10.13.01   Wall and Window Signs.  Window and permanent wall signs are allowed for nonresidential uses in these districts, subject to the following limits. No wall sign shall extend above the top of the wall of the building, including parapets and architectural extensions.
Maximum size
25 percent of window area on that building wall
See total
Two (2) square feet of sign area per lineal foot of building width on the side of building on which sign is located
Maximum number
Area limit only
One per street frontage
Permitted illumination
No separate illumination
Illumination from a concealed source only
Changeable copy
Not allowed
Not allowed
   10.13.02   Additional Wall Signs on Tall Buildings.  In addition to wall signs permitted for all buildings in these districts, any building that is taller than five stories or so feet, whichever is less, may have one additional wall sign on each building facade, subject to the following limitations:
   (A)   Such sign shall be located at or above the highest story on the building but shall not extend above the top of the wall of the building, including parapets and architectural extensions;
   (B)   No such sign shall exceed 150 square feet in area, plus an additional one square foot in area for each one foot by which the top of the sign exceeds 5o feet above the sidewalk;
   Example: A building that is 50 feet tall is allowed a 150-sq. ft. sign at the top of the building; a building that is 75 feet tall, with the top of the sign located at the top of the building, is allowed a 175 s.f. sign at the top of the building (150 s.f. plus (75 minus 50) s.f.);
   (C)   The wall signs allowed under this sub-section are allowed in addition to the wall signs allowed under division (A) of this section, but the total area of wall signs on one face of the building shall in no case exceed 20% of the building face;
   (D)   Lighting for the signs allowed under this division shall be by concealed source only; and
   (E)   Signs allowed under this sub-section shall not include any form of changeable copy.
   10.13.03   Projecting Signs.
   (A)   In addition to permitted wall signs but as an alternative aground design, each business establishment with a ground-floor entrance in these zoning districts shall be allowed a projecting sign, subject to the following standards and limitations:
Maximum size
36 square feet or the maximum size possible in conformance with other standards in this section, whichever is smaller; measurement is for one face, but sign may have two equal faces.
Maximum number
One per business establishment with a ground-floor entrance
Height of bottom of sign
Not less than seven feet measured from sidewalk
Maximum height of top of sign
16 feet above sidewalk, or bottom of second-floor window(s) or top of wall, whichever is less
Permitted illumination
Internal, external, direct, exposed or any combination
Changeable copy
Automated, allowed; may cover up to 50 percent of any sign face.
Maximum projection from face of building
Six feet, or two-thirds of the distance from the facade of the building to the street-side edge of the sidewalk, whichever is less
      (1)   Cumulative Area Limitation. The total area of any wall and/or window signs and any projecting sign on one street frontage of a building shall not exceed two square feet of sign area per lineal foot of building frontage.
      (2)   Other Limitations.
         (a)   A projecting sign shall be placed on the middle 10% of the building face where the sign is to be installed, measured horizontally, provided it does not interfere with any architectural feature of the building, and the sign may not be closer than 15 feet to another projecting sign, except on a corner lot, where a projecting sign may be placed at the corner of the building.
         (b)   A projecting sign may not project over a street, alley or driveway.
         (c)   An application for a permit for a projecting sign shall bear the seal of an architect or engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
   (B)   The Zoning Administrator is authorized to approve an administrative adjustment, permitting a second projecting sign to business establishments located in an existing building, provided that the Zoning Administrator finds that:
      (1)   The business establishment has a ground floor entrance;
      (2)   The business establishment is located on a corner lot;
      (3)   The placement of a single projecting sign at the corner of the building pursuant to the standards and limitations provided under § 10.13.03(A) would interfere with or impact a significant architectural feature of the building. For purposes of this section, significant architectural feature shall include, but not be limited to transom windows, awnings, ornamentation, and light fixtures; and
      (4)   That relief in the form of a variance to increase the maximum height of the top of a projecting sign above the sidewalk would be incompatible with the placement of other projecting signs found within the district.
   (C)   Should the Zoning Administrator make the findings necessary to approve an administrative adjustment as provided under § 10.13.03(B) above, then the business establishment shall be allowed two projecting signs, one to be placed on each street frontage, subject to the standards set forth in § 10.13.03(A). with the exception that each projecting sign may be no more than 18 square feet in area or the maximum area possible in conformance with the other standards in this section, whichever is smaller measurement is for one face, but sign may have two equal faces.
