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1187.03 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.
(a) Permitted Signs. All signs shall be painted, placed, pasted, posted, printed, tacked, fastened, constructed, erected and maintained as provided in this chapter.
(b) Building Permit. No permanent sign shall be erected, constructed, painted or printed without obtaining a permit issued by the Division of Building Inspection and Zoning. The application for the permit shall set forth the location at which the sign is proposed to be erected, the advertising structure or surface, the dimensions, shape, materials of construction for the sign, type of sign, and where applicable, the method of any sign illumination. For off-premises signs, the application shall be accompanied by the written consent of the property owner or his authorized agent.
(c) Right-of-Way. No sign shall be placed within or over any public right-of-way, nor shall any sign structure, in whole or in part, be placed within or over any public right of way, except publicly owned signs and banners specifically exempted by the City Manager for special occasions, festivals or celebrations.
(d) Directional Public Service Signs. Church, school service club, museum, library and public signs not on the premises of the institution are included under directional signs.
(e) Directional Signs. The City shall permit one double-faced permanent directional sign per vehicular entrance not exceeding three square feet in area each in addition to signs permitted elsewhere in this chapter, upon condition that such signs are needed for traffic safety.
(f) Flashing Signs. Flashing signs are not permitted except electronic message display signs as defined in Section 1187.02 (a)(12) of this section and public service time and temperature signs which are only permitted in institutional (B), commercial (C) and industrial (M) zones.
(g) Grand Openings. Banners, pennants, portable signs, streamers, captive balloons, air dancers and other temporary signs for grand openings are only permitted, subject to the issuance of a permit and payment of a fee, described in Section 1187.09, to the City of Fairfield under this section, all of the above may be authorized by the Building Superintendent or his/her designate for a period not to exceed sixty days for the purpose of a grand opening of a new business and to allow installation of permanent signs (change of ownership or management does not constitute a new business unless the business has been closed for at least sixty days). No flashing signs are permitted under this subsection. The size of portable signs shall be limited to a maximum of thirty-two square feet. After the grand opening, a 30 day waiting period is required before promotional signs as defined in Section 1187.03 (i) will be permitted. Air dancers shall be placed a minimum of 25 feet from the roadway edge of pavement and at no time may be placed in the right-of-way.
(h) Portable Signs. No portable signs or air dancers shall be permitted except as provided in subsection (g) hereof.
(i) Promotional Advertising. In addition to any other permitted signage and only in specifically authorized zoning districts, banners and special event signs may be permitted for a maximum of twelve periods in a calendar year not to exceed ten days each upon issuance of a temporary permit and payment of a fee, described in Section 1187.09 for each period, to the City of Fairfield, subject to the following limitations:
(1) A minimum of ten days between each ten day permit is required.
(2) Any permit issued in the same calendar year as provided in subsection (g) hereof shall count as one of the twelve ten day periods permitted herein.
(3) Only one banner or one special event sign can be used at a time.
(4) No banner shall exceed thirty square feet.
(5) No special event shall exceed twenty-four square feet (only one side counted to compute sign area) and is not to be reflective or illuminated. The sign must be designed with one color of lettering and one color background, however, a multi-colored corporate logo and color picture with inlaid text of any color(s) is permitted. The sign must be constructed as an “a-frame” or mounted via post to the ground. No cabinet signs are permitted to be used as special event signs. The maximum height of a special event sign is 6 feet.
(6) Lettering on banners must be silkscreened, stenciled, created with vinyl letters or sewn into the fabric or material. Banners are permitted only upon existing buildings, canopies, canopy supports and existing sign supports.
(7) Special event signs are to be manufactured, lettering is to be digitally printed, machine cut or vinyl press on letters. The lettering is not to be hand painted.
(8) Businesses which open during a calendar year shall be entitled to a proportionate amount of time for promotional signage based upon the portion of the calendar year remaining after the grand opening signage period and 30 day waiting period, if grand opening signage is used.
(9) Feather/flutter flags are permitted but must be limited to two such flags per business, placed at least two (2) feet out of the right-of-way and adequately secured and anchored. These devices are to be located no closer than 20 feet from the roadway edge, cannot be wider than three feet at their widest dimension and cannot extend any higher than 15 feet from immediate grade/pavement at the base.
