§ 156.133   SIGNS.
   (A)   Short title. This section shall be known as the “Sign Regulations of the City of Monroe, North Carolina.”
   (B)   Purpose and intent. It is the purpose of this section to promote the public health, safety and general welfare through reasonable, consistent and non-discriminatory sign standards. The sign regulations in this section are not intended to censor speech or to regulate viewpoints, but instead are intended to regulate the secondary effects of speech and especially insofar as those secondary effects may adversely affect aesthetics and traffic and pedestrian safety. In order to preserve and enhance the City of Monroe as a desirable community in which to live and do business, a pleasing, visually attractive environment is of foremost importance. The regulation of signs within the City of Monroe is a highly contributive means by which to achieve this desired end. These sign regulations have been prepared with the intent of enhancing the visual environment of the City of Monroe and promoting its continued well-being.
   (C)   Prohibited signs. The following signs and sign-types are prohibited within the City of Monroe and shall not be erected. Any lawfully existing permanent sign or sign-type that is among the prohibited signs and sign-types listed below shall be deemed a nonconforming sign subject to the provisions of division (D) of this section, Nonconforming Signs.
      (1)   Signs prohibited by state or federal law.
      (2)   Signs that obstruct, conceal, hide or otherwise obscure from view any traffic control device sign.
      (3)   Signs that emit sound, vapor, smoke, odor, particles or gaseous matter.
      (4)   Abandoned signs.
      (5)   Revolving signs, flashing signs, and wind signs.
      (6)   Portable signs.
      (7)   Roof signs.
      (8)   Bus bench and bus shelter advertising signs.
      (9)   Prohibited vehicular signs.
      (10)   Any sign located on real property without the permission of the property owner.
      (11)   Billboards.
      (12)   Off premises signs. Any off premises sign that draws attention to or communicates information about a business, service, commodity, accommodation, attraction or other enterprise or activity that exists or is conducted, sold, offered, maintained or provided at a location other than the premises where the sign is located. This includes but not limited to signs in the right-of-way advertising or identifying new subdivisions, home builders, real estate agencies or the like. Off premises signs that meet the above criteria and are erected in violations of this chapter shall be subject to penalties set forth in § 156.133(N)(1). This does not apply to temporary community wide events banners (see § 156.133(S)(2)(c)).
      (13)   Signs within the sight visibility triangle. The standards for sight visibility at intersections are detailed in the City of Monroe Standard Detail Manual.
      (14)   Signs within the city landscaped areas.
      (15)   Any sign (other than governmental signs), banner or display placed on any curb, sidewalk, post, pole, hydrant, traffic control sign, bridge, tree, or other surface located on, over, or across and public street or right-of-way, or any banner, placed on stakes on a property, unless otherwise permitted.
   (D)   Nonconforming signs. A nonconforming sign that was lawfully erected may continue to be maintained until the nonconforming sign is substantially damaged or destroyed*. At such time that the nonconforming sign is substantially damaged or destroyed, the nonconforming sign must either (a) be removed or (b) be brought into conformity with this section and with any other applicable law or regulation.
   *Substantially damaged or destroyed means that (a) more than 50% of the upright supports of a sign structure are physically damaged such that normal repair practices of the sign industry would call for, in the case of wooden structures, replacement of the broken supports and, in the case of a metal sign structure, replacement of at least 25% of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted support, or (b) that more than 50% of a wall or attached sign is physically damaged such that normal repair practices of the sign industry would call for the same to be replaced or repaired.
   No person may engage in any activity that causes an increase in the extent of nonconformity of a nonconforming sign. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no nonconforming sign may be enlarged or altered in a manner so as to aggravate the nonconforming condition. A lawfully erected nonconforming pole sign may be improved; however, neither the area nor the height of the sign may be increased. An improved nonconforming pole sign is limited to 15 feet in height if located anywhere other than adjacent to Highway 74, and the sign area may be no greater than 60 square feet. An improved nonconforming pole sign that is located on or adjacent to Highway 74 must be in compliance with the chart below.
Permitted Sign Area and Height for Single Tenant Properties - Highway 74
Size of Property
(acres)
Allowable Sign Area
(square feet)
Maximum Height of Sign
(feet)
Size of Property
(acres)
Allowable Sign Area
(square feet)
Maximum Height of Sign
(feet)
Less than 1
60
20
1.00 to 1.99
70
20
2.00 to 2.99
70
20
3.00 to 3.99
80
20
4.00 to 4.99
90
25
5.00 to 5.99
100
25
6.00 to 6.99
100
25
More than 7
130
25
Permitted Sign Area and Height for Multi-Tenant Properties - Highway 74
 
Size of Property
(acres)
Allowable Sign Area
(square feet)
Maximum Height of Sign
(feet)
Less than 1
70
20
1.00 to 2.99
90
20
3.00 to 4.99
110
20
5.00 to 7.99
130
20
8.00 to 10.00
150
25
         All signs defined by this table shall be located a minimum of five feet from the edge of Highway 74 right-of-way.
