17-12-1100  Special sign districts.
   17-12-1101 Michigan Avenue Corridor Special Sign District.
      17-12-1101-A Boundaries. The Michigan Avenue Corridor special sign district consists of all parcels adjacent to Michigan Avenue, between Oak Street on the north and Roosevelt Road on the south.
      17-12-1101-B Regulations and Standards. The following standards apply to signs within the Michigan Avenue Corridor special sign district. These sign regulations are supplemental standards that apply in addition to existing zoning regulations. All existing zoning regulations apply except those that conflict with regulations imposed for the Michigan Avenue Corridor. In case of conflict between the Michigan Avenue Corridor regulations and existing, underlying zoning district regulations, the Michigan Avenue Corridor regulations will govern.
         1.   Maximum Area. The gross sign face area of all signs on a zoning lot may not exceed 2 square feet times the lot's street frontage.
         2.   Projections.
            (a)   On Michigan Avenue, all signs must be affixed on building walls parallel to the property line, and no sign may project more than 12 inches across the property line into the public way. For those zoning lots that have street frontage on side streets perpendicular to Michigan Avenue or Rush Street and St. Clair, however, signs may project no more than 36 inches across the property line into the public way, provided further that no projecting sign may be located within 50 feet of the Michigan Avenue right-of- way.
            (b)   When City Council has authorized a portion of a building wall (other than a canopy, awning, or other minor feature) to extend over the public right-of-way, signs may be affixed to such buildings walls and may project from said wall up to 12 inches on Michigan Avenue and up to 36 inches on Rush Street, St. Clair, or streets perpendicular to Michigan Avenue. On zoning lots with street frontage on side streets perpendicular to Michigan Avenue, any signs projecting from a building wall may not be located within 50 feet of the Michigan Avenue right-of-way.
         3.   Roof Signs. Roof signs are prohibited.
         4.   Painted Wall Signs. The surface of any building, wall or fence may not be used for a painted wall sign.
         5.   Freestanding Signs.
            (a)   Not more than one freestanding sign is permitted per street frontage.
            (b)   Freestanding signs may not exceed 15 feet in height.
         6.   Show Windows. Show windows may be used for regularly changed display of merchandise sold in the building. Signs may not be applied to more than 15% of any single window. Window lettering that is less than 2 inches in height will not be counted, provided it is limited to information such as a building's address, hours of operation, product information, and logos.
         7.   Banners. On Michigan Avenue no banner may be placed so that it projects across the property line into the public way. On those zoning lots that have street frontage on side streets that run perpendicular to Michigan Avenue, banners may be installed provided they do not project more than 36 inches and provided they are not placed within 50 feet of the Michigan Avenue right-of-way. Banners may be placed on Rush Street and St. Clair street frontages but in no circumstance may any individual banner exceed 30 square feet in area.
         8.   Neon Signs. Neon signs and other forms of direct lighting using tubes similar in appearance to neon are prohibited when visible from Michigan Avenue. Neon lighting may be used as a source of light when completely shielded and not visible from public streets, sidewalks, or alleys.
         9.   Flashing, Dynamic Image Display, Box or Cabinet Sign. No flashing,dynamic image display, box or cabinetsign is permitted on the exterior of any building or structure on the Michigan Avenue frontage.
         10.   Awning Signs. Signs on awnings counts toward the maximum allowable sign area and must be affixed flat to the surface thereof, must be non- illuminated, and may indicate only the name and or address of the establishment. Further, no such sign may extend vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of said awning. The maximum letter size (height and width) placed on any awning may not exceed 9 inches. All awnings must be retractable (fabric or canvas) and may project no more than 6 feet over the sidewalk.
         11.   Temporary Signs. Temporary signs, such grand opening signs, but specifically excluding signs advertising merchandise or special sales, may be permitted for a period not to exceed 6 weeks. In addition, temporary signs may be installed on construction barricades during a building's construction, for a period not to exceed 24 months. Signs placed on construction barricades may not be placed more than 20 feet above grade and may not exceed 8 feet in vertical dimension. Time extensions for temporary signs may be granted by the Zoning Administrator upon written request. Temporary signs do not count toward the maximum allowable sign area.
   17-12-1102 Oak Street Corridor Special Sign District.
      17-12-1102-A Boundaries. The Oak Street Corridor special sign district consists of all parcels adjacent to Oak Street, between Michigan Avenue on the east side and State Street on the west.
      17-12-1102-B Regulations and Standards. The following standards apply to signs within the Oak Street Corridor special sign district. These sign regulations are supplemental standards that apply in addition to existing zoning regulations. All existing zoning regulations apply except those that conflict with regulations imposed for the Oak Street Corridor. In case of conflict between the Oak Street Corridor special sign district regulations and other zoning regulations, the Oak Street Corridor regulations will govern.
