1383.01   INTENT.
   (a)   Sign regulations, including provisions to control the type, design, size, location, motion, illumination, enforcement and maintenance of signs are established in order to achieve, among others, the following purposes:
      (1)   To maintain high value Residential Districts and promote attractive public and private facilities by permitting only signs appropriate to their environs;
      (2)   To provide reasonable but appropriate conditions for identifying establishments in commercial districts by relating the size, type and design of signs to the size and type of establishments;
      (3)   To eliminate any conflict between advertising signs and traffic control signs which would be hazardous to the safety of the motoring public or pedestrians;
      (4)   To control the design of signs so that their appearance will be aesthetically harmonious with an overall urban design for the area; and
      (5)   To promote the most desirable developments and economic activity consistent with the objectives of the planning and development of the City.
   (b)   (1)   In establishing these objectives the City has determined that, without adequate regulation and design standards, signs are a nuisance. The number of signs in the City is excessive and is unduly distracting to motorists and pedestrians, creates a traffic hazard, and in some places reduces the effectiveness of signs needed to direct the public.  As the appearance of the City is marred by the excessive number, oversized and poorly designed signs, both residential and business property values are adversely affected. Therefore, the number of such distracting signs ought to be reduced and signs permitted should comply with the standards of this chapter in order to reduce the aforementioned effects.
      (2)   In view of the foregoing, all signs not conforming with the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared a nuisance. It is further declared that the regulations contained in this chapter are the minimum regulations necessary to abate the nuisance and to achieve the purposes of this chapter.
   (c)   The City does not intend to infringe on the rights of free speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution. All ordinances in this chapter are to be construed in favor of vigorous political debate and the rights guaranteed to speak freely.
(Ord. 2001-49. Passed 12-10-01.)