Chapter 17.80
SIGNS

Sections:

17.80.005    Purpose

17.80.010    Signs Permitted in Each Zoning District

17.80.020    General Provisions

17.80.025    Comprehensive Sign Plan

17.80.030    Exempt Signs

17.80.040    Prohibited Signs

17.80.050    Nonconforming Signs

17.80.005 Purpose

It is the purpose of this chapter to enact regulations regarding basic design standards, administrative procedures and other criteria pertaining to the time, manner and placement of both on-site and off-site signing. These regulations are established to promote the community image, and to protect the motoring and pedestrian public. (Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Added, 11/12/1999)

17.80.010 Signs Permitted in Each Zoning District

A.    The table below shows which type of sign (listed in the left hand column) is allowed in which zoning district/s (columns labeled AR through I). If there is a P in the column, it means that the sign is allowed as a matter of right. If there is a PC in the column, it means the sign may be considered as an allowed use subject to the provisions of Chapter 17.68. If there is a number in the column, there are additional provisions and/or clarifications that apply to use of that type of sign in that zoning district. If there is an "X" in the column, the sign type is prohibited. These provisions and/or clarifications will be found in the appropriately numbered paragraphs listed under subsection B of this section.

ZONING DISTRICTS

SIGN TYPE

AR

R1-12

R1-7

MH-MF

R-2

MF

C

I

ELECTRONIC MESSAGE CENTER

X

X

X

X

X

X

P8, P9, and P10

P8, P9, and P10

ANIMATED

X

X

X

X

X

X

P8

P8

COMMERCIAL DIRECTIONAL

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

P3

COMMERCIAL DIRECTORY

P4

P4

P4

P4

P4

P4

P4

P4

FREESTANDING

X

X

X

X

X

X

P6

P6

GROUND

P2

P2

P2

P2

P2

P2

P2

P2

ILLUMINATED

P9

P9

P9

P9

P9

P9

P9

P9

NAME PLATE

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

TEMPORARY

P5

P5

P5

P5

P5

P5

P5

P5

WINDOW

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

P1

P

P

AWNING

X

X

X

X

X

X

P11

P11

WALL

X

X

X

X

X

X

P7

P7

B.    1. Nameplate–Maximum size, two (2) square feet and fixed flat to the main wall of a building. Not exceeding one (1) per business or dwelling unit. Permitted home occupations may be a maximum of four (4) square feet. If signs are placed in a window, they may be internally lighted.

2.    Ground–Allowed for nonresidential uses, or at the entrance from a public street to a multiple-family residence development, or a mobilehome park, or a subdivision. Maximum number is one per street frontage. The maximum size is twenty-four (24) square feet. The maximum height is six (6) feet.

3.    Commercial Directional–When required to assist the flow of traffic in multiple residence development or other permitted uses containing multiple tenants or building groups. Not to exceed six (6) square feet in area and three (3) feet in height.

4.    Commercial Directory–When required in multiple residence development or other permitted uses containing multiple tenants or building groups.

a.    They shall not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet in area and six (6) feet in height.

5.    Temporary Signs.

a.    The following temporary signs are permitted in all zoning districts but do not require building permits:

i.    For Sale, Lease or Rent.

(a)    For each single- and two (2) family residential use one (1) freestanding for sale, lease or rent sign is allowed on each street frontage and on the lot for which it advertises. The maximum size shall be six (6) square feet in area and five (5) feet in height.

(b)    For all other uses, one (1) freestanding for sale, lease or rent sign is allowed on each street frontage and on the lot for which it advertises. The maximum size shall be six (6) square feet in area and five (5) feet in height. In addition, one (1) for sale, lease or rent wall sign is allowed per each street frontage. The maximum size shall be twenty-four (24) square feet in area.

