Chapter 18.25
REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF SIGNS

Sections:

Article I. Generally

18.25.010    Electronic message center signs (EMCs).

Article II. Wall Signs

18.25.020    Defined.

18.25.030    Materials.

18.25.040    Location and height.

18.25.050    Anchorage.

Article III. Ground Signs

18.25.060    Defined.

18.25.070    Height and size permitted.

18.25.080    Location and support.

18.25.090    Special portable sign regulations.

18.25.095    No off-premises advertising – Exception.

Article IV. Billboards and Panel Posters

18.25.100    Purpose.

18.25.110    Defined.

18.25.120    Materials, construction, location.

18.25.130    Open space and latticework.

18.25.135    Electronic message center signs.

18.25.140    Responsibility of owner to maintain premises.

Article V. Roof Signs

18.25.150    Defined.

18.25.160    Materials.

18.25.170    General location on roof.

18.25.180    Erection.

18.25.190    Size, height and anchorage.

Article VI. Projecting Signs

18.25.200    Defined.

18.25.210    Height, size and location.

Article VII. Temporary Signs

18.25.220    Defined.

18.25.230    Placing and time limitation.

18.25.240    Temporary banners, pennants or flags over streets.

18.25.250    Unlawful signs.

18.25.260    Allowed without permit.

Article I. Generally

18.25.010 Electronic message center signs (EMCs).

(a) Electronic message center signs may be erected in the following zoning districts: RR, R, M, O&I, C, I, U-1, MS-1 and X, only if the sign is allowed in the respective district pursuant to TMC 18.20.020 and the sign meets all of the following standards:

(1) Brightness. An EMC shall utilize automatic dimming technology to adjust the brightness of the sign relative to ambient light so that at no time shall an EMC exceed a brightness level of 0.3 foot-candle above ambient light, as measured using a foot-candle (lux) meter calibrated within the past 36 months and in conformance with the following process:

(i) Light measurements shall be taken with the meter aimed perpendicular to the sign message face or at the area of the sign emitting the brightest light if that area is not the sign message face, at a preset distance depending on sign size. Distance shall be determined by taking the square root of the product of the sign area and 100. For example, using a 12-square-foot sign: (12 x 100) = 34.6 feet measuring distance.

(ii) An ambient light measurement shall be taken using a foot-candle meter at some point between the period of time between 30 minutes past sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise with the sign turned off to a black screen.

(iii) Immediately following the ambient light measurement taken in the manner required by this subsection, an operating sign light measurement shall be taken with the sign turned on to full white copy.

(iv) The brightness of an EMC shall be compliant with the brightness requirements of this subsection if the difference between the ambient light measurement and the operating sign light measurement is 0.3 foot-candle or less.

(2) Movement. The following display features are prohibited: flashing, strobing, blinking, fluttering, spinning, rotating, bouncing, animation, scrolling and chasing.

(i) Exception: An EMC located within the I, C-2, C-3, C-4, or C-5 district which is not within 125 feet of a residential or open space district may have animation, scrolling text, and frame effects.

(3) Right-of-Way – No Portable. An EMC shall not overhang into a public right-of-way and shall not be included in a portable sign.

(4) Audio Messages. An EMC shall not include any audio message, tones or music.

(5) Dwell Times – C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5 and I. EMCs located within a C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5 or I district and within 125 feet of a residential or open space district may only display static images having a dwell time of at least four seconds and a transition time of two seconds or less and this transition may use frame effects without illusionary or simulating movement.

(6) Dwell Times – Church/Public Building Identification Signs. EMCs incorporated into church or public building identification signs shall have a dwell time of at least eight seconds.

(7) Dwell Times – O&I, C-1, U-1, MS-1, X-1, X-2. EMCs located within an O&I, C-1, U-1, MS-1, X-1, or X-2 district may only display static images having a dwell time of at least four seconds and a transition time of two seconds or less and this transition may use frame effects without illusionary or simulating movement.

(8) Compliance Assurance. No permit shall be granted unless the applicant provides sufficient proof from the manufacturer that the sign has the technical capacity to comply with all applicable regulations governing EMCs and that the sign owner and/or operator has reviewed and understands the applicable regulations pertaining to the EMC and agrees not to violate the regulations.

(b) Nonconforming EMCs. An EMC in existence on the effective date of this section that does not meet the standards regarding audio messages, movement, and brightness shall be compliant with the requirements of this section by September 1, 2013.

Any EMC in existence on the effective date of this section that does not meet the standards regarding size, number, placement, and type shall be a nonconforming use and regulated pursuant to Chapter 18.220 TMC. (Ord. 19830 § 4, 7-16-13.)

Article II. Wall Signs

18.25.020 Defined.

A “wall sign” as used in this article means any painted lettering, cutout lettering, device or representation placed upon wood, metal or pressed board used in the nature of advertising and attached directly to the building wall and which extends not more than 15 inches from the face of the building. (Code 1981 § 39-98. Code 1995 § 118-151.)

