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Signs

Applicability & Purpose Master Sign Plan
Sign Permits Minor Modification
General Sign Regulations

Prohibited Signs

Specific Sign Regulations Violations

 

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Download the City of Longmont Political Sign Regulations in Adobe.pdf

 

 

15.06.020 Applicability and purpose.

A.    Applicability.

1.     All signs and sign support structures shall conform to the requirements of this Sign Code and all other applicable provisions of the Longmont Municipal Code.

B.    Purpose. The purpose of this Sign Code is to promote the public safety and welfare by regulating signs in keeping with the following objectives:

1.     To improve the visual environment and foster economic development while providing adequate standards for the display of signs;

2.     To ensure that the design, construction, installation, repair and maintenance of signs will not interfere with traffic safety, or otherwise endanger public safety;

3.     To ensure that city rights-of-way are used in a manner consistent with the public interest; 4. To minimize incompatibility between signs and their surroundings. (Ord. 0-2001-78 §1 (part))

 

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15.06.050 Sign permits.

A.    Applicability. No sign shall be displayed in the city limits until the city has issued a permit for it unless it is exempt from a permit according to this section. No permit shall be issued unless the applicant demonstrates that the proposed sign meets the requirements of this Code. All face changes, except changeable copy signs, require a permit. Minimum submittal requirements and sign permit applications are available in the building inspection division. Fees for permits and installation shall be established and from time to time revised by resolution of the city council.

B.    Permits to be Withheld. Illegal or Prohibited Signs on Parcel. When a sign permit is requested for a parcel where illegal or prohibited signs exist, no sign permit shall be issued until all such signs are removed or brought into conformance with this Sign Code. All existing and proposed signs on the property shall be shown on a sign permit application.

C.    Exemptions from Permit Requirement. The following non-illuminated signs may be erected in compliance with this Sign Code without the issuance of a sign permit. Such signs may be permitted in addition to all other signs permitted and shall conform to setbacks, height, and other requirements of this Sign Code.

1.     Real estate signs;

2.     Construction signs;

3.     Election signs;

4.     Yard/garage sale announcements;

5.     Public signs;

6.     Ideological signs;

7.     Memorial signs;

8.     Flags;

9.     Holiday decorations (may be illuminated);

10.   On-site information signs;

11.   Window signs.

(Ord. 0-2001-78 §1 (part))

 

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15.06.060 General sign regulations.

A.    Location on Lot or Parcel of Use Advertised Required Generally. All signs allowed per this Sign Code shall be located on the lot or parcel of the use that they advertise, unless otherwise specifically provided for in this Sign Code. Under-canopy, under-awning, and downtown breezeway signs shall advertise uses immediately adjacent to their location. No signs are permitted on public right-of-way or property without authorization of the city. Open house and yard sales may have up to two off-site signs with the permission of the off-site property owner.

B.    Signs for Single-Use Developments.

1.     No one use is allowed more than three signs per street frontage, and no one use is allowed more than a total of five signs. The following number of each type of sign is allowed for any one use provided the total number of signs does not exceed five;

2.     No more than two wall signs, one per approved wall area;

3.     No more than one projecting sign (commercial districts only and not on the same wall as a wall sign);

4. No more than one freestanding sign per street frontage, except as allowed in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations"

5.     Pedestrian-oriented under-awning or under-canopy signs and signs exempt from permit are not counted toward the maximum.

 

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C.    Signs for Multiple-Use Developments.

1.     Applicability. Signs for new developments, redevelopments, or changes of use containing more than one principal use or business are allowed only according to a master sign plan approved by the city. An approved master sign plan shall govern all business/use signs as well as signs for the overall structure(s) or development.

2.     General Design Standards. All signs in a master sign plan shall provide a consistent design and shall be proportional and compatible to the size and design of the building, utilizing comparable materials and color. Master signs plans, as outlined in Section 15.06.080, shall address the following standards for all signs in a development:

a. Style of wall and freestanding signs (including freestanding sign bases);
b. Location and height of wall and freestanding signs;
c. Material and color palettes for signs, raceways, cabinets, bases, etc.;
d. Illumination devices and brightness levels for signs;

e. Narrative describing compliance with the city signs standards.

A master sign plan shall be submitted and reviewed in conjunction with a development application, as applicable.

3.     Project and Joint Identification Freestanding Signs. Multiple-use developments are allowed no more than one freestanding project identification sign or one joint identification sign per street frontage, except as allowed in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations." Additional sign standards are as specified in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations."

4.     Individual Business/Use Signs. No individual use in a multiple-use building or development is allowed a separate freestanding sign (see joint identification signs in subsection (C)(3) of this section). The total sign area allowed for all signs on a multiple-use building is equal to one square foot of sign per linear foot of approved wall area for all approved wall areas (a twenty-five percent increase in sign area may be allowed subject to city approval based on a finding that the scale and design of the sign is appropriate, for buildings three hundred feet or more away from the property line the sign is facing). Uses in multi-use structures are permitted a maximum of two wall signs or one wall sign and one projecting sign (commercial districts only), one per approved wall area. Approved wall area is based on the length of the exterior wall of an individual use. Alternately, in instances where a building contains a use or uses not having an exterior wall, allowed sign area for all uses in the building maybe calculated on a floor area basis. Each business or use is permitted one wall sign, with the allowed sign area on an approved wall area of the building the same proportion as the floor area of the use to the total building floor area. Wall signs may be placed above the first story (if a second story exists) subject to city approval of a master sign plan. Additional sign standards are as specified in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations."

