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A. Continuation Of Nonconforming Sign: Any sign, unless otherwise excepted by this chapter, legally existing prior to enactment of this chapter, but which shall violate any provision of this chapter, may continue to be maintained and used subject to the following provisions:
1. Enlargement: Nonconforming signs shall not be enlarged, expanded, or extended to occupy a greater square footage or height than was occupied on the effective date hereof or amendment hereto.
2. Relocation: Nonconforming signs shall not be moved in whole or in part to any other portion of the lot, parcel or building not so occupied on the effective date hereof; except, that any such sign which is hereafter required to be moved by a governmental body for the purpose of construction, relocation, widening, or improvement of a street, highway, or other public purpose, may be relocated once and allowed to be maintained and used as before.
3. Discontinuance: If the business or service advertised or identified by a nonconforming sign ceases to be conducted for a period exceeding one hundred eighty (180) calendar days, the nonconforming sign shall be classified as an "abandoned sign" and removed.
4. Destruction: Should any nonconforming sign be destroyed by any means to an extent of up to fifty percent (50%) of its surface area or structure, it shall not be reconstructed, except in conformance with the requirements of this chapter.
B. Changes To Sign: If any existing sign is repainted or the sign panels are replaced for the purpose of changing the business, occupation, or tenant advertised or identified, it shall be considered a new sign. However, the repainting or replacement of panels on a billboard shall not be considered a new sign. Ordinary maintenance or repair of an existing sign to a safe condition shall not be cause to classify the sign as a new sign.
C. Billboards: Any billboard legally existing prior to the effective date hereof but which violates any provision of this chapter is hereby considered legal and nonconforming and will be so considered for a period of not longer than five (5) years from the effective date hereof. Thenceforth, such billboards or outdoor advertising structures will be considered illegal, in violation of this chapter and must be removed under penalty of law. (1999 Code § 19.07)
D. Decisions And Appeals: In cases of doubt or on a specific question raised whether a nonconforming sign exists, it shall be a question of fact decided by the code official and may be appealed to the building board of appeals 1 . (1999 Code § 19.07; amd. 2005 Code)
1. See section 2-2-3 of this code.