(A)   The purpose of this section is to provide for the continuity of display property rights in existing nonconforming advertising signs by continuing in effect the former abatement removal requirement applicable to nonconforming advertising signs erected or displayed prior to May 10, 1968.  This section is intended to preserve the existing display property rights in other nonconforming advertising signs by ensuring full return of investment to owners or lessees who are required by this article to conform or remove advertising signs in the future.  The abatement procedure of this section has been considered by the commission and the city council at public hearings, and both bodies find the classification and methods of this section to be reasonable after weighing and considering the public interest to be served with the private property rights to be affected.
   (B)   Every owner or lessee of a nonconforming advertising sign shall terminate the nonconformity of the sign within the following terms of abatement:
      (1)   Banners, pennants, flags, captive balloons, and similar portable, moveable or temporary signs not treated by section 16-610 shall be removed within six months.
      (2)   Signs with nonconforming attachments or parts which are not integral parts of the sign structure or message (e.g., flashing beacons, flashing arrows, wind activated devices, and similar attachments or parts) shall be brought into conformance with the article within six months.
      (3)   Any nonconforming sign erected or displayed prior to May 10, 1968, shall be conformed to the requirements of this article or shall be removed by May 10, 1978.
      (4)   Other nonconforming signs shall be conformed to the requirements of this article or removed by April 1, 1992.
   (C)   (1)   The commission may grant the owner or lessee of a nonconforming sign permission to abate the nonconformity within an extended period greater than that limited by this section; provided, however, the extended abatement period shall not exceed 15 years in any case.  Applications for extended sign abatement shall be made and granted by special use permit.  The commission, in establishing the extended abatement period, shall consider the depreciation schedule initially computed or calculated and actually employed for the purpose of taxation by the owner or lessee during the display life of the sign.
      (2)   The following criteria shall also be considered in the consideration of any application for a special use permit or an appeal therefrom:
         (a)   Cost of the sign structure;
         (b)   The age of the sign in place and the date of its construction;
         (c)   Secondary meaning of the sign;
         (d)   The degree of the sign's deviation from the standards of this article;
         (e)   Encroachment and potential hazard to safety; and
         (f)   The remaining economic value of the sign.
   (D)   A nonconforming sign shall not be structurally altered, reconstructed, expanded in area or moved unless it conforms to the requirements of this article, nor shall a damaged, nonconforming sign be repaired without conformance to this article if the cost of repair exceeds 50 percent of the sign's depreciated book value immediately prior to damage.  Sign panels of nonconforming signs may be replaced, repainted or changed in copy, provided that a permit is issued by the building official.  Such replacement or change will not be used as justification to prolong a nonconforming sign as provided in subsections (B) or (C) above.
   (E)   Cessation of a nonconforming sign's use or purpose exceeding 30 days, regardless of the owner's or lessee’s intent not to abandon or of intent to resume the sign's use or purpose, shall require the sign's conformance or removal; provided, however, that damage or destruction due to an act of God or cessation required by a public agency (other than for financial problems of the business) shall not require a sign's removal or conformance under this section.
(`64 Code, Sec. 34-188)  (Ord. No. 1673)