Chapter 18.42
SIGNS Revised 10/17

18.42.000    Chapter Contents

Sections:

18.42.020    Purpose.

18.42.040    Applicability.

18.42.060    General sign regulations.

18.42.080    Prohibited signs.

18.42.100    Summary of Sign Standards Classification System.

18.42.120    General Standards for Freestanding Signs. Revised 10/17

18.42.140    General Standards for Building Mounted Signs. Revised 10/17

18.42.160    General Standards for Temporary Signs.

18.42.180    General Standards for Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs.

18.42.200    General Standards for Identification Signs for Individual Uses.

18.42.220    District Specific Standards for Identification Signs for Individual Uses.

18.42.240    General Standards for Development Identification Signs.

18.42.260    District Specific Standards for Development Identification Signs.

18.42.280    Building Entrance Sign Standards.

18.42.300    Political Sign Standards.

18.42.320    Real Estate Sign Standards.

18.42.340    Directional and Informational Sign Standards.

18.42.360    Driveway Entrance/Exit Sign Standards.

18.42.380    Nonconforming Signs.

18.42.400    TABLE: Summary of Sign Standards by District.

(Ord. 6093 §35, 2001).

18.42.020 Purpose

It is the purpose of this Chapter to (1) safeguard the life, health and welfare of the citizens of the City of Olympia by regulating and controlling the design, quality of materials, construction, location, use, electrification and maintenance of all signs and sign structures (2) promote the enhancement of business properties and their neighborhoods through the erection of signs complementary with their buildings and uses and harmonious with their surroundings; (3) to protect the right of business to identify its premises and advertise products on the premises through the use of signs.

This chapter shall not regulate building design, official directional signs, traffic signs, copy of signs, design of signs, signs within Highway 101 and Interstate 5 rights-of-way, window displays, point of purchase advertising displays such as product dispensers and candy machines, national flags, flags of political subdivisions, gravestones, holiday decorations, historical site plaques or other such signs of a non commercial nature.

(Ord. 6093 §3, 2001; Ord. 5714 §23, 1997; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.040 Applicability

No signs shall be erected or maintained in the City except those signs specifically identified in this chapter. The number and size of signs as outlined in this Chapter are maximum standards.

(Ord. 6093 §4, 2001; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.060 General sign regulations

A.    Design Review of Signs.

1.    In applying design criteria, or design guidelines, the Design Review Board or staff may deny or further restrict signs otherwise authorized or regulated in other sections of this chapter.

2.    The appeal procedures set out in OMC 18.75.020 (A) for signs subject to design review shall apply.

B.    Electrical Requirements. Electrical requirements for signs within the City of Olympia shall be governed by the adopted Electrical Code of the City of Olympia. Compliance with said code shall be required by every sign utilizing electrical energy as a prerequisite to issuance of a sign permit under this code.

C.    Enforcement and Removal. See OMC 18.73.010.

D.    Fees. Sign permit fees shall be paid as established in Title 4 of the Olympia Municipal Code.

E.    New Signs, Repairs, Alterations, Abandoned Signs.

1.    No new sign shall be erected nor any existing sign structurally altered, that is not in compliance with these standards, the provisions of the Use District in which it is located and any other pertinent Federal, State or Local regulations.

2.    All signs shall be kept in good repair and shall be maintained in a safe, neat, clean and attractive condition.

3.    Abandoned signs shall be removed, except that if the City designates a sign as historic in nature, the City may allow the sign to be exempt from the removal standard for abandoned signs. (See Section 18.42.380, Non-Conforming Sings.)

4.    Out-of-date signs shall be removed within five (5) days after the event, time, or purpose of the sign no longer applies. (See Section 18.42.300 Political Signs).

5.    No sign shall be erected or maintained in such a manner that any portion of its surface or supports will interfere in any way with the free use of any fire escape, exit or standpipe. No sign shall be erected or maintained so as to obstruct any window so that light or ventilation is reduced below minimum standards required by an applicable law or the Uniform Building Code.

6.    Signs shall not interfere, confuse or conflict with the recognition and visibility of any traffic control or directional devices or street name signs, nor shall any sign be so placed as to cause visual obstruction of any public rights-of-way.

F.    No Permit Required. The following signs do not require a permit:

1.    Signs erected by government agencies to implement public policy.

2.    Real estate signs subject to the requirements of Section 18.42.320.

3.    Political signs meeting the requirements of Section 18.42.300.

4.    On-premise occupant name plates on residential dwelling units, provided size of name plates does not exceed three (3) square feet in area.

5.    Changing of advertising on a legal changeable copy sign (readerboard).

6.    On-premise contractor job signs not exceeding thirty-two (32) square feet in area.

7.    Temporary non-commercial signs less than six (6) square feet in sign surface area on private property and installed less than four (4) feet above ground.

8.    Normal maintenance of signs that does not change the appearance of the sign.

G.    Permit Application. A permit shall be obtained from the City of Olympia for the installation of a new sign, the structural alteration of an existing sign, and all changes to signs regulated by Design Review Guidelines including permanent painted signs. For the purposes of this Title, replacing only the face of an existing sign shall not be considered as either a new sign or a structural alteration and does not require a permit, except in areas regulated by Design Review Guidelines.

1.    Application for a sign permit shall be made in writing upon forms provided by the Department. Structural detail, all dimensions, materials, illumination and advertising copy must be included.

2.    A plot plan showing property lines, all abutting public rights-of-way, buildings and other structures on the property, existing signs and proposed sign locations, shall be included with the application.

3.    If deemed necessary by the building department, additional engineering information and/or structural detail stamped by a structural engineer registered in the State of Washington may be required.

4.    No sign permit shall be issued for an enterprise using nonconforming signs in Olympia unless the user or owner brings said signs into conformance or removes them. (See also, OMC 18.42.380 for further nonconforming sign regulations.)