5.     Project/Building Identification Wall Signs. Multiple-use developments are allowed no more than one project/building identification wall sign on each wall facing an adjacent public right-of-way. Additional sign standards are as specified in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations."

 

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D.    Signs for Planned Unit Developments.

1.     Applicability. Signs for buildings or developments within planned unit developments are allowed only according to a master sign plan approved by the city. An approved master signage plan shall govern all tenant signs as well as signs for the overall development.

2.     General Design Standards. All signs in a master sign plan shall provide a consistent design and shall be proportional and compatible to the size and design of the building(s), using comparable materials and color. Master sign plans, as outlined in Section 15.06.080, shall address the following standards for all signs in a development:

a.Style of wall and freestanding signs (including freestanding sign bases);
b. Location and height of wall and freestanding signs;
c. Material and color palettes for signs, raceways, cabinets, bases, etc.;
d. Illumination devices and brightness levels for signs;

e. Narrative describing compliance with the city sign standards.

A master sign plan shall be submitted and reviewed in conjunction with a development application, as applicable.

E.    Signs Within the Scenic Entryway Overlay District. All signs within the Scenic Entryway Overlay District are subject to the sign standards of Section 15.03.090, "SE-O Scenic Entryway Overlay District" in addition to the provisions of this chapter, whichever is more restrictive.

F.    Signs Within Historic Districts, the Central Business District, and the Longmont Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) Boundaries. All signs within a historic district, the Central Business District, or the LDDA boundaries shall be proportional in scale and compatible with the massing and architectural design of the building(s) using comparable materials and color. Signs shall also comply with adopted design guidelines for historic districts, the Central Business District, and the LDDA boundaries, as applicable.

G.    Back-to-Back Signs Permitted. All signs other than wall signs may be back to back, and each side may have an area not to exceed the maximum stated for each respective type of sign.

H.    Side Yard Setback for Freestanding Signs. Unless otherwise permitted in this Sign Code, freestanding signs shall be set back from any interior side lot line a distance equal to the height of the sign, except that monument signs not exceeding six feet in height may be within one foot, subject to sight distance restrictions.

 

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I.      Freestanding and Wall Signs.

1.     Freestanding Sign Separation.

a.     Freestanding signs on adjacent lots or development parcels for different uses on the same street frontage shall be separated by the maximum distance practicable to minimize impacts on the visual environment, allow for adequate sign visibility and to comply with sight distance standards. The applicant shall submit scaled plans (and digital images and photosimulations when requested by the city) depicting the location of existing and planned freestanding signs.

b.     Freestanding signs on the same lot or development parcel on the same street frontage shall be separated as required in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations" or Section 15.03.090, "SE-O Scenic Entryway Overlay District."
c.     Freestanding signs on the same lot or parcel on intersecting street frontages shall be separated by at least two hundred feet as measured by a straight line between signs, or as allowed in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations" or Section 15.03.090, "SE-O Scenic Entryway Overlay District."
d.     Freestanding signs shall be set back from the nearest principal building on the same lot or parcel at least the height of the sign.

2.     Freestanding Sign Design.

a.     All permanent freestanding signs shall be of a monument design including a monument base attached to the ground with no or minimal space between any sign cabinet and the monument base.
b.     The decision-making body may allow signs of a design compatible with the buildings/structures of the development, and thirty-five square feet or less in area, to be supported by poles on each end of the sign. Other pole style signs, with the exception of directional signs approved with the development are not allowed as freestanding signs unless a modification or variance is approved by the decision-making body.
c.     Monument bases shall be constructed of brick, stone, wood or metal material consistent and compatible with an exterior material and color of the principal building unless the decision-making body determines that an alternative base design will provide an equal or more compatible design.
d.     Monument bases shall be equal or greater (up to twenty percent greater) in width and length than the sign cabinet, as applicable. Sign cabinets for freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-four inches in width.

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e.     Freestanding signs, including cabinets/faces shall be consistent and compatible with the design of the building, structures and other features of the development.

3. Landscaping Around Freestanding Signs.

a.     Landscaping shall be provided around the base of freestanding signs, unless an alternative plan is approved as part of a flexible sign plan, minor modification, or variance.

b.     Two square feet of landscaping shall be provided for each square foot of sign area.
c.     Landscape areas shall include groundcover, shrubs, or flowers, and a method of irrigation.

4.     Wall Sign Design. Wall signs shall be designed to be consistent and compatible with the building to which the signs are attached, including proportional scale and compatible design, materials, and color.

 

J.     Freestanding Menu Boards for Restaurants and Other Uses with Drive-In Facilities. A restaurant or other use with a drive-in facility may have one additional freestanding sign (beyond what would normally be permitted) for a menu board sign along the drive-through lane. Menu board signs shall not exceed six feet in height and thirty-five square feet in area and shall be limited to one face. The design, color and materials of the menu board shall be consistent with other freestanding signs associated with the use.

