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For the purpose of this Code, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ADMINISTRATOR. The Zoning Administrator or his or her designated representative.
ANIMATION. Rotation or any other movement or appearance thereof, or change of lighting to depict action or create a special effect or scene, whether by atmospheric movement, mechanical or electrical means, or any combination thereof.
AREA, SIGN. The area of the largest single face of a sign within not more than two rectangles enclosing the extreme points or edges including air space and background of the sign, but not including poles or supports on which the sign is placed if they do not include copy. The AREA OF A SIGN composed of symbols or letters attached directly to a building or wall surface shall be computed by drawing not more than two rectangles enclosing the entire group of symbols or letters.
BACKGROUND AREA. The entire area of a sign on which copy could be placed, as opposed to the copy area.
BUILDING FACE OR WALL. All window and wall area of a building in one plane or elevation.
BUILDING FRONTAGE. The linear length of a building facing the right-of-way or the linear length of the right-of-way facing the building, whichever is smaller.
CHASING. The effect produced by using three electrical contacts which cause lamps to come on in a one-two-three sequence again and again, as characterized by the borders of movie marquees.
CITY. The city, town or municipality of Urbandale, Iowa.
COPY. Words, letters, logos, figures, symbols, illustrations or patterns that form a message or otherwise call attention to a business, product, service or activity, or to the sign itself.
COPY AREA. The smallest rectangle which encloses the actual copy of a sign.
COUNCIL. The City Council of Urbandale, Iowa.
ERECTED. Attached, altered, built, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged or moved, and shall include the painting of wall signs, but does not include copy changes on any sign.
FACE. The copy area, background area and the peripheral encasement, structural elements or trim which forms the outer perimeter of the sign, but not including poles, monuments or similar support structures.
FADE. On an electronic message center, a gradual changing of one copy display to another in a manner that one display appears to dissolve as another forms.
FLASHING. A change in light intensity at regular intervals, including repeated brightening or dimming of lights, change in contrast or hue, or turning them on and off in a manner in which the duration of light is less than the duration of darkness.
FRONTAGE. The width of a lot as measured in a straight line at the street line, the measurement to be along a chord between the end points in the case of a curved street line.
INDEXING. Turning and stopping action of the triangular vertical sections of a multi-prism sign designed to show three messages in the same area.
LETTER, CHANNEL. An individual dimensional letter that is fabricated or formed with opaque backing and side walls and whose internal light source illuminates only the face of the individual letter, and that is mounted directly to the face of a building or ground sign or on a raceway if a raceway is allowed by this Code.
LETTER, DIMENSIONAL. A three-dimension letter or logo that is cut out, cast or molded and fabricated with side walls, back and face into a solid, integral three-dimensional unit of sufficient depth to contain an internal light source, and that usually has a U-shaped pan cross-section or an H-shaped cross-section.
LETTER, PUSH-THROUGH. A three-dimension letter or logo created by routing or otherwise cutting and removing it from an aluminum or other opaque sign face material and also forming it out of a clear or translucent backing material, and mounting the backing material on the inside of the opaque sign face in a manner that the letters and logo formed from the backing material are pushed through the opaque face material to extend beyond the exterior plane of the sign face.
LETTER, REVERSE CHANNEL. An individual dimensional letter that is cut out, cast or molded and fabricated similar to a channel letter but with an opaque face and side walls, and usually mounted on studs or a similar bracket or post to stand an inch or more away from the face of the building or ground sign so an internal light source is projected onto the wall or ground sign to create a back-lit or halo affect around and behind the letter.
LETTER, ROUTED. An individual letter or logo that is cut into an opaque sign face by a computer numerical control (CNC) router or similar machine to form sign copy that is non-illuminated or is illuminated by an external light source.
LETTER, SANDBLASTED. An individual letter or logo created by applying a stencil to an opaque sign face to protect that portion of the sign face from erosion during a sandblasting process that erodes away the area around the stencil to create three-dimensional copy that is raised above or depressed below the background, and that is non-illuminated or is illuminated by an external light source.
LETTER, THREE-DIMENSIONAL. An individual dimensional letter with a depth of one inch or more including mounting studs if any, that is cut out, cast or molded and mounted directly to the face of a building or ground sign, or on studs or a similar bracket or post to stand an inch or more away from the face of the building or ground sign, that does not contain an internal light source and is non-illuminated or is illuminated by an external light source.
LOGO. A symbol, emblem or other graphical element that is easily recognized as representing a product, identity or service.
LOT. A parcel of land having those dimensions and size as is necessary to comply with all of the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and all other ordinances of the city for those structures as may be placed on the land, and all uses of the land.