H.    Structural Requirements. The structure and erection of signs within the City of Olympia shall be governed by the Uniform Sign Code, 1991 Edition (or any subsequent edition adopted by the City).

I.    General Commercial sign standards shall apply to all uses within the Auto Services District, unless otherwise specified.

(Ord 6317 §4, 2004; Ord. 6093 §5, 2001; Ord. 5830 §23, 1998; Ord. 5714 §24, 1997; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.080 Prohibited signs

The following types of signs are prohibited.

A.    Animated Signs. Exception: Traditional barber signs and time/temperature signs. (See OMC Sections 18.42.120(G) and 18.42.140(D)).

B.    Portable Signs. Exception: Sandwich board sidewalk signs (See OMC 18.42.180).

C.    Any sign over four (4) feet high in a required yard setback (See OMC 18.02.180 Definitions, see definitions for Setback and Yard).

D.    No sign shall be in or over public rights-of-way with the exception of projecting signs, sandwich board sidewalk signs, political signs, or those legally mounted on a marquee.

E.    Off-Premises Directional Signs. For exceptions see OMC 18.42.340.

F.    Signs unrelated to any use or activity on the property on which the sign is located, such as billboard signs, but not including directional and public service signs as defined herein. (See also OMC 18.02.180 - Definitions.)

G.    Roof Signs. Unless they meet the standards for building mounted signs as defined in OMC 18.02.180.

H.    Attaching commercial messages to wireless communication facilities for off-site and on-site advertising shall be prohibited.

I.    Exceptions for Historic Preservation Purposes. As provided for in Section 18.42.060(E)(3), General Sign Regulations - New Signs, Repairs, Alterations, Abandoned Signs - Abandoned historic signs and Section 18.42.380(C)(1), Nonconforming Signs - Signs on Historic Buildings, the City may allow exceptions to the above prohibited signs for historic preservation purposes.

(Ord. 6395 §23, 2006; Ord. 6093 §6, 2001; Ord. 5714 §25, 1997; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.100 Summary of Sign Standards Classification System.

A.    Sign Structure types:

1.    Freestanding signs

2.    Building Mounted signs

3.    Temporary signs

4.    Sandwich Board sidewalk signs

B.    Maximum sign surface area:

The maximum sign surface area may be one of the following nine levels, as set forth in this chapter in the maximum sign area standards for specific zoning districts. (Note: Double sided signs shall not exceed half (1/2) the maximum sign surface area per face). See Section 18.42.120(B) for ratios to be used when calculating maximum size for levels 6 through 11 listed below. Levels 1 through 5 listed below do not use a ratio calculation.

1.    2 square feet

2.    5 square feet

3.    10 square feet

4.    16 square feet

5.    24 square feet

6.    32 square feet

7.    50 square feet

8.    100 square feet

9.    130 square feet

10.    200 square feet

11.    600 square feet, only for a double sided sign in the Auto Services District per OMC 18.42.260(D)(1)(A).

C.    Sign Function types:

1.    Identification Signs for Individual Uses

2.    Identification Signs for Developments

3.    Building Entrance Signs

4.    Political Signs

5.    Real Estate Signs

6.    Directional and Informational Signs

7.    Driveway Entrance/Exit Signs

8.    Sandwich Board sidewalk Signs

(Ord. 6317 §5, 2004; Ord. 6093 §7, 2001; Ord. 5896 §18, 1999; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.120 General Standards for Freestanding Signs Revised 10/17

A.    In addition to these standards, also see the following sections in the Design Review Guidelines: OMC 18.120.140, 18.120.150, 18.145.040, 18.150.100, and 18.150.110.

B.    Double-sided signs - If the sign is double sided, each side may have half of the maximum square footage. For example, on a 200 square foot double-sided sign, each side may have a maximum of 100 square feet.

C.    Setbacks - in the GC district, the minimum setback shall be the same as provided for buildings. Except: the front yard setback shall be a minimum of five (5) feet if abutting a principal arterial (major arterial) with a rights-of-way of eighty (80) feet or less, provided that the sign owner agrees to assume all expenses of relocating the sign when and if the City acquires additional rights-of-way. The sign owner must provide the City with an appropriate legal document binding the owner and any future heirs or assigns to said agreement.

D.    Height - 4 foot maximum.

1.    Exceptions: In association with secondary and above academic schools, if the site is greater than five acres and more than 50% of the building square footage is a Type "E" occupancy per the Uniform Building Code (UBC) or within the Freeway Corridor Overlay district:

a.    Uses on City street frontages - 16 feet

b.    Uses adjacent to the freeway - 25 feet

c.    A maximum of one (1) pole sign is permitted per use, however, only one pole sign in a development is permitted.

d.    Placement of pole signs - pole signs shall be placed in a planter box, or otherwise landscaped, with the area of the landscaping a minimum of one-half (1/2) of the surface area of the sign.

2.    Exception: Maximum height for business directories which are separate signs from the development identification sign is 7 feet, if the site is at least 40 acres in size and for new development the sign is located a distance from the public right-of-way which is equal to the required throat length of the driveway, per the City Public Works Standards, or for existing development is equal to the existing throat length or 100 feet, whichever is greater.

3.    Exception: Motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed thirty (30) foot high pole signs per franchise subject to lot size limitations (See OMC 18.42.200 (B)(1)(b) for the number of signs allowed).

4.    Motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed twelve (12) foot high ground signs (See OMC 18.42.200 (B)(1)(c) for the number of signs allowed).

5.    Development identification signs for a single trade organization located within the Auto Services District representing the ownership of 40 acres or more of similar land uses within such district shall be allowed pole signs at a maximum of 25 feet in height.

E.    Placement - freestanding signs shall be located entirely on the premises of the use they are associated with, unless otherwise specified.

