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(A) General prohibition. Any sign not expressly permitted by this subchapter shall be deemed prohibited in the city, unless expressly authorized by a Planned Use District ordinance. All signs are subject to the general sign regulations provided in this section, to setback, height and to all other underlying district regulations, and other applicable ordinances of the city, except as may be provided herein or expressly modified by a Planned District ordinance.
(B) Exempt signs. The following signs shall be exempt from the provisions of this subchapter; provided, however, setback and height requirements for all private structures, where applicable, shall be in accord with the regulations of the particular zoning district in which the structure is located:
(1) Public notices and legal notices required by law;
(2) Signs exempted by federal, state or local law;
(3) Official traffic or government signs, including safety or directional signs, plaques and signs of historic interest, or any sign otherwise authorized by the city and subject to approval by any applicable government or other owner having control or jurisdiction over the property on which the sign is located;
(4) (a) Holiday or seasonal displays: decorations and displays placed on private property celebrating or denoting holidays or events, the seasons of the year, state and national holidays, and similar occasions; provided, such seasonal display:
1. Is in place for no more than 90 days;
2. Contains no commercial advertising message or name or logo of a business; and
3. Does not cause a nuisance to neighboring property owners by noise, light, traffic generation or other aspects.
(b) Seasonal displays failing to meet these qualifications shall not be exempt.
(C) Materials; location.
(1) (a) All signs, including its sign face, cabinet, structure, trim, base and frame must be kept in good repair. All permanent signs and their supporting members shall be constructed of flame-resistant and weather- resistant materials appropriate for permanent sign construction. Permanent signs shall not be of a fabric material or banner, except in the case of awnings.
(b) Signs not kept in good repair and appearance are hereby declared prohibited and a nuisance. The Director shall be authorized to establish prohibited materials and other regulations relating to acceptable sign components and construction consistent with this subchapter.
(2) All signs shall be located so as not to impair the visibility of any official highway sign or marker and no non-governmental sign shall be placed so as to unnecessarily obstruct the visibility of any other sign.
(3) Signs, may not be placed on any private or public property without the consent of the owner or person having authority to grant consent to use the property for such purpose.
(4) Signs shall not be located in a public right-of-way or within the sight distance triangle, except as otherwise exempted in this chapter.
(5) Permitted signs may be either a flat sign permanently affixed to the face of a building, awning or canopy, wall or projecting sign, or freestanding sign. Signs affixed to buildings shall not project above the eave line of the roof, except as an integral roof sign.
(D) Removal. All sign faces authorized by sign permit for non-residential zoning lots shall be removed within 90 days of the cessation of the use of a property, building or tenant space, authorizing such signage. If removal of the sign face reveals bare lighting, electrical or structural components, a blank face of a white or gray color made of durable, weatherproof material shall be applied to cover such components. No vacant open sign cabinets or boxes are allowed.
(E) Calculation of sign area. The area of every sign shall be calculated as:
(1) Framed sign. The sign area of a wall, projecting or freestanding sign shall include the area within a continuous perimeter enclosing the limits of writing, graphic representation, logo and any figure or similar character, together with the outer extremities of any frame and other material or color forming an integral part of the display that is used as a background for the sign.
(2) Unframed sign. The area of a wall, projecting or freestanding sign of individually cut-out writing, graphic representation, logo and any figure or similar character that is not enclosed by framing is the area of a polygon with a maximum of ten sides necessary to enclose each writing, graphic representation, logo and any figure or similar character, including the space between individual letters.
(3) Double-faced signs. Only one side of a double-faced sign shall be included in calculating the sign area. If the two faces of a double-faced sign are of unequal area, the area of the sign shall be the area of the larger face.
(4) 3-D shapes. The area of signs of three-dimensional, shapes having 360 degrees of sign face, such as globes, cylinders or pyramids, shall be computed as one-half of the total of the exposed surfaces.
(5) Lots with double street frontage. Unless otherwise provided, if any establishment has frontage on two or more streets, each side of the property having frontage shall be considered separately for determining the permitted total sign face area and number of allowable signs, unless otherwise governed by this subchapter. However, the sign area allowances shall not be aggregated so as to allow any establishment to display on any frontage a greater sign face area than that single frontage would otherwise permit.
(6) Exceptions. The total sign area for any freestanding signs shall be exclusive of any decorative trim, frame and/or structure. Said trim, frame and/or structure shall not exceed 30% of the sign area as determined in accordance with this section.
(F) Movement prohibited. No sign shall revolve, rotate or mechanically move in any manner.
(G) Illumination. Illumination of signs is permitted, subject to the following requirements.
(1) No red, yellow, green or other color light shall be used at any location in such a manner as may confuse or interfere with vehicular traffic or pedestrian crosswalk traffic.
(2) No sign shall have blinking, flashing or fluttering lights or other illuminating devices that have a changing light intensity, brightness or color. Beacon lights, searchlights and illumination by open flame are prohibited.
(3) The light from any illuminated sign shall be shaded, shielded, directed or reduced in brightness so as to avoid the creation or continuation of any nuisance or traffic hazard. No glare is allowed.
(4) Any illumination of an exterior sign requires an electrical permit.
(5) No exposed reflective type bulb, and no strobe light or incandescent lamp shall be used in such a manner as to expose the face of the bulb, light or lamp to any public street or to adjacent property.
(6) When sign illumination is desired, it shall be arranged so as to not cast light directly from any source of illumination on to any public right-of-way or on to adjoining properties in any residential or agricultural district.
(7) Illumination created from the lighting of signs must adhere to the lighting requirements set out in § 158.143 of this chapter as they pertain to impacts on adjacent right-of-way and neighboring properties.
(H) Signs not to be hazardous.
(1) No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent access to, ingress through or egress from, any door, window, fire escape or driveway.
(2) No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained in such a manner that it interferes with, obstructs the view of, or is likely to be confused with, any authorized traffic sign, signal or device.
(3) Signs shall not be located within the sight distance triangle (as defined in § 158.016 of this chapter) or otherwise located so as to cause a traffic hazard.
(I) Changeable copy; limitations. All signs authorized by permit may be designed to be capable of changing the message thereon, including such as for time or temperature, either manually or electronically; provided, the following requirements are satisfied for such changeable copy area:
(1) No more than one such sign per establishment;
(2) Such sign may occupy no more than 30% of the applicable sign face;
(3) Such sign is of no greater width as the attached principal sign face;
(4) No animation or movement of any content is permitted; and
(5) Each message displayed thereon must remain visible in at least two and one-half second intervals before being reset or replaced with another message.
(J) Compliance with International Building Code (IBC). No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained as to conflict with the requirements of the adopted IBC.
(1) Every sign shall be designed and constructed in conformity with the applicable provisions of the current adopted Building Code of the city. Where sections in the Building Code conflict herewith, this subchapter shall apply.
(2) The electrical component of any illuminated sign shall conform to the applicable requirements of the current N.E.C. Electrical Code of the city.
(K) Setback calculation. Calculation of the setbacks for signs as established in this subchapter shall be measured from a vertical line of the closest part of the sign to the property line.
(L) Non-conforming signs. Any sign not conforming to this subchapter on the date of enactment shall be subject to the requirements of §§ 158.075 through 158.084 of this chapter; provided that, a sign face of a non- conforming sign may be altered if the sign is not otherwise determined to be abandoned.
(Ord. 623, passed 9-8-1970; Ord. 3587, passed 9-15-2008; Ord. 3786, passed 12-17-2012)