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(A) Sign permit. No person, firm or corporation shall construct or maintain a sign within the limits of the city, without having first obtained a permit from the Zoning Administrator, on forms provided by the city. Exemption: No permit is required for a temporary sign on residential properties in residential zoning districts as described in § 155.07(B).
(B) Permit issuance. Upon receipt of the complete application and payment of the requisite fee, the Zoning Administrator shall have seven calendar days to either issue or deny the sign permit.
(C) Appeal procedure. Any applicant may appeal a denial of the issuance of a sign permit by the Zoning Administrator by filing a written objection in keeping with the appeal procedures in § 156.121 of the Zoning Ordinance.
(D) Revocation of permit. The Zoning Administrator shall have the right to revoke all permits if the sign is altered or changed in any way, is not being maintained, or is a hazard, or if the sign permit was issued in error.
(E) Nonconforming signs. Any nonconforming sign lawfully in existence at the time of the adoption of this chapter that remains nonconforming, and any sign that becomes nonconforming upon the adoption of this chapter, or any subsequent amendments hereto, may be continued in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(1) Ordinary repairs and maintenance, including removal and replacing of the outer panels, shall be permitted; provided that no structural alteration or other work shall appreciably extend the normal life of the sign.
(2) No repair or alteration that increases the size of the sign shall be permitted.
(3) No sign shall be moved, in whole or in part, to any other location on the same or another lot, unless every portion of the sign is made to conform to all of the regulations of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the city.
(4) A nonconforming sign destroyed or damaged by fire or other casualty or act of God, to the extent that the cost of restoration to the condition in which it was before the occurrence shall exceed 50% of the replacement cost of the sign or of the entire graphic, shall not be restored unless it shall conform to all of the regulations of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the city.
(a) In the event such damage or destruction is less than 50% of the cost of restoration of the sign to the condition in which it was before the occurrence of damage or destruction, no repairs or reconstruction shall be made unless the restoration is started within 30 days from the date of the damage or destruction, and provided further that completion is accomplished within three months from the date of the damage or destruction.
(b) If the restoration is not started within 30 days from the date of the damage or destruction, and diligently pursued to completion, the sign shall be removed.
(5) If the name of the business changes, the nonconforming sign shall be discontinued.
(6) If a nonconforming sign or sign structure is discontinued through lack of use for signage or as signage for an active use, for a continuous period of one year, it shall not be renewed, and any subsequent sign shall conform to all the requirements of this chapter and other applicable regulations of the city.
(7) No substitution, through repair or alteration, of any element of a graphic for another such element, which causes the sign to be classified as nonconforming, shall be permitted.
(F) Sign permit fees.
(1) The fee for a sign permit shall be based upon the value of the sign as follows:
(a) Twenty-five dollars for a sign valued at $1,000 or less; plus
(b) Five dollars per each additional $1,000 valuation (includes installation cost); and
(c) Thirty dollars for electrical connections or wiring (if applicable).
(2) There shall be a permit fee of an amount of $25 ($10 for religious institutions, schools and community service organizations) for issuance of a required temporary sign.
(G) Variations. The Planning and Zoning Commission, or Zoning Administrator in the case of administrative variations, may grant a variance of the sign code as authorized below in this division.
(1) In no case shall a variance be granted that increases the number of signs.
(2) The Zoning Administrator shall have the ability to grant a variance to this chapter for sign dimensions (height, length, width, area) to an amount no greater than 20% of the corresponding dimension permitted in this chapter.
(3) The Planning and Zoning Commission shall have the ability to grant variances from this chapter to sign dimensions (height, length, width, and area).
(4) Procedure Variations to sign regulations may be granted in keeping with the procedures and standards for variations in the § 156.122 of the Zoning Ordinance.
(5) In addition to the standards for variations in § 156.122 of the Zoning Ordinance, the city shall consider the extent to which the sign is effectively visible from the adjacent right-of-way. Lack of visibility as may be caused by unique site conditions or requirements of this chapter may be considered a hardship as part of the city's consideration.
(a) Upon presentation for an administrative variation from the requirements of this chapter, the applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of $350, plus $50 for each additional variation requested at the same time.
(b) Upon presentation for a variation from this chapter administered by the PZC, the applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of $500, plus $50 for each additional variation requested at the same time.
(c) If an applicant is applying for the variation within 90 days of an administrative variation being denied for the same request, and all fees were paid in full for the administrative variation, then the fee charged is the cost of an PZC variation less the fee paid for the administrative variation, provided the scope of the variation has not expanded and no additional relief is requested.
(H) Amortization of nonconforming sidewalk signs. A sidewalk sign existing and in use at the time of adoption of this chapter that exceeds the size limitations by more six inches in height, width or depth, may continue to be used for one year from the passage of this chapter. After that time, that sign will be considered in violation of this section if the sign does not adhere to the guidelines.
(Ord. 21-020, passed 8-18-21) Penalty, see § 155.99