§ 156.552  GENERAL PROVISIONS.
   The following general provisions shall apply to the regulation of signs in all zoning districts within the city. No sign shall be located, erected or maintained except in compliance with the provisions contained herein.
   (A)   Sign permit fees and requirements.
      (1)   Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, move or convert any sign in the city, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a sign permit for each such sign from the Zoning Administrator as required by this chapter.
      (2)   All signs that require a permit shall be required to pay a sign permit fee, which shall be set by resolution approved by the City Council.
      (3)   These directives shall not be construed to require any permit for a change of copy on any sign, nor for the repainting, cleaning and other normal maintenance or repair of a sign or sign structure for which a permit has previously been issued, so long as the sign or sign structure is not modified in any way.
      (4)   No new permit is required for signs which have permits and which conform with the requirements of this chapter on the date of its adoption unless and until the sign is altered or relocated.
      (5)   Upon proper application by the sign owner, the Zoning Administrator shall issue a permit for any conforming sign. Review and decision on an application shall not be unduly delayed. Except as authorized by this chapter or other law, a denial shall not be based on the sign’s content. The denial of a permit may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment, whose decision is subject to judicial review pursuant to I.A.C. § 414.15.
   (B)   Inspection; notice to remove non-conforming signs; action on failure to comply.
      (1)   If the Zoning Administrator finds a sign to be non-conforming, the Zoning Administrator shall cause notice in writing to be given the owner of the sign or the owner of the building to which it is attached to at once remove the sign.
      (2)   If such owner neglects or fails to comply therewith, the Building Official or Zoning Administrator may cause the sign to be removed and the expense thereof to be assessed against the owner of the building or sign and collected as other special taxes.
      (3)   Anyone violating any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to a fine that shall be set by resolution.
      (4)   Any fines issued or actions taken by the Zoning Administrator under this subsection may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment, whose decision is subject to judicial review pursuant to I.A.C. § 414.15. Removal of a sign shall be stayed during such appeal unless the sign presents a danger to public safety.
   (C)   Exemptions. The following signs are exempted from the permit requirements of this subchapter, unless specified elsewhere herein, but must be in compliance with all other applicable codes and ordinances:
      (1)   Address and nameplate signs, not exceeding one square foot in surface area, containing only the address of the premises upon which it is located and related non-commercial information;
      (2)   Signs installed pursuant to city permission at the South 6th Street softball complex and other city-owned sports complexes;
      (3)   Any sign located within a structure;
      (4)   Banners on utility poles in the public right-of-way approved by the Public Works Director;
      (5)   Directional/information signs displayed strictly for the direction, safety or convenience of the public, including signs which identify restrooms, telephones, danger areas, parking area entrances or exits, freight entrances or the like. Such signs shall not exceed six square feet in area and shall not exceed four feet in height. Directional signs shall be allowed off-premises on private property, with the written approval of the property owner, agent or authorized business representative where the sign is located, and within 750 feet of the property where the activity is taking place. Such signs shall only direct traffic to the property and not be used for commercial advertising purposes;
      (6)   Flags, not exceeding 15 square feet, but not including painted or printed images of flags otherwise constituting a sign;
      (7)   Ghost signs or rehabilitated ghost signs;
      (8)   Grave markers, statues or sculptures that are not commercial in nature;
      (9)   No trespassing signs less than four square feet;
      (10)   Plaques, tablets or names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any surface of when such sign is attached flush to the building or commemorative plaques or monuments placed by historical organizations;
      (11)   Public notices and other signs erected by government agencies or utilities;
      (12)   Safety and warning signs, such as warnings of high voltage, explosives, hazardous materials and other dangerous situations;
      (13)   Sandwich board signs on sidewalks in the Historic District(s) and TN Districts, so long as they were designed and originally built as sandwich boards and leaves an unobstructed pathway of at least four feet for pedestrians. The signs shall be no larger than eight square feet per side and no taller than five feet;
      (14)   Signs applied directly onto the body of a car, truck, bus, trailer or other vehicle if such vehicle is operated in the normal course of a business and such vehicle is not used primarily to display such sign;
      (15)   Signs and notices required to be displayed, maintained or posted by law or by any court or governmental order, rule or regulation;
      (16)   Window display signs;
      (17)   Temporary signs, subject to the following conditions:
         (a)   Signs advertising sale of premises. Signs advertising the sale of a premises must be non-illuminated, and must not exceed nine square feet in area and six feet in height. Not more than one such sign shall be permitted per street frontage (excluding open house signs). They may be placed on the premises for sale or lease or in the public right-of-way abutting the premises. Signs in the public right-of-way must be a minimum of six feet back from the street or back of curb and 20 feet from intersections. Signs should not be placed where they would cause a visual obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic. These signs shall be removed within 30 days of sale of the premises.
