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The general requirements and limitations for all commercial and industrial zones shall be as follows:
(a) Signs, except for public service time and temperature signs, shall not be flashing, animated, or revolving in nature.
(b) Banners, pennants, and captive balloons. These types of temporary advertising are limited as follows:
(1) Individual businesses. Four (4) special events may be authorized each calendar year, not to exceed ten (10) consecutive days per event.
(2) Shopping center and Thousand Oaks Auto Mall events. That two (2) additional special events advertising a special center-wide promotion may be authorized each calendar year, not to exceed four (4) consecutive days per event.
(3) Grand opening events. In addition to the above, a one-time “grand-opening” special event permit may be authorized for new centers or individual businesses to allow this temporary advertising to be limited to a period not to exceed thirty (30) consecutive days.
(4) Banner sign requirements.
(i) Size. A banner shall not exceed a maximum length of twenty (20') feet for all businesses except the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall which is limited to a maximum of thirty (30') feet. The area shall be limited to a maximum of sixty (60) square feet except for the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall which shall be limited to a maximum of ninety (90) square feet.
(ii) Number. The number of sign banners shall be limited to one per store or shopping center event, and in the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall one per building.
(iii) Location. The location of banners shall be attached to the front of the building for individual stores and businesses, strung between light standards along street frontages for shopping centers, and may be attached to either a building, store front, or strung between light standards along a street frontage for the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall.
(5) Pennants, balloons and flags. Pennants and balloons may be used only in conjunction with special events and are subject to the provisions of this chapter. Additionally, flags shall not be used as an advertising device, and shall only bear the seals of the United States of America, State of California, City of Thousand Oaks, or bear the emblems of civic, philanthropic, educational or religious organizations.
(i) Size and shape. Pennants shall be limited to a size not to exceed twelve inches (12") in width and eighteen inches (18") in length and shall be triangular or rectangular in shape. Balloons shall not exceed eighteen inches (18") in diameter.
(ii) Length. A single string of pennants shall not exceed forty feet (40') in length,
(iii) Location. For individual businesses a single string of pennants may be attached to the front of the store or business. For shopping center promotions a single string of pennants may be strung between two (2) light standards located along the street frontage. The length of the string of pennants may not exceed eighty (80') feet. Balloons are limited to a maximum of six (6) per business, attached individually or in a single cluster. The balloons may not be attached in a manner that would cause them to extend above the eave or parapet of the roof of the building or store front.
(c) Portable, moveable, or temporary signs, except window or construction signs as provided in this article, shall not be permitted. The Community Development Director may permit two (2) internally or externally illuminated gasoline or diesel price (changeable-copy poster) signs not to exceed the total sign area set forth under items (1), (2), and (3). The sign shall be permanently installed in the ground in accordance with all the provisions of this article.
(1) Three products, six price signs. The maximum allowable “overall sign area” for this sign is twenty-two (22) square feet. This figure includes an eighteen (18") inch base which is required with the use of this sign.
The maximum allowable “effective sign area” for this sign is sixteen (16) square feet. This figure includes all of the area above the required eighteen (18") inch base. No service station may use this sign to post less than three (3) products and six (6) prices.
(2) Three products, three prices, or two products, four prices. The maximum allowable “overall sign area” for this sign is nineteen (19) square feet. This figure includes an eighteen (18") inch base, which is required with the use of this sign.
The maximum allowable “effective sign area” is fourteen (14) square feet. This figure includes all of the area above the required eighteen (18") inch base.
(3) Monument identification sign. Service stations desiring to use a monument identification sign to post all pricing information may do so as follows:
(i) Three products, six prices. The maximum allowable sign area that may be devoted to changeable copy may not exceed sixteen (16) square feet. Service stations choosing to use their monument ID signs to post grades of fuel and prices under this section may not use the individual price signs described in subsection (1).
(ii) Three products, three prices, or two products, four prices. The maximum allowable sign area that may be devoted to changeable copy may not exceed fourteen (14) square feet. Service stations who choose to use their monument ID signs to post grades of fuel and prices under this section may not use the individual price signs described in subsection (2).
(iii) One product, one price/two products, two prices. The maximum allowable sign area that may be devoted to changeable copy may not exceed six (6) square feet. However, this option may only be used in conjunction with either of the two individual price signs as described above in subsections (1) and (2).
(4) Grade of motor fuel designation. The height of the letters designating the grade of motor fuel (i.e. regular, unleaded, diesel, etc.) must be a minimum of two (2") inches high.
