§ 155.11  ON-PREMISES SIGNS.
   The following on-premises signs are regulated by this chapter and require a permit.
   (A)   Residential district.
      (1)   Residential developments (subdivisions, one family dwellings and multiple family dwellings) and all permitted non-residential in the NMU and MICR zones shall be allowed one attached sign not to exceed 12 square feet in area and one freestanding sign per street frontage not to exceed 32 square feet in area and six feet in height. A freestanding sign shall have a setback of no less than eight feet from the street right-of-way or ten feet from the traveled portion of a street where the right-of-way does not exist or cannot be determined. Such signs may be illuminated.  Provided, however, multiple tenant non-residential developments in either the NMU or MICR zones and which have street frontage on U.S. or N.C. highways will be permitted to have a) a freestanding sign, subject to the same setback requirements as other freestanding signs allowed by this section, that shall not exceed 50 square feet in area and shall not exceed ten feet in height, and b) attached signage not to exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage. Any such signs may also be illuminated.
      (2)   On plots containing permitted public utility buildings or home occupations or uses, other than accessory, one attached non-illuminated sign not exceeding six square feet in area unless otherwise regulated by the Unified Development or other ordinance provisions.
   (B)   Commercial and industrial districts.
      (1)   As this subsection is applied to multiple tenant developments, only one illuminated freestanding sign shall be permitted per street frontage.  Second street frontage must be at least 100 feet long with a street entrance to be counted as a frontage. In the C-1 Central Commercial zoning district, the sign shall not exceed 70 square feet in area. In the C-2 Secondary Commercial zoning district, the sign shall not exceed 90 square feet in area. In the C-3 Highway Commercial or I-1 Industrial zoning districts, the sign shall not exceed 150 square feet in area. Signs regulated by this subsection shall be a maximum of 18 feet in height, and shall be located no closer than eight feet to the street right-of-way or ten feet to the traveled portion of a street where the street right-of-way does not exist of cannot be determined.
         (a)   In addition, each establishment may be issued a temporary banner permit, not to exceed 30 days, for a banner not exceeding 32 square feet; or
         (b)   Each establishment may be issued a temporary permit, not to exceed 30 days, for an illuminated portable sign not exceeding 32 square feet. Each establishment is limited to no more than two such temporary permits, as described in (a) or (b) above, during a calendar year.
      (2)   Any establishment not operating in a multiple tenant development shall be allowed one illuminated free-standing sign per street frontage. Second street frontage must be at least 100 feet long with a street entrance to be counted as a frontage. The sign not to exceed 50 square feet in area, shall be a maximum of 18 feet in height, and shall be located no closer than eight feet to the street right-of-way or ten feet to the traveled portion of a street where the right-of-way does not exist or cannot be determined. Illuminated attached signage shall also be allowed not to exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage.
         (a)   In addition, each establishment may be issued a temporary banner permit, not to exceed 30 days, for a banner not exceeding 32 square feet; or
         (b)   Each establishment may be issued a temporary permit, not to exceed 30 days, for an illuminated portable sign not exceeding 32 square feet. Each establishment is limited to no more than two such temporary permits, as described in (a) or (b) above, during a calendar year.
      (3)   Any establishment in I-1 Industrial zoned areas shall be allowed one illuminated freestanding sign.  The sign is not to exceed 200 square feet and shall be a maximum of 24 feet in height.  The sign shall be located no closer than eight feet to the street right-of-way or ten feet to the traveled portion of a street where the right-of-way does not exist or cannot be determined.
   (C)   Electronic changeable message signs.
      (1)   Electronic changeable message signs (ECMS) shall be permitted on freestanding on premises business identification signs subject to the following limitations and requirements:
         (a)   The ECMS shall be part of the single-tenant freestanding business identification sign or be allowed in lieu thereof, but in no case shall the square footage of the ECMS exceed 50% of the total allowed sign face area for any such freestanding sign. In the case of multi-tenant signs the ECMS shall not exceed 50% of the total allowed sign face area for multi-tenant signs or 36 square feet, whichever is less;
         (b)   ECMS on freestanding signs shall be allowed in certain zoning districts subject to certain location and land use restrictions as follows: (All street designations are as defined in the Unified Development Chapter (UDO) in § 152.098(A) - Street Classification.)
            1.   In all commercial (C) districts, except C-l, but not allowed along frontages of streets smaller than Collector rated, opposite residential (R) districts.
            2.   In all industrial (I) districts, but not allowed along frontages of streets smaller than collector rated, opposite residential (R) districts.
            3.   In residential (R) districts for schools, museums, and churches/houses of worship, provided that the ECMS is located along the frontage of a arterial street having three or more lanes at the time of permitting.
         (c)   ECMS shall not be permitted on sites where existing freestanding signs are nonconforming unless such signs are made conforming to this chapter. ECMS is not permitted on off-premises advertising signs.
      (2)    In the downtown commercial (C-l) district, an ECMS is permitted for theaters, and other public event facilities (spectator sports facilities, civic and conference facilities), whether publicly or privately owned; and the ECMS may be attached to the building or may be freestanding if at a location permitting a freestanding sign.
      (3)   In any commercial (C) district, industrial (I) district, or neighborhood mixed use (NMU) district, an ECMS, not exceeding six square feet may be permitted behind a street fronting window of any business where an ECMS is not used on a freestanding sign. In any commercial (C) district or industrial (I) district an ECMS may be used on the motor fuel pump canopy for up to 50% of the allowable signage for such structure, provided no ECMS is used on any freestanding sign and all other signage on the site conforms to this chapter.
      (4)   No ECMS message (copy and/or image) shall be allowed to flash, animate, scroll, or otherwise move, or transition from one message to another in a moving manner. Transition between messages shall be instantaneous. Each message shall be continuously displayed for a minimum of ten seconds before changing to another message.
      (5)   Each ECMS or other sign employing the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) for display shall be equipped with a control system that automatically adjusts the light emission level to ambient light conditions so as to not cause glare or excessive brightness. In no case shall the light level of any such sign exceed 500 NITS (candelas per square meter) between the time of sunset and sunrise, and 5,000 NITS at other times (daytime). If ambient light levels, day or night, in the area of the sign are significantly lower and the sign still produces glare or is excessively bright at the levels listed above, the sign light levels will be further reduced to eliminate the glare or excessive brightness. Focused or directed light shall be aimed away from passing traffic and residential occupancies.
      (6)   Any EMCS within or opposite a residential (R) district as described above shall be operated or lit only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
(Ord. passed 3-1-10; Am. Ord. passed 2-7-11; Am. Ord. passed 11-2-15; Am. Ord. 2019-002, passed 3-4-19; Am. Ord. passed 4-19-21)