K.    Projecting Signs. Projecting signs must be located on an approved wall area, but are not permitted on the same wall as a wall sign. See also Section 15.06.060(Q), "Projecting Signs in the Central Business District," as applicable.

L.     Public Signs. Public signs are exempt from the standards specified in this Code, but must be consistent with the design standards specified in this Code to the extent practical and may not include any signs prohibited by this Code.

M.    Signs Within or Facing Residential Zoning Districts. Signs within or facing residential districts shall be designed to be as compatible with the residential area as practical, in terms of sign size and type of illumination and hours of illumination. Generally, signs within or facing a residential district shall be located, shielded, and screened to prevent direct light or glare onto adjacent uses or properties, and shall be illuminated only during business hours. Exposed neon and LED lighting is prohibited on signs within or facing a residential zoning district.

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N.    Banners Across Rights-of-Way Standards.

1.     Banners shall only be used to provide awareness of local civic or community events or activities.

2.     Banners shall be made out of reinforced fabric suitable for adverse weather conditions and shall be capable of withstanding winds of ninety miles per hour without tearing. Banners shall be constructed from materials that allow wind to pass through, reducing wind-load effects.

3.     Banners shall have metal grommets spaced every three feet along the top and bottom edges to provide attachment points to the support cables.

4.     Maximum dimensions of the banner shall not exceed eighteen inches in height and thirty feet in length, unless the banner is of the perforated or vented type, in which case the maximum dimensions shall not exceed three feet by thirty feet. The banner shall not weigh more than thirty pounds.

5.     No banner may be installed without a permit from the building inspection division.

6.     Banners must be delivered to Longmont power and communication (LPC) department, with a copy of the permit, a minimum of five days prior to the permit date.

7.     All banners shall be installed by LPC consistent with all applicable existing statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations. If the banner is damaged or is in a state of disrepair due to natural causes, the city shall remove the banner or the applicant may provide a replacement banner if prior to expiration of the permit.

8.     Banners shall be installed and maintained at least twenty-one feet above the roadway or surface or ground unless a street closure permit is obtained. LPC will install banners only at approved banner locations that have special supporting structures. One approved location is across Main Street, just north of the St. Vrain River Bridge and another approved location is across Sixth Avenue, at the alley east of Main Street.

9.     Banners are also permitted at ground level only when a street closure permit is obtained. Installation of this type of banners will be the responsibility of the person obtaining the permit.

10.   Banners shall be displayed for no more than ten consecutive calendar days per event; or no more than twenty-five nonconsecutive days in one year per event. Banners displayed over streets that have been closed to vehicular traffic shall be limited to the days associated with the civic function. Once removed, the banner will be retained by LPC for applicant pickup for a maximum of thirty days.

11.   The permittee shall agree to hold harmless, defend, and indemnify the city from and against any and all claims of liability arising from the installation, maintenance or failure in any manner of the banner.

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O.    Signs on Municipal Golf Courses, Parks, and Airports. Commercial endorsements are allowed in all municipal golf courses, parks, and airports of the city, subject to the following standards:

1.     The community development director finds that the number and size of signs would directly serve the public interest and the particular public property sought for placement;

2.     The terms and conditions of any such placement are subject to a use of public places permit as specified in Chapter 13.37 of the LMC, and a revocable permit conforming with Article 12.7 of the Municipal Charter.

P.    Signs in Downtown Breezeways. The Longmont downtown development authority (LDDA) may apply for commercial sign permits for the downtown breezeways on behalf of the adjacent property owners. Such signs shall meet all specifications of this section and shall be considered wall signs. Such signs shall be affixed to the roof support columns and shall not project more than fifteen inches from the wall into the breezeway.

Q.    Projecting Signs in the Central Business District. Signs extending into the right-of-way require approval of a revocable use of public places permit. See also Section 15.06.060(F), "Signs Within Historic Districts, the Central Business District, and the LDDA."

R.    Portable Signs and Special Event Banners Within the CBD. To facilitate businesses in the downtown area, portable signs and special event banners are allowed in the CBD District subject to the following standards:

1. Portable sign boards shall not exceed six square feet in area and six feet in height. No more than two parallel sign faces are allowed.

2. Special event banners shall not exceed thirty-two square feet in area or twenty feet in height (or top building wall whichever is less).

3. Special event banners may be displayed for up to thirty days in any three-month period with a minimum of two weeks between events.

4. Portable signs and special event banners shall be designed to be consistent with the downtown improvements and shall be approved by the Longmont downtown development authority.

5. Portable signs and special event banners shall be located to minimize potential hazards for pedestrians, shall not restrict pedestrian access, and shall be located as close to the business entrance as possible.

6. Portable signs shall not be located within a street or parking space and shall be located to not restrict vehicle access or create a potential hazard for motorists.

7. Portable signs shall be displayed only during business hours.

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S.    Discontinued Use or Change in Use or Business Name.

1.     Whenever a property's use is discontinued for more than ninety days, signs pertaining to the use shall be removed or obscured by the person owning or having possession of the property after the discontinuance of such use. Sign removal shall be completed by a qualified person or company holding adequate liability insurance. Once a business resumes after ninety days, all signs associated with the business or use shall comply with current sign standards.