F.    Lighting - In residential zoning districts (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L)), lighting shall not be unreasonably bright or glaring. Also, public service pole signs for academic schools shall be turned off between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

G.    Lighting - In the Auto Services Zoning district, signs illuminated directly or indirectly shall not be unreasonably bright or glaring. The placement or location of signs must be placed in a manner so it shall not directly face into an adjacent residential District.

H.    Public Service Signs may be included in a use’s permitted signage, provided the overall sign size, height and other standards for the underlying zoning district are met. Further, the public service portion of an academic school sign shall not exceed 50% of any sign face and all messages shall remain static for at least five minutes.

I.    One Development Identification Electronic Reader Board Sign shall be allowed within the Auto Services District for a single trade organization representing the ownership of 40 acres or more of similar land uses, provided, that all messages shall remain static for at least three minutes.

J.    References to residential zoning districts mean the following districts: Residential 4-8, Mixed Residential 10-18, Residential 6-12, Residential Multifamily-18, Residential-4, Mixed Residential 7-13, Residential Multifamily-24.

(Ord. 7094 §15, 2017; Ord. 6317 §6, 2004; Ord. 6187 §1, 2002; Ord. 6093 §8, 2001; Ord. 5714 §26, 1997; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.140 General Standards for Building Mounted Signs Revised 10/17

A.    In addition to these standards, also see the following sections in the Design Review Guidelines: OMC 18.05A.130, 18.05A.140, 18.05A.240, 18.120.140, 18.120.150, 18.145.040, 18.150.100, and 18.150.110.

B.    Size of sign surface area:

1.    Ratio used in calculation of maximum sign surface area. For 32 through 200 square foot signs, the maximum sign surface area shall not exceed one (1) square foot per one linear foot of the wall on which the sign is mounted. Provided, however, for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, the maximum sign surface area shall not exceed one and a half (1 1/2) square feet for every one (1) linear foot of wall not to exceed two hundred fifty (250) square feet in sign surface area on which the sign is mounted.

2.    Individual uses in multiple occupancy buildings - the length of the wall to be considered for size calculation purposes, includes only that portion enclosing the space the business occupies, not the length of the entire building.

3.    Marquee signs, i.e. signs mounted on marquees - marquee signs are exempt from aggregate sign surface area requirements (See Section 18.42.140(H) for standards which limit size).

4.    Mansard roof signs - the size ratio shall use the length of the wall enclosing the use, not the length of the roof.

C.    Lighting - In residential zoning districts (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L)) lighting shall not be unreasonably bright or glaring.

D.    Public Service signs, such as time and temperature signs and community bulletin boards, are allowed to be incorporated into a use’s permitted signage, provided the overall sign size, height and other standards for the underlying zoning district are met.

E.    Flush mounted signs.

1.    Projection from face of building - shall not exceed 12 inches away from the wall which the sign is attached to nor extend beyond such wall, or above the roof line.

2.    In the Auto Services District, flush mounted signs using channel letters, channel letters shall not exceed thirty-six (36) inches in height. Logos or symbols are not subject to this size requirement.

F.    Painted wall signs - If a change is made to the original appearance of a painted wall sign, this shall constitute a new sign and require a permit.

G.    Awning signs

1.    Lighting - Only the area containing the sign band may be internally lit. All awnings which are illuminated must meet state energy code requirements.

H.    Marquee signs

1.    Theaters - existing movie theaters are allowed to retain their traditional type of marquee sign without animated lighting.

2.    Marquee signs are exempt from the aggregate sign surface area requirements.

3.    The vertical measurement of the sign shall not exceed twelve (12) inches.

4.    No portion of the sign may project out beyond the marquee.

5.    Clearance from grade - minimum eight (8) feet if sign is located under the marquee.

6.    Placement - can be under, on top of, or on any face of the marquee. If on top of the marquee, the sign shall be parallel to the plane of the wall it is attached to.

7.    Projection from face of building - if attached to the face of the marquee, the sign shall not project more than 12 inches away from the face of the marquee.

I.    Projecting signs

1.    Clearance from grade - minimum of 10 feet, except when sign is mounted under a marquee, minimum clearance from grade is 8 feet.

2.    Projection from face of building - shall not exceed 3 feet.

J.    Signs on mansard roofs are to be considered as building mounted signs and subject to the standards for such.

K.    Window signs. A sign permanently mounted on a window (for example a neon sign) or permanently painted on the window, is considered a building mounted sign and subject to the standards for such. Exception: Signs indicating whether a use is open or closed for business are not subject to these standards.

L.    References to residential zoning districts mean the following districts: Residential 4-8, Mixed Residential 10-18, Residential 6-12, Residential Multifamily-18, Residential-4, Mixed Residential 7-13, Residential Multifamily-24.

(Ord. 7094 §16, 2017; Ord. 6317 §7, 2004; Ord. 6093 §9, 2001; Ord. 5714 §27, 1997; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.42.160 General Standards for Temporary Signs

A.    Permits are required for all temporary signs, except for political and real estate signs (OMC 18.42.300, 18.42.320), including inflatable signs and banners, unless otherwise indicated (See Section 18.42.060(F)).

B.    Maximum Length of time a permit may be issued for - sixty (60) days, except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, the maximum display time is thirty (30) days.

C.    Frequency of issuance of temporary sign permits - no more than four (4) such permits shall be issued to any one (1) use during any twelve (12) month period; except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, temporary sign permits shall be limited only by a requirement for a fourteen (14) days separation between temporary sign events.

D.    Number of temporary signs - no more than one (1) such sign shall be allowed at any one time for a use, except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, no limit is imposed.

E.    Lighting is not permitted for temporary signs.

F.    Banners

1.    Shall be mounted flush on buildings only.

G.    Window Signs

1.    Permits - not required

2.    Aggregate shall not exceed 40% of window space.

H.    Temporary Non-commercial Signs.

1.    Number of signs - limited to one (1) sign per street frontage

2.    Height - not to exceed eight (8) feet.

3.    Maximum Size.

a.    Commercial and Industrial zones:

i.    Fifty square feet, not to exceed twenty-five (25) square feet in sign area per side.

ii.    No limitation for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District.

b.    Residential zones (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L)):

i.    Ten square feet, not to exceed five (5) square feet in sign area per side.

