Chapter 19.24


19.24.010    Violation is an infraction.

19.24.020    Violation – Nuisance.

19.24.030    Abatement.

19.24.040    Nonconforming signs.

19.24.050    Amortization of nonconforming signs.

19.24.070    Remedies not exclusive.

19.24.010 Violation is an infraction.

A person who violates this title is guilty of an infraction under PMC 1.20.010. [Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.24.020 Violation – Nuisance.

A sign or sign structure placed or maintained contrary to this title is a public nuisance. [Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.24.030 Abatement.

A sign or sign structure placed or maintained contrary to this title may be abated as follows:

A. A sign placed which is prohibited by PMC 19.12.070 or which imperils the safety of people or property, or an obsolete or abandoned sign is subject to removal by the owner and, upon the owner’s failure to do so, by the city;

B. A sign may be abated and the expense of abatement shall be a lien against the property owner. The abatement procedure is that set forth in Chapter 1.24 or 15.36 PMC (PMC 15.36.090 or 15.36.100);

C. Each person who erects a sign which is subject to removal under subsection (A) or (B) of this section is jointly and severally liable for the cost of removal. The city has a lien upon the sign for the cost of removal and may keep possession of the sign until the owner redeems it by paying to the city the cost of removal. The city may dispose of the sign 60 days after removal by giving the owner notice that the owner may redeem the sign by paying the cost of removal or if he fails to do so, the city will dispose of the sign as it sees fit without further liability to the owner for this action. [Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.24.040 Nonconforming signs.

A. Regulations. The following regulations apply to a nonconforming sign:

1. No increase or enlargement is permitted;

2. No change of copy is permitted except for copy on outdoor advertising structures, reader boards and similar signs designed for changeable copy. However, the copy on a nonconforming sign may be changed if the sign structure also identifies other businesses;

3. The sign may not be moved or altered except for necessary repair and maintenance, unless the moving or alteration reduces the degree of nonconformity;

4. If the nonconforming sign is abandoned or becomes obsolete for a continuous period of 30 days or more, the nonconforming status terminates.

A conforming sign may be approved notwithstanding the existence of a nonconforming sign on the site as long as the nonconforming sign is on a different building frontage.

B. Nonconforming Master Sign Program. If a master sign program previously approved by the city does not conform to this title, it is considered nonconforming. The property owner whose master sign program is nonconforming shall submit a new master sign program application within three months after written notification of the nonconformity. A sign installed under a nonconforming master sign program is subject to the notice and removal procedures under subsection (C) of this section.

C. Notice and Removal. Within six months of notification of nonconformity, the owner of a nonconforming sign shall either:

1. Remove the sign;

2. Obtain a new permit in conformance with this title by (a) modifying the sign to conform; or (b) obtaining approval for an exception under PMC 19.08.020;

3. Obtain an extension of time within which the sign must be removed under PMC 19.24.050; or

4. Establish to the satisfaction of the city planner that the special restrictions of Business and Professional Code Sections 5490 through 5499 apply. [Ord. 05-1257 § 4, 2005; Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.24.050 Amortization of nonconforming signs.

A. The purpose of this section is to allow the owner of a nonconforming sign to delay removal or modification of the sign for a reasonable period to permit the owner to recover the original costs where, at the time specified for removal, the costs were not yet fully amortized. The amortization period shall be commensurate with the investment involved.

B. The owner of a nonconforming sign may apply to the city planner for an extension of time within which the sign must be removed. The application suspends the running of the period of time for removal.

C. The application shall contain the following information:

1. Name and address of the sign owner and the property owner, if different;

2. A description of the sign;

3. The date the sign was placed;

4. Whether and when a sign permit was issued;

5. The cost of construction;

6. Revenue derived;

7. Present value of the sign;

8. If the sign is being depreciated under Federal Internal Revenue Service provisions (Section 167 or other section), a copy of the last IRS form showing such depreciation;

9. A detailed statement of the reasons for the extension requested;

10. The length of time for which the extension is requested;

11. Other relevant information which the city may request.

D. The city planner shall consider the following factors in determining whether or not to grant an extension:

1. The information presented on the application;

2. The economic hardship on the owner; and

3. The interest of the sign owner in the premises and expected changes in the use of the property.

E. If the city planner finds that circumstances warrant granting an extension of time for amortization of the sign, the city planner may grant the extension. The table below indicates the minimum number of years a sign may remain after it becomes a nonconforming sign:

Value of Sign at the Time It Becomes Nonconforming

Minimum Number of Years Allowed to Remain

Under $2,000


$2,000 to $3,999


$4,000 to $5,999


$6,000 to $7,999


$8,000 to $9,999


$10,000 and over


F. A decision by the city planner regarding extension under this section may be appealed to the planning commission. [Ord. 05-1257 § 4, 2005; Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]

19.24.070 Remedies not exclusive.

The remedies in this chapter are not exclusive. The city may rely upon any remedy authorized by law. [Ord. 928 § 1, 1987.]