2.     Whenever a permit is requested to change a sign or sign face to a different business name, the sign and support structure shall comply with current sign standards. Legal nonconforming joint identification (multi-tenant) signs and support structures shall comply with the current sign standards when at least fifty percent of the total area of sign has changed business names from the date of adoption of this standard. The applicant shall be responsible for demonstrating compliance with this standard.

T.     Legal Nonconforming Signs. A legal nonconforming sign or sign structure on-site or within the right-of-way shall be removed or shall comply with the current sign standards when any one of the following conditions occurs:

1.     Whenever the property's use is discontinued or changed as specified in Section 15.06.060(R), "Discontinued Use or Change in Use or Business Name," above.

2.     Whenever a site plan is submitted for changes to the site improvements involving construction of things such as additional parking area, reconfigured landscaping or building additions;

3.     Whenever the sign is damaged more than fifty percent of its total replacement value, destroyed, or becomes obsolete or substandard under any applicable ordinance of the municipality to the extent that the sign becomes a hazard or a danger;

4.     Whenever there is a request for a building permit to make improvements to the facade of the building on which the nonconforming sign is located, excluding normal repair or maintenance;

5.     Whenever public improvements are made in the right-of-way or city property and the improvement is affected by the location of the sign.

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U.    Modifications to Existing Structural Support(s) of Nonconforming Signs. Modifications to existing structural supports of nonconforming signs are not allowed, except to bring the signs into conformance with the current sign standards.

V.    Sign Colors and Lighting.

1.     Fluorescent colors shall not be used on any sign, sign cabinet or frame, or support structure except as sign trim or on a sign logo not exceeding five percent of the sign area and consistent and compatible with the building design and color.

2.     Neon and LED lighting is prohibited on any portion of a building or structure except for within the lettering on a freestanding sign and within the lettering or logo of a wall sign, or as further restricted in Section 15.03.090, "SE-O Scenic Entryway Overlay District."

3.     Sign lighting levels shall be minimized to mitigate impacts and shall include night-time setbacks when the use/business is not open or in operation. Sign lighting levels shall not exceed a maximum of six hundred candela/square meter within or adjacent to residential districts, scenic entryway corridors, or sensitive wildlife habitat or natural areas, or a maximum of eight hundred candela/square meter in other areas. The applicant shall verify that the sign(s) comply with these lighting levels.

W.   Bus Stop Signs.

1.     Bus stop signs are advertising signs located on a bus stop shelter placed in the public right-of-way or on private property adjacent to a public right-of-way at a bus stop pursuant to a written agreement with the city which sets forth the regulations for the size, placement, design, and materials used in the construction of such signs, benches and shelters.

2.     Bus stop signs on shelters are permitted on expressway, arterial and collector street rights-of-way, as designated on the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan, except that bus stop signs are not permitted adjacent to or facing a lot containing a residential dwelling of four or fewer dwelling units when the front of the dwelling faces the expressway, arterial or collector street right-of-way.

3.     Bus stop signs on a shelter are limited to two sign faces (facing in opposite directions) per structure with a maximum of twenty-four square feet per face. Sign faces shall not exceed seven feet in height and shall not extend above the roof eave of a shelter. Sign faces shall not extend beyond the outside dimensions of the shelter. Sign faces shall be mounted flush to the shelter and shall face a public street right-of-way.

4.     Lighting of bus stop signs on a shelter may be allowed in non-residential zoning districts not facing an adjacent residential zoning district, except that lighting of bus stop signs is not permitted within a scenic entryway overlay zoning district. Bus stop sign lighting shall not flash or blink, and is limited to four seventy-watt bulbs for internal illumination of each sign face.

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X.     Sign Heights. Freestanding and wall sign height is measured from the elevation of the nearest sidewalk adjacent to the sign, or where there is no sidewalk, from the lowest point of finished grade located within twenty-five feet of the sign to the top of the sign structure. Freestanding signs may be up to six feet in height where the elevation of the nearest sidewalk is so below the level of the base of the sign as to preclude a sign of that height.

15.06.070 Specific sign regulations

A.    Permitted Signs by Zoning District. Types of signs permitted in the respective zoning districts of the city are shown in the following Table 15.06-A through Table 15.06-E. If a specific sign style or type is not included in the following tables, it is prohibited in the indicated zoning districts.

B. Table 15.06-A: Freestanding Signs in Residential Zoning Districts

Table 15.06-A Residential Zoning Districts including the residential portion of a PUD District. Refer to Section 15.03.090 regarding SE-O District sign standards. FREESTANDING SIGNS

Sign Type

Minimum Setback from Right-of-Way (feet) (subject to sight distance requirements and SE-O District setbacks, as applicable)

Max. Height (feet)

Max. Area (square feet)

Number of Signs

Sign Separation (feet)

Duration

Illuminated Signs Allowed

Sign Located in Landscape Area

Construction

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per street frontage per project (up to 4 signs total)

100 between signs on separate street frontages

Completion of project

No

No

Election

1

4

8

1 per candidate or issue per street frontage

N/A

No

No

Ideological

1

6

12

1 per street frontage (subject to sign separation requirements)

