The following regulations are applicable to all signs exempt from permitting in all zoning districts.
   (a)   Exempt Actions. The following actions shall not be considered to be creating a sign and shall not be required to have a sign permit, unless otherwise specified.
      (1)   Maintenance. Painting, repainting, cleaning, or other normal maintenance and repair of a sign or sign structure unless a structural change is involved.  The change of sign wording or a sign face is permitted; provided the sign frame and structure do not change.
      (2)   Re-lettering and Rewording Changeable Copy. The changing of advertising copy or message, either electronically or manually, on an approved or existing nonconforming sign, such as a theater marquee, manual or electronic changeable message signs and similar signs which are specifically designed for use of changeable copy.
   (b)   Exempt Signs.  Those signs listed in Table 1151.03 are allowed in addition to the permanent signs specified in Table 1151.03.  A sign permit shall not be required for the signs listed in Table 1151.03; provided, all other applicable requirements of this chapter are met.
Table 1151.03, Signs Exempt from Permitting
Type of Sign
Address Sign
Numeral height no greater than six (6) inches for residences and 18 inches for businesses and other nonresidential uses.
Barber Pole
The bottom of the barber pole shall be attached to the building wall and must be at least eight (8) feet from the ground or sidewalk, but the top must be lower than the height of the building. The barber pole must not extend more than 12" from the exterior face of the wall to which it is attached.
Business Identification Sign
An identification sign on or near (above or beside) a public entrance or service entrance to a business in a commercial or industrial zone is permitted; provided, the sign states only the street address number and name of the business or building.  It shall be mounted flush against the wall and shall not exceed three (3) sq. ft. in area.
Commercial Construction Sign
A sign which identifies the architects, engineers, contractors or other individuals and firms involved with the commercial construction project on the premises and/or identifying the project under construction. One (1) sign, not exceeding 48 square feet shall be permitted. The sign shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from any right-of-way line. The sign may be erected when a building permit is issued for construction and shall be removed within 30 days following issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the building or project to which the sign relates.
Damaged Signs (replacement)
A sign, erected under a legally obtained permit, which is subsequently damaged or destroyed by wind, weather, or other accidental event beyond the control of the applicant may be replaced or restored to its original size, shape, and location (as prior to the accident) without obtaining an additional permit; provided, the cost of repair or restoration is less than 30 percent of the cost of replacing the sign. Replacement of a damaged or destroyed sign with a new sign or different size or location from the original sign shall require a permit.
Device Sign   
Permanent signs on gas pumps, vending machines or ice containers indicating the contents of such devices; provided, the sign area of each device shall not exceed three (3) square feet in area and only one (1) sign is permitted per vending machine, gas pump or ice container.
Table 1151.03, Signs Exempt from Permitting (Cont.)
Type of Sign
Directional Sign
In order to facilitate traffic movement and minimize confusion, one (1) directional sign, not exceeding two (2) square feet in area and three (3) feet in height, is permitted at each driveway.  The sign shall be set back from the right-of-way line and edge of the driveway at least five (5) feet. Only words such as "enter," "exit," "one way," "do not enter," and similar traffic directions may be displayed, along with a logo or trademark up to one-third of the sign area, but not including a name or commercial message.
Flags or insignia of any nation, state, local government, community organization or educational institution or representing a public issue or political statement.
Historic Marker
Historical markers, including plaques or signs describing a property's designation as a historical site or structure, not exceeding two (2) square feet in area; provided, an officially designated state or federal historical marker shall not be subject to a size limitation.
Incidental Sign
Incidental signs, indicating acceptance of credit cards, location of restrooms, restrictions on smoking and restrictions on building entrances or describing business affiliations, not exceeding a total of two (2) square feet each.  Up to two signs (2) per business may be displayed attached to a permitted sign, exterior wall, building entrance, or window.
Integral Sign
Names of building, date of erection, monumental citations, commemorative tablets and the like when carved into stone, concrete or similar material or made of bronze, aluminum, or other permanent type construction and made an integral part of the structure.
Interior Sign
Any sign which is located completely within an enclosed building, and is not visible from outside the building or which is primarily directed at persons within the premises where the sign is located.
Murals not containing any words, logos, products or service representations, except for the artist's name may be permitted in any Business District, subject to approval of the design review board where applicable; provided, any mural that does contain words, logos, product or service representations shall be considered a wall sign and regulated as such.
A nameplate which shall not exceed two (2) square feet in area is permitted for each dwelling unit of a single-family, two-family or multi-family dwelling; identifying only the name and/or address of the occupant and/or approved home occupation.
Parking Signs
Signs for public access to parking shall be set back three (3) feet from the right-of-way and shall solely identify the availability of and access to a designated parking area. Signs shall be a maximum six (6) feet high and six (6) square feet in area. Such signs shall not obstruct the view of traffic entering or leaving the premises.
Table 1151.03, Signs Exempt from Permitting (Cont.)
Type of Sign
Political Sign
Rigid frame or wire frame yard signs not exceeding eight (8) square feet in area may be displayed within 60 days prior to any public vote and shall be removed within seven (7) days following the date of such vote.  There shall be no limit to the number of such signs.
Private Traffic Direction Signs
Signs directing interior traffic circulation within a premise shall be a maximum of three (3) feet high and six (6) square feet in area. Illumination shall be permitted in accordance with Section 1145.02(h)
Public Signs
Signs of a noncommercial nature and in the public interest erected by or on the order of the City of Lorain or other county, state or federal authority.
Religious Symbols
Religious symbols incorporated into the architecture on places of worship or structures owned and operated by religious organizations shall not be considered a sign unless accompanied by text.
Used in conjunction with a sports field owned by a governmental unit, school or bona fide sports organization, such as a little league or youth soccer.  The scoreboard shall be single sided and have a maximum height of twenty (20) feet to the top of the scoreboard and a maximum area of 100 square feet.  Any scoreboard exceeding these height or area dimensions shall require a permit and approval in accordance with the requirements of Sections 1145.07 and 1145.08.
Sign on Vehicle
Signs on a bus, truck, trailer, or other vehicle while operated and used for transport in the normal course of business or activity, provided that the primary use of the vehicle shall not be for the purpose of identifying or advertising a business.
Temporary Window Sign
The total area of all signs within one (1) foot of the window shall not obscure more than 25 percent of the window area.
Traffic Control Sign
Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, danger signs and such temporary emergency or non-advertising signs, or private traffic control signs which conform to the requirements of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and as may be approved by the Zoning Administrator.
Warning Sign
Publicly authorized warning signs, such as no trespassing, warning of electrical currents or animals, provided the sign does not exceed two (2) square feet in area.
Yard Sign, Rigid Frame Temporary
The signs shall not exceed a size of six (6) square feet in residential districts, nor  eight (8) square feet in commercial and industrial districts or on nonresidential properties in a mixed use or residential district.  The sign shall be setback a minimum of 10 feet from the street right-of-way line. No more than one (1) yard sign shall be displayed per street frontage, unless otherwise specifically permitted by this Ordinance.
Table 1151.03, Signs Exempt from Permitting (Cont.)
Type of Sign
Yard Sign, Wire Frame Temporary
The signs shall not exceed a size of four (4) square feet and shall not be placed in the right of way.  No more than one (1) yard sign shall be displayed per street frontage, unless otherwise specifically permitted by this Ordinance.
(Ord. 4-21.  Passed 1-4-21.)