Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Generally - Except as otherwise provided in this Section, all signs placed, erected, installed, painted, modified or altered shall conform to the standards set forth in this Chapter and shall require permits in accordance with Section 1165.10 of this Chapter. Erection, modification, alteration, placement, replacement or other action involving a sign that is in any way inconsistent with this Chapter 1165 shall be a violation of the Zoning Code and subject to penalties and remedies as permitted by the Kent Codified Ordinances, including penalties set forth for Civil Infractions as stipulated in Section 501.13 of the Kent Codified Ordinances.
(b) Sign Standards - The sign standards provided in this Chapter are intended to apply to signs in each zoning district in the City of Kent. Only signs authorized by this Chapter shall be allowed.
(c) Existing Signs: Continuance - Except as otherwise specifically provided, nothing in this Chapter shall require removal or discontinuance of an existing on-premises or existing off- premises sign. No existing signs shall be enlarged or extended without meeting the requirements of this Chapter and obtaining a Sign Permit. Such nonconforming signs shall not be enlarged or extended and these signs shall be deemed a nonconforming sign under the terms of the Zoning Code.
(d) Nonconforming Signs -
(1) Any legal nonconforming sign, as defined in Section 1165.03, may be continued in use if maintained in accordance with this sub-section. Temporary signs shall not be considered legal, non-conforming signs.
(2) All pre-existing illegal nonconforming signs must be removed in accordance with this sub-section. The Zoning Inspector shall issue an order for the sign to be removed within fifteen (15) days. The cost of removal will be assessed to the property owner. If the property owner refuses to pay for removal of the sign, the cost of such removal shall be assessed to the property owner’s tax records.
(3) Any nonconforming sign displayed on the premises shall be removed or brought into conformance with the provision of this Chapter before a permit for a new sign may be issued.
(4) A legal nonconforming sign shall immediately lose its legal nonconforming designation and shall be immediately brought into compliance with this Chapter including obtaining the required permits and approvals as set forth herein. Such signs shall be removed upon any of the following occurrences:
A. The nonconforming sign is structurally altered, enlarged, relocated, or replaced.
B. The nonconforming sign is determined by the Zoning Inspector or the Chief Building Official to be in a dangerous or defective condition; to fail to conform to health and fire codes; a public nuisance; or abandoned, deteriorated; or in need of repair or replacement.
C. The nonconforming sign face and/or supportive structure is destroyed or damaged in excess of sixty percent (60%) of the combined replacement value of the sign and supportive structure, by any cause.
D. Upon the discontinuance of the present use of property for which the sign was intended for a period of more than ninety (90) days.
(5) A nonconforming sign shall not be moved in whole or in part to any other location unless such sign is made to conform to this Chapter. If an owner is forced to move a nonconforming sign by City of Kent, state, or federal officials for any reason other than enforcement, such sign shall maintain its nonconforming status, but must still adhere to the setback requirements.
(6) Nothing in this section shall prevent the ordinary repair, maintenance, and non-structural alteration of nonconforming signs. Maintaining the nonconforming sign to the exact legal nonconforming design shall be allowed; however, any proposed changes to a nonconforming sign, except for re-facing an existing sign, shall require that the sign be made to conform to the requirements of this Chapter. Re-facing an existing nonconforming sign shall not be considered an alteration as long as the re-facing constitutes an exact replica of the existing sign face. The design, color scheme, translucency, graphics and text font must exactly match those existing.
No structural alterations shall be made in, to, or upon such nonconforming sign, except those required by law to make the sign conform to the requirements of this Chapter.
(Ord. 2013-83. Passed 8-21-13.)