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The regulations of this section govern the use of dynamic displays. Different regulations are established for advertising signs and all other signs.
(A) Advertising signs. The regulations of this division (A) apply to dynamic display advertising signs. See division (C) of this section for regulations governing other signs that incorporate dynamic displays.
(a) There are few, if any, opportunities to establish new (static display or dynamic display) advertising signs in unincorporated Will County because of long-standing regulations that require advertising signs to be separated from one another and from certain protected land uses. At the same time, the county is extremely limited in its ability to require the removal of existing nonconforming advertising signs. The provisions of this section establish fair and objective regulations governing the use of dynamic displays on advertising signs.
(b) Among other things, these regulations allow some advertising signs to be converted from static to dynamic displays. Such regulations are intended to provide an incentive for the voluntary and uncompensated removal of nonconforming advertising signs under certain circumstances and to help reduce the number of nonconforming signs in the county, thereby improving its overall appearance. In doing so, these provisions are intended to advance the goals of the Land Resource Management Plan, the overall purposes of this zoning ordinance and specific purposes of this section.
(2) Where allowed.
(a) A new advertising sign that incorporates a dynamic display may be established only if approved as a special use (in accordance with the procedures of § 155-16.40), subject to compliance with all applicable advertising sign and dynamic display regulations of this section.
(b) An existing, conforming advertising sign face may be converted to incorporate a dynamic display if approved as a special use (in accordance with the procedures of § 155-16.40), subject to compliance with all applicable advertising sign and dynamic display regulations of this section.
(c) A single existing, conforming advertising sign face may be converted to incorporate a dynamic display as of right in exchange for the removal of at least two square feet of nonconforming advertising sign face area for each one square foot of dynamic display sign face area without obtaining special use approval, subject to compliance with all applicable advertising sign and dynamic display regulations of this section.
(d) A single existing, nonconforming advertising sign face may be converted to incorporate a dynamic display as of right in exchange for the removal of at least four square feet of nonconforming advertising sign face area for each one square foot of dynamic display sign face area without obtaining special use approval, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
1. The propose d advertis ing sign dynami c display sign face shall not be located within 300 feet of a residential zoning district as measured in a semicircular arc with a 300-foot radius as measured from the dynamic display sign face. The 300-foot radius shall be measured from the midpoint of the length of the dynamic displace sign face;
2. The advertising sign must be located at least one mile from any existing dynamic display advertising sign face facing the same direction along the same roadway;
3. The advertising sign must be located at least 660 feet from another dynamic display advertising sign on an intersecting roadway; and
4. The dynamic display advertising sign complies with all applicable advertising sign and dynamic display regulations of this section.
(e) A nonconforming advertising sign face may be converted to incorporate a dynamic display if approved in accordance with the special use procedures of § 155-16.40. Such conversions are subject to compliance with all applicable advertising sign and dynamic display regulations of this section and the "conversion" provisions of § 155-15.40(G).
(f) Advertising signs removed through the process of eminent domain or other similar process whereby monetary compensation from a federal, state or local government agency is received by the sign owner in exchange for removal of an advertising sign, are not eligible to use the static to dynamic display sign conversion regulations of divisions (A)(2)(c), (A)(2)(d) or (A)(2)(e) of this section.
(g) For the purpose of counting the square footage of a removed sign face area, the sign face area that is being replaced with a dynamic display sign face cannot be counted towards fulfilling the removal requirement.
(3) Voluntary removal of advertising signs.
(a) Before issuance of a sign permit for an advertising sign that incorporates a dynamic display, applicants who elect to remove nonconforming advertising signs in exchange for permission to convert a static display to a dynamic display must agree in writing to permanently remove, within 180 days after issuance of the sign permit, the number of advertising sign faces required to be removed pursuant to divisions (A)(2)(c) or (A)(2)(d) of this section.
(b) Signs to be removed must be owned or leased by the applicant for the dynamic display. Removal must include the complete removal of the above-grade structure and the foundation to at least one foot below grade.
