CHAPTER 173 ZONING CODE – SIGN REGULATIONS

North Liberty, IA Code of Ordinances

GENERAL CODE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 173 ZONING CODE - SIGN REGULATIONS

BookmarkCHAPTER 173
ZONING CODE – SIGN REGULATIONS
 
173.01  General
173.09  Signs in Commercial Recreational Vehicle District
173.02  Definitions
173.10  Interstate Frontage Signs Special Allowances
173.03  Sign Permits and Inspections
173.11  General Sign Regulations
173.04  Prohibited Signs
173.12  Specific Sign Regulations
173.05  Exempt Signs
173.13  Temporary Signs
173.06  Signs in Residential Zones
173.14  Change In Use
173.07  Signs in Commercial Zones and the Public Zone
173.15  Nonconforming Signs
173.08  Signs in Office/Research Park and Industrial Zones
 

173.01 GENERAL.

Bookmark173.01  GENERAL.
   A sign shall not hereafter be erected, re-erected, constructed, altered, or maintained, except as provided by this chapter and after a permit has been issued by the Code Official.

173.02 DEFINITIONS.

Bookmark173.02  DEFINITIONS.
   The following definitions are given for words used in this chapter:
      “Awning sign” means a sign attached to or in any way incorporated with the face of an awning or any other similar projection, and which does not extend beyond the projection.
      “Development sign” means a permanent sign that displays the name of a development or of a multi-lot subdivision.
      “Display surface” means the area made available by the sign structure for the purpose of displaying the advertising message.
      “Ground sign” means a sign which is supported by one or more uprights or braces and which is firmly and permanently anchored in or on the ground and which is not attached to any building.
      “Identification sign” means a sign displaying the name, address, crest, insignia or trademark, occupation, or profession of an occupant of a building or the name of any building on the premises.
      “Information sign” means a sign displayed strictly for the direction, safety, or convenience of the public and which sets forth no advertisement.  Information signs include signs which identify parking areas and drives, restrooms, addresses, telephones, exits and entrances, no trespassing areas, danger areas, and similar information.
      “Marquee” means a permanent roofed structure attached to and supported by the building and projecting over public property.
      “Off-premises sign” means a sign which directs attention to a use conducted off the lot on which the sign is located.
      “Painted sign” means a sign painted directly on an exterior surface of a building, window, or wall.
      “Pole sign” means a ground sign wholly supported by a tubular sign structure in the ground.
      “Political sign” means a temporary sign announcing candidates seeking public office, a political issue, or containing other election information.
      “Portable sign” means a sign that is not firmly and permanently anchored or secured to either a building or the ground.
      “Projecting sign” means a sign which projects from and is supported by a wall of a building or structure, with the exposed face of the sign on plane not parallel to the plane of the wall.
      “Projection” means the distance by which a sign extends over public property or beyond the building line.
      “Real estate sign” means a temporary sign which advertises the sale, rental, or lease of property.
      “Roof sign” means a sign erected upon or above a roof or parapet of a building or structure.
      “Sign” means any medium, including its structure and component parts, which is used or intended to be used to attract attention to the subject matter for advertising or other purpose.
      “Sign structure” means any structure that supports or is capable of supporting a sign as defined in this chapter.
      “Swinging sign” means a sign which, because of its design, construction, suspension, or attachment, is free to swing or move noticeably because of the wind.
      “Temporary sign” means any banner, pendant, valance, or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard, wallboard, or other light materials, with or without frames, intended to be displayed for a limited period of time only.
      “Wall sign” means any sign attached to or erected against the wall of a building or structure, with the exposed face of the sign on plane parallel to the plane of the wall.

