16.16.020.6: ADVERTISING SIGNS:
   A.   Advertising billboards, off premises signs, on premises freestanding signs, and any sign or advertising device, except as provided in subsection B2e of this section, shall be subject to the issuance of a building permit unless otherwise expressly permitted. Signs shall comply with provisions of all applicable State regulations.
   B.   Signs as defined in subsection A of this section shall comply with the following requirements:
      1.   Purpose: The purpose of these sign regulations is to encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication in the County; to enhance the aesthetic environment to attract sources of economic development and growth; to minimize the possible adverse effects of signs on nearby public and private property; to improve traffic safety.
      2.   Computations: The following principles shall control the computation of sign area:
         a.   Computation Of Area:
            (1)   Signs With One Face: The area of a sign face (which is also the sign area of a wall sign or other sign with only 1 face) shall be computed by means of the smallest square, circle, rectangle, triangle or combination thereof that will encompass the extreme limits of the writing, representation, emblem or other display, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the background of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the backdrop or structure against which it is placed, but not including any framework, bracing or decorative fence or wall when such fence or wall otherwise meets zoning ordinance regulations and is clearly incidental to the display itself.
            (2)   Multifaced Signs: The sign area for a sign with more than one face shall be computed by adding together the area of all sign faces visible from one point. When two (2) identical faces are placed back to back, so that both faces cannot be viewed from any one point at the same time, and when such faces are part of the same sign structure and are not more than forty two inches (42") apart, the sign area shall be computed by the measurement of one of the faces.
         b.   Computation Of Height: The height of a sign shall be computed as the distance from the base of the sign at normal grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign. Normal grade shall be construed to be the lower of: 1) existing grade prior to construction, or 2) the newly established grade after construction.
         c.   General Standards:
            (1)   Building Permit Required: A building permit shall be required for any sign unless expressly exempted.
            (2)   Compliance With Codes: All signs shall comply with applicable provisions of the latest adopted edition of the uniform building code, the national electrical code and the uniform sign code.
            (3)   Maintenance, Repair And Appearance: All signs shall be maintained in good repair and shall be neat in appearance. Any sign which is determined by the building inspector to be unsafe or unsightly because of bent, broken or missing parts or poor maintenance generally, may be declared a public nuisance.
            (4)   Definitions:
      FREESTANDING SIGNS: Any sign, whether on or off premises, supported by structures or supports that are placed on, or anchored in, the ground and that are independent from any building or other structure.
      MONUMENT/GROUND SIGN: The entire bottom of a ground sign is generally in contact with, or in close proximity to, the ground.
      POLE SIGN: Signs that are supported by a pole(s) and otherwise separated from the ground by air.
            (5)   Wall Signs: Wall signs may not extend above or beyond the wall or surface to which they are attached and may not project more than one foot (1') from the wall.
            (6)   Roof Signs: Roof signs may not exceed four feet (4') in vertical dimension, may not extend above the upper edge of the roof, below the lower edge of the roof, or beyond the terminating edge of the roof. Roof signs must be constructed separately from the roof surface, must be mounted perpendicular to level grade and parallel to the nearest horizontal roofline, and must have all supports enclosed or otherwise made not visible from the public street or other public area.
            (7)   Location Of Signs:
               (A)   Signs located on private property shall not extend across property lines into adjacent property or public rights of way.
               (B)   No sign shall be constructed or maintained which has less horizontal or vertical clearance from communication or energized electrical power lines than that prescribed by the laws of the state or rules or regulations of the appropriate agencies.
               (C)   All freestanding signs must be located sufficiently back from any right of way to provide adequate sight distance for ingress and egress of vehicular traffic.
         d.   Permits And Enforcement:
            (1)   Permit Required: Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, alter or relocate within Churchill County any sign or other advertising structure or install or alter any electrical wiring or fixture therein without first having obtained a building permit from the building department and paying the permit fees. Any freestanding sign located on property abutting a state maintained road must acquire all necessary permits and approvals from the department of transportation prior to application for a Churchill County building permit.
