Chapter 17.88
SIGNS

17.88.010 Applicability

This Chapter shall apply to all signs and/or sign structures that are visible from public rights-of-way and private streets, within parking lots and loading areas and from adjacent properties, unless such signs are regulated under the provisions of an adopted specific plan.

17.88.020 Intent and Purpose

The purpose of this Chapter is to implement the Palmdale General Plan by promoting the growth of the city in an orderly and attractive manner and to provide standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the type, number, area, height, quality of materials, construction, illumination, location and maintenance of all signs and sign structures. The sign regulations of this Chapter are intended to accomplish the following results:

A.    Make the city attractive to residents, visitors and commercial, industrial and professional businesses while maintaining economic stability through an effective and high-quality signing program.

B.    Protect and enhance the character of residential neighborhoods and property values by preventing visual clutter caused by excessive and obtrusive signage.

C.    Promote and maintain healthy commercial and industrial areas and property values for effective identification and communication of the nature of goods and services and avoidance of wasteful and unsightly signs.

D.    Establish an attractive uniform citywide sign beautification program that creates a sense of place upon arrival to the city and provides a public convenience by directing persons to various activities and uses.

E.    Provide a reasonable system of sign control throughout the city consisting of sign type, size, location, and illumination and spacing to contribute toward development of a high-quality visual environment.

F.    Encourage signs that are well designed and pleasing in appearance and to provide incentive and latitude for variety, good design, relationship and spacing.

G.    Encourage a desirable community character, which has a minimum of visual clutter.

H.    Enhance the economic value of the community and each area thereof through the reasonable regulation of such things as type, number, area, height, location and illumination of signs.

I.    Encourage signs that are well located and harmonious with adjacent land uses and contribute to architectural compatibility.

J.    Reduce and, to the extent permissible and practicable, eliminate traffic and safety hazards posed to motorists and pedestrians by outdoor advertising structures and other signs that may distract motorists and pedestrians.

K.    Implement the goals, policies and objectives of the general plan.

L.    Encourage pedestrian-oriented commerce within the downtown district by promoting pedestrian-scale signs.

M.    Direct persons at entrances of multi-tenant buildings through placement of directory signs or information kiosks.

N.    Enhance the community environment by limiting the visual influence of wall signs on buildings containing three stories or more.

O.    Ensure and protect the constitutional right of free speech by not imposing greater restrictions on noncommercial speech than on commercial speech or advertising.

P.    Provide sign criteria that is objective, does not vest City officials with unfettered discretion, and that is aimed at regulating the time, place and manner of signs as distinguished from the content of the sign. Where content is regulated, the City intends its regulations to be narrowly tailored to serve the City’s compelling interest in preserving and enhancing its appearance and in protecting motorists and pedestrians from traffic and safety hazards.

Q.    Bring existing approved sign programs into conformance with current development standards while maintaining the unique characteristics intended for such programs.

R.    Provide a reasonable amortization period for the removal of nonconforming signs.

S.    Inventory, identify and abate all illegal, abandoned and improperly maintained signs.

T.    Identify precisely those areas and/or zones where the installation of additional outdoor advertising structures should be prohibited due to the importance of such areas to the environmental, economic or other development goals and objectives of the City.

U.    Provide for the relocation of existing legal outdoor advertising structures so as to minimize the adverse effects of such signs on the City’s goals and objectives, in accordance with Business and Professions Code section 5412.

V.    Remove all outdoor advertising sign structures from the residential areas of the City, in accordance with Business and Professions Code section 5412.

17.88.030 Definitions

For the purposes of this Chapter, the following words and phrases are defined as follows. Any word, phrase or term which is not defined in this Chapter but which is defined in Chapter 17.16 PMC shall mean the same as the definition contained in Chapter 17.16 PMC.

Abandoned Sign shall mean any sign remaining in place for a period of 90 days or more which advertises or identifies a business, product, or service where the establishment to which the sign is attached has ceased operation and where it is clear that the sign has been deserted or where there is no sign copy appearing on the sign.

Accessory Sign shall mean signs that support drive-thru or walk-up uses, fuel price signs as set forth under state law, signs that are placed on the outer edge of a permanent canopy island structure or that are displayed on or below a canopy projecting from a main building.

Advertising Structure shall mean a structure of any kind erected, used, or maintained for outdoor advertising purposes, upon which any poster, bill, printing, painting or other advertisement of any kind whatsoever may be placed, including statuary, for advertising purposes.

Alteration shall mean any change of size, shape, illumination, position, location, construction or supporting structure of an existing sign.

Animated Sign shall mean a sign having moving parts or lighting, an image projection which creates the illusion of moving parts, or has flashing, chasing, or twinkling lights.

Area, Sign shall mean the entire area within a single continuous perimeter composed of squares or rectangles which encloses the extreme limits of the writing, representation, emblem, or any figure, together with any frame, background area, structural trim, or other material, including any light or color that forms an integral part of the display which is used to differentiate the sign from the background upon which it is placed. In the case of a sign designed with more than one exterior surface, the area shall be computed as including only the maximum single display surface, which is visible from any ground position at one time. The supports or uprights on which any such sign is supported shall not be included in determining the sign area unless such supports or uprights are designed in such a manner as to form an integral background of the display.

Balloon shall mean a flexible, nonporous bag inflated with a gaseous substance, such as helium, that is lighter than the surrounding air, which causes the bag to rise and float in the air.

Banner Sign shall mean a temporary sign composed of flexible, light-weight material not enclosed in a rigid frame.

BIA shall mean the Building Industry Association, Antelope Valley Chapter.

Billboard shall mean the same as outdoor advertising sign structure.

Billboard Relocation Agreement shall mean an agreement entered into between the City and a billboard owner resulting in removal of an existing outdoor advertising sign structure, reconstruction of the outdoor advertising sign structure on its existing site or relocation of the outdoor advertising structure to another parcel of property within the City, subject to the approval of a Conditional Use Permit. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

Building shall, in addition to its common meaning, mean any structure requiring a building permit.

Building Facade shall mean that portion of any exterior elevation of a building extending vertically from grade to top of a parapet wall or eaves, and horizontally across the entire width of the building elevation.

Cabinet or Can Sign shall mean a sign consisting of one or more flat translucent panels containing sign copy affixed to an internally illuminated box or cabinet mounted on a building or monument structure. Such signs are typically illuminated with fluorescent lights. Sign panels may or may not be interchangeable.

Canopy Sign shall mean any sign printed or painted on the visible surface of a canopy or awning.

Change of Copy shall mean the changing of a message on a lawfully erected sign. A change of copy does not include the following (all of which acts shall be considered as the placing of a new sign): any alteration or reconfiguration of the outside dimensions of a sign, any structural modifications of a sign and/or relocation of all or any portion of a sign.

Changeable Copy Sign shall mean a sign on which message copy can be changed manually through use of attachable letters and numerals.

Commercial Speech shall mean any message, the prevailing thrust of which is to propose a commercial transaction.

Construct, when used with reference to a sign, shall mean to install, erect or place on the ground or on a building structure, or to affix, paint or post on or to a building or structure.

Copy shall mean either commercial speech or non-commercial speech messages.

Digital Advertising Display shall mean an electronic advertising display where the message is changed more than once every two minutes, but no more than once every six seconds and the transition between messages is no more than one second. A Digital Advertising Display shall not be considered an Electronic Reader Board or Animated Sign as those terms are otherwise defined herein. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

Directional Sign shall mean any sign that serves solely to designate the direction or the location of any place or area and is placed on the property to which the public is directed.

Directory Sign shall mean a sign or a set of similarly designed individual signs placed or displayed in sequence, to list all or part of the businesses within a building or business center or depicting the location of various units within a development.

Double-Faced Sign shall mean a sign with copy on two faces, legible from opposite directions.

Electronic Reader Board shall mean a sign that contains a video screen, rows of light bulbs or other type of electronic display, which when activated forms messages, symbols or graphics. Electronic reader boards do not include Outdoor Advertising Sign Structures utilizing Digital Advertising Display pursuant to PMC 17.88.160(E). (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

Fair Market Value shall mean the amount to be determined pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 5412.

Flag shall mean a piece of fabric, plastic or other flexible material that is designed to hang from a pole, flex in the wind, and be used to display a symbol of a nation, government entity, religious entity or other organization, or be used to signal or attract attention.

Flashing Sign shall mean the same as Animated Sign.

Freestanding Sign shall mean any sign supported by structures or supports that are placed on, or anchored in the ground, which are independent from any building or other structure. This definition may include pole signs, ground signs, and monument signs.

Freeway shall mean a highway in respect to which the owners of abutting land have no right or easement of access to or from their abutting lands or in respect to which such owners have only limited or restricted right or easement of access and which is declared to be such in compliance with the Streets and Highways Code of the State of California.

Frontage, Building shall mean the length of a building wall as measured continuously in one plane for the entire length of the subject building, excluding eaves or roof overhangs. Where a building is visible from more than one street or parking area the building frontage of the main public entry shall be designated as the primary building frontage with all other such frontages designated as secondary.

Frontage, Street shall mean the property line of any one parcel parallel and adjacent to the public right-of-way or private street to which it borders. For the purpose of this Chapter, the Antelope Valley Freeway shall not be deemed to be street frontage.

Height of Freestanding Signs shall mean the greatest vertical distance measured from ground surface to the top of the sign and any accompanying architectural feature of the sign. Intentional changes in the elevation of the ground surface by mounding within landscape areas utilizing more than a 3:1 slope in order to achieve an increased overall height shall be counted in the calculation of sign height.

Height of Non-Freestanding Sign shall mean the greatest vertical distance measured from the bottom to the top of the sign area.

Holiday Displays shall mean decorations installed or displayed for a limited period of time during a historic holiday.

Human Signs shall mean any person having a visual appearance primarily used for, or having the effect of, attracting attention from the streets, sidewalks or other outside public areas for identification purposes, which person in any manner, or by any means, whether enumerated in this subsection or not, conveys a message, announces or directs attention to the name, nature, merits, availability, price, or type of goods, services, or products produced, sold, stored, furnished, or available at that location or at any other location.

Illegal Nonconforming Sign shall mean any sign structure, which did not conform to applicable laws and/or was not granted a sign permit when constructed and has not been brought into full conformity by a specific remedy provided in this Chapter.

Illuminated Sign, Externally, shall mean any sign constructed to have artificial light shone on the sign face from a lighting source that is external to the sign structure.

Illuminated Sign, Internally, shall mean any sign constructed to have artificial light shone on the sign face from a lighting source that is inside the sign structure.