173.03 SIGN PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS.

Bookmark173.03  SIGN PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS.
Bookmark   1.   Permits Required.  It is unlawful for any person to erect, alter, or relocate within the City any sign requiring a permit without first obtaining a sign permit from the Code Official.  All illuminated signs shall, in addition, be subject to the provisions of the Electrical Code and shall be approved and labeled by a nationally recognized testing lab.  No signs shall be erected on a property without the authorization of the property owner or authorized agent.  Sign permits shall be issued only for signs which are in accord with the approved sign plan on file with the Code Official.
Bookmark   2.   Application for Permit.  An application for a permit shall be made upon forms provided by the Code Official and shall at a minimum contain or have attached thereto the following information:
      A.   Applicant Information.  Name, address, email, and telephone number of the applicant.
      B.   Plans and Specifications.  One copy of detailed drawings of the plans and specifications and method of construction and attachment to the building or in the ground.  Such blueprint or ink drawing shall show the location of sign or signs and shall certify the distance from each other, from signs on adjacent property, from points of ingress and egress, and from adjacent property lot lines.
      C.   Calculations.  Stress sheets and calculations showing the structure is designed for dead load and 30 pounds per square foot wind pressure in any direction in the amount required by this and all other laws and ordinances of the City.
      D.   Erector.  Name of the person or association erecting structure.
      E.   Valuation.  Valuation of sign.
      F.   Other.  Such other information as the Code Official shall require in order to show full compliance with this and all other laws and ordinances of the City.
Bookmark   3.   Permit Expiration.  If the work authorized under a sign permit has not been commenced within six months after the date of issuance, the permit shall become null and void, and the applicant must re-apply for a sign permit prior to installing a sign.
Bookmark   4.   Permit Fees.  A fee, as determined by resolution of the Council, shall accompany all applications for sign permits.
Bookmark   5.   Revocation of Permits.  The Code Official is hereby authorized and empowered to revoke any sign permits issued by the City upon failure of the holder thereof to comply with any provisions of this chapter.
Bookmark   6.   Penalty for No Permit.  In the event the erection, construction, or reconstruction of any sign is commenced without first obtaining a permit, there shall be, in addition to the required sign permit fee, an on-site inspection fee of $50.00.  This provision does not preclude any enforcement or penalty provisions contained in this code.
Bookmark   7.   Inspections Required.  All construction or work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the Code Official.
   8.   Maintenance and Safety Inspections.  The Code Official may cause to be inspected from time to time, as deemed necessary, any sign regulated by this chapter for the purpose of ascertaining whether the same is secure, and whether it is in need of removal or repair and complies with this chapter.

173.04 PROHIBITED SIGNS.

Bookmark173.04  PROHIBITED SIGNS.
   The following devices and locations are specifically prohibited:
   1.   In Public Rights-of-Way.  No sign or sign structure other than an official traffic, street, or related sign approved for placement by the controlling public agency shall be placed on any street or highway right-of-way, except certain Temporary Signs as defined within this chapter.  No sign shall be attached to any utility pole, light standard, street tree, or any other public facility located within the public right-of-way.
   2.   Without Consent of Owner.  No sign or sign structure shall be placed on private property without the consent of the owner or authorized agent thereof.
   3.   Imitation or Resemblance to Traffic Control and Safety Signs.  No sign or sign structure shall be erected at any location where it may by reason of its size, shape, design, location, content, coloring, or manner of illumination constitute a traffic hazard or a detriment to traffic safety by obstructing the vision of drivers, by obscuring or otherwise physically interfering with any official traffic control device, or which may be confused with an official traffic control device.  No rotating beacon, beam, or flashing illumination resembling an emergency light shall be used in connection with any sign display or be visible from an adjacent street.  No lights resembling an emergency light and no such words as “Stop,” “Look,” “Danger,” or any other lights, words, phrases, symbols, or characters which in any manner may interfere with, mislead, or confuse vehicle operators shall be used in a location which is visible to vehicular traffic.  No sign shall be located in such a manner as to impede the corner visual clearance.
   4.   Exits Shall Remain Unobstructed.  No sign shall be erected so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window, fire escape or any other exit required by the Building Code or Fire Code of the City, or by any other portion of this Code of Ordinances.
   5.   Unsafe Attachments.  No sign shall be attached to a standpipe, gutter drain, unbraced parapet wall, or fire escape.
   6.   Portable Signs.  Portable signs, except as permitted as temporary signs.
   7.   Vehicle Signage.  Any sign attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer parked on public or private property.  This section does not prohibit the identification of a firm or its principal products on a vehicle operating during the normal course of business or being taken home.
   8.   Revolving Signs.  No portion or part of a sign shall revolve nor shall the entire sign revolve.
   9.   Roof Signs.  No roof signs shall be allowed.
   10.   Swinging Signs.  No swinging signs over 24 square inches shall be allowed. 
   11.   Wall and Fence Signs.  Painting or affixing a sign to a wall or fence is prohibited.  An advertising sign message or copy shall not be painted or affixed directly on a wall or fence.
   12.   Projecting Signs.  Projecting signs, unless specifically approved by the Commission and Council.  See specific sign regulations in this chapter for details.
   13.   Off-Premises Signs, including billboard signs.
   14.   Banners and Pennants.  No banners, pennants, twirling signs, balloons, or other similar devices shall be allowed as permanent signs but may be permitted for temporary purposes as specified in the Temporary Signs section.
   15.   Bench Signs.

