Chapter 17.80
SIGNS Revised 6/18

Sections:

17.80.010    Purpose and applicability. Revised 6/18

17.80.020    Definitions. Revised 6/18

17.80.030    Permit requirements. Revised 6/18

17.80.040    Rules of measurement. Revised 6/18

17.80.050    Signs allowed without permits. Revised 6/18

17.80.060    Prohibited signs. Revised 6/18

17.80.070    General sign standards. Revised 6/18

17.80.080    Standards for specific types of signs. Revised 6/18

17.80.090    Design standards. Revised 6/18

17.80.100    Residential signs – Multi-unit properties. Revised 6/18

17.80.110    Temporary signs. Revised 6/18

17.80.120    Adjustment to sign standards. Revised 6/18

17.80.130    Master sign program. Revised 6/18

17.80.140    Nonconforming signs. Revised 6/18

17.80.150    Violations and enforcement. Revised 6/18

17.80.010 Purpose and applicability. Revised 6/18

A. Purpose. This chapter establishes standards relating to the permitted type, size, height, placement, number, and design of signs. The intent of these standards is to:

1. Support economically viable businesses serving city residents, workers, and visitors.

2. Allow for signage that identifies businesses in a fair and equitable manner.

3. Protect and enhance the aesthetic qualities of the city.

4. Minimize hazards to motorists and pedestrians resulting from excessive, confusing, and distracting signs.

5. Allow for a simple and streamlined sign permitting process.

B. Applicability. This chapter applies to all signs in Capitola, except for city-installed signs and signs required by a governmental agency to carry out its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.020 Definitions. Revised 6/18

The following definitions apply to this chapter:

“Awning face sign” means a sign located on the sloping plane face of an awning.

“Awning sign” means a sign incorporated into, attached, or painted on an awning.

“Awning valance sign” means a sign located on the valance of an awning perpendicular to the ground.

“Center identification sign” means a sign identifying the name of a shopping center and that does not include the name of any business within the center. A shopping center is a commercial building or group of buildings operated as a unit on a single parcel, sharing common parking areas or commonly owned adjacent parcels.

“Construction site sign” means an on-premises sign for an approved construction project that publicizes the future building and occupants as well as the architects, engineers and construction organizations involved in the project.

“Directory sign” means an on-premises sign which shows the direction to or location of a customer entrance to a business.

“Flags” means fabric, textile, or material with colors and/or patterns which display a symbol of a nation, state, company, or idea.

“Monument sign” means an independent, freestanding structure supported on the ground as opposed to being supported on the building.

“Projecting sign” means any sign permanently attached to a building or wall such that the sign face or faces are perpendicular to the building or wall.

“Roof sign” means any sign that is mounted on a roof or a parapet of a building.

“Sidewalk sign” means movable or permanent business identification signs placed in or attached to a public sidewalk.

“Sign” means any device, fixture, placard or structure that uses any color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol or writing to advertise or announce the purpose of a business or entity, or to communicate information of any kind to the public.

Sign Area. See Section 17.80.040(A) (Calculation of Sign Area).

Sign copy” means the area of a sign occupied by letters, numbers, graphics, or other content intended to inform, direct, or otherwise transmit information.

Sign face” means the area of a sign where sign copy is placed.

Wall sign” means a sign which is attached to or painted on the exterior wall of a structure with the display surface of the sign approximately parallel to the building wall.

“Window sign” means a sign posted, painted, placed, or affixed in or on a window exposed to public view or within one foot and parallel to a window exposed to public view. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.030 Permit requirements. Revised 6/18

A. Administrative Sign Permits. An administrative sign permit (Chapter 17.132) is required to install, construct, or enlarge a sign, except for:

1. Signs exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter as specified in Section 17.80.050 (Signs allowed without permits).

2. Signs requiring a sign permit as identified in subsection B of this section.

B. Sign Permits. Planning commission approval of a sign permit (Chapter 17.132) is required for the following types of signs and approvals:

1. New signs in the mixed use village (MU-V) zoning district.

2. Exterior neon signs.

3. Monument signs for more than four tenants.

4. Auto dealership signs in the C-R zoning district (Section 17.80.080(A)) that are not otherwise allowed with an administrative sign permit.

5. Adjustments to sign standards in low visibility areas in commercial zoning districts (Section 17.80.120(E)).

6. Signs that do not conform with permitted sign types and standards in Section 17.80.080 (Standards for specific types of signs),

7. Master sign programs (Section 17.80.130).

C. City-Installed Signs. City-installed signs in all zoning districts do not require a permit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.040 Rules of measurement. Revised 6/18

A. Calculation of Sign Area.

1. Sign area is measured as the area of all sign copy, framing, or other display enclosed within a continuous perimeter forming a single geometric shape with no more than six sides. See Figure 17.80-1.

