§ 156.01 PURPOSE.
   (A)   Generally. It is hereby determined that the regulation of the location, size, placement, and certain features of signs is necessary to enable the public to locate goods, services, and facilities without difficulty and confusion, to prevent wasteful use of natural resources in competition among hazards to life and property, to assure the continued attractiveness of the community, and to protect property values, and ensure traffic safety. As provided in § 156.22(B), the message on any sign allowed by this chapter may, at the option of the owner, be substituted with any noncommercial message.
   (B)   Florida Constitution. Article II, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution provides that "[i]t shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty... ." A beautiful environment preserves and enhances the desirability of the city as a place to live and to do business. Implementing the Florida Constitution is a compelling governmental interest.
   (C)   Florida statutes. Florida law require cities to adopt comprehensive plans and implement them through land development regulations (also known as zoning regulations) and approval of development orders that are consistent with the comprehensive plan. See Part II of Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. Florida law specifically requires that the city adopt sign regulations. See F.S. § 163.3202(2)(f). Complying with state law is a compelling governmental interest.
   (D)   City comprehensive plan elements. The city's Future Land Use and Transportation Elements have both identified City Sense of Place as a major issue. The Future Land Use Element states the following "While the City has adopted beautification and community enhancement projects as major goals, the object of this Major Issue is to provide guidance to the City to facilitate redevelopment efforts and improve the urban environment and overall quality of life of the City's residents, workers and visitors."
   (E)   City comprehensive plan goals, objectives and policies. Several goals, objectives and policies of the city's comprehensive plan require the city to maintain its scenic beauty and traffic safety through its land development regulations and actions:
      (1)   Future Land Use Element, Policy 01.07.08: The city shall continue to enforce the sign ordinance relative to removing unsightly and obtrusive signs in conformance with the amortization schedule.
      (2)   Transportation Element, Goal 02.00.00: To develop and maintain a multimodal system which will serve the transportation needs of all sectors of the Pompano Beach community in a safe, efficient, cost effective and aesthetically pleasing manner that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
      (3)   Transportation Element, Objective 02.03.00: The City of Pompano Beach shall ensure that a safe, convenient and energy efficient local multimodal transportation system is provided in an environmentally sound manner.
      (4)   Transportation Element, Policy 02.03.04: Incorporate safety attributes in the prioritizing of local road improvement funding.
      (5)   Transportation Element, Policy 02.06.10: If applicable during the review of future land use amendments, establish transportation system management strategies improve system efficiency and enhance safety.
      (6)   Transportation Element, Policy 02.08.15: Coordinate with Broward County relative to modifications to the Land Development Code to increase efficiency and safety at the city's main transfer points.
      (7)   Transportation Element, Policy 02.08.16: Provide recommendations when needed for improvements at transit facilities to the Broward MPO that will improve aesthetics, comfort, efficiency and safety.
      (8)   Transportation Element, Policy 02.11.06: The city will continue to require the installation of street trees and landscape amenities on the regional roadway network and on local roads, where they do not conflict with road safety and undergound utilities, to support pedestrian use and sense of place objectives.
   (F)   Caselaw. In accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court's cases on sign regulation, the regulations in this chapter are not intended to regulate or censor speech based on its content or viewpoint, but rather to regulate the secondary effects of speech that may adversely affect the city's substantial and compelling governmental interests in preserving scenic beauty and community aesthetics, and in vehicular and pedestrian safety in conformance with the First Amendment. These cases and their holdings include, but are not limited to:
      (1)   Reed v. Town of Gilbert, U.S., 135 S. Ct. 2218, 192 L. Ed. 2d 236 (2015) on the topic on noncommercial temporary signs;
      (2)   Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego, 453 U.S. 490 (1981) on the topic of commercial signs and off-premise signs;
      (3)   City of Ladue v. Gilleo, 512 U.S. 43 (1994) on the topic of political protest signs in residential areas;
      (4)   Linmark Assocs., Inc. v. Township of Willingboro, 431 U.S. 85 (1977) on the topic of real estate signs in residential areas;
      (5)   Burson v. Freeman, 504 U.S. 191 (1992) on the topic of election signs near polling places;
      (6)   Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission, 447 U.S. 557 (1980) on the topic of commercial speech; and
      (7)   City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789 (1984) on the topic of signs on public property or a public place.
   (G)   Impact of sign clutter. Excessive signage and sign clutter impair the legibility of the environment, and undermines the effectiveness of governmental signs, traffic control devices and other required signs (such as address signs, identification signs, and warning signs) that are essential to identifying locations for the delivery of emergency services and other compelling governmental purposes. The intent of these sign regulations is to enhance the visual environment of the city, ensure that city residents and visitors can safely navigate through the city to their intended destinations, and promote the continued well-being of the city. It is therefore the purpose of this chapter to promote aesthetics and the public health, safety and general welfare, and assure the adequate provision of light and air within the city through reasonable, consistent and nondiscriminatory standards for the posting, displaying, erection, use, and maintenance of signs and sign structures that are no more restrictive than necessary to achieve these governmental interests.