4.    If a temporary non-commercial sign is less than six (6) square feet in sign surface area and less than 4 feet in height, then a permit is not required.

(Ord. 6317 §8, 2004; Ord. 6093 §10, 2001).

18.42.180 General Standards for Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs

A.    These standards do not apply to real estate signs. (See Section 18.42.320, Real Estate Sign Standards).

B.    Permitted districts - Downtown Business, Neighborhood Retail, Community Retail, Neighborhood Village, Urban Village, Neighborhood Center, Community Oriented Shopping Center, PO/RM, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Urban Waterfront - Housing, Commercial Services-High Density, High Density Corridor-1, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor -3, and High Density Corridor-4 districts.

C.    Height - 4 foot maximum.

D.    Width - 24 inch maximum.

E.    Number of signs - 1 per use.

F.    Placement, except real estate signs (See Section 18.42.320, Real Estate Sign Standards):

1.    Signs must be located directly in front of the sponsoring business and on the walkway which is directly in front of the business entrance. In no case shall signs be more than 20 (twenty) feet from the front wall of the business.

2.    Signs are to be displayed during business hours only.

3.    Signs shall not create a traffic safety hazard by interfering with the vision of drivers entering or leaving the premises.

4.    Signs shall be located next to the curb edge of a sidewalk in such a manner so as not to interfere with the opening of car doors, use of bicycle parking facilities, bus stops, loading zones, or pedestrian traffic.

5.    Signs shall be located such that an unobstructed passageway of forty-eight (48) inches shall be maintained for wheelchair travel on all public and private rights-of-ways.

G.    Lighting attached to sign is not permitted.

H.    Liability - owners of such signs shall assume liability for damage resulting from their use and shall provide the City with a notarized signed agreement (as provided by the City) holding the City harmless from such resulting loss.

(Ord. 6826 §3, 2012; Ord. 6517 §46, 2007; Ord. 6461 §2, 2007; Ord. 6456 §2, 2007; Ord. 6195 §31, 2002; Ord. 6093 §11, 2001).

18.42.200 General Standards for Identification Signs for Individual Uses

Identification signs for individual uses are those which serve as the primary identifier of the name of an individual use.

A.    Sign Structure Type and Building Type

1.    Building mounted signs are permitted on both single and multiple occupancy buildings.

2.    Freestanding signs are permitted for single occupancy buildings only.

B.    Number of identification signs:

1.    All uses in Neighborhood Retail, Neighborhood Village, Neighborhood Center, Medical Services, Professional Office/Residential Multifamily, Commercial Services-High Density, Residential Mixed Use, Urban Residential, Community Retail, General Commercial, Auto Services, Urban Waterfront, Urban Waterfront - Housing, Downtown Business, Urban Village, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, and High Density Corridor-1, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, and High Density Corridor-4 districts: one per street frontage.

a.    Exception: Multi-family uses in Residential Multifamily-18, Residential Multifamily-24, Residential Multifamily High Rise, and Urban Residential - two (2) signs are permitted where there are entrances off two (2) public rights-of-way.

b.    Exception: Motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed pole signs per franchise based upon lot size (see OMC 18.42.120 (D)(3) for the height of signs):

i.

0-30,000 sq. ft. =

No Pole Signs

 

30,001-43,560 sq. ft. =

1 Pole Sign

 

43,561-140,000 sq. ft. =

2 Pole Signs

 

140,001-210,000 sq. ft. =

3 Pole Signs

 

210,001-Infinity sq. ft. =

4 Pole Signs

An additional pole sign for a dealer’s used car lot is not permitted, except that any motor vehicle sales lot in the Auto Services District larger than 43,560 square feet (1 acre) without a franchise is allowed one (1) pole sign.

c.    Motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed ground signs at a separation of one hundred (100) feet between ground signs along street frontages (see OMC 18.42.120 (D)(4) for the height of signs).

d.    For those motor vehicle sales lots facing Cooper Point Road/Auto Mall Drive, see OMC 18.42.220 (C)(5) for district specific standards.

2.    Non-residential uses in residential districts (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L)) - only one (1) sign is permitted.

a.    Exception: Multi-family uses in Residential Multifamily-18, Residential Multifamily-24, Residential Multifamily High Rise districts, and Urban Residential - two (2) signs are permitted where there are entrances off two (2) public rights-of-way.

3.    If a use does not directly front on any public rights-of-way, the calculation regarding number of signs shall be based on the number of exposures to a street which the use has.

(Ord. 6517 §47, 2007; Ord. 6323 §10, 2004; Ord. 6317 §9, 2004; Ord. 6195 §32, 2002; Ord. 6093 §12, 2001).

18.42.220 District Specific Standards for Identification Signs for Individual Uses

A.    District - Freeway Corridor, (see also Section 18.145.040).

1.    Sign Structure - Pole signs are permitted (Freeway Corridor district and Auto Services District are the only districts in which pole signs are allowed).

2.    Use limits - if property is adjacent to freeway, pole signs are limited to multifamily complexes, shopping centers and industrial complexes.

3.    For the purposes of calculating the number of permitted signs, pole signs are subject to the standards for freestanding signs, i.e., they are not in addition to the number of permitted freestanding signs but are considered one of the permitted freestanding signs.

4.    All other sign standards in Freeway Corridor district are determined by the underlying zoning district in the following sections.

B.    Districts - Community Retail, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Downtown Business, Urban Village, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Urban Center, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, and High Density Corridor-4.

1.    Sign Structure Allowed.

a.    Freestanding and building mounted.