Figure 17.80-1: Measurement of Sign Area

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

3. The area of a double-faced (back-to-back) sign shall be calculated as a single sign face if the distance between each sign face does not exceed eighteen inches and the two faces are parallel with each other.

4. The area of spherical, free-form, sculptural or other nonplanar signs are measured as fifty percent of the sum of the area enclosed within the four vertical sides of the smallest four-sided polyhedron that will encompass the sign structure. See Figure 17.80-2.

Figure 17.80-2: Nonplanar Sign Area

B. Monument Sign Height Measurement. The height of a monument or other freestanding sign is measured as the vertical distance from the sidewalk or top of curb nearest the base of the sign to the top of the highest element of the sign. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.050 Signs allowed without permits. Revised 6/18

A. Types of Signs. The following signs are allowed without a planning permit and shall not be counted towards the allowable sign area or number of signs on a parcel:

1. On-site directional signs which do not include commercial messages or images, not to exceed three feet in height and six square feet in area.

2. Informational signs which do not include commercial messages or images, displayed for the safety and convenience of the public, providing information such as “restrooms,” “danger,” “impaired clearance,” “no smoking,” “parking in rear,” and other signs of a similar nature.

3. Flags bearing noncommercial messages or graphic symbols.

4. One commemorative plaque identifying a building name, date of construction, or similar information that is cut into, carved, or made of stone, concrete, metal, or other similar permanent material.

5. One bulletin board on a parcel occupied by a noncommercial place of public assembly, with a maximum area of twelve square feet.

6. Political signs during an election period located outside of a public street, path, or right-of-way. Political signs may not exceed thirty-two square feet per unit.

7. Signs within a building, or on the premises of a building, that are not visible from the public right-of-way and are intended for interior viewing only.

8. Murals on the exterior of a building that do not advertise a product, business, or service.

9. Official or legal notices required by a court order or governmental agency.

10. Signs installed by a governmental agency within the public right-of-way, including signs advertising local nonprofit, civic, or fraternal organizations.

11. Signs, postings, or notices required by a governmental agency to carry out its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.

12. Restaurant menu signs attached to a building, with a maximum area of three square feet.

13. Real estate listings posted in the window of a real estate office, with a maximum area of twenty-five percent of the total window area.

14. Residential signs not requiring a building permit as specified in Section 17.80.100 (Residential signs – Multi-unit properties).

15. Temporary signs consistent with Section 17.80.110 (Temporary signs).

16. Vacation rental signs up to twelve inches by twelve inches.

17. Garage sale signs limited to the day of the garage sale.

B. Building Permit Review. Planning staff shall review all proposed signs listed in subsection A of this section that require a building permit to verify compliance with all applicable standards.

C. Changes to Sign Face. Changes to a sign face that do not structurally alter or enlarge a legally established sign and utilize similar materials shall not require a planning permit.

D. Routine Maintenance. The painting, cleaning, repair, and normal maintenance of a legally established sign shall not require a planning permit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.060 Prohibited signs. Revised 6/18

The following signs are prohibited:

A. Signs or sign structures which have become a public nuisance or hazard due to inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, or abandonment.

B. Portable signs placed on the ground other than sidewalk signs permitted in the MU-V zoning district consistent with Section 17.80.080(K) (Sidewalk Signs).

C. Roof signs.

D. Signs emitting odors, gases, or fluids.

E. Signs that feature a flag, pennant, whirligig, or any device which is designed to wave, flutter, rotate or display other movement under the influence of wind, excluding flags and insignia of any government.

F. Digital display and electronic readerboard signs which allow the image on a sign to be changed by electronic control methods, except for digital gas and service station signs consistent with Section 17.80.080(H) (Gas and Service Station Signs) and parking garage signs consistent with Section 17.80.080(I) (Parking Garage Signs).

G. Animated signs, with the exception of clocks and barber poles.

H. Signs that emit sound.

I. Signs which simulate in size, color, lettering, or design a traffic control sign or signal.

J. Signs which flash, blink, change color, or change intensity.

K. Beacons.

L. Signs mounted or attached to a vehicle parked for the purpose of calling attention to or advertising a business establishment.