18.25.030 Materials.

The surface and face of all wall signs must be of metal or other incombustible materials or approved plastic, except the ornamental moldings surrounding wall signs may be of wood or other combustible materials. (Code 1981 § 39-99. Code 1995 § 118-152.)

18.25.040 Location and height.

A wall bulletin may be placed upon the front, rear, side or court wall of any building when it does not extend beyond the building line more than six inches, if less than 10 feet above the sidewalk level and more than 15 inches if 10 feet or more above the sidewalk level. Lighting reflectors on top of a wall sign may extend not more than eight feet over public property and all of such reflectors shall be not less than 10 feet above sidewalk level. (Code 1981 § 39-100. Code 1995 § 118-153.)

18.25.050 Anchorage.

All wall signs shall be securely and safely attached to a building wall as provided by TMC 18.10.040. (Code 1981 § 39-101. Code 1995 § 118-154.)

Article III. Ground Signs

18.25.060 Defined.

The term “ground signs” as used in this article means any sign not attached to a building, other than a billboard or panel poster, erected upon or supported by the ground and either affixed to the ground or portable. Any sign affixed to a trailer which is used solely for the transportation of the sign and is not designed to carry any other load shall be considered a portable sign for the purpose of sign regulations. (Ord. 19736 § 3, 5-22-12.)

    Cross References: Definitions generally, TMC 1.10.020.

18.25.070 Height and size permitted.

Except as provided in Chapter 18.20 TMC, no ground sign shall extend at any point more than 10 feet above grade, unless the following provisions are complied with, in which case a maximum height above grade of 55 feet may be permitted:

(a) Such signs, including all supports and braces, are constructed entirely of incombustible materials except for approved plastics for sign faces; and

(b) Such signs contain no more than 300 square feet of single face area. (Ord. 19830 § 5, 7-16-13.)

18.25.080 Location and support.

All affixed ground signs shall be adequately supported and braced or guyed. Except as provided in Chapter 18.20 TMC, no ground sign shall exceed 50 feet in length. Where any part of an affixed ground sign projects over rights-of-way of public streets or alleys, the sign shall be considered as a projecting sign and subject to the regulations pertaining to such signs. (Ord. 19830 § 6, 7-16-13.)

18.25.090 Special portable sign regulations.

No portable ground sign maintained within one foot of public property shall exceed eight square feet in single face area, nor shall the highest point of such sign be more than four and one-half feet above grade. All portable signs shall be weighted to prevent overturning. No portable sign shall be located, placed or maintained within the lines of any street, city property, city right-of-way, or city easement. (Ord. 17906 § 12, 10-15-02; Code 1981 § 39-116. Code 1995 § 118-179.)

18.25.095 No off-premises advertising – Exception.

(a) All advertisements shall pertain only to the business, industry or other pursuit conducted on or within the premises on which such sign is erected or maintained.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to directional signs that meet all of the following requirements:

(1) The business, industry, or other activity the sign is intended to serve does not have arterial street frontage but has an access road or drive directly taken from the arterial road where the sign will be located;

(2) The property owner of the property where the sign will be located provides written consent to the planning director;

(3) The sign does not exceed 10 square feet and four feet in height;

(4) The zoning district where the sign is located has the same zoning or a less restrictive zoning designation than the business the sign will serve; and

(5) The communication is limited to the business name, business logo, and directional symbols. (Ord. 19830 § 7, 7-16-13.)

Article IV. Billboards and Panel Posters

18.25.100 Purpose.

The purpose of the billboard regulations set forth in this article shall be to eliminate potential hazards to motorists and pedestrians; to encourage signs which by their size and location are harmonious to the locations which they occupy and which eliminate excessive and confusing sign displays; to achieve a reasonable balance between the need of sign and outdoor advertising industries and the visual qualities of the community; and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the city. (Ord. 16971 § 2, 6-25-96. Code 1995 § 118-200.)

18.25.110 Defined.

The term “billboard” or “panel poster” as used in this article means any board or panel erected, constructed or maintained for the purpose of displaying outdoor advertising by means of painted letters, posters, pictures and pictorial or reading matter, either illuminated or nonilluminated, when such sign is supported by uprights or braces placed upon the ground. The term “advertising” shall not be deemed to include statements pertaining to a business conducted within or on the premises on which the sign is maintained. Any billboard erected above or over the roof or parapet of a building shall be classified as a roof sign for the purpose of this article. (Code 1981 § 39-128. Code 1995 § 118-201.)