   (E)   Exemptions. This section does not pertain to the following:
      (1)   A sign, other than a window sign located entirely inside the premises of a building or enclosed space;
      (2)   A sign on a car, other than an unlawful vehicle sign; or
      (3)   A statutory sign.
      (4)   Permanent city identification and wayfinding signs as authorized by the Monroe City Council.
   (F)   Building permits. It shall be unlawful for any person or business or the person in charge of the business to erect, construct, alter or maintain an outdoor advertising display sign, as defined in the North Carolina Building Code, without first obtaining a building permit from the city in accordance with the provisions of the North Carolina Building Code and applicable law. Permit fees shall be paid in accordance with the applicable city fee schedules. The requirement of a building permit under the North Carolina Building Code is separate and independent of the requirement for a sign permit under this section.
   (G)   Shielding of illumination for static and electronic changeable face signs. Illuminated signs, in addition to conforming to all other requirements of this section shall be held to the following: the illumination shall not be reflective or phosphorescent. No fluttering or flashing elements are permitted. Advertising messages or information shall remain in a fixed, static position for a minimum of five (5) seconds. The change sequence must be accomplished within an interval of two (2) seconds or less. The outdoor advertising sign shall have an automatic dimmer (factory set to the illumination intensities set below) and a photo cell sensor to adjust the illumination intensity or brilliance of the sign so that it shall not cause glare or impair the vision of motorists, and shall not interfere with any driver’s operation of a motor vehicle. The sign shall not exceed a maximum illumination of 7,500 nits (candelas per square meter) during daylight hours and a maximum illumination of 500 nits between dusk to dawn as measured from the sign’s face at maximum brightness. Any external illumination devices shall be effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of a street or highway, or any residential use.
   (H)   Substitution of noncommercial speech for commercial speech. Notwithstanding anything contained in this section or code to the contrary, any sign erected pursuant to the provisions of this section or code or otherwise lawfully existing with a commercial message may, at the option of the owner, contain a noncommercial message unrelated to the business located on the premises where the sign is erected. The noncommercial message may occupy the entire sign face or any portion thereof. The  sign  face  may  be  changed  from  commercial to noncommercial messages, or from one noncommercial message to another, as frequently as desired by the owner of the sign, provided that the sign is not a prohibited sign or sign-type.
   (I)   Content neutrality as to sign message (viewpoint). Notwithstanding anything in this section or code to the contrary, no sign or sign structure shall be subject to any limitation based upon the content (viewpoint) of the message contained on sign structure.
   (J)   Permit required.
      (1)   Allowed temporary and allowed permanent signs of the type described in division  (S)(1) of this section shall be exempt from sign permitting hereunder.
      (2)   No sign permit shall be issued for the erection of a prohibited sign.
      (3)   Unless exempt from permitting, no temporary or permanent sign shall be erected, altered, relocated, maintained or displayed until a sign permit is obtained and appropriate fee, if any, paid to the city.
      (4)   A sign lawfully erected with a permit may be repainted or have ordinary and customary repairs performed, including replacement of plastic or glass panels, without a new sign permit; however, if such sign is to be structurally altered in any manner, a new sign permit shall be required and the altered sign must meet all requirements of this section and this code.
   (K)   Sign permit application and issuance of sign permit.
