Chapter 19.04


19.04.010    Purpose.

19.04.020    Definitions.

19.04.010 Purpose.

A. The purpose of this title is to provide standards to promote and protect life, health, property and the public welfare by controlling the design, colors, quality of materials, construction, size, location, placement and maintenance of signs and sign structures.

B. It is the city’s intention to:

1. Encourage those signs that are well designed and pleasing in appearance;

2. Encourage those signs that are compatible with the architectural style and characteristics of the building to which it may be attached and with those signs on adjacent businesses;

3. Enhance overall property values and the visual environment in the city by reducing the blight and clutter of unsightly signs;

4. Encourage the use of commercial signs to identify the business to which the sign relates rather than for general advertising purposes;

5. Enhance traffic safety by ensuring that signage does not distract motorists or otherwise obstruct or impede traffic circulation; and

6. Allow limited opportunities for structures to be used for general advertising purposes off site of a business, as a means to disseminate community messages and promote economic development by providing a mechanism to advertise local goods and services in highly visible locations. [Ord. 15-1388 § 3, 2015; Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.04.020 Definitions.

In this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “A-board” means a portable A-frame sign capable of standing without other support.

2. “Advertising structure” means a structure, object or device, erected, maintained or used for advertising purposes and not within a building. It includes all outdoor advertising matter attached to any building, structure or object other than vehicles travelling on the public streets.

3. “Awning sign” means a sign that is painted or appliqued onto an awning or canopy made of fabric or similar flexible material.

4. “Banner sign” means a sign made of flexible materials (such as cloth, canvas, plastic or cardboard) which is suspended along one edge or attached at the corners to a building, structure or object. It does not include a pennant or flag.

5. “Billboard” means an off-site advertising structure in a fixed location that is supported wholly or in part on the ground or against or atop a building. Billboard signs may be single-sided or double-sided.

a. “Digital billboard” means an off-site sign utilizing digital message technology, capable of changing the static message or copy on the sign electronically. A digital billboard may be internally or externally illuminated. Digital billboards shall contain static messages only, and shall not have animation, movement, or the appearance or optical illusion of movement of any part of the sign face or structure. Each static message shall not include flashing or the varying of light intensity.

b. “Traditional billboard” means an off-site advertising structure with a fixed advertising surface that is changeable only by manual change of the display material.

c. “Variable message billboard” means an off-site advertising structure with a paneled or segmented advertising surface, the panels or segments of which rotate to allow for changing display of more than two advertisements at intervals of no fewer than 10 seconds.

6. “Building sign” means any type of permanent sign attached or placed on a building. Types of building signs include awning signs, projecting signs, roof signs, shingle signs, suspended signs, wall signs and window signs.

7. “Commercial sign” means a sign which is used or intended to be used to identify or attract attention to a business use or organization, or one whose message concerns goods or services offered for consideration by a person engaged in a profit-oriented business. The purpose of a commercial sign is to advance an economic transaction or identify a use of land.

8. “Directional sign” means an on- or off-site sign that primarily provides information for directing and guiding traffic or pedestrians.

9. “Directory sign” means a pedestrian-oriented accessory sign which identifies or lists the names and locations of all tenants at a site.

10. “Exempt sign” means a sign which does not require a sign review or historic resources permit, but must conform to the general restrictions and prohibitions of this title.

11. “Freestanding sign” means a permanent sign which is self-supporting in a fixed location and not attached to a building. It includes a sign connected or attached to a sign structure, fence or wall which is not part of a building.

12. “Freeway monument sign” means a freestanding structure or sign intended to be viewed from an adjacent freeway for purposes of identifying an associated commercial or noncommercial development.

13. Frontage.

a. “Building frontage” means the ground floor horizontal distance of a building or portion thereof occupied by one tenant. It is measured along a wall which:

i. Has a customer entrance that faces and has access onto a public open space; or

ii. Includes a glass-enclosed showroom facing a public open space; or

iii. Is adjacent to a street or parking lot which has direct access to that business.

b. “Lot frontage” means the horizontal distance of a parcel lot line adjacent to a public street or right-of-way which has access to that parcel.

c. “Street frontage” means a building frontage that faces a public street or right-of-way.

d. “Principal street frontage” is the longest street frontage of a building or tenant that has more than one frontage allowed to have signs.

14. “Illuminated sign” means a sign that is illuminated by artificial means either by flood lamp, neon, incandescent, fluorescent or LED (light emitting diode) type lighting. An “interior illuminated sign” is a sign whose lighting is within the sign enclosure or behind a translucent plastic or glass sign face or window. An “exterior illuminated sign” is a sign whose lighting is outside the sign on a structure or the ground and directed primarily to illuminate the sign.

15. “Master identification sign” means a sign which identifies a center, complex or group of businesses under a single site name and whose copy is limited to one or more of the following:

a. The name of the site or building complex;

b. The principal classification of goods sold or services offered;

c. Major tenants or a directory of all tenants;

d. The business or property address(es).

