For purposes of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   A-FRAME SIGN. A temporary sign normally supported by its own frame in a manner that usually forms an "A" when in use; also referred to as a SANDWICH or TENT SIGN.
   ABANDONED SIGN. A sign that pertains to a use, time or event which no longer exists or when the purpose for which the permit for the sign was approved has been fulfilled or no longer exists.
   ACCESSORY SIGN. Signs pertaining to the general use of a premises, such as signs prohibiting patrons without shirts or shoes, trespassing, hunting or swimming, unleashed dogs, and the like.
   ADDRESS SIGN. A type of sign displaying only one or more of the following:
      (1)   The name or names of any occupant;
      (2)   The street number and name; and
      (3)   Identification of a use or activity conducted on the premises.
   AWNING SIGN. A style of sign that is painted on, printed on, or attached flat against and parallel to the surface of an awning.
   BACKLIT SIGN. A sign with individual translucent back-lit letters silhouetted against an opaque surface.
   BOX SIGN.  A sign consisting of an enclosed box or cabinet with copy on one or more sides which encloses an integrated light source that can shine through the sides or face of the sign, which consists of a single transparent or translucent material such as a Plexiglas or lexan.
   BUILDING-MOUNTED SIGNS.  A method of display in which a sign is mounted on the vertical surface of a building, includes wall, projecting, and awning signs.
   CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN. A sign or portion thereof with characters, letters or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face of the sign.
   CHANNEL LETTER SIGN.  A sign consisting of individual letters with translucent faces, containing soft lighting elements inside each letter.
   CONSTRUCTION SIGN. A temporary on-premises sign identifying the name/nature of a project and the name and/or address of one or more of the following: contractor, subcontractor, architect, landscape architect, and engineer. Logos or illustrations may also be displayed.
   DIRECTIONAL SIGN. An on-premises sign indicating the direction of vehicle or pedestrian traffic or the location of parking, buildings, offices, entrances, activities or amenities, such as restrooms and public telephones. There are two types of directional signs:
      (1)   INTERNAL DIRECTIONAL SIGN. A directional sign designed to be read by a person already on the premises and used only to identify and locate an office, entrance, exit, telephone or similar place, service or route. Such signs may bear advertising.
      (2)   PERIMETER DIRECTIONAL SIGN. A directional sign designed to be read from the public right-of-way. Such signs may not bear any advertising.
   DIRECTORY SIGN. An on-premise sign in an office, research, or industrial park that identifies the names and locations of businesses within the park. Signs may include the name of the park or project, the name and location of each business and/or a map of the park. The primary purpose of such signs shall be to indicate the route to be followed to a specific business or place within the office, research, or industrial park.
   ENTRY SIGN. A sign located at the ingress/egress of a development such as an industrial, office, or research park, multifamily dwelling project, or residential subdivision. Such signs may display only the name and address of the development.
   EXEMPT SIGN. A sign which, under this subchapter, is expressly allowed to be displayed without issuance of a sign permit.
   FLASHING SIGN.  An illuminated sign which exhibits changes or variations in light intensity, color, direction, or animation. Excluded from this definition are illuminated signs on which the only variations in light intensity, color, direction, or animation are to display the date, time, and/or temperature.
   FOR SALE/RENT/LEASE SIGN. A sign advertising the availability of all or a portion of the premises for sale, rent or lease.
   FREE-STANDING SIGN.  A self-supporting sign not attached to any building, wall, or fence, but in a fixed location.
   GOVERNMENT SIGN.  Signs of every kind and nature erected by or on behalf of the United States of America, the State of Rhode Island and the Town of Middletown, relating to governmental regulatory activities or governmental activities conducted on the premises on which such sign is located, and including traffic controls, railroad crossing signs and legal notices and other such signs required by law.
   GRAND OPENING SIGN. A temporary sign announcing the opening or re-opening of a business.