         (b)   Open house signs. Open house signs must meet the same size requirements as signs advertising the sale of a premises. Such signs may be placed in the public right-of-way abutting the premises for sale or lease and/or at another location, provided permission is obtained from the abutting property owner. Such signs are permitted for a maximum period of three days preceding the open house. The date and time of open house must be included on the open house sign. Other types of directional signs advertising property for sale are not permitted off premises (such as, directional arrows).
         (c)   Residential zoned development. Signs advertising the rental or lease of the premises or part of the premises on which the sign is displayed must be non-illuminated, must not exceed nine square feet in area and six feet in height. Such signs shall be removed within 30 days of lease of the premises or part of the premises on which sign is displayed. Such signs shall not be permitted in the public right-of-way.
         (d)   Commercial/industrial zoned development.  Signs advertising the architects, engineers, contractors, occupants or other individuals involved in the construction, reconstruction or remodeling of a building and/or development project or signs announcing the character and/or purpose of the site must be non-illuminated, and must not exceed 120 square feet in area and eight feet in height. These signs must observe a minimum setback of 15 feet. Such signs shall not be erected until building permits have been issued and shall be removed immediately upon project completion.
         (e)   Residential zoned development. Signs advertising the architects, engineers, contractors, occupants or other individuals involved in the construction, reconstruction, remodeling or financing of a building and/or development project shall be non-illuminated, and shall not to exceed nine square feet in area and six feet in height. Such signs shall be removed within 30 days of project completion.
         (f)   Sale of real estate in residential subdivision. One non-illuminated sign is permitted in any residential real estate development indicating real property for sale or rent, not larger than 120 square feet in area. In no case is any such sign to be located closer than 30 feet to any street line. In no case shall such sign be permitted after residences have been erected on 60% of the lots in the subdivision or after more than 60% of the lots have been sold.
         (g)   Sale of real estate in commercial subdivision. One non-illuminated sign is permitted in any commercial or industrial real estate development indicating real property for sale or rent, not larger than 120 square feet in area. In no case is any such sign to be located closer than 30 feet to any street line. In no case shall such a sign be permitted after more than 60% of the lots in the subdivision have been built upon or sold.
