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(a) Purpose - A Comprehensive Sign Plan is intended to integrate the design of the signs proposed for a development project with the design of the structures, into a unified architectural statement. A Comprehensive Sign Plan provides a means for defining common sign regulations for multi-tenant projects, to encourage maximum incentive and latitude in the design and display of multiple signs and to achieve, not circumvent, the intent of this Chapter.
(b) Applicability - The approval of a Comprehensive Sign Plan shall be required when three (3) or more non-exempt signs are proposed for a new or existing development or if a joint identification sign is proposed.
(c) Approval Authority - The Planning Commission must approve a Comprehensive Sign Plan prior to issuance of a Sign Permit by the Zoning Inspector. Such request and approval shall be treated as a Conditionally Permitted Use in the zoning district in which it is permitted. The Architectural Review Board shall review and approve all Comprehensive Sign Plans prior to review by the Planning Commission.
(d) Application Requirements - An application for a Comprehensive Sign Plan shall include all information and materials required in Section 1165.10 (c), the payment of the standard application fee required for a Conditional Zoning Permit and the filing fee set by Council. In addition to the submission requirements set forth in Section 1165.10(c), the following additional information shall be submitted at the time of application:
(1) A statement by the property owner which may be submitted through the property manager, indicating the manner in which the property owner will enforce compliance with the approved comprehensive sign program by both the owner and the tenants on the site.
(2) Acknowledgment that a copy of the Comprehensive Sign Plan approval will be provided by the property owner / property manager to each existing tenant and any new tenants.
(3) A statement identifying the time period for which the use of the signage to be covered by the Plan is to cover. A Comprehensive Sign Plan approval may not be granted for a period exceeding ten (10) years.
(4) When a Comprehensive Sign Plan expires (or up to one (1) year prior to the expiration), the property owner must reapply for a new Comprehensive Sign Plan.
A. If in the opinion of the Community Development Department Director there are no substantial changes in the Comprehensive Sign Plan, the Plan may be approved administratively pursuant to standards developed by the Community Development Department.
B. All other Comprehensive Sign Plans must be approved as a new filing according to statute.
(e) Standards - A Comprehensive Sign Plan shall comply with the following standards:
(1) The Planning Commission may allow signage which otherwise exceeds the number, type, size and placement as otherwise permitted in this Chapter when it determines that such additional signage is warranted due to the size, nature, number of tenants or other features of the site as they may exist.
(2) The signs shall enhance the overall development, be in harmony with, and relate visually to other signs included in the comprehensive sign plan, to the structures and/or developments they identify, and to surrounding development;
(3) The Plan shall accommodate future revisions that may be required because of changes in use or tenants; and
(4) That the Plan is consistent with the Design Guidelines that may be applicable to a designated area as may be identified in Chapter 1121 of the Kent City Zoning Code. In areas of the City not governed by the Design Guidelines identified in Chapter 1121 , the Plan, to the degree feasible, shall comply with the recommended Sign Design Guidelines set forth in Appendix B of the Zoning Code.
(f) Revisions to Comprehensive Sign Programs - The Zoning Inspector may approve the substitution of sign panels provided the panels are the same size as those being replaced and meet the all the requirements of Chapter 1165 . If additional signage is proposed or if any aspect of the original Comprehensive Sign Plan is modified with the exception of sign panels, approval from the Planning Commission is required.
(g) Performance Guarantee - The property owner shall provide the City of Kent with a Cash Deposit of $250.00 at the time that the Zoning Permit for the approved Comprehensive Sign Plan is issued. This guarantee shall be provided to ensure compliance with the approved Plan for the duration of the approval or until such signage is removed.
The Planning Commission may set a higher amount (as permitted by law) for the guarantee in situations where the applicant has previous committed documented actions of non-compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
(1) Assignment / Transfer - In the event that the property transfers ownership during the timeframe of the approved Plan, the previous property owner to whom the Plan approval was granted may either assign the Cash Deposit in favor of the new property owner or request that the Cash Deposit be returned as stipulated below:
A. Assignment - The selling property owner may designate in writing to the City that the property owner is assigning the Cash Deposit previously submitted to the City, to the new property owner and that the benefit of the Cash Deposit, including its refund may be made to the new property owner.
Such written designation shall also include a signed statement from the new property owner indicating that the new property owner has received a copy of the approved Plan and agree to comply with it, unless the new property owner submits and receives approval for a revised Comprehensive Sign Plan.
B. Refund - The selling property owner may request a refund of the Cash Deposit previously submitted to the City. Such request must be made in writing and identify the name, address and contact information of the new property owner. In order for the refund to be issued, the Cash Deposit must still be in place (not forfeited by non-compliance), the site must be in compliance with the approved Plan at the time of refund, and a new Cash Deposit be provided to the City by the new property owner. The new property owner shall also include a signed statement from the new property owner indicating that the new property owner has received a copy of the approved Plan and agrees to comply with it, unless the new property owner submits and receives approval for a revised Comprehensive Sign Plan.
(h) Non-Compliance with Approved Plan - In the event that property owner and/or any of the tenants at the property fail to comply with the provisions of the Comprehensive Sign Plan, the City shall take any or all of the following actions against the property owner of the subject property.
(1) The City will issue not more than one (1) written warning per calendar year advising that the property is in violation of the approved Comprehensive Sign Plan and that they have seven (7) calendar days from the date of the letter to resolve the violation.
(2) In the event that the property owner does not comply with the written warning provided in subsection (h)(1) above, or is found to have more than one (1) violation per calendar year (resolved or unresolved), or is found to have more than three (3) violations during the approved Plan period (resolved or unresolved), the Cash Deposit will be forfeited to the City. The forfeiture will be noted through a written notice from the City to the property owner sent by Certified Mail documenting the incidents of non-compliance. The property owner may appeal such notice within seven (7) calendar days by filing a written application with the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals using the standard zoning appeal process provided in Chapter 1109 . In the event that no appeal is filed and/or an appeal is unsuccessful, the City shall deposit the forfeited funds in the appropriate City account.
(3) In the event of noncompliance as described by subsection (h)(2) above, the Planning Commission, upon the request of the Community Development Department, may consider the revocation of the Comprehensive Sign Plan and Conditional Zoning Permit under which it was approved in accordance with Section 1107.08.
In the event that the approval of the Plan is subsequently revoked due to non-compliance, the property owner shall have thirty (30) calendar days to remove the signage from the property or submit a new application for a Comprehensive Signage Plan.
(4) Any other penalties provided for within the Kent Codified Ordinances, including penalties for civil infractions as set forth in Section 501.13 of the Kent Codified Ordinances.
(Ord. 2013-83. Passed 8-21-13.)