§ 154.160  FINDINGS, PURPOSE AND EFFECT.
   (A)   Findings. The City Council hereby finds as follows:
      (1)   Exterior signs have a substantial impact on the character and quality of the environment;
      (2)   Signs provide an important medium through which individuals may convey a variety of messages;
      (3)   Signs can create traffic hazards, aesthetic concerns and detriments to property values, thereby threatening the public health, safety and welfare; and
      (4)   The City code has included the regulation of signs in an effort to provide adequate means of expression and to promote the economic viability of the business community, while protecting the City and its citizens from a proliferation of signs of a type, size, location and character that would adversely impact the aesthetics of the community and threaten the health, safety and welfare of the community. The regulation of physical characteristics of signs within the City has had a positive impact on traffic safety and the overall appearance of the community.
   (B)   Purpose and intent. It is not the purpose or intent of this subchapter to regulate the message displayed on any sign; nor is it the purpose or intent of this subchapter to regulate any building design or any display not defined as a sign, or any sign which cannot be viewed from outside a building. The purpose and intent of this subchapter is to:
      (1)   Regulate the number, location, size, type, illumination and other physical characteristics of signs within the City in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare;
      (2)   Maintain, enhance and improve the aesthetic environment of the City by preventing visual clutter that is harmful to the appearance of the community;
      (3)   Improve the visual appearance of the City, while providing for effective means of communication, consistent with constitutional guarantees and the City’s goals of public safety and aesthetics; and
      (4)   Provide for fair and consistent enforcement of the sign regulations set for herein under the zoning authority of the City.
   (C)   Effect. A sign may be erected, mounted, displayed or maintained in the City if it is in conformance with the provisions of these regulations. The effect of this subchapter, as more specifically set forth herein, is to:
      (1)   Allow a wide variety of sign types in commercial zones and a more limited variety of signs in other zones, subject to the standards set forth in this subchapter;
      (2)   Allow certain small, unobtrusive signs incidental to the principal use of a site in all zoning districts, subject to the standards set forth in this subchapter;
      (3)   Prohibit signs whose location, size, type, illumination or other physical characteristics negatively affect the environment and where the communication can be accomplished by means having a lesser impact on the environment and the public health, safety and welfare; and
      (4)   Provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter.
(Ord. passed 3-20-2002, § 27, sub. 1)