            (2)   Application: Application for a building permit to construct/relocate/erect a sign shall be made on forms provided by the county and shall include, or be accompanied by, the following:
               (A)   Name, address, telephone number and signature of the property owner;
               (B)   Name, address and telephone number of the applicant (owner of the sign);
               (C)   Name, address and telephone number of the contractor;
               (D)   A plot plan showing the boundaries of the parcel on which the sign(s) is to be located, setbacks from any rights of way, as well as the location of the sign(s) and all structures on the site. Parking and landscaping and other features shall also be indicated;
               (E)   Drawings of the proposed sign(s) showing the design, dimensions, mounting, height, materials of construction and structural details;
               (F)   Drawings of all existing signs on the site showing their sizes and locations and the total area of all existing signs;
               (G)   The location of all freestanding signs within five hundred feet (500') of the proposed sign;
               (H)   Any other information deemed necessary by the building official or his designee.
            (3)   Issuance Of Permits: Application for a building permit for a sign may be issued when all requirements of this section and this code have been satisfied and all fees paid.
            (4)   Fees: At the time of application applicable building permit fees shall apply.
            (5)   Inspection: Any sign which is subject to this section shall be inspected by the building official to ensure compliance with this section and the building code.
            (6)   Suspension And Revocation: Any permit issued in error, or in reliance on a falsified application, may be revoked by the building department. Any sign erected or partially erected under a permit issued pursuant to a falsified application may be ordered removed at the owner's expense.
            (7)   Variance Of Area: Where practical difficulties or extenuating circumstances exist such that the applicant cannot meet the requirements of this title, a variance may be applied for.
         e.   Signs Exempt From Permit: No permit shall be required for any of the following signs, but such signs shall be erected and maintained in accordance with the provisions of this section:
            (1)   Official traffic control or regulatory signs, signals or devices, handicapped signs, street name signs or other signs required by law.
            (2)   Professional occupation signs denoting only the name or firm name and profession of an occupant in a commercial building, public institutional building or dwelling house when the area of such sign does not exceed two (2) square feet for each professional occupant therein and placed on or against a building.
            (3)   Memorial tablets, plaques or markers of bronze, stone or concrete.
            (4)   Address numbers or plates and residential nameplates.
            (5)   Bulletin boards not over fifteen (15) square feet in area, for public charitable and religious institutions when such bulletin boards are located on the premises of said institutions.
            (6)   Off premises directional signs advertising places of public worship and assembly, hospitals, schools and institutions supported by charitable organizations subject to the following conditions:
               (A)   There shall be not more than two (2) such signs on one parcel advertising any one use unless authorized by the planning commission.
               (B)   Each such sign shall not exceed three (3) square feet in area.
            (7)   Temporary signs and banners of a civic, charitable, educational, municipal or religious nature not to exceed a period of ninety (90) calendar days.
            (8)   Pennants, banners, balloons, and similar advertising devices located on private property advertising a special event or sale. Such devices must be removed within seven (7) days of the event.
            (9)   Temporary signs on the interior of windows of commercial buildings.
            (10)   The changing of advertising copy or message on a painted or printed sign specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy.
            (11)   Real estate signs advertising the sale or lease of a property or open house provided no such sign exceeds four (4) square feet in area and three feet (3') in height, in all agricultural and residential zones, or thirty two (32) square feet in area and five feet (5') in height in commercial and industrial zones, and is placed on premises.
            (12)   Temporary construction signs advertising the name of the contractor, lender or other professional, provided no such sign exceeds thirty two (32) square feet in area and six feet (6') in height and is placed on the premises where the structure is being constructed. Temporary signs shall be removed within thirty (30) days after the certificate of occupancy is issued.
            (13)   Political signs, signs designed for the purpose of advertising support of or opposition to a candidate or proposition at public election. Political signs shall be removed within thirty (30) days after the election.
            (14)   Temporary on and off premises signs with messages such as, but not limited to, "for rent", "for sale", "garage sale", "open" or "closed"; provided, that no such sign shall exceed three (3) square feet in size and must not be affixed to trees or shrubs. Temporary signs shall be removed within seven (7) days after the event.