Industrial Park shall mean a group of three (3) or more businesses located in industrially designated property, which is situated as an integral unit on a single parcel of land, or on separate parcels of land and which businesses utilize common off-street parking or access.

Information Kiosk shall mean a freestanding or wall-mounted sign structure, other than an outdoor advertising structure or monument sign, that is designed to display a collection of two or more signs that direct pedestrian to locations or businesses located on site, or display non-commercial messages.

Institutional Use shall mean an established organization, foundation, or governmental agency dedicated to education, public service or culture.

Kiosk Sign Program shall mean a uniform off-site directional sign program, administered by the BIA or an agency as determined by resolution of the City Council for the purpose of providing travel directions.

Legal Nonconforming Sign shall mean any sign that was lawfully erected, with all necessary permits, but due to a change in the law, fails to conform to all applicable regulations and limitations of this Chapter.

Maintenance shall mean the repair, restoration or preservation of an existing sign or sign structure to a condition or state similar to, but not larger than, that which was originally installed, erected or approved by the City.

Marquee shall mean a freestanding structure, wall sign or a structure that overhangs the entrance of a building or projects beyond a building façade, on which a changeable copy sign is affixed, such as those typically displayed outside theaters, hotels, schools or churches. Individual letters are changed manually on such signs as opposed to electronically.

Monument Sign shall mean a low profile, ground-mounted freestanding sign that is supported by a solid base as an essential element of the design of the sign.

Neon Signs shall mean a sign constructed of tubing that is illuminated by means of a gas or vapors. Decorative or other architectural elements on buildings consisting of neon tubing are not included in this definition.

Noncommercial Speech shall mean any message that is not determined to be commercial speech as defined herein. Speech that is determined to be obscene shall not be included.

Off-Site Commercial Sign shall mean a sign displaying a permanent message that is not located on the site of the business, accommodations, services or commercial activity served by the sign.

On-Site Commercial Sign shall mean a sign that is located on the site of the business, accommodations, services or commercial activity served by the sign.

Outdoor Advertising Sign Structure shall mean a panel or billboard affixed to the ground, enclosed in a rigid frame used to display paid commercial and noncommercial messages or advertisements in outdoor public places, such as alongside highways.

Painted Sign shall mean a wall sign painted directly onto the surface of a building or onto a separate flat surface that is attached to the side of a building.

Parapet shall mean the portion of a building wall that rises above the roof level.

Pole Sign shall mean a permanent freestanding sign supported by one or more posts, columns or poles that are not enclosed in a solid structure equal in width to at least one-half the sign face and where the portion of the unenclosed posts, columns or poles exceeds eighteen inches (18") in height.

Projecting Sign shall mean a sign that is attached to and projects away from the side of a building. Such signs are typically oriented for pedestrian visibility and are viewed perpendicular to the face of the building.

Reader Board shall have the same definition as the term Electronic Reader Board.

Regional Shopping Center shall mean a center greater than fifty (50) acres located within a Regional Commercial land use designation as identified in the General Plan.

Relocate shall mean to move a sign from one location to another or to remove a sign from one location and construct a similar sign at another location.

Roof Line shall mean the ridge of the roof or the top of the parapet; whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette.

Roof Sign shall mean any sign erected upon, against, or directly above a roof, or projecting above the parapet of a building. Signs erected on a mansard roof shall not constitute a roof sign.

Secondary Skyline Sign shall mean a wall sign that is placed below the second floor of a building consisting of three stories or more.

Shopping Center shall mean a group of three (3) or more commercial retail businesses which have been designed and developed together as an integral unit on a single parcel of land or separate parcels of land and which businesses utilize common off-street parking or access.

Sign shall mean any object conveying a message and having a visual appearance primarily used for attracting public attention or patronage from the street, sidewalk or other outside public area.

Sign Face shall mean the surface or that portion of a sign upon which the sign copy or message is located that is visible from a single point as generally a flat surface or a single plane.

Sign Program shall mean an approved plan by the Director of Planning or his or her designee setting forth all signage for an approved commercial, business or industrial center.

Sign Structure shall mean any structure, which supports, has supported, or is capable of supporting a sign, including decorative cover.

Skyline Sign shall mean a wall sign that is placed above the windows of the highest floor of a building consisting of three stories or more.

Strand Lights shall mean two or more light bulbs connected along any length of wire and not contained in conduit or other rigid enclosure.

Temporary Signs shall mean signs that are displayed for a specific period of time or event and which are removed immediately after the completion of the event or time period.

Under-Canopy Signs shall mean signs suspended no lower than eight feet (8') above the public right-of-way or a walkway under a canopy or awning of a building.

Unlawful Sign shall mean a sign which was constructed illegally and which violates this Chapter, or which the Director of Planning declares to be unlawful because it has become dangerous to public safety.

Upgrade shall mean any activity intended to improve the design quality and aesthetic appeal of an existing sign, display, or device by modifying structural elements of, or providing substantial cosmetic enhancements to, such sign, display or device.

Vehicle Sign shall mean any sign painted directly upon, magnetically affixed to or permanently affixed to the body or other integral part of an operative vehicle, provided that the maximum number of such signs is two (2) and the maximum size of each sign is four (4) square feet. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 95-6 adopted by City Council April 10, 1996.)

Wall Sign shall mean a sign attached to, painted or erected on the exterior wall of a building or structure with the exposed face of the sign in a plane approximately parallel to the plane of the exterior wall.

Window Signs shall mean signs constructed of paper, canvas, cardboard or painted with water soluble pigment which are to be displayed on the inside of a glass window surface or painted on the outside of a window. This term does not include merchandise located in a window.

17.88.040 Sign Permit Requirements and Procedures

Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, no person shall cause or permit the construction, enlargement, remodeling or upgrade of any sign without first obtaining a sign permit in accordance with the provisions of this Section, and any other permits required by law. Legally established signs becoming nonconforming as a result of this ordinance shall be subject to amortization in accordance with PMC 17.88.160. Any person or entity engaged in the business of constructing signs in the City shall have a valid state contractor’s license and a City business license.

In each instance, and under the same conditions to which this Chapter permits any sign, a sign containing an ideological, political, religious or other non-commercial message and constructed to the same physical dimensions, character and standards shall be permitted.

A.    Application Requirements. An application for a sign permit shall be made on the appropriate form(s) provided by the Director of Planning. A processing fee established by resolution of the City Council for new sign permits shall accompany applications. Applications for new sign permits shall contain all of the following information and materials:

1.    Project location:

a)    Address or nearest cross streets

b)    Assessor’s parcel number (for vacant land)

2.    Name of business (if applicable)

3.    Name, address, and phone number of person and firm preparing application.

4.    Property owner or owner’s authorized leasing agent name, signature and telephone number.

5.    Description and number of signs requested, including all accessory signs.

6.    Drawing depicting dimensions, design, colors and materials of the sign or sign structure(s).

7.    Construction specifications for method of attachment of the sign to the ground or structure and illumination.

8.    Building elevation (for wall signs) depicting the dimensions, color and materials of the building or leaseholder unit where sign is to be attached. A photograph may be used to show the color and material of the building.

9.    Site plan (for freestanding signs). Showing the intended location and position of the proposed sign; distance to existing or future buildings, parking facilities, any outdoor seating areas, other freestanding signs, property lines, roadways, and driveways on or adjacent to the parcel where the sign is to be located.

10.    Grading Plans (for freestanding signs), demonstrating grade elevation within landscaped areas in relationship to the public right-of-way in immediate proximity of proposed sign structure(s).

B.    Review process

An application for a sign permit to construct a new sign or to enlarge or upgrade an existing sign for an existing building shall be submitted on the appropriate form(s) provided by the Director of Planning and accompanied by a processing fee established by resolution of the City Council. Within ten (10) days of the receipt of an application for a sign permit, the Director shall approve the sign permit if the Director finds that such application satisfies the standards set forth in subsection C of this Section and the provisions of this Chapter. Otherwise, the Planning Director shall deny the sign permit, in which case the applicant shall be notified in writing the reason(s) why the application was denied. All decisions of the Director of Planning may be appealed in accordance with PMC 17.20.110.

C.    Criteria for approval. The following findings shall be made for approval of any sign permit for a sign or sign structure regulated by this Chapter:

1.    The sign complies with the applicable provisions of PMC 17.88.090, General Development Standards, for permanent sign structures regulating the allowable sign area, location, setbacks, orientation, design, construction, materials, colors, and illumination; and

2.    The sign complies with the adopted sign program for the site, which regulates the size, color, lettering, location and other design elements specified in the sign program (if applicable).

17.88.050 Change of Copy Requirements and Procedures

Application Requirements. The application for a change of copy on an existing legally established and legally existing sign shall be made on the appropriate form(s) provided by the Director of Planning. Any person or entity engaged in the business of constructing signs in the City shall have a valid state contractor’s license and a City business license. In each instance, and under the same conditions to which this Chapter permits any change of copy, a sign containing an ideological, political, religious or other non-commercial message and constructed to the same physical dimensions, character and standards shall be permitted.

A.    Applications for a change of copy shall contain all of the following information and materials:

1.    Project location including address or nearest cross streets, assessor’s parcel number (for vacant land) and name of business (if applicable).

2.    Name, address, and phone number of person and firm preparing the application.

3.    Property owner or owner’s authorized leasing agent name, signature and telephone number.

4.    Description and number of signs for which change of copy is requested.

5.    Previously approved sign plans depicting sign area, dimensions, colors, design and materials and method of illumination of the original sign or sign structure.

B.    Review process

An application for a change of copy to upgrade an existing sign shall be reviewed by the Director of Planning or his or her designee within ten (10) business days following submittal of a complete change of copy application. The Director shall either approve the requested change of copy if the Director finds that such application satisfies the standards set forth in subsection C of this Section and the provisions of this Chapter or the Planning Director shall deny the sign permit, in which case the applicant shall be notified in writing the reason(s) why the application was denied. All decisions of the Director of Planning may be appealed in accordance with PMC 17.20.110.

C.    Criteria for approval. The following findings shall be made for approval of any change of copy regulated by this Chapter:

1.    The requested change of copy is to change the face of a legally-established sign structure that was issued all required permits at the time the sign was originally constructed;

2.    The sign structure to which the change of copy is requested is of sufficient integrity and strength to adequately support the sign copy; and

3.    The requested change of copy does not alter or reconfigure the outside dimensions of the sign, structurally modify the sign or relocate the sign from its original construction.