         1.   Maximum Area. The gross sign face area of all signs on a zoning lot may not exceed 2 square feet times the lot's street frontage, except in the case of buildings that have multiple retail tenants where the gross area of all signs may not exceed 1.5 times the lot's street frontage.
         2.   Letter Size. The size of the individual letters on any sign may not exceed 18 inches in height or width.
         3.   Projections. All signs must be affixed on building walls parallel to the property line, and no sign may project more than 12 inches from the building's façade.
         4.   Roof Signs. Roof signs are prohibited.
         5.   Painted Wall Signs. Painted wall signs are prohibited.
         6.   Prohibited Signs. The following types of signs are prohibited within the Oak Street Corridor special sign district:
            (a)   free-standing ground signs;
            (b)   banners;
            (c)   neon signs (neon tubing may be used as a source of light when completely shielded and not visible from public streets, sidewalks or alleys);
            (d)   flashing,
            (e)   dynamic image displaysigns; and
            (f)   off-premise signs.
         7.   Show Windows. Show windows may be used for regularly changed display of merchandise sold in the building. Signs may not be applied to more than 15% of any single window. Window lettering that is less than 2 inches in height will not be counted, provided it is limited to information such as a building's address, hours of operation, product information, and logos.
         8.   Awning Signs. Signs on awnings counts toward the maximum allowable sign area and must be affixed flat to the surface thereof, must be non- illuminated, and may indicate only the name and or address of the establishment. Further, no such sign may extend vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of said awning. The maximum letter size (height and width) placed on any awning may not exceed 9 inches. All awnings must be retractable (fabric or canvas) and may project no more than 6 feet over the sidewalk. No awning may be installed with vertical supports and back-lit or internal lighting of awning signs is prohibited.
         9.   Temporary Signs. Temporary signs, such grand opening signs, but specifically excluding signs advertising merchandise or special sales, may be permitted for a period not to exceed 6 weeks. In addition, temporary signs may be installed on construction barricades during a building's construction, for a period not to exceed 24 months. Signs placed on construction barricades may not be placed more than 20 feet above grade and may not exceed 8 feet in vertical dimension. Time extensions for temporary signs may be granted by the Zoning Administrator upon written request. Temporary signs do not count toward the maximum allowable sign area.
   17-12-1103 State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor Special Sign District.
      17-12-1103-A Boundaries. The State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor consists of all parcels adjacent to State Street and Wabash Avenue between Wacker Drive on the north and Harrison Street on the south. The State Street/Wabash Corridor extends west of State Street to the east right-of-way line of North and South Dearborn Street and extends east of Wabash Avenue to the west boundary line of the Michigan Avenue Corridor.
      17-12-1103-B Regulations and Standards. The following standards apply to signs within the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor special sign district. These sign regulations are supplemental standards that apply in addition to existing zoning regulations. All existing zoning regulations apply except those that conflict with regulations imposed for the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor special sign district. In case of conflict between the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor regulations and existing, underlying zoning district regulations, the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor regulations will govern.
         1.   Area.
            (a)   On State Street the gross sign face area of all signs on a zoning lot may not exceed 4 square feet times the lot's street frontage. The gross sign face area of any single sign may not exceed 2 square feet times the lot's street frontage.
            (b)   On Wabash Avenue the gross sign face area of all signs on a zoning lot may not exceed 6 square feet times the lot's street frontage.
            (c)   On all other streets in the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor, the gross sign face area of all signs on a zoning lot may not exceed 4 square feet times the lot's street frontage.
         2.   Projections.
            (a)   On State Street, all signs must be affixed on building walls parallel to the property line, and no sign may project more than 12 inches across the property line into the public way, except for theaters and hotels. Hotel signs and theater signs may project across the property line into the public way up 6 feet.
            (b)   On Wabash Avenue, signs may project up to 4 feet across the property line into the public way, so as to increase the visibility of businesses located under the CTA elevated tracks. Hotel signs and theater signs may project across the property line into the public way up 6 feet.
            (c)   On all other streets in the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor, signs may project up to 4 feet across the property line into the public way, except for hotel signs and theater signs, which may project up to 6 feet into the public way.
         3.   Roof Signs. Roof signs are prohibited.
         4.   Show Windows. Show windows may be used for regularly changed displays. No paper or vinyl signs may be attached to show windows, and signs placed in windows must be set back at least 3 feet from the glass.
         5.   Banners. Banners are permitted in the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor. No banner may project more than 4 feet from the building line.
         6.   Flashing and Dynamic Image Display Signs. Except for theater signs and marquees, no flashing or dynamic image display signs are permitted on the exterior of any building or structure in the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor.
         7.   Box and Cabinet Signs. Any box or cabinet sign must have an opaque and non-illuminated face with illuminated lettering or logos only. Individual letter signs are encouraged.