(c)    For all other uses, for sale, lease or rent signs are allowed on each vehicle or item they advertise. The maximum square footage for all signs shall be twenty-four (24) square feet in area.

ii.    On-Site Subdivision or Development. One (1) ground sign is permitted at each entrance to the subdivision or development from a public street. The maximum size shall be thirty-two (32) square feet. Each sign shall be located on the site for which it advertises and not closer than fifty (50) feet to any existing residential dwelling unit outside of the subdivision or development. All signs must be removed when the subdivision or development is sold out or at the end of five (5) years, whichever comes first.

iii.    Off-Site Commercial Directional Sign. Off-site commercial directional signs to a subdivision or development or open house or other special event are limited to six (6) square feet in area and a maximum of four (4) in number. The signs can only be placed on private property with the permission of the property owner and must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours after the close of the special event. Other special events include but are not limited to: garage sales, yard sales, food sales, craft sales, bazaars, auctions, etc. Off-site directional signs are only permitted for four (4) two (2) week special events in any one calendar year.

iv.    Political Signs. Political signs shall be governed by ARS 16-1019, as amended.

v.    Off-site promotional signs are limited to sixty-four (64) square feet in area and a maximum of four (4) in number. The signs may be placed on public or private property with the permission of the property owner. They are allowed to be placed three (3) weeks prior to the event and must be removed within one (1) week after the close of the event.

b.    The following temporary signs are permitted in the Commercial (C) and Industrial (I) zoning districts only but do not require a building permit:

i.    Off-site commercial directional signs for special business promotions or sales are limited to six (6) square feet in area and a maximum of four (4) in number. The signs can only be placed on private property with the permission of the property owner or property manager and are only permitted for a total of one hundred five (105) days in any one (1) calendar year. Said temporary signs shall be constructed of weather-resistant materials and shall be removed from public view on the property after the allowable display period has expired.

ii.    On-site promotional signs, displays, pennants, banners, balloons, streamers and other attention-attracting devices are allowed but must be removed or replaced when they become torn or tattered.

6.    Freestanding On-Site Signs–Freestanding signs are permitted in the Commercial and Industrial zoning districts as follows:

a.    One (1) sign is allowed per each public street frontage per parcel.

b.    Each sign can be a maximum of one hundred fifty (150) square feet in area.

c.    The maximum height shall not exceed twenty-five (25) feet.

d.    Each sign shall be no closer than thirty (30) feet to any residential zoning district.

e.    One (1) additional on-site freestanding freeway sign may be erected on commercial or industrial parcels located within six hundred sixty (660) feet of the I-40 right-of-way line. Such sign shall not exceed two hundred twenty-five (225) square feet in area nor seventy-five (75) feet in height above the highest natural grade level at the base of the sign support structure.

f.    Freestanding freeway signs on one (1) parcel shall be separated from one another by not less than three hundred (300) feet horizontal distance; and said signs shall be separated from freestanding freeway signs on other parcels by not less than two hundred (200) feet horizontal distance.

g.    Permanent off-site signs, including digital billboards, may be permitted with a conditional use permit, except within the I-40 corridor where they are prohibited. Digital billboards shall be prohibited in the Route 66 Overlay.

7.    Wall Signs–Wall signs are permitted in the Commercial and Industrial zoning districts as follows:

a.    A maximum of one (1) sign is allowed per side per principal building.

b.    Each wall sign may cover the entire wall upon which it is placed except a minimum of fifty (50) percent of any window area must remain open.

c.    The maximum height shall be no higher than the face of the building. Exception:

i.    Signs may be painted on the roof surface and the square footage shall be counted in the allowable area for the building face for which it is adjacent.

d.    Projecting Signs–Signs that project more than eight (8) inches from a wall surface must be at least eight (8) feet above the ground. They may project no more than four (4) feet from the wall surface. Their area shall be considered a part of the allowable square footage for the wall from which it projects. If the sign projects over the property line, permits must be secured from the proper governing agency or property owner.

e.    Signs on accessory structures such as service station islands shall be considered a part of the allowable square footage for the front building wall sign.

f.    Permanent off-site wall signs may be permitted with a conditional use permit.

g.    Nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries subject to the requirements of Section 17.40.040(13)(r) and (s), Permitted Conditional Uses, and Section 17.44.040(Q)(17) and (18), Permitted Conditional Uses.

8.    Animated Signs–Limited to nonresidential uses only. Each sign shall be located on the site for which it advertises and not closer than fifty (50) feet to any existing residential zone and any lighting shall be shielded from any residential dwelling unit.

a.    Animated signs mounted in windows and/or on walls of structures within the Route 66 Overlay shall be limited to not more than six (6) square feet combined total area per building street frontage.

b.    Animated signs mounted in windows and/or on walls of structures outside the Route 66 Overlay shall be limited to not more than twenty-four (24) square feet combined total area per building street frontage.

c.    The animated portion of a freestanding on-site sign shall be limited to not more than one-fifth (1/5) of the total maximum sign area of a freestanding sign as permitted in subsection (B)(6) of this section.

d.    Animation of any portion of freestanding off-site signs shall be prohibited.

e.    Animated signs shall be subject to the automatic dimming and maximum allowable light level requirements specified for electronic message center signs in Section 17.80.020(K).