17.88.060 Sign Program Requirements and Procedures

Anyone wishing to establish a new sign program for an approved commercial shopping center, Business Park or industrial center for the purpose of establishing a coordinated project theme consisting of uniform design elements for multiple tenants and/or for modifying the spacing or location requirements for signs established under this Chapter may apply for a sign program in accordance with this Section. Elements not specified, as a component of the sign program shall comply with all applicable City sign regulations as required under this Chapter. In no case will a sign program be allowed to exceed the maximum sign area or height for the various types of signs permitted under this Chapter. A processing fee established by resolution of the City Council shall accompany applications for new sign programs along with the following:

A.    Application Requirements. New applications for sign programs shall be submitted in an 8 ½" X 11" format containing the following information and materials.

1.    Name, address and location of the center.

2.    City of Palmdale project case number for the center.

3.    Name, address, and phone number of person and firm preparing program.

4.    Property owner or leasing agent name, signature and phone number.

B.    Optional Sign Program Specifications. The following may be submitted in support of an application for a sign program. Where appropriate, illustrations shall be included.

1.    Size and material specifications;

2.    Method of attachment;

3.    Method of illumination;

4.    Architectural design enhancements;

5.    Location(s) of signs;

6.    Major or other tenant sign specifications, provided total center sign area is not exceeded;

7.    Letter style, font, color, and/or height specifications;

8.    Spacing requirements for signs; and

9.    Prohibited signs, beyond those identified under PMC 17.88.080.

C.    Review process. Applications for new sign programs shall be submitted on the appropriate form(s) provided by the Director of Planning and accompanied by a processing fee established by resolution of the City Council. Within 30 days of the receipt of an application for a sign program, the Director shall approve the application if the Director finds that such application satisfies the standards set forth in subsection D of this Section and conforms to the provisions of this Chapter. Otherwise, the sign program shall be denied and the applicant shall be provided with the reason(s) for the denial in writing from the Director of Planning. All decisions of the Director of Planning may be appealed in accordance with PMC 17.20.110.

D.    Criteria for approval. The following findings shall be made in order to approve any sign program regulated by this Chapter:

1.    The sign program establishes a coordinated project signage theme or modifies the spacing or location requirements within an approved commercial, business or industrial center of three or more tenants;

2.    The sign program does not exceed the maximum sign area for the various types of signs permitted under this Chapter; and

3.    The sign program meets all of the provisions contained in PMC 17.88.090, General Development Standards, for permanent sign structures.

17.88.070 Exemptions to Sign Permit Requirements

The following signs shall be allowed without the requirement of a sign permit in all zones, except as specified herein in which case such signs shall comply with PMC 17.88.040, Sign Permit Requirements and Procedures. All exempt signs shall be subject to PMC 17.88.090, General Development Standards, and PMC 17.88.190, Administration:

A.    Bus shelter signs. Signs located on bus shelters as specifically allowed by Resolution of the City Council.

B.    Flags. One (1) flagpole per developed parcel with a maximum of two (2) flags, not to exceed thirty-five (35) feet in height and twenty-five (25) square feet in area. One additional flagpole with up to two additional flags may be permitted subject to approval of a sign permit.

C.    Holiday displays. Holiday decorations displayed for an aggregate period not exceeding sixty-days (60) in any 365-day period.

D.    Information kiosks and directory signs. Information kiosks and directory signs that are permitted by the zone district as an accessory use and shall not exceed six (6) feet in height or sixteen (16) square feet in area per face (maximum thirty-two (32) square feet for a multi-sided kiosk). Information kiosks may be located within public property or right-of-way, subject to approval by the Director of Public Works or his/her designee. Wall-mounted signs are not exempt and are subject to the sign regulations for the zone.

E.    Interior signs. Signs located inside a building, structure or mall provided the sign copy is not visible to the public right-of-way or a parking lot or is not located so as to be conspicuously visible and readable without intentional and deliberate effort from outside the building, structure or mall.

F.    Light pole banners. Light pole banners as specifically allowed under PMC 17.88.140, Citywide Sign Beautification Program.

G.    Off-site directional sign structures. Off-site directional sign structures as specifically allowed under PMC 17.88.140, Citywide Sign Beautification Program.

H.    On-site directional signs. The City has a compelling interest in ensuring traffic safety, and to directly advance that interest, the City will allow on-site directional signage in accordance with the following standards so as to assist and direct traffic circulation into, out of, and through, parking lots on private property. On-site directional signs shall be limited in number to five (5) signs. Developed sites that have more than one frontage shall be allowed four (4) signs per frontage up to eight (8) total signs. The maximum area for such signs shall not exceed two (2) square feet in area per sign and three (3) feet in height. Up to two (2) times the allowable sign area may be permitted with approval of a sign permit, provided no more than one-half (½) the allowable number of on-site directional signs is proposed for the site.

I.    Official signs. The City has a compelling interest in facilitating traffic safety for pedestrians and motorists. This interest is directly advanced by having official signs that help direct pedestrians and motorists away from roadway hazards, toward public services, and informs those persons of the applicability of certain traffic regulations. To accomplish this compelling purpose, the City finds that it must allow for such signs to be erected, moved and changed by governmental officials with minimal regulation from the Planning Department of the City. For these reasons, the City hereby exempts the following signs from its sign permit requirements and development standards. Official traffic, fire and police related signs, temporary traffic-control signs used during construction, utility facilities and substructure location and identification signs and markers required to protect said facilities, and other signs and markers required by the City of Palmdale, the State Department of Transportation, or any other public agency.

J.    Personal property for sale signs. One sign not exceeding four (4) square feet in area may be placed on residential property where personal property is displayed for sale in accordance with Municipal Code provisions.

K.    Signs on vehicles. Vehicle signs, as defined in PMC 17.88.030, provided that the vehicle is not parked in a required parking space adjacent to a public right-of-way for the primary purpose of advertising. Any signage required by state law or local ordinance to be affixed to a vehicle, or vehicle signage required to protect public health, safety and welfare is also exempt. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 95-6 adopted by City Council April 10, 1996.)

L.    Temporary signs. The City has a compelling interest in making the City attractive to residents, visitors and business owners. To accomplish this interest, the City finds it necessary to establish standards for temporary signs and to regulate their duration. All temporary signs in the City shall be subject to the following: (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

1.    No more than one temporary sign shall be allowed per authorized use as specified under this Section.

2.    Temporary signs may be placed on private property with the owner’s permission. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the owner of a piece of property, or his or her authorized representative, from removing a temporary sign from his or her property when the sign has been erected without his or her consent; and provided, further, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Director, Code Enforcement staff or other authorized representative of the City from taking action to abate sign violations.

3.    Size.

(Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

a)    Maximum area shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet per side for signs on all non-residentially-designated property and on residential property over one acre in size. Freestanding signs shall be limited to eight (8) feet in height. Projects or parcels exceeding twenty (20) acres in size shall be permitted a twenty-five percent (25%) increase in allowable sign area.

b)    Residential property consisting of less than one acre in size shall be permitted one temporary sign up to nine (9) square feet in area per side. Freestanding signs shall be limited to six (6) feet in height.

4.    Temporary signs shall be non-illuminated.

5.    Removal. When displayed for a specific event or activity, temporary signs shall be removed within ten (10) calendar days of the advertised event or activity.

6.    Temporary non-commercial signs. No person shall remove, destroy, relocate, or otherwise disturb any temporary non-commercial sign, or direct, permit or allow such removal, destruction, relocation or disturbance, without the permission of the party who erected the sign. It shall be presumed, as to signs for political candidates, that the political candidate or his or her representative is the party who erected the sign. It shall further be presumed that the committee who has registered with the Secretary of State to support a position on a ballot proposition is the party who erected the sign taking the position on the ballot measure.

7.    Temporary on-site commercial signs. Temporary on-site commercial signs may be displayed as follows:

a)    During the period that a valid grading or building permit exists.

b)    For a maximum of 60 calendar days after the issuance of a business license for a new business. A new business may include an existing business under new ownership but does not include an existing business under new management. The size of a new business banner utilized pursuant to this Section shall be as permitted under PMC 17.88.100(E)(1)(a). (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

c)    During the seasonal sale of agricultural products lawfully produced on the property.

d)    During the period when property is for sale, lease or rent.

e)    As a part of an approved Temporary Use Permit or Special Event Permit as specified in Chapter 17.27 PMC, Temporary Uses:

(i)    Parking lot and sidewalk sales;

(ii)    Grand openings and anniversary events;

(iii)    Outdoor art and craft shows and exhibits;

(iv)    Bazaars, pony rides and festivals;

(v)    Mobile health services;

(vi)    Christmas tree lots, pumpkin lots, haunted houses and firework stands; and

(vii)    Circuses, carnivals, rodeos concerts, shows or similar enterprises

f)    Inflatable displays. Inflatable displays may be approved by the Director of Planning for a period of time not to exceed an aggregate total of forty-five (45) days per calendar year and fourteen (14) consecutive days, and shall only be approved as part of a Special Event or Temporary Use Permit, as provided for in PMC 17.27.030. Inflatable displays must be securely fastened, ground-mounted and maintained in a good condition. Inflatable displays do not include balloons typically found in retail stores. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

g)    Temporary commercial signs may also display non-commercial messages.

8.    A-frame signs. One (1) temporary A-frame or similar impermanent freestanding sign is permitted for any use located within the C-D (Downtown Commercial) zone and civic center where pedestrian-oriented use is encouraged, as described in the adopted Palmdale Downtown Revitalization Plan. Such signs shall be non-illuminated and not exceed five (5) square feet per side (maximum two sides) and a height of five (5) feet. Signs shall be constructed using a minimum of industrial grade particleboard (or equivalent) and designed with radius edges, unexposed hinges and feet. Only oil-based paints shall be used for painted signs, which shall be professionally painted. Placement of A-frame signs shall not impede pedestrian or handicap access.

