Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no sign shall be erected, moved, enlarged, improved or altered, nor shall any sign be established or changed in use, without an improvement location permit issued by the Plan Commission or its designated representative. Permits shall be issued in conformance with this chapter. The purpose of the sign regulations of this chapter is to promote the use of signs which enhance the visual environment of the town and to encourage the use of signs which are harmonious with their surroundings.
   (A)   All signs and their surrounding structures shall be kept in good repair. Any sign that advertises an abandoned business or use shall be removed by the owner of the property on which that sign is located. For purposes of this section, any business or use that ceases to exist or fails to open for business continuously for 60 days shall be deemed to be abandoned. With respect to signs that advertise only one abandoned business or use, all signs and structures related exclusively to those signs shall be removed. With respect to sign panels located on a structure shared by two or more businesses, only the panel(s) advertising the abandoned business must be removed. All signs advertising abandoned businesses or uses, as defined herein, shall be removed within 30 days of the date on which the business or use is deemed to be abandoned or, in other words, within 90 days of the date on which the business or use ceases.
   (B)   Two permanent freestanding subdivision or project identification ground signs shall be permitted at each entrance to a subdivision or other residential project that has been approved in accordance with Ch. 155 of this code of ordinances. Such signs shall be located on some portion of the subdivision or project property. The maximum sign face area of such a sign shall not exceed 40 square feet. If the sign is located on a fence or wall, only the area of the actual sign itself shall be calculated in determining the maximum sign area, not the fence or wall itself. No part of the sign face or the sign support structure of a ground sign shall be more than four feet above grade level, and earth mounding that is inconsistent with the ground level of the land surrounding the sign structure and that increases the elevation of the sign, shall be included in the measurement of the sign height. Such signs shall be located no closer than ten feet from the existing street right-of-way line and no closer than five feet from a side or rear property line. Such signs shall not be placed on utility easements or drainage easements as defined on recorded plats or site plans without the express consent of the Plan Commission. Such signs shall not be placed as to interfere with the sight path of vehicular traffic.
   (C)   No sign shall be erected or maintained at any location where by reason of its position, working size, shape, color or illumination it may obstruct, obscure, impair or interfere with the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic control devise, signal or sign.
   (D)   No part of any sign attached to the exterior wall of a building shall be erected to a height in excess of six feet above the roof line or parapet line of such building.
   (E)   No part of any free-standing sign shall be erected to a height greater than that specified for other structures in the district in which it is located; rooftop signs shall not extend more than 20 feet above the roof line, nor shall such sign be located closer to an exterior wall than a distance equal to the height such sign extends above the roof.
   (F)   The area of a sign shall be determined by the smallest circle, triangle or rectangle that can be used to enclose the sign, exclusive of supporting members that bear no message.
   (G)   (1)   No illuminated sign shall be permitted within 50 feet of any residential district or in the GB District, unless it is so designed that it does not reflect or shine light into said district.
      (2)   No illuminated sign shall create an unduly distracting or hazardous condition to motorists or pedestrians. No sign shall project beyond a lot line, obstruct a driver’s vision of the road or hinder his or her passage in any way. Further, no sign shall hinder or obstruct any pedestrian path.
      (3)   No illuminated sign shall shine directly or reflect glare into any dwelling, hospital, nursing or convalescent home.
      (4)   All sign illumination shall be indirect or interior. No exposed bulbs, neon tubing or fluorescent tubing shall be allowed, with the exception of automatic changing signs which display time, temperature or other general information and illuminated seasonal or holiday signs.
   (H)   Each permitted or required parking area that has a capacity of more than five cars shall be permitted one sign, not more than two square feet in area, designating each entrance or exit; and one sign, not more than 12 square feet in area, identifying or designating the conditions of use of such parking area for each 25 spaces.
   (I)   Signs established by, or by the order of any governmental agency shall be permitted.
   (J)   One sign, not more than 12 square feet in area, for construction and development, giving the name of the contractors, engineers or architects, shall be permitted, but only during the time that construction or development is actively under way.
(2004 Code, § 7-1400) (Ord. 1061, passed 10-1-2002; Ord. 1068, passed 9-30-2003; Ord. 2113, passed 10-6-2009) Penalty, see § 156.999