(d) Perimeter or floodlighting, whether used for illumination or advertisement, which illuminates private land, whether improved or not, shall be permitted only when such lighting is installed on private property and is hooded or shielded so that no direct beams therefrom fall upon public streets, alleys, highways, or private property.
(e) All signs shall comply with the intent, purpose, and standards of the provisions of Article 18 of this chapter and the Architectural Design Standards adopted by resolution of the City Council to assure conformity and harmony of the sign with the exterior design, size, colors, materials and architectural features of the subject buildings.
(f) Window signs.
(1) Window signs shall be permitted on both the inside and/or outside of the window. No permit shall be required.
(2) Window signs shall be limited to twenty-five (25%) percent of the total window area on any single facia of the building fronting on a street to be displayed in conjunction with sales or special events for an indefinite period of time. Additionally, two (2) separate events involving a larger portion of the window beyond the twenty-five (25%) percent may be authorized on holiday periods chosen by the individual business throughout the calendar year and further limited to a maximum of twenty-one (21) consecutive days for each event.
(3) Window signs stating the words “open,” “closed” and hours of operation shall not be included within the meaning of window signs.
(g) A sign shall not project over a public right-of-way.
(h) No sign shall stand above the eave line of the roof of the building upon which the sign is displayed unless the vertical clearance below the eave line is less than seven (7') feet six (6") inches and a parapet wall or flat surface, having a minimum width of four (4') feet, is provided above the eave line and made an integral part of the design of the building. This provision shall not prohibit the continued use of existing eave signs erected prior to January 6, 1972, provided all other specifications of this article are met.
(i) All roof signs shall be prohibited within any zone.
(j) On-site building signs shall be parallel with the building and shall not project more than twelve (12") inches therefrom.
(k) The Community Development Director may permit up to six (6) permanent directional signs, not exceed three (3) square feet in area each, on a parcel of record.
(l) Not more than one freestanding sign may be installed upon one parcel of record, except as set forth in subsection (b) of Section 9-4.2308 of this article.
(m) Freestanding signs may be located within the required setback.
(n) On-site freestanding signs shall be located within the center eighty (80%) percent of the property frontage, as measured from the side property lines. On a corner lot, the eighty (80%) percent may be measured from the corner or one side line or from the respective side lines and around the corner.
(o) The Community Development Director may authorize an identification sign showing the name of the community and the names of various civic organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, at the main points of entrance into the City provided the overall size of the sign, including all riders, is not larger than fifty (50) square feet and no dimension exceeds fifteen (15') feet.
(p) After the issuance of a development permit, the Community Development Director may permit one single-faced unlighted sign on a parcel of record to identify the project, contractor, and/or leasing agent. Such sign shall not total more than twenty-four (24) square feet in area. No portion of any sign permitted by the provisions of this section shall have a height of more than fifteen (15') feet or have a dimension of the panel face that exceeds ten (10') feet. Such sign shall be removed within ten (10) days after the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
(q) When the building or facia sign area permitted by the provisions of the respective zones is less than would be permitted based upon the on-site freestanding sign ratio, the latter ratio may be used in computing the permitted sign area.
(r) No illuminated sign shall be erected closer than seventy-five (75') feet to any residential land use district on which there exists structures used for residential purposes unless such illuminated sign shall have labeled thereon that the illumination factor does not exceed four hundred fifty (450') foot lamberts measured by an approved light metering system. Such measurements shall be taken directly upon the surface of the light source and when all other external light sources in the same general vicinity are disconnected.
(s) Each application for a sign permit shall be submitted to the Community Development Director to ascertain that the sign conforms with the provisions of this article and will not adversely affect adjacent property values or the public health, safety, or welfare. If the Community Development Director finds that the sign so conforms and that there will be no such adverse effects, he shall authorize the issuance of a permit. If he fails to issue the permit within ten (10) days following the filing of the application, he shall schedule the application for a public hearing and processing pursuant to the provisions and procedures set forth in this chapter.
(t) Temporary vehicle signs are prohibited, except for permanently affixed signage such as painted on signs which do not violate the Vehicle Code or render the vehicle unsafe to drive.
(u) Scenic highway restrictions along Route 23 and Route 101 Freeways shall be as follows:
(1) All commercial or industrial buildings, except for shopping centers, which either directly back or side upon such freeways, may be permitted to use up to ten (10%) percent of the allowable building sign area for the identification of a business or service and not for the advertising of any commodity or product on the building wall facing or siding onto the freeway; however, the maximum requirement of only one sign and twenty-four (24) square feet shall be allowed. This would not apply to those buildings or uses which are separated by a public frontage road from the freeway.
