For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply  unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   ABANDONED SIGN.  A sign erected in conjunction with a particular use, which use has been discontinued for a period of 180 days or more, or a temporary sign for an event which has occurred.
   BANNER.  Any sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a pole or a building by a frame or ties at one or more edges, not exceeding 36 square feet. National flags, state or municipal flags, or the official flag of any institution or business shall not be considered banners.
   BANNER, SPECIAL EVENTS. A sign of lightweight, windproof material that is mounted to poles or buildings by ties or other means on both sides of a street within the town such that the sign crosses over the said street, not exceeding 240 square feet in area.
   CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN.  A sign on which message copy is changed manually or electronically in the field, through the utilization of attachable letters, numbers, symbols and other similar characters or changeable pictorial panels. Time and temperature signs are not included in this definition.
   COMMERCIAL MESSAGE.  Any sign wording, logo, or other representation that, directly or indirectly, names, advertises, or calls attention to a business, product, service, or other commercial activity.
   COMMUNITY FESTIVAL SIGN.  Signs that are placed to commemorate and/or attract attention to a community festival officially recognized by the Council members.
   CONSTRUCTION SIGN.  A temporary sign whose message is limited to identification of architects, engineers, contractors, and other individuals or firms involved with construction on a specific site, the name of the building, the intended purpose of the building, and the expected completion date.
   DIRECTIONAL SIGN, ON OR OFF-PREMISES.  Any sign only indicating the location of or providing directions to a business, development, or other activity.
   ELECTRONIC CHANGEABLE MESSAGE SIGN (ECMS).  Any sign with a message, text, or photo made wholly or partially of lights, including but not limited to, light emitting diodes (LED), incandescent lights, or exposed light bulbs.
   EXEMPT SIGN.  Any signs that are specifically listed as exempt for this chapter. The listed EXEMPT SIGNS are not regulated by the terms of this chapter.
   FLAG.  Any fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns or symbols, used as a symbol of a government, political subdivision, or other entity.
   FLASHING SIGN.  A sign that incorporates flashing or blinking lights, or other lighting that is not constant in intensity or that exhibits sudden or marked changes in lighting effects, or a sign with moving parts, or parts which simulate movement, including signs or lights on signs reflecting or emitting a glaring or distracting light that could impair or distract driver vision.
   GOVERNMENTAL SIGN.  Any sign erected by or on the order of an authorized public official in the performance of his or her office or duty including, but not limited to, traffic control signs, street name signs, warning and directions signs, public notice, or signs of a similar nature.
   HOME OCCUPATION SIGN.  A sign used in association with a permitted home occupation conducted in the dwelling unit occupied by the operator of the business.
   ILLEGAL SIGN.  Any sign erected or maintained in violation of this chapter or erected, altered, moved, repaired, maintained, or replaced in violation of this chapter.
   INCIDENTAL SIGN.  A single or double-faced, announcement sign containing information relative to emergencies, store hours, credit cards honored, directional arrows, entrance, exit, and other similar accessory information. No sign with an advertising message legible from a position off the property on which the sign is located shall be considered incidental.
   MULTIPLE TENANT DEVELOPMENT.  A development in which there exists a number of individual and/or separate activities, in which there are appurtenant-shared facilities such as parking.
   NONCOMMERCIAL MESSAGE.  Any message protected by the First Amendment that does not direct attention to a business operated for profit, or to a commodity or service for sale.
   NONCONFORMING SIGN.  A sign legally erected and in existence prior to the date of adoption of this chapter or an amendment to the chapter, that does not meet the standards imposed by this chapter. An ILLEGAL SIGN is not a nonconforming sign.
   OFF-PREMISES ADVERTISING SIGN.  A sign identifying, advertising or directing the public to a business, merchandise, service, institution, residential area, entertainment, or activity which is located, sold, rented, based, produced, manufactured, furnished or taking place at a location other than the property on which the sign is located. This term is sometimes interchanged with the terms “outdoor” (which as defined in G.S. § 160D-912 includes any off-premises outdoor advertising visible form the main-traveled way of any road) advertising or billboards.
   ON-PREMISES ADVERTISING SIGN.  A sign identifying or advertising a business, person, activity, goods, products, or services located on the premises where the sign is installed and maintained.
   PENNANT.  Any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in series, designed to move in the wind.
   POLITICAL SIGN.  A sign erected for the purpose of advertising a candidate or stating a position regarding an issue upon which the voters of the town may vote.
   PORTABLE SIGN.  A sign generally constructed to be easily movable without a permanent attachment to the ground and which may or may not be equipped with wheels, including, but not limited to A or T frames, menu and sandwich board signs, balloons or other inflatable devices designed to attract attention or used as signs. Such signs may be designed for changeable messages. Signs painted on or attached to operational vehicles used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business, and signs defined as temporary signs are not included in this definition.
   REAL ESTATE SIGN.  A sign erected by the owner, or his or her agent, advertising real property upon which the sign is located for rent, for lease, or for sale.
   ROOF SIGN.  A sign erected over or on and wholly supported by or partially dependent upon the roof of any building for support, or attached to the roof in any way and which extends in any part above the roofline of the building.
   SETBACK.  The shortest horizontal distance between the edge of the pavement or traveled surface and the closest point of a sign or its supporting member.
   SIGN.  Any form of publicity or advertising which is designed to be visible from any public way, directing attention to an individual business, commodity, service, activity or product by means of words, lettering, numerals, trade names, or trademarks, or other pictorial matter designed to convey such information.
   SIGN STRUCTURE.  A supporting structure erected or intended for the purpose of identification, with or without a sign thereon, situated upon or attached to the premises upon which any sign may be fastened, affixed, displayed or applied, provided however, said definition shall not include a building or fence.
   TEMPORARY SIGN.  Any sign, whether attached to a principle structure or free standing, which is intended to be displayed for a limited time for a specific event. This definition does not include portable signs. If a sign display area is permanent but the copy displayed is subject to periodic changes, that sign shall not be regarded as temporary.
(Ord. passed 3-1-10; Am. Ord. passed 6-1-15; Am. Ord. passed 4-19-21)