Skip to code content (skip section selection)
Whenever any words or phrases used in this title are not defined herein, but are defined in related sections of this code or international building code, such definitions are incorporated herein and shall apply as though set forth herein in full, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention. Words not defined in any code shall have their ordinarily accepted meanings within the context in which they appear. Unless a contrary intention clearly appears, words used in the present tense include the future, the singular includes the plural, the term "shall" is always mandatory, and the term "may" is permissive. The following terms as used in this title shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:
ABANDONED SIGN: A sign which displays evidence of neglect, no longer identifies or advertises a bona fide business, lessor, service, owner, product or activity, and/or a sign for which no legal owner can be found.
ALTERATION: A change or rearrangement in the structural parts of a sign causing an increase in the height, width or area, or moving the sign from one location to another.
ANIMATED SIGN: Any sign which uses movement of all or part of the sign or a rapid or intermittent change of lighting to attract attention, depict action or to create a special effect or scene. This includes sign spinners.
ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL: Any projection, relief, cornice, column, change of building material, window or door opening on any building.
ARCHITECTURAL, SCENIC OR HISTORIC AREA: An area that contains unique visual or historic characteristics or whose natural beauty requires special sign regulations to ensure that all signs displayed within the area are compatible with the area.
AWNING SIGN: A sign attached to a building which consists of a fireproof space-frame structure with sign copy imprinted on a translucent flexible reinforced vinyl covering designed in awning form. Such signs may, or may not, be internally illuminated by fluorescent or other light sources in fixtures approved under the national electrical code.
BANNER OR PENNANT: Any cloth, bunting, plastic, paper or similar material used for temporary commercial or home sale advertising purposes attached to, or appended on or from, any structure, staff, pole, line, framing or vehicle.
BARBER'S POLE: A traditional pole or symbol used to identify the place of business of a barber, containing no advertising. Barber's poles are classified as projecting signs. For the purpose of this title, barber's poles are not considered to be animated signs.
BILLBOARD: An off premises ground sign.
BUILDING FACE: All window and wall area of a building in one plane, from ground level to the peak of the roof and/or top of parapet wall.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN: A sign on which the characters, letters or illustrations can be changed or rearranged without altering the face or surface of the sign regardless of method of attachment. Any type or classification of sign may contain changeable copy.
COMMERCIAL COMPLEX: A group of two (2) or more commercial uses, whether on one lot under one ownership or on several adjacent lots under separate ownership, which are dependent on one another to meet minimum standards for parking, vehicular circulation and/or landscaping, or are approved as elements in an overall site plan under a conditional use or subdivision application.
COPY: Any words, letters, numbers, figures, designs or other symbolic representations on the display surface of a sign.
CORPORATE FLAG: A flag with a corporate name or logo flown in front of a corporate office or facility for the purpose of identifying the company located within. Corporate flag does not include flags or banners with a company name or logo used to advertise products or homes for sale.
DIRECTORY SIGN: A common sign identifying two (2) or more persons, businesses or establishments.
DISPLAY SURFACE: The surface available on the sign structure for the mounting of material to advertise or promote a product, event, person or subject.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE SIGN: A changeable copy sign that uses lights to form a sign message wherein the sequence of messages and the rate of change is electronically programmed and can be modified by electronic processes. Time and/or temperature shall not be considered an electronic message sign. For the purposes of this title, electronic message signs are not considered to be animated signs.
FRONTAGE: A linear measurement along the property line of a lot or parcel of property which fronts on a public street. Frontage is used as the basis for determining, in part, the maximum sign area and number of signs allowed for individual activities.
GROUND SIGN: A sign which is three (3) or more feet above the ground and is supported by one or more uprights, poles, posts or braces placed in or upon the ground which are not a part of, or attached to, a building. The definition includes "pylon signs", "freestanding signs" and "pole signs".
HEIGHT (Of A Sign): The greatest distance measured from the top of the nearest curb or sidewalk to the top of the sign, including any protruding architectural features.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN: A sign which serves to identify only the name and address of the building, institution, person and/or lawful use which occupies the premises.
ILLEGAL SIGN: A sign which does not meet the requirements of this title and which has not received legal nonconforming status.
ILLUMINATED SIGN: A sign which has characters, letters, figures, designs or outline illuminated by electric lights or luminous tubes. This definition shall also include reflectorized, glowing or radiating signs.
LOGO: A symbol, design or graphic representation, which may include text that identifies a business, activity or company.
MAINTENANCE: The cleaning, painting, repair or replacement of defective parts of a sign in a manner that does not alter the basic copy, design or structure of the sign.
MODEL HOME SIGN: An off premises sign designed solely to provide direction or guidance for vehicular traffic to a model home.