   (D)   Prohibited signs. The following signs are prohibited in all zoning districts within the city:
      (1)   Abandoned signs;
      (2)   Damaged or broken signs;
      (3)   Wall signs on single-family or duplex units, except the one wall sign not exceeding one square foot shall be permitted on each single-family dwelling or duplex unit;
      (4)   Flashing signs, including those illuminated by or containing flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights. This prohibition shall not apply to electronic message centers;
      (5)   Snipe signs or signs attached to trees, telephone poles, public benches, streetlights or placed on any public property or public right-of-way;
      (6)   Signs placed on vehicles or trailers, which are parked or located for the primary purpose of displaying said sign. Signs on vehicles or trailers must be parked on private property when not in use;
      (7)   Signs, which revolve or swing by using mechanical devices;
      (8)   Any sign emitting sound other than that normal for their internal operation;
      (9)   Any sign, which contains statements, words or pictures constituting an obscenity;
      (10)   In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be placed or directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance. All signs shall be screened from beaming on residential windows;
      (11)   No sign shall be erected so as to prevent free ingress to, or egress from, any door, window or any other exitway required by the Building Code or Fire Code of the city or by any other ordinance;
      (12)   No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving devices, except as specified herein;
      (13)   No sign shall simulate official, directional or warning signs erected or maintained by the city or by the state;
      (14)   No sign or advertising device shall be erected or maintained at the intersection of streets in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision of the intersection;
      (15)   No neon sign or other illuminated advertisement shall be of such color or located in such a manner as to diminish or detract in any way from the effectiveness of any traffic signal or similar safety or warning device;
      (16)   No building wall, pylon, or monument sign shall be used as an advertising sign, except as expressly provided in this chapter. However, subject to the provisions of this chapter, such signs may be used as accessory signs with respect to the premises where the sign is located;
      (17)   No sign or sign structure shall be placed on private or public property without the consent of the owner or authorized agent thereof;
      (18)   No new sign shall be placed on the roof of any building as of the date of this chapter; however, if damaged, existing roof signs may be rebuilt to the size, shape and design of the sign immediately prior to damage; and
      (19)   No sign shall be located in or over any public right-of-way, except as specified herein.
   (E)   Supplemental provisions.
      (1)   The construction, installation, erection, anchorage and maintenance of all signs shall be subject to the applicable codes and ordinances of the city.
      (2)   All signs and sign structures requiring electrical connections must meet all requirements set by the City Electrician and applicable codes and ordinances of the city.
      (3)   All signs and sign structures shall be erected and maintained in a safe condition. It shall be the responsibility of the sign owner or property owner to keep all signs thereon properly maintained.
      (4)   Signs not to exceed 12 square feet on bus shelters shall be allowed in any zoning district. All signs must be non-electrical. Only one sign/sign face per shelter shall be allowed.
      (5)   Banners solely on light or utility poles on private commercial or industrially-zoned property not exceeding 16.34 square feet shall be allowed with a sign permit.
   (F)   Non-conforming signs. Legally established signs, other than portable signs as herein defined, existing on the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the provisions of this subchapter shall be classified as legal non-conforming signs and be allowed to continue as such. No non-conforming sign shall be altered, reconstructed, enlarged, extended or relocated, except in compliance with the provisions of this subchapter. For purposes of this section only, the terms “altered” and “reconstructed” shall not include minor maintenance, minor repair, landscaping around the sign or the replacement of bulbs, changeable letters or figures or other embellishments if such changes do not increase the size of the sign or the degree of its non-conformance.
   (G)   Projecting signs. Projecting signs may be erected in commercial and industrial districts; provided that, such signs shall project no more than eight feet from the building to which attached; and, provided that, the minimum clearance from grade shall be nine feet above any pedestrian way and 17 feet above any vehicular way. Said signs may project into or over any public right-of-way; provided that, the sign projects not more than six feet into said right-of-way and is located not closer than two feet to the back of the curb. Any business that uses a projecting sign shall have one allowable wall sign size reduced by the total area of the projecting sign.
   (H)   Portable signs. Portable signs may be located in any commercial or industrial district on a temporary basis through issuance of a permit. Said portable sign permit shall have a fee set by resolution, approved by City Council. Such signs shall not exceed 50 square feet in area, shall not exceed six feet in height and shall not be located in any public right-of-way. One portable sign shall be permitted on any zoning lot for a period of not more than 60 days in any calendar year. Off-premises advertising is prohibited. Portable signs may not be adapted for use as permanent signs. All portable signs being displayed on the effective date of this chapter are subject to the above regulations and shall be removed within 30 days unless authorized in accordance with the provisions stated herein.
