§ 154.166  SIGNS.
   (A)   Permitting.
      (1)   Permits.
         (a)   Sign permit applications shall be accompanied by drawings indicating dimensions, location and engineering in sufficient detail to determine compliance with this chapter and applicable Building Codes.  Permit applications shall be reviewed pursuant to a Type A application process.
         (b)   Permits shall be required for:
            1.   Electrical or illuminated signs greater than 4 square feet in surface area;
            2.   Free-standing signs greater than 4 square feet in surface area;
            3.   Roof-mounted or wall-mounted signs greater than 4 square feet in area;
            4.   Business identification signs not under state permit; or
            5.   Outdoor portable or sandwich board-type signs greater than 4 square feet in area.
      (2)   Signs for which permit not required. Sign permit applications shall not be required for the following signs:
         (a)   Signs not more than 4 square feet in area and bearing only property numbers, postal box numbers, names of occupants of premises or other identification of premises, or traffic directional signs, provided the signs do not have commercial connotations;
         (b)   Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion;
         (c)   Legal notices or identification, informational or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies;
         (d)   Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights; and sculpture and other work of fine art created for appreciation rather than advertising;
         (e)   Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter;
         (f)   Temporary decorations or displays clearly incidental and commonly associated with local national or religious holiday or other celebration;
         (g)   Any sign not visible from public right-of-way, or from any other property not under the same ownership as the property upon which the sign is located; and
         (h)   Temporary window displays or signs and temporary real estate "for rent/sale" signs not exceeding 8 square feet in surface area.
   (B)   Standards and requirements.
      (1)   Setbacks.  All signs shall be situated so as not to adversely affect safety, corner vision or other similar conditions, and shall satisfy the following.
         (a)   Free-standing signs shall be set back from property lines 1 foot for each 10 square feet of sign area to a maximum setback of 20 feet.
         (b)   Signs shall conform to clear-vision requirements at street intersections.
         (c)   Free-standing signs shall conform to rear and side-yard setback requirements.
         (d)   1.   Projecting signs including canopy and awning mounted signs shall not extend more than 6 feet from the face of the building to which they are attached.
            2.   Projecting signs shall have a maximum area of 24 square feet per face, and minimum ground clearance of feet.
      (2)   Blanketing.  No sign shall be situated in a manner which results in the blanketing or significant obstruction of an existing sign.
      (3)   Sign construction, maintenance and removal.
         (a)   Construction.
            1.   All signs shall be constructed at the expense of the sign or business owner, and shall be erected in conformance with this section and all county-administered sign, electrical and building code requirements.
            2.   Except as specified in division (A) above, all signs shall be required to obtain sign permit approval prior to construction or installation.
         (b)   Maintenance and removal.
            1.   Every sign, including those specifically exempt from permits required by this subchapter, shall be maintained in good structural condition at all times.
            2.   All signs shall be kept neatly painted, including all metal parts and supports.
            3.   The Department may inspect, and shall have the authority to order the painting, repair, alteration or removal of a sign which may constitute a hazard to safety, health or public welfare by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation or obsolescence.
         (c)   Abandonment and removal.  Any sign which does not contain legibly printed matter on the display surface, or which by its nature has become obsolete for a period of 3 months, shall be deemed to have been abandoned by the owner thereof and shall be subject to removal by the County Road Superintendent, the Department or their designate.
   (C)   Specific rules for certain signs.
      (1)   Political signs.  Temporary political signs advertising candidates or issues may be erected on private property, by, or with consent of, the property owner(s), during an election campaign.  These signs shall conform to the requirements of the State of New Mexico, and shall not be erected prior to 90 days before the election and shall be removed within 10 days after the election.
      (2)   Temporary signs for nonprofit organizations.  Temporary signs for nonprofit organizations may be allowed to advertise various nonprofit, charitable activities.  Signs may be placed upon private property, upon consent of the property owner, but shall not precede the advertised event more than 1 week.  All these signs shall be removed by the sponsoring organization not later than 5 days following the event.  These signs shall conform to the requirements of the underlying district.
      (3)   Mural signs.  On wall mural signs, only that portion of the sign considered advertising shall be calculated in determining maximum area allowance.
   (D)   Prohibited signs.  The following signs are prohibited in all zone districts:
      (1)   Moving signs, flashing signs or other signs that may likely cause motorists distraction or be hazardous to public safety.
      (2)   (a)   Banners, pennants, festoons or searchlights, except that upon receipt of a temporary use permit, they may be allowed for special events, grand openings or similar celebrations.
         (b)   These signs may be erected 15 days prior to the event/celebration, and shall be removed within 15 days thereafter.
      (3)   Signs imitating or resembling official traffic or government signs.
      (4)   Temporary posters or signs attached to trees, electrical or telephone poles or other public property.
      (5)   Signs attached to a building and exceeding the highest part of the roof.
(Ord. 2004-05, passed 9-15-2004)  Penalty, see § 154.999