MANUFACTURER. A person, firm or corporation who assembles or installs a sign upon the site.
MESSAGE. Copy or a series of copy displays that directly or indirectly names, advertises or calls attention to a business, product, service or other activity.
MESSAGE CENTER, ELECTRONIC. A sign which uses a bank of lights that can be individually lit to form copy.
MONUMENT. A monolithic structure having the appearance of a vertical tablet or slab, except that up to one-third of its interior area may be open to decrease its visual mass or wind loads on the structure.
NAMEPLATE. A non-electric sign identifying only the name and occupation or profession of the occupant of premises on which the sign is located. If any premises include more than one occupant, NAMEPLATE refers to all names and occupations or professions as well as the name of the building and directional information.
OCCULTATION. Any intermittent lighting other than flashing, scintillation, chasing or animation.
OWNER. A person recorded as such on official records and including duly authorized agent or notary, a purchaser, devisee, judiciary; any person having a vested or contingent interest in the property in question.
PARAPET or PARAPET WALL. The portion of a building wall that rises above the roof level.
PERSON. Any individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership or other legal entity singular or plural.
PREMISES. A lot together with the structures and other improvements located thereon.
RACEWAY. A box or other conduit containing most or all of the electrical components powering a sign and that is fastened to the outside of the building, and that usually runs the length of a sign behind channel letters.
SCINTILLATION. The effect produced by turning lamps on and off in a seemingly random pattern, customarily producing a twinkling affect.
SCROLLING. On an electronic message center, a form of animation whereby elements of copy are sequentially displayed so as to give the appearance of movement on or across the sign, whether vertically or horizontally.
SIGN. Any identification, description, illustration or device illuminated or non-illuminated which is visible from any public place or is located on private property and exposed to the public and which directs attention to a product, service, place, activity, person, institution, business or solicitation, including any permanently installed or situated merchandise; or any emblem, painting, banner, pennant, placard or temporary sign designed to advertise, identify or convey information, with the exception of window displays and national flags. For the purpose of removal, SIGN shall also include all sign structures.
SIGN, ABANDONED. A sign which no longer correctly directs or exhorts any person, advertises a bona fide business, lessor, owner, product or activity conducted or product available on the premises where the sign is displayed.
SIGN, A-FRAME. A temporary, portable sign fabricated with two sides attached at the top and thereby forming the shape of an “A” as viewed from the side, and allowing the sign to stand in an upright position.
SIGN, ANIMATED. Any sign that includes animation.
SIGN, BANNER. A temporary sign composed of lightweight material either enclosed or not enclosed in a rigid frame, secured or mounted so as to allow movement of the sign caused by movement of the atmosphere.
SIGN, CABINET. A sign that is constructed as a box-style frame, usually but not necessary using aluminum for the frame, into which one or more Plexiglas, acrylic, polycarbonate or other translucent faces are placed and whose copy is placed on those faces, usually but not necessarily by painting, silk-screening or affixing vinyl letters and usually having an internal light source. May also be referred to or known as a BOX SIGN.
SIGN, CHANGEABLE COPY (MANUAL). A sign on which copy is changed manually in the field, i.e., reader boards with changeable letters or changeable pictorial panels.
SIGN, CHANGING (AUTOMATIC). A sign as an electronically or electrically controlled public service time, temperature and date sign, message center or reader board, where different copy changes are shown on the same lamp bank.
SIGN, DIRECTIONAL. Any on-site sign which serves solely to designate the location or direction of any place or area within the site.
SIGN, DIRECTORY. An on-premises sign displaying the names of two or more separate business tenants on the same sign structure.
SIGN, FLASHING. Any sign which contains an intermittent or flashing light source, or which includes the illusion of intermittent or flashing light by means of animation, or an externally-mounted intermittent light source. Automatic changing signs such as public service time, temperature and date signs or electronically controlled message centers are classed as changing signs not FLASHING SIGNS.
SIGN, FREESTANDING. See SIGN, GROUND.
SIGN, GROUND. A sign erected on a freestanding monument, frame, mast or pole and not attached to any building.
SIGN, HEIGHT OF. The vertical distance measured from the ground level at point of location of the sign on the site.
SIGN, IDENTIFICATION. A sign which is limited to the name, address and number of a building, institution or person and to the activity carried on in the building or institution, or the occupancy of the person.
SIGN, ILLUMINATED. Any sign which emanates light either by means of exposed tubing or lamps on its surface, or by means of illumination transmitted through the sign faces.
SIGN, INDIVIDUAL LETTER OR INDIVIDUALLY MOUNTED LETTERS. A sign whose copy is comprised entirely of channel letters, reverse channel letters or three-dimensional letters that are mounted directly to a building or ground sign, on studs or a similar bracket or post to stand an inch or more away from the face of the building or ground sign, or on a raceway if a raceway is allowed by this Code, provided that push-through letters may be used for a portion of the copy if permitted by this Code.