173.05 EXEMPT SIGNS.

Bookmark173.05  EXEMPT SIGNS.
   The following signs are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
   1.   Miscellaneous Signs.  Miscellaneous traffic or other signs of a public agency, such as railroad crossing signs and signs that warn of danger, hazards, or unsafe conditions.
   2.   Official Flags and Emblems.  Display of any official flag or emblem of a nation, state, or city.
   3.   City Entrance.  City identification and entrance signs installed by the City.
   4.   Inside Signs.  Any sign which is located within a building and not intended to be visible from outside the building.
   5.   Art.  Works of fine art that are not displayed in conjunction with a commercial enterprise for the principal purpose of commercial advertisement.
   6.   Temporary Decorations.  Temporary decorations or displays celebrating the occasion of traditionally accepted patriotic or religious holidays that are not displayed in conjunction with a commercial enterprise for the principal purpose of commercial advertisement.
   7.   Small Vehicle Signs.  Signs no larger than one square foot applied directly or attached directly to the body of a car, bus, trailer, or other vehicle are exempt from the regulations of this section if such vehicle has a valid registration, is utilized in the normal course of a business or in the operator’s usual routine activities, and such vehicle is not used primarily for the display of such sign or signs.
   8.   Nameplates.  Nameplates that are posted in conjunction with doorbells or mailboxes and do not exceed 24 square inches in surface area.
   9.   Legal Postings.  Legally required signs and notices required to be displayed, maintained, or posted by law or by any court or governmental order, rule, or regulation.
   10.   Information Signs, as defined in Section 173.02.
   11.   Address Signs.  Address signs, not exceeding one square foot in surface area, containing only the address of the premises upon which it is located and limited to no more than one sign for every 40 feet of lot street frontage.
   12.   Window Informational Signs.  Window informational sign displaying information about the operation of the business, such as days and hours of operation, telephone number, and credit cards accepted.  Such signs shall not exceed a maximum area of two square feet.

173.06 SIGNS IN RESIDENTIAL ZONES.

Bookmark173.06  SIGNS IN RESIDENTIAL ZONES.
   1.   Neighborhood or Development Signs. Residential developments or neighborhoods of four or more dwelling units shall be permitted one identification sign for each public street frontage or each entrance. Such signs may be placed in any location on private property provided the sign complies with the same height limitations specified for fences.  Maximum sign area for each sign shall be two square feet, plus one square foot for each dwelling unit or lot, but shall not exceed 25 square feet in area per sign face.
   2.   Religious Use Signs.  Each religious principal use shall be permitted wall signs and one ground sign per public street frontage, subject to the following size requirements.
      A.   Maximum Wall Sign Area.  The total area of wall signage shall not exceed one square foot for each lineal foot of building wall when viewed in elevation, not to exceed 40 square feet.
      B.   Maximum Ground Sign Area.  One ground sign is permitted per public street access.  The surface area for each sign shall not exceed 25 square feet and the height shall not exceed 5 feet.