9.    Temporary off-site commercial signs. Temporary off-site commercial signs are permitted in the A-1, R-1, R-2 and R-3 zones as follows:

a)    Temporary off-site commercial signs shall be freestanding only and shall not be affixed to posts or utility poles or pushed or hammered into the ground. Such signs shall be formed from aluminum or a hard plastic material (or equivalent) in accordance with current industry standards. Cardboard or paper signs are not allowed. Signs shall not exceed six (6) square feet in area and three (3) feet in height. Signs shall be of sufficient weight in order to keep upright and in place. No reflective paint or day-glo colors are permitted. Signs shall not include balloons, ribbons, pennants, streamers, or other attachments.

b)    Signs shall not be placed within subdivision landscape easements.

c)    Up to one such sign may be located at any one corner of an intersection provided handicap access is maintained.

d)    No sign shall be placed upon any private property without first obtaining permission from the owner of such property.

e)    No sign shall be placed within the public right-of-way without approval of an encroachment permit issued by the City Engineer. A minimum clearance of four (4) feet shall be maintained at all times for safe pedestrian access on public sidewalks. Signs may not be located on center medians or within the public street where vehicles travel. Where the public right-of-way extends into a parkway strip, signs shall be placed so as not to cause damage to landscaping and/or irrigation systems. One or more sign may be approved under an encroachment permit; however, each sign shall be inspected for consistency with the original approved sign in terms of its style, size, material and color. City decals issued under an encroachment permit shall be displayed on all signs placed within the public right-of-way and shall be oriented toward the street.

f)    Signs may be displayed only during daylight hours on weekends, holidays and one day during the week.

M.    Window sign, permanent. One (1) permanent non-illuminated window sign not exceeding four (4) square feet in area.

N.    Window signs, temporary. Temporary window signs not exceeding 25% of the window area provided visibility into the building is maintained.

O.    Strand lights or similar outdoor lighting within areas where people dine or otherwise publicly congregate that is intended as festive ornamentation to be used on a year round basis. Holiday decorations are not included.

17.88.080 Prohibited Signs

The following signs are prohibited, except as otherwise expressly allowed under this Chapter:

A.    Animated signs.

B.    Balloons or other inflatable, wind activated or spinning devices that are typically available in retail stores, except as exempted under PMC 17.88.070. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 98-1, adopted by City Council March 10, 1999.)

C.    Banner signs as permanent signage; however, temporary banners may be exempt as specified under PMC 17.88.070(L)(7) or permitted as specified in PMC 17.88.100. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

D.    Cabinet signs with little or no decorative elements.

E.    Cardboard signs exposed to the outdoor elements.

F.    Electronic reader board signs.

G.    Flags, except as expressly permitted under this Chapter.

H.    Flashing signs.

I.    Freestanding on-premise pole signs.

J.    Human signs.

K.    Off-site signs, except as exempted under PMC 17.88.070 and 17.88.130.

L.    Paper signs exposed to the outdoor elements.

M.    Pennants, strings of pennants or streamers.

N.    Portable or A-frame signs, except as permitted under PMC 17.88.070.

O.    Revolving signs, excluding barber shop poles.

P.    Roof signs.

Q.    Signs that create a safety hazard by obstructing the clear view of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

R.    Signs that display a message, graphic representation, or other image that is obscene as that term is defined in Section 311 of the Penal Code.

S.    Signs, which by their color, design, location, or illustration resemble, distract attention from, or conflict with any traffic control device.

T.    Signs within the public right-of-way or upon public property (except where approved or required by a government agency and exempted under PMC 17.88.070), including, but not limited to, any notice, placard, bill, card, poster, sticker, banner, sign, advertising or other device affixed or attached to or upon any public street, walkway, crosswalk, or other right-of-way, curb, lamp post, hydrant, tree, telephone booth or pole, lighting system or any fixture of the police or fire alarm system.

U.    Signs mounted on vehicles. No person shall park any vehicle on a public right-of-way or in a location on a private property that is visible from a public right-of-way, which has attached thereto or suspended there from any sign, except as exempted under PMC 17.88.070. This Section shall not preclude the display of bumper stickers.

17.88.090 General Development Standards

The following general provisions are applicable to all signs and sign structures regulated by this Chapter. These general provisions apply in addition to any specific regulations in this Chapter.

A.    Sign Area. Unless otherwise specified in this Chapter, the maximum permitted sign area for signs shall be calculated based on the acreage and frontage of a property and/or the length of the building elevation upon which the sign is to be attached. Wall signs for multiple tenant buildings shall be based upon the lineal building frontage occupied by each tenant as specified by the zone unless otherwise approved through a sign program. The size and number of freestanding signs may be modified under a sign program provided the maximum sign area is not exceeded.

B.    Locational Criteria. All signs shall be subject to all applicable regulations for the zone in which the proposed sign is to be located, as specified under PMC 17.88.100 through 17.88.120 under this Chapter or any applicable specific plan sign regulations. Unless otherwise expressly provided in this Chapter, no sign shall be erected or used for business purposes of any kind, except such sign(s) as shall be located on the site of the place of business, enterprise or calling which is reasonably related to the products or services available on or within those premises. Sign location shall not obstruct motorists’ visibility by considering driveway placement, long-term growth of landscaping, and adjacent and/or future development. No signs may be located in or adjacent to the public right of way, or private drive aisle or driveway in such a manner that it obstructs the clear view of pedestrians and/or vehicular traffic or constructed so as to obstruct any window, door, fire escape or other emergency exit of any building. In addition, the following additional location criteria shall be maintained:

1.    Wall-mounted signs shall not project above the parapet, canopy, fascia, or wall to which it is attached nor above the roofline.

2.    Freestanding signs shall not block visibility of motorists in order to maintain traffic safety, or from outdoor seating areas to preserve views. All such signs shall be set back a minimum of ten feet from any property line and shall be placed at least 100 feet or one-half (1/2) of the lot width, whichever is less, from residentially designated or zoned properties. Freestanding signs shall be spaced along street frontages as specified in this Chapter, unless otherwise approved through a sign program.

3.    Except where approved or required by a government agency or as otherwise expressly permitted under this Chapter, no sign may be stuck, glued, painted, pasted, posted, nailed, stapled or otherwise affixed or attached to or upon any public street, walkway, cross walk or other right of way, curb, lamp post, transit bench or shelter, trash receptacle, fire hydrant, tree, telephone booth or pole, lighting system or any fixture of the police or fire alarm system, any existing sign, or upon any other public property.

C.    Setbacks. All freestanding signs shall be setback a minimum of ten feet from the public right-of-way unless expressly permitted by the zone in which the proposed sign is to be located or this Chapter.

D.    Orientation. On-site signs shall be oriented so as not to create confusion and shall be visible to pedestrians, motorists and/or other passersby from the front, side or rear of the building to which it is intended; however, wall signs located within commercial or industrial zones shall not face directly onto residentially designated property.

E.    Methods of Attachment. Wall signs shall be attached to the sides of buildings with fasteners that are either concealed from clear view or treated to match the building. Projecting signs shall utilize decorative methods of attachment in instances where their visibility cannot reasonably be concealed. Freestanding signs shall be secured to the ground utilizing a solid support base consisting of solid materials such as concrete, block, stone or brick rather than poles with veneer covers.

F.    Design. Signs and sign structures shall be professionally designed, in accordance with industry standards, and clearly understood for its intended purpose. Signs shall incorporate a classic style that will not quickly become out-dated. In addition, the following additional elements of design shall be incorporated into new signs:

1.    Wall signs.

a)    Wall signs shall consist of one of the following types of signs:   

(i)    Individual raised letters or symbols (channel letter);

(ii)    Custom contour enclosure;

(iii)    Decorative cabinet (not plain); or

(iv)    Professionally custom painted; and

b)    Signs attached to buildings shall project no less than one (1) inch and no more than eighteen (18) inches from the structure.

2.    On-site freestanding sign structures.

a)    Colors and materials of freestanding sign structures shall be similar or complimentary to the building’s exterior construction materials to which it represents, such as concrete, stucco, masonry, stone or tile;

b)    Minor architectural features such as cornices, roof pitches and archways, which are similar to those of the building(s) shall be incorporated into the design of the sign structure. Such features may increase the allowable size of structures by 25%, exclusive of sign face and base. Freestanding can signs with no architectural features are not permitted;

c)    The shape or appearance of freestanding signs shall not depict inanimate objects, animals or human beings;

d)    The depth of sign structures shall be a minimum of six (6) inches and a maximum of 24 inches, exclusive of the base. Sign structures exceeding 24 inches in depth may be considered provided the total sign area allowed for a double-faced sign is not exceeded and the sign structure meets all other criteria for approval; and

e)    Panel inserts for multi-tenant freestanding sign structures shall be uniform in color and typeface.

G.    Substitutions.

1.    Marquee signs may be substituted for wall or freestanding sign structures pursuant to the definition of a marquee sign under PMC 17.88.030.

2.    Projecting signs may be used in place of wall signs provided they do not exceed one-half (1/2) of the allowable wall sign area and the sign meets all other provisions in PMC 17.88.090, General Development Standards.

3.    Canopy signs may be allowed in place of or in addition to wall signs as specified in subsection O of this Section.

H.    Construction. All signs and sign structures shall be professionally constructed in accordance with industry standards. All parts, portions, units, and materials, comprising all signs, together with the frame, background, supports, or anchorage for all sign structures, shall be manufactured, fabricated, assembled, constructed, and erected in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and City laws and regulations.

I.    Materials. Construction materials for all components of signs shall consist of durable, long-lasting materials that hold up to the extremes inherent in Palmdale’s desert environment, including heat, cold and wind for long-term durability, as well as damage caused by nesting birds and other environmental constraints of the region. Individual foam letters shall be covered with a solid material to prevent damage by birds, sun and harsh weather.

J.    Colors. Earth tones and subdued colors such as maroon, brown, tan, gray, peach, cream, or white shall be used for the sign face or sign structure. Primary colors such as red, green, blue, yellow, orange, purple, pink and black may be used for letters, symbols, graphics or minor accents; however, except in the case of temporary signs, such colors shall not be used for the sign face or sign structure. Day-glo colors may only be used as minor accents to the overall sign. Reflective paint is not allowed.

K.    Illumination. The City has a compelling interest in promoting traffic safety for pedestrians and motorists. To achieve this interest, it is necessary to minimize excessive lighting of signs that may distract pedestrians and motorists or produce hazardous light and glare into the eyes of motorists, and to do so by conditioning the type and intensity of the lighting and its appropriateness for the planned location and orientation of the sign.

The method of illumination for all types of signs is an important design element. However, the intensity or glare of the illumination may cause a visual distraction, safety hazard or public nuisance. The Director of Planning or his/her designee shall determine any required measures necessary to reduce possible negative impacts on adjacent buildings, roadways or surrounding land uses. New light fixtures added to the exterior of an existing building for the purpose of sign illumination shall be subject to review and approval of a Minor Modification by the Director of Planning. Any sign that requires approval of an electrical building permit shall utilize only approved electrical components that are properly listed and tested by an acceptable testing agency and approved by the City’s Building Official. The approval of any illuminated sign shall not be final until thirty days (30) after receipt by the Director of Planning of written notice that installation is complete. During the thirty day (30) period the Director may order the dimming or removal of any illumination found to be excessive pursuant to this Section. No illuminated sign or lighting device shall be placed or directed so as to permit or cause glare or reflection which may constitute a traffic or safety hazard or interfere with the use and enjoyment of a public street, walkway, or adjacent properties by having a blinding affect on residents, motorists or pedestrians, preventing safe illumination of sidewalks, streets or drive aisles, or by negatively impacting illumination levels on adjacent properties.