   (I)   Inflatable signs. Placement is limited to 60 days per calendar year.
   (J)   Advertising signs.
      (1)   Structures shall be limited to two faces per sign, shall not exceed 30 feet in height and shall have a total sign face area visible in any one direction of traffic not exceeding 300 square feet. Advertising structures shall be constructed of metal or other durable materials. Poles made of wood shall not be considered acceptable.
      (2)   The minimum distance between advertising signs shall be 500 feet when adjacent to Highway 30, and 300 feet on other streets, whether on the same side of a street or on opposite sides of a street.
      (3)   Advertising signs shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from Highways 14 and 30 and Iowa Avenue. Setbacks from other streets shall be 30 feet. Where any advertising sign is directly adjacent to lots with buildings, the setback shall be no less than the building structure, but no sign shall be required to have a setback greater than 50 feet.
      (4)   No advertising sign shall be permitted within 100 feet of any residential zoning district boundary.
      (5)   Advertising signs may be permitted in the following areas of the city: any M1 or M2 District, any commercial district adjacent to Highway 30 and Iowa Avenue, commercial districts adjacent to highway 14 south of Southridge Road, commercial districts north of Riverside Cemetery specifically on the west side of Highway 14.
   (K)   Electronic message centers. The following provisions apply to electronic message centers installed following the effective date of this code.
 
Audio or pyrotechnics
Not allowed
Brightness
Daytime: 10,000 nits
Nighttime: 1,000 nits
Color
No limit
Description
Moving pictures, with or without text
Dimmer control
Required
Minimum duration
1 second transition between static pictures
Orientation
Not within 100 feet of a dwelling
Other
No aggressive flashing or blinking
Setbacks
No limit
Size of electronic portion
Maximum 50 square feet/side
 
   (L)   Changeable copy signs. When combining a changeable copy sign with a pole sign or monument sign, the following standards shall be met. The changeable copy sign shall be integrated into other signage in a permanent manner, shall be placed directly below the commercial message sign or in a manner which looks integrated and natural, and both signs shall be facing the same direction and at the same angle. The total sign area of the changeable copy and the commercial message signs shall not exceed the allowable sign area, height, setback and all other requirements for the given district.
   (M)   Awnings and marquees.
      (1)   Any awning or marquee extending over any public street or thoroughfare shall be constructed by either the following methods:
         (a)   Constructed on steel beams projecting through the street wall of the structure or building and capable of supporting the weight of such canopy or marquee and an additional live load weight of 60 pounds per square foot; or
         (b)   Solidly anchored against the street wall of such building or structure on steel plates bolted through the wall and hung by rigid rods anchored through such street wall and attached to the extended portion of such canopy or marquee and capable of carrying the weight thereof and an additional live load weight of 60 pounds per square foot.
      (2)   Awnings, as defined in this subchapter, shall be attached to framework securely anchored to the street wall of the building or structure in a manner approved by the Building Commissioner and upon a permit issued by him or her.
      (3)   Any marquee or awning permitted to extend over any public street or thoroughfare shall conform to the following:
         (a)   It shall not extend in one section more than 25 feet along the line of the street.
         (b)   It shall provide a minimum clearance above the sidewalk of the lowest part thereof of not less than seven feet.
         (c)   It shall not extend beyond the street line nearer than 18 inches to a vertical extension of the curb line.
         (d)   The owner of any building or the lessee thereof constructing any marquee or awning from a street wall and extending over any portion of a public sidewalk or thoroughfare shall be liable for injury to any person using such public sidewalk underneath or adjacent to the canopy, marquee or awning resulting from any faulty construction, maintenance or dangerous condition of the marquee or awning and shall hold the city harmless for such injury.
   (N)   Wall signs. Wall sign requirements apply to all zoning districts. Signs shall only be allowed on two walls of a leased or owned space.
      (1)   Primary wall.