100 between signs on separate street frontages

No

No

Memorial

1

6

12

1 per street frontage

N/A

Permanent

No

Yes

Business/Use or Joint Identification (excluding home occupations)

Equal to sign height

6

32

1 per street frontage (subject to sign separation requirements)

200 between signs on separate street frontages (also refer to Section15.06.060.I.1)

Permanent

No

Yes

On-Site Information

1

4

4

As approved on site/development plan

Permanent

No

Yes

Project Identification

Equal to sign height

6

32

2 per street frontage for residential developments 1 per street frontage (subject to sign separation requirements) for non-residential developments

200 between signs on separate street frontages 50 between signs on same street frontages for residential developments (also refer to Section15.06.060.I.1)

Permanent

Yes (external only)

Yes

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Real Estate:                

Model Home

1

4

8

1 per model home

Until completion of sale

No

Yes

One-Family to Four-Family

1

4

8

1 per street frontage

100 between signs on separate street frontages

Until completion of sale

No

No

Other for Sale

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per street frontage

100 between signs on separate street frontages

Until completion of sale

No

No

Open House

1

4

8

1 per street frontage and 2 off-site

100 between signs on separate street frontages

1 hour before and after open house

No

No

Wind (special event only)

Equal to sign height

20, except balloons to maximum height of district

32 for single sign 50 for all signs

1 per street frontage

100 between signs on separate street frontages

14 days in any 6-month period (minimum 30 days between events)

No

No

Yard Sale

1

4

8

1 per street frontage and 2 off-site

100 between signs on separate street frontages

1 hour before and after sale

No

No

 

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C. Table 15.06-B: Wall Signs in Residential Zoning Districts.

Sign Type

Maximum Height (feet)

Maximum Area (square feet)

Number of Signs

Duration

Illumination Allowed

Construction

15, or below 2nd story floor, whichever is less

32

1

Completion of project

No

Bus Stop Sign (shelter), subject to Section 15.06.060.U

7, or below the roof eve of shelter, whichever is less

24

2

Permanent

No

Election

10

8

1 per candidate or issue per street frontage

No

Home Occupation

8

2

1

Permanent

No

Memorial

8

2

1

Permanent

Yes (external only)

Business/Use Identification (excluding home occupations)

15, or below 2nd story floor, whichever is less

Single-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area up to 32 total

1

Permanent

No

Multiple-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area of tenant space or based on percent of total building floor area up to 20 total per use (see Section15.06.060.C.4, "Individual Business/Use Signs")

Project Identification

15, or below 2nd story floor, whichever is less

32

1 per building at street entrance

Permanent

Yes (external only)

Real Estate:

Model Home

8

4

1 per model home

1 hour before and after open house

No

One-Family to Four-Family

8

4

1

Completion of sale

No

Other for Sale

8

8

1

Completion of sale

No

Open House

8

8

1

Completion of sale

No

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D. Table 15.06-C: Freestanding Signs in Non-Residential Zoning Districts

Sign Type

Minimum Setback from Right-of-Way (feet) (subject to sight distance requirements and SE-O District setbacks, as applicable)

Maximum Height (feet)

Maximum Area (square feet)

Maximum Number of Signs

Sign Separation (feet)

Maximum Duration

Illumination Allowed

Sign Located in Landscape Area

Changeable Copy

1 if sign height is 6 feet or less, otherwise equal to sign height

6 in CBD and SE-O zoning districts 8 in other zoning districts

32

1

Permanent Change copy only at beginning or close of business day

Yes

Business/Use or Joint Identification (Joint identification signs may be allowed on any lot or parcel of an approved site or development plan, subject to master sign plan approval by the city)

1 if sign height is 6 feet or less, otherwise equal to sign height

6 in CBD 8 in other zoning districts for signs up to 50 square feet 10 in other zoning districts for signs between 50 and 75 square feet 12 in other zoning districts for signs over 75 square feet

35 (single use) or 50 (multiple use) for total building floor area up to 10,000 square feet 50 (single use) or 65 (multiple use) for total building floor area between 10,000 and 25,000 square feet 65 (single use) or 80 (multiple use) for total building floor area between 25,000 and 100,000 square feet 80 (single use) or 100 (multiple use) for total building floor area over 100,000 square feet

1 per lot of 1 acre or less; otherwise 1 per street frontage (subject to sign separation requirements) plus 1 additional sign per street frontage in excess of 1,200 feet

200 between signs on separate street frontages (also refer to Section15.06.060.I.1) 1,000 between signs on the same street frontage

Permanent

Yes

Yes

Construction

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per street frontage per project (maximum of 4 total)

100 between signs on separate street frontages

Completion of project

No

No

Election

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per candidate or issue per street frontage

N/A

No

Yes

Ideological

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per issue per street frontage

10

No

Yes

Memorial

1

6

12

1 per street frontage

N/A

Permanent

No

Yes

On-Site Information

1

6

6

As approved on site/ development plan

Permanent

Yes

Yes

Real Estate

Equal to sign height

10

32

1 per street frontage, plus 1 additional sign per street frontage over 500 feet

100 between signs on separate street frontages

Completion of sale

No

No

Portable (special event only except for CBD - refer to Section15.06.060.R)

1

6

6 in CBD 12 in other districts

1

30 days in any 6-month period (minimum 30 days between events)

