§ 17.330.005 INTENT.
   This Chapter is a comprehensive system for the regulation of signs in the City. Sign regulation is enacted to serve the interests of community aesthetics, vehicular and pedestrian safety, to protect and preserve property values, to improve the visual environment of the City so as to promote commerce, investment, tourism, and visitation, and the overall quality of life for persons living in, doing business in, or visiting the City. The provisions of this Chapter are also intended to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of persons driving, parking, biking, walking, residing or conducting business within the City, by reducing visual distractions to motorists, and by making signs and advertising displays more attractive, aesthetically pleasing and more effective. It is the further purpose of this Chapter that every use of property within the City receives adequate identification. The City intends to create a comprehensive balanced system of signs that is aesthetically pleasing and compatible with the environment.
   The regulations of this Chapter are not intended to permit any violations of the provisions of any other lawful ordinance, nor to prohibit the use of any sign required by any law superior to that of this Chapter.
   A.   Regulatory Interpretations. All regulatory interpretations of this Chapter are to be exercised in light of the City's message neutrality policy. Where a particular type of sign is proposed in a permit application, and the type is neither expressly allowed, nor prohibited or restricted, by this Chapter, or whenever a sign does not qualify as a structure as defined in the Uniform Building Code, then the Director shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the application, based on the most similar sign type that is expressly regulated by this Chapter. Architectural compatibility shall be analyzed on the basis of size, location, color, construction materials and design of the sign structure, without consideration of the message to be displayed on a sign, other than the distinction between on-site and off-site commercial messages.
   B.   Discretionary Approvals. Whenever a sign or proposed sign is subject to any discretionary approval process, including but not limited to, Variance, Conditional Use Permit or Administrative Use Permit, then no consideration will be given to sign copy or message to be displayed, other than a determination as to whether the message will constitute off-site commercial copy. This principle applies equally at all levels of approval, from the Director to the Council.
   C.   Non-communicative Aspects of Signs. All rules and regulations concerning the non-communicative aspects of signs, such as location, size, height, illumination, spacing, orientation, and so forth, stand enforceable independently of any permit or approval process.
(Ord. No. 2005-011 § 2)