173.07 SIGNS IN COMMERCIAL ZONES AND THE PUBLIC ZONE.

Bookmark173.07  SIGNS IN COMMERCIAL ZONES AND THE PUBLIC ZONE.
   1.   Development Complexes/Multi-Tenant Buildings.  Development complexes shall be permitted one ground sign per public street frontage.  The maximum permitted sign area for each development complex sign shall be as provided within the applicable zoning district, plus 10 additional square feet per business, enterprise, institution or franchise within development complex, but no more than 50 percent of the base allowable sign area.
   2.   Business and Public Use Signs.  Each enterprise, institution, or business shall be permitted wall signs, one canopy sign per street frontage, and one ground sign per public street frontage, subject to the following maximum size requirements.  Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion façade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum size requirement is not exceeded for a particular property. 
      A.   Maximum Wall Sign Area.  The total area of wall signage shall not exceed the following requirements for each building wall to which the signage is attached.
         (1)   In the C-1-A, C-1-B, and Public districts, one square foot for each lineal foot of building wall when viewed in elevation, not to exceed the following maximums::
            (a)   40 square feet for building walls up to 50 feet in length..
            (b)   80 square feet for building walls over 50 feet in length.
         (2)   In the C-2-A and C-3 zone districts, two square feet for each lineal foot of building wall when viewed in elevation, not to exceed 300 square feet.
      B.   Maximum Ground Sign Area.
         (1)   In the C-1-A and Public districts, one ground sign is permitted per public street access.  The surface area for each sign shall not exceed 50 square feet, except for development complexes as specified in section 173.07(1), and the height shall not exceed 20 feet.
         (2)   In the C-1-B zone district, one ground sign is permitted per street frontage.  The surface area for each sign shall not exceed 50 square feet, except for development complexes as specified in section 173.07(1), and the height shall not exceed 20 feet.
         (3)   In the C-2-A and C-3 zone districts, one ground sign is permitted per street frontage.  The surface area for each sign shall not exceed 100 square feet, except for development complexes as specified in section 173.07(1), and the height shall not exceed 24 feet.
      C.   Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.
         (1)   The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, or similar structure from which the sign is attached, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.
         (2)   The maximum allowable horizontal length of a canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, or similar structure from which the sign is attached, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.
         (3)   The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of a canopy or awning and the ground shall be eight feet.
(Ord. 2016-05 - Aug. 16 Supp.)

173.08 SIGNS IN OFFICE/RESEARCH PARK AND INDUSTRIAL ZONES.

Bookmark173.08  SIGNS IN OFFICE/RESEARCH PARK AND INDUSTRIAL ZONES.
   1.   Development Complexes/Multi-Tenant Buildings. Development complexes shall be permitted one ground sign per public street frontage. The maximum permitted sign area for each development complex sign shall be as provided within the applicable zoning district, plus 10 additional square feet per business, enterprise, institution or franchise within development complex, but not more than 50 percent of the base allowable sign area.
   2.   Building Identification Signs. One building identification sign for each building shall be permitted provided that no such sign shall exceed 25 square feet.
   3.   Business Signs. Each enterprise, institution, or business shall be permitted wall signs, one canopy sign per street frontage, and one ground sign per pubic street frontage, subject to the following maximum size requirements. Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion façade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum size requirement is not exceeded for a particular property.
      A.   Maximum Wall Sign Area. The total area of wall signage shall not exceed three square feet for each lineal foot of building wall the sign is attached to when viewed in elevation, not to exceed 300 square feet.
      B.   Maximum Ground Sign Area. One ground sign is permitted per street frontage. The surface area for each sign shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of street frontage, not to exceed 100 square feet, except for development complexes as specified in section  173.08(1), and the height shall not exceed 24 feet..
      C.   Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.
         (1)   The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, or similar structure from which the sign is attached, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.
         (2)   The maximum allowable horizontal length of a canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, or similar structure from which the sign is attached, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.
         (3)   The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of a canopy or awning and the ground shall be eight feet.
(Ord. 2017-02 - May 17 Supp.)

173.09 SIGNS IN THE COMMERCIAL RECREATIONAL VEHICLE DISTRICT.

Bookmark173.09  SIGNS IN THE COMMERCIAL RECREATIONAL VEHICLE DISTRICT.
   Each C-RV development shall be permitted one ground sign with a maximum area of one square foot for each lineal foot of street frontage, not to exceed 100 square feet.

173.10 INTERSTATE FRONTAGE SIGNS SPECIAL ALLOWANCES.

Bookmark173.10  INTERSTATE FRONTAGE SIGNS SPECIAL ALLOWANCES.
    Lots with at least 200 feet of frontage on Interstate 380 are eligible for increased ground sign size and height dimensions as specified in this section in recognition of the larger lot sizes, building sizes, and the larger visual field associated with such development.
   1.   Height.  The maximum height of ground signs may be 5 feet taller than the average height of the principal building on the lot but shall not exceed 40 feet maximum. This is intended to be a bonus standard for taller buildings, and shorter buildings are entitled to the standard maximum height for the zoning district in which they are located.
   2.   Area.  The maximum area of ground signs shall be 150 square feet, plus a bonus of 40 additional square feet per business, enterprise, institution or franchise within the development complex, provided that such bonus shall not exceed 200 square feet.

