Chapter 9.38
Signs

Sections:

9.38.010    Purpose

9.38.020    Applicability

9.38.030    Sign Permit and Master Sign Plan Requirements

9.38.050    Exemptions from Sign Permit Requirements

9.38.060    Prohibited Signs

9.38.070    General Requirements for All Signs

9.38.080    Sign Standards by Zone

9.38.090    Standards for Specific Sign Types

9.38.100    Nonconforming Signs

9.38.110    Amortization

9.38.120    Judicial Review

9.38.010 Purpose

The regulations established by this Chapter are intended to appropriately limit the placement, type, size, and number of signs allowed within the City, and to require the proper maintenance of signs. The purposes of these limitations and requirements are to:

A.    Avoid traffic safety hazards to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, caused by visual distractions and obstructions;

B.    Promote the aesthetic and environmental values of the community by providing for signs that do not impair the attractiveness of the City as a place to live, work, and shop;

C.    Provide for signs as an effective channel of communication, while ensuring that signs are aesthetically proportioned in relation to adjacent structures and the structures to which they are attached; and

D.    Safeguard and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.

9.38.020 Applicability

A.    Signs regulated. The requirements of this Chapter shall apply to all new signs and all changes to existing signs in all zoning districts. Any alteration to an existing sign shall require that the existing sign be modified to comply with all applicable provisions of this Chapter.

B.    Applicability to sign content. The provisions of this Chapter do not regulate the message content of signs, regardless of whether the message content is commercial or noncommercial.

C.    Historical signs. An existing sign found to be of historical significance by the Council on the basis of a recommendation of the Historic and Design Review Commission is exempt from the provisions of this Chapter after the Council has adopted findings indicating that the sign has specific historic value.

D.    Definitions. Definitions of the specialized terms and phrases used in this Chapter may be found in Article 10 (Glossary) under "Sign."

9.38.030 Sign Permit and Master Sign Plan Requirements

A.    Sign permit and/or master sign plan required. No sign shall be constructed, installed, or modified, unless a sign permit and, where applicable, master sign plan approval is first obtained in compliance with this Section, or the sign is allowed without a sign permit by Section 9.38.050 (Exemptions from Sign Permit Requirements).

1.    Criteria for approval. No sign permit or master sign plan shall be approved for an existing or proposed sign unless the sign is in compliance with all applicable requirements of this Chapter.

2.    Effect of approval. An approved sign shall be installed and maintained only in compliance with its sign permit and/or plan.

3.    Building Permit. A proposed sign may require a Building Permit in addition to a sign permit.

4.    Temporary signs. Temporary signs and temporary sign permits shall comply with Subsection 9.38.090.F (Temporary signs).

B.    Review authority.

1.    Director. The Director shall review and approve sign permit applications in compliance with the findings required by Subsection E. (Findings for approval), except as provided by Subsection B.2. The Director may also refer a sign permit application to the Historic and Design Review Commission for review and decision, as part of a development project that is otherwise subject to Design Review, or as a sign permit application that is not part of a larger project.

2.    Design Review. Design Review shall be required for:

a.    Master sign plans in compliance with the findings required in Subsection E. (Findings for approval);

b.    Sign permit applications proposing signs over 20 square feet in area, or proposing a sign that will increase the total sign area on a site to over 20 square feet; and

c.    All signs for nonresidential uses in residential zoning districts, except signs for home occupations of two square feet maximum.

d.    All signs located in Neighborhood Conservation Areas or on historic structures or sites.

3.    Conditions of approval. The review authority may require conditions of approval that it determines are necessary to achieve the purpose, intent, and objectives of this Chapter.

C.    Sign permit procedures.

1.    Application requirements. An application for a sign permit shall be prepared, filed, and processed in compliance with Chapter 9.70 (Permit Application Filing and Processing).