M. Signs that have been abandoned, or whose advertised use has ceased to function for a period of ninety days or more.

N. Signs adversely affecting traffic control or safety.

O. Signs containing obscene matter.

P. Signs with exposed raceways.

Q. Signs attached to trees.

R. Signs erected or maintained with horizontal or vertical clearance from overhead utilities less than required by state agencies.

S. Signs erected for the dominant purpose of being seen by travelers on a freeway, except for auto dealership signs as allowed by Section 17.80.080(A) (Auto Dealership Signs).

T. Inflatable signs and balloons greater than fifteen inches in diameter, except for temporary auto dealership signs.

U. Signs on public property not placed there by the public entity having the possessory interest in such property.

V. All other signs not specifically permitted by or exempted from the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.070 General sign standards. Revised 6/18

A. Maximum Permitted Sign Area. Table 17.80-1 identifies the maximum cumulative/total sign area permitted on a property in each zoning district. Each business may have a mix of the sign types allowed by Section 17.80.080 (Standards for specific types of signs) provided the area of all signs on the property does not exceed the maximum established in Table 17.80-1.

Table 17.80-1: Sign Area Standards

Zoning District

Area per Linear Foot of Building Frontage

MU-V, MU-N

0.5 sq. ft. per linear foot 36 sq. ft. max

C-R, C-C, I

1 sq. ft. per linear foot 50 sq. ft. max

VS, CF, P/OS [1]

As determined through sign permit

PD

As determined through the development plan

Note:

[1] Sign requirements in the visitor serving overlay zone shall be as required by the base zoning district.

B. Maintenance. Signs, including all supports, braces, and anchors, shall be maintained in a state of good repair at all times. Damage to signs, including cracked sign faces, frayed or weathered fabric, and broken lighting, shall be repaired promptly.

C. Building Surface Repair. When an existing sign is replaced or modified, any newly exposed portions of a building surface on which the sign is displayed shall be repaired and repainted to restore a uniform appearance to the surface. Compliance with this requirement includes the removal of any excess conduit and supports, and the patching or filling of any exposed holes.

D. Illumination.

1. Nonresidential signs may be internally or externally illuminated except where specifically prohibited. Internal illumination is permitted only when the portion of the sign that appears illuminated is primarily the sign lettering, registered trademark, or logo. Internally illuminated boxes are prohibited, except that the copy of an existing internally illuminated box sign may be replaced with a change of business.

2. The light source for externally illuminated signs shall be positioned so that light does not shine directly on adjoining properties or cause glare for motorists or pedestrians.

3. Exposed bulbs are not permitted.

4. Internal illumination is prohibited in the mixed use village (MU-V).

E. Materials and Design.

1. Except for interior window signs, all permanent signs shall be constructed of wood, metal, plastic, glass, or similar durable and weatherproof material.

2. The design of signs, including its shape, features, materials, colors, and textures, shall be compatible with the design character of the development or use it identifies and will not have an adverse effect on the character and integrity of the surrounding area.

F. Location and Placement.

1. All signs shall be located on the same parcel as the business or use that it serves, except as otherwise allowed by this chapter.

2. Signs shall not obstruct the ingress to, or egress from, a door, window, fire escape, or other required accessway.

3. Signs shall not interfere with visibility at an intersection, public right-of-way, driveway, or other point of ingress/egress. The city may require sign setbacks greater than specified in this chapter as needed to maintain adequate visibility for motorists and pedestrians. See Section 17.96.050 (Intersection sight distance).

G. Signs in the Public Right-of-Way.

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

a. Signs installed or required by a governmental agency.

b. Signs advertising local nonprofit, civic, or fraternal organizations with city engineer approval.

c. Awning, canopy, marquee, projecting, or suspended signs attached to a building wall subject to the requirements in Section 17.80.080 (Standards for specific types of signs).

d. Sidewalk signs in the mixed use village (MU-V) zoning district consistent with Section 17.80.080(K) (Sidewalk Signs).

e. Shared auto dealership signs consistent with Section 17.80.080(A) (Auto Dealership Signs).

2. Any sign illegally installed or placed on public property shall be subject to removal and disposal as specified in Section 17.80.150 (Violations and enforcement). The city shall have the right to recover from the owner or person placing such a sign the full costs of removal and disposal of the sign.

3. Signs in the public right-of-way may require city approval of an encroachment permit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.080 Standards for specific types of signs. Revised 6/18

Signs consistent with the standards in this section are allowed with an administrative permit unless planning commission approval of a sign permit is specifically required. Signs that deviate from the standards in this section may be allowed with planning commission approval of a sign permit in accordance with Section 17.80.120 (Adjustment to sign standards).

