§ 457.04  Signs
   (a)   Purpose. The regulations of this section are established to ensure that licensed parking facilities are furnished with signs which provide customers with accurate, useful, and legible information regarding rates and other operational matters. Furthermore, these regulations are established to ensure provision of signs which clearly and effectively identify parking available to visitors seeking daily or other short-term parking. The requirement for provision of such visitor-oriented signage is intended to promote economic activity in the City by facilitating easy access to parking which serves the Central Business District and major visitor attractions.
   (b)   Display of Rates and Other Information. The following regulations shall apply to all parking lots and garages subject to licensing regulations.
      (1)   Display of Rates. Each parking facility shall be furnished with signs readable from each vehicular entrance, displaying all parking rates applicable at any given time. When multiple rates are applicable at a given time, the display shall include, at a minimum, the lowest and highest rates. All rates applicable at a given time shall be displayed in numerals which are the same size for each rate. Rates displayed on signs for surface lots or on free-standing signs for garages shall be a minimum height of five (5) inches for dollar amounts and three (3) inches for display of cents and other rate information. For garages, rates and rate information displayed on or adjacent to booths and ticket dispensers shall have a minimum character height of two (2) inches.
      (2)   Visibility of Rate Information. For a surface lot or for a garage which is set back from the street, the sign displaying the required rate information shall be placed so that the rates are visible and readable to the motorist prior to entering the property. For a garage entrance located at the sidewalk edge, such sign shall be placed so that the rates are readable to the motorist prior to passing the ticket dispenser or attendant’s booth.
      (3)   Required Information. In addition to the rate information required in division (b)(1) of this section, each parking facility shall display the following items of information: 1) a full listing of all rates applicable at all times, 2) the telephone number for after-hours contact, 3) the name of the operator, and 4) the closing time of the facility if exits are blocked after closing. Such additional information shall be displayed in lettering and numerals a minimum of two (2) inches and a maximum of eight (8) inches in height, placed at all attendant’s booths, all payment boxes and/or at all vehicular entrances.
      (4)   Destination Information. The sign(s) identifying the parking facility and/or its rates, as required in division (b)(1) of this section, may also display information identifying businesses or other uses served by the parking facility. Such information shall be displayed in lettering no more than five (5) inches in height and shall be incorporated within the standard- size sign, as permitted in this section.
   (c)   Special Event and Other Special Rate Parking. Information regarding flat rates for special event parking or other special time-period parking, such as “early bird specials,” shall be displayed in accordance with the following regulations. Such sign may also be used to indicate that the garage is “full.”
      (1)   Such rate information shall be displayed on the permanent free-standing sign or signs which identify the parking facility’s regular rates, using changeable panels or electronically-changeable copy, in accordance with design standards adopted by the City Planning Commission.
      (2)   In the case of a garage which is not served by a free-standing rate sign, the special event or other special time-period parking rate may be displayed on a metal or plastic panel, mounted on a pole which is inserted into a base which is permanently affixed to the ground. Such sign shall be a maximum of six (6) square feet in area and four (4) feet in height above the ground and shall not project into the public right-of-way.
      (3)   Availability of parking for special events shall be identified by use of the term “Event,” accompanied by the applicable rate. Such information may be displayed in characters which are larger than those used for display of other rates.
   (d)   Sign Structures and Locations. The following regulations shall apply to all parking lots and garages subject to licensing regulations.
      (1)   Sign Types. Signs for parking facilities may take the form of a free-standing sign, a sign projecting from or otherwise applied to a building wall, a sign mounted on an attendant’s booth, ticket machine or payment box, a sign placed on a canopy or marquee, or a sign mounted above a fence post or pier. Portable signs (i.e., “sandwich boards” and other signs not permanently affixed to the ground or to a permitted structure) shall not be permitted, except as permitted in division (c)(2) of this section.
      (2)   Location of Signs. No freestanding sign, nor any portion of such sign, shall be located within or above the public right-of-way, except as permitted in division (e)(1) of this section for a sign element displaying the international parking symbol. No sign projecting from a building wall shall extend to a point which is within two (2) feet of the outer edge of a street curb nor shall such sign extend more than five (5) feet from the building wall.
      (3)   Vertical Clearance. No portion of a sign located above a sidewalk or other pedestrian walking area shall be located less than eight (8) feet above the surface of such area. No portion of a sign located above a driveway or other vehicular way shall be located less than sixteen (16) feet above the surface of such area.
      (4)   Primary and Secondary Signs. As used in this section, the terms “primary signs” and “secondary signs” shall have the following meanings. “Primary signs” are a parking facility’s principal signs identifying the parking facility and/or its rates. A primary sign may display other permitted information in addition to the identification and rate information. “Secondary signs” are signs which display only directional and instructional messages necessary to guide motorists and pedestrians within the parking facility. Signs which provide detailed rate information, supplementing that provided on the primary signs, shall also be considered secondary signs.
      (5)   Size, Number and Height of Signs. Each parking facility shall be permitted a total of thirty-two (32) square feet of “primary sign” area for each vehicular entrance, except that two (2) vehicular entrances located less than thirty (30) feet apart, as measured along the property line, shall be counted as a single entrance for this purpose. Such primary sign area permitted for each entrance may be displayed on either one (1) or two (2) sign structures. If two (2) sign structures are used, rate information must be readable at each vehicular entrance. No single primary sign shall exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area nor shall it exceed fifteen (15) feet in height if free-standing. “Secondary signs,” if free-standing, shall not exceed six (6) square feet in area nor four (4) feet in height, and shall be placed, as approved by the City Planning Director, only where necessary to provide instructions to customers of the parking facility. Secondary signs displayed on building walls or on overhead structures shall be no larger than necessary to display permitted information in a readable manner, as determined by the City Planning Director.