MONUMENT SIGN: An on premises sign, the entire bottom of which is in full contact with, or closer than three feet (3') to, the ground.
NAMEPLATE: A nonilluminated identification sign, attached to the main building on a lot, which gives only the name, address and/or occupation of the occupant or occupants of a dwelling.
NEON SIGN: A sign which incorporates into its design neon or gaseous light tubing that is uncovered, or covered by a transparent cover, allowing the tubing to be visible.
NONCONFORMING SIGN: A sign which was legally installed under laws or ordinances in effect prior to the effective date hereof, or subsequent revisions, but which is in conflict with the provisions of this title.
OFF PREMISES SIGN: A sign which directs attention to a use, product, commodity, event or service not related to the property on which the sign is located. This definition includes billboards.
ON PREMISES SIGN: A sign which directs attention to a use, product, commodity, event or service which exists or is available on the property on which the sign is located.
OPEN HOUSE: A home for sale, lease or rent that is open for inspection on a specific day and is occupied by at least one person present to show the house. The open house need not be occupied if the seller has a model home in the same subdivision which is occupied by a person present to show the open house.
OPEN HOUSE SIGN: An off premises sign designed solely to provide direction or guidance for vehicular traffic to real estate that is for sale, lease or rent.
OWNER: A person, corporation, organization or agency having a legal or equitable interest in property and includes successors in interest, assigns or the agent of any of the aforesaid.
PERMANENT SIGN: A sign intended to exist for the duration of time that the use or occupant is located on the premises and which is designed to be permanently attached to the ground or to a building. The sign shall be constructed entirely of durable materials.
POLITICAL SIGN: A sign limited to issues, ballot measures, ballot propositions, candidates or groups of candidates in any district, municipality, community, state or federal election.
PORTABLE SIGN: Any sign that is not permanently attached to the ground or a building, signs designed to be transported by wheels or other means, "A" or "T" frame signs unless specifically allowed by this title, or signs attached to, painted on or supported by stationary vehicles or trailers, which are visible from a public street and have the express purpose of advertising a business, product, service or event.
PREMISES: A lot or a building site, combination of lots or building sites, or a specific portion of a lot or building site, that contains the structures and the open spaces owned in connection with a lot, for the location, maintenance and operation of the use of the property.
PROJECT IDENTIFICATION SIGN: A permanent sign identifying an area of distinct character under multiple ownerships such as a residential neighborhood, historic district, shopping center or industrial park.
PROJECTING SIGN: A sign other than a wall sign suspended from, or supported by, a building or structure and projecting outward more than twelve inches (12").
PROPERTY SIGN: A sign related to the property on which it is located and offering such property for sale or lease, advertising contemplated improvements, announcing the name of the builder, designer, owner or developer of a project, or warning against trespass. Similar signs not related to the property on which they are located are considered off premises signs, not temporary signs.
ROOF SIGN: A sign displayed on or above the roof, peak or parapet of a building and attached to the building.
SERVICE SIGN: An on premises sign erected for the purpose of facilitating, directing, or controlling the efficient or safe movement of pedestrians or vehicles on or into private property and which conveys information such as "restrooms", "no parking", "entrance", "exit" or other messages of information, direction or warning, but does not contain brand, trade or business identification.
SIGN: Means and includes every advertising message, announcement, declaration, demonstration, merchandise display, illustration, insignia, surface or space erected or maintained in view of a public street for identification, advertisement or promotion of the interests of any person, entity, event, product or service. This definition shall also include the sign structure, supports, lighting system and any attachments, ornaments or other features designed to attract the attention of observers.
SIGN AREA: The area of a sign that is used for display purposes, excluding the minimum frame and support structure. In computing sign area, only one side of a double faced sign covering the same subject shall be computed when the two (2) faces are parallel or diverge from a common edge at an angle of forty five degrees (45°) or less. When a sign has more than two (2) faces, the area of the third face, and all additional faces, shall be included in determining the area of the sign. For signs that do not have a frame or integral background, sign area shall be computed based on the area of the smallest square, rectangle or triangle which will completely frame the display.
TEMPORARY SIGN: Any sign, balloon, banner, valance or advertising display constructed of paper, cloth, canvas fabric, cardboard, wallboard, wood or other light material, with or without a frame, intended to be displayed out of doors for a short period of time.
WALL SIGN: A sign attached to and parallel with the exterior wall or windows of a building, extending not more than twelve inches (12") from such wall, and having messages or copy on the front side only. This definition includes painted, individual letter and cabinet signs. (Ord. 2009-17, 4-21-2009; amd. Ord. 2009-45, 8-18-2009; Ord. 2011-18A1, 8-16-2011; Ord. 2012-32, 10-16-2012; 2016 Code)