No

Yes

Project Identification

1 if sign height is 6 feet or less, otherwise equal to sign height

6 in CBD 6 in other zoning districts for signs up to 50 square feet 8 in other zoning districts for signs over 50 square feet

35 in CBD 50 in other districts for projects up to 50,000 square feet in building area or 5 acres in land area 75 in other districts for projects over 50,000 square feet in building area or 5 acres in land area

1 per street frontage

(also refer to Section15.06.060.I.1)

Permanent

Yes

Yes

Temporary Business Signs

Equal to sign height

6

35

1 per street frontage

(also refer to Section15.06.060.I.1)

60 days in any one year

No

No

Wind (special event only except for CBD - refer to Section15.06.060.R)

Equal to sign height

20 or building height, whichever is less, except balloons to maximum height of district

32 for a single sign 50 for all signs

N/A

30 days in any 6-month period (minimum of 30 days between events)

No

Yes

Yard Sale

1

4

8

1 per street frontage

1 hour before and after sale

No

No

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E. Table 15.06-D Wall Signs in Non-Residential Zoning Districts

Sign Type

Maximum Height (feet)

Maximum Area (square feet)

Maximum Number of Signs

Duration

Illumination Allowed

Maximum Projection (inches)

Location

Changeable Copy

25 or top of wall, whichever is less

32

1 per approved wall area

Permanent Change of copy only at beginning or end of business day

Yes

15

Approved wall area

Awning

Permitted on bottom of 1st floor awnings

0.5 per linear foot of awning

1 per awning

Permanent

Yes

Stitched to or incorporated into awning; may not be riveted or otherwise fastened to frame or awning

Approved wall area

Building/Project Identification

30 or top of wall, whichever is less

1 per linear foot of approved wall area Maximum of 200 per approved wall area (An increase in sign area up to 25 percent may be allowed for buildings 300 feet or more from the property line the sign is facing, subject to city approval based on a finding that the scale and design of the sign is appropriate)

1 per approved wall area

Permanent

Yes

15

Approved wall area

Bus Stop Sign (shelter), subject to Section 15.06.060.U

7, or below the roof eve of shelter, whichever is less

24

2

Permanent

Yes, subject to Section 15.06.060.U

6

Facing public street right-of-way, subject to Section 15.06.060.U

Business/Use Identification

Single use building: 25 or top of wall, whichever is less Multiple-use building: 25 or top of wall, whichever is less

Single-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area Maximum sign area of 400 per approved wall area

1 per approved wall area

Permanent

Yes

15

Approved wall area

Multiple-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area of tenant space (see Section15.06.060.C.4, "Individual Business/Use Signs")

(Maximum sign area of 400 per approved wall area for any individual tenant) (An increase in sign area up to 25 percent may be allowed for single- or multiple-use buildings 300 feet or more from the property line the sign is facing, subject to city approval based on a finding that the scale and design of the sign is appropriate)

1 per approved wall area for each use tenant

Canopy

25 or fascia of canopy whichever is less

0.5 per linear foot of canopy

1 per attached canopy on apron only 1 per detached canopy per each street frontage

Permanent

Yes (sign area only)

6 from canopy

Approved wall area

Construction

10

32

1

Completion of construction

No

6

Approved wall area

Election

10

32

1 per candidate or issue per approved wall area

No

6

Approved wall area

Ideological

25 or top of wall, whichever is less

32

1 per approved wall area

Permanent

No

6

Approved wall area

Memorial

6

12

1 per building

Permanent

No

6

Approved wall area

On-Site Information

10

8

1 per wall

Permanent

Yes

15

Approved wall area

Real Estate

10

32

1 per approved wall area

Completion of sale

No

6

Approved wall area

Temporary Business Sign

Single-use building: 25 or top of wall, whichever is less Multiple-use building: 25 or below 2nd story floor, whichever is less

Single-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area Multiple-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area

1 per approved wall area

60 days in any one year

No

15

Approved wall area

Wind (special event only)

25 or top of wall, whichever is less

32 for a single sign 50 for all signs

N/A

30 days in any 6-month period (minimum of 30 days between events)

No

N/A

Approved wall area

Window

1st floor windows only

25 percent of window area

1 per window

Permanent or temporary

Yes

None

Approved wall area

Under-awning/Under-canopy

7 minimum clearance

4

1 per tenant per use per entrance

Permanent

No

To edge of awning or canopy

Approved wall area

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F. Table 15.06-E: Projecting Signs in Commercial Zoning Districts

Sign Type

Maximum Height (feet)

Maximum Size (square feet)

Maximum Number of Signs

Duration

Illumination Allowed

Maximum Projection (feet)

Minimum Clearance (feet)

Changeable Copy

25 or top of wall, whichever is less

1 per linear foot of approved wall area up to 20 total

1 per building on an approved wall area

Permanent

Yes

5

8

Business/Use Identification

Single-use building: 25 or top of wall, whichever is less Multiple-use building: 25 or below 2nd story floor, whichever is less

Single use-building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area up to 20 total Multiple-use building: 1 per linear foot of approved wall area up to 20 total

1 per approved wall area

Permanent

Yes

5

8

On-Site Information

25 or top of wall, whichever is less

8

As approved on site/development plan

Permanent

Yes

5

8

 

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15.06.080 Master sign plans.