   (H)   Impact of unlawful signs. It is the purpose of this chapter to coordinate the type and placement of signs within the different land use zones; to recognize the commercial communication requirements of all sectors of the business community; to encourage the innovative use of design; to promote maintenance; to allow for special circumstances; and to guarantee equal treatment under the law through accurate record keeping and consistent enforcement. These shall be accomplished by regulation of the posting, displaying, erection, use, and maintenance of signs. No sign shall be permitted as either a main or accessory use, except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. It is further determined that signs which are not lawfully erected or maintained under the provisions hereof are not consistent with the customary usage, are an abuse thereof, and an unwarranted invasion of the rights of legitimate business interests and of the public.
   (I)   Specific legislative intent. More specifically, the sign regulations are intended to:
      (1)   Encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication in the city;
      (2)   Maintain and enhance the scenic beauty of the aesthetic environment and the city's ability to attract sources of economic development and growth;
      (3)   Ensure pedestrian safety and traffic safety;
      (4)   Minimize the possible adverse effect of signs on nearby public and private properties;
      (5)   Foster the integration of signs with architectural and landscape designs;
      (6)   Lessen the visual clutter that may otherwise be caused by the proliferation, improper placement, illumination, animation, excessive height, and excessive sign area which compete for the attention of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and are not necessary to aid in wayfinding;
      (7)   Allow signs that are compatible with their surroundings and aid orientation, while precluding the placement of signs that contribute to sign clutter or that conceal or obstruct adjacent land uses or signs;
      (8)   Encourage and allow signs that are appropriate to the zoning district in which they are located and consistent with the land uses, activities and functions to which they pertain;
      (9)   Curtail the size and number of signs to the minimum reasonably necessary to identify a residential or business location, and the nature of such use, and to allow smooth navigation to these locations;
      (10)   Establish dimensional limits and placement criteria for signs that are legible and proportional to the size of the parcel and structure on which the sign is to be placed, or to which it pertains;
      (11)   Regulate signs so that they are effective in performing the function of identifying and safely directing pedestrian and vehicular traffic to a destination;
      (12)   Preclude signs from conflicting with the principal use of the parcel and adjoining parcels;
      (13)   Regulate signs in a manner so as to not interfere with, obstruct the vision of, or distract motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians;
      (14)   Except to the extent expressly preempted by state, Broward County or federal law, ensure that signs are constructed, installed and maintained in a safe and satisfactory manner, and protect the public from unsafe signs;
      (15)   Preserve, conserve, protect, and enhance the aesthetic quality and scenic beauty of all zoning districts of the city;
      (16)   Allow traffic control devices consistent with national standards without regulation in this chapter, because they promote highway safety and efficiency by providing for the orderly movement of road users on streets and highways, and by notifying road users of regulations and providing nationally consistent warnings and guidance needed for the safe, uniform and efficient operation of all modes of travel, while regulating private signs to ensure that their size, location and other attributes do not impair the effectiveness of such traffic control devices;
      (17)   Protect property values by precluding, to the maximum extent possible, signs that create a nuisance to the occupancy or use of other properties as a result of their size, height, illumination, brightness, or movement;
      (18)   Protect property values by ensuring that the size, number and appearance of signs are in harmony with buildings, neighborhoods, structures, and conforming signs in the area;
      (19)   Regulate the appearance and design of signs in a manner that promotes and enhances the beautification of the city and that complements the natural surroundings in recognition of the city's reliance on its natural surroundings and beautification efforts as a source of economic advantage as an attractive place to live and work;
      (20)   Classify and categorize signs by type and zoning district;
      (21)   Not regulate signs more than necessary to accomplish the compelling and important governmental objectives described herein;
      (22)   Enable the fair and consistent enforcement of these sign regulations;
      (23)   Permit, regulate and encourage the use of signs with a scale, graphic character, and type of lighting compatible with buildings and uses in the area, so as to support and complement the goals, objectives and policies set forth in the city's Comprehensive Plan;
      (24)   Establish regulations of the design, erection and maintenance of signs for the purpose of ensuring equitable access to graphic communication, while maintaining a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing visual environment within the city, recognizing that signs form an integral part of architectural building and site design and require equal attention in their design, placement and construction; and
      (25)   Be considered the maximum standards allowed for signage, and regulate signs in a permissive manner so that any sign is not allowed unless expressly permitted and not expressly prohibited.
('58 Code, § 50.302) (Ord. 81-13, passed 12-2-80; Am. Ord. 83-24, passed 1-25-83; Am. Ord. 2017-29, passed 2-28-17)