Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote and protect the public health, welfare, convenience, and safety by regulating existing and proposed advertising signs. It is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community.
(B) Definitions. For the purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ABANDONED SIGN. A sign which no longer identifies or advertises a bona fide business, lessor, service, owner, product, or activity, or for which no legal owner can be found.
AWNING/CANOPY SIGN. A sign that is painted on or attached to the vertical face of an awning or canopy.
AREA. Total area of the face that is used to display a sign and not including its supporting poles or structures. If a sign has two identical faces that are parallel and supported by the same poles or structures, only one face is counted. If a sign has two or more faces that are supported by the same poles or structures but are not parallel, the area of the sign is the total area of all faces.
BANNER. A sign made of fabric or other non-rigid material with no enclosing framework. A banner is not considered a permanent sign.
BILLBOARD. A sign which directs attention to a business, use, service, activity, commodity, or profession which is not conducted, sold, or offered as the same lot where such sign is located.
DIRECTIONAL OR INFORMATIONAL SIGN. A sign which provides special information such as entrance/exit, parking or the like.
DOUBLE FACED SIGN. A sign with two faces back to back.
FREE STANDING SIGN. A sign which is supported by one or more columns, or other type of base, in or upon the ground.
GROUND MOUNTED SIGN. A free standing sign, no more than five feet in height, that is attached to or part of a structure that is directly attached to or supported by the ground. Does not include pole mounted signs.
HISTORIC SIGN. A sign citing historic information for a particular location or structure.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN. A sign identifying the name or address of a building, institution, or person, or the activity or occupation being identified.
ILLEGAL SIGN. A sign which does not comply with the provisions of this chapter and which has not received legal nonconforming status.
ILLUMINATED SIGN. A sign with an artificial light source which is either internal or external to the sign structure.
INCIDENTAL SIGN. A sign that provides credit card information or hours of operation.
LOCAL AND COUNTY ELECTION.
(a) LOCAL ELECTION. In a public primary election, general election or special election, the electorate located within the voting districts of the City of Lawrenceburg Municipality, choosing by ballot, public officials seeking elected positions within the City of Lawrenceburg, or a public question lawfully submitted to the electorate of the City of Lawrenceburg.
(b) COUNTY ELECTION. In a public primary election, general election or special election, the electorate located within the voting districts of the County of Dearborn, State of Indiana, choosing by ballot, public officials seeking elected positions within the County of Dearborn, or a public question lawfully submitted to the electorate of the County of Dearborn.
MAINTENANCE. For the purposes of this section, the cleaning, repainting cracked or faded areas, or replacement of electric parts of a sign in a manner that does not alter the basic copy, design, or structure of the sign.
NONCONFORMING SIGN. A sign which was erected legally but which does not comply with subsequent erected sign regulations.
POLE MOUNTED SIGN. A sign mounted on a free-standing pole or other support so that the height of the sign is more than five feet in height.
POLITICAL SIGN. A sign which announces the candidacy of a person or slate of persons running for elective offices or a political party or issue.
PROJECTING SIGN. A sign which is suspended from, attached to, or supported by a building or structure and extending away from the building or structure.
REAL ESTATE SIGN. Any sign which advertises or announces the sale, rental, or lease of the premises upon which the sign is located.
SIGN. Any writing, pictorial representation, emblem, flag, or any other figures of similar character which is a structure or part thereof or is attached or in any manner represented on a building, structure, vehicle or vehicle trailer and is used to announce, direct attention to, or advertise and is visible from outside a building. The word SIGN includes the word “billboard” but does not include the flag, pennant or insignia of any nation, state, city or other political unit, or of any educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive, movement or event. Further, this definition shall not be held to include any board, sign or surface used to display any official notices issued by any court or public office or posted by a public officer in the performance of a public duty.
SIGN STRUCTURE. Any structure which supports, holds, has supported, or is capable of supporting a sign.
