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(a) For the purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases defined in this section shall have the meaning respectively ascribed to them, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context.
(1) "Abandoned sign" means a sign which no longer correctly directs or exhorts any person, advertises a bona fide business, lessor, owner, product or activity conducted or product available on the premises where such sign is displayed.
(2) "Animation" means the usage of multiple frames running at a fast enough speed so the human eye perceives the content to be in continuous movement.
(3) "Animated sign" means any sign which includes animation, action or motion, but which term does not refer to flashing, changing, or indexing, all of which are separately defined.
(4) "Area of copy" means the entire area within a single, continuous perimeter composed of squares or rectangles, which enclose the extreme limits of the message, announcement or decoration on a fascia or wall sign.
(5) "Area of sign" means the area of all single faced signs as determined by this Chapter.
(6) "Awning" means a structure supported entirely from the exterior wall of a building and composed of nonrigid materials except for the supporting framework.
(7) "Awning sign" means signs applied to the primary face of an awni including sloped awning faces and vertical "box" awning faces.
(8) "Background area" means the entire area of a sign on which copy could be placed, as opposed to the copy when referred to in connection with fascia or wall signs.
(9) "Banner sign" means a temporary sign composed of lightweight material either enclosed or not enclosed in a rigid frame, secured or mounted either vertically or horizontally so as to allow movement of the sign caused by movement of the atmosphere.
(10) "Bench sign" means any sign painted on, located on, or attached to any part of the surface of a bench, seat, or chair placed on or adjacent to a public right-of-way.
(11) "Billboard". (See "state regulated off site sign".)
(12) "Blade sign" means a sign with either horizontal or vertical messaging oriented perpendicularly to the building façade and attached to the building using a bracket, armature, or other mounting device. The area of double-faced blade sign is calculated on one face of the sign only.
(13) "Building face or wall" means all window and wall area of a building in one plane or elevation.
(14) "Building frontage, facing or elevation" means the linear length of a building facing the right of way or the linear length of the right of way facing the building, whichever is smaller.
(15) "Cabinetsign" means a sign composed of a metal box containing the electrical equipment used to illuminate the sign covered by either a permanent or removable front containing the sign copy.
(16) "Canopy" means either or two types of canopy structures as follows:
B. Marquee or a permanent roof-like shelter extending from part or all of a building face and constructed of metal or other noncombustible material which may or may not extend over a public right of way.
(17) "Canopy fascia sign" means any sign attached to or constructed in or on the front or side face of a canopy and contained completely within that face.
(18) "Canvas blade" means a cloth or flexible material sign which is permanently attached to the building or structure and which is not limited by code for the time it is allowed to be displayed.
(19) "Changeable copy sign, manual" means a sign on which copy is changed manually in the field, i.e., reader boards with changeable letters or changeable pictorial panels.
(20) "Changing sign (automatic)" means a sign such as an electronically or electrically controlled message center or reader board, where different copy changes are shown on the same lamp bank.
(21) "Copy, permanent and temporary" means the wording on a sign surface either in permanent or removable letter form.
(22) "Electronic Messaging Center (EMC)" means a portion of a sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures, and images that can be electronically changed by remote or automatic means.
(23) "Embellishment" means letters, figures, characters, or representations in cut-outs or irregular forms or similar ornaments attached to or superimposed upon the sign.
(24) "Embellishment (decorative only)" means a purely decorative embellishment on a free-standing sign.
(25) "Erected" means attached, altered, built, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, or moved, but does not include copy changes on any sign.
(26) "Exempt signs" mean signs exempted from permit requirements.
(27) "Face of sign" means the entire area of a sign on which copy could be placed.
(28) "Fade" means a mode of message transition on an EMC accomplished by varying the light intensity, where the first message gradually reduces intensity to the point of not being legible and the subsequent message gradually increases intensity to the point of legibility.
(29) "Festoon sign" means a sign consisting of exposed incandescent light bulbs which are hung or strung overhead for the purpose of drawing attention to items on display and not on a building or structure.
(30) "Flashing sign" means any sign which contains an intermittent or flashing light source, or which includes the illusion of intermittent or flashing light by means of animation, or an externally-mounted intermittent light source. Automatic changing signs are classed as "changing signs" but not "flashing signs".
