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(A) Permitted locations. All signs shall comply with the following standards.
(1) Public property. Signs may only be placed on public property by a government agency or as authorized by this section. Any sign placed on public property without authorization may be removed without notice.
(2) Private property. Signs may only be placed on private property with prior consent of the property owner and, if applicable, pursuant to an approved building permit issued by the Zoning Administrator.
(B) Prohibited locations. All signs shall comply with the following standards.
(1) A minimum, clear-sight distance at all intersections shall be in accordance with provisions for a vision triangle, as defined in § 156.003 the Zoning Ordinance. Signs found to otherwise be a visual obstruction by the Zoning Administrator shall be removed.
(2) Signs shall not block or interfere with building features necessary for safety or convenient ingress or egress, including doors, windows, fire escapes or required exit-ways.
(3) A sign mounted on the exterior of a building shall not conceal any windows, doors or unique architectural features. This standard does not apply to window signs.
(4) Signs may not be in or over public rights-of-way, except:
(a) Traffic-control signs installed by a governmental entity or required to be installed by a governmental entity.
(b) Signs posted by governmental entities that support an event or emergency management, such as wayfinding to an event or disaster-relief locations.
(c) Banners posted by the city on utility or light poles.
(d) Signs constructed by the city or another governmental or quasi-governmental entity pursuant to terms and conditions set forth in an approved intergovernmental agreement with the city.
(5) Signs may not be located within easements for overhead utilities . Placement in other utility easement areas is allowed only if approved by the utility service provider, and if the other applicable requirements of the city are met.
(6) Otherwise-properly-permitted and approved projecting or awning signs.
(C) Prohibited design elements. The following elements shall not be used as an element of signs or sign structures, whether temporary or permanent:
(1) Flashing lights;
(2) Motor vehicles, unless:
(a) The vehicles are functional, used as motor vehicles, and have current registration and tags;
(b) The display of signage is incidental to the motor vehicle use; and
(c) The motor vehicle is properly parked in a marked parking space or is parked behind the principal building;
(3) Semi-trailers or portable storage units, unless:
(a) The trailers, containers or portable storage units are functional, used for their primary storage purpose, and, if subject to registration, have current registration and tags;
(b) The display of signage is incidental to the use for temporary storage, pick-up or delivery; and
(c) The semi-trailer is parked in a designated loading area or on a construction site at which it is being used for deliveries or storage;
(4) Sound-, smoke- or odor-emitters; and
(5) Spinning or moving parts.
(D) Prohibited content. The following content is prohibited without reference to the viewpoint of the individual source (the narrow classifications of content prohibited by this division are either not protected by the United States or Illinois Constitutions, or are offered limited protection that is outweighed by the substantial governmental interests in protecting the public safety and welfare):
(1) Text or graphics that present a clear and present danger due to their potential confusion with traffic control signs or signs that provide public safety information (for example, signs that use the words "Stop," "Yield," "Caution," or "Danger," or comparable words, phrases, symbols or characters in such a manner as to imply a safety hazard that does not exist);
(2) Text or graphics of an indecent or immoral nature harmful to minors;
(3) Text or graphics that advertise unlawful activity; or
(4) Text or graphics that are obscene, fighting words, defamation, incitement to imminent lawless action, or true threats.
(E) Lights. A light band of a single string of bulbs or row of tubes that runs around the perimeter of a building or canopy is not considered as a sign.
(F) Signs permitted before effective date. If a permit for a sign has been issued in accordance with all city ordinances in effect prior to the effective date of this chapter, and provided that sign construction is begun within three months of the effective date of this chapter and diligently pursued to completion, the sign may be completed in accordance with the approved plans for which the permit has been issued. The sign shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter regarding nonconforming structures (§ 155.10(E)).
(G) Number of signs. For the purpose of determining the number of signs, a sign shall be considered to be a single display surface or display containing elements organized, related and composed to form a unit. Where an element is displayed in a random manner without an organized relationship to elements, or where there is reasonable doubt as to the relationship of elements, each element shall be considered to be a single sign.
(Ord. 21-020, passed 8-18-21) Penalty, see § 155.99