§ 174.01 PURPOSE.
   (A)   (1)   Signs obstruct views, distract motorists, displace alternative uses for land, and pose other problems that legitimately call for regulation. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the size, color, illumination, movement, materials, location, height, and condition of all signs placed on private property for exterior observation, thus ensuring the protection of property values, the character of the various neighborhoods and districts, the creation of a convenient, attractive, and harmonious community, protection against destruction of or encroachment on historic convenience to citizens, and encouraging economic development. This chapter allows adequate communication through signage while encouraging aesthetic quality in the design, location, size, and purpose of all signs.
      (2)   This chapter must be interpreted in a manner consistent with the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. If any provision of this chapter is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding must not affect the validity of other provisions of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision.
   (B)    A sign placed on land or on a building for the purpose of identification, protection, or directing persons to a use conducted therein must be deemed to be an integral but accessory and subordinate part of the principal use of land or building. Therefore, the intent of this chapter is to establish limitations on signs in order to ensure they are appropriate to the land, building, or use to which they are appurtenant and are adequate for their intended purpose while balancing the individual and community interests identified in division (A) of this section.
   (C)    These regulations are intended to promote signs that are compatible with the use of the property to which they are appurtenant, landscape and architecture of surrounding buildings, are legible and appropriate to the activity to which they pertain, are not distracting to motorists, and are constructed and maintained in a structurally sound and attractive condition.
   (D)   These regulations distinguish between portions of the town designed for primarily vehicular access and portions of the town designed for primarily pedestrian access.
   (E)    These regulations do not regulate every form and instance of visual communication that may be displayed anywhere within the jurisdictional limits of the town. Rather, they are intended to regulate those forms and instances that are most likely to meaningfully affect 1 or more of the purposes set forth above.
   (F)    These regulations do not entirely eliminate all of the harms that may be created by the installation and display of signs. Rather, they strike an appropriate balance that preserves ample channels of communication by means of visual display while still reducing and mitigating the extent of the harms caused by signs.
   (G)   These regulations are not intended to and do not apply to signs erected, maintained, or otherwise posted, owned, or leased by the State of Indiana, the United States government, or this town. The inclusion of “government” in describing some signs does not intend to subject the government to regulation, but instead helps illuminate the type of sign that falls within the immunities of the government from this regulation.
(Ord. 2017-02, passed 2-20-2018)