2.    Maximum Size - 200 square feet (100 square feet per side for double sided signs).

a.    Exception: Projecting signs.

i.    Maximum Size - 50 square feet (25 square feet per side for double sided signs).

ii.    Building type limits - projecting signs are only permitted on single occupancy buildings not located in a shopping center.

iii.    Limits on number of projecting signs - Only one projecting sign permitted per building.

b.    Exception: Commercial parking lots.

i.    Maximum Size - 24 square feet

ii.    Building mounted signs on commercial parking lots shall be flush mounted only.

C.    District - Auto Services

1.    Sign Structure

a.    Freestanding and building mounted only.

2.    Maximum size - Building mounted signs for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services district, one and one half (1 1/2) square feet per one (1) linear foot of wall length not to exceed a maximum of two hundred and fifty (250) sq. ft. in size.

a.    Channel letter for building mounted signs shall not exceed thirty six (36) inches in height. Logos or symbols are not subject to this requirement.

3.    Maximum size - Pole signs for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed signs at two hundred sixty (260) square feet (one hundred thirty (130) sq. ft. per side of a double sided sign) in sign surface area (see OMC 18.42.120 (D)(3) for the height of signs and OMC 18.42.200 (B)(1)(b) for the number of allowed signs.

4.    Maximum size - Ground signs for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District are allowed one hundred (100) square feet (fifty (50) square feet per side of a double sided sign) with a minimum setback of six (6) feet from the property line (See OMC 18.42.120 (D)(4) for the height of signs and OMC 18.42.200 (B)(1)(c) for the number of allowed signs).

5.    For those motor vehicle sales lots facing Cooper Point Road/Auto Mall Drive are allowed either:

a.    Pole signs at thirty (30) feet in height as allowed in C.3 above and setback a maximum of thirty (30) feet from the front yard property line, and, ground signs at four (4) feet in height setback a minimum of six (6) feet at a separation of one hundred (100) feet between ground signs; or

b.    Ground signs at twelve (12) feet high as allowed in C.4. above and setback a minimum of six (6) feet from the front property line at a separation of one hundred (100) feet between ground signs with no pole signs allowed.

D.    Districts - Neighborhood Retail, Neighborhood Village, and Neighborhood Center.

1.    Sign Structure.

a.    Freestanding and building mounted only.

2.    Maximum Size - 100 square feet (50 square feet per side for double sided signs).

E.    Districts - Medical Services, Professional Offices/Multifamily Residential, Urban Waterfront - Housing, High Density Corridor-1, Commercial Services-High Density, Residential Mixed Use, Residential-4, Residential-4-8, Residential-6-12, Mixed Residential-7-13, Mixed Residential-10-18, Residential Multifamily-18, Residential Multifamily-24, Residential Multifamily High Rise, and Urban Residential (UR).

1.    Sign Structure - freestanding and building mounted.

a.    Exception: Home-based preschools, home occupations, and income producing uses in co-housing developments - freestanding signs are not permitted, flush mounted signs only are permitted.

b.    Exception: Freestanding or building mounted signs are permitted for home occupations in properties abutting the west side of the 300 and 400 blocks of West Bay Drive Northwest.

2.    Maximum Size - 24 square feet (12 square feet per side for double sided signs).

a.    Exception: Academic Schools - maximum size is 100 square feet (50 square feet per side for double sided signs).

b.    Exception: Multi-family Uses - maximum size is 16 square feet (8 square feet per side for double sided signs).

c.    Exception: Home-based preschools, home occupations, and income producing uses in co-housing developments - maximum size is 2 square feet; provided, however, that freestanding signs for home occupations in properties abutting the west side of the 300 and 400 blocks of West Bay Drive Northwest may not exceed five (5) square feet in sign surface area per side.

(Ord. 6323 §11, 2004; Ord. 6317 §10, 2004; Ord. 6195 §33, 2002; Ord. 6140 §33, 2001; Ord. 6093 §13, 2001).

18.42.240 General Standards for Development Identification Signs

A.    Development Identification Signs are those which serve as the primary identifier of the name of a development. Business directories are considered a part of a use’s Development Identification Signs.

B.    Business Directories.

1.    Business directories must include equal space for all businesses in the development.

2.    A business directory may be either combined with that portion of the development identification sign which identifies the name of the development or it may be a separate sign, provided that the combined amount of signage identifying the name of the development and the business directory sign does not exceed the total allowable sign surface area for Development Identification Signs (for sign surface area standards, See Section 18.42.260, District Specific Standards for Development Identification Signs).

3.    Building location maps shall be considered as a type of business directory and are subject to the above standards.

C.    Sign Structure - freestanding and building mounted.

D.    Number of signs -

1.    Multiple occupancy buildings

a.    Sign identifying name of building - 1 per exterior public entry.

b.    Business directory for the building - 1 per exterior public entry.

2.    Multiple building complexes.

a.    Sign identifying name of development - 1 per driveway entry to the development, to be located at the driveway entry.

b.    Business directory for the development - 1 per driveway entry to the development.

3.    Residential subdivisions - 1 per street frontage which has a driveway entry to the development.

4.    Pole signs - if a use is permitted a pole sign, only one (1) pole sign is permitted per development; except, a single trade organization located within the Auto Services District representing the ownership of 40 acres or more of similar land uses within such district shall be allowed one (1) development identification sign along any adjacent state highway and four (4) development identification signs along Cooper Point Road/Auto Mall Drive, which signs shall be located on the property of such trade organization or its member(s) which it advertises.

E.    Development Identification Signs are not permitted on single occupancy buildings.

(Ord. 6317 §11, 2004; Ord. 6093 §14, 2001).

18.42.260 District Specific Standards for Development Identification Signs

A.    District - Freeway Corridor see also Section 18.145.040.

1.    Sign Structure - Pole signs are permitted as development identification signs (Freeway Corridor District and Auto Services District are the only districts in which pole signs are allowed.)