      (1)   A sign permit application for a permanent sign shall be made upon a form provided by the city. The sign permit application is in addition to any building permit application required by the North Carolina Building Code. The sign permit application shall be accompanied by plans and specifications drawn to scale, together with any site plan required by this section or the code. The applicant shall furnish the following information on or with the sign permit application form:
         (a)   The project name for the proposed sign;
         (b)   The project address for the proposed sign;
         (c)   The tax map ID number;
         (d)   The zoning district for the real property on which the sign will be located;
         (e)   The name of the owner of the real property where the sign is to be located;
         (f)   The mailing address and telephone number (where available) of the owner(s) of the real property where the proposed sign is to be located;
         (g)   A statement of authorization signed by the owner(s) consenting to the placement of the proposed sign on the real property;
         (h)   The name of the sign contractor;
         (i)   The telephone number of the sign contractor;
         (j)   The value of the proposed sign; and the Schedule B License No. of the sign contractor (if applicable);
         (k)   The proposed sign type (e.g., attached sign, freestanding monument sign, and the like);
         (l)   The proposed sign height and width;
         (m)   The  proposed  sign  area  (square  footage)  and the computation of the square footage;
         (n)   Whether the proposed sign will be illuminated, and if an electronic changeable face sign - the maximum illumination for day and night;
         (o)   A site plan in triplicate showing the location of the proposed sign on the real property, the dimensions and height of the proposed sign, and showing the distances for all relevant spacing criteria for the proposed sign (e.g., the setbacks, the distances to other freestanding signs, and the like) and showing the materials to be used in the construction of the proposed sign;
         (p)   Signed and sealed drawings in triplicate by a design professional for a proposed sign that is subject to the North Carolina Building Code;
         (q)   All data and information required for a building permit under the North Carolina Building Code for the proposed sign;
         (r)   All information required by applicable electrical codes for any proposed sign that is to be illuminated or otherwise supplied with electric power, including the name, address, and license number of the electrical contractor;
         (s)   The full printed name of the applicant;
         (t)   The date of the application; and
         (u)   The legible signature of the applicant or its authorized representative if other than a natural person.
      (2)   An applicant shall deliver a sign permit application for a sign to the city’s Land Use Administrator or his or her designee, or such other person as may be designated by the city. The sign permit application shall be reviewed for a determination of whether the proposed sign meets the applicable requirements of this section and any applicable zoning law. The review of the sign permit application shall be completed within fifteen (15) calendar days, and the application shall be granted or denied within that time frame. In the event that no decision is rendered within fifteen (15) calendar days following submission, the applicant may appeal to the Board of Adjustment. Any appeal shall be heard and a decision rendered within the time frames specified in division (P) of this section or as otherwise set forth or provided for appeals.
   (L)   Sign area computation.
      (1)   Wall signs. The area of a sign shall be the entire area located within the smallest rectangle or combination of contiguous rectangles enclosing the extreme limits of writing, symbols, emblems, or other graphical elements. It also includes any frame of other material, color or condition that forms an integral part of the display and is used to differentiate the sign from the wall or surface on which it is located. This includes awnings and canopies.
 
      (2)   Double faced signs. If two sign faces are back-to-back and directionally oriented 180 degrees from each other, with three (3) feet or less of separation, the sign area shall be the sign area of the larger of the two (2) faces.
      (3)   “V” signs. For a sign that is designed and constructed in the form of a “V”, the sign area shall be calculated by using the area of only one side of such sign (the larger side if there is a size difference), so long as the angle of the “V” does not exceed forty-five (45) degrees and at no such point does the distance between the backs of such signs exceed ten (10) feet.
      (4)   Freestanding signs. The necessary supports, poles, pole covers, or uprights which support a sign shall not be included in determining sign area unless such supports, poles, pole covers, or uprights are designed in such a manner as to form an integral part of the sign display.
      (5)   Freestanding ground monument signs. The structural bases which support a sign shall be included in determining sign area and are considered as an integral part of the sign display. The monument base must be 80% of the entire width or lenth of the sign, it must be at least sixteen (16) inches above grade, and must be constructed of brick, stone or stucco.
 
   (M)   Fees.
      (1)   Sign permit fees. Every person making an initial application for a sign permit shall pay any required sign permit fee, if any, to the city at the time of the application. The fees are set forth in the City of Monroe adopted Fee Schedule.
      (2)   Building permit fees distinguished.  The sign permit fee, if any shall be separate and apart from any required fee for a building permit for the erection of a sign covered by the North Carolina Building Code.
      (3)   Enforcement of this article. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the city from taking appropriate legal action, including the filing of legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, to enforce this section. The requirements of this section are not exclusive, and the city shall be entitled to impose any authorized and lawful delinquency penalty and also seek a remedy from a court of competent jurisdiction at one and the same time, if it so chooses.
   (N)   Citations.
      (1)   Civil citations. Any off-premises sign detailed in § 156.133(C)(12), and erected or placed in any manner that is in violation of this chapter shall be subject to the follow citation rates:
         1st Notice:   $100.00 per sign
         2nd Notice:   $500.00 per sign
         3rd Notice:   $1,000.00 per sign
      (2)   All other illegal signs shall go through the civil citation process. Civil citations will be processed in accordance with Title I, Chapter 10, § 10.99 of the City of Monroe Code of Ordinances.
   (O)   Conditions.
      (1)   Duration of permit. If the work authorized under a sign permit has not been completed within six (6) months after the date of issuance, the permit shall becoine null and void and a new application for a sign permit shall be required.
