§ 154.482  ZONING CERTIFICATE AND DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS.
   (A)   Certificate required. All permanent signage and permanent window graphics and not identified as exempt in § 154.472(C), for commercial, industrial, multifamily and other institutional uses shall require a zoning certificate from the City of Wadsworth prior to the installation of such signage.
   (B)   Design review required. All permanent signage and permanent window graphics and not identified as exempt in § 154.472(C), for commercial, industrial, multifamily and other institutional uses shall be reviewed by the Architectural Design Committee (ADC) before the Zoning Inspector or his or her designee shall issue a zoning certificate for such signage. The ADC meeting schedule is established each calendar year and is available from the Building and Planning Department.
   (C)   Exemptions from Architectural Design Committee (ADC) review. The following signs shall be exempt from ADC review and do not require a zoning certificate:
      (1)   Temporary signs and temporary window graphics. However, the Zoning Inspector or his or her designee shall have the right to designate the placement of all temporary and sandwich board signs in order to maintain pedestrian and vehicular safety.
      (2)   Instructional signs and signs necessary for public safety.
      (3)   Refacing, repainting or repairing an existing conforming sign in order to exactly restore such sign to its original condition.
      (4)   Replacing a panel on an existing conforming sign to reflect a change of ownership/new business name provided that the other graphical and design elements of the sign are not altered.
   (D)   Submission requirements. Applications for ADC review and a zoning certificate shall require the following items:
      (1)   One completed zoning certificate application.
      (2)   Four copies of a scaled site-plan showing:
         (a)   Location and setbacks of all existing and proposed buildings, accessory structures and existing signs (building-mounted and free-standing);
         (b)   Location and setback of all proposed signs (building-mounted and free-standing);
         (c)   Existing and proposed easements for public and private utilities;
         (d)   Landscaping associated with proposed free-standing signs.
      (3)   Four copies of scaled drawings of each proposed sign showing:
         (a)   Sign dimensions, display area and overall height;
         (b)   Supporting structure and/or sign base (including dimensions and height);
         (c)   Proposed graphics and lettering (fonts, letter height, etc.);
         (d)   Materials and colors of all sign faces, support structure and/or base, graphics and lettering;
         (e)   Proposed sign illumination.
      (4)   Four copies of digitized photographs showing the building and site "before" and "after" the installation of the proposed signage.
      (5)   Other pertinent data, including material and color samples, as may be deemed necessary by the Architectural Design Committee and/or the Planning Director for the proper application and enforcement of these regulations.
   (E)   Design review procedures.
      (1)   Applications submitted in accordance to the annual meeting schedule prepared by the Building and Planning Department shall be reviewed by the ADC at its next scheduled meeting. Projects located on properties within the Historic Main Street Design Review District shall be reviewed following the process outlined in the Historic Main Street Wadsworth Design Guidelines as adopted by Ordinance 17-049.
      (2)   The ADC shall review the application and recommend to the Zoning Inspector, in writing, whether such application shall be approved, modified or rejected. If the application demonstrates compliance with all applicable provisions of the zoning code, the ADC shall recommend approval and any recommendation to modify or reject the application shall reference a specific zoning code provision on which the recommendation is based. The ADC's recommendations and requirements shall be followed by the applicant unless the applicant appeals the ADC's decision to the City Planning Commission and the Planning Commission modifies or removes the requirements recommended by the ADC.
      (3)   Upon completion of the review the Zoning Inspector shall issue a zoning certificate. However, a certificate may not be issued for one or more of the following reasons:
         (a)   The sign plan submitted with the zoning certificate application does not match the plan that the ADC recommended for approval;
         (b)   The sign plans do not demonstrate compliance with the zoning district requirements;
         (c)   The proposed location of a freestanding sign has been determined by the City Engineer or Director of Public Safety to create sight distances limitations; would be located within a public easement; or would otherwise interfere with a public utility.
      (4)   If a permit application is denied, the applicant will be informed in writing as to the reason(s) and the denial may be appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals as per § 154.561(A) of this zoning ordinance.
   (F)   Design criteria. In reviewing a proposal for a sign permit, the Architectural Design Committee shall consider the following:
      (1)   Design Review District. For sites located in the Historic Main Street Design Review District, signage shall be reviewed for compliance with the Historic Main Street Wadsworth Design Guidelines as adopted by Ordinance 17-049.
      (2)   Zoning compliance. Signs shall demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations for the zoning district in which they are located along with all applicable supplemental regulations in § 154.483.
      (3)   Public safety. Signs shall be designed and located so as not to pose a threat to public safety. Freestanding signs shall not interfere with sight distance along street frontages, conflict or otherwise interfere with utilities or utility easements nor interfere with pedestrian accessibility.
      (4)   Legibility. The following standards are adopted to maintain legibility:
         (a)   Freestanding and panel signs shall maintain a minimum negative space of not less than 50% of the sign area.
         (b)   Lettering and graphics for all permanent signs shall maintain a minimum height of 3" except that signs in the CBD District directed primarily to pedestrian traffic may be less.
         (c)   No permanent sign should contain more than ten items of information.
         (d)   Sign copy and negative space or other background shall be of sufficiently contrasting colors so as to be readily visible and legible from a public or private street.
(Ord. 117-91, passed 3-17-92; Am. Ord. 130-95, passed 12-29-95; Am. Ord. 07-045, passed 7-17-07; Am. Ord. 17-049, passed 9-19-17)  Penalty, see § 154.999