A. Auto Dealership Signs.

1. In addition to signs allowed with an administrative sign permit (17.80.030(A)), the planning commission may allow special auto dealership signage in the C-R zoning district with approval of a sign permit subject to the following standards:

a. Location. On or adjacent to an auto dealership land use.

b. Placement. Ten feet minimum setback from property line abutting the public right-of-way.

c. Maximum Height. At or below roof line.

d. The planning commission shall review the sign permit application if the total combined sign area on the site exceeds one hundred square feet.

e. The planning commission may allow one shared sign used by multiple auto dealerships at the entry of Auto Plaza Drive which extends into or above the public right-of-way.

2. The planning commission may allow temporary auto dealership signage, such as signage on light poles and flags and pennants, that deviates from temporary sign standards in Section 17.80.110 (Temporary signs) with the approval of a sign permit.

B. Awning Signs.

1. Standards for awning signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-2.

2. Awning signs shall be located on the awning above a display window or the entrance to the business it serves.

3. An awning sign that projects over any public walkway or walk area shall have an overhead clearance of at least eight feet.

Table 17.80-2: Awning Sign Standards

 

Awning Face Sign

Awning Valance Sign

Zoning District

Maximum Area

Maximum Number

Maximum Area

Maximum Letter Height

Maximum Number

MU-V, MU-N

Sign permit required (Chapter 17.132)

75 percent of valance

Two-thirds of valance height

1 sign per awning located on either the awning face or the awning valance

C-R, C-C

30 percent of awning face

1 sign per awning located on either the awning face or the awning valance

I

20 percent of awning face

Note: In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for awning signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for awning signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

C. Monument Signs.

1. Standards for monument signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-3.

Table 17.80-3: Monument Sign Standards

Zoning District

Maximum Area

Maximum Height

Maximum Number

MU-V

12 sq. ft.

4 ft.

1 per property

MU-N

16 sq. ft.

C-R

60 sq. ft.

8 ft.

1 per building frontage

C-C

35 sq. ft.

I

4 ft.

1 per building frontage

Note: In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for monument signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for monument signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

2. Monument signs shall be placed on the property of the business associated with the sign.

3. Where two monument signs are allowed on a corner parcel, each sign shall be placed at least two hundred feet from the intersection corner.

4. A monument sign for up to four tenants may be approved with an administrative sign permit. Monument signs listing more than four tenants require planning commission approval of a sign permit.

5. The area surrounding the base of a monument sign shall be landscaped consistent with Chapter 17.72 (Landscaping).

6. Monument signs shall be placed at least five feet away from any public or private driveway.

7. Monument signs shall be placed at least five feet behind sidewalk or property line, whichever is greater.

8. The height of a monument sign is measured as the vertical distance from the sidewalk or top of curb nearest the base of the sign to the top of the highest element of the sign.

9. Monument signs are not allowed in conjunction with wall signs on a property with three or fewer businesses.

D. Center Identification Signs.

1. Standards for center identification signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-4.

2. Center identification signs shall identify the name of the center but may not include the name of any business or businesses within the center.

3. No more than one freestanding sign is permitted per center street frontage. If a monument sign is located along the center frontage, an additional center identification sign is not permitted.

Table 17.80-4: Center Identification Sign Standards

Zoning District

Maximum Area

Maximum Height

Maximum Number

MU-V and MU-N

Not permitted

C-R

60 sq. ft.

5 ft.

1 per shopping center

C-C

35 sq. ft.

I

Not permitted

Note: In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for center identification signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

E. Directory Signs.

1. Standards for directory signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-5.

2. Directory signs may not be legible from adjacent public rights-of-way.

3. Directory signs shall identify the names of the occupant of the building or complex.

 Table 17.80-5: Directory Sign Standards

Zoning District

Maximum Area

Maximum Height

MU-V

12 sq. ft.

4 ft.

MU-N

16 sq. ft.

C-R

30 sq. ft.

5 ft.

C-C

25 sq. ft.

I

25 sq. ft.

4 ft.

Note: In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for directory signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for directory signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

F. Wall Signs.

1. Standards for wall signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-6.

2. Wall signs shall be attached parallel to the exterior wall of the business associated with the sign and may not extend above the top of building wall.

3. Wall signs may be in cabinets, on wood, or on similar material attached to the wall or painted directly on the wall.

4. Any portion of a wall sign that projects over any public walkway or walk area shall have an overhead clearance of at least eight feet.