(c) The applicant must also agree in writing that the county may remove the sign if the applicant does not do so within the time required, and the application must be accompanied by a financial guarantee acceptable to the Land Use Department to cover the county's costs of removing the signs.
(d) The applicant must also agree in writing that they are removing the sign voluntarily in order to receive a dynamic display sign permit as compensation for the removed sign and that they have no right under any law to financial compensation for the removed sign.
(e) If the removed sign face is one for which an Illinois state permit is required, the applicant must surrender the permit to the state upon removal of the sign. The dynamic display may not be operated until proof is provided to the county that the state permit has been surrendered.
(f) An owner of an advertising sign face also has the right to remove a conforming or nonconforming sign face in a Will County municipality that was originally permitted by Will County, provided that the advertising sign face is located wholly within the boundaries of Will County. The new dynamic display sign face must be installed on a sign structure that is located in unincorporated Will County. The removal of any sign located within a municipality must be done solely to fulfill the requirements of divisions (A)(2)(c) or (A)(2)(d) and cannot be combined to fulfill any municipal requirements.
(g) At a minimum, one advertising sign structure must be removed within a five-mile radius of the advertising sign face that is converted to a dynamic display to comply with divisions (A)(2)(c) or (A)(2)(d). If the advertising sign owner does not have any sign structures within a five-mile radius, then the radius will be increased in one-mile increments until the closest advertising sign owned is removed. Additional sign faces may be removed outside of the five-mile radius.
(h) A sign owner may remove an existing static advertising sign in advance before applying for a dynamic display building permit. In such cases the Zoning Administrator is authorized to approve a credit for the sign face area removed and apply that credit towards a future dynamic display permit for the sign owner. The sign owner must provide 30 days advance written notice to the Land Use Department before removing the static advertising signs; nighttime brightness levels must be verified when adjacent to a residential zoning district. The sign owner must provide written notification including property location, number of signs and faces (including area of sign faces, before and after photographs of each sign structure, and date of removal to the Land Use Department. The Land Use Department must then determine whether the requirements for receiving credit have been met and issue a letter to the sign owner acknowledging any sign face square footage that will be allowed to be counted towards a future dynamic display. A removed advertising sign may not be re-erected on the subject property without Land Use Department approval. The credit the sign owner receives is valid for no more than two years from the date of removal.
(B) Additional regulations. In addition to all other applicable regulations of this section, advertising signs that include dynamic displays are subject to the following additional regulations:
(1) If regulations governing dwell time of dynamic displays are modified by the Illinois Department of Transportation, advertising sign owners and operators are required to bring dynamic display advertising signs into compliance with those dwell time regulations. In no case may dwell time be less than ten seconds.
(2) If an Illinois licensed design professional determines that it is necessary to have an advertising sign upgraded or rebuilt to accept a dynamic display sign face, this work may be performed on the subject property only if a dynamic display sign face is being attached to the advertising sign structure in conformance with all the dynamic display regulations of this section. A special use permit is not required for an advertising sign that is upgraded or rebuilt to have a dynamic display sign face attached to it, the advertising structure will not have to conform to the current sign regulations except the advertising structure may not exceed the current size of the sign faces and the overall height of the advertising sign. Any sign structure that is rebuilt must be located on the same parcel and may not be located more than 10% of the parcel's lineal frontage or 200 feet from the center of the existing sign structure that is being replaced, whichever is the lesser distance.
(3) Dynamic display advertising signs are subject to the general dynamic display regulations of division (D) of this section.
(C) Other signs. The regulations of this division (C) apply to dynamic display in all signs except advertising signs. See division (A) of this section for regulations governing advertising signs that incorporate dynamic displays.
(1) Where allowed.
(a) Prohibited locations. Dynamic displays are prohibited in agricultural and residential zoning districts, except as may be approved as a special use permit.