(31) "Flex blade bannersign" means a banner sign mounted on a single pole which is temporarily affixed to the ground.
(32) "Freeway or controlled access highway" means a highway in respect to which the owners of abutting lands have no right or easement of access to or from their abutting land, or in respect of which such owners have only limited or restricted right or easement of access. For purposes of this chapter, Interstate Route I-71, and State Route 562 (Norwood Lateral) shall be considered freeways or controlled access highways.
(33) "Frame effect" means a visual effect on an EMC applied to a single frame to attract the attention of the viewers.
(34) "Frontage" means the length of the property line of any one premise parallel to and along each public right of way it borders.
(35) "Grand projecting sign" means a tall, largely vertical oriented sign in excess of ten feet in height which projects from the building perpendicular to the façade and is structurally integrated into the building.
(36) "Ground level" means the grade level at the base of the sign structure or the grade level of the street, highway, or freeway to which the sign is oriented whichever is higher.
(37) "Height of sign, maximum" means the vertical distance measured from the ground level, which permits the greatest height point of such sign.
(38) "Height of sign, minimum" means the vertical distance measured from the ground level to the lower limit of such sign.
(39) "Illuminated sign" means any sign emanating light either by means of exposed tubing or lamps on its surface, or by means of illumination transmitted through the sign faces.
(40) "Indexing" means the turning and stopping action of the triangular vertical sections of a multi-prism sign designed to show three messages in the same area.
(41) "Indirectly illuminated sign" means any sign reflecting light from a source intentionally directed upon it, for example, by means of floodlights, gooseneck reflectors or externally mounted florescent light fixtures.
(42) "Individually mounted channel letter sign" means any sign made of self-contained letters mounted on the face of a building, top of a parapet, roof edge of a building, or on top of or below a marquee.
(43) "Inflatable sign" means a sign in which the sign is erected using forced air.
(44) "Interior property line" means property lines other than those fronting on street, road, or highway.
(45) "Lot" means a parcel of land which is an auditor's plat map for Hamilton County, a record survey map approved by Council resolution.
(46) "Maintain" means to permit a sign, structure or any part of each to continue or to repair or refurbish a sign, structure or any part of either.
(47) "Marquee" means a permanent roof-like shelter extending from part or all of the building face and constructed of metal or other noncombustible material which may or may not extend over a public right of way.
(48) "Marquee sign" means any sign attached to or constructed in or on a marquee.
(49) "Message" means the wording or copy on a sign.
(50) "Monument sign" shall mean a sign supported by two or more braces permanently affixed to the ground. Such sign may have manual or automatic changeable copy.
(51) "Multi-prism sign" means any sign made with a series of triangular vertical sections that turn and stop or index, to show three pictures or messages in the same area.
(52) "Nonconforming, legal" means any sign which was lawfully erected and maintained prior to such time as it came within the preview of this chapter as amended, and which fails to conform to all applicable regulations and restrictions of this chapter, or a nonconforming sign for which a special permit has been issued.
(53) "Outlining tubing sign" means an arrangement of exposed gaseous tubes that outline and call attention to certain features, such as individual letters, figures, shapes, or words.
(54) "Parapet or parapet wall" means that portion of a building wall that rises above the roof level.
(55) "Pole sign" means a sign cabinet supported by a single pole.
(56) "Portable sign" means signs such as a frames, sandwich-type signs, and sidewalk or curb signs, usually of a temporary nature, not securely anchored to the ground or to a building or structure and which obtains some or all of its structural stability with respect to wind or other normally applied forces by means of its geometry or character.
(57) "Raceway" means metal box running the length of a set of lighted letters, where all electrical wires and transformers are housed. All letters are connected together on the face of the raceway and the entire unit is mounted to the wall. This method of installing lighted letters minimizes wall penetrations and makes for easier service in the future.
(58) "Roof line" means the top edge of the roof or the top of the parapet, whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette.
(59) "Roof sign" means any sign erected, constructed, and maintained above a roof or on top of or above the parapet of a building.
(60) "Rotating sign" means any sign or portion of a sign which moves in a revolving or similar manner.