WALL/WINDOW MURAL. Art work painted directly on the exterior of a building/structure that depicts an artistic, historic or patriotic message. The artwork shall not include any advertising or a solicitation or identification component within the content or message.
WINDOW SIGN. A sign affixed to, displayed from, or installed inside a window for purposes of viewing from outside the premises. This does not include merchandise and other displays located in a window.
(C) General provisions.
(1) No sign shall be permitted in any district except as hereinafter provided.
(2) No building wall or roof shall be used for painted advertising, identification, or display purposes. Any existing painted wall or roof advertising or identification shall be discontinued and shall be painted over or otherwise completely removed when the message or display contained thereon becomes unreadable, obsolete, or no longer functional as advertising, identification, or display. Murals are exempt from this section and are permitted provided the applicant obtains zoning permit and satisfies the Historic Preservation Commission requirements.
(3) No building window shall be used for advertising or identification unless specifically permitted in this section.
(4) Existing signs which do not conform to the provisions of this section shall not be enlarged, extended, reconstructed, structurally altered, redesigned, or modified unless such activity brings the sign into conformance with these regulations and the activity is subsequent to the issuance of any required permit. Maintenance is permitted without bringing the sign into conformance.
(5) The use of nonconforming signs and structures shall cease when the message or display contained thereon is changed or becomes unreadable, obsolete, or no longer functional as advertising or identification, except that existing signs may be refaced in the existing sign area upon change of business tenant or owner in the B District/U.S. 50 corridor.
(6) No sign shall be placed in any public right-of-way except publicly owned signs, such as traffic control signs and directional signs. Signs located in the “LB” District shall maintain a five feet setback and signs located in all other districts shall maintain a ten foot setback unless otherwise stated in this code.
(7) Ground mounted signs shall, where the terrain allows, be landscaped as required by § 154.39 Landscaping; Buffering; Screening.
(8) No sign in any district shall flash, rotate, fluctuate in lighting, or allow any motion to any of its parts except any municipally-owned community message board or such a sign which is located and approved for use in the Redevelopment Overlay District. No sign in any district shall be permitted which has been modified from once having wheels or a changeable reader board unless provided for in this chapter. Vehicle signs may not be parked in the city for longer than two hours in any 24 hour period in a location which is visible from a street or highway except if routinely used in commerce to transport products, materials or people.
(D) Residential signs. Residential signs, other than for multi family developments, may be erected provided they adhere to the following:
(1) A sign showing only the name and address of the occupant of a residential structure which shall be no larger than 1.5 square feet. Color of sign must be approved by Plan Commission Staff. No illumination is permitted.
(2) A sign advertising a garage sale, yard sale, moving sale, or the like, provided it is no larger than six square feet in total area and is located on the premises of where the sale will take place. The signs may be erected for no more than three days and not within any public right-of-way.
(3) Directional signs for a garage sale, yard sale, moving sale, or the like no larger than six square feet may be used for direction. A directional sign shall be erected no more than 72 hours prior to the scheduled event and shall be removed by 9:00 p.m. the day of the event. Signs shall be erected on private property and only with the consent of the owner.
(4) Permanent subdivision signs. Permanent signs identifying a subdivision may be erected per the following:
(a) Each subdivision shall have no more than two such signs which must be located at the primary entrance(s) to the subdivision. The signs shall only include the name of the subdivision.
(b) The signs shall be free standing and ground mounted and be a part of a decorative structure made of wood, brick, stone or masonry with an overall design compatible with the character of the neighborhood.
(c) Each sign shall be no larger than 25 square feet per side nor higher than five feet. If in an island at the entrance, the island’s specific location shall be such that when the sign and requisite landscaping are installed visibility will not be compromised relative to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
(d) The signs may be externally illuminated provided the light source is designed, located and installed in such a way that there is no glare on public streets or neighboring premises.
(e) Provisions shall be made in the subdivision covenants for permanent maintenance of the sign and of the surrounding land area, even if such area has been dedicated to public use. If not properly maintained, the city may remove it and its relocation made only with the approval of the Plan Commission.