      (2)   Maintenance of signs. All visible portions of a sign and its supporting structure shall be maintained in a safe condition, and neat appearance according to the following:
         (a)   If the sign is lighted, all lights shall be maintained in working order and functioning in a safe manner;
         (b)   If the sign is painted, the painted surface shall be kept in good condition; and
         (c)   Every sign shall be kept in such manner as to constitute a complete or whole sign.
      (3)   The area within ten (10) feet in all directions of any freestanding ground sign shall be kept free of all debris and all wild undergrowth more than five (5) inches in height.
      4)   Lawfully erected nonconforming signs may suffer only ordinary and customary repairs and maintenance. As provided in division (D) of this section, a lawfully-erected nonconforming sign shall not be structurally altered except in full conformance with this section.
   (P)   Appeals to the Board of Adjustment.
      (1)   Whenever it is alleged that there has been an error in any order, action, decision, determination, or requirement by an administrative official in the enforcement and application of any provision contained within this section or any other provision of this code pertaining to sign permits (including any allegation that an administrative official has failed to act within applicable time frames), the aggrieved party shall file a written appeal with the Board of Adjustment.
      (2)   The written appeal shall be filed with the city’s Planning Department within thirty (30) days of the date of the alleged error. The written appeal shall describe the alleged error and the applicable provisions of this section or the code pertaining to the administrative official’s order, action, decision, determination, requirement, or failure to act.
      (3)   The Board of Adjustment shall hold a hearing within thirty (30) days following receipt of the written appeal.
      (4)   The Board of Adjustment shall render a written decision within ten (10) days following the hearing.
   (Q)   Appellate decisions deemed final, subject to judicial review. The appellate decisions of the Board of Adjustment pursuant to this code shall be deemed final, subject to judicial review by the Superior Court of Union County by proceeding in the nature of certiorari.
   (R)   Unlawful cutting of trees or shrubs. No person may, for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the visibility of any sign, damage, trim, destroy, or remove any trees, shrubs, or other vegetation located:
      (1)   Within the right-of-way of any public street or road, unless the work is done pursuant to the express written authorization of the city or other agency having jurisdiction over the street;
      (2)   On property that is not under the ownership or control of the person doing or responsible for such work, unless the work is done pursuant to the express authorization of the person owning the property where such trees or shrubs are located; or
      (3)   In any area where such trees or shrubs are required to remain under a permit issued under this section.
   (S)   Zoning districts. The regulations in this section apply in every zoning district, except where otherwise specified or indicated.
      (1)   Permit exemptions (no permit needed). Sign permits are not required for signs and sign-types described and identified in this division.
         (a)   Street address signs.  For each parcel, residence or business, one street address sign may be displayed. For each residence, the street address sign shall not exceed three (3) square feet in sign area unless required by applicable law. For each business or parcel in nonresidential use, the street address sign shall not exceed six (6) square feet in sign area unless required by applicable law.
         (b)   Nameplate or occupant identification signs (attached). For each residence, business or other occupancy, one nameplate sign may be displayed. For residences the nameplate or occupant identification signs shall not exceed three (3) square feet in sign area. For any nonresidential use, the nameplate or occupant identification sign shall not exceed six (6) square feet in sign area.
         (c)   Non-commercial onsite directional signs. Non-commercial onsite directional signs, not exceeding three (3) square feet in sigh area, shall be allowed on each parcel. Directional signs shall be a maximum of three (3) feet in height.
         (d)   Non-commercial onsite parking space signs. Non-commercial onsite parking space number signs, not exceeding one (1) square foot of sign face per sign, shall be allowed on each parcel in noncommercial use having multiple parking spaces onsite. One such sign shall be allowed for each parking space.
         (e)   Free expression signs. For each parcel, one free expression sign not exceeding three (3) square feet in sign area may be displayed. The free expression sign may be displayed as an attached sign or as a freestanding sign; if displayed as a freestanding sign, the freestanding sign shall not exceed three (3) feet in height. A free expression sign is in addition to any other sign permitted under this section and is permitted in any zoning district. Only one such sign shall be permitted on each parcel. The sign must be located within six (6) feet of a building located on the lot or parcel; or if there is no building on the lot or parcel, the sign must be located at least fifteen (15) feet from any street.
         (f)   Election signs. For each parcel, one election sign for each candidate and each issue may be displayed. An election sign may be displayed as an attached sign or as a freestanding sign. On parcels that are in residential use, the election sign shall not exceed three (3) square feet in sign area; and, if the election sign is displayed as a freestanding sign on the parcel, the election sign shall not exceed four (4) feet in height. On parcels that are in nonresidential use, the election sign shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in sign area; and, if the election sign is displayed as a freestanding sign on the parcel, the election sign (i) shall be set back at least five (5) feet from all property lines and (ii) shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height. An election sign shall be removed within seven (7) calendar days following the election to which it pertains.
