control devices and cannot cause distraction of vehicle operators. All connections to an energy source for lighting shall be in accord with all city codes and shall not be exposed in any way that may constitute a safety hazard to the public. All signs must conform to placement standards for freestanding signs. Placement of signs on the terraces or sidewalks is strictly forbidden. The police department shall be empowered to remove summarily any sign which is in violation of this section. Although desirable, notice to the property owner and request for removal shall not be required before removal by the police department.
(b) Temporary portable signs in residential districts (R-1 through R-4) shall be allowed provided that all of the provisions in subsection (K)3(a) of this section concerning placement, safety and removal shall apply. Location of signs on terraces or sidewalks is strictly forbidden. Sign illumination, if any, shall not be permitted between ten o'clock (10:00) P.M. and six o'clock (6:00) A.M. local time. At no time shall any sign in a residential district advertise, in whole or in part, any commercial venture or direct the public to a separate location.
4. Projecting, Awning, Canopy Or Marquee Sign:
(a) A clear space of not less than eight feet (8') shall be provided between the lowest portion of the sign and the ground surface.
(b) Projecting signs shall be securely attached to buildings or structures by bolts, anchors, chains, rods or guys.
(c) No nails or staples shall be used to secure any projecting sign to a building or structure.
5. Off Premises Signs: All off premises signs are to be discouraged; however, specific requests will be considered by the city council and must conform to all erection standards and each will be considered on its own merit.
6. Roof Sign:
(a) All roof signs shall be secured to masonry, bearing walls, columns, girders or roof joists.
(b) A roof sign shall not extend above the roofline or top of a parapet wall by more than fifteen feet (15').
7. Wall Sign:
(a) All wall signs shall be securely fastened to a wall by means of metal anchors, bolts, expansion screws or similar connectors.
(b) A wall sign which is attached to a wood wall must be anchored with wood blocks used in connection with bolts and screws.
(c) An unbraced parapet wall shall not be used to entirely support a wall sign.
(d) The ends of a wall sign shall not extend beyond the ends of the wall surface.
(e) A wall sign shall not project out more than fifteen inches (15") from the wall surface.
(f) The top of a wall sign shall not extend above the top of the wall.
8. House Or Building Identification Sign:
(a) One sign per dwelling unit.
(b) Characters shall be at least three inches (3") high.
(c) Shall be affixed to structure.
(d) No permit required.
9. Temporary Sign:
(a) Maximum sign area of eight (8) square feet per side.
(b) Maximum of two (2) sides per sign.
(c) Shall be located on premises and not in the public right of way.
(d) No sign may be posted more than thirty one (31) days prior to the event and all signs must be removed within forty eight (48) hours after the event provided, however, that the time for removal of temporary signs may be extended by council resolution due to special extenuating circumstances.
(e) Any illuminated sign must be darkened between ten o'clock (10:00) P.M. and six o'clock (6:00) A.M.
(f) No permit required.
10. Signs On Utility Poles: No sign or handbill is allowed on a utility pole or traffic control device at any time. Police and enforcement personnel can remove so positioned sign or handbill immediately. Any person responsible is subject to fines under this section.
11. Contractual Signs:
(a) Signs advertising contractual work are permitted while the work is being performed.
(b) Maximum of eight (8) square feet.
(c) Maximum of two (2) sides.
(d) Must be removed within fourteen (14) days of completion of work.
(e) No sign is to be located in the terrace.
12. On Premises Freestanding (Pole, Pylon, Etc.) Or Ground Sign: The following on premises signs shall be permitted in the commercial zoning districts and erected in accordance with the following standards:
(a) No sign shall extend over any public right of way more than eight inches (8") unless approved by the city council. The base and standard of all freestanding signs shall be set back at least five feet (5') from all public or private road right of way or easement lines and from all interior lot or property lines. Any sign located within thirty five feet (35') of the intersection of any two (2) street right of way lines shall be so designed, located and constructed that a free and unobstructed view is provided from the established grade to a height of ten feet (10') above the established grade.
(b) Signs in commercial and industrial districts (exterior signs) must relate solely to the business activity carried on in the structure. The size of all signs shall be limited in area to the linear street frontage of the particular occupancy expressed in square feet. Signs shall not extend above the roofline of the building. Except as hereinafter provided, each local commercial district or commercial planned unit development, may erect one freestanding sign, the area of which shall be included in the total area of permitted signs. Corner lots may erect two (2) freestanding signs, one on each frontage.
(c) Maximum of two (2) sides per sign.
(d) "Entrance" only and "Exit" only signs shall not be counted as a sign, providing they contain no more than ten (10) square feet of display surface on each side.
13. Real Estate, Contractor Or Developer Sign:
(a) One sign per development one hundred (100) square feet which must be removed upon the completion of seventy five percent (75%) of the total development.
(b) One directional sign six (6) square feet nominal.
(c) Lot and directional signs must be removed immediately upon closing of sale, lease, or rental.
(d) No permit required.
(e) Shall be located on premises and not in the public right of way.
14. Political Signs:
(a) Maximum sign area of eight (8) square feet in area on residential property and thirty two (32) square feet in area on nonresidential property.
(b) Maximum of two (2) sides per sign.
(c) Shall be located on private property and not on public property or in the public right of way, including the terrace (area between curb and sidewalk) or medians. Signs on private property cannot be placed in a manner that obstructs vehicular traffic (either by physical obstruction or sight lines) or pedestrian traffic.
(d) Any illuminated sign must be darkened between ten o'clock (10:00) P.M. and six o'clock (6:00) A.M.
(e) No permit required. (Ord. 2077, 4-17-2012)