L.    Flags. Flags shall consist of fabric or similar flexible material that is designed to hang from a pole and blow in the wind. Plastic or other materials that produce more noise than fabric are prohibited for use as flags. Such flags shall be replaced when ripped, tattered, and/or faded or other wear is evident as determined by the Director of Planning or his/her designee.

M.    Neon signs. Neon signs as defined by this Chapter are permitted only in Zones C-3, C-4 or C-5, or in those portions of approved Specific Plans with commercial land use designations equivalent to Zones C-3, C-4 or C-5, subject to PMC 17.88.040(C) (Criteria for Approval of a sign permit) and subsection K of this Section, Illumination. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 95-6 adopted by City Council April 10, 1996.)

N.    Painted signs. Painted signs may be permitted as permanent wall signs and shall be professionally painted only. Such signs may be externally illuminated with decorative light fixtures within commercial zones subject to subsection K of this Section. As permitted by the zone, signs may be painted directly on buildings or on industrial grade particleboard (minimum, or equivalent) with radius edges. Only oil-based paints (or equivalent) shall be utilized for painted signs.

O.    Canopy/awning signs. Canopy and awning signs are intended to be visible to pedestrians and/or from nearby parking areas and on-site circulation drives. Canopy signs are permitted within a shopping center where canopies are uniformly used within the shopping center or for a single tenant if the tenant is occupying an entire parcel and does not share space in a shopping center, as follows:

1.    The total combined area for wall and awning signs shall not exceed the allowable wall sign area permitted for the face of the building;

2.    Awning signs may be located on the front or side panels of angled, curved or box awnings or on the bottom flap (valance) of the awning;

3.    Awning signs shall not consist of more than a single line of copy or symbols; and

4.    The size of the sign shall not exceed seventy-five (75) percent of any one dimension of the canopy or awning.

P.    Maintenance. The following maintenance standards shall apply to all signs:

1.    Every sign and all parts, portions, units and materials comprising the same, together with the frame, background, supports, or anchorage thereof, shall be continuously maintained in a safe, structurally sound, neatly painted, and well-repaired condition; and

2.    Signs illuminated either internally or externally must be capable of being fully illuminated and legible and the face(s) must be intact without holes or other exterior facial damage. Illuminated signs that are damaged or have defective lighting elements shall remain unlighted until repaired.

17.88.100 Temporary Commercial Banner Permit

(Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

The following provisions are applicable to all banners regulated under this Section. The provisions are intended to permit the greatest flexibility possible in terms of business signage, while maintaining as orderly and attractive business environment within the City’s commercial and industrial areas.

A.    Permit Process and Fees for Temporary Commercial Banners

1.    The applicant/business owner shall be responsible for obtaining all required building permits from the Building and Safety Division associated with the installation of the banner.

2.    A Temporary Commercial Banner permit shall be obtained for the use of banners at a business location. In evaluating permit applications, staff will review zoning, location, size, method of attachment and conformance with this Section and any other applicable requirements.

3.    The Temporary Commercial Banner permit application shall include the property owner or owner’s authorized leasing agent name, signature and telephone number.

4.    Applicants shall pay an annual Temporary Commercial Banner permit fee consisting of the fee for a sign, as established by resolution of the City Council plus the cost of two (2) inspections annually by the Code Enforcement Division.

B.    Zones. Banners will be permitted in all commercial and industrial zones and commercially and industrially designated properties within Specific Plan areas.

C.    Use. Banners may be used for all general business purposes, provided that banners may not be utilized as the sole source of business identification. In order to ensure that banners are not used for primary business identification, any business applying for a banner permit must have permanent signage on the building that has been legally established.

D.    Design Standards. The banner shall be constructed of high quality, durable material capable of withstanding the severe local weather conditions. The banner shall be professionally designed and manufactured. No hand writing on blank banners or erasable banner material and design shall be allowed.

E.    Types of Banners.

1.    Wall Mounted

a.    The maximum size of a wall mounted banner shall be 32 square feet or one square foot of banner area per lineal foot of building frontage, whichever is larger. There shall be no minimum height or width dimensions required, provided the banner does not encroach onto the frontage of any adjacent business.

b.    No more than one banner per frontage shall be displayed at any time by any business. Banners may not be located on any frontage that faces a residential use.

c.    Banners shall be mounted flat against a wall and be secured to the wall using permanent anchors or other similar methods. Under no circumstances shall banners be mounted using wire, rope cables, bungee cords or similar devices.

d.    The location of banners shall not be changed without prior approval of the Planning Department. Modification requests shall be submitted to the Planning Department for review and approval along with those plans as deemed necessary and a review fee for Zone Clearance as established by resolution of the City Council.

2.    Ground Mounted Banners

a.    Ground mounted banners shall include freestanding banners, feather, teardrop, swooper, and bowhead banners.

b.    No more than one (1) ground mounted banner may be permitted per business in addition to any permitted wall mounted banner(s).

c.    The maximum height of a ground mounted banner shall be twelve (12) feet and the maximum area shall be 42 square feet.

d.    No ground mounted banner shall be located within the public right-of-way, except within the CD (Downtown Commercial) zone where ground mounted banners may be located in a manner consistent with A-frame signs as stated within PMC 17.88.070(L)(8).

e.    A minimum clearance of five (5) feet from the edge of the public right-of-way shall be maintained at all times for safe pedestrian access on public sidewalks.

f.    Banners shall not be located in or adjacent to the public right of way, or private drive aisles or driveway in such a manner that it obstructs the clear view of pedestrians and/or vehicular traffic or placed in such a way as to obstruct any window, door, fire escape or other emergency exit of any building.

g.    Ground mounted banners shall not impede pedestrian or handicap access.

h.    Ground stakes shall be placed so as not to cause damage to landscaping and/or irrigation systems.

i.    Ground mounted banners may only be located on the parcel or within the larger commercial/industrial center in which the business is located; no off-site banners are permitted. Banners within the CD zone must be located within the immediate vicinity of the business.

Any banner legally established under this Section shall be maintained by the applicant/business owner. When wear and tear is observed by any employee of the City and upon notification to the property owner/business owner, required work to restore or replace the worn banner shall be performed to the satisfaction of the Planning Manager within 14 days. Failure to comply with this provision may result in revocation of the permit for the Temporary Commercial Banner.

The Planning Manager shall give written notice to the applicant/business owner regarding any violations of the provisions of this Section. Within 14 days of receipt of the notice, the violation shall be corrected or remedied to the satisfaction of the Planning Manager. Failure to pay fees, or non-compliance with the regulations, procedures and conditions set forth in this Section shall be cause for revocation of the Temporary Commercial Banner permit and removal of the banner. Materially inaccurate or erroneous information submitted as a part of a Temporary Commercial Banner permit application may be cause for revocation of the permit.

17.88.110 Signs in Residential Zones.

In addition to temporary signs identified in PMC 17.88.070, the following signs are permitted in the R-1, R-2, R-3 and A-1 zones and for any residential use in the MX overlay zone subject to approval of a sign permit:

Use

Sign Type

Maximum Number

Maximum Sign Area

Maximum Height Including Base

Remarks

Manufactured Home Subdivisions and Parks

Wall or Monument and Directory

One each per public street entrance, up to 4 signs total

30 sq.ft.

5 feet when setback 10 feet from public right-of-way, or 3-1/2 feet when setback 5-10 feet from right-of-way

Signs may be externally illuminated only, subject to PMC 17.88.090(I). No more than 10 feet permitted for any one dimension.

Single-Family Residential Subdivisions

Wall or Monument

One per public street entrance, up to 2 signs total

30 sq.ft.

5 feet when setback 10 feet from public right-of-way, or 3-1/2 feet when setback 5-10 feet from public right-of-way

Signs may not be illuminated.

No more than 10 feet permitted for any one dimension.

Multiple-Family Residential

Monument and Directory

One each per public street entrance, up to 4 signs total

30 sq.ft.

5 feet when setback 10 feet from public right-of-way, or 3-1/2 feet when setback 5-10 feet from public right-of-way

Signs may be externally illuminated only. No more than 10 feet for any one dimension.

Model Home Sales Complex1

Temporary Freestanding Sign

One double-face or two single-face signs

60 sq.ft. per single face

10 feet

Signs shall be set back ten feet from the edge of the public right-of-way; signs may not be illuminated.

 

On-site directional or identification

Two per model home

6 sq.ft.

3 feet

Signs within the public right-of-way shall obtain an encroachment permit.

 

Flags

Two per model home up to 6 flags total

Up to 15 sq.ft. each

15 feet

Flags may be displayed on two sides of models on corner lots, otherwise only on one side. Flags may not be located within 50 feet of an occupied unit.

Institutional Uses2

Wall or Monument

One per public street entrance up to 2 signs

30 sq.ft.

Monument signs: 5 feet when setback 10 feet from public right-of-way, or 3-1/2 feet when setback 5-10 feet from public right-of-way.

Signs may be externally illuminated. No more than 10 feet permitted for any one dimension.

1    Subject to approval of a Temporary Use Permit in accordance with Chapter 17.27 PMC.

2    Within structures not classified as R-1, R-2.1, R-2.2, R-2.1.1, R-2.2.1 or R-3 under the State Building Code.

17.88.120 Signs in Commercial or Public Facility Zones.

In addition to temporary signs identified in PMC 17.88.070, the following signs may be permitted in the C-1, C-2, C-3, C-43, C-5, C-D, OR and PF zones and for any residential use in the MX overlay zone, subject to approval of a sign permit:

 

Use

Sign Type

Maximum Number

Maximum Sign Area

Max. Height4

Remarks

Commercial, Office, Professional, Institutional, Public Facilities

Wall signs, secondary skyline signs or canopy signs

No limit; combined area of signs shall not exceed the maximum permitted sign area

1-1/2 square feet of sign area per lineal foot of building frontage

(1-1/2:1)

N/A

Secondary skyline signs are subject to PMC 17.88.150(B); Externally lighted signs are subject to PMC 17.88.090(K); Canopy signs are subject to PMC 17.88.090(O).

Same

Skyline signs5

One per allowable elevation; 2 max.