            (15)   On premises directional signs that enhance the flow of traffic and are less than nine (9) square feet in sign area.
         f.   Prohibited Signs: The following types of signs and displays are prohibited:
            (1)   Signs which constitute a hazard to traffic or pedestrians;
            (2)   Signs located within any stream or drainage channel;
            (3)   Mobile signs or portable signs unless in conjunction with an approved special event. Said signs must be removed within seven (7) days of the event;
            (4)   Signs which produce odor, sound, smoke, flame or other emissions;
            (5)   Signs which imitate or simulate official signs, or which use yellow or red blinking or intermittent lights resembling danger or warning signals;
            (6)   Signs on public property or rights of way; signs attached to utility poles, streetlight standards, trees or fences;
            (7)   Off premises signs in the RR-20, A-10, A-5, E-1, R-1, R-2 zoning districts, unless one of the following criteria apply:
               (A)   It is in conjunction with a bona fide farming operation.
               (B)   It is in conjunction with a land use where a special use permit has been issued by the planning commission. The height and sign area of the sign must not exceed the requirements for signs in the C-2 zoning district as outlined in subsection B2g(4) of this section.
         g.   Size Requirements Per Zoning District:
            (1)   Agricultural and residential zoning districts (excluding R-2):
               (A)   On premises signs: Only in conjunction with special uses approved by the Churchill County planning commission. The proposed sign design standards must be approved as part of the special use permit application.
               (B)   The maximum height of the sign must not exceed twenty five feet (25').
               (C)   Maximum allowable sign area: One hundred sixty (160) square feet.
               (D)   Illumination: Indirect only.
            (2)   R-2 zoning district:
               (A)   Maximum height of freestanding signs: Twelve feet (12').
               (B)   Maximum allowable sign area: Twelve (12) square feet.
               (C)   Illumination: Indirect only.
               (D)   Where a special use permit has been issued for a land use the proposed sign design standards must be approved as part of the special use permit and must not exceed the following:
                  (i)   Maximum height: Twenty five feet (25');
                  (ii)   Maximum sign area: One hundred sixty (160) square feet.
            (3)   C-1, C-2, west of Sheckler cutoff and Roberson to Lyon County, and I zoning districts:
               (A)   Dimensions:
                  (i) Pole signs: Maximum height, twenty five feet (25'); maximum sign area, one hundred sixty (160) square feet; minimum one hundred feet (100') between any pole signs and fifty feet (50') between any pole sign and ground sign.
                  (ii) Ground signs: Maximum height, four feet (4'); maximum sign area, eighty (80) square feet; minimum fifty feet (50') between any two (2) ground signs or a ground sign and a pole sign.
                  (iii) Maximum total sign area for all freestanding signs on one parcel of land, except exempted directional signs: One hundred sixty (160) square feet.
                  (iv) Projecting signs: Maximum sign area, eight (8) square feet.
                  (v) Wall signs: Maximum sign area, ten percent (10%) of total wall area on which it is to be placed.
               (B)   Prohibited Location: No freestanding sign may be located in a position where it intentionally obstructs the view of any other freestanding sign.
               (C)   Master Signage Plan: A master signage plan may be required when there is more than one business located on one parcel.
               (D)   Special Use Permit: The planning commission may issue a special use permit for any freestanding sign advertising four (4) or more businesses located on one parcel if there are no other freestanding signs within one hundred feet (100') of said sign and if the applicant provides sufficient evidence to show that the proposed sign would be more beneficial to the community than several freestanding signs on the same property. The sign area may not exceed two hundred (200) square feet.
            (4)   C-1, C-2, east of Sheckler cutoff and Roberson to Carson River Bridge and all other C-2 not specified:
               (A)   Dimensions:
                  (i) Pole signs: Maximum height, twenty feet (20'); maximum sign area, one hundred forty (140) square feet; minimum distance between any pole sign one hundred feet (100'); minimum distance between any two (2) ground signs or a ground sign and pole sign, fifty feet (50').
                  (ii) Ground signs: Maximum height, four feet (4'); maximum sign area, seventy (70) square feet; minimum fifty feet (50') between any two (2) ground signs or a pole sign and a ground sign.
                  (iii) Maximum total sign area for all freestanding signs on one parcel of land: One hundred forty (140) square feet.
