(A)   Abandoned signs.  Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, any on-premise sign which is located on property which use becomes vacant and unoccupied for a period of six months or more, or any sign which pertains to a time, event or purpose which no longer applies, shall be deemed to be abandoned. Permanent signs applicable to a business temporarily vacant because of a change in ownership or management of such business shall not be deemed abandoned unless the property remains vacant for a period of six months.  An abandoned sign is prohibited and shall be removed by the owner of the sign or owner of the premises.
   (B)   Dangerous or defective signs.  No persons shall maintain or permit to be maintained on any premises owned or controlled by them any sign which is in dangerous or defective condition. Any such sign shall be removed or repaired by the owner of the premises.
   (C)   Removal of signs by the city.
      (1)   The Zoning Enforcement Officer may cause to be removed any sign in violation of this subchapter or a sign for which no permit has been issued. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall prepare a notice which shall describe the sign and specify the violation(s) involved and which shall state that if the sign is not removed or if each violation is not corrected within 30 days, the sign shall be removed in accordance with the provisions of this section.
      (2)   All notices mailed by the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall be sent by certified mail. The notice shall be mailed to the owner of the property on which the sign is located as indicated by the most recent Hamilton County Auditor's Office property owner information database. The notice shall also be mailed to or delivered to the occupant of the property. Any conformance time periods provided in this section shall be deemed to commence on the date of mailing of the certified mail.
      (3)   Any person having an interest in the sign or the property may appeal the determination of the Zoning Enforcement Officer ordering compliance, removal, or compliance by filing a written notice of appeal with the Board of Zoning Appeals, within ten days after receipt date of the notice as determined by the returned certified mail confirmation. In the event the property owner or occupant fail to accept the certified mail announcement, constructive receipt shall be deemed to have occurred after 15 days from the certified notice mailing date.
      (4)   Any signs found to be placed in the public right-of-way, on public property, or elsewhere where placement is prohibited under this code, may be confiscated by the city and are subject to immediate removal without notification by the Zoning Enforcement Officer or any other city personnel.
      (5)   Notwithstanding the above, in cases of emergency, the Zoning Enforcement Officer may cause the immediate removal of a dangerous or defective sign without notice.
   (D)   Disposal of signs.  Any sign removed by the Zoning Enforcement Officer pursuant to the provisions of this section shall become the property of the city and may be disposed of in any manner deemed appropriate by the city. The cost of removal of the sign by the city shall be considered a debt owed to the city by the owner of the sign and the owner of the property, and may be recovered in an appropriate court action by the city or by levying an assessment against the property as hereinafter provided.  Each such assessment shall be a lien against each lot or tract of land assessed, until paid, and shall have priority over all other liens except general taxes and prior special assessments. The cost of removal shall include any and all incidental expenses incurred by the city in connection with the sign's removal.  Signs may be retrieved at the Silverton Public Works Facility for a period not to exceed 120 hours after removal by the Zoning Enforcement Officer or any other city personnel. After the 120 hour sign holding period, the signs shall be disposed of or destroyed.
(Ord. 09-3306, passed 10-15-09)