         (g)   Flagpoles. One flagpole is allowed for each parcel, except parcels greater than one-half acre in size shall be allowed up to three (3) flagpoles. Flagpoles in residential districts shall not exceed twenty-five (25) feet in height, and flagpoles in nonresidential districts shall not exceed thirty-five (35) feet in height.
         (h)   Flags. For each detached dwelling unit in a residential district, two (2) flags not greater than twenty-four (24) square feet in sign area (each) may be displayed. For each parcel in a multi-family residential district and in a nonresidential district, three (3) flags not greater than twenty-four (24) square feet in sign area (each) may be displayed.
         (i)   Attention flags. A maximum of one (1) flag per thirty (30) feet shall be permitted on each parcel. Such flags shall not be illuminated and shall be removed or replaced when conditions of deterioration including but not limited to fading, shredding, ripping, dirt and grime that cannot be cleaned, and torn or damaged grommets that cannot be repaired become apparent. Maximum size is ten square feet per flag. No commercial wording or symbols can be located on these flags.
         (j)   Warning signs and safety signs. Warning signs and safety signs, not exceeding three (3) square feet in sign area, shall be allowed in all districts.
         (k)   Machinery and equipment signs. Machinery and equipment signs shall be allowed in all districts.
         (l)   Incidental signs. Incidental signs shall be allowed in all nonresidential districts.
         (m)   Temporary construction signs. One temporary construction sign shall be allowed on each parcel. Temporary construction signs shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in sign area for residential properties, and sixty-four (64) square feet in sign area for nonresidential properties.
         (n)   Temporary real estate signs.
            1.   Number. For each parcel, one temporary real estate sign may be displayed on each parcel of land or part thereof that is for sale, lease, or rent; however, when more than one dwelling unit or nonresidential space on a parcel of land is for sale, lease, or rent, there may be one real estate sign for each such unit or space. For a parcel with dual street frontage or which have more than five hundred (500) linear feet of frontage, such parcels may have one additional temporary real estate sign per frontage or per five hundred (500) linear feet.
            2.   Size. Temporary real estate signs shall not exceed twelve (12) square feet in sign area for residential properties, and twenty (20) square feet in sign area for nonresidential properties.
            3.   Setback. Temporary real estate signs that are freestanding shall maintain a five (5) foot setback from property lines.
            4.   Duration. Temporary real estate signs shall be removed immediately upon the sale, lease or rent of the real estate that was offered for sale, lease, or rent.
         (o)   Temporary garage-yard sale signs. For each parcel with a lawful residential use, one temporary garage-yard sale sign may be displayed. A temporary garage-yard sale sign shall not exceed three (3) square feet in sign area. A temporary garage-yard sale sign may not be displayed for a period longer than three (3) days, four (4) times a year. A temporary garage-yard sale sign shall be removed within twenty-four (24) hours after the termination of the sale.
         (p)   Temporary window signs. One or more temporary window signs may be displayed. On parcels that are in residential use, the temporary window sign(s) shall not exceed an aggregate of three (3) square feet in sign area. On parcels that are in nonresidential use, the temporary window sign(s) shall not cover more than twenty-five percent (25%) of any window surface.
         (q)   Temporary employment signs. One temporary employee for hire sign/banner is allowed per parcel. The sign shall not exceed twelve (12) square feet and not be displayed for more than thirty (30) days.
         (r)   Sandwich board signs. One sandwich board sign is allowed per business. The sign must stay within six (6) feet of the building, and can only display during store hours. The maximum size is 8 square feet.
      (2)   Temporary signs - requiring a sign permit. The following temporary signs require a sign permit.
         (a)   Grand opening/coming soon signs. For each new business or business name change, one temporary coming soon sign, and one grand opening sign shall be permitted per street frontage. The signs shall not be up for more than thirty (30) days after the opening of the new business or the business name change. A temporary grand opening and coming soon sign shall not exceed twenty four (24) square feet in sign area. The grand opening and coming soon signs cannot be displayed at the same time.
         (b)   Advertising/special event signs. Temporary advertising and special event signs as approved by the Land Use Administrator, or his or her designee, as meeting the following content-neutral criteria:
            1.   Shall not exceed twenty four (24) square feet;
            2.   Shall not interfere with, obstruct the vision of or distract motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians;
            3.   Shall not be displayed for a time period longer than fifteen (15) days;
            4.   There shall be a minimum 30-day separation between a permit for the same parcel. Consistent with division (I) of this section, approval or disapproval shall not be based on the content of the message contained (i.e., the viewpoint expressed) on such signs; and
            5.   There shall be no more than one (1) temporary sign per parcel at one time.
         (c)   Off-premises major event banners.