16. “Master sign program” means a coordinated sign plan which includes details of all signs which are or will be placed on a site including master identification, individual business and directory signs.

17. “Mobile sign” means a sign attached to, leaning against, mounted on or suspended from a vehicle (but which is not an integrated part of the vehicle) or a sign mounted on any type of moveable device.

18. “Moving sign” means a sign which has an actual or apparent moving, revolving or rotating part actuated by electrical, mechanical or other device, or by wind current. The term “moving sign” does not include a time or temperature recording device, nor a motor vehicle.

19. “Neighborhood identification sign” means a sign which identifies a distinct subdivision, neighborhood or a mobile home park.

20. “Neon sign” means a sign or element of a sign consisting of unenclosed glass tubing filled with a neon gas for illumination.

21. “Noncommercial sign” means a sign intended to convey a purely ideological or political message and which contains no identification of land use or commercial advertising of a business or product. It includes:

a. A sign containing only a political, civic, public service or religious message; and

b. An advertising display placed by a nonprofit organization for fund-raising and related purposes.

22. “Nonconforming sign” means a sign which does not conform with this title, but which was lawful or had a valid use permit when placed.

23. “Obsolete sign” means a sign which advertises a service, product, activity or land use more than 30 days after the service, product, activity or use has been suspended, terminated or abandoned.

24. “On-site sign” or “accessory sign” means a sign which identifies the business, use or organization located on the premises or advertises or informs about business, products or services sold or rendered on the premises.

25. “Off-site sign” or “nonaccessory sign” means a sign which advertises or informs about a business, event, goods, services or uses not directly concerning the use on the property upon which the sign is located.

26. “Permanent sign” means a sign designed and intended to be used for a period of 90 days or more.

27. “Premises” means the parcel, parcels or portion of land occupied by a business or use.

28. To Place. The verb “to place” and any of its variants means and includes the maintaining and the erecting, construction, posting, painting, printing, tacking, nailing, gluing, sticking, carving or otherwise fastening, affixing or making visible any sign. It does not include any of the foregoing activities when performed incident to the customary maintenance of a sign or to the change of message on a reader board.

29. “Portable sign” means a sign which is not attached to the ground or a structure.

30. “Projecting sign” means a sign attached to a building or structure in such a manner that either:

a. The sign is not parallel to that part of the building or structure to which it is attached. A sign is not considered to be projecting if it is placed vertically to a fascia or mansard which has an angle of not more than 30 degrees from the vertical, and is attached in a horizontal plane at either the top or bottom of the sign; or

b. The sign extends horizontally, vertically or diagonally beyond that part of the building or structure to which it is attached. A sign placed parallel to a vertical fascia, wall or parapet and extending less than half of its height above the fascia, wall or parapet is not considered a projecting sign.

31. “Public open space” means any unenclosed public or private area which is open to the public for pedestrian or vehicular traffic. It includes, but is not limited to, a street, driveway, mall, courtyard or parking lot.

32. “Reader board” means a permanent, on-site sign structure or portion thereof, upon which is displayed advertising material or copy of a temporary or changeable nature, such as a bulletin board or theater marquee.

33. “Real estate sign” means a sign advertising real property for sale or lease, including an “open house” sign.

34. “Roof sign” means a sign placed on or above a roof, canopy, overhang, eaves, deck cover or atop a parapet of a building.

35. “Shingle sign” means a pedestrian-oriented sign hung from a bracket that is attached to a wall so as to allow free movement of the sign board.

36. “Sign” means any medium for visual communication including its structure or component parts, which is used or intended to be used to attract attention to an idea, activity, business, an event, goods, services or land use for identification or advertising purposes. Functional architectural features of buildings are not normally signs. A sign under this title is one which is intended to be seen from a public open space or from other premises under separate occupancy.

37. “Sign structure” means a structure or structural part of a building which supports or is intended to support a sign.

38. “Storefront sign” means a pedestrian-oriented sign of small size that identifies a business, use or organization, or that advertises or informs about the business, products or services sold or rendered on the premises.

39. “Suspended sign” means a sign attached to or hung from a soffit or the eaves of a building but not extended laterally beyond the soffit or eaves.

40. “Temporary sign” means a sign constructed of light materials such as cardboard, plywood, wallboard, fabric or similar flexible material (either framed or unframed) and designed and intended to be used for a limited period of less than 90 days.

41. “Trailer sign” means a sign mounted on a trailer or similar moveable device.

42. “Wall sign” means a sign attached to or erected against the wall of a building with the face of the sign in a plane parallel to the wall. A wall sign includes a sign placed on a fascia, parapet or a mansard which has a slope of 60 degrees or greater from the horizontal plane and a sign on the vertical face of a structural canopy or overhang.

43. “Window sign” means a pedestrian-oriented sign placed in or on a window which is intended to be viewed from outside the window. Merchandise offered for sale is not considered a window sign. [Ord. 16-1401 § 3 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 15-1388 § 3, 2015; Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]