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(a) Signs in Public Rights-of-Way - Except as provided, no sign shall be placed or deposited within any public right-of-way or on any tree, pole, post, meter, or similar object located within the public right-of-way. Under no circumstance may any signs that are permitted in the right-of-way interfere with vehicular or pedestrian visibility. Signs in the right-of-way are prohibited unless they fall under subsection (a)(1) below.
(1) The following signs may be installed in the public rights-of-way without a Sign Permit:
A. Signs conforming to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices;
B. Signs required by a state or federal statute;
C. Signs required by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
D. Public directional and safety signs, including signs installed by the City of Kent for a public purpose.
(2) Blade signs attached to a building may project a maximum of forty inches over a public right-of-way provided the lowest part of the sign is at least eight feet but no more than fifteen feet above the pedestrian thoroughfare and provided said sign has received a Sign Permit from the Zoning Inspector.
(b) Sign Coverage - Letters may not occupy more than seventy-five percent (75%) of any sign panel.
(c) Measurement of Sign Area -
(1) The surface area of a sign shall be calculated by enclosing the extreme limits of all lettering, background, emblem, logo, representation, or other display within a single continuous perimeter composed of squares or rectangles with no more than eight lines drawn at right angles.
(2) Supporting framework or bracing that is clearly incidental to the display itself shall not be computed as sign area unless it too contains advertising lettering, materials or symbols.
(3) Double-faced (back-to-back) signs shall be regarded as a single sign only if mounted on a single structure, and the distance between each sign face does not exceed two (2) feet at any point. Only one face of an identical double-faced sign shall be measured when determining maximum allowable area.
(4) Where a sign consists of one or more three-dimensional objects (i.e., balls, cubes, clusters of objects, sculpture, or statue-like trademarks), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane.
(5) Regardless of their spacing, the letters forming a word or name shall be considered a single sign. The area of such a sign shall be measured as provided in this Chapter.
(d) Measurement of Sign Height - The height of a sign shall be computed as the distance from the base of the sign at a computed grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign (including the sign face, sign structure, or any other appurtenance). The computed grade shall be the elevation of the nearest point to the proposed sign location of the crown of the nearest public street providing access; or the grade of the land at the principal entrance to the principal structure on the lot, whichever is higher.
(e) Alterations - No sign shall hereafter be altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended or relocated except in conformity with the provisions of this Chapter. The repainting of signs shall not be deemed to be an alteration within the meaning of this Chapter.
(f) Sign Maintenance - Signs and supporting hardware shall be structurally safe, clean, free of visible defects, and functioning properly at all times. Visible rot or rust, exposed lighting sources or wires, falling parts, or broken and missing parts are evidence that a sign is in a state of disrepair. Repairs to signs shall be equal to or better in quality of materials and design than the original sign.
(g) Notice to Repair - When the Zoning Inspector determines that such a sign exists in a state of disrepair, the Zoning Inspector shall issue to the owner of the sign and the owner of the real estate a notice of such disrepair and the need for corrective action. Any party receiving such notice may appeal the notice to the Board of Zoning Appeals in accordance with Chapter 1109 of the Zoning Code. If such an appeal is not filed within fifteen (15) days of the date on which the notice is sent, persons receiving the notice shall be responsible for repairing the sign or otherwise bringing it into conformance with this Chapter. The repair work shall be accomplished within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, unless the person undertaking the work files a request with the Zoning Inspector for an extension. If such request shows diligence and good faith such as ordering materials or signing a contract with a contractor, the Zoning Inspector shall grant an extension of thirty days for completion of the work. If an appeal is filed in accordance with the Board of Zoning Appeals, the time for performance shall be delayed until resolution of the appeal. If the Zoning Inspector finds that the lack of repair constitutes a danger to persons or to property other than that of those persons receiving the notice, the Zoning Inspector shall so state in the notice and the City of Kent may seek immediate relief under the Building Code or under the laws of public nuisance.
(h) Sign Removal or Replacement - When a sign is removed or replaced, all brackets, poles, and other structural elements that supported the sign shall also be removed. Affected building surfaces shall be restored to match the adjacent portion of the structure.
(i) Sign Attachment and Support - No sign shall be attached to or supported by a tree, utility pole, light pole, trash receptacle, bench, vending machine, gasoline pump or hose, or public shelter, nor shall such sign be painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.
(j) Changeable Copy Signs - Manual or electronic changeable copy signs shall be permitted on permanent freestanding signs, temporary signs, sandwich board signs and building signs only. Manual copy signs shall comprise no more than thirty percent (30%) of the total area of the sign. The changeable copy portion of the sign will contribute toward the maximum sign area. The Architectural Review Board may allow signs with a changeable copy area of up to sixty (60) percent of the total area of the sign.
(1) Sign must not have animation, no scrolling, flashing, must not revolve or oscillate;
(2) Sign brightness should adjust as ambient light levels change;
(3) Sign messages must remain in place for at least six (6) seconds;
(4) Sign message changes must take place in less than two (2) seconds; and
(5) Signs must have a default message in case of malfunction.
(k) Illumination - No sign shall be illuminated in a manner which causes the lighting of the sign to be directed onto the public right-of-way in a manner where the lighting distracts or creates a safety hazard for traffic. Sign lighting shall also be controlled in a manner where it does not direct intense light into residential areas.
(Ord. 2013-83. Passed 8-21-13.)