The purpose this type of banner is to inform the public of major events, open to the public, with community-wide interest or regional significance. Major events may include, but are not limited to, religious, educational, charitable, civic, fraternal, or similar events. The banner is off-premises from the location of the major event. An off-premises major event banner differs from a temporary banner in that no advertising is permitted on the major event banner other than limited sponsorship. Major event banners may be located in any non-residential district, provided they meet the following requirements:
            1.   The total area of a temporary major event banners combined shall not exceed twenty four (24) square feet per establishment;
            2.   Banners shall not contain any advertising, however, up to 10% of the banner area may include the name of the major event sponsors or supporters, a description of the products, services or activities provided or engaged in by the sponsors or supporters, and recognized trademarks, logotypes or symbols customarily associated with the sponsors or supporters;
            3.   Banners shall be erected no sooner than seven (7) days before the major event and removed within two (2) days after the event;
            4.   No more than six (6) total banners for one event are allowed;
            5.   The permit number and duration shall be visible on the banner; and
            6.   Permission for each off premises banner must be obtained from the property owner.
         (d)   Feather banners (commercial). Banner-like flags (with a commercial message or symbol) shall be limited to two (2) for each parcel. They shall be posted for no longer than fifteen (15) days with a thirty (30) day separation between permits. The maximum square footage for these type banners/flags is twenty four (24) square feet.
   (T)   Residential zoning districts. In addition to the permanent and temporary signs and sign-types that are allowed pursuant to division (T), the following permanent and temporary signs are also allowed within the City’s residential districts. The permanent signs described below require a sign permit.
      (1)   Freestanding ground monument identification signs for neighborhood subdivisions, apartments, condos, and manufactured home parks.
         (a)   Maximum number. Two (2) per entrance road.
         (b)   Maximum surface area. Sixty (60) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Ten (10).
         (d)   Minimum setback. Five (5).
      (2)   Freestanding ground monument identifications signs for nursing homes, bed and breakfast inns, and similar uses.
         (a)   Maximum number. One (1).
         (b)   Maximum surface area. Twenty four (24) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Six (6) feet.
         (d)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right-of-way.
      (3)   Freestanding ground monument signs for churches, community centers, public buildings and similar uses.
         (a)   Maximum number. One (1).
         (b)   Maximum surface area. Thirty two (32) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Six (6) feet.
         (d)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right of way.
      (4)   Attached identification signs and bulletin boards for nonresidential uses.
         (a)   Maximum number. For a nonresidential use in a residential zoning district, one identification sign and one bulletin board shall be allowed if only one principal building is involved, and a third identification sign or bulletin board shall be allowed if the principal building is located on a through lot or has frontage on three or more streets. For each additional principal building, one identification sign or one bulletin board shall be allowed.
         (b)   Maximum surface area. For the first principal building, any allowed identification sign or bulletin board shall not exceed thirty (30) square feet in area. For each additional principal building, any allowed identification sign or bulletin board shall not exceed fifteen (15) square feet in area.
   (U)   Central Business District (CBD). In addition to the permanent and temporary signs and sign-types that are allowed pursuant to division (S) of this section, the following permanent signs are also allowed within the CBD Zoning District. The permanent signs described  and allowed below require a sign permit.
      (1)   Attached identification and attached on-premises signs:
         (a)   Permitted number of signs.
            1.   Attached/wall. One (1) per street frontage.
            2.   Canopy/awning signs. May be substituted for allowed attached/wall signs. No more than one (1) sign shall be allowed at a rate of one (1) sign per each ground level entrance or window.
            3.   Projecting. One (1) per facade.*
            4.   Suspending. One (1) per facade.*
            5.   Blade. One (1) per facade.*
            *Projecting, blade, suspending and blade signs shall not be used on the same facade.
         (b)   Maximum area.
            1.   Attached/wall signs. Total area of all signs shall not exceed area calculated at a rate of 1.0 square foot per linear foot of the facade not to exceed a total of thirty two (32) square feet per street frontage for single tenant buildings. Multi-tenant buildings shall not exceed a total of sixty four (64) square feet.
            2.   Canopy/awning signs. No more than 20% of the area of the awning face.
            3.   Projecting signs. Twelve (12) square feet.
            4.   Suspending signs. Three (3) square feet.
            5.   Blade signs. Twelve (12) square feet.
         (c)   Permitted illumination. Lit, and non-lit.