1:1 sign area per lineal foot of bldg. frontage

 

Signs are in addition to secondary skyline signs.

Same

Monument signs

One sign per 250 feet of street frontage

Improved property6:

< 10 acres: 50 sq.ft.;

> 10 acres: 100 sq.ft.;

Unimproved property:

 

5'

10'

 

No more than two signs over 50 sq.ft. per development consisting of 10+ acres in size. Signs for unimproved property may not be lighted and/or may not serve as off-site commercial signs.

 

 

 

≥ 35 acres 100 sq.ft.

10'

 

Same

Drive-thru or walk-up svcs.

Two signs

45 sq.ft

7'

Accessory signs may be internally lighted only.

Same

Under-canopy signs

One per tenant

5 sq.ft.

1-1/2 ft.

8' clearance above walkways.

Same (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

Wall mounted banner

One per frontage except facing residential uses

32 sq.ft. or 1 sq.ft. of area per lineal foot of frontage

N/A

Mounted flat against the wall using permanent anchors.

Same (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

Free standing banner

One per business

42 sq.ft.

12 foot

Min. clearance of 5 ft. from edge of ROW, shall not impede pedestrian or handicap access.

Gasoline Stations

Fuel price

One per street frontage

15 sq.ft.; or 30 sq.ft. if placed on corner

5'

 

Same

Pump island canopy

One per side visible to the public right-of-way

20 sq.ft.

N/A

Signs may not extend above the canopy roofline.

Same

Pump island

One per gas pump

4 sq.ft.

N/A

 

3    Signs within the C-4 zone for regional shopping centers shall be subject to a sign program approved by the Planning Commission as part of a Conditional Use Permit.

4    Grade changes by mounding within landscape areas less than 3:1 slopes shall be counted in calculation of sign height; maximum height includes the base.

5    This applies to buildings with three or more stories, in accordance with Section 88.14.

6    Architectural features may increase overall sign area by 25% for monument signs on improved property.

17.88.130 Signs in Industrial Zones.

In addition to temporary signs identified in PMC 17.88.070, the following signs may be permitted in the M-1, M-2, M-3, M-4 and QR zones subject to approval of a sign permit:

 

Use

Sign Type

Max. Number

Maximum Sign Area7

Max. Height8

Remarks

Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Services, Commercial, Public or Institutional Uses and Mining Operations

Wall signs, secondary skyline signs or canopy signs

No limit; combined area of signs shall not exceed maximum area permitted

1-1/2 sq.ft. of sign area per lineal foot of building frontage

N/A

Painted wall signs shall be non-illuminated only. Signs on buildings of three stories or more shall be subject to PMC 17.88.150(B).Canopy signs shall be subject to PMC 17.88.090(O).

Same

Skyline signs9

1 per allowable elevation up to 2 signs maximum

1 sq.ft. of sign area per lineal ft. of building frontage

 

Signs are in addition to secondary skyline signs

Same

Monument signs

One sign per 250 feet of street frontage

Individual Tenants: 30 sq.ft.

5' < 30 sq.ft.

No more than one sign over 30 sq. ft. per street frontage. Signs on unimproved land may not be lighted and/or may not serve as off-site commercial signage.

Improved land:

 

<20 acres 50 sq.ft.

6' 50+ sq.ft.

20-80 acres 75 sq.ft.

7' 75 sq.ft.

>80 acres 120 sq.ft.

10' < 120 sf.

Unimproved land:

 

> 35 acres 100 sq. ft

10' < 100 sf.

Same

Drive-thru or walk-up services

Two signs

45 sq.ft.

7'

May only be internally lighted.

Same

Under-canopy signs

One per canopy

5 sq.ft.

 

8' clearance above walkways.

Same (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

Wall mounted banner

One per frontage except facing residential uses

32 sq.ft. or 1 sq.ft. of area per lineal foot of frontage

N/A

Mounted flat against the wall using permanent anchors.

Same (Zoning Ordinance 10-03, adopted by City Council March 2, 2011.)

Free standing banner

One per business

42 sq.ft.

12 foot

Min. clearance of 5 ft. from edge of ROW, shall not impede pedestrian or handicap access.

Gasoline Stations

Fuel price signs

One per street frontage

15 sq.ft. or 30 sq.ft. if located on corner

5'

The combined area of all freestanding signs shall not exceed the maximum allowed

Same

Pump island canopy

One per viewable side

20 sq.ft.

1-1/2 ft.

Signs may not extend above the canopy roofline.

Same

Pump islands

One per pump

4 sq.ft.

 

 

7    Architectural features may add 25% to overall sign area for monument signs.

8    Grade changes by mounding within landscape areas less than 3:1 slopes shall be counted in calculation of sign height; maximum height includes the base.

9    Applicable to buildings with three or more stories, in accordance with PMC 17.88.140.

17.88.140 Citywide Sign Beautification Program

The City has a compelling interest in making the City attractive to residents, visitors and business owners and in protecting and improving the economic vitality of its historic downtown area, in protecting and enhancing the aesthetic character of that area, and in promoting traffic safety in, through and around this area of the City that has a concentration of public facilities and buildings. To accomplish these interests, the City finds it necessary to establish certain classes of signs, to limit their content and to provide a public convenience by directing motorists and pedestrians to various locations throughout the City and by promoting the downtown area.

The Citywide Sign Beautification Program consists of signs that are uniform in design, which provide the community with a sense of place and a distinct identity. Signs constructed as a part of this Citywide Sign Beautification Program shall be allowed without the requirement of a sign permit in all zones; however, such signs shall be in substantial conformance with PMC 17.88.090, General Development Standards. This Section shall be applicable to the following types of signs:

A.    Civic Center Plaza. Roadway signs may be installed on streets leading to the Civic Center and surrounding public parking areas.

B.    City Entry Signs. Freeway and roadway monument signs may be installed on major thoroughfares near City limits in varying size. Such signs shall be constructed of integral concrete monolith and stone base with lettering to be cast into the concrete with color infill.

C.    City Roadway/Street Signage. Street name signs may be installed on streets throughout the City.

D.    Light Pole Banners. Banners may be placed on light poles along major thoroughfares and/or surrounding the Civic Center during various seasons of the year or for City-sponsored events.

E.    Off-Site Directional Signs. This Section rescinds the Freestanding Residential Subdivision Directional Sign Program established by Resolution No. 93-32 adopted by the City Council. Off-site directional signs shall be permitted in accordance with the following provisions:

1.    Design and Construction. The City Council may, by duly executed license agreement, grant to a qualified person or persons the exclusive right to design, erect and/or maintain the off-site direction sign component of its Citywide Sign Beautification Program. The design of such signs shall be subject to approval of the City. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any person or entity erecting or placing such signs shall be required to maintain a City business license.

2.    Operation. The City Council may, by duly executed license agreement, grant to a qualified entity or organization the exclusive right to operate its Citywide Sign Beautification Program. Licensee(s) shall make directional sign panels available to all persons or entities on a first-come, first-service basis; however, public facility signs shall have priority for 1/3 of the sign panels for each sign structure. The City shall have the authority to review and approve the form of any agreement to be used between the licensee and persons/entities requesting space on the sign structures. Licensee(s) shall maintain a separate waiting list for each sign structure.

3.    General Requirements.

a)    For purposes of this Section, street intersection shall mean where two or more streets or roads cross at the same grade. This shall include all streets and roads with a right-of-way of one hundred (100') or larger.

b)    Signs may be constructed on improved or unimproved property along major arterial streets provided they are located on private property with the owner’s written permission or within the public right-of-way with approval of an encroachment permit. Major arterial streets shall consist of those designated on the General Plan Circulation Map.

c)    Signs shall not obstruct the use of sidewalks, walkways, bike and hiking trails and shall not obstruct the visibility of motorists, pedestrians of traffic control signs.

d)    Signs shall be limited to no more than three structures on the same side of the street between major arterial street intersections and shall not be located within 100 feet of another freestanding sign structure.

e)    Directional signs shall not be placed on local, collector or secondary arterial streets.

f)    Directional sign structures shall be ladder type with individual sign panels of uniform design and color throughout the city limits.

g)    Single-panel directional sign structures shall not exceed six feet (6') in width and twelve (12') feet in height. Double panel directional sign structures may be permitted when constructed in conjunction with a City Entry Sign as otherwise described in this Chapter.

h)    Directional sign panels shall not exceed five feet (5') in width or twelve inches (12") in height. A one-half inch clear space shall be provided between each sign panel.

i)    Sign panels shall not be internally illuminated.

j)    Sign structure installations shall include “break away” design features.

k)    No signs, pennants, flags or other devices for visual attention or other appurtenances shall be placed on the directional signs.

l)    The design of all off-site directional signs shall be consistent throughout the city, subject to City approval.

m)    Sign lettering used for identification panels shall be uniform in style and size, subject to City approval.

n)    All signs erected on private property must have written consent from the property owner with the City to have a right to enter property to remove any signs not in conformance.

o)    The licensee or holder of an encroachment permit shall hold the City, and its officers and employees, harmless of all costs, claims and damages levied against them.

17.88.150 Skyline Signs

Skyline signs shall consist of wall signs that are placed on buildings of three stories or more. Signs on tall buildings can have a significant visual influence upon the community’s environment; therefore, they should be consistent with the architectural style of the building. The approval of skyline signs shall be subject to PMC 17.88.040, Sign Permits, and to the following standards:

A.    Skyline Signs.

1.    Area. Signs shall be subject to the maximum sign area permitted for skyline signs within the zone as regulated under PMC 17.88.110 and 17.88.120.

2.    Placement. Skyline signs shall be placed above the vision glass windows of the highest floor of the building and below the eave line in accordance with the provisions for signs within the zone. In conventional high-rise design, a sizeable area is generally available for signs above the vision glass of the highest floor. Skyline signs shall not be located on any building elevation in vertical (stacked) alignment and shall be separated by a horizontal dimension of not less than forty (40) percent of the linear dimension of the subject elevation. For buildings with articulated roofs, a more flexible definition is appropriate. In such cases, signs are to be integrated visually with architectural features such as windows, projections and articulating elements.

3.    Proportion of sign area. To avoid the appearance of crowding a sign into a sign area, sign copy shall occupy no more than 80 percent of the horizontal skyline sign area as defined by this subsection. Additionally, no part of a sign can be located within the extreme left or right ten percent of the building elevation.

4.    Number of signs. Skyline signs shall be limited to one sign per allowable building elevation. Skyline signs shall only be placed on a maximum of two building elevations, which shall be opposite sides of the building.