(Ord. 36-13. Passed 4-22-13.)
(j) Temporary Signs. Portable signs, banners, special event signs, pennants, streamers, captive balloons, paper signs, cardboard signs and all other temporary signs are prohibited, except as provided in subsections (g) and (i) above.
(k) Lighting. Lighting used for illumination of any signs is permitted only when such lighting is installed on private property and is hooded or shielded so that the light source is not visible within 200 feet of the sign from public streets, alleys or highways or any residentially zoned property, including hotel or motel guest rooms. Lighting intensity shall conform to the following table:
Illumination Levels (foot candles)
Illuminated Sign Type
B, C2 (downtown only),C3, M Zones
C1, C2 (other areas) Zones
Flood lighted, indirectly illuminated signs
All Other Signs
(1) Construction Signs. Up to two construction signs not exceeding thirty-two square feet in area each shall be permitted on a parcel of property during construction of a building(s) on the parcel, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(m) Gateway Signs. A permit may be granted by the City Manager or his/her designate allowing identification of the City boundary showing the name of the community and the names of various nonprofit, civic organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, provided the overall size of the sign, including riders, is not larger than 100 square feet.
(n) Political Signs. Editor’s Note: Former subsection (n) was repealed by Ordinance 159-01, passed October 9, 2001.
(o) Thickness of Signs. No attached sign, building sign or wall sign shall project more than fifteen inches from the building face, canopy face or wall upon which it is displayed. If the projection is greater and if advertising is carried on this face, the edge of the sign shall be included in the permitted sign area.
(p) Signs Facing Residentially Zoned Property. No directly illuminated signs shall be permitted within 100 feet and facing residentially zoned property. Further, illuminated signs in institutional, commercial or industrial zones shall be adequately screened with fencing, shrubbery or vegetation so as not to be visible from adjoining residentially zoned property.
(Ord. 134-06. Passed 11-13-06.)
(q) Billboards. All billboards shall be erected, maintained, replaced, relocated, repaired or restored in industrial (M) and C-3A zoning districts only, and no closer than 100 feet to the right of way of any interstate highways, or major City thoroughfares, types C, D and E as described in the City Thoroughfare Plan. In addition, billboards shall meet the requirements of Section 1187.08. (Ord. 98-10. Passed 11-8-10.)
(r) Moving Signs. Moving signs are prohibited, except arms on clock faces and indexing multiprism units not covered in Section 1187.02.
(s) Miscellaneous Signs. No signs shall be permitted which emit audible sound, odor or visible matter.
(t) Company Logo Flags. Company logo flags are permitted subject to the following limitations:
(1) Permits are not required for company logo flags but are required for the installation of flagpoles.
(2) A company logo flag cannot exceed forty square feet.
(3) Only one company logo flag shall be displayed per parcel and shall be displayed at least twenty feet and not to exceed thirty feet above grade on a freestanding flagpole, except that a company logo flag may be displayed on a flagpole mounted on a building of at least three stories and which does not exceed the height of the building by more than fifty feet.
(u) Sign Erection. All signs shall be erected by a licensed sign erector as stated in Section 1333.03(a) of the Building Code, except the following signs:
(1) Real estate signs;
(2) Construction signs;
(3) Window signs;
(4) Signs for grand openings and promotional events;
(5) Wall signs that are either:
A. Not internally illuminated, are one inch or less in thickness and do not exceed nine square feet, or
B. Are painted on the wall structure itself;
(6) Property improvement signs;
(7) Awning or canopy signs but only if a permit for the awning or canopy itself is issued at the time of the erection of the sign.
(Ord. 134-06. Passed 11-13-06.)
(Ord. 134-06. Passed 11-13-06.)
(v) All lettering for signs is to be manufactured or professionally painted or produced. No chalk boards or other surfaces for changeable hand-written text, lettering or designs are permitted.
(Ord. 98-10. Passed 11-8-10.)
(w) Rope Lights. Rope lights are prohibited.
(Ord. 94-16. Passed 10-24-16.)