173.11 GENERAL SIGN REGULATIONS.

Bookmark173.11  GENERAL SIGN REGULATIONS.
Bookmark   1.   Sign Illumination.  All sign illumination shall be from the interior or from floodlight projection shielded to preclude glare visible from public right-of-way and neighboring properties.
Bookmark   2.   Measurement of Sign Area.  The square footage of a sign made up of letters, words, or symbols within a frame shall be determined from the outside edge of the frame itself.  The square footage of a sign composed of only letters, words, or symbols shall be determined from imaginary straight lines drawn around the entire copy or grouping of such letters, words or symbols.  Double-faced signs shall be calculated as the area of one side only.  Three-dimensional or multi-faced signs shall be calculated as the maximum area visible from any single direction at any point in time.
Bookmark   3.   Condition and Maintenance.  All signs, together with supports, braces, and anchors, shall be of rust-inhibitive material or treatment and shall be maintained in good condition in the opinion of the Code Official.  The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or posted at all times.
Bookmark   4.   Electronic Message Signs.  Electronic message signs that display time and temperature or provide changing messages are permitted. 
Bookmark   5.   Code Compliance.  The construction, installation, erection, anchorage, and maintenance of all signs are subject to the applicable provisions of this section, the Building Code and other applicable codes. All signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed to withstand load pressures as regulated by the Building Code.
Bookmark   6.   Landscaping.  All ground signs shall have one square foot of landscaping at the base of the sign for each two square feet of sign surface area.
Bookmark   7.   Corner Visual Clearance.  Signs shall not be located within the corner visual clearance area. Additional limitations upon location, size, and height of any such signs may be required by the City if additional requirements are necessary to meet standard traffic engineering practices.
Bookmark   8.   Interference with Utilities.  Signs and their supporting structures shall not interfere with any equipment or lines for utilities including water, sewage, gas, electricity, or communications.
Bookmark   9.   Obstruction to Doors, Windows, or Fire Escapes.  No sign shall be erected, relocated, or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window, or fire escape.  No sign of any kind shall be attached to a standpipe or fire extinguisher system.  No sign shall obstruct or interfere with any opening required for ventilation.
Bookmark   10.   Sign Mounting.  All signs shall be mounted in one of the following manners:
      A.   Flat against a building or wall, or
      B.   Back to back in pairs, so that the backs of such signs will be screened from public view, or
      C.   In clusters in an arrangement that will screen the backs of the signs from public view, or
      D.   Otherwise mounted so that the backs of all signs or sign structures showing to public view shall be painted and maintained a neutral color that blends with the surrounding environment.

173.12 SPECIFIC SIGN REGULATIONS.

Bookmark173.12  SPECIFIC SIGN REGULATIONS.
   The conditions of this section are applicable to all signs.
Bookmark   1.   Setback.  No part of any sign shall be closer than two feet from the established property line.
Bookmark   2.   Minimum Clearances over Access Ways.  Unless a greater or lesser minimum height is specifically listed for a particular sign, any part of a sign which projects into or over any access way shall have a minimum height of not less than the following:
      A.   Vehicular way:  14 feet.
      B.   Pedestrian way:  8 feet. 
Bookmark   3.   Minimum Distance Between Signs.  All ground signs in the districts in which they are allowed shall have a minimum distance separation of 150 feet.
Bookmark   4.   Directional Signs.
      A.   No more than two directional signs per street entrance shall be permitted for any enterprise, business, or institution. 
      B.   Such signs shall be for the sole purpose of ensuring safe and convenient access to the property.
      C.   No such sign shall exceed two square feet in area in the residential zones and shall not exceed three square feet in area in all other zones.
Bookmark   5.   Community Event Message Signs. 
      A.   A nonprofit organization shall be eligible to apply for a conditional use permit to allow a community event message sign to allow the display of changing messages and information on such matters as the date, time, location, and sponsor of special events of community interest.  Such signs shall meet the following standards and conditions:
         (1)   Each nonprofit organization shall be eligible for no more than one wall sign or one ground sign.
         (2)   The maximum area available shall be 50 percent of the base permitted sign area if located in a residential zone or 100 percent if located in any other zone.
         (3)   Permanent advertising of a commercial nature shall be allowed only in commercial zones and shall not exceed 25 percent of the total area of the community event message sign.
         (4)   The sign shall be made reasonably available to other community-based nonprofit organizations for the display of information about special events or other announcements of a noncommercial nature.
         (5)   The sign shall not be of a size or sited in such a manner that will substantially hinder the visibility of other legal signs on adjacent properties. 
      B.   In reviewing an application for a community event message sign, the Commission and Board of Adjustment shall consider the following objectives, and may impose conditions to ensure that these objectives are met:
         (1)   By virtue of the sign’s design, size, location, and other factors, including appropriate landscaping, the sign shall be harmonious and compatible with its surrounding, and consistent with community aesthetic sensibilities.
         (2)   The sign shall not be erected or any electronic or electric changing copy be controlled in a manner that will be a substantial distraction to motorists, thus causing a traffic hazard.
Bookmark   6.   Projecting Signs.  Projecting signs are allowed only upon approval by the Council after review and recommendation by the Commission.  Application for the sign permit shall be consistent with Section 173.03 regarding submission materials.  Projecting signs shall meet all setback, clearance, area, number, and general regulations in this chapter.  The City shall determine if the sign is appropriate for the location proposed and if the design is consistent with City aesthetic design goals regarding the following factors:
      A.   Signs may be attached only to building walls.  They may not be hung from roofs, fences, or eaves.
      B.   Colors and design theme are required to be consistent with the building to which the sign is attached.
      C.   Projection is required to be minimized to the maximum extent possible.
      D.   If lit, internal lighting is required.
      E.   All messages on the sign shall relate to the principal on-site use.
      F.   The mounting technique shall be safe and attractive.
      G.   Other considerations unique to the specific sign proposed and the site.
   7.   Intersection Landscaped Areas. No signage of any kind is permitted within the landscaped areas at street intersections and no signage shall be placed so that it obscures said landscaped areas.