         (d)   Permitted location.
            1.   Attached. Signs shall be located on the building and shall not extend above the parapet of the building nor more than eighteen (18) inches from any building wall on marquee face provided that such sign shall not project more than six (6) inches into the street right-of-way unless it is at least ten (10) feet above street grade, in which case it may not extend more than eighteen (18) inches into the street right-of-way.
            2.   Projecting/suspending signs. No portion of a projecting or suspjending sign shall extend more than five (5) feet from the building wall or 2/3 of the width of the sidewalk measured from the building. The lowest portion of any sign shall be at least eight (8) feet above street grade.
            3.   Blade signs. Blade signs shall only be mounted on the wall area below the second floor. They shall not project more than four (4) feet from the facade of the building and no portion shall be lower than eight (8) feet above the level of the sidewalk or other public right-of-way.
   (V)   Office Transition District (OT). In addition to the permanent and temporary signs and sign-types that are allowed pursuant to division (S) of this section, the following permanent signs are also  allowed within the OT Zoning District. The permanent signs described and allowed below require a sign permit.
      (1)   Attached signs.
         (a)   Maximum number. No limit.
         (b)   Maximum aggregate surface area. Total area of all signs shall not exceed area calculated at a rate of 1.0 square foot per linear foot of the facade not to exceed a total of thirty two (32) square feet for single tenant buildings. Multi-tenant buildings shall not exceed a total of sixty four (64) square feet.
         (c)   Location. Attached signs (i) shall not extend above the parapet wall and (ii) shall not project more than six (6) inches into the street right-of-way unless it is at least ten (10) feet above street grade.
      (2)   Freestanding signs.
         (a)   Maximum number. One (1).
         (b)   Maximum surface area, single tenant building. Thirty-two (32) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Six (6) feet.
         (d)   Minimum spacing from another freestanding sign. Forty (40) feet.
         (e)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right of way.
      (3)   Freestanding ground monument signs.
         (a)   Maximum number. One (1).
         (b)   Maximum surface area, single tenant building. Forty (40) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum surface area, multi-tenant building. Fifty (50) square feet.
         (d)   Maximum height. Six (6) feet.
         (e)   Minimum spacing from another freestanding sign. Forty (40) feet.
         (f)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right of way.
   (W)   General Business District (GB) and Industrial District (G-I). in addition to the permanent and temporary signs and sign-types that are allowed pursuant to division (T) of this section, the following permanent signs are also allowed within the GB and GI Zoning Districts. The permanent signs described below require a sign permit.
      (1)   Attached signs.
         (a)   Maximum number. No limit.
         (b)   Maximum area. The maximum square footage of all signs on each facade is equal to a rate of 1.5 square feet per linear foot of the facade, not to exceed a total of one hundred twenty (120) square feet of signage per facade.
         (c)   Location. Attached signs shall not extend above the parapet wall and shall not project more than six (6) inches into the street right-of-way unless it is at least ten (10) feet above street grade.
      (2)   Freestanding ground monument signs - single tenants buildings.
         (a)   Maximum number. A maximum number of one (1) freestanding ground sign is allowed per parcel unless the parcel has frontage along more than one (1) publicly maintained street. If a property has frontage along more than one (1) publicly maintained street, a second freestanding ground sign will be permitted. If a second sign is placed, each sign must front a separate street and be at least two hundred (200) linear feet apart as measured using the shortest straight line distance.  Freestanding ground signs shall be a minimum of forty (40) feet from any other freestanding ground sign on adjoining properties.  In no case shall any parcel be entitled to more than two (2) freestanding ground signs.
         (b)   Maximum size. Sign area shall be calculated proportionally to the size of the property on which the sign is to be located. All properties up to one (1) acre in size, no sign shall exceed sixty (60) square feet. All properties over one (1) acre, area shall be calculated as follows: sixty (60) square feet for the first acre, then ten (10) square feet for each additional acre up to ten (10) acres. No sign shall in any case exceed one hundred fifty (150) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Twelve (12) feet.
         (d)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right of way.
      (3)   Freestanding ground monument signs - multi-tenant buildings.
         (a)   Maximum number. A maximum number of one (1) freestanding ground sign is allowed per building unless the parcel has frontage along more than one (1) publicly maintained street.  If a property has frontage along more than one (1) publicly maintained street, a second will be permitted. If a second sign is placed, each sign must front a separate street and be at least two hundred (200) linear feet apart as measured using the shortest straight line distance. Freestanding ground signs shall be a minimum of forty (40) feet from any other freestanding ground sign on adjoining properties. In no case shall any parcel be entitled to more than two (2) freestanding ground signs.