9.    Illuminated Signs–Lighting shall be installed so as to avoid any glare or reflection upward into the sky or into any residential building or into any street, alley or driveway as such glare or reflection might create a traffic hazard. See Chapter 15.32, Outdoor Artificial Illumination.

10.    Electronic Message Center Signs–Shall be subject to the following requirements:

a.    Shall require a conditional use permit.

b.    Electronic message center signs shall be limited to the I-40 corridor and within one hundred (100) feet of the right-of-way boundary of Transcon Lane.

c.    The illumination from any electronic message center sign shall not cast more than 0.1 foot-candles onto the property line of any residential dwelling unit.

d.    Such signs shall display static images only, except as provided in subsection (B)(10)(e) of this section. Such static images shall be displayed on the sign for a period of at least eight (8) seconds before transitioning to another static image.

e.    The use of animation, flashing, varying light intensity, scrolling or any appearance or optical illusion of movement on any part of the sign or sign structure, other than the instantaneous transition from one static image to the next, is prohibited, with the exception of animation subject to the requirements of subsection (B)(8) of this section.

f.    Transition. The transition from one sign message to another must occur within two seconds and may not include flashing or appearance of motion, with the exception of a fade out or in, dissolve, or scroll that must be accomplished within the transition period.

g.    Such signs shall come equipped with automatic dimming technology which automatically adjusts the sign’s brightness based on ambient light conditions.

11.    Awning Signs–The maximum size is one (1) square foot/linear foot of depth as measured from the building wall to the front of the awning.

12.    Sandwich Boards or Portable Signs–Permitted during the business hours of the business for which it advertises. Limited to one (1) per street frontage of the business to which it pertains. The maximum size shall be eight (8) square feet.

a.    If placed in the right-of-way, permits must be obtained from the proper governing agency.

b.    If placed on the sidewalk, adequate pedestrian clearance must be provided and comply with all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

c.    No building permit is required.

13.    Roof Signs–On-site roof signs are permitted in the Commercial and Industrial districts as follows:

a.    One (1) sign is allowed per each parcel.

b.    Each sign can be a maximum of one hundred fifty (150) square feet in area.

c.    The maximum height shall not exceed the structural height limit of the zoning district in which it is located.

d.    Each sign shall be no closer than fifty (50) feet to any residential zoning district.

(Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 1215, 2013; Ord. 1175 (part), 2012; Ord. 1148 (part), 2011; Ord. 1113, 2009; Ord. 944, 2004; Ord. 803, 1999; Ord. 736 Art. XV A, B, 1997)

(Manual, Amended, 03/31/2004; Manual, Amended, 11/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 11/15/1999; Manual, Amended, 11/12/1999)

17.80.020 General Provisions

A.    A sign building permit shall be obtained from the City prior to the construction of a new sign, or alteration of the size, shape, or location of an existing sign.

B.    All signs shall be constructed and attached, mounted, supported or erected in conformance with the adopted building codes of the City, including the electrical code.

C.    All signs and sign structures shall be maintained to a safe condition. If the City determines that a sign is not maintained in a safe condition, the Zoning Administrator shall notify the sign owner to repair the sign within forty-eight (48) hours. If the sign is not repaired or removed, the City Council may cause the sign to be repaired or removed with the cost of same to be assessed to the sign owner.

D.    All signs must have face/copy removed within thirty (30) days of the cessation of a business.

E.    The property owner or occupant of a building is responsible for compliance with the provisions of this section. If in violation, they shall be subject to enforcement and penalties per Chapter 17.112.

F.    Sign area shall be measured as follows:

1.    Each sign may be two (2) sided and the square footage shall be the measurement of one (1) of the sides.

2.    For three (3) or more faces the sign area shall be fifty (50) percent of the sum of the areas of all faces. Spherical, free-form, sculptural or other nonstandard shapes shall be determined by the zoning administrator.

3.    Individual letters or words or graphics mounted on a wall shall be measured by summing the rectangles that surround the individual words or graphics.

4.    The square footage of a panel, or background made to appear as a panel.

G.    Except when specifically allowed otherwise, each sign shall be located on the lot for which it advertises, informs or otherwise attracts attention.