173.13 TEMPORARY SIGNS.

Bookmark173.13  TEMPORARY SIGNS.
   1.   Political Signs.
      A.   Political signs shall be permitted in all zones but not within any public street right-of-way or on any public land.
      B.   Such signs shall not exceed 8 square feet in area and shall not exceed 42 inches in height. 
      C.   Political signs established in violation of this section may be immediately removed by the City.
Bookmark      D.   Permits are not required for temporary political signs.
(Ord. 14-19 – Feb. 15 Supp.)
   2.   Real Estate Signs. 
      A.   Real estate signs shall be permitted in all zones, provided that all such signs shall be located on the property to which they apply, except as provided in Paragraphs D and E of this section.
Bookmark      B.   Real estate signs shall conform to the following maximum size requirements:  Four square feet in area for the first 10,000 square feet in lot area plus four square feet for each additional 10,000 square feet of lot area, not to exceed a total sign size of 32 square feet. 
      C.   Real estate signs shall be removed upon closing of the sale.
      D.   In addition to lot-specific real estate signs, signs advertising the sale of lots within a subdivision shall be permitted. No more than one sign per entrance into the subdivision shall be allowed, and each sign shall be no greater than 32 square feet in area, no greater than 8 feet in height, and in place no longer than a period of three years.
      E.   Open house real estate signs may be located within the street right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk but not for more than 48 hours before or more than  four hours after the open house is held. Open house real estate signs shall be placed so that no part of the sign is closer to the roadway than three feet from the back of the curb and shall not be placed within a gravel shoulder. No signage of any kind is permitted within the landscaped areas at street intersections, and no signage shall be placed so that it obscures said landscaped areas. Any signs including real estate signs placed in the street right-of-way are posted entirely and solely at the risk of the sign owner, and may be removed at will and disposed of without notice by the adjacent lot owner or by City staff.
      F.   Permits are required for temporary real estate signs that are over 4 square feet in area, but not for those up to 4 square feet in area.
(Ord. 14-19 – Feb. 15 Supp.)
   3.   Special Sale Signs.  Special sale signs, including banner signs and vertical signs as specified by the City, may be displayed for no more than 10 continuous days up to five times per calendar year. Horizontal banners, yard signs, trailer signs, and all other similar signage are not allowed to substitute under any condition for the sign designs permitted by the City. A permit is required.
      A.   Banner Signs. 
         (1)   Sale and grand opening signs as defined herein are permitted in all zones except residential. Such signs shall be removed immediately upon termination of the special event or at the end of 10 days, whichever comes first.
         (2)   All such signs must be attached to the façade, wall, or window of the building occupying or conducting the sale or event which they advertise, or erected on temporary posts/supports within  one foot of the façade, wall, or window.
         (3)   No business shall have more than two such signs for each façade or wall of the building to which they are attached.
         (4)   The total sign size shall not exceed 50 percent of the size of the permitted wall sign or 25 square feet in area, whichever is greater.
      B.   Vertical Signs.
         (1)   Special event vertical as defined herein are permitted in all zones except residential. Such signs shall be removed immediately upon termination of the special event or at the end of 10 days, whichever comes first. Only sail-shaped vertical flag signs consistent with City specifications are allowed under these rules.
         (2)   The signs may be inserted into the ground, freestanding on a weighted base, or attached to a building, but in all cases shall be kept vertical.
         (3)   The signs shall be located only on the private property hosting the event, and not within any part of the City right-of-way.
         (4)   The number of vertical signs allowed per property shall be as follows:
            a.   For lots with a single business:  Two signs per street frontage are permitted; however, one additional sign is permitted for each additional 50 feet of frontage over 100’.
            b.   For multi-tenant lots:  Two signs per street frontage are permitted; however, one additional sign is permitted for each additional 50 feet of frontage over 100’. Tenants of multi-tenant lots shall ensure that collectively the display of vertical signs does not exceed the maximum number requirement, and any fines or penalties assessed for violation of these requirements may be assessed to the owners of all such signs placed on the multi-tenant lot.
   4.   Garage Sale Signs.
      A.   Garage sale signs are permitted in all zones but only on the property to which they apply.
      B.   Garage sale signs shall be displayed not for more than 48 hours before or more than  four hours after the end of the sale.
      C.   Such signs shall not be larger than four square feet and no more than 2 signs may be posted for any garage sale.
      D.   Such signs shall not be located within the street right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk. They shall not be located on gravel shoulders, within landscaped areas or obstructing landscaped areas at street intersections, nor shall they be attached to any traffic control posts or other public structures.
      E.   A permit is not required for garage sale signs.
   5.   Community Event Signs.  Promotional signs advertising a special community event such as a fair, farmer’s market, or parade may be permitted to be located over the public right-of-way or on public property. The size, location, and method of erection of such signs shall be subject to approval by the City Administrator or designee.
(Ord. 12-13 – Jan. 13 Supp.)
   6.   Builder/Contractor Signs.  Builders, contractors, and subcontractors may each display a business sign no larger than four square feet in size on a lot where they are actively working but not within the public right-of-way.
      A.   For new home construction, the posting of such signs is limited to that time between the start of construction and the sale of the home, but not more than 6 months.
      B.   For other construction projects requiring a building permit, the posting of such signs is limited to that time between the start of construction and the closing of the permit, but not more than 6 months.
      C.   For other construction projects not requiring a building permit, the posting of such signs is limited to that time between the start of construction and the end of construction, but not more than 6 months.
   A permit is not required for builder/contractor signs.
(Ord. 14-19 – Feb. 15 Supp.)