(b) Allowed locations. Dynamic displays are permitted for all allowed uses in commercial and industrial zoning districts, subject to the dynamic display regulations of this division. Dynamic displays may be approved as a special use permit in agricultural and residential zoning districts.
(2) Maximum dynamic display area. The dynamic display portion of a sign may not exceed 48 square feet or 50% of the total area of the sign, whichever is less. The dynamic display element must be computed as part of the sign's total area. The remainder of the sign may not have the capability to have dynamic displays even if not used. Only one, contiguous dynamic display is allowed on a sign face.
(3) Orientation. The dynamic display sign face shall not be located within 300 feet of a residential structure as measured in a semicircular arc with a 300-foot radius as measured from the dynamic display sign face. The 300-foot radius shall be measured from the midpoint of the length of the dynamic displace sign face.
(D) General regulations. The general regulations of this division (D) apply to all dynamic displays, whether incorporated in advertising signs or in other signs.
(1) The images and messages displayed on a dynamic display must have a minimum dwell time of at least ten seconds and may not contain any movement, animation, audio, video, pyrotechnics or other special effects.
(2) The transition or change from one message to another must occur in one second or less and involve no animation or special effects.
(3) The images and messages displayed must be complete in and of themselves within the required dwell time.
(4) Dynamic displays must be equipped with a default mechanism that freezes the display in one position or presents a static or blank display if a malfunction occurs.
(5) Dynamic displays may not have a brightness of such intensity or brilliance that they impair the vision or endanger the safety and welfare of any pedestrian, cyclist, or person operating a motor vehicle.
(6) Dynamic displays must be equipped with a light detector/photocell that automatically adjusts the display's brightness according to natural ambient light conditions.
(7) The maximum brightness level of a dynamic display may not exceed 5,000 nits (candelas per square meter) during daylight hours or 250 nits between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise, as those times are determined by the National Weather Service (Actual Time). Brightness must be measured from the brightest element of the sign's face. Before the issuance of a sign permit, the applicant must provide written certification from the sign manufacturer that the light intensity has been factory pre-set so that it will not exceed 5,000 nits (candelas per square meter).
(a) The maximum nighttime brightness level, measured in nits, of a dynamic display sign that is permitted by division (A)(2)(d) of this section may not exceed the nighttime brightness level, measured in nits, of the sign that is converted if the dynamic display sign is adjacent to and faces a residential zoning district.
(b) For the purpose of verifying compliance with maximum brightness level requirements, the Zoning Administrator will measure brightness levels with the dynamic display sign set to run full white copy with a luminance meter positioned at a location perpendicular to the sign face center. When taking the luminance reading, the sign face must be the only subject visible in the viewfinder.
(c) If the measurement is more than the maximum allowed, the brightness level is in violation of this ordinance and must be adjusted downward. Failure to make such adjustments may result in other available enforcement actions to be taken by the county.
(8) Regulations governing dynamic displays are subject to ongoing monitoring and future modification in the exercise of the county's police powers. No vested right is ever created in an existing dynamic display. If regulations governing operational aspects of dynamic displays (e.g., dwell time, transitions, illumination/brightness, etc.,) are modified by the county, sign owners and operators are required to bring dynamic display advertising signs into compliance with all applicable dynamic display regulations.
(9) Proposals for dynamic displays must be reviewed and approved by the Land Use Department for compliance with all applicable building, safety and electrical codes. Applications must include appropriate documentation from an Illinois licensed design professional of the sign structure's ability to accommodate the dynamic display technology.
(10) Light trespass from any dynamic display may not cause the light level along any residential zoning district, as measured at a height of 60 inches above grade in a plane at any angle of inclination, to exceed 0.1 footcandles above ambient light levels at the residential property line.
(Ord. effective 10-1-2012: Ord. 13-265, passed 10-17-2013; Am. Res. 15-38, passed 2-19-2015; Am. Ord. 19-51, passed 3-21-2019)