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The purpose of this Chapter is to provide standards for signs to safeguard life, health, property, safety, and public welfare, while encouraging creativity, variety and compatibility, and enhancement of the City of Kent’s image. Signs shall be regulated relative to time, place, and manner. The individual user’s right to convey a message must be balanced with the public’s right to be free of signs which unreasonably distract drivers and pedestrians. This Chapter is based on the premise that signs are subject to control as much as noise, odor, debris, and other similar characteristics of land use, and that if not regulated, can become a nuisance to adjacent properties or the community in general, or depreciate the value of other properties within the community. The provisions of this Chapter are intended to:
(a) Encourage creative and well-designed signs that contribute in a positive way to the City of Kent’s visual environment, express local character, and help develop a distinctive image for the City of Kent;
(b) Encourage signs that are responsive to the aesthetics and character of their particular location, adjacent buildings and uses, and the surrounding neighborhood. Signs should be compatible and integrated with the building's architectural design and with other signs on the property;
(c) Prevent or limit traffic or pedestrian accidents, injuries, deaths, and property damages resulting from obstructed vision, distraction, or confusion to the public due to the undue proliferation of signs;
(d) Encourage a healthful economic and business environment in the community;
(e) Limit the height and size of signs to those that are appropriate in scale to the community; and,
(f) Provide adequate way-finding signage for motorists and pedestrians.
(g) Reduce visual clutter.
(h) Minimize the risk of damage and injuries from signs that are structurally unsafe.
(i) Prevent blight characterized by oversized, overcrowded, abandoned, obsolete, and/or dilapidated signs.
(j) Protect the public’s right to receive information protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
(Ord. 2013-83. Passed 8-21-13.)