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(a) Definitions. All terms used in this chapter shall have the definitions provided in Chapter 1191.
(b) Applicability. No sign shall be permitted in any district except as provided in this chapter. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all signs of every nature, whether portable, freestanding or attached, except as otherwise provided, either specifically or by necessary implications.
(c) Basic Standards.
(1) All permanent signs must be of a professional character, must be erected by a qualified sign erector, and must comply with the provisions of this chapter. Homemade lettered signs shall not be permitted, whether or not a permit is required, except for wire frame temporary signs.
(2) Signs may be externally or internally illuminated, except as otherwise specified.
(3) Signs shall not detract from the appearance of the general neighborhood in which located or adversely affect property values in the neighborhood.
(4) Signs shall not constitute a traffic hazard or contribute to traffic problems through confusion with traffic control devices, interference with the field of vision of motorists using streets or driveways in the area, or by creating a visual distraction for motorists.
(d) Setbacks. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the following setback requirements shall apply to all signs:
(1) No part of a sign shall be located within fifteen (15) feet of a street right-of-way line, unless otherwise permitted; provided, signs attached to buildings which are located within fifteen (15) feet of a street right-of-way shall be exempt from this requirement.
(2) No part of any sign shall be located closer than one (1) foot from and adjoining lot line.
(3) No part of any sign shall be located closer than ten (10) feet from a residential zoning district.
(e) Clear Vision Triangle. Signs shall not be placed within a clear vision triangle, required by Section 1141.09.
(f) Signs in Public Right of Way. Signs shall not be placed in any public easement, right-of-way, utility easement, clear vision triangle, or no-build zone, except publicly owned signs, such as traffic control signs and City authorized directional signs.
(g) Official Public Signs Exempt. Public notices by governmental bodies, and other official signs and notices are exempt from the provisions of this section. The Zoning Administrator may authorize the erection of other signs reasonably necessary for the regulation of traffic and of parking areas on private property in nonresidential districts. Such signs shall relate only to traffic flow and safety. No such sign shall include advertising material nor shall it be larger than reasonably required for its purpose.
(h) Measurement. Signs shall not exceed the maximum sign area allowed for the district in which located. The sign area is to be expressed in square feet, computed to the nearest tenth of a square foot, and shall be calculated as follows:
(1) Area. The area of a sign shall be measured as the area within a single, continuous perimeter composed of any straight line geometric figure which encloses the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, logo or any other figure of similar character, together with any other material or color forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the background against which it is placed, excluding only the frame and the structure necessary to support the sign.
(2) Double-Faced sign. The area of a sign that has two (2) or more faces shall be measured by including the area of all sign faces, except if two (2) faces are placed back-to-back and are no more than three (3) feet apart at any point, the area of one face shall be counted toward the maximum size requirement. If the back-to-back faces are of unequal size, the larger of the sign faces shall be counted as the one (1) face.
(3) Wall Sign. For a sign consisting of individual letters and/or a graphic affixed directly onto a building without a border, the area of the sign shall be computed by measuring the area of the envelope required to enclose the lettering and graphic.
(4) Height. The height of a sign shall be measured as the vertical distance from the highest point of the sign to the finished grade of the ground or the average grade of the ground immediately beneath the sign, excluding any artificially constructed earthen berms.
(5) Multi-Tenant Buildings. For buildings with multiple tenants, the sign area for wall, projecting, canopy or awning signs shall be determined by taking that portion of the front wall of the building applicable to each tenant and computing the sign requirements for that portion of the total wall.
(i) Illumination and Movement. All illuminated signs shall meet the following requirements:
(1) Except as otherwise specifically permitted in this chapter, signs shall not contain any intermittent, moving, blinking, flashing, oscillating, scrolling, or fluttering lights or animated parts; nor shall any device be utilized which has a changing light intensity, brightness of color or give such illusion, except as specifically required for electronic changeable message signs.
(2) The light source for any externally illuminated sign shall not be directly visible from adjacent streets or property. Exposed neon-type tubing as part of any sign and/or on the building shall not be permitted except in the B-3, Downtown Business District. Backlight silhouetted halo letters shall be permitted, provided the light source is fully concealed.
(3) For all signs, the level of illumination emitted or reflected from a sign shall not be of intensity sufficient to constitute a demonstrable hazard to vehicular traffic or pedestrians on any right-of-way or parking lot from which the sign may be viewed. All illumination must be of reasonable intensity and shall not spill onto adjacent properties or rights-of-way. Signs adjacent to residential buildings and streets shall not be of such brightness to cause reasonable objection from adjacent residential districts or uses nor to spill light and glare onto adjacent residential properties and structures.
(4) Ground signs abutting a residential district or use shall be at least fifty (50) feet from the property line abutting the residential district or use.
(5) Signs illuminated by electricity or equipped in any way with electric devices or appliances shall conform, with respect to wiring and appliances, to provisions of the Building Code relating to electrical installations. All wiring, fittings and materials used in construction, connection and operation of electrically illuminated signs shall be in accordance with the provisions of the applicable electrical code followed by the City of Lorain.
(1) All wiring, fittings, and materials used in the construction, connection and operation of electrically illuminated signs shall be in accordance with the provisions of the City electrical code and approved by the Zoning Administrator. All electrical signs shall contain an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or a City approval label.
(2) All signs hung and erected shall be plainly marked with the name of the person, firm or corporation hanging or erecting the sign.
(3) Signs shall not closely resemble or approximate the shape, form and color of official traffic signs, signals and devices.
(4) No sign shall be so placed as to obstruct or interfere with a required doorway, other required means of ingress or egress, or traffic visibility.
(5) Signs shall be constructed to withstand a wind pressure as specified by the building code enforced by the City of Lorain and shall be otherwise fastened, suspended, or supported so not to be a menace to persons or property.
(6) No sign shall be attached to the standard of a ground sign, other than the display surface originally constructed as part of the sign. No sign shall be attached to or painted or otherwise displayed on a light standard, gasoline pump, fence, wall, post or other structure, or to any supporting device, except as specifically authorized in this chapter.
(Ord. 4-21. Passed 1-4-21.)