         (b)   Maximum size. Sign area shall be calculated proportionally to the size of the property on which the sign is to be located. For all properties up to one (1) acre in size, no sign shall exceed sixty five (65) square feet. All properties over one (1) acre, shall be calculated as follows: sixty five (65) square feet for the first acre, then fifteen (15) square feet for each additional acre up to ten (10) acres. No sign shall in any case exceed two hundred (200) square feet.
         (c)   Maximum height. Thirty (30) feet.
         (d)   Minimum setback. Five (5) feet from the right-of-way.
      (4)   Drive-through menu signs. For each parcel with a lawful use that utilizes a drive-through lane, three (3) drive-through menu signs shall be allowed for each drive-through lane. Each allowed drive-through menu sign may be either a freestanding monument sign or an attached sign, and shall not exceed forty (40) square feet in sign area and ten (10) feet in height. Drive-through menu signs shall be in addition to the freestanding and attached signage otherwise allowed pursuant to the other provisions herein.
      (5)   Electronic changeable face signs.
         (a)   Maximum size. Sign area shall be calculated proportionally to the size of the property on which the sign is to be located. For all properties up to one (1) acre in size, no sign shall exceed sixty (60) square feet.  For all properties over one (1) acre, area shall be calculated as follows: sixty (60) square feet for the first acre, then ten (10) square feet for each additional acre up to ten (10) acres. No sign shall in any case exceed one hundred fifty (150) square feet.
         (b)   Spacing of sign to residential districts and institutional uses. There shall be a minimum spacing of four hundred (400) feet between the electronic changeable face outdoor advertising sign and residential districts and institutional uses. Institutional uses include schools, religious facilities, health institutions, colleges and universities, vocational  schools, child care centers, government buildings, recreation centers, public parks, and civic, social and fraternal associations, or other similar uses. The distance shall be calculated as the shortest measurable distance between the nearest point of the sign to the edge of residential district or to the property line of the institutional use.
         (c)   Spacing to other electronic changeable face signs. There shall be a minimum spacing of one thousand (1,000) feet between an electronic changeable face outdoor advertising sign and any other electronic changeable face outdoor advertising street sign on the same side of the street.
   (X)   Transition rules. Any permit issued prior to the effective date of the adoption of the sign regulations that comprise this section shall remain valid only until the earlier of the following dates: (1) the date that the permit expires by its own terms or expired under the operation of the former ordinance; or (2) ninety (90) days after the effective date of the adoption of this section. Any sign unlawfully erected under the sign regulations in effect prior to the adoption of these sign regulations shall remain an unlawful sign and shall be deemed an unlawfully erected sign subject to all applicable penalties and remedies under the law.
   (Y)   Severability.
      (1)   Generally. If any part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section is declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, the declaration of such unconstitutionality shall not affect any other part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section.
      (2)   Severability where less speech results. Without diminishing or limiting in any way the declaration of severability set forth above, or elsewhere in this section, this code, or any adopting ordinance, if any part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section is declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, the declaration of such unconstitutionality shall not affect any other part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section, even if such severability would result in a situation where there would be less speech, whether by subjecting previously exempt signs to permitting or otherwise.
      (3)   Severability of provisions pertaining to prohibited signs. Without diminishing or limiting in any way the declaration of severability set forth above, or elsewhere in this section, this code, or any adopting ordinance, if any part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section or any other law is declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, the declaration of such unconstitutionality shall not affect any other part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section that pertains to prohibited signs, including specifically those signs and sign-types prohibited and not allowed under division (C) of this section.
      (4)   Severability of limitations and restrictions on billboards. If any part, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word of this section and/or any other code provisions and/or laws is declared invalid or unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, the declaration of such unconstitutionality shall not affect any limitation or restriction on billboards as contained in this section.
   (Z)   Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Properties that are located within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and zoned General Industrial (GI) with a retail sale farm equipment and supply use shall be allowed no more than three freestanding ground monument or pole signs per parcel. Said signage shall not exceed a combined cumulative total of 275 square feet and can be located along one street front with no distance separation requirements.
(Ord. O-2003-63, passed 12-16-03; Am. Ord. O-2004-18, passed 6-1-04; Am. Ord. O-2006-11, passed 4-4-06; Am. Ord. O-2007-01, passed 1-22- 07; Am. Ord. O-2009-18, passed 6- 2-09; Am. Ord. O-2010-11, passed 5-18-10; Am. Ord. O-2013-14, passed 4-16-13; Am. Ord. O-2013-32, passed 11-19-13; Am. Ord. 2016-18, passed 10-18-16)