                  (iv) Projecting signs: Maximum sign area, eight (8) square feet.
                  (v) Wall signs: Maximum sign area, ten percent (10%) of total wall area on which it is to be placed.
               (B)   Prohibited Location: No freestanding sign may be located in a position where it intentionally obstructs the view of any other freestanding sign.
               (C)   Master Signage Plan: A master signage plan may be required when there is more than one business located on one parcel.
               (D)   Special Use Permit: The planning commission may issue a special use permit for any freestanding sign advertising four (4) or more businesses located on one parcel if there are no other freestanding signs within one hundred feet (100') of said sign and if the applicant provides sufficient evidence to show that the proposed sign would be more beneficial to the community than several freestanding signs on the same property. The sign area may not exceed one hundred seventy five (175) square feet.
            (5)   C-1, C-2, east of the Carson River to city limits and any C-1 zoning area not listed above:
               (A)   Dimensions:
                  (i) Pole signs: Maximum height, twenty feet (20'); maximum sign area, one hundred twenty (120) square feet; minimum distance between any pole sign, seventy five feet (75'); minimum distance between any two (2) ground signs or a pole sign and ground sign, fifty feet (50').
                  (ii) Ground signs: Maximum height, four feet (4'); maximum sign area, sixty (60) square feet; minimum fifty feet (50') between any two (2) ground signs or a ground sign and a pole sign.
                  (iii) Maximum total sign area for all freestanding signs on one parcel of land: One hundred twenty (120) square feet.
                  (iv) Projecting signs: Maximum sign area, eight (8) square feet.
                  (v) Wall signs: Maximum sign area, ten percent (10%) of total wall area on which it is to be placed.
               (B)   Prohibited Location: No freestanding sign may be located in a position where it intentionally obstructs the view of any other freestanding sign.
               (C)   Master Signage Plan: A master signage plan may be required when there is more than one business located on one parcel.
               (D)   Special Use Permit: The planning commission may issue a special use permit for any freestanding sign advertising four (4) or more businesses located on one parcel if there are no other freestanding signs within one hundred feet (100') of said sign and if the applicant provides sufficient evidence to show that the proposed sign would be more beneficial to the community than several freestanding signs on the same property. The sign area may not exceed one hundred (100) square feet.
            (6)   Subdivision and residential development sales signs:
               (A)   On Premises Sales Signs: Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, a total of forty (40) square feet of sign area used in one or two (2) nonilluminated signs may be affixed to each subdivision of land to identify the name of the development, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the seller or his/her agent, provided that:
                  (i) A building permit is acquired.
                  (ii) The signs must be at least two hundred feet (200') apart.
                  (iii) The signs are located on or within the development.
                  (iv) The signs must be maintained in good repair.
                  (v) The signs must be removed upon close of escrow of the last residence constructed by the developer or the close of the sales office, whichever occurs first.
               (B)   Identification/Entrance Signs: Permanent identification signs may be placed at the entrance to an approved subdivision or residential development provided that:
                  (i) The size and location of the signs are provided and approved as part of a tentative map or final map submittal or a special use permit is approved by the planning commission for each proposed sign.
                  (ii) The signs are located on or within the development at the primary entrance(s).
                  (iii) The sign area shall not exceed forty (40) square feet.
                  (iv) The sign must be maintained and in good repair.
                  (v) The signs are nonilluminated.
         h.   Nonconforming Signs:
            (1)   Right To Maintain And Continue The Use Of A Nonconforming Sign: A nonconforming sign may be maintained and continued in use; provided, that:
               (A)   It is not altered, enlarged or relocated without a sign permit;
               (B)   It is maintained in good repair and does not become unsightly or hazardous.
            (2)   Termination Of Right To Nonconforming Sign:
               (A)   Any nonconforming sign which is declared a hazard by the building official shall be removed or repaired within ten (10) days of notice to the owner of the sign.
               (B)   Any nonconforming sign which requires repairs costing in excess of fifty percent (50%) of its replacement value shall be removed or made to comply with the provisions of this section. (Bill 2015-D, 2015: Bill 2007-I, 2007: Bill 2006-G, 2006: Bill 2005-F § 2.2, 2005)