5. Wall signs are not allowed in conjunction with a monument sign on a property with three or fewer businesses.

6. On a corner lot, one wall sign is allowed per street frontage.

Table 17.80-6: Wall Sign Standards

Zoning District [1]

Maximum Area

Maximum Projection from Wall

Maximum Number

MU-V

0.5 sq. ft. per linear foot of shopfront, not to exceed 36 sq. ft. max

4 in.

1 per shopfront

MU-N

1.0 sq. ft. per linear foot of shopfront, not to exceed 36 sq. ft.

C-R, C-C, I [2]

12 in.

1 per shopfront

Notes:

[1] In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for wall signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for wall signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

[2] Wall signs are not allowed in conjunction with a monument sign in the industrial (I) zoning district.

G. Projecting Signs.

1. Standards for projecting signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-7.

2. Projecting signs shall be attached to the ground-floor exterior wall of the business associated with the sign and may not extend above the top of the second-story finished floor.

3. Projecting signs shall maintain a minimum two-foot horizontal clearance from a driveway or street curb.

4. An encroachment permit must be obtained for all signs projecting over a public right-of-way.

5. A projecting sign that projects over any public walkway or walk area shall have an overhead clearance of at least eight feet.

Table 17.80-7: Projecting Sign Standards

Zoning District

Maximum Area

Maximum Projection from Wall

Maximum Number

MU-V, MU-N

4 sq. ft.

4 ft.

1 per business entryway or storefront

C-R, C-C, I

8 sq. ft.

4 ft.

1 per business entryway or storefront

Note:

In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for projecting signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for projecting signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

H. Gas and Service Station Signs. In addition to signs allowed with an administrative sign permit (Section 17.80.030(A)), the planning commission may allow special gas and service station signs that comply with the following standards:

1. A maximum of two signs, not exceeding four square feet, shall be allowed on each pump island to denote either full service or self-service.

2. No other signs will be allowed to be attached to pumps or islands other than required by state law. (See Business and Professions Code Section 13530.)

3. A six-foot-high monument sign which displays prices charged, credit cards accepted or special services rendered shall be allowed on each street frontage.

4. Digital changeable copy signs for gasoline pricing is permitted.

5. Two additional signs up to a maximum of one square foot are permitted to advertise ancillary services such as ATMs and propane. Such signs must be attached to another sign or structure and may not be a portable freestanding sign.

I. Parking Garage Signs. A maximum of one digital display sign not exceeding four square feet on each street frontage is permitted to show the number of available parking spaces.

J. Window Signs.

1. Standards for window signs in each zoning district are as shown in Table 17.80-8.

2. Window signs may be attached only to the inside of a ground-floor window of the business associated with the sign.

3. Interior signs within one foot of a window and publicly visible from outside of the building shall be included in the calculation of sign area for the property.

Table 17.80-8: Window Sign Standards

Zoning District

Maximum Area

MU-V, MU-N

25 percent of window

C-R, C-C, I

30 percent of window

Note:

In the visitor serving (VS), community facility (CF) and parks and open space (P/OS) zoning districts, standards for window signs shall be established by the planning commission through a sign permit. In the planned development (PD) zoning district, standards for window signs shall be established by the city council in the development plan.

K. Sidewalk Signs.

1. Where Allowed. Sidewalk signs are permitted only in the MU-V zoning district consistent with the requirements of this section.

2. Permits Required.

a. Sidewalk signs consistent with this section and the approved BIA design as illustrated in Figure 17.80-3 can be issued an over the counter sign permit by the community development director.

b. All sidewalk signs shall obtain an encroachment permit. The encroachment permit will identify the location and method used to drill a hole in the sidewalk and/or the location of a sign on a base.

c. The owner of any business desiring to place a sidewalk sign on the city right-of-way shall provide an executed city hold harmless waiver and proof of liability insurance to the satisfaction of the city attorney in the amount of one million dollars prior to placing the sign within said right-of-way.

 Figure 17.80-3: Sidewalk Sign Standards and Design Concepts

3. Dimensions. Sidewalk signs shall comply with the dimension standards in Table 17.80-9.

Table 17.80-9: Sidewalk Signs Standards

Zoning District

Sign Face

Entire Sign

Maximum Area

Maximum Width

Maximum Height

Maximum Height [1]

MU-V

3.75 sq. ft.

18 in.

32 in.

58 in.

All Other Zoning Districts

Not permitted

Note:

[1] Measured from sidewalk to top of sign.

4. Number of Signs.

a. Only one two-sided sidewalk sign per business establishment is permitted.

b. Multi-tenant developments are permitted one sidewalk sign per each common exterior public business entrance.