         8.   Off-premise Signs. Off-premise signs are prohibited in the State Street/Wabash Corridor special sign district.
         9.   Awning Signs. Signs on awnings are permitted on the valance only, and must be affixed flat to the surface thereof, must be non-illuminated, and indicate only the name and/or address of the establishment. No sign may extend either vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of any awning. Awning lettering placed on the valence may not exceed 12 inches in height. All awnings must be metal, fabric or canvas. Retractable awnings are encouraged.
         10.   Nonconforming Signs. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Zoning Ordinance, a nonconforming sign that has been in lawful existence for 50 or more years may be reconditioned and/or replaced with a sign that substantially conforms to the size and placement of the pre-existing sign.
         11.   Freestanding Signs. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Zoning Ordinance, including without limitation Section 17-12-1002-F hereof, the Zoning Administrator is authorized to approve one or more Freestanding Signs for a zoning lot within the State Street/Wabash Avenue Corridor so long as: (i) the Zoning Administrator has determined that the Freestanding Sign otherwise complies with the provisions of 17-12-1003-B; (ii) the Freestanding Sign identifies a significant corporate headquarters employing in excess of 1,000 full-time persons or the offices of a governmental agency; and (iii) the Freestanding Sign does not project across the property line into the public way.
   17-12-1104 Chicago River Corridor Special Sign District.
      17-12-1104-A Boundaries. The Chicago River Corridor Special Sign District consists of: (i) all lots adjacent to the Chicago River from Roosevelt Road on the south to Kinzie Street on the north and Lake Shore Drive (extended) on the east, and (ii) all lots with street frontage on Wacker Drive from Lake Street to Lake Shore Drive (extended).
      17-12-1104-B Regulations and Standards. The following standards apply to signs within the Chicago River Corridor Special Sign District. These sign regulations are supplemental standards that apply in addition to existing zoning regulations.
         1.   Maximum Area for Signs. The maximum area for all signs shall be in strict compliance with the maximum total sign area standard of the zoning district, or in the case of a planned development, the zoning district applicable to the subject property immediately before approval of the planned development.
         2.   Limitation on Signs above a Certain Height. Except as provided for high-rise building signs in subsection 17-12-1105-D(2)*, no sign shall be located more than two stories above grade on any building side that is adjacent to the Chicago River.
* Editor's note – As set forth in Coun. J. 10-31-18, p. 87780, § 3; section does not currently exist.
         3.   Prohibited Signs. The following types of signs are prohibited within the Chicago River Corridor Special Sign District:
            (a)   banners;
            (b)   neon signs (neon tubing may be used as a source of light when completely shielded and not visible from the Chicago River, public streets, sidewalks or alleys);
            (c)   flashing signs;
            (d)   dynamic image display signs;
            (e)   roof signs;
            (f)   painted wall signs;
            (g)   off-premises signs; and
            (h)   projecting signs.
         4.   Show Windows. Show windows may be used for regularly changed display of merchandise sold in the building. Signs may not be applied to more than 15% of any single window. Window lettering that is less than 2 inches in height and that is limited to information such as a building’s address, hours of operation, product information, and logos will not be counted towards the percentage.
         5.   Awning Signs. Signs on awnings count toward the maximum allowable sign area and must be affixed flat to the surface thereof, must be non- illuminated, and may indicate only the name and or address of the establishment. Further, no such sign may extend vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of the awning. Letter size placed on any awning may not exceed 9 inches in height or width. All awnings must be retractable (fabric or canvas) and may project no more than 6 feet over the sidewalk. No awning may be installed with vertical supports, and back-lit or internally-lit awning signs are prohibited.
         6.   Temporary Signs. Temporary signs, such as grand opening signs, but specifically excluding signs advertising merchandise or special sales, may be permitted for a period not to exceed 6 weeks. In addition, temporary signs may be installed on construction barricades during a building’s construction, for a period not to exceed 24 months. Signs placed on construction barricades may not be placed more than 20 feet above grade and may not exceed 8 feet in height. Reasonable time extensions for temporary signs may be granted by the Zoning Administrator upon written request. Temporary signs do not count toward the maximum allowable sign area.
         7.   In the event there is a conflict between this section and other provisions of the code, the more restrictive shall apply.
         8.   No member of the city council or other municipal officer shall introduce, and no committee of the city council shall consider or recommend, any ordinance or amendment thereto, including any council order pursuant to Section 13-20-680, that is contrary in any way to any of the requirements of this section.
(Added Coun. J. 5-26-04, p. 25275; Amend Coun. J. 9-13-06, p. 84917, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 9-13-06, p. 84921, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-19-08, p. 47220, Art. VII, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 256; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-12, p. 44485, § 6; Amend Coun. J. 4-30-14, p. 80382, § 5; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-14, p. 96204, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-19-14, p. 98820, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 10-31-18, p. 87780, § 3)