SIGN, INTERSTATE IDENTIFICATION. A sign with copy that is limited to the name and address of a nonresidential development and/or the name of one or more office, commercial or industrial occupants of a premises or development, as the case may be, and that is oriented to the interstate.
SIGN, INTERSTATE HIGH-RISE. An on-premise, free-standing sign that is oriented to the interstate and that identifies a retail use providing food, lodging or fuel, or providing repairs or services that are essential to normal operation and maintenance of motor vehicles, predominately to the traveling public or motor freight carriers.
SIGN, LEGALLY NONCONFORMING. Any sign which does not conform to the requirements of this Code, but which was lawfully erected in accordance with the ordinance in effect at the time it was erected.
SIGN, MONUMENT. A ground sign which is mounted in or on a monument and does not have any exposed pole or pylon, and is attached to a base for at least 60% of the entire width of the sign.
SIGN, MULTI-PRISM. A sign made with a series of triangular vertical sections that turn and stop, or index, to show three pictures or messages in the same area.
SIGN, OFF-PREMISES. A third-party sign that advertises or directs attention to another location, or to a business, commodity, service, entertainment, attraction or facility that is generally sold, produced or available at a location other than the lot where the sign is located. May also be referred to or known as an OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGN or BILLBOARD.
SIGN, ON-PREMISES. A sign that identifies or directs attention to the business, commodity, service, entertainment or attraction sold or offered on the same lot where the sign is located.
SIGN, POLE. A ground sign which is supported by one or more poles or pylons.
SIGN, PORTABLE. Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to the following: signs designed to be transported by means of wheels, trailer or chassis, whether or not the wheels are presently attached; signs constructed as or converted to A- or T-frames; menu and sandwich board signs; balloons or other hot-air or gas-filled figures; and signs attached to or painted on vehicles parked and visible from the public right-of-way, unless there is no other reasonably available place to park the vehicle and it is being used in the normal day to day operations of the business for something other than storage.
SIGN, PROJECTING. A sign, other than a wall sign, which is attached to and projects from a structure or building face. The area of double-faced projecting signs are calculated on one face of the sign only.
SIGN, PUBLIC SERVICE INFORMATION. Any sign intended primarily to promote items of general interest to the community such as time, temperature and date, atmospheric conditions, news or traffic control and the like.
SIGN, REAL ESTATE. Any sign pertaining to the sale, lease or rental of land or buildings.
SIGN, ROOF. Any sign erected upon, against or directly above a roof or on top of or above the parapet of a building.
SIGN, ROTATING. Any sign or portion of a sign which moves in a revolving or similar manner, but not including multi-prism indexing signs.
SIGN STRUCTURE. Any structure which supports, has supported or is capable of supporting a sign, including decorative cover.
SIGN, TEMPORARY WINDOW OR BUILDING. A sign painted on the interior of a window or constructed of paper, cloth or other like material and attached to the interior side of a window or displayed on the exterior of a building wall in order to direct attention of persons outside the building to a sale of merchandise or a change in the status of the business.
SIGN, UNLAWFUL. A sign which contravenes this code or which the Administrator may declare as unlawful if it becomes dangerous to public safety by reason of dilapidation or abandonment or a nonconforming sign or a sign not specifically allowed by this Code or for which a permit required under a previous code was not obtained.
SIGN, WALL (OR FASCIA SIGN). A sign attached to or erected against the wall of a building with the face in a parallel plane to the plane of the building wall.
SIGN, WAYFINDING. A directional on-premises or off-premises sign whose purpose is to help a person to find a given destination.
SIGN, WINDOW. A sign installed inside a window for purposes of viewing from outside the premises. This term does not include merchandise located in a window.
STREET. A public roadway, or a private roadway that has been approved by the city for common use, which provides frontage for and vehicular access to lots or which may carry through traffic, whether designated as a highway, street, avenue, road, drive, place, court, way, lane or circle.
STREET LINE. A property line between a lot and a contiguous street.
TRADEMARK. A name, word, symbol, logo, phrase, design, image or combination thereof that is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and protected by the federal government and that is used by a business to distinguish itself and its products from those of other entities, and usually considered to be intellectual property having financial value.
USE. The purpose for which a building, lot, sign or other structure is arranged, intended, designed, occupied or maintained.
(Title VII, Ch. 17, § 2) (Ord. 2008-01, passed 3-25-2008; Ord. 2008-08, passed 6-3-2008; Ord. 2013-01, passed 4-3-2013)