173.14 CHANGE IN USE.

Bookmark173.14  CHANGE IN USE.
   Whenever the use of land or structure changes, any signs that do not relate to the new use or to any product or service associated with the new use shall be removed or appropriately altered consistent with the provisions of this section.  Furthermore, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner of the land to remove any sign or signs on premises where the associated use has been discontinued for a period of more than 90 days.

173.15 NONCONFORMING SIGNS.

Bookmark173.15  NONCONFORMING SIGNS.
   Whenever a business, person, enterprise, or institution for which existing signage does not conform to the requirements of this chapter seeks to structurally alter or enlarge an existing sign or erect or install a new sign, the provisions of this section shall apply as follows:
   1.   The alteration, enlargement, installation, or erection of signage shall not increase the degree of nonconformity.
   2.   If the value of the structural alteration to a nonconforming sign equals or exceeds 50 percent of the value of the sign, as determined by the Code Official, the sign shall be made to conform to all provisions of this chapter.
   3.   Enlargement, installation, or erection of conforming signage shall be accompanied by a reduction in the degree of nonconformity for other signage existing on the premises.  This reduction in nonconformity can be accomplished by reduction in size of existing sign (if nonconforming by square feet), removal (if nonconforming by the number of signs), relocation (if nonconforming by location), or a combination of reduction, removal, and relocation of nonconforming signage shall equal, as nearly as practical, 75 percent of the value of the new or enlarged conforming signage or the costs necessary to bring all signage on the premises into conformance with this section, whichever is the lesser requirement.
   4.   The provisions of items 2 and 3 of this section do not apply to temporary or illegal signs.  Temporary signs that do not comply with the requirements of this chapter and other illegal signs shall be removed upon notification of the sign’s nonconformity.
(Ch. 173 - Ord. 11-18 – Apr. 12 Supp.)
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