(5) Temporary subdivision signs. Temporary subdivision signs shall be permitted provided they adhere to the following:
(a) No illumination.
(b) The sign identifies the sale or development of lots within a recorded subdivision. Proof of recording of the subdivision plat is required at time of sign permit application.
(c) The sign shall be located only on the property for sale or being developed.
(d) The sign shall not exceed five feet in height, have no more than two sides and a maximum of 32 square feet per side.
(e) There shall be no more than two such signs permitted and only one sign if there is only one entrance to the subdivision.
(f) The signs shall not be in any public right-of-way.
(g) Permits for such signs shall be valid for only one year. Reapplication for one additional year may occur.
(6) Multi family development signs. Permanent signs identifying a multi family development shall be permitted provided they adhere to the following:
(a) There shall be only one such sign per development.
(b) The sign shall be free standing and ground mounted and be a part of a decorative structure with an overall design compatible with the colors and materials used in the resident buildings.
(c) The signs shall be no larger than 25 square feet per side, nor higher than five feet, and located no closer than ten feet to any street right-of-way and provide landscaping in accordance with § 154.39 Landscaping; Buffering; Screening.
(d) The signs may be externally lit provided the light source is designed, located and installed in such a way that there is no glare on public streets or neighboring premises.
(7) Temporary residential construction signs.
(a) No illumination.
(b) There shall be only one sign on a project site and only on the property of that project.
(c) The sign shall not be in any public right-of-way.
(d) The permit for such sign shall be valid for 120 days or completion of project, whichever comes first.
(e) The sign shall not exceed 12 square feet per side.
(E) Business signs. Signs for the “B” and “LB” Districts permitted only when in compliance with the following:
(1) General regulations.
(a) The primary purpose of permanent signs is the identification of a business, office, or establishment and not to identify services provided by the business. Signage in excess of identifying the place of business should not be permitted except in a temporary manner.
(b) 1. The primary purpose of temporary signs is to advertise a sale, service, occurrence, or event that is limited in duration. Such signs shall be permitted for a period of ten calendar days per event and not to exceed 50 calender days per year. A grand opening sign shall be permitted for a period of 30 calendar days.
2. The use of flag type banners during business hours/hours of operation is permitted and exempt from the foregoing requirements. The use of flag type banners does not require a permit.
(c) Incidental signs shall not require a sign permit, provided the total area of such sign(s), for a single business does not exceed three square feet. The sign may not be illuminated.
(d) Temporary signs, banners and portable signs announcing or promoting community events and programs, sponsored by nonprofit, public, educational, religious and charitable organizations shall not require a permit and can be displayed by businesses in addition to the business’s permitted temporary signs. Other such signs or banners must be approved by the designated staff relative to placement within or over public streets or rights-of-way. The signs shall be permitted for a period not to exceed 20 days per calendar year.
(e) Balloons used for advertising and/or attention are also considered signage. This type of signage shall comply with all provisions of this section.
(f) Colors, materials and general sign design should be compatible with the buildings(s) and surroundings.
(g) Temporary construction sign:
1. No illumination.
2. There shall only be one sign on project site and only on the property of that project.
3. The sign shall not be in any public right-of-way.
4. Permit for the sign shall be valid for one year or completion of project, whichever comes first. Reapplication for one additional year may occur.
5. The sign shall not exceed 32 square feet per side.
6. Construction signs shall be professionally created.
(2) “B” District signs.
(a) Single occupancy buildings. Where a single business or office is the sole occupant of the building, the business or office shall be permitted the following signs with a total sign area of all such signs not to exceed 150 square feet for single street frontage and 250 square feet for multiple street frontages:
1. Single or double faced ground mounted or pole signs no higher than 20 feet in total height, no closer than ten feet to any street right-of-way and the sign is not to exceed 48 square feet of sign area per side on one street frontage only and/or;
2. Single faced wall mounted sign no higher than the gutter line of the building not to exceed 38 square feet of sign area or one square foot of sign per lineal feet of store frontage, whichever is greater;
3. Awning or canopy signed sign and only on the front vertical face of the awning not exceeding 20 square feet of sign area and/or;
4. Window signs that are proportionate to the window and that is placed not to exceed 20 square feet per sign, provided that there is a two feet border of clear window space provided around the sign.