2.    Content - business directories are not permitted on pole signs. Pole signs may have the name of the development only.

3.    Use limits - if property is adjacent to freeway, pole signs are limited to shopping centers and industrial complexes.

4.    For the purposes of calculating the number of permitted signs, pole signs are subject to the standards for freestanding signs, i.e. they are not in addition to the number of permitted freestanding signs but are considered one of the permitted freestanding signs.

5.    All other sign standards in Freeway Corridor Overlay district are subject to those for the underlying zoning district.

B.    Districts - Community Retail, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Downtown Business, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, High Density Corridor-4, Neighborhood Retail, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, Neighborhood Village, Urban Village, Neighborhood Center, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Urban Center, Residential-4, Residential-4-8, Residential-6-12, Mixed Residential-7-13, and Mixed Residential-10-18.

1.    Maximum Size - 50 square feet (25 square feet per side for double sided signs).

a.    Exception: Shopping malls & centers

i.    200 square feet on major arterial frontage (100 square feet per side for double sided signs).

ii.    100 square feet on secondary or local street frontage (50 square feet per side for double sided signs).

2.    Commercial developments

a.    Sign Structure - freestanding and building mounted.

3.    Residential developments (i.e. subdivisions):

a.    Sign Structure - freestanding

C.    Districts - Medical Services, Professional Office/Multifamily Residential, Urban Waterfront - Housing, High Density Corridor-1, Commercial Services-High Density, and Residential Mixed Use.

1.    Sign Structure - freestanding, with directory allowed, and building mounted.

2.    Maximum Size - 32 square feet (16 square feet per side for double sided signs).

a.    Exception: Residential developments (i.e. subdivisions):

i.    Sign Structure - freestanding

ii.    Maximum Size - 50 square feet (25 square feet per side for double sided signs).

D.    Districts - Auto Services

1.    Sign Structure - Freestanding

a.    Maximum Size - Along State Highways - three hundred (300) square feet per side, twenty five (25) foot high including any electronic reader board pole sign. See OMC 18.42.120.I. for electronic reader board limitations.

b.    Maximum Size - Arterial Streets - one hundred (100) square feet per side, twenty five (25) foot high pole sign. Placed on Cooper Point Road/Auto Mall Drive (see OMC 18.42.240 (D)(4)).

c.    All development identification signs for a single trade organization representing 40 acres or more of similar land uses within such zone shall be located on the property of such trade organization or its member(s).

(Ord. 6317 §12, 2004; Ord. 6195 §34, 2002; Ord. 6093 §15, 2001).

18.42.280 Building Entrance Sign Standards

Entrance signs are signs which indicate where the entrance to a use is.

A.    Districts - Community Retail, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Urban Waterfront Housing, Downtown Business, Urban Village, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Urban Center, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, Neighborhood Retail, Neighborhood Village, Neighborhood Commercial, Medical Services, Professional Offices/Multifamily Residential, Commercial Services-High Density, Residential Mixed Use, Urban Residential, High Density Corridor-1, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, and High Density Corridor-4.

B.    Permitted Content - name of the use only.

C.    Sign Structure - flush mounted signs only.

D.    Number of signs - one per exterior public entry.

E.    Placement - over each exterior entrance, provided there is not a marquee.

F.    Maximum Size.

1.    10 square feet.

a.    Exception: Shopping Centers.

i.    Use with a floor area that exceeds twenty thousand (20,000) square feet in area 16 square feet.

ii.    Use with a floor area less than twenty thousand (20,000) square feet in area - 5 square feet.

G.    Use limits - not permitted on uses in residences, such as preschools and home occupations, which are allowed one identification sign only.

(Ord. 6323 §12, 2004; Ord. 6195 §35, 2002; Ord. 6093 §16, 2001).

18.42.300 Political Sign Standards

A.    Permits - not required.

B.    Maximum size of sign surface area:

1.    Residential zones (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L))- 10 square feet.

2.    Other districts - 32 square feet.

C.    Height. Four (4) foot maximum in residential districts (defined in sections 18.42.120(H) and 18.42.140(L)). In any other district, four (4) feet. In other districts, and outside required residential setbacks, maximum height is 10 feet.

D.    Placement. Political signs may not be placed in public parks or attached to traffic safety devices, telephone poles, power poles, or other public utility facilities. They may be placed upon private property or within the public rights-of-way, provided that the sign shall be placed no less than ten feet from the paved edge or traveled portions of the roadway and signs placed within twenty feet of a street corner shall not exceed thirty inches in height within the clear sight triangle. Signs shall not interfere with traffic safety.

E.    Removal. All political signs must be removed 5 days after the election in which the candidates or issue on the sign has been determined. However, after primary elections, if the candidate or issue is going into the general election, signs may remain until 5 days after the general election. The candidate or committee for which the sign is displayed, shall be responsible for its removal. The candidate or committee for which the sign is displayed, shall be subject to the penalties and fines for violation of these requirements, as set forth in this title.

(Ord. 6093 §17, 2001).

18.42.320 Real Estate Sign Standards

A.    Permits - not required.

B.    Materials - all exterior real estate signs must be of wood or plastic or other durable material.

C.    Placement - signs may not be attached to a utility pole or traffic safety device or interfere with traffic safety.

D.    Residential properties:

1.    For Sale and Sold signs

a.    Maximum size - 10 square feet, provided that if a single faced sign, sign shall not exceed 5 square feet.

b.    Height - 7 feet maximum.

c.    Placement - signs shall be placed wholly on the property for sale. If sign is greater than 5 square feet in sign surface area, it must be placed more than 30 feet from the abutting owners property line.