   10.13.04   Pole or Principal Ground Signs.
   (A)   Intent/purpose. The downtown district generally consists of buildings that are built at or near the sidewalk, leaving no space for a pole or principal ground sign. This section is intended to apply to those establishments that have lawfully been set back far enough from one or more right-of-way lines, thus making it more difficult for drivers and pedestrians to see wall signs on the building.
   (B)   Where Allowed.  Any site on which the principal building is set back 20 or more feet from a right-of-way line along the entire length of the building facing that right-of-way shall be allowed a pole or principal ground sign in accordance with this Section, except that no site may have both a principal ground sign and a projecting sign on the same street frontage. One pole or principal ground sign, exceeding 12 square feet in area or 20 feet in height is allowed per street frontage of a nonresidential building. Such sign shall be set back from the public right-of-way a minimum of ten feet, from any other property line a minimum of five feet, and from a residential zoning district a minimum of 50 feet. Such sign shall not contain copy and may be illuminated only from a concealed source.
   10.13.05   Sidewalk Signs.  In the Covington downtown and Mainstrasse zoning districts, sidewalk signs shall be allowed, subject to the following standards and limitations:
   (A)   One such sign shall be allowed for each business establishment with a public entrance onto a public sidewalk, provided that such sign can be placed in a way that conforms with the other standards of this division;
   (B)   The sidewalk sign shall be placed only on the sidewalk directly in front of the establishment;
   (C)   A sidewalk sign shall be an A-frame or other self-supporting design, without separate structural members;
   (D)   A sidewalk sign shall not be more than four feet in height or two feet in width;
   (E)   A sidewalk sign shall be placed so that it does not block any public entrance or required emergency exit from a building and so that, when considering the sign in combination with other obstacles such as parking meters, street signs, newspaper vending boxes, fire hydrants, planters and bus stop benches, there is a clear passage of at least six feet;
   (F)   A sidewalk sign may have two faces, neither of which shall exceed six square feet in area. If a sidewalk sign of this size cannot be placed in front of the establishment in such a way that it meets the requirements of the immediately preceding paragraph, then the sidewalk sign shall be reduced in size to allow such standards to be met, or no sidewalk sign shall be allowed;
   (G)   A sidewalk sign may contain provisions for manual changing of copy, blackboards and whiteboards, but shall not include electronic changeable copy;
   (H)   A sidewalk sign may be placed on the sidewalk only during hours when the establishment to which it pertains is open for business; a sidewalk sign located in front of a business that is not open shall be considered an abandoned sign and may be removed by City of Covington without notice and without liability for its value;
   (I)   A sidewalk sign may not be separately illuminated or electrified in any way; and
   (J)   A sidewalk sign may bear any noncommercial message or a commercial message related to roods or services available in the premises that fronts on the sidewalk.
   10.13.06   Incidental Signs.  Additional detached signs, permanent or temporary, of not more than two square feet in area and four feet in height are allowed, provided that such signs contain no commercial message and are not illuminated. The intent of this regulation is to provide for signs that provide messages like “no parking”, “no dumping”, “beware of dog”, “rest rooms”, but such signs may bear any message that is not a commercial message.
   10.13.07   Institutional Signs.
   (A)   Any school, house of worship, recreation center or other institutional use permitted in the zoning district may have one detached sign, not to exceed 40 square feet in area. This may include changeable copy signs, not to exceed 30% of the sign area. Such signs may be illuminated. Where the physical characteristics of the site or the application of setback and clear site triangle provisions do not permit a detached sign, the institutional use shall be allowed an additional wall sign equal in size to the detached sign to which it would otherwise be entitled.
   (B)   Each such use shall also be allowed one wall sign for each public entrance to a building; such wall signs shall not exceed four square feet each and shall not be illuminated.
   10.13.08   Traffic Control Signs.  Signs conforming with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and containing no commercial message are allowed in required off-street parking areas.
(Ord. O-37-08, passed 9-9-08; Am. Ord. O-35-10, passed 9-28-10; Am. Ord. O-29-12, passed 9-4-12; Am. Ord. O-36-16, passed 11-15-16; Am. Ord. O-11-17, passed 5-23-17)