5. Illuminated light strip not to exceed 20 square feet or one square foot of sign area per lineal feet of frontage, whichever is less, located only on the face of the building.
(b) Multiple occupancy buildings. Where there are multiple businesses or offices in a building, the businesses or offices shall be permitted the following signs with a total sign area of all such signs not to exceed 66 square feet.
1. Each business shall be permitted a wall sign not exceeding one square foot of sign area per linear feet of store frontage or 40 square feet of sign, whichever is greater and/or;
2. Awning or canopy sign not to exceed 26 square feet and placed only on the vertical face of the awning and/or;
3. Windows signs that are proportional to the window on which it is placed not to exceed 20 square feet per sign provided there is two feet of border of clear window space provided around the sign.
4. In addition to the above permitted signs, a single ground mounted or pole sign shall be permitted for multiple occupancy developments with the following allowances:
a. Project/development identification not to exceed 48 square feet.
b. Tenant identification not to exceed 16 square feet.
c. Total sign area not to exceed 140 square feet.
d. Total height of sign not to exceed 20 feet.
e. Sign can be located no closer than ten feet to any street right-of-way.
(3) “LB” District signs. Permitted signs in the “LB” District shall in their design take into account the smaller building and lot sizes as well as the historic character of the area.
(a) Single occupancy buildings. The regulations are the same as in the “B” District sign regulations, except that ground mounted signs shall be permitted to within five feet of a street right-of-way or one foot from the sidewalk, whichever is less.
(b) Multiple occupancy buildings. Individual businesses or offices when located in a multi tenant building shall be permitted as follows:
1. Wall mounted sign not exceeding 1.5 square feet of sign area per linear feet of store frontage, to a maximum of 30 square feet;
2. Awning or canopy sign, not exceeding 20 square feet and only on the vertical face of the awning;
3. Window signs that are proportional to the window in which it is placed, not exceeding 20 square feet per sign, provided that two feet border of clear window space is provided around the sign;
4. In addition to the above permitted signs, a single ground mounted or pole sign shall be permitted for multiple occupancy developments with the following allowances:
a. Project/development identification not to exceed 15 square feet.
b. Tenant identification not to exceed four square feet.
c. Total sign area not to exceed 35 square feet.
d. Total height of sign not to exceed 20 feet.
e. Sign can be located no closer than five feet to any street right-of-way or one foot behind the sidewalk, whichever is less.
5. Portable, stand up signs shall be permitted to be placed in front of businesses during business hours only. Only one sign is permitted per store front. Maximum size is two feet wide by three feet high. Sixty (60) inches of clear space shall be maintained on the sidewalk at all times. No permit necessary.
(4) Illumination. Business signs may be illuminated either internally or externally. In either case, the manner of illumination shall be designed so that glare does not travel onto adjoining premises or streets;
(5) (a) Temporary signs may be utilized, only after a permit has been issued, in the following instances:
2. Announcing the opening of a new business, or a business promotion.
(b) Temporary signs may be attached to a building or window or be a portable sandwich sign, located immediately in front of a store, provided it is no higher than four feet and three feet wide and does not impede pedestrian movement, and is secured to the ground to prevent movement of the sign. If attached to a building or window, the signs shall not be larger than 32 square feet or 30% of the window area. Within the “B” District, a potable four feet by eight feet sign shall be permitted. The applicant shall have no more than three signs per event. Each sign will constitute a separate permit.
(F) Billboards/off premises signs. Billboards/off premise signs shall be permitted subject to any applicable federal or state law and the following provisions.
(1) The signs are permitted in only the “A” and “B” Zoning Districts.
(2) The signs may be no closer than 1000 feet to another such sign.