(2) Freestanding signs for shopping centers proposed for buildings or uses directly adjacent to and visible from such freeways are determined generally inconsistent with the Scenic Highways Element of the General Plan and shall only be granted by a special use permit. The Commission, or Council on appeal, shall evaluate such requests on the basis of compliance with the goals and policies of said Element of the General Plan and shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny such requests, taking into consideration all appropriate environmental and other information relating to such applications. The requirements of this subsection would not apply to those buildings or uses which are separated by a public frontage road from the freeway.
(3) No subdivision freestanding sign shall be visible from or located within one thousand (1,000') feet of such freeways.
(v) Temporary political signs shall be permitted and shall not exceed twelve (12) square feet in area and six (6') feet in visible height. No more than one such sign per candidate or position on a ballot issue shall be displayed on any side of a parcel of record which has frontage on a public street, but in no case shall any signs on different street frontages be closer than one hundred (100') feet. Furthermore, political sign copy shall be permitted on existing off-site freestanding signs subject to the time limits set forth in subsection (d) of Section 9-4.2304 of this article. Such signs shall not be placed in the public right-of-way or upon public property.
(w) The following temporary real estate and/or lessee signs shall be permitted:
(1) Parcels of record less than five (5) acres are limited to one sign with a maximum area of sixteen (16) square feet and a maximum length of four (4') feet. V-shaped signs are permitted provided that the total square footage of both sides does not exceed sixteen (16) square feet. Additionally, the panels may not be separated by more than ninety (90() degrees.
(2) Parcels of record greater than five (5) acres are limited to one sign unless there are two (2) street frontages where one sign may be posted on each frontage. The size is limited to a maximum of twenty-four (24) square feet (unless there are two (2) permitted signs which shall be limited to sixteen (16) square feet per sign) and the length to a maximum of six (6') feet. V-shaped signs are permitted as follows:
(i) One street frontage. The total square footage of both panels may not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet.
(ii) Two (2) street frontages. The total square footage of both signs may not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet.
(iii) The panels of V-shaped signs may not be separated by more than ninety (90() degrees.
(3) General provisions for real estate signs.
(i) Amortization period. A six (6) month time period from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section will be allowed in order to remove and replace all illegal and non-conforming real estate signs.
(ii) New signs. All signs installed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section will need to comply with the new sign requirements.
(iii) Sign permit applications. No sign permit applications will be required for temporary real estate advertising signs.
(iv) Removal of temporary real estate advertising signs. All temporary real estate advertising signs must be removed within thirty (30) days of the lease of the leasehold space or sale of the property being advertised.
(v) Posted signs. Signs posted on real property may advertise property for sale, for lease, or build-to-suit. Additionally, the words “proposed” or “planned project” may be added to the text of the sign.
(vi) Sign riders. No unrelated sign riders, including political signs, may affixed or in any manner attached to real estate advertising signs.
(vii) Lighting. All temporary real estate and/or lessee signs shall be unlighted.
(x) Religious facility directional signs may be located on private property within approximately a one-mile radius of the religious facility location provided written consent from the property owner is submitted to the Community Development Department and subject to a review by the Community Development Director to determine if the location is appropriate. Such a determination shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the sign visibility and proximity to surrounding residences. The size of the sign panel shall be limited to four (4) square feet, but no dimension shall exceed two (2') feet, and the sign shall not exceed a height of eight (8') feet as measured from the elevation of the adjacent public street centerline. The number of such signs shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) per religious facility, unless there is sufficient justification to consider the installation of one additional sign, subject to the approval of the Community Development Director. To obtain a uniform design, the sign shall be constructed of a dark stained wood material including a wood panel. The sign copy shall contain the following information: directions, distance or address, name, denomination, and logo, if the religious facility desires.
(y) Off-site signs are prohibited except as permitted in Title 9, Chapter 23 of this Code.
(z) No sign, as defined in Section 9-4.2303, shall be permitted on any umbrella, or similar device or structure.
(aa) Intent and purpose. In order to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional freestanding monument sign, the sign design, materials and colors should complement the building architecture and enhance the overall site appearance. Monument signs that comply with the intent of the following standards may be considered by the Director of the Community Development Department.
On-site freestanding signs shall be subject to the following design standards:
(1) General requirements. The provisions of the City’s Architectural Design Review Guidelines Resolution for freestanding monument signs shall apply.
(2) Signage area. The maximum sign copy area of any monument sign shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet, and no portion of the proposed sign shall exceed a height of six (6') feet from adjacent finished grade.