A. Purpose and Scope. The purpose of this master sign plan section is to allow an applicant to develop a creative and cohesive alternative sign plan for multiple signs on a property which may not meet all of the standards established elsewhere in this chapter, but which will comply with subsections D and E of this section, and otherwise satisfies the intent of this Sign Code. Through a master sign plan, the following standards of this Sign Code may be varied, except that master sign plans within the Scenic Entryway Overlay District are limited to the sign standards in Section 15.03.090:

1. Sign area for individual signs;

2. Sign height for individual signs;

3. Sign setback or separation between freestanding signs;

4. Maximum number of signs, types of signs, or approved wall areas for purposes of sign location;

5. Any other dimensional or design standard in this chapter (Sign Code);

6. In exchange for a creative and quality design, dimensional standards may be altered up to twenty percent (or up to top of wall for wall signs). The decision-making body may approve a greater change in a dimensional standard based on the applicant demonstrating that the change is warranted by a master sign plan and development that represents an exceptional design or by conditions that reasonably preclude compliance with existing standards.

 

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B. Permitted Zoning Districts. Master sign provisions apply to any development, parcel, or lot in any zoning district, except that master sign plans with the Scenic Entryway Overlay District are subject to the sign standards of Section 15.03.090.

C. Procedure.

1. The applicant shall submit a sign plan consisting of a written statement addressing the proposal and the review criteria along with dimensioned graphic plans identifying the following items for all signs on the property:

a. Sign style, type, location, size (area) and height for wall and freestanding signs;

b. Materials and colors for signs, raceways, cabinets, bases, etc.;

c. Sign illumination devices and brightness levels;

d. The sign plan should be submitted and reviewed in conjunction with a development application, whenever possible, or may be reviewed as a separate application.

2. The decision-making body shall review the sign plan. If the master sign plan complies with the provisions of this Sign Code and the review criteria, the sign plan may be approved.

D. Review Criteria. All master sign plans shall be reviewed according to the following criteria. The master sign plan may contain any conditions necessary to ensure compliance with these criteria. Requests for exceptions to the sign standards outlined in subsection A of this section may be granted as part of the master sign plan provided the following criteria are met:

1. The development meets all other applicable city regulations, including but not limited to required parking, landscaping, and setback standards.

2. The plan complies with all applicable provisions of this Sign Code, except those that may be varied by this section.

3. The plan is consistent with the purposes of this Sign Code and will not adversely impact surrounding properties or neighborhoods.

4. The plan represents a creative alternative design in which sign colors, materials, design, size, height, illumination, and number of signs are appropriate and compatible with the buildings, structures or other features on the site.

5. The proposed signs will not negatively affect the visual character of the area, cause future variance requests, or contribute to degradation of the visual environment through sign proliferation.

E. Master Sign Plan Governing Terms Amendments Lapse Upon Redevelopment.

1. The master sign plan shall govern the allowed signs for the property.

2. Such sign plans may be amended, provided all signs that do not comply with all provisions of this Code are removed. Signs that are nonconforming shall be removed as specified in Section 15.06.060(T), "Legal Nonconforming Signs."

3. Master sign plans shall automatically lapse upon redevelopment of the property, unless the scope of redevelopment is limited and the decision-making body agrees that the master sign plan can remain in effect.

F. Appeals. An applicant whose master sign plan is denied by the staff may appeal such decision to the planning and zoning commission (P/Z) within thirty days from the date of the denial. Such appeal request shall be made in writing stating how the applicant's request meets the review criteria. The decision-making body shall make a determination on the issue by motion, and such action shall be final.

 

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15.06.090 Minor modifications and variances.

A. Request for Minor Modification. A request to modify an individual sign from the standards set forth in this Sign Code shall be reviewed according to a minor modification if the requested modification represents an increase of up to twenty percent from a numerical standard or a request from other non-numerical design standards. Refer to Section 15.02.090(H), "Minor Modifications."

B. Request for Variance. If not eligible for a master sign plan or minor modification, an applicant may request a variance from the sign standards according to the requirements and procedures of Section 15.02.060(F), "Variances." The decision-making body may grant variances to the standards set forth in this Sign Code only upon submission of an application and alternative sign plan satisfying the intent, purpose, and spirit of this Sign Code. The alternative sign plan shall include all information indicated in Section 15.06.080(C) for a master sign plan.

C. Grant of Variance Subject to Conditions and Time Limit.

1. The decision-making body may grant variances subject to any conditions which are deemed necessary or desirable to make the sign that is permitted by the variance compatible with the purposes of this Sign Code.

2. Unless otherwise provided by the decision-making body or this Development Code, the applicant must apply for a sign permit within six months of the variance approval.

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15.06.100 Prohibited signs.

A. Signs Within the Sight Distance Triangle. In order to preserve sight distance, an unobstructed view shall be maintained within sight distance triangles:

1. Sight distance requirements are addressed in Chapter 15.10 under the sight distance triangle definition and in the City Design Standards and Construction Specifications. The city may require a greater distance in certain high-volume or high-speed traffic intersections per city standards.

