§ 154.164  ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT.
   (A)   Application submission requirements. No sign or structure shall be erected, constructed, altered, rebuilt or relocated until a permit has first been issued by the Zoning Administrator, except as provided for in § 154.165 of this chapter. The following information for a sign permit shall be supplied on an application for a sign permit:
      (1)   Name, address and telephone number of person making application;
      (2)   Name, address and telephone number of person owning sign;
      (3)   The name, address telephone number and signature of the person owning the property upon which the sign is to be located;
      (4)   A site plan to scale showing the location of lot lines, building structures, parking areas, existing and proposed signs;
      (5)   A scaled elevation showing the height and width of the front of the building;
      (6)   An accurately dimensioned drawing of the sign indicating the following: support system, sign material, dimensions and height, size of the lettering and content of the message on the sign;
      (7)   Plans, location and specifications and method of construction and attachment to the buildings or placement method in the ground;
      (8)   Landscape and lighting plans for area around signs;
      (9)   Written consent of the owner or lessee of any site on which the sign is to be erected;
      (10)   Any electrical permit required and issued for the sign;
      (11)   Future maintenance plans;
      (12)   Sign value; and
      (13)   The applicant shall certify that the application is in full compliance with this chapter and all other applicable provisions of the City code.
   (B)   Application processing and action.
      (1)   Within 15 working days of receiving an application for a sign permit, the Zoning Administrator shall review it for completeness. If the application is complete, it shall then be processed. If the Zoning Administrator finds that it is incomplete, the Zoning Administrator shall, within the 15-working day period, send to the applicant a notice of the specific ways in which the application is deficient, with appropriate references to the applicable sections of this chapter and/or the City code.
      (2)   Upon receipt of a complete application, the Zoning Administrator shall review and comment upon application and shall either:
         (a)   Issue the sign permit, if the sign(s) that is the subject of the application conforms in every respect with the requirements of this chapter and the City code; or
         (b)   Reject the sign permit if the sign(s) that is the subject of the application fails in any way to conform with the requirements of this chapter and the City code.
      (3)   In case of a rejection, the Zoning Administrator shall notify the applicant in writing specifying the reasons for rejection or inconsistencies with this chapter and/or the City code.
      (4)   If the work authorized under a permit has not been initiated within one year after the date of issuance, the permit shall be null and void.
   (C)   Fees. Fees for the review and processing of sign permit applications shall be imposed in accordance with the schedule established by § 34.01 of this code of ordinances.
   (D)   Inspection. All signs shall be subject to inspection by the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Official upon installation to ensure compliance with plans.
   (E)   Removal of signs.
      (1)   The Zoning Administrator and/or Building Official shall order the removal of any illegal non-conforming sign erected or maintained in violation of this subchapter. Notice in writing shall be given by the City to the owner of the sign, or of the building, structure or property on which the sign is located, to remove the sign or to bring it into compliance with the provisions of this section within 15 days from the date of the notice.
      (2)   Upon failure to remove the sign or to comply with this notice, the City may remove the sign. Any costs of removal incurred by the City shall be assessed to the owner of the property on which the sign is located and may be collected in the manner of ordinary debt or in the manner of taxes and all costs shall be assessed against the property.
      (3)   The Zoning Administrator and/or Building Official may order the immediate removal of any sign without notice, which is in violation of the following:
         (a)   Signs located within the public right-of-way;
         (b)   Temporary signs that have exceeded the time limits allowed in this section; and
         (c)   The condition of the sign is such as to present an immediate threat to the safety of the public.
   (F)   Violations. Violations of this section is a misdemeanor. Each day that the violation continues is a separate offense.
   (G)   Exemptions, no permit required. The following signs shall not require a permit. These exemptions, however, shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility of its erection and maintenance, and its compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any other law or ordinance regulating the same:
      (1)   The changing of the display surface of any permitted sign structure;
      (2)   Signs two square feet or less in size;
      (3)   One sign per property in residential districts that is six square feet or less in size and no more than eight feet in height;
      (4)    All non-commercial signs of any size posted in any number beginning 46 days before the state primary in a state general election year until ten days following the state general election, and 90 days prior to any special election until ten days following the special election in accordance with M.S. § 211B.045, as it may be amended from time to time;
      (5)   Window signs are allowed; however, visibility and public safety shall not be compromised;
      (6)   Any signs in the public interest, erected by, or on the order of, public officers in the performance of their public duty, such as directional signs, regulatory signs, warning signs and informational signs and all warning signs posted by public utilities whether or not such signs are in the public rights-of-way;
      (7)   One sign shall be allowed per street frontage when a building is offered for sale or lease, in non-residential areas or where the parcel of land exceeds ten acres; no sign shall exceed 64 square feet in area or ten feet in height;
      (8)   Banners, pennants and similar devices if no more than 25% of total area allowed for signs and if the signs are changed at least every 60 days. All signs must be well secured; and
      (9)   Portable signs less than six square feet on public sidewalks in the Downtown Commercial (B-1) and Hester Street Business (HSB) Districts.
(Ord. passed 3-20-2002, § 27, sub. 5; Ord. 2020-06, passed 6-22-2020)