5.    Skyline sign copy. Skyline signs shall consist of a single line of copy or symbols. However, subject to the review and approval of the Director of Planning, multiple lines of copy or symbols may be permitted where building architecture or the length of a sign prohibits a single line.

6.    Compatible materials. Skyline signs shall utilize material that is the same or appears to be the same or that is compatible with the building surfaces. Skyline signs on the top of buildings shall complement and add to the aesthetics of the architectural materials used.

7.    Sign illumination. Skyline signs may be illuminated. If illuminated, such shall be either internally illuminated or illuminated to create a silhouette effect.

B.    Secondary skyline signs.

1.    Sign Area. Secondary skyline signs shall be subject to the maximum sign area permitted for wall signs within the zone as regulated under PMC 17.88.110 and 17.88.120. Wall signs for multiple tenant buildings shall be based upon the lineal building frontage occupied by each tenant as specified by the zone unless otherwise approved through a sign program.

2.    Placement. Secondary skyline signs shall be permitted below the second floor, except that, if the building has a two-story lobby, secondary skyline tenant signs are permitted between the second and third floors above such lobby. An individual tenant may have no more than one sign per building elevation. Secondary skyline signs shall not be located on any building elevation in vertical (stacked) alignment and shall be separated by a horizontal dimension of not less than fifteen (15) percent of the linear dimension of the subject elevation.

3.    Locational Criteria. Secondary skyline signs are intended to be viewed from on-site walkways and parking areas adjacent to the building.

C.    Retail, service business and restaurant uses located within buildings of three or more. In addition to secondary skyline signs described in subsection B of this Section, retail uses, service business uses or restaurants located within an office building containing three or more stories may be permitted signs as specified in this Chapter and may appear on the same building elevation as and included in the same total sign area calculation and placement as secondary skyline signs. Such signs shall be located at or adjacent to the entrance of the building and individual tenants shall be permitted no more than one sign per elevation.

17.88.160 Outdoor Advertising Sign Structures (Billboards)

A.    Permits and review process.

1.    Permits required.

a)    No outdoor advertising sign structure shall be constructed, relocated or upgraded at any location in the City of Palmdale without obtaining a conditional use permit subject to the provisions of this Section, and any other permits required by law.

b)    Other permits. Nothing in this Chapter shall exempt the applicant from obtaining any other required approval including, but not limited to, any permits required by the State of California.

2.    Review process

Conditional Use Permit. A conditional use permit shall be required, pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and Chapter 17.22 PMC for any construction, upgrade, or relocation of outdoor advertising sign structures. The Planning Commission shall approve the conditional use permit if the Commission finds that such application satisfies the requirements set forth in subsection (A)(3) of this Section, or the Planning Commission shall deny the application, in which case the applicant shall be notified in writing of the reason(s) why the application was denied. All decisions of the Planning Commission may be appealed in accordance with PMC 17.20.110.

3.    Findings for approval. No conditional use permit for an outdoor advertising sign structure shall be issued unless the Planning Commission finds that the application satisfies, or with conditions can satisfy, all of the following requirements:

a)    The proposed sign meets all of the findings for approval of a Conditional Use Permit as set forth in PMC 17.22.050;

b)    The proposed sign meets the locational criteria for outdoor advertising sign structures, pursuant to PMC 17.88.160(B);

c)    The proposed outdoor advertising sign structure meets all of the development standards as specified in subsection C of this Section or PMC 17.88.160(E), whichever is applicable of this Chapter, including permitted size, height and setbacks for such signs;

d)    The outdoor advertising sign structure is oriented to attract the attention/patronage of the general public, taking into consideration long-term growth of landscaping and future development;

e)    The outdoor advertising sign structure is in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and City laws and regulations pertaining to the construction of outdoor advertising sign structures;

B.    Locational Criteria. Outdoor advertising sign structures shall be limited to placement on improved properties with habitable structures only, subject to the following restrictions:

1.    No outdoor advertising sign structure shall be located within the area bounded by 20th Street West to the west, Avenue N to the north, Sierra Highway to the east and Palmdale Boulevard to the south.

2.    There shall be no more than four outdoor advertising sign structures, including existing outdoor advertising sign structures, located within the area bounded by the extension of Avenue N-12 to the north, Rancho Vista Boulevard to the south, Sierra Highway to the west and an imaginary line 100’ of the easterly Southern Pacific property line to the east.

3.    No additional outdoor advertising sign structures shall be constructed, relocated or upgraded except when located in C-5, M-1, or M-2 zones.

4.    No additional outdoor advertising sign structures shall be constructed on properties within six hundred sixty (660) feet of Palmdale Boulevard.

5.    The outdoor advertising sign structure shall be no closer than a radius of five hundred feet (500') to any premises designated or zoned for residential purposes, or to any premises containing a school, church, or similar place of worship, historical site or building, cemetery or similar place of interment, public or private park or outdoor recreational facility.

6.    The outdoor advertising sign structure shall be no closer than a radius of one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet to a previously constructed off-premise outdoor advertising sign structure. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

7.    An outdoor advertising structure may be approved in a location other than specifically identified or excluded in subsections (B)(1) through (5) of this Section, including within an adopted Specific Plan area, when a Conditional Use Permit is approved in conjunction with a Billboard Relocation Agreement pursuant to PMC 17.88.160(D), but in no event shall be located within a residential zone. (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council on March 5, 2014.)

C.    Development standards. All outdoor advertising sign structures shall comply with the following requirements:

1.    Sign Area. The total area of a single sign face shall not exceed three hundred (300) square feet. The total area of a double-faced sign shall not exceed six hundred (600) square feet. Not more than five percent (5%) of the area of a sign face shall be used for projections.

2.    Height. The outdoor advertising sign structure shall not exceed thirty-two (32) feet in height measured from the ground level.

3.    Setbacks. The sign shall comply with all setback requirements of the underlying zone. It shall be located no closer than ten (10) feet to any property line. No materials or structural feature, except poles or pilasters, shall extend into the cross-visibility area between ground level and seven (7) feet above the grade of the nearest street curb. No portion of the sign shall block the view of any on-site advertising sign on the same or adjoining parcels.

4.    Construction. The outdoor advertising sign structure shall be built to withstand a minimum wind pressure of twenty-one (21) pounds per square foot of exposed surface.

5.    Design. The outdoor advertising sign structure shall not be supported by more than one (1) supporting post. It shall be architecturally treated so as to screen the frame, support structures and lighting from public view. The outdoor advertising sign structure shall not contain any flashing or blinking material, or mechanically activated or animated devices. The color and materials shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

6.    Sign copy area. The message or sign copy area of any relocated or upgraded outdoor advertising sign structure may be no larger than the message copy area of the original outdoor advertising sign structure.

7.    Utility lines. Utility lines providing electrical power to a new or relocated outdoor advertising sign structure shall be placed underground.

8.    Maintenance. The sign and structure shall be continuously maintained in an attractive, clean, and safe condition pursuant to PMC 17.88.090(O).

9.    Traffic safety. The sign shall not constitute a traffic hazard because of sign shape or its location in relationship to an official public traffic sign or signal.

D.    Billboard Relocation Agreement (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

1.    Purpose. The purpose of the Billboard Relocation Agreement is to reduce the overall number of outdoor advertising sign structures within the City by allowing relocation of billboards in more suitable locations and provide more attractive, aesthetically-pleasing billboard designs and to improve the aesthetic appearance of the City.

2.    Authority. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, and consistent with the California Business and Professions Code Outdoor Advertising provisions, existing outdoor advertising sign structures may be relocated and/or upgraded as part of a Billboard Relocation Agreement entered into between the City Council and a billboard owner and the approval of a Conditional Use Permit for any relocated billboard.

3.    Content. Each Billboard Relocation Agreement shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

a.    Identification of the location of the billboards being permanently removed and the location of the relocated billboards.

b.    Conceptual design drawings for the relocated billboards.

4.    Review Process and Findings. All Billboard Relocation Agreements shall be reviewed and approved by the City Council. The following findings must be made by the City Council in order to approve a Billboard Reduction and Relocation Agreement:

a.    The proposed agreement is consistent with the goals, objectives, purposes and provisions of the Palmdale General Plan, the Palmdale Zoning Ordinance and any applicable specific plan;

b.    The proposed relocation site is compatible with the uses and structures on the site and in the surrounding area;

c.    The proposed Billboard Relocation Agreement provides for a net reduction in existing outdoor advertising sign structures within the City.

d.    The proposed Billboard Relocation Agreement contributes to the reduction of visual clutter in the City;

e.    The proposed billboard would not create a traffic or safety problem with regard to onsite access circulation or visibility;

f.    The proposed billboard would not interfere with onsite parking or landscaping required by City ordinance or permit;

g.    The proposed billboard would not otherwise result in a threat to the general health, safety and welfare of City residents.

5.    Conditional Use Permit. Subsequent to the approval of a Billboard Relocation Agreement by the City Council, the billboard owner shall file a Conditional Use Permit application to relocate or upgrade the outdoor advertising sign structure as authorized by the Billboard Relocation Agreement.

E.    Outdoor Advertising Sign Structures subject to a Billboard Relocation Agreement. An outdoor advertising sign structure may be upgraded or relocated through the approval of a Conditional Use Permit and a corresponding Relocation Agreement. A relocated or upgraded billboard shall meet the development standards contained within subsection C of this Section. A Digital Advertising Display (DAD) is permissible in conjunction with the relocation/upgrade of an outdoor advertising sign structure approved under a Billboard Relocation Agreement, subject to the following requirements: (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 14-01, adopted by City Council March 5, 2014.)

1.    Sign Area. A DAD shall be subject to the sign area requirements specified in subsection (C)(1) of this Section; however, given the unique characteristics of DAD’s, an applicant may request a modification to the maximum sign area under the following conditions:

a.    The applicant demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission, that the larger size is necessary to provide a readable DAD in a cost-effective manner;

b.    The maximum sign area of a single-face DAD is 675 square feet and 1,350 square feet for a double-face DAD.

2.    Sign Height. A DAD shall be subject to the sign area requirements specified in subsection (C)(2) of this Section; however, a DAD relocated immediately adjacent to State Route 14 may be modified if the applicant can demonstrate that compliance with the 32-foot height limit would impair visibility for a portion of the sign face. Increased height shall only be permitted to the extent necessary to allow reasonable view of the sign face.

3.    A DAD may only display a series of still images, each of which is displayed for a minimum of six (6) seconds and transitions between images shall not exceed one second. No DAD shall depict or simulate any motion or video, have flashing, chasing, or twinkling lights.