2.    Directional Open House Signs

a.    Maximum size - 10 square feet, provided that if a single faced sign, sign shall not exceed 5 square feet.

b.    Height - 4 foot maximum.

c.    Placement - signs may be placed no less than ten (10) feet from the traveled portion of public rights-of-way, provided it does not interfere with traffic safety.

d.    Hours - permitted only during daylight hours and when the broker, agent, or seller is in attendance at the property for sale.

e.    Number of signs - one (1) sign per street frontage on the premises for sale and three (3) off-premise signs. However, if a broker/agent has more than one (1) house open for inspection in a single development of subdivision, s/he is limited to four (4) off-premises open house signs in the entire development or subdivision.

E.    Commercial and Industrial Properties:

1.    For Sale or Rent Signs

a.    Maximum size - 50 square feet, provided that if a single faced sign, sign shall not exceed 32 square feet.

b.    Height - 8 foot maximum

c.    Placement - for all commercial and industrial properties, if the sign is freestanding, it shall be located more than 15 feet from public rights-of-way and from any abutting property line if the adjacent property is developed. For developed commercial and industrial properties, if the face of the building is less than 10 feet from the property line, the sign shall be placed on the building or in a window.

d.    Removal - signs shall be displayed only while the property is actually for rent or sale.

e.    Number of signs - one (1) sign per street frontage while the property or building is actually for sale or rent.

F.    Additional Real Estate Signs - The Hearing Examiner may grant a special use permit to allow temporary off-premises signs in addition to those permitted above. Notice of adjacent property owners shall not be required. Such additional signs may be used to advertise open houses, to provide directions to new developments, or for similar purposes. Such signs may be placed no less than ten (10) feet from the traveled portion of the public right-of-way, provided they do not interfere with traffic safety, but they may not be attached to utility poles or traffic safety devices. The Hearing Examiner shall determine the number and locations of such signs, and the period during which they may be displayed. The Hearing Examiner shall take into account the number of existing signs in any proposed location, and shall limit or prohibit new ones so as to prevent a traffic hazard or a detrimental effect on neighboring property.

(Ord. 6093 §18, 2001).

18.42.340 Directional and Informational Sign Standards

Directional signs are those designed solely to guide or direct pedestrian or vehicular traffic to an area or place. Informational signs are those of a public or quasi-public nature.

A.    Off-premises commercial directional signs are prohibited, with the exception that an off-premises commercial directional sign may be granted, if all of the following can be found to apply:

1.    The use caters to tourists through on-premise provision of food, lodging or recreation.

2.    The use is located at least one (1) city block from a major arterial (as designated by the City).

3.    Such signs shall be directional in nature only (that is, no advertising other than location is allowed).

4.    No more than two (2) such signs for each use shall be approved.

5.    Sign Structure - freestanding or building mounted.

6.    Maximum Size - 16 square feet (8 square feet per side for double sided signs).

7.    Such a sign shall meet all other applicable provisions of these standards.

B.    Directional and informational signs of a public or quasi-public nature.

1.    May be erected or maintained by an official or civic body.

2.    Sign Structure - freestanding or building mounted.

3.    Maximum Size - 16 square feet (8 square feet per side for double sided signs).

C.    Directional signs for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District

1.    Sign Structure - shall be freestanding

2.    Maximum Size of a Directional Sign - shall be sixteen (16) square feet (eight (8) square feet per side of a double sided sign).

3.    Number of Signs - limited to a maximum of four (4) signs.

4.    Maximum Sign Height - shall be seven (7) feet.

(Ord. 6317 §13, 2004; Ord. 6093 §19, 2001).

18.42.360 Driveway Entrance/Exit Sign Standards

A.    Content - no commercial message permitted

B.    Sign Structure - freestanding

C.    Maximum size - 5 square feet (2 1/2 square feet per side for double sided signs).

D.    Number of signs - 1 per driveway

(Ord. 6093 §20, 2001).

18.42.380 Non –Conforming Signs

A.    General. Except as otherwise provided, any sign which is non-conforming may not be structurally altered without being brought into compliance with the requirements of this Title. (See OMC 18.02.180, Definitions, Signs, Abandoned and Non-Conforming and Section 18.42.060(C), General Sign Regulations, Enforcement, and Removal).

1.    Any non-conforming sign which is damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, wind, act of nature, or other accidental means may be restored if the cost thereof does not exceed fifty percent (50%) of its replacement cost. Signs damaged in an amount in excess of fifty percent (50%) of replacement cost shall be removed.

2.    All non-conforming signs shall be kept in good repair and maintained in a neat, clean, attractive, and safe condition. (See also OMC 18.42.060(C), Enforcement and Removal.)

B.    Signs on historic buildings. If firm evidence can be provided of the existence in the past of a sign on a designated historic building, which would be non-conforming under current regulations, the City may allow the placement of a replica of the sign, if the sign receives approval from both the City’s Design Review Board and Heritage Commission and meets current building code standards.

(Ord. 6093 §21, 2001).

18.42.400 TABLE: Summary of sign standards by district

TABLE 18.42.01

SUMMARY OF SIGN STANDARDS BY DISTRICT

Note: This Is a Summary Table Only. Please See Referenced Sections for Full Standards.

Type of Sign

Building Type

Sign Structure Type

Number of Signs

Size Level of sign surface area

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120, 18.42.140 & 18.42.180

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

DISTRICTS: Community Retail, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Downtown Business, Urban Village, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Urban Center, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, and High Density Corridor-4

Identification Sign for Individual Uses

Single Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign or Freestanding sign

1 per street frontage Except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, pole signs based on lot size (see OMC 18.42.200 (B)(1)(b) for the number of signs). Ground signs based on street frontage at a separation of 100 feet between signs.

200 s.f. max. Except commercial parking lots (24 s.f. max.) and projecting signs (50 s.f. max.) Except motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, 260 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign only

 

 

Building Entrance Signs:

All

Building mounted sign (flush mounted only)

1 per exterior public entry

10 s.f. max

Except shopping centers & malls in which case size level depends on the floor area of the use (16 s.f. max. if exceeds 20,000 s.f. and 5 s.f. max. if under 20,000 s.f.)