5. Materials and Design.

a. Sidewalk signs shall be attached to metal poles. Poles may be either drilled into the sidewalk or inserted into a movable base. Movable bases shall be constructed of metal, form a circle with a diameter of no more than eighteen inches, and must be approved as part of the sign permit.

b. Lights, banners, flags or similar objects shall not be placed on or adjacent to sidewalk signs.

c. Sign faces shall be constructed of solid wood, metal or similar durable and weatherproof material.

d. No sidewalk sign may contain lights of any kind.

6. Sidewalk Clearance.

a. The sidewalk in front of the business must be at least seventy-eight inches in width.

b. Sidewalk signs shall not interfere with pedestrian ingress or egress as required by the building code or obstruct vehicular traffic sight distance requirements. A forty-eight-inch level clear path of travel on concrete or similar material must be maintained where the sign is located.

7. Separation from Other Sidewalk Signs. Sidewalk signs shall be spaced a minimum of thirty linear feet from all other permitted sidewalk signs.

8. Display During Open Hours. Sidewalk signs may be used only during the hours when the business is open to the public. At all other times the sign and base must be stored within the business premises.

9. Advertising Multiple Businesses. Individual signs may advertise more than one business.

10. Other Business Signage.

a. No other temporary advertising signs (Section 17.80.110) may be used at the same time as the sidewalk sign is in use.

b. All other signs on the property must be in conformance with the city’s sign regulations prior to a sidewalk sign permit being issued. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.090 Design standards. Revised 6/18

A. Design Standards for Mixed Use Zoning Districts. The following design standards apply to all signs in the MU-V and MU-N zoning districts:

1. Signs shall preserve, complement, or enhance the architectural composition and features of the building to which they are attached. Signs may not cover or obscure significant architectural details of the building to which they are attached.

2. Signs shall be coordinated with the overall facade composition, including ornamental details and other signs, on the building to which they are attached.

3. Signs shall be mounted to fit within existing architectural features. The shape of the sign shall be used to reinforce the relationship of moldings and transoms seen along the street.

4. Signs shall be located and designed so that they are legible when viewed from the sidewalk. Sign letter styles and sizes shall be designed for legibility from the sidewalk, not the street.

5. To the extent possible, sign attachment parts shall be reused in their original location (holes in the facade or fixing positions) to protect the original building materials.

6. Internally illuminated signs are prohibited in the MU-V and MU-N zoning districts.

7. Wiring conduit for sign lighting shall be carefully routed to avoid damage to architectural details and to be concealed from view as much as possible.

8. Sign materials and colors shall be compatible with the period and style of building to which it is attached. Sign panels shall avoid the extensive use of primary color or significant areas of white or cream.

9. Letters and logos shall be raised, routed into the sign face, or designed to give the sign variety and depth.

10. The sign will not have a significant adverse effect on the character and integrity of the surrounding area.

B. Design Standards for Commercial Zoning Districts. The following design standards apply to all signs in the C-C and C-R zoning districts:

1. Sign design shall conform to and be in harmony with the architectural character of the building.

2. Signs shall be symmetrically located within a defined architectural space.

3. Internally illuminated signs are permitted only when the portion of the sign that appears illuminated is primarily the sign lettering, registered trademark, or logo. Large panel internally illuminated signs are prohibited.

4. The design of monument and other freestanding signs shall relate to the architecture of the building or development they serve. Exterior materials, finishes and colors shall be the same or similar to those of the building or structures on site.

5. Letters and logos shall be raised, routed into the sign face, or designed to give the sign variety and depth.

C. Design Standards for Industrial Zoning District. Signs within the industrial (I) zoning district shall be constructed of metal or other materials consistent with the light industrial character of the zoning district. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.100 Residential signs – Multi-unit properties. Revised 6/18

Multi-unit properties may display one or more master signs subject to the following requirements:

A. A master sign program (Section 17.80.130) has been approved for the multi-unit property.

B. Maximum allowable sign area: twenty square feet per property.

C. A master sign for a multi-unit property requires an administrative sign permit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.110 Temporary signs. Revised 6/18

A. Permitted Temporary Signs. Table 17.80-10 (Temporary Sign Standards) identifies temporary signs permitted either by right or with the approval of an administrative sign permit. The planning commission may allow other types of temporary signs or temporary signs that do not comply with the standards in Table 17.80-10 with approval of a sign permit.