      (6)   Measurement of Sign Area. Only one (1) side of double-sided signs shall be counted in the measurement of sign area if the two (2) sides are in parallel, back-to-back arrangement.
      (7)   Temporary Signs. For a newly- established license parking facility, the following temporary signs shall be permitted for a period not exceeding sixty (60) days following the opening of the parking facility:
         A.   Signs substituting for approved but not-yet-installed permanent signs, conforming, to the maximum extent feasible, with all regulations and design standards for permanent signs except those pertaining to fabrication materials; and
         B.   For each vehicular entrance, one (1) wall-mounted banner, not exceeding forty (40) square feet in area, or one (1) free-standing temporary sign, not exceeding ten (10) square feet in area, announcing the opening of the parking facility.
   (e)   Signs for Visitor-Oriented Parking Facilities. In addition to other applicable regulations of this section, the following supplemental regulations shall apply to signs for parking facilities which are available to the general public on an hourly, daily or special event basis (i.e., “visitor-oriented parking facilities”). These supplemental regulations shall not apply to parking facilities which are restricted to use by employees, residents, faculty or students of businesses, institutions or other buildings served by the parking facility nor shall these regulations apply to parking facilities which are restricted exclusively to use on a weekly or monthly basis.
      (1)   Use of the International Parking Symbol. All visitor-oriented parking facilities shall be furnished with a sign or signs, visible from each vehicular entrance, displaying the international parking symbol, displayed as a white letter “P” at least fourteen (14) inches in height, placed on a purple (PMS #2685) circular background, a minimum of twenty-two (22) inches in diameter. The design shall be in accordance with design standards adopted by the City Planning Commission. In the case of a free-standing sign, the parking symbol may project over a public sidewalk, extending no more than thirty (30) inches beyond the property line and maintaining a minimum vertical clearance of eight (8) feet. No other element of such sign may project over the public sidewalk.
      (2)   Design Standards. The City Planning Commission shall adopt and disseminate design standards which, through use of narrative materials and illustrations, describe and depict signs which conform to the requirements of this section applicable to signs for visitor-oriented parking facilities. The standards shall also provide supplemental information on such design elements as color, materials, illumination, methods of attachment, border areas, positioning of information items, etc.
      (3)   Approval Process. The Director of the City Planning Commission shall determine whether a proposed sign for a visitor-oriented parking facility meets the requirements of this section and the adopted design standards, and shall approve or disapprove each application on that basis. In the case of a proposed sign which does not meet the requirements of this section, the City Planning Commission may approve the sign if it determines that such sign meets the standards of division (e)(7) of this section.
      (4)   Comprehensive Sign Systems for Large- Scale Facilities. In the case of a large-scale complex of facilities served by a network of parking lots or garages under common management, the City Planning Commission may approve signs which differ from the standards established in this section as necessary to create a uniform series of signs which identify parking facilities serving such complex.
      (5)   Replacement of Nonconforming Signs. For parking signs installed prior to the initial effective date of this ordinance, any such signs which do not conform to the applicable regulations of this section shall be replaced by conforming signs in accordance with the following schedule, except as provided in division (e)(6) of this section.
         A.   For parking facilities located within the Downtown Core and Downtown Lakefront Parking Districts, as established in Section 457.035, and for parking facilities located in the area directly north of the Downtown Lakefront Parking District, all nonconforming signs shall be replaced or removed by August 1, 1997, except that any nonconforming sign installed pursuant to a Building Permit issued between June 1, 1991 and May 31, 1996, shall be replaced or removed by August 1, 1998.
         B.   For parking facilities located within the Gateway, Warehouse, Erieview, and Flats Parking Districts, as established in Section 457.035, all nonconforming signs shall be replaced or removed by August 1, 1998.
         C.   For parking facilities located within the remainder of the City, all nonconforming signs shall be replaced or removed by August 1, 1999.
      (6)   Retention of Nonconforming Signs. With respect to signs whose replacement is required under the provisions of division (e)(5), any owner wishing to retain such sign shall submit a written request to the City Planning Commission no later than six (6) months prior to the date on which replacement is required. Such application shall include the address of the parking place, a sketch showing the sign’s dimensions and its approximate location on the property, and color photographs of the sign. The City Planning Commission shall, within two (2) months of receipt, approve retention of the sign if it determines that such sign meets the standards of division (e)(7) of this section.
      (7)   Standards for Approval of Nonconforming Signs. With respect to an application for the installation or retention of a sign which does not conform to the regulations of this section, the City Planning Commission shall approve such application if it determines that the sign, either alone or in combination with other signs, provides information which is sufficient to fulfill the stated purposes of this section, and that the sign meets the following standards, as applicable:
         A.   The sign is attached to the wall of a building and is better suited to the design of such building than a conforming sign would be; or
         B.   The sign meets a higher standard of design quality than would result from minimal conformance to the standards of this section; or
         C.   The sign has been designed so that it is more appropriate to its environs or the uses which it serves than a conforming sign would be; or
         D.   The sign is part of a comprehensive signage system for a large-scale complex of facilities, and such system meets the standards of division (e)(4); and
         E.   In the case of a new sign, the deviation from the otherwise applicable regulations of this section is the minimum necessary to meet one (1) or more of the special standards established for approval of nonconforming signs.
   (f)   Application. Plans for installation of signs regulated in this section shall be submitted to the City Planning Director either prior to or concurrently with submission of any required Building Permit application. The plans shall be sufficient to demonstrate compliance with all regulations of this section and with the design standards adopted by the City Planning Commission pursuant to the provisions of this section. No signs regulated in this section shall be installed before approval by the City Planning Director and issuance of any required Building Permit.
(Ord. No. 832-96. Passed 6-18-96, eff. 6-26-96)