(3) Signage background. The background of monument signs shall use natural materials and colors. The use of plastic material as a background for the monument sign, is not permitted. The sign background material shall be opaque, which means that any interior lighting source shall not penetrate the material and illuminate the background but shall be limited to illuminating the sign letters and any state and/or federal registered trademark or service mark only. The background material, as well as the frame and sign base of the freestanding sign shall be constructed with materials similar to those used on the building(s), in accordance with the City’s Architectural Design Review Guidelines.
(4) Signage colors. The colors of the letters used on the freestanding monument sign shall be consistent with the approved sign colors for the on-building signs under the approved Uniform Sign Program, if any. This color limitation shall not apply to any state and/or federal registered trade mark or service mark signs. For projects without a Uniform Sign Program, the number of colors proposed shall comply with the City’s Architectural Design Guideline Resolution.
(5) Signage letter styles. The letter styles (fonts) shall be consistent with the approved styles for the on-building signs under the approved Uniform Sign Program, if any. This limitation shall not apply to any state and/or federal registered trade mark or service mark signs. For projects without a Uniform Sign Program, the letter styles shall comply with the City’s Architectural Design Guidelines Resolution.
(6) Signage lighting. Monument signs shall incorporate creative lighting designs which utilize halo, back-lit, or concealed exterior illumination. Internal illumination can be used only when it is limited to lighting the sign letters and any state and/or federal registered trade mark or service mark.
(7) Signage letter height. The portion of the sign having text with a height of less than four (4") inches, shall not occupy more than twenty-five (25%) percent of the area of the sign copy.
(8) Each side, front, back and top of a freestanding monument sign shall include breaks. Design elements such as off-sets, curved forms, reveals, etc., are encouraged. In addition, the design and character of the monument sign shall complement the architectural theme and design of the projects.
(9) There shall be at least two (2") inches between the sign copy and the edge or frame of the sign and a neutral space between the sign’s text shall be provided to create an aesthetically proportioned and balanced looking sign.
(10) Evidence of registration of state and/or federal agency trade mark or service mark must be
provided, where such mark is proposed to be used on a sign.
(11) Nonconforming signs shall not be required to comply with these design standards when the requested change to a sign involves a face copy change only. If the requested change involves any alteration (other than change of face copy), or the removal of an existing sign and the installation of a new sign, then the provisions within this section shall apply to the design of the sign.
(12) For easy access by emergency vehicles and passing motorists, the inclusion of the building’s street address number is encouraged on the monument sign, either on the front of the sign or on the side. The height of the numbers shall be proportioned to the sign area.
(ab) Copy change(s) to an existing monument sign or an existing on-building sign shall require review and approval by the Community Development Department.
(ac) Menu boards, preview boards and order boards shall be subject to the following standards:
(1) Each drive-through restaurant shall be allowed one (1) preview board per service lane where customers preview the menu from their vehicles, one (1) menu board per service lane where customers view the menu while ordering food from their vehicles, and one (1) order board per service lane where customers speak with an attendant and order food from their vehicles.
Type of Sign
Maximum Sign Area in Square Feet
Maximum Height in Feet
(3) No preview board, menu board or order board shall be placed where it or a customer's vehicle is likely to interfere with traffic flow in the area.
(4) Each preview board and menu board shall incorporate materials and colors that match or complement the materials and colors of the associated building.
(5) Each preview board and menu board shall include an architecturally complementary base that is proportional to the size of the sign.
(§ I, Ord. 248-NS, eff. January 6, 1972, as amended by §§ V and VI, Ord. 359-NS, eff. April 12, 1973, §§ XII and XIII, Ord. 423-NS, eff. February 14, 1974, §§ II and V, Ord. 462-NS, eff. June 13, 1974, § II, Ord. 585-NS, eff. August 26, 1976, § II, Ord. 683-NS, eff. August 10, 1978, § 4, Ord. 741-NS, eff. April 3, 1980, § I, Ord. 800-NS, eff. February 4, 1982, Ord. 853-NS, eff. February 21, 1983, § 19, Ord. 907-NS, eff. February 11, 1986, §1, Ord. 1130-NS, January 7, 1992, § 4, Ord. 1177-NS, eff. April 27, 1993, § 3, Ord. 1211-NS, eff. May 24, 1994, § 7, Ord. 1321-NS, eff. June 18, 1998, § 28, Ord. 1392-NS, eff. June 7, 2002, § V, Ord. 1477-NS, eff. June 14, 2007, and §§ 7 and 8, Ord. 1621-NS, eff. September 30, 2016)