   INCIDENTAL SIGN.  Signs indicating hours of operation, credit cards, business or professional affiliations.
   MEMORIAL SIGN. A memorial sign or tablet, or a sign indicating the name of a building or the date of its erection, which is not used for commercial or business advertisement.
   MONUMENT SIGN. A freestanding sign, the bottom of which is mounted directly on the ground or on an enclosed structural base with no visible poles supporting the structure.
   NON-CONFORMING SIGN. A sign lawfully existing when the sign ordinance was adopted or amended.
   OFF-PREMISES SIGN. Any sign not on the premises of the business or activity to which it relates.
   PAINTED WALL SIGN (MURAL). A work of art or painting that is applied to and made an integral part of an exterior wall. A mural shall be considered a wall sign if it contains words, logos, trademarks or graphic representations of any person, product or service that identify or advertise a business.
   PERMANENT SIGN. Any sign permanently affixed to a building or the ground that relates directly to the use of the building or lot.
   PLAZA SIGN. A group of signs clustered together in a single structure or compositional unit used to advertise multiple occupants of the same building or building complex. Such signs are generally designed and constructed with provision to allow changes of occupancy without major alterations of the entire sign.
   POLE SIGN. A sign which is supported by one or more poles, uprights or braces in or upon the ground, which are not a part of a building.
   POLITICAL SIGN. A temporary sign announcing candidates seeking public office, a political issue, or a sign containing other election information.
   PORTABLE SIGN. A sign capable of being readily moved or relocated, including signs mounted on a chassis and wheels, or supported by legs. Examples of portable signs are A-frame signs, gasoline price-per-gallon signs, trailer signs, and temporary announcement signs.
   POST SIGN. A pole sign which is supported by two poles, one on each side of the sign.
   PROJECTING SIGN. A sign affixed to a structure or other thing which extends more than six inches beyond the surface to which it is affixed perpendicular to a wall surface.
   ROOF-MOUNTED SIGN. A sign placed upon the roof of any building, or erected on a framework supported by the roof of a building, except such signs which are an integral part of the construction or architecture of a building.
   SEASONAL SIGN.  A sign promoting a business for a single season during a calendar year, such as summer or the winter holidays. Such sign shall be installed on the parcel on which the business is located, and in accordance with the provisions of § 1211.
   SIGN.  Any permanent or temporary display of one or more letters, words, pictures, graphics, logos, colors, or lights visible from public ways or places, whether freestanding or attached to or displayed upon a structure or any other thing, which is intended to convey a message, except for:
      (1)   Pavement markings or driveway directional arrows painted on the ground which contain no advertising; and
      (2)   Window displays, including price tags, product descriptions and other information which, in view of their scale and position, are primarily directed to pedestrians and not to vehicle occupants.
   SPECIAL EVENT SIGN.  A sign advertising a special event as defined in Middletown Code § 100.02, or directing patrons to a parking site for such an event.
   TEMPORARY SIGN. A sign which is intended to be displayed for a limited or finite period of time and which is not permanently installed or erected.
   TRAILER SIGN. A sign which is mounted or placed on a vehicle, including self-propelled and towed vehicles, that is principally used for advertising purposes. The principal use of the vehicle shall be deemed to be for advertising purposes if it is so placed or used as to be observable by the public for substantial periods of time on a regular basis while not engaged in any non-advertising function.
   WALL-MOUNTED SIGN (WALL SIGN). A sign erected against, displayed upon or attached parallel to the wall of any structure or to a fence, screen or freestanding wall.
   WINDOW SIGN. Any sign visible from the exterior of a building which is painted on, affixed to, or suspended immediately in front of or behind or on a window.
   YARD or GARAGE SALE SIGN. A temporary sign announcing a yard or garage sale.
(Ord. passed 10-30-06; Am. Ord. 07-08, As Amended, passed 6-18-07; Am. Ord. 2012-1, passed 4-2-12)