    

Table 17.80-10: Temporary Sign Standards

Sign Type

Permit Required

Use Restriction

Maximum Number

Maximum Area/Size

Maximum Duration

Auto Dealership Signs

– Flags

– Pennants

– Balloons

None

Auto dealerships on Auto Plaza Drive only

No maximum

0.5 sq. ft. per linear business frontage; 30 sq. ft. max; 1/3 of window max

Year-round; must be maintained in good condition

Commercial Banner Signs

Administrative Sign Permit

Nonresidential uses only

1 per 500 ft. of linear site frontage; 2 signs maximum

30 sq. ft.

30 continuous calendar days; no more than 60 days each calendar year

Construction Site Signs – Residential

Administrative Sign Permit

Residential uses only

1 per 500 ft. of linear site frontage; 2 signs maximum

Height: 5 ft.

Area: 12 sq. ft.

From issuance of building permit to certificate of occupancy

Construction Site Signs – Nonresidential

Administrative Sign Permit

Commercial and industrial uses only

1 per 500 ft. of linear site frontage; 2 signs maximum

Height: 8 ft.; 4 ft. in MU-V

Area: 40 sq. ft.; 12 sq. ft. in MU-V

From issuance of building permit to certificate of occupancy

For Sale, Lease, and Rent Signs, Nonresidential

None

Commercial and industrial uses only

1 per property

Height: 8 ft.

Area: 40 sq. ft.

1 year; director may approve extension

For Sale, Lease, and Rent Signs, Residential

None

Residential uses only

1 per property

Height: 4 ft.

Area: 6 sq. ft.

180 days; director may approve extension

Open House or Model Home

None

None

1 per property and 1 on other property with owner consent

Height: 4 ft.

Area: 6 sq. ft.

Limited to day of open house

Special Event

None

Special events open to the public (e.g., open studio)

1 per property and 1 on other property with owner consent

Height: 4 ft.

Area: 6 sq. ft.

Limited to day of special event

Residential Subdivision

Administrative Sign Permit

Residential subdivisions and condominiums located in the city

1 per subdivision

Height: 10 ft.

Area: 40 sq. ft.

180 days or upon the sale of the last unit, whichever comes first

(Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.120 Adjustment to sign standards. Revised 6/18

This section establishes procedures to allow the planning commission to approve signs that deviate from certain standards to provide reasonable flexibility in the administration of the sign ordinance.

A. Permit Required. Adjustments to sign standards allowed by this section requires planning commission approval of a sign permit.

B. Permitted Adjustments. The planning commission may allow adjustment to the following sign standards:

1. The type of sign allowed in nonresidential zoning districts (e.g., awning signs, monument signs).

2. Requirements for temporary signs.

3. The maximum permitted sign area up to a twenty-five percent increase.

4. The maximum permitted sign height up to a twenty-five percent increase.

C. Excluded Adjustments. The planning commission may not use the sign standards adjustment process to approve deviations to the following sign standards:

1. Prohibited signs (Section 17.80.060).

2. All general sign standards (Section 17.80.070) except maximum permitted sign area (17.80.070(A)).

3. Maximum number of signs allowed per property.

4. Residential signs (Section 17.80.100).

D. Findings. The planning commission may approve an adjustment to sign standards as allowed by this section if the following findings can be made in addition to findings required to approve sign permit applications:

1. The sign will be compatible with adjacent structures and uses and is consistent with the character of the neighborhood or district where it is located.

2. The sign will not adversely impact neighboring properties or the community at large.

3. The adjustment is necessary due to unique characteristics of the subject property, structure, or use.

4. The sign will be consistent with the purpose of the zoning district, the general plan, local coastal program, and any adopted area or neighborhood plan.

5. The adjustment will not establish an undesirable precedent.

E. Low Visibility Commercial Properties.

1. In addition to adjustments allowed by subsections A through D of this section, the planning commission may allow additional adjustments to sign standards for low visibility properties in the C-R and C-C zoning districts. A low visibility property means a property where signage consistent with applicable standards would not be easily visible from the street or sidewalk due to the width of street frontage, parcel depth or configuration, placement of buildings on the property, topography, vegetation, or other physical characteristic of the property.

2. Adjustments to sign standards for low visibility properties require planning commission approval of a sign permit.

3. Adjustments are allowed to required sign types, height, size, placement, and number. Adjustments may not allow for prohibited signs or monument signs.