H.    When located above or within two (2) feet of a sidewalk, the minimum height shall be eight (8) feet above the grade immediately below the sign.

I.    When located above a driveway the minimum height shall be fourteen (14) feet above the grade immediately below the sign.

J.    If a parcel with one (1) or more conforming or nonconforming signs expands the number of uses or businesses, they may:

1.    Replace all signs in conformance with the sign code, providing for multiple tenants within the allowable sizes and numbers; or

2.    Use the existing signs and square footages, replacing the copy to reflect multiple businesses; or

3.    Submit a comprehensive sign plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval, if three (3) or more uses or businesses are on one parcel.

K.    Electronic message centers and animated signs using LED, LCD, plasma screen and similar lighting shall be limited to a maximum luminous intensity of two hundred (200) nits (candela per square meter), full white mode, from sunset to sunrise.

L.    Within the Commercial Route 66 Overlay, exposed neon and other similar tube-type lighting, and/or bare incandescent/simulated incandescent lighting shall be permitted as an integral part of a sign subject to the following:

1.    Direct illumination by incandescent or simulated incandescent sources shall not exceed eleven (11) watts per bulb; and

2.    Color temperature of incandescent or simulated incandescent bulbs shall be between two thousand five hundred (2,500) degrees Kelvin and two thousand seven hundred (2,700) degrees Kelvin.

M.    With the property owner’s consent, a First Amendment protected noncommercial message of any type may be substituted for any duly permitted or allowed commercial message or any duly permitted or allowed noncommercial message; provided, that the sign structure or mounting device is permitted without consideration of message content. Such substitution may be made without any additional approval or permitting. The purpose of the provision is to prevent any inadvertent favoring of commercial speech over protected noncommercial speech or favoring of any noncommercial speech over any other noncommercial message. (Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 11/12/1999)

17.80.025 Comprehensive Sign Plan

Shopping centers, special development districts, or parcels with three (3) or more businesses or uses may apply to the Planning and Zoning Commission for sign site plan approval.

A.    Plans will be evaluated on placement, quantity, size, materials, and uses.

B.    No plan may exceed the maximum sign height or size by more than twenty-five (25) percent of the permitted signs.

C.    Amendment to the plan must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

(Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Added, 11/12/1999)

17.80.030 Exempt Signs

The following signs are exempt from these regulations but may require a building permit or permits from other regulatory agencies:

A.    Official signs of a public or government agency.

B.    Signs on a vehicle operated in the normal course of business.

C.    On-premises agriculture signs not exceeding six (6) square feet.

D.    Signs not visible beyond the lot or parcel on which they are located.

E.    On-premises bulletin boards for charitable or religious organizations, provided the signs do not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet. (Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 11/12/1999)

17.80.040 Prohibited Signs

A.    All signs not specifically allowed herein.

B.    Dangerous signs.

C.    Any sign that interferes with or confuses traffic or presents a traffic hazard.

D.    Signs with audible devices except for freestanding drive-through menu boards.

E.    Signs that obstruct any door or fire escape of any building. (Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999; Ord. 736 Art. XV E, 1997)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 11/12/1999)

17.80.050 Nonconforming Signs

Nonconforming signs shall be subject to the following provisions:

A.    Nonconforming signs shall be maintained in good condition, including the repair or replacement of worn or damaged parts in order to return it to original state.

B.    Nonconforming signs shall not be altered, reconstructed, or relocated other than to comply with this section, except:

1.    Reasonable repair and maintenance limited to a maximum of a total of fifty (50) percent of the sign’s replacement costs.

2.    Signs registered as historic resources.

3.    When damaged or destroyed by an act of God or by some unforeseen accident.

C.    Nonconforming signs shall not be replaced unless brought into conformance with this title when:

1.    The sign structure has been taken down, removed, damaged or deteriorated by more than seventy-five (75) percent of replacement costs by any means other than by an act of God or by some unforeseen accident.

2.    The use of the sign or the property on which it is located has ceased, become vacant or been unoccupied for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days. The sign shall be removed by the owner of the property within thirty (30) days. (Ord. 1302 § 3 (Exh. A) (part), 2018: Ord. 803, 1999; Ord. 736 Art. XV F, 1997)

(Manual, Amended, 03/02/2000; Manual, Amended, 11/12/1999)