18.25.120 Materials, construction, location.

(a) The structural members of all billboards and panel posters relocated, rebuilt or remodeled pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials excepting only the sign face, ornamental molding and platform. All such relocated, rebuilt or remodeled billboards and panel posters shall be installed only on single pole structures, shall not exceed 750 square feet including any extensions and may be erected to a height not exceeding 55 feet above the ground level in any location where the erection of the billboard or panel poster is not in conflict with the zoning ordinance.

(b) No billboard or panel poster relocated pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be erected within the radius of 1,320 feet of another billboard or panel poster; provided, that this provision shall not apply to rebuilt or remodeled billboards or panel posters remaining on the same parcel of land. (Ord. 16971 § 3, 6-25-96; Code 1981 § 39-129. Code 1995 § 118-202.)

18.25.130 Open space and latticework.

Every billboard or panel poster less than 15 feet from a public sidewalk shall have an open space of not less than three feet between the lower edge of such signboard and the ground level, which space may be filled in with decorative latticework of light wooden construction. (Code 1981 § 39-130. Code 1995 § 118-203.)

18.25.135 Electronic message center signs.

Each EMC sign located on a billboard or panel poster shall meet all of the following requirements:

(a) The sign does not contain or display flashing, intermittent or moving lights, including animated or scrolling advertising.

(b) Messages shall have a minimum dwell time of eight seconds and a transition time between messages of two seconds or less.

(c) The sign shall not be placed within 1,320 feet of another billboard or panel poster EMC sign on the same side of the highway, with the distance being measured along the nearest edge of the pavement and between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway.

(d) If a billboard or panel poster is a legal conforming structure it may be changed to an EMC sign. However, a billboard or panel poster that is a nonconforming structure cannot be changed to an EMC sign.

(e) The sign shall comply with the EMC standards in TMC 18.25.010 but the 50 percent sign area limitation in TMC 18.20.020 shall not apply. (Ord. 19830 § 8, 7-16-13.)

18.25.140 Responsibility of owner to maintain premises.

Any person occupying any vacant lot or premises with a billboard or panel poster thereon shall be subject to the same duties and responsibilities as the owner of the lot or premises with respect to keeping such lot or premises clean, sanitary, inoffensive and clear of all noxious substances in the vicinity of such billboard or panel poster, and with respect to the removal of snow from the sidewalk in front thereof. (Code 1981 § 39-131. Code 1995 § 118-204.)

Article V. Roof Signs

18.25.150 Defined.

The term “roof sign” as used in this article means any sign erected upon or maintained upon a roof or parapet wall of any building. (Code 1981 § 39-143. Code 1995 § 118-231.)

    Cross References: Definitions generally, TMC 1.10.020.

18.25.160 Materials.

Every roof sign shall be entirely of noncombustible construction, including the uprights, supports and braces of such sign, and all materials shall be incombustible, except that the ornamental moldings and battens behind the steel face of a roof sign may be of wooden construction. (Code 1981 § 39-144. Code 1995 § 118-232.)

18.25.170 General location on roof.

No sign shall be placed upon the roof of any building so as to prevent the free passage from one part of the roof to any other part thereof, or interfere with any openings in such roof. No sign that is placed upon the roof of any building shall project beyond the edge of the roof in any direction. All roof signs shall be so constructed as to leave a clear space of not less than six feet between the roof level and the lowest part of the sign structure and shall have at least five feet of clearance between the vertical supports thereof; and every roof sign shall be set back at least four feet from the face of any front or rear wall. (Code 1981 § 39-145. Code 1995 § 118-233.)

18.25.180 Erection.

All roof signs erected upon buildings which are of wood joist roof construction shall have bearing plates which shall bear directly upon masonry walls or upon steel girders which are supported upon masonry walls or other approved permanent fire-resistive construction. The person proposing to erect the sign shall furnish the code enforcement director complete data regarding loads and stresses in the sign frame and building frame carrying such sign. (Code 1981 § 39-146. Code 1995 § 118-234.)

    Cross References: Building code enforcement division, Chapter 2.50 TMC.

18.25.190 Size, height and anchorage.

No roof sign structure having a tight, closed or solid surface shall be at any point over 20 feet above the roof level. Roof sign structures not having a tight, closed or solid surface may be erected upon fireproof buildings to a height not exceeding 75 feet above the roof level and upon all other buildings to a height not exceeding 30 feet above the roof level; but the portions of such structure covered and exposed to wind pressure shall not exceed 35 percent of the area thereof. All such signs shall be thoroughly secured to the building as provided by TMC 18.10.040. (Code 1981 § 39-147. Code 1995 § 118-235.)

Article VI. Projecting Signs

18.25.200 Defined.

The term “projecting sign” as used in this article means any painted lettering, cut-out lettering, device or representation placed upon wood, metal or pressed board used in the nature of advertising erected and suspended at right angles and projecting from the walls of any building and which extends more than 15 inches from such walls. (Code 1981 § 39-159. Code 1995 § 118-256.)