4. The planning commission may approve additional or variations to any type of signage upon making the following findings:

a. The special signage, as designed and conditioned, is necessary and appropriate for the subject commercial site, in order to allow the site and the businesses located within it to be competitive with other businesses of a similar nature located elsewhere, and/or to be competitive with industry standards governing sale of the merchandise offered at the site.

b. The special signage, as designed and conditioned, will not have a significant adverse effect on the character and integrity of the surrounding area. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.130 Master sign program. Revised 6/18

A. Purpose. The purpose of the master sign program is to provide a coordinated approach to signage for multifamily development and multi-tenant commercial developments.

B. Applicability. A master sign program is required for multifamily uses with more than one permanent sign proposed, and any nonresidential development with four or more tenants.

C. Permit Required. A master sign program requires planning commission approval of a sign permit.

D. Applications. Applications shall be filed with the planning department on the appropriate city forms, together with all the necessary fees, deposits, exhibits, maps, and other information required by the department to clearly and accurately describe the proposed master sign program.

E. Master Sign Program Contents. All master sign programs shall identify the materials, color, size, type, placement and general design of signs located on a project or property.

F. Design Standards.

1. Master sign programs shall feature a unified and coordinated approach to the materials, size, type, placement and general design of signs proposed for a project or property. Master sign programs may allow for variety in the design of individual signs.

2. A master sign program may deviate from standards contained in this chapter relating to permitted sign height, number of signs, sign area, and type of sign. A master sign program may not allow prohibited signs as identified in Section 17.80.060 (Prohibited signs).

G. Effect of Master Sign Program.

1. All subsequent signs proposed for a development or property subject to an approved master sign program shall comply with the standards and specifications included in the master sign program.

2. Signs consistent with an approved master sign program are allowed with an administrative sign permit.

3. Approval of a master sign program shall supersede the regulations of this chapter. Any aspect of the proposed signs not addressed by the master sign program shall be in compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.140 Nonconforming signs. Revised 6/18

This section applies to all legally established signs that do not conform to current requirements in this chapter.

A. Continuation.

1. Except as required by subsection (A)(2) of this section, a nonconforming sign may continue its use as a sign if it was legally established in compliance with all applicable regulations in effect at the time it was established. It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate that the sign was legally established.

2. At time of review of a design permit application for a property with a nonconforming sign on the site, the planning commission shall review the existing nonconforming sign in conjunction with the design permit. The planning commission may allow the continuation of the nonconforming sign only upon finding the sign is compatible with the design character and scale of the surrounding area and does not adversely impact the public health, safety, or general welfare.

B. Allowed Changes.

1. Changes to sign copy/face and repainting of legal nonconforming signs are permitted as long as there is no alteration to the physical structure or support elements of the sign.

2. A legal nonconforming sign that sustains less than fifty percent damage to its structure may be repaired to its original pre-damaged condition; provided, that such repair is completed within one hundred eighty days after the date of the damage.

C. Required Compliance. A legal nonconforming sign shall be removed or brought into compliance with this chapter in the following situations:

1. The use advertised by the sign has ceased to function for a period of ninety days or more.

2. The sign has sustained at least fifty percent damage to its structure.

3. The sign is located on a remodeled building facade.

4. The sign is relocated to a different lot or building. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.80.150 Violations and enforcement. Revised 6/18

A. Illegal Signs. It is unlawful for any person to install, place, construct, repair, maintain, alter or move a sign in a manner that does not comply with the requirements of this chapter.

B. Removal of Illegal Signs.

1. The city may immediately remove or cause the removal of any sign that places the public in immediate peril or that is located within the public right-of-way.

2. For illegal signs that do not place the public in immediate peril and are located on private property, the city shall serve the business owner or person responsible for the sign a written certified notice that:

a. Describes the physical characteristics of the subject sign.

b. Explains the nature of the violation.

c. States that the sign shall be removed or brought into compliance with this chapter within a specified number of days after the notice is received.

d. States that the city will remove the sign if the business owner or person responsible for sign does not correct the violation within the specified number of days after the notice is received.

e. States that the city may destroy the illegal sign if it is not retrieved within twenty days of removal by the city.

f. States that the business owner or person responsible for the sign is liable for all costs associated with the removal, storage, and destruction of the sign.

3. If an illegal sign is not removed or brought into compliance within the specified number of days after a notice is received, the city may issue a citation to the business owner or person responsible for the sign as provided in Title 4 (General Municipal Code Enforcement) and may remove or cause the removal of the sign.

4. Any accessory structures, foundations, or mounting materials which are unsightly or a danger to the public health, safety, and welfare shall be removed at the time of the sign removal.

5. A sign removed by the city shall be stored for a minimum of twenty days. If the sign is not retrieved by the business owner or person responsible for the sign within this twenty-day period, the city may destroy the sign. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)