§ 10.16 MASTER SIGNAGE PLANS.
   10.16.01   Purpose and Intent.  It is the purpose of the City of Covington to require owners, lessees and managers of sites containing multiple signs requiring permits to plan and design signs that are compatible with the buildings on the site, thus enhancing the appearance of the site and of the streetscape that includes it. This section spells out specific criteria for review for compliance with the section, but the City of Covington recognizes that the consideration of issues of design necessarily requires some exercise of judgment, within the specific criteria set out in this section. Although the City of Covington has provided a remedy of appeal for an applicant aggrieved by an action on a proposed master signage plan, it is the intent of the City of Covington that the primary remedy for such an applicant is the erection and installation of all of the signs allowed by right, under other sections of this article. It is thus the intent of the City of Covington, that, to the extent that it can guide the scope of review of a court considering an appeal, a court considering an appeal under this Section reverse or remand the decision of the Zoning Administrator only if it finds that such action is arbitrary and capricious.
   10.16.02   Applicability.  The owner of any site that includes more than one tenant or occupant shall apply for approval of a Master Signage Plan before applying for a sign permit for any detached sign.
   10.16.03   Procedure.
   (A)   The submittal of a Master Signage Plan shall be considered a Stage II Development Plan.
   (B)   The owner(s) shall apply to the planning commission's duly authorized representative.
   (C)   Where an application for approval of a Master Signage Plan is submitted simultaneously or as part of another Stage II Development Plan, the two shall be processed together. Where an application includes properties not under common ownership, all property owners shall sign the application or shall submit documents granting the applicant the authority to process such an application.
   (D)   The planning commission's duly authorized representative shall review the submitted Stage II Development Plan with regard to its compliance with the required elements of this Section, for Master Signage Plans, other applicable elements of this Article, and other applicable regulations, and its conformity with any approved Stage I Development Plan for the property. In approving the Master Signage Plan, the planning commission's duly authorized representative may authorize minor adjustments from the Stage I Development Plan.
   (E)   If a Master Signage Plan application is denied, the applicant may submit a new application with a revised plan at any time.
   (F)   Any person aggrieved by the action of the planning commission's duly authorized representative on a Master Signage Plan may appeal the decision by filing an application with the Planning Commission.
   10.16.04   Application Contents.
   (A)   The application for approval of a Master Signage Plan shall contain at least the following information.
   (B)   Where the application is submitted simultaneously with an application for a Stage II Development Plan approval, the Master Signage Plan may refer to portions of the Stage II Development Plan application or approved Stage I Development Plan for related requirements:
      (1)   If the site has not been improved, all information required by § 12.05.03(A)(4) for a Stage II Development Plan;
      (2)   If the site has been improved, as-built conditions, showing all buildings and other improvements and all parking areas and vehicle entrances;
      (3)   A proposed design plan showing signage design at a scale of 1/2” =1 ft.
      (4)   Computation of the maximum area for all signs, the height of signs and the number of detached signs allowed on the development site(s) included in the plan under this article, including incentives authorized below;
      (5)   For properties with multiple tenants or multiple occupants entitled to signs, an allocation of the allowed signage among the eligible tenants or users;
      (6)   An accurate indication on the plot plan of the current or proposed location of each present and future sign of any type, whether requiring a permit or not except that signs not requiring permits need not be shown;
      (7)   The color schemes and design features (excluding specific messages) for proposed signs; and
      (8)   The signatures of all owners or their authorized agents in such form as the legislative body may require.
   10.16.05   Amendments.  A Master Signage Plan maybe amended by filing a new Master Signage Plan that conforms to all requirements of this Section in effect at the time of submittal.
   10.16.06   Provisions for Nonconforming Signs.  A Master Signage Plan for a property already containing signs on the date of submission of the application shall include a schedule for bringing all signs on the development site into conformance with the Master Signage Plan by a specified date. The conformance schedule included in such Master Signage Plan shall be considered a condition of approval of the Master Signage Plan.
   10.16.07   Criteria for Approval.
   (A)   A Master Signage Plan shall be approved if and only if the planning commission's duly authorized representative finds that the proposed plan meets all of the standards set out in this Article.
   (B)   If the planning commission's duly authorized representative finds that the proposed plan substantially meets such standards, it may approve the proposed plan subject to conditions that will cause it to meet these standards.  Otherwise, the planning commission's duly authorized representative shall deny the application for plan approval:
      (1)   Each proposed sign conforms with all applicable standards of this article;
      (2)   The total amount of signage proposed for any building, wall, site, or portion of a site, conforms with all applicable standards of this article;
      (3)   The proposed plan contains all of the information required by division (D) of this section;
      (4)   The proposed allocation of allowed signage among eligible tenants, which shall be proportional to one of or a combination of the following criteria:
         (a)   The number of public entrances to space leased to or controlled by each tenant or occupant;
         (b)   The linear feet of frontage of the space leased to or controlled by each tenant or occupant along the wall(s) containing public entrances; and/or
         (c)   The façade area of the building elevation(s) containing the public entrances to the spaces leased to or controlled by each tenant or occupant.
      (5)   All proposed signs shall be part of a common design scheme, meeting at least the following criteria:
         (a)   The materials and design of all wall signs shall follow one design scheme;
         (b)   The materials and design of freestanding signs bearing commercial messages shall follow one design scheme, which may or may not be the same as the design scheme for wall signs;
         (c)   Each design scheme shall require consistency among signs for at least three of the following criteria: lighting design; color schemes; materials; shape; proportion; and/or type faces.
         (d)   If the design schemes for the wall signs and freestanding signs are different, they shall have in common at least two of the following criteria: lighting design; color schemes; materials; proportion; and
         (e)   The design scheme for freestanding signs shall use building materials, colors and, where applicable, architectural design features consistent with the materials, colors and architectural design features of the principal building on the site.
   10.16.08   Effect.
   (A)   After approval of a Master Signage Plan, no permit shall be issued for a sign on the site(s) subject to the Master Signage Plan except in accordance with such plan, and no sign shall be erected, placed, painted, or maintained, except in accordance with such plan, and such plan may be enforced in the same way as any provision of this Article. In case of any conflict between a provision of a Master Signage Plan and one or more provisions of this article, this article shall prevail.
   10.16.09 Special Severability Provisions.
   (A)   The severability provisions of §10.20.01(K), are limited by this subsection. If any procedural aspect of this section is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, it is the intent of the City of Covington that this entire section, but only this section, should be stricken as unconstitutional, but that any plans previously approved under it should remain in effect, allowing the signs shown on such plans as lawful nonconforming signs, regardless of whether such signs have been erected on the date of such decision.
   (B)   If any substantive part of the standards and criteria for approval of this section is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional it is the intent of the City of Covington that such part be stricken and that the rest of this Section remain in full force and effect, in accordance with the principles set out in more detail in § 10.20.01(K).
(Ord. O-37-08, passed 9-9-08)