         (a)   The sum of all signage on the primary wall shall not exceed one and one-half square feet for every one linear foot of primary wall frontage length.
         (b)   In no event shall any wall sign extend beyond the width of the building or more than six feet above the top of the building wall or parapet.
         (c)   Buildings having a setback from the street of at least 150 feet will be permitted to have two square feet for every one linear foot of primary wall frontage length.
      (2)   Secondary wall. Signs shall be permitted on one secondary wall where the signage shall not exceed one-half square feet for every one linear foot of secondary wall frontage length.
   (O)   Freestanding signs. The following provisions for freestanding signs shall apply to the regulation of signs in the respective zoning districts within the city. Any letters ((a) and the like) refer to the notes following the table. Sign faces shall be only allowed on two sides of a freestanding sign. Three-sided and larger signs are not allowed. Provisions restricting the type of signs permitted in each district shall not apply to temporary signs.
 
District
Max. # per Lot
Max. Height
Max. Area
Min. Setback**
Spacing***
Min. Distance from R District
A-1
1
10 feet
48 square feet
0’
25’
NA
R District*
1
6 feet - monument sign only
48 square feet
10’
25’
NA
NC
1
10 feet - monument sign only
48 square feet
10’
25’
10’
ED
2
1) 20 feet
2) 6 feet - monument only
48 square feet
10’
25’
10’
TN
1
10 feet - monument sign only
48 square feet
10’
25’
10’
CBD
1
10 feet
48 square feet
0’
25’
NA
CC
1
Arterial: 30 feet
Others: 20 feet
Along arterial: 120 square feet
Other streets: 100 square feet
0’
50’
30’
GC
1
Arterial: 30 feet
Others: 20 feet
Along arterial: 120 square feet
Other streets: 100 square feet
0’
50’
30’
OP
1
10 feet - monument sign only
48 square feet
10’
25’
10’
RC
(a)
Arterial: 30 feet
Others: 25 feet
Monument: 10 feet
(a)
0’
50’
30’
PC
(b)
Arterial: 30 feet
Others: 20 feet
Monument: 10 feet
Along arterial: 120 square feet
Other streets: 100 square feet
0’
50’
30’
M1, M2
1
Arterial: 30 feet
Others: 20 feet
Along arterial: 150 square feet
Other streets: 120 square feet
0’
50’
30’
NOTES TO TABLE:
*Monument signs in residential subdivisions shall be allowed on private property when indicated and approved on a final plat.
*Monument signs shall be allowed when placed by the city depicting historic district(s) or other cultural points of interest.
*Signs shall only be placed on non-residential or multi-family buildings.
**Setbacks are measured from the property line.
***Spacing refers to the minimum distance allowable between signs.
 
Signs in the NC and TN Districts shall only be allowed on properties containing a commercial use or multi-family development.
a) Regional Commercial District.
1. Major sign. One freestanding sign of not more than 300 square feet and not exceeding 30 feet in height shall be permitted on that side of the RC Regional Commercial District that fronts on a major thoroughfare and is considered the main entrance, for the express purpose of identifying the shopping center and the business establishments included therein.
2. Secondary sign. One additional freestanding sign shall be permitted on a secondary frontage of the RC Regional Commercial District. If the property adjacent or across the street from the secondary frontage is a residential district, the secondary sign shall conform to the CC Community Commercial District regulations.
3. Monument sign. One additional monument sign shall be permitted in the RC Regional Commercial District on any street frontage. Such signs shall not exceed 48 square feet in area and 10 feet in height.
4. Out lot sign. One freestanding sign shall be permitted on any out lot in the RC Regional Commercial District. Such sign shall comply with the requirements of the CC Community Commercial District regulations.
b) Planned Commercial District.
1. Major sign. Each legal lot shall be allowed 1 main freestanding sign. One additional monument sign shall be permitted in the PC, Planned Commercial District on any street frontage if more than 100,000 square feet is being developed contiguously. Such signs shall not exceed 48 square feet in area and 10 feet in height.
