The following is a description of the sign review procedures for all signs requiring a permit through Administrative or Planning Commission approval. A permit is required to erect any sign, except temporary signs, in single-family districts, and no permit shall be issued until such sign has been reviewed according to the following:
   (a)   The Planning Commission, with the advice of the City Planner, shall have the responsibility to approve and authorize issuance of permits for the following signs found in compliance with this Chapter:
      (1)   Directional signs with logos, or emblems;
      (2)   Identification signs, including all freestanding signs and wall signs, changeable copy signs and dynamic displays; and
      (3)   Subdivision or project identification signs.
   (b)   The Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative shall have the responsibility to review and approve (or disapprove):
      (1)   Directional signs which have no logo or emblem;
      (2)   Construction signs;
      (3)   Instructional signs (in business and industrial districts); and
      (4)   Real estate signs (except for sale or rent of single-family homes or sublots);
      (5)   Temporary signs provided that the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative may refer the decision on any of the above signs to the Planning Commission for consideration if a determination is made that the sign, as proposed, is more appropriately the responsibility of the Planning Commission.
   (c)   All sign permits shall be issued by the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative.
   (d)   Application Requirements and Procedures. An application for a sign permit shall be made to the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative. The application shall include two (2) copies; one (1) copy depicting the actual colors of the building and sign(s) (either drawing or photo) with the second copy at 8-1/2" x 11" size and suitable for reproduction. The application shall present the sign(s) in a manner which best illustrates how the sign(s) will be experienced by the public after it is erected on the site. Specifically, the application shall include:
      (1)   A complete and scaled site plan showing the location of the sign and its relationship to the building, the site, the adjacent parcels, and parking lots, drives and sidewalks; and
      (2)   Detailed drawings showing the design of the sign, including size, color, design and other graphic features of the applied lettering and background, and materials of the signs, the frame and supporting structure.
   (e)   The Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative shall review the application submitted to assure that it complies with all applicable numerical standards and submission requirements of this chapter.
       (1)   If the application does not comply, it shall be disapproved and returned to the applicant with written notation indicating the sections with which the application does not comply; and
      (2)   When the request/proposal complies with the Code, then the application, as required by subsection (a) hereof, shall be:
         A.    Reviewed and approved by the Building Commissioner according to the provisions of this chapter; or
         B.   Referred to the Planning Commission for consideration.
   (f)   For signs requiring Planning Commission review, the application must be received by the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative according to an administratively approved timetable for submittal.
      (1)   If the sign application is disapproved by the Planning Commission, upon request of the applicant, the reasons for disapproval shall be conveyed to the applicant in writing within five (5) business days. Citing reasons for disapproval, the Commission may suggest modifications which, if incorporated by the applicant, could bring the sign into compliance with this chapter; and
      (2)    For multi-tenant buildings in business or industrial districts, the Planning Commission may approve with the development plans for new buildings, or at the time a specific sign request is made for a tenant identification sign in an existing building, basic sign parameters as to the location, size and style of each tenant sign and authorize the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative to specifically approve the subsequent individual tenant signs upon specific application when such proposed signs comply with the parameters established by the Commission.
   (g)   All sign applications may be subject to review by various City administrative departments. Any sign deemed to be a traffic hazard by either the Police Chief, the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative or Mayor shall be denied.
   (h)   Board of Building and Zoning Code Appeals.
      (1)   Disapproval of any sign application according to the provisions to this chapter may be appealed to the Board of Building and Zoning Code Appeals and subject to the review criteria set forth in Chapter 1135 of this Code.
   (i)   Violations. Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on the first offense, and a misdemeanor of the first degree on any subsequent offense. Each and every day during which such illegal placement continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
   (j)   Maintenance.
      (1)   The property owner is required to maintain the sign in a condition fit for the intended use and in good repair, and has a continuing obligation to comply with all Building and Zoning Code requirements;
      (2)   A sign in good repair shall be free of peeling or faded paint; shall not be stained, show uneven soiling or rust streaks; shall not have chipped, cracked, broken, bent letters, panels or framing; shall not otherwise show deterioration; and shall comply with all other applicable maintenance standards in the Codified Ordinances including, but not limited to, Chapter 1365. Violations of Chapter 1365 shall be enforced there under;
      (3)   If the sign is deemed by the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative to be in an unsafe condition, such sign shall be considered an unsafe structure and the criteria procedures and penalties of Chapter 1385 of the Codified Ordinances shall apply for the repair and removal of such sign; and
      (4)   Whenever any sign, either conforming or nonconforming to these regulations, is required to be removed for the purpose of repair, re-lettering or repainting, the same may be done without a permit, or any payment of fees, provided there is no alteration or enlargement to the structure or the mounting of the sign itself, and the sign is accessory to a legally permitted or nonconforming use.
   (k)   Alteration and Removal of Nonconforming Signs.
      (1)   Consistent with the purposes of this chapter, every graphic or other sign in violation of any provision of this chapter shall only be removed, altered or replaced so as to conform with the provisions of this chapter, and any sign which, on the effective date of this chapter or any amendments thereto, does not comply to the regulations herein shall be deemed a nonconformity. When the Planning Commission, upon adoption of these regulations, establishes sign standards for a building and by its action determines that existing signs are nonconforming the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative may be directed to issue a Certificate of Nonconforming Use to the property owner and affected tenants.
      (2)   Nonconforming signs shall be removed and any subsequent modification or replacement (excluding routine maintenance pursuant to subsection (i) hereof), shall conform to all requirements of this chapter:
         A.   When more than fifty percent (50%) of the value of the sign has been destroyed or been removed;
         B.   When the use for which the nonconforming sign is accessory, is vacant for ninety (90) consecutive days; and
         C.   Following five (5) years from the date of the adoption of this chapter, or five (5) years from the date of any amendment to this chapter, which made the sign nonconforming; unless a variance has been granted pursuant to subsection (h) hereof.
      (3)   A nonconforming sign shall not be altered, modified or reconstructed other than to comply with this chapter except to perform maintenance as identified in subsection (i) hereof.
   (l)   If the Building Inspector finds that any sign is unsafe or insecure, or is a menace to the public or is a traffic hazard or is being maintained in violation of the provisions of this Zoning Code, notice shall be given in writing by the Building Commissioner or his/her designated representative to the property owner. If the property owner fails to remove the sign or alter the structure so as to comply with the standards herein set forth within 48 hours after such notice, such sign may be removed by the City at the expense of the property owner. The Building Commissioner may cause any sign which is in immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
      (Ord. 96-2019. Passed 1-9-20.)