(61) "Scroll" means a mode of message transition on an EMC where the message appears to move vertically across the display surface.
(62) "Sign" means, for the purpose of this chapter, any fabricated sign or outdoor display structure, including its structure, consisting of any letter, figure, character, mark, point, plane, marquee sign, design, poster, pictorial, picture, stroke, stripe, line, trademark, reading matter, or illuminating device which is legible to the public at a distance of six feet, constructed, attached, erected, fastened, or manufactured in any manner whatsoever so that the same shall convey a message or be used for the attraction of the public to any place, subject, person, firm, corporation, public performance, article, machine, or merchandise.
(63) "Sign structure" means any structure which supports, has supported or is capable of supporting a sign, including decorative cover, but does not include a building to which the sign is attached.
(64) "Static message" means a message that contains static messages only, and does not have movement, or the appearance or optical illusion of movement during the static display period, or any part of the sign structure, design, or pictorial segment of the sign, including the movement or appearance of movement.
(65) "State Regulated Off Site Sign" means the following as regulated by the State of Ohio Department of Transportation pursuant to Chapter 5516 of the Ohio Revised Code: (1) any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or any other contrivance designed, intended, or used to present a message visible from the main traveled way of any highway on the interstate system or primary system in this state and located on property other than property at which such activity or service occurs or which product is sold or manufactured. (2) An outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, or billboard erected by a company or individual for the purpose of selling messages for profit.
(66) "Temporary sign" means a sign which is not permanently affixed and includes all devices such as banners, flex-blade banners, pennants, flags (not intended to include flags of any nation) constructed of cloth, fabric, or other light temporary material with or without a structural frame intended for a limited period of display.
(67) "Temporary window or building sign" means a sign painted on the interior of a window or constructed of paper, cloth, or other like material and attached to the interior side of a window or displayed on the exterior of a building wall in order to direct attention of persons outside the building to a sale of merchandise or a change in the status of the business.
(68) "Transition" means a visual effect used on an EMC to change from one message to another.
(69) "Transit structure sign" means a sign integrated into the structure of a transit station or shelter which notifies the public of the transit station or shelter. Transit sign shall not mean bench signs.
(70) "Travel" means a mode of message transition on an EMC where the message appears to move horizontally across the display surface.
(71) "Under awning sign" means a sign suspended under the awning either parallel or perpendicular to the building façade.
(72) "Under canopy sign" means a sign suspended under a canopy, either parallel or perpendicular to the building façade.
(73) "Unlawful sign" means a sign which contravenes this chapter or which the Building Commissioner may declare as unlawful if it becomes dangerous to public safety by reason of dilapidation or abandonments or a nonconforming sign for which a permit required under a previous code was not obtained.
(74) "Vehicle sign" means a sign mounted, painted, or otherwise placed on a truck, bus, car, boat, trailer, or other vehicle or equipment that is located on private property and used in such a manner that the sign is visible from a public street or right-of-way and the primary purpose of such vehicle or equipment is for the display of such signage.
The primary purpose of such vehicle or equipment shall be presumed to be for the display of such signage if the vehicle/equipment is:
(a) Not in operating condition;
(b) Not currently registered or licensed to operate on public streets;
(c) Not actively used in the daily function to which the signs relate;
(d) Not properly parked in a designated parking space, except that a passenger vehicle with a curb vehicle weight of less than 6,500 lbs. may be parked on private property on a hard, paved surface outside of a designated parking space, provided it does not interfere with the circulation of traffic into, out of, or within said property and displays one or more signs that are magnetic, decals, or painted upon an integral part of the vehicle as originally designed by the manufacturer and do not break the silhouette of the vehicle; or,
(e) Used primarily as a static display for the display of such signage, except as otherwise authorized in subparagraph (d) in this section.
Vehicles and equipment engaged in active construction projects and the on-premise storage of equipment and vehicles offered to the general public for rent or lease shall not be considered to be vehicle signs.
(75) "Wall sign or fascia sign" means a sign which is attached directly to the building walls, and which extends not more than fifteen inches from the face of the wall.
(76) "Window sign" means a sign installed inside a window for purposes of viewing from outside the premises, but does not include merchandise located in a window.
(Ord. 15-2017. Passed 5-23-17.)