KEY TO TABLE:
A-1      Agricultural Reserve District
R District   Includes R-1, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-4, R-5 and R-6 Residential Districts
NC      Neighborhood Commercial District
ED      Education District
TN      Traditional Neighborhood District
CBD      Central Business District
CC      Community Commercial District
GC      General Commercial District
OP      Office Park District
RC      Regional Commercial District
PC      Planned Commercial District
M1 and M2   Industrial Districts
 
   (P)   Historic district(s) signs.
      (1)   The purpose of this division (P) is to promote the educational, cultural and economic welfare of the public of the city by preserving and protecting historic structures, sites and neighborhoods which serve as visible reminders of the history and cultural heritage of the city, state or nation. Furthermore, it is the purpose of this section to strengthen the economy of the city by stabilizing and improving property values in historic areas, and to encourage new developments that will be harmonious with the existing historic buildings and squares. Lastly, it is the purpose of the chapter to foster civic pride and to enhance the attractiveness of the community to residents, potential residents and visitors.
      (2)   The following general provisions shall apply to the regulation of signs in historic district(s). No sign shall be located, erected or maintained, except in compliance with the regulations contained herein.
         (a)   Accessory signs in historic district(s) must meet regulations in the city’s historic district sign regulation packet included as an appendix to Ordinance 14871.
         (b)   If the Zoning Administrator determines that the proposed sign does not meet the requirements of the historic district sign regulations and the applicant may appeal the decision of the through application to the Board of Adjustment in accordance with §§ 156.620 through 156.626 of this chapter. The Board of Adjustment shall have no power to amend, change or limit the regulations contained in the historic district sign regulation packet.
         (c)   Signs installed in the absence of a permit shall be considered in violation of this subchapter and subject to the penalties set forth in § 156.999 of this chapter.
         (d)   No freestanding signs or electronic message center signs shall be allowed in historic district(s).
         (e)   Banners are allowed up to three days per month.
   (Q)   Highway 30 Sign Overlay District. The following provisions shall apply to the Highway 30 Overlay District whose boundaries are the full length of the city limits along both sides of Highway 30 including land within 150 feet of the property line adjacent to the Highway 30 right-of-way.
      (1)   No person shall develop, install, locate or construct any sign requiring a permit within the Highway 30 Overlay District, except as expressly authorized in this subchapter. The provisions of this division (R) shall apply in addition to any other zoning district regulations in which land may be classified and such lands may be used as permitted by such other districts.
      (2)   A maximum of four accessory signs per business, but not more than two freestanding signs per zoning lot shall be permitted as follows, regardless of the number of accessory and freestanding signs permitted in an underlying zoning district.
         (a)   One freestanding sign shall be permitted which meets the zoning requirements for the zoning district in which the land is located.
         (b)   One freestanding sign shall be permitted and shall be located in the Highway 30 Overlay District with a maximum sign height of 40 feet above the elevation of the centerline of Highway 30 at a point perpendicular to placement of the sign. Maximum sign square footage requirement is 150 square feet. The sign must be located within the overlay district and be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the property line adjacent to the Highway 30 right-of-way.
      (3)   Only one non-freestanding accessory sign may be placed on any one side of the building.
      (4)   The maximum signage for the zoning lot as established in the underlying zoning district continues to apply to property in the overlay district.
   (R)   Canopy signs.
      (1)   (a)   On two sides of a canopy with a length of 30 feet or less, each side may have a sign with square footage equal to one-half times the square feet of that side.
         (b)   On two sides of a canopy larger than 30 feet, each side may have a sign with square footage equal to one third times the square feet of that side.
      (2)   A third side may have a sign with the square footage equal to one-fourth times the square feet of the side.
      (3)   Signs shall not extend above or below the physical structure.
(Ord. 14871, passed 4-12-2010)