(3) The signs may be no closer to the “R-1,” “LR-1,” “LR-2,” or “E” Districts or a location/ site listed on the National Register of Historic Places and/or Register of Indiana Historic Site and Historic Structures than 400 feet.
(4) The signs shall be constructed utilizing only one steel support post and have no more than two sides, back to back.
(5) The signs shall be setback from any street right-of-way a distance equal to the greatest front yard setback for principally permitted uses in the zoning district in which the sign is proposed or 100 feet, whichever is greater.
(6) The signs may be illuminated only from below the sign and the degree of illumination shall not exceed 125 foot candles.
(7) The signs may be no larger than 200 square feet in total sign area, have a sign face height of no more than ten feet, and a total sign height not exceeding 15 feet or 15 feet above road grade.
(8) Notwithstanding anything else provided in this chapter, no billboard/off premises sign permit may be issued and no off premises sign may be erected prior to the applicant for such permit surrendering to the Plan Commission of the city a permit for an existing billboard/off premises sign located in the city of an equal or greater face size and removing the off premises sign for which such permit is surrendered prior to commencing the erection of the billboard/off premises sign for which the replacement permit is issued.
(G) Real estate signs.
(a) For sale/for rent/for lease. A sign not exceeding 12 square feet in area, advertising the sale, rental, or lease of the premises on which the sign is located, shall be permitted on any property.
The sign shall not be located within any street right-of-way and shall be located only on the property for sale, rental, or lease.
(b) Open house/directional signs. Signs not exceeding 12 square feet in area may be used for direction to open houses only. An open house/directional sign shall be erected no more than 72 hours prior to the scheduled event and shall be removed by 9:00 p.m. the day of the event. Signs shall be erected on private property and only with the consent of the owner.
(c) Sold signs. A “sold” sign may be erected in place of the “for sale” sign as permitted herein. The sold sign shall be removed by the listing realtor within ten days after the date of closing.
(2) Commercial. For property other than residential, one commercial real estate sign not to exceed 32 square feet in area and located not closer than ten feet to any street right-of-way may be erected for a period of six months on the property to be sold, rented, or leased. Continuous rental or lease signs shall not be erected.
(H) Political signs. Political signs, not to exceed 16 square feet in area, shall be permitted in all zoning districts as follows:
(1) Political signs pertaining to the election of one or more persons to public office or to one or more public issues shall be erected not sooner than 45 days prior to the election.
(2) All signs shall be removed within five days following the election.
(3) Signs shall be placed only on private property and only with the permission of the property owner.
(4) Signs shall not be located in any public right-of-way, nor on any utility poles. On street parking is public right-of-way; therefore, vehicles advertising candidates are not permitted for more than two hours during any 24 hour period. Bumper stickers and/or magnetic signs placed on vehicles, less than two and one half square feet in size, are exempt.
(5) Each sign erected or placed can be no closer than six inches to any other sign.
(6) Content on approved billboard signs is not regulated by this commission. All local elections or political issues shall conform to the timeline presented in divisions (H)(1) and (2) of this section.
(I) Historic signs. Historic signs, not to exceed five square feet in area, shall be permitted in all zoning districts as follows:
(1) Historic signs shall be uniform in color, shape and material. Sign color, shape and material shall be approved by the Lawrenceburg Common Council.
(2) Historic signs may be free standing or wall mounted, not to exceed five feet in height.
(3) Historic signs shall require an Improvement Location Permit to be obtained but all fees shall be waived.
(4) Historic signs shall site historic information only. Advertising is strictly prohibited.
(Ord. 99-14, passed 12-20-99; Am. Ord. 10-2001, passed 10-15-01; Am. Ord. 26-2002, passed 11-18-02; Am. Ord. 16-2003, passed 11-17-03; Am. Ord. 6-2015, passed 6-1-15; Am. Ord. 17-2017, passed 12-18-17; Am. Ord. 7-2018, passed 5-21-18; Am. Ord. 7-2019, passed 5-20-19) Penalty, see § 154.19