2. No signs, except traffic signs, shall exceed a height of thirty-six inches above the grade of the lower roadway within the sight distance triangle.

3. In addition, sign projection or overhang across this triangular area shall be permitted only when the bottom of the sign surface is a minimum of nine feet above the grade of the higher roadway. No sign supports shall be within the sight distance triangle.

B. Prohibited in All Zone Districts. The following signs are prohibited in all zone districts and are not subject to variances.

1. Any sign that causes visual obstruction or interfere with motor vehicle traffic or a traffic-control device, including any sign that obstructs clear vision in any direction from any street intersection or driveway;

2. Any sign employing a lighting or control mechanism which causes radio, radar or television interference;

3. Any sign that obstructs any fire escape, window, door, or opening used or required as a means of egress or ingress, or for fire fighting purposes, or interferes with any openings required for light or ventilation;

4. Wind signs, except as special event signs authorized in Section 15.06.070 above;

5. Animated signs, except for scoreboards for athletic events, time and temperature devices, or electronic message boards used by the city or other public agency to address a health or safety matter;

6. Neon or LED lighting not within the lettering or logo of a sign, or as further restricted in Section 15.06.060, "General Sign Regulations" and Section 15.03.090, "SE-O Scenic Entryway Overlay District"

7. Portable signs, except as part of special event signs authorized in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations," above or in the CBD as allowed in Section 15.06.060, "General Sign Regulations"

8. Wall or freestanding signs advertising a name brand product or product line sold within a business;

9. Roof signs or any portion of a sign or sign cabinet or frame extending above the parapet or roof eave;

10. Searchlights;

11. Signs painted on or attached to fences, except as authorized in Section 15.06.070, "Specific Sign Regulations"

12. Signs attached to utility poles or other poles or structures, except bus stop signs, within public rights-of-way;

13. Strings of light bulbs used in connection with commercial premises for commercial purposes, other than holiday decorations;

14. Signs on parked vehicles except for-sale signs on registered and licensed vehicles that are legally operable on streets and highways;

15. Signs that are inoperable, unsafe, or dilapidated;

16. Signs in rights-of-way or upon other public property unless specifically permitted or provided for in this Sign Code;

17. Off-premises signs, except bus stop signs, that advertise a use not located on the same lot or parcel as the sign. Joint identification signs may be allowed on any lot or parcel of an approved site or development plans, subject to master sign plan approval by the city;

18. Signs erected without a permit or otherwise erected contrary to this Sign Code.

 

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15.06.110 Design, construction and enforcement.

A. Conformance to Building Code Required. The design of all signs and sign structures shall conform to the requirements of the Building Code as adopted by the city.

B. Inspection Authority. All signs shall be subject to inspection by the appropriate agents of the city for the purpose of determining compliance with this Sign Code.

C. FootingsInspection Required. Footing and foundation inspections are required for all freestanding signs.

D. Signs with Electrical WiringConformance to Electrical Code. All signs containing electrical wiring are subject to the provisions of the Electrical Code, as adopted by the city, and the components used shall bear the label of a testing agency approved by the city.

E. Maintenance Required. All signs shall be maintained by the owner or property owners association and shall be kept in good repair.

F. Signs Believed UnsafeRequest to Inspect. Whenever the community development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, has reasonable cause to believe that there exists any sign or any condition which makes such sign unsafe or in violation of any section of this Sign Code, the community development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, may enter such premises at all reasonable times to inspect such signs, provided that if such premises are occupied, thecommunity development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, shall first present proper credentials and request permission to inspect the signs. If such premises are unoccupied, the community development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, shall make reasonable effort to locate the person in control of the premises and request permission to inspect the signs. If such permission is refused, the community development director, or other authorized representatives of the city manager, shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry to the premises.

G. Signs Believed Unsafe Authority to Require Certification of Safety. When, in the opinion of the community development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, reasonable cause exists that a proposed or existing sign structure is unsafe, the applicant shall furnish a certificate from a registered civil, structural, electrical or mechanical engineer certifying its safety.

H. Noncomplying SignsRemoval Order Authority. The community development director, or any authorized representative of the city manager, shall order the removal of any sign or signs that are not erected or maintained in compliance with the provisions of this Sign Code.

I. Noncomplying SignsNotice of Violation. Notice of violation shall be given to the owner and user of the noncomplying sign. Removal or compliance shall be completed within the time frame as specified in the notice, unless an appeal is requested. However, no more than thirty calendar days shall be given for removal or compliance without the approval of the community development director, or other authorized representative of the city manager, if no appeal is requested.

J. Noncomplying SignsFailure to Comply with Notice. Failure to remove or bring the sign(s) into compliance will be cause for the city attorney, acting on behalf of the city council, to maintain an action to enforce this Sign Code. All costs incurred by the city plus an administrative charge of fifteen percent of the costs shall be charged against the property and its owner.

 

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15.06.120 Violations.

A. Violations Penalty.

1. It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or employee or agent, to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish, equip, use or maintain any sign or cause or permit the same to be done in violation of this Sign Code.

2. Any person, firm, or corporation violating or permitting a violation of this Sign Code commits a separate offense for each day or part of a day the violation exists subject to the provisions of Chapter 15.09 (Enforcement and Penalties).

 

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