Development Identification Signs:

Multiple occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign or Freestanding sign

1 per exterior public entry Except for the Auto Services District and other entities, 5 freestanding signs allowed.

50 s.f. max. Except shopping centers & malls (200 s.f. max. on major arterial, 100 s.f. max. on local street) Except for the Auto Services District and other entities, 600 s.f. along state highways and 260 s.f. along arterial rights-of-way. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120, 18.42.140 & 18.42.180

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

DISTRICTS: Community Retail, General Commercial, Urban Waterfront, Downtown Business, Urban Village, Community Oriented Shopping Center, Urban Center, Light Industrial/Commercial, Industrial, High Density Corridor-2, High Density Corridor-3, and High Density Corridor-4

 

Multiple building complexes

Building mounted sign or Freestanding sign

1 per driveway entry to the development.

 

 

Residential Subdivisions

Freestanding sign only

 

 

Driveway Entrance/Exit Signs:

All

Freestanding sign only

1 per driveway

5 s.f. max.

Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs:

All

Sandwich Board sidewalk sign

1 per use

Height - 4 ft. max.

Width - 24 inch max.

DISTRICTS: Neighborhood Retail, Neighborhood Village, and Neighborhood Center

Identification Sign for Individual Uses

Single Occupancy buildings

Building mounted or Freestanding

1 per street frontage

100 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple Occupancy buildings

Building mounted only

 

 

Building Entrance Signs:

All

Building mounted sign (flush mounted only)

1 per exterior public entry

10 s.f. max Except shopping centers & malls in which case size level depends on the floor area of the use (16 s.f. max. on sign if floor area is 20,000 s.f. or more, and 5 s.f. max.on sign if floor area under 20,000 s.f.)

Development Identification Signs:

Multiple occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign or Freestanding sign

1 per exterior public entry

50 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple building complexes only

Freestanding sign

1 per street frontage which has a driveway entry to the development.

 

 

Residential Subdivisions

Freestanding sign only

 

 

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120, 18.42.140 & 18.42.180

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

DISTRICTS: Neighborhood Retail, Neighborhood Village, and Neighborhood Center (continued)

Driveway Entrance/Exit Signs:

All

Freestanding sign only

1 per driveway

5 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs:

All

Sandwich Board sidewalk sign

1 per use

Height - 4 ft. max. Width - 24 inch max.

DISTRICTS: Medical Services, Professional Offices/Residential Multifamily, Commercial Services-High Density, Residential Mixed Use, Urban Residential, and High Density Corridor-1

Identification Sign for Individual Uses

Single Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign (flush mounted only) or Freestanding sign

1 per street frontage

24 s.f. max. Except academic schools (100 s.f. max), multi-family uses (16 s.f. max.) and income producing uses in residences (2 s.f. max.) Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign only (flush mounted only)

 

 

Building Entrance Signs:

All

Building mounted sign (flush mounted only)

1 per exterior public entry

10 s.f. max Except shopping centers & malls in which case size level depends on the floor area of the use (16 s.f. max. on sign if floor area is 20,000 s.f. or more, and 5 s.f. max.on sign if floor area under 20,000 s.f.)

Development Identification Signs:

Multiple occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign or Freestanding sign

1 per exterior public entry

32 s.f. max Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple building complexes only

Freestanding sign

1 per street frontage which has a driveway entry to the development.

 

 

Residential Subdivisions

Freestanding sign only

 

50 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120, 18.42.140 & 18.42.180

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

DISTRICTS: Medical Services, Professional Offices/Residential Multifamily, Commercial Services-High Density, Residential Mixed Use, Urban Residential, and High Density Corridor-1 (continued)

Driveway Entrance/Exit Signs:

All

Freestanding sign only

1 per driveway

5 s.f. max.

Sandwich Board Sidewalk Signs in PO/RM & CSH

All

Sandwich Board sidewalk sign

1 per use

Height - 4 ft. max. Width - 24 inch max.

DISTRICTS: Residential-4, Residential-4-8, Residential-6-12, Mixed Residential-7-13, Mixed Residential-10-18, Residential Multifamily-18, Residential Multifamily-24, Urban Residential, and Residential Multifamily High Rise

Identification Sign for Individual Uses

Single Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign flush mounted only or Freestanding sign, Except income producing uses in residences - flush mounted only

Non-single family residential uses: 1 per use Except multi-family uses in RM-18, RM-24 & RMH, in which case, 2 signs are permitted where there are entrances off 2 public rights-of-way.

24 s.f. max. Except academic schools (100 s.f. max), multi-family uses (16 s.f. max.) and income producing uses in residences (2 s.f. max.) Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

 

Multiple Occupancy buildings

Building mounted sign only - flush mounted only

 

 

Development Identification Signs:

Residential Subdivisions

Freestanding sign only

1 per street frontage which has a driveway entry to the development

50 s.f. max Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

Driveway Entrance/Exit Signs:

All

Freestanding sign only

1 per driveway

5 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max.

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.200 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120, 18.42.140 & 18.42.180

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

See Sections 18.42.120 through 18.42.360

DISTRICTS: Freeway Corridor

Identification Sign for Individual Uses

All

Pole signs permitted provided that if the property is adjacent to freeway uses are limited to multifamily complexes, shopping centers and industrial complexes.

1 pole sign only on a parcel or per development. Except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, freestanding signs as prescribed in OMC 18.42.220 (C)(5).

200 s.f. max. Double sided signs: 1/2 the s.f. max. Except for motor vehicle sales uses within the Auto Services District, 260 s.f.

*s.f. = square feet

(Ord. 6323 §13, 2004; Ord. 6317 §14, 2004; Ord. 6140 §30, 2001; Ord. 6093 §35, 2001).