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(A) (1) All signs and sign structures shall be legally maintained in a safe and attractive condition. For the purposes of this section, a sign is not legally maintained if any of the following occur:
(a) The appearance of rust, cracks, electrical defects, fraying, chipped paint or other materials;
(b) Structural defects or other defects; or
(c) The commercial message of the sign no longer pertains to any business activity on the site which the sign is located.
(2) Such factors shall cause it to be presumed that the sign has been abandoned and is not being legally maintained. The property owner of the sign may receive notice from the city to return the sign to its original satisfactory condition within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the property owner does not comply, then the sign will be declared to be a nuisance contributing to visual blight and to be abandoned.
(B) (1) The municipality may issue an order to the property owner that an abandoned sign must be removed within six months from the date of abandonment.
(2) An abandoned sign that is not removed within six months, or brought into compliance with these regulations, may be removed by the city at the expense of the property owner.
(3) To recover the costs from the property owner, the Clerk of the city may certify the total cost, together with a proper description of the land, to the County Auditor to place costs upon the tax duplicate, or the city may commence a civil action against the property owner for the costs.
(Ord. 2018-06, passed 7-9-2018, § 155.195)