4.    Each DAD shall include a photometric sensor that will adjust the intensity of the sign for daytime and nighttime viewing. The intensity from sunset to sunrise shall be limited to 150 nits. The City may modify or further restrict the intensity of any DAD should the lighting create a distraction to drivers or an adverse effect on nearby residential properties.

5.    In addition to complying with the other requirements set forth in this Section and any other applicable provisions of PMC 17.88.160, any relocated billboard within 660 feet of a state highway must also comply with the requirements of the California Outdoor Advertising Act (Chapter 2 of Division 3 of the California Business and Professions Code beginning at Section 5400), including, but not limited to, the restrictions on size, height, proximity to interstate and primary highways and landscaped freeways. To the extent any conflict arises between this Section and the Outdoor Advertising Act, the Outdoor Advertising Act will prevail.

17.88.170 Amortization and Abatement of On and Off-Premise Signs, Sign Programs and Outdoor Advertising Sign Structures

A.    On-premise signs

1.    Inventory of signs. Within 120 days of the date of adoption of this Ordinance the Director of Planning shall cause to be performed an inventory of all on-premise signs within the City to identify those that are illegal or abandoned. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “illegal” denotes a sign which was erected without compliance with all ordinances and regulations in effect at the time of its construction and erection or use, and the term “abandoned” denotes a sign which remains in place or is not maintained for a period of ninety (90) days which no longer advertises or identifies an ongoing business, product, or service available on the business premises where the sign is located.

2.    Upon completion of the required identification and inventory of signs described in subsection (A)(1) of this Section, the City Council shall consider at a public hearing, with opportunity for public comment, whether there is a continuing need for the provisions of the ordinance that caused the signs to become illegal or abandoned.

3.    Abatement. No later than sixty (60) days after the public hearing described in subsection (A)(2) of this Section, the City shall commence abatement as provided in this subsection of the illegal and abandoned on-premises signs identified by the inventory required by subsection (A)(1) of this Section.

4.    Nonconforming signs which may be abated without payment of compensation. Any sign which does not comply with the requirements of this Chapter and which may be abated without the payment of compensation pursuant to Section 5497 or Section 5498 of the Business and Professions Code shall be brought into compliance with the requirements of this Chapter as soon as may reasonably be accomplished and in no event later than six (6) months after the date of adoption of this Ordinance, unless such period is extended by the Planning Commission for good cause shown. Any sign that is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time shall be subject to abatement as a public nuisance.

5.    Other nonconforming signs. Any sign which does not conform to the requirements of this Chapter and which may be abated after the expiration of fifteen (15) years pursuant to Section 5495 of the Business and Professions Code shall be brought into compliance with the requirements of this Chapter within fifteen (15) years of the date of adoption of this Chapter. Any sign that is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time shall be subject to abatement as a public nuisance.

6.    Continuation of existing nonconforming signs. Pursuant to PMC 17.11.090, a sign that lawfully existed as a nonconforming sign prior to the effective date of this Chapter pursuant to Ordinance No. 684 and/or Ordinance No. U-1060 shall be deemed to be continued under this Ordinance, and in determination of the termination date established by this Ordinance, shall be computed from the original date it became nonconforming under said Ordinance No. 684 and/or Ordinance No. U-1060. Any sign that is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time shall be subject to abatement as a public nuisance.

7.    Signs with flashing and rotating features. Any sign which contains flashing or rotating features and which is not in compliance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be brought into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter as soon as may reasonably be accomplished and in no event later than six (6) months after the date of adoption of this Ordinance unless such period is extended by the Planning Commission for good cause shown. If such sign is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time, the flashing or rotating features of the sign shall be deactivated immediately. However, the owner or operator of such sign may be authorized to continue its operation notwithstanding this subsection if the Planning Commission determines the sign to be of historical significance.

B.    Off-site commercial signs. All off-site commercial signs that do not comply with the requirements of this Chapter shall be brought into compliance with the requirements of this Chapter as soon as may reasonably be accomplished and in no event later than one (1) year after the date of adoption of this Ordinance, unless such period is extended by the Planning Commission for good cause shown. Any sign that is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time shall be subject to abatement as a public nuisance.

C.    Sign programs. Sign programs approved prior to the effective date of this Ordinance shall be automatically subject to the General Development Standards contained in PMC 17.88.090. New sign permits requested under these programs may not exceed the maximum sign area or maximum sign height specified under PMC 17.88.100 through 17.88.120.

D.    Outdoor advertising sign structures. Any outdoor advertising sign structure which lawfully existed in an agricultural or residential zone at the time of the adoption of this Chapter or was lawfully constructed pursuant to a permit issued by Los Angeles County and was later annexed to the City of Palmdale, but which is not in conformance with the requirements of this Chapter, and is located within residential or agriculturally zoned property, shall be deemed legal nonconforming use which must be maintained, and may be upgraded subject to the restrictions and limitations imposed on nonconforming signs by this Chapter. Such signs shall be removed in accordance with the following amortization schedule.

Fair Market Value of Off-Premise

Commercial Advertising Signs*

Years Allowed Before

Removal

Under $1,999

2

$2,000 to $3,999

3

$4,000 to $5,999

4

$6,000 to $7,999

5

$8,000 to $9,999

6

$10,000 and over

7

*    Fair Market Value of outdoor advertising sign structures on the date of removal requirement.

Continuation of existing nonconforming signs. Pursuant to PMC 17.11.090, nonconforming outdoor advertising sign structures that lawfully existed prior to the effective date of this Chapter pursuant to Ordinance No. 684 and/or Ordinance No. U-1060 shall be deemed to be continued under this Ordinance, and in determination of the termination date established by this Ordinance, shall be computed from the original date it became nonconforming under said Ordinance No. 684 and/or Ordinance No. U-1060. Any sign that is not brought into conformance with the requirements of this Chapter within that time shall be subject to abatement as a public nuisance.

17.88.180 Variance and Minor Exceptions

Applicants may apply for a variance or minor exception to the provisions of this Chapter in accordance with Chapter 17.23 PMC, Variances and Minor Exceptions, and shall have the burden of proving that the requested variance or minor exception is in conformance with the required findings.

17.88.190 Administration

A.    Duty to enforce: The Director of Planning shall have the duty to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.

B.    Violations. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of this Chapter. It shall also be unlawful for a property owner, tenant, and a proprietor of a sign company to use, occupy, or maintain property in violation of this Chapter. Illegal signs and persons using, occupying or maintaining property with an illegal sign shall be subject to enforcement procedures as described in the City of Palmdale Municipal Code, including but not limited to issuance of a citation, imposition of a fine, and/or arrest. Signs in violation of this Chapter may be summarily removed by the Superintendent of Maintenance or his/her representative, or any Community Service or Code Enforcement Officer, or any other City employee authorized by the City Manager to remove such sign(s). The sign owner shall be responsible for payment of a fine in an amount specified in the City’s fee resolution for each sign so removed. In cases where a duly authorized representative of the City has direct contact with the violator of these provisions, this person shall be responsible for the payment of the aforementioned fines. A written notice of the removal shall be given to the sign owner stating that the sign may be reclaimed within ten (10) days and will be returned to the owner upon payment of the fine specified herein, except that no such notice shall be required if the owner is not identified on the sign. In the event the sign is not reclaimed within the time allowed to do so, the sign may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the Superintendent of Maintenance. Unclaimed signs may be sold at a price determined by the Superintendent of Maintenance.

C.    Ambiguity. Whenever ambiguity arises as to the interpretation of the provisions of this Ordinance, the applicant for a sign permit may request that the Planning Commission make a determination as to the meaning and application of the ambiguous provisions.

D.    Discontinuance of a business. Within ninety-one (91) days of vacancy in the unit or building for which a commercial sign was placed or before a new business occupies the premises, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner or the property owner’s authorized leasing agent to remove the message or copy of an abandoned sign and to patch and conceal any and all damage to the structure resulting from removal of the sign in a neat and professional manner. Legally existing abandoned cabinet signs shall be replaced with a blank panel.

E.    Removal of illegal signs on public property. The Director of Planning shall remove or cause to be removed any sign unlawfully placed or located on public property. The Director shall send notification in writing to the owner of such sign, if such owner is known, stating the location where his or her sign is being held and that it will be destroyed if not claimed by the owner within ten (10) days after the date of such notice. In the event that the owner does not claim such sign within the ten (10) day period, the Director may destroy or otherwise dispose of such sign. The owner of the sign shall reimburse the City for the actual costs of removing, storing and destroying or otherwise disposing of the sign.

For purposes of this subsection, there shall be a presumption that: (i) the real estate agent, broker, brokerage firm or other person whose name or telephone number appears on the handbill or sign is the person responsible for posting a handbill or sign advertising property for sale, lease or rent; (ii) the candidate seeking office is the person responsible for posting a handbill or sign promoting the candidate for public office; (iii) the owner, or lessee if the property is leased, of property used for a yard or garage sale is the person responsible for posting a handbill or sign advertising a yard or garage sale; (iv) the owner, or lessee if the property is leased, of property used for a commercial activity or event is the person responsible for posting a handbill or sign advertising the subject commercial activity or event; (v) the person whose name, telephone number or address appears as the sponsor for a sporting event, concert, theatrical performance, or similar activity or event is the person responsible for posting a handbill or sign advertising the subject activity or event; and (vi) the person whose name, telephone number or address appears as the person to contact on any handbill or sign posted is the person responsible for posting the same. For purposes of this subsection, the person presumed to be responsible for posting a handbill or sign on public or utility property may rebut such presumption by declaring under penalty of perjury or swearing under oath that the person did not cause, authorize, allow or permit the posting of the handbill or sign on public or utility property.

F.    Abatement of danger. When the Director of Planning determines a sign constitutes an imminent danger to the public safety, the Director of Planning may take appropriate action to abate the danger. Any sign removed to abate such a threat to the public safety shall become the property of the City and may be disposed of in any appropriate manner. The cost of such emergency abatement shall be charged against the owner of the sign and may be recovered by the City by an appropriate legal action or by assessment against the property, provided that the person assessed shall be granted a hearing before the Planning Commission to contest the amount or propriety of the charge if such person requests a hearing within thirty (30) days of notice from the City. For the purposes of this subsection, a sign shall be refutably presumed to be the property of the same person as described in subsection E of this Section.

G.    Entitlements strictly construed. Because the regulations provided by this Chapter are established to protect and promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, any sign entitlement authorized hereunder shall be strictly construed to further the purposes of this Chapter.