2.    Application contents. Each application shall include all of the following:

a.    A site plan and building elevations, drawn to scale or photographed, accurately showing the proposed location of each sign in relation to other signs on the site and building, including each existing and proposed sign of any type, whether or not requiring a permit;

b.    Plans for the sign, drawn to scale, accurately detailing the design and proposed appearance of the sign, including mounting and lighting details;

c.    A complete color scheme for the sign;

d.    Sufficient other details of the proposed sign to show that it complies with the provisions of this Chapter;

e.    Written permission from the property owner for the placement of the proposed sign on the site;

f.    Computation of the total sign area, the area of each individual sign, the height of each sign, and the total number of existing and proposed signs on the parcel; and

g.    Other information as required by the Department.

D.    Master sign plans. In order to achieve variety and to encourage good design, exceptions to the design requirements of this section may be permitted by the Historic and Design Review Commission, subject to a Master Sign Plan. Such exemptions may include, but are not limited to: height, area, location or illumination. In no case shall a sign prohibited in this Chapter be permitted, nor shall an exception be allowed that is detrimental to the health and safety of the community. The Master Sign Plan is intended to serve special and unique needs as listed below and is not an exemption or variance from the regulations of this Article. Subsequent sign applications meeting the approved Master Sign Plan design standards may exempt the property owner from Design Review.

1.    A Master Sign Plan is an option for a parcel or parcels that meets one of the following conditions:

a.    A non-residential project with two or more tenants;

b.    One main building 10,000 square feet or greater in size;

c.    Parcels one acre or greater in size;

d.    Theater, auditoriums and other places of public assembly;

e.    Parcels with frontage on more than one street or alley; or

f.    A parcel that contains a non-conforming sign that has been involuntarily damaged to more than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the sign.

2.    A Master Sign Plan shall include all the information and materials required by Subsection C.2 (Application contents), and shall provide design standards for the style, construction, height, size, illumination, and placement of signs within the proposed project.

E.    Findings for approval. The approval of a sign permit or master sign plan shall require that the review authority first make the following findings, as applicable.

1.    Sign permit findings. The proposed sign complies with the standards of 9.38.070 through 9.38.090, and is in substantial conformance with the design criteria in Subsection 9.38.070.E (Design criteria for signs).

2.    Master sign plan findings. Each proposed sign complies with the finding required for sign permit approval in Subsection E.1 with exceptions provided in Section 9.38.050.

F.    Expiration and extension of sign permit or approval.

1.    Sign permit and sign plan approval shall expire 12 months from the date of approval unless the sign has been erected or a different expiration date is stipulated at the time of approval. Before the expiration of a sign permit, the applicant may apply to the Department for an extension of an additional 12 months from the original date of expiration. The Director may make minor modifications, or may deny further extensions of the approved sign at the time of extension.

2.    The expiration date of the sign permit or sign plan shall be automatically extended to concur with the expiration date of the companion Building Permit or other applicable permits.

G.    Security for removal. A Building Permit application for a sign shall include either a financial security for $500 to cover the cost of removal of an existing nonconforming sign on the site, or a signed waiver of the applicant’s right to receive a Certificate of Occupancy until compliance with all City sign requirements. No Building Permit for a sign shall be issued for which a financial security or waiver is required until the bond is posted or the waiver is signed by the property owner. If a bond is posted, the bond shall be released upon compliance with all applicable City sign requirements. All existing signs shall be brought into compliance within 30 days of site occupancy.

9.38.050 Exemptions from Sign Permit Requirements

The following signs are allowed without sign permit or master sign plan approval, provided that they comply with Section 9.38.070 (General Requirements for All Signs), and any required Building Permit is obtained.

A.    Nonstructural modifications and maintenance.

1.    Modifications to sign copy on signs, or changes to the face or copy of changeable copy signs;

2.    Nonstructural modifications of the face or copy of an existing sign installed in compliance with a sign plan; provided, the modifications are consistent with the approved master sign plan;

3.    The normal maintenance of signs, except as identified in Subsection 9.38.100.B (Maintenance and changes); and

4.    Maintenance and modification of nonconforming sign up to 50% of its replacement cost.

B.    Temporary signs. The following temporary signs are allowed without a sign permit.

1.    Real estate signs. Real estate signs are allowed without a sign permit in compliance with California Civil Code Section 713, subject to the following requirements.

a.    Commercial and industrial zones. A site within a commercial or industrial zone established by Article 2 (Zoning Districts and Allowable Land Uses) shall be allowed one real estate sign of no more than six square feet, with a maximum height for freestanding signs of six feet, for each parcel frontage.

b.    Residential zones. A site within a residential zoning district is allowed the following real estate signs.

(1)    On-site signs. One residential real estate sign not more than six square feet in area, advertising the sale or lease of a parcel or structure, may be located on the property it advertises.

(2)    Off-site directional signs. Off-site real estate directional signs not more than six square feet in area may be located on private property, provided that they do not obstruct or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic, and are not secured to prevent removal. No real estate sign shall be permitted within the public right-of-way.

2.    Political, social issue or special event signs. These non-illuminated signs are allowed without a sign permit and shall not be prohibited by any other development restrictions (i.e. CC&R’s), provided that the signs:

a.    Are placed on private property with the property owner’s consent;

b.    Shall not exceed a total aggregate area of 12 square feet on a site within a residential zoning district, and 32 square feet within a nonresidential zoning district;

c.    Are not placed within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, street sign, or traffic signal, or interfere with, confuse, obstruct, or mislead traffic;

d.    Are not placed unlawfully. The placement of a sign in a public right-of-way in violation of this Chapter or any other provision of the Municipal Code is a nuisance, and any sign so placed may be removed summarily and disposed of by the City; and

e.    Political and special event signs are placed no more than 60 days prior to the event and are removed within 10 days after the conclusion of the political campaign or event to which they relate. A sign that is not removed will be removed by the City at the expense of the political candidate or organization involved.

3.    Construction Signs. Construction identification signs may be allowed in all zoning districts from the date of Building Permit issuance to 90 days after the Building Permit Final Inspection, and in compliance with the following standards:

a.    Signs are non-illuminated;

b.    The total sign area of all constructions sign shall not exceed 32 square feet; and

c.    Sign height shall not exceed six feet.

4.    Window signs. A sign posted, painted, placed, or affixed in or on a window exposed to public view for a period not exceeding 60 days. Window signs include an interior sign which faces a window exposed to public view and is located within three feet of the window.

5.    Banners and pennants. The use of a banner or pennants may be allowed for a licensed business for a period not to exceed 30 days per year. See Subsection 9.38.090(F)(1) for banners and pennants exceeding 30 days per year.

C.    Governmental signs. Signs installed by a Federal, State, or regional governmental agency, the City, County, or local agency, including the following signs:

1.    Emergency and warning signs necessary for public safety or civil defense;

2.    Traffic control and directional signs, and street name erected and maintained by an authorized public agency;

3.    Legal notices, licenses, permits, and other signs required to be displayed by law;

4.    Signs showing the location of public facilities (e.g., civic buildings and facilities, public telephones, restrooms, and underground utilities).

5.    Any sign, posting, public notice, or similar sign placed by or required by a governmental agency in carrying out its responsibility to protect public health, safety, and general welfare.

D.    Other signs.

1.    Street addresses. Street address numbers not exceeding 12 inches in height located in non-residentially zoned parcels, and not exceeding 6 inches in height for residentially zoned parcels.

2.    Official flags. Flags of national, State, or local governments, fraternal, or public service agencies, provided that:

a.    The length of the flag shall not exceed one-third the height of the flag pole;

b.    The height of the flag pole shall not exceed 15 feet within a residential zoning district, and 30 feet within a nonresidential zoning district; and

c.    No private flag pole shall be located within a public right-of-way or required setback.

3.    Ball Field advertising signs. Allowed for non-profit or governmental use. The signs shall not be visible from a street right-of-way.

4.    Historical markers. Historical plaques erected and maintained by non-profit organizations, memorials, building cornerstones, and date-constructed stones, provided that none of these exceed four square feet.

5.    Parking lot signs. Signs identifying accessible parking spaces, tenant parking, customer parking only, etc., and/or noting that unauthorized vehicles may be towed, provided that each sign does not exceed two square feet in area.

6.    Service station price signs. Service station price signs no larger than the minimum required by State law.

7.    Time and temperature signs, barber poles. Time and temperature displays, and barber poles that do not exceed 10 square feet in area; and

8.    Window signs. Window signs not greater than two square feet (aggregate) per use.

9.    Portable sidewalk signs. Signs meeting the following standards:

a.    Maximum size of 24 square feet or less;

b.    No unusual hazards to the users of the sidewalks exist; and

c.    Located on-site.

9.38.060 Prohibited Signs

All signs not expressly allowed by this Chapter shall be prohibited. Examples of prohibited signs include the following:

A.    Abandoned signs;

B.    Animated and moving signs, including electronic message display signs, and variable intensity, blinking, or flashing signs, the use of flame as illumination or as a design feature, or signs that emit a varying intensity of light or color;

C.    Internally illuminated plastic faced cabinet (can) signs except as expressly provided in Subsection 9.38.090.C;

D.    Off-site signs (e.g., billboards), except as allowed by Subsection 9.38.090.G (Off-site directional signs) and Subsection 9.38.030D (Master Sign Plan) for a multi-parcel tract of land in which the signage is not necessarily on the same premise as the business;

E.    Obscene signs (see definition under "Sign" in Article 10);

F.    Because of the City’s compelling interest in ensuring traffic safety, signs that simulate in color, size, or design, any traffic control sign or signal, or that make use of words, symbols, or characters in a manner that interferes with, misleads, or confuses pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

G.    A sign in the form or shape of a directional arrow, or otherwise displaying a directional arrow, except as approved by the review authority, or as required for safety and convenience and for control of on-site vehicle and pedestrian traffic;

H.    A vehicle sign including a sign attached to or suspended from a boat, vehicle, or other movable object that is parked within a public right-of-way, or located on private property but visible from a public right-of-way; except a sign painted directly upon, magnetically affixed to, or permanently affixed to the body or other integral part of a vehicle;

I.    A sign burned, cut, or otherwise marked on or affixed to a rock, tree, or other natural feature;

J.    A sign placed within a public right-of-way, except as provided by Subsection 9.38.070.D;

9.38.070 General Requirements for All Signs

A.    Sign area measurement. The measurement of sign area to determine compliance with the sign area limitations of this Chapter shall occur as follows.

1.    Surface area. The surface area of a sign shall be calculated by enclosing the extreme limits of all framing, emblem, logo, representation, writing, or other display within a single continuous perimeter composed of squares or rectangles with no more than eight lines. See Figure 3-8.

Figure 3-8 - Sign Area Measurement

2.    Sign structure. Supporting bracing or framework that is clearly incidental to the display itself shall not be computed as sign area.

3.    Multi-faced signs. The sign area for a sign with more than one face shall be computed by adding together the area of all sign faces.

4.    Three-dimensional objects. Where a sign consists of one or more three-dimensional objects (e.g., balls, cubes, clusters of objects, sculpture, or statue-like trademarks), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane. See Figure 3-9.

5.    Sign lighting. Permanently installed illuminated panels, visible tubing, and strings of lights outlining all or a portion of a structure, other than lighting that is primarily for indirectly illuminating architectural features, signs, or landscaping, shall be deemed "signs" subject to this Chapter and shall be counted as part of the allowed sign area. Each line of tubing or lights shall be deemed to have a minimum width of at least six inches for the purpose of area calculation.

B.    Sign height measurement and limit. The height of a sign shall be computed as the vertical distance from the lowest point of the base of the sign at normal grade, to the top of the highest attached component of the sign (see Figure 3-10). Sign height shall not exceed the limit established for the applicable zoning district by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone), or as required for a specific sign type by Section 9.38.090 (Standards for Specific Sign Types).

1.    Grade. Normal grade shall be construed to be the lower of either the:

a.    Existing grade before construction; or

b.    Newly established grade after construction, exclusive of any berming, filling, mounding, or excavating solely for the purpose of locating the sign.

2.    Where normal grade cannot be determined. If normal grade cannot reasonably be determined, sign height shall be computed on the assumptions that the elevation of the normal grade at the base of the sign is equal to the elevation of the nearest point of the street curb, or where there is no curb, the crown of a public street, whichever is lower.

C.    Sign location requirements. Each sign shall be located in compliance with the following requirements, and all other applicable provisions of this Chapter.

1.    Each sign shall be located on the same site as the subject of the sign, except as otherwise allowed in Section 9.38.050 (Exemptions from Sign Permit Requirements).

2.    Each sign shall be located in compliance with the setback requirements of the applicable zoning district, except where a different requirement is established by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone) or Section 9.38.090 (Standards for Specific Sign Types).

3.    No sign shall project over public property, or the public right-of-way, except where the City has granted an encroachment permit in addition to a sign permit.

4.    No sign shall be placed such that it will interfere with the operation of, or obscure any part of a door or window, or other building design element including a cornice or other decorative detail.

5.    No sign shall be placed where the sign will interfere with pedestrian or vehicular visibility or safety.

6.    No sign shall be placed on a roof.

D.    Signs placed within the public right-of-way.

1.    No sign shall be allowed in the public right-of-way except for:

a.    Public signs erected by or on behalf of a governmental agency to convey public information, identify public property, post legal notices, or direct or regulate pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

b.    Bus stop signs installed by a public transit company;

c.    Informational signs of a public utility regarding lines, pipes, poles, or other facilities; or

d.    Emergency warning signs installed by a governmental agency, a public utility company, or a contractor doing authorized work within the public right-of-way.

2.    Any sign installed or placed within the public right-of-way other than in compliance with this Section shall be forfeited to the public and be subject to confiscation.

3.    In addition to other remedies identified in Chapter 9.96 (Enforcement and Penalties), the City shall have the right to recover from the owner, or person placing the sign, the full costs related to the removal and disposal of the sign.

E.    Design criteria for signs. The following design criteria shall be used in reviewing the design of individual signs. Substantial conformance with each of the following design criteria shall be required before a sign permit or Building Permit can be approved.

1.    Color. Colors on signs and structural members should be harmonious with one another and relate to the dominant colors of the other structures on the site. Contrasting colors may be used if the overall effect of the sign is still compatible with the structure colors and prevailing colors in the surrounding neighborhood (where a theme can be identified).

2.    Design and construction.

a.    A proposed permanent sign should be designed by a professional (e.g., architect, building designer, landscape architect, interior designer, or one whose principal business is the design, manufacture, or sale of signs), or others who are capable of producing professional results.

b.    Each permanent sign should be constructed by a person whose principal business is building construction or a related trade including sign manufacturing and installation, or others capable of producing professional results. The intent is to ensure public safety, achieve signs of careful construction, neat and readable copy, and durability, to reduce maintenance costs and to prevent dilapidation.

3.    Materials and structure.

a.    Materials for permanent signs shall be durable and capable of withstanding weathering over the life of the sign with reasonable maintenance.

b.    The size of the structural members (e.g. columns, crossbeams, and braces) should be proportional to the sign panel they are supporting. In general, fewer larger supporting members are preferable to many smaller supports.

F.    Copy design guidelines. The City does not regulate the message content (copy) of signs; however, the following are principles of copy design and layout that can enhance the readability and attractiveness of signs. Copy design and layout consistent with these principles is encouraged, but not required.

1.    Sign copy should relate only to the name and/or nature of the business or commercial center.

2.    Permanent signs that advertise continuous sales, special prices, make claims, or include phone numbers, etc. should be avoided.

3.    Information should be conveyed briefly or by logo, symbol, or other graphic manner. The intent should be to increase the readability of the sign and thereby enhance the identity of the business.

G.    Sign lighting. Sign lighting shall be designed to minimize light and glare on surrounding rights-of-way and properties.

1.    Internally illuminated, plastic faced cabinet (can) signs are prohibited except as expressly provided in Subsection 9.38.090.C.

2.    External light sources shall be directed and shielded so that they do not produce glare on any object other than the sign, and/or off the site of the sign. Reflective-type bulbs that exceed 15 watts shall not be used so as to expose the face of the bulb or lamp to a public right-of-way or adjacent property.

3.    The light illuminating a sign shall not be of an intensity or brightness that will interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of residential properties.

4.    Sign illumination shall not blink, flash, flutter, or change light intensity, brightness, or color.

5.    Colored lights shall not be used at a location or in a manner so as to be confused or construed as traffic control devices.

6.    Neither the direct nor reflected light from primary light sources shall create hazards for pedestrians or operators of motor vehicles.

7.    Light sources should utilize hard-wired fluorescent, LED, or compact fluorescent lamps, or other lighting technology that is of equal or greater energy efficiency. Incandescent lamps shall be prohibited.

H.    Sign maintenance.

1.    Each sign and supporting hardware, including temporary signs, shall be maintained in good repair and functioning properly at all times.

2.    Any repair to a sign shall be of equal or better quality of materials and design as the original sign.

3.    A sign that is not properly maintained and is dilapidated shall be deemed a public nuisance, and may be abated in compliance with the Municipal Code.

4.    When an existing sign is removed or replaced, all brackets, poles, and other supports that are no longer required shall be removed, and unpainted areas shall be painted to match the adjacent portion of the structure or the sign support structure.

9.38.080 Sign Standards by Zone

Each sign shall comply with the sign type, area, height, and other restrictions provided by Table 3-10, except as otherwise expressly provided in Subsection 9.38.030 D (Master Sign Plans), Section 9.38.050 (Exemptions from Sign Permit Requirements), or Section 9.38.090 (Standards for Specific Sign Types).

Table 3-10 - Sign Standards For Residential, Agricultural, and Resource Zones

Zone District

Land Use Activity

Allowed Sign Type

Maximum Sign Height

Maximum Sign Area Allowed

 

Residential, Agricultural, and Resources Zones

Single-Family, Secondary Dwelling Units, or Duplexes

Wall

Below edge of roof

8 square feet per parcel

Multi-Family Projects and Structures, Non-Residential Uses

Wall or freestanding

Wall sign: below roof edge; Freestanding: 8 feet

20 square feet per parcel

Commercial, Industrial, or Public Facility Zones

Permitted and Conditionally Permitted Uses

See Section 9.38.090 (Standards for Specific Types of Signs)

20 square feet per business. Total sign area allowed per parcel shall not exceed 100 square feet.

Figure 3-11 - Examples of Sign Types

9.38.090 Standards for Specific Sign Types

Proposed signs shall comply with the following standards applicable to the specific sign type. Each sign type listed in this Section shall be included in the calculation of the total sign area allowed on a parcel by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone), unless this Section explicitly provides otherwise. Each sign shall also comply with the sign area, height, and other requirements of Section 9.38.080, and all other applicable provisions of this Chapter.

A.    Awning signs. Signs on awnings are limited to ground level or second story occupancies only.

B.    Freestanding signs. The following standards apply to freestanding signs in all zoning districts where allowed by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone).

1.    Location requirements. A freestanding sign may be located within a required front or street side setback provided that it complies with the vision clearance area requirements of Subsection 9.30.040.E (Height Limit at street corners), and the height limit requirements of Subsection B.2.

2.    Height limit. A freestanding sign shall not exceed a height of 10 feet if placed within 10 feet of a front or street side property line, 15 feet in the remaining area of the lot.

C.    Freeway-oriented signs. A sign designed to be read from Highway 101 and/or Highway 299 may be approved in compliance with the following requirements.

1.    Permit requirement. Use Permit approval is required for a freeway-oriented sign.

2.    Where allowed. Use Permit approval may allow a freeway-oriented sign only within the CV zoning districts, on a parcel within 500 feet of the right-of-way of Highway 101 and/or Highway 299. Internally illuminated plastic faced cabinet (can) signs may be allowed for businesses/uses (as defined by Subsection 9.26.020.D) that primarily serve the traveling public.

3.    Required findings. The approval of a Use Permit for a freeway-oriented sign shall require that the Commission first find that the use or site cannot be adequately identified by other signs allowed within the applicable zoning district, in addition to the other findings required for Use Permit approval by Section 9.72.080.

D.     Murals. A mural placed on the wall of a structure may be allowed in any zoning district as follows:

1.    A mural located in any commercial or industrial zoning district is subject to Design Review if it contains text or graphics intended to advertise or identify any business or product.

2.    Only the portion of the mural that contains text or graphics intended to advertise or identify any business or product shall be subject to the sign area requirements allowed by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone).

3.    The review authority may grant a Master Sign Plan on a parcel(s) not meeting one of the conditions of Section 9.38.030(D)(1) if the mural contains subordinate and incidental text or graphics intended to advertise or identify any business or product.

E.    Projecting signs. The following standards apply to projecting signs in all zoning districts where allowed by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone).

1.    The maximum projection of a sign from a structure wall over a public right-of-way shall not exceed 36 inches over a sidewalk. Larger projections from the structure wall over private property may be approved by the review authority. Any projection over a public right-of way shall require an Encroachment Permit.

2.    The top of a projecting sign shall not exceed the lesser of 14 feet, eave height, parapet height, or sill height of a second floor window. No portion of the sign shall project above the eave line of a sloped roof or the top of the parapet on a flat roof.

3.    A projecting sign shall maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet from the bottom of the sign to the finished grade below.

4.    Icon signs using shapes or symbols uniquely suited to the business, creative shapes, and three-dimensional signs are encouraged. See Figure 3-15.

5.    Each sign shall have a maximum area of nine square feet on each sign face, regardless of the length of the building frontage.

6.    Sign supports shall be well-designed and compatible with the design of the sign and building.

F.    Temporary signs. Temporary signs are allowed subject to the following requirements.

1.    Banners and pennants. Temporary banners and pennants on private property shall comply with the following requirements.

a.    The use of a banner or pennants may be allowed only for a licensed business for a period between 31 to 120 days with a temporary sign permit. See Subsection 9.38.050(B)(5) for an exemption.

b.    The application for a temporary sign permit for banners or pennants shall include the dates proposed by the applicant for scheduled banner use.

c.    A financial security shall be posted for a banner permit as required by the Director. The financial security may be revoked if the temporary banners are not removed within two days following their scheduled use.

2.    Subdivision directional signs, off-site. Off-site signs providing directions to a new subdivision may be allowed with sign permit approval, and shall comply with the following standards:

a.    A maximum of two off-site signs may be located on private property (not within any public right-of-way).

b.    The total area of each sign shall not exceed 12 square feet;

c.    The height of each sign shall not exceed six feet;

d.    The signs shall not be illuminated;

e.    The signs may be displayed only during the first year following date of recordation of the final map, or until all of the units have been sold, whichever first occurs; and

f.    The signs shall not affect pedestrian or vehicular safety.

3.    Subdivision signs, on-site. On-site subdivision identification signs may be allowed with sign permit approval, in compliance with the following standards:

a.    A maximum of two on-site signs may be located within the project boundaries; provided, no more than one sign for each street frontage is allowed, and multiple signs shall be separated by a minimum of 75 feet.

b.    The area of each sign shall not exceed 24 square feet;

c.    Sign height shall not exceed six feet;

d.    The signs shall not be illuminated; and

e.    The signs may be displayed only during the first year following date of recordation of the final map, or until all of the units have been sold, whichever first occurs.

G.    Off-site directional signs. Off-site directional signs are discouraged; however they may be allowed in compliance with the requirements of this Subsection, and subject to the approval of a sign permit.

1.    Where allowed. A directional sign may be approved only for sites where the review authority determines that a property owner has considered all permanent signs allowed by this Chapter, and site visibility still remains seriously impaired.

2.    Sign standards. An approved directional sign shall comply with all the following requirements, the other standards of this Section for the type of sign being proposed (e.g., freestanding, projecting, wall, etc.), and the sign standards for the applicable zoning district in Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone).

a.    Number, size, and height limitations. Only three off-site directional signs, and limited to one per street, shall be allowed. The sign shall not exceed an area of three square feet and not exceed six feet in height.

b.    Placement and content requirements. The sign shall be placed only on private non-residential property, at the location specified by the sign permit. The sign content shall be limited to business name and directional arrow.

H.    Wall signs. Wall signs are allowed in all zoning districts where listed by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone). A wall sign shall not project more than 12 inches from the surface to which it is attached.

I.    Window signs. The following standards apply to permanent window signs where allowed by Section 9.38.080 (Sign Standards by Zone).

1.    Maximum sign area. Permanent window signs shall not occupy more than 20 percent of the total elevation window area in which it is located.

2.    Sign materials. Signs shall consist of individual letters, logos, or symbols applied to, stenciled on, painted, or etched into the glass surface; however, neon signs with transparent backgrounds may be hung inside the window glass.

(Ord. 1419, eff. 10/5/2012)

9.38.100 Nonconforming Signs

A nonconforming sign is any permanent or temporary sign that was legally established and maintained in compliance with the provisions of all applicable laws in effect at the time of original installation but that does not now comply with the provisions of this Land Use Code.

A.    General requirements. A nonconforming sign shall not be:

1.    Changed to another nonconforming sign with a greater degree of nonconformity;

2.    Structurally altered to a greater degree of nonconformity;

3.    Enlarged;

4.    Re-established after a business is discontinued for 120 days; or

5.    Re-established after damage or destruction to more than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the sign, or its components, as determined by the Building Official unless it is approved through a Master Sign Plan (see Sections 9.38.030 and 9.90.030).

B.    Maintenance and changes. Nonstructural modifications and nonstructural maintenance (e.g., painting, rust removal) are allowed without a sign permit. Face changes and structural changes shall not exceed 50 percent of the replacement cost of the sign.

9.38.110 Amortization

A.    Schedule for correction or removal. Each sign that does not comply with the requirements of this Chapter shall be corrected or removed in compliance with the following schedule:

1.    Immediately upon notification, each hazardous, abandoned, or dilapidated sign shall be corrected or removed.

2.    Each nonconforming sign shall be removed, replaced, or altered in compliance with this Chapter and with Section 9.90.030 (Nonconforming Structures) of this Land Use Code.

B.    Abatement and removal. If a sign is declared hazardous, dilapidated, or abandoned, the sign shall be abated in compliance with Municipal Code Section 5500 (Abatement of Nuisances), except that, in the case of a hazardous sign, the sign is considered a "structure" with respect to the "Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings" and shall be abated in compliance with that code.

9.38.120 Judicial Review

Any permit issued or denied in compliance with this Chapter shall be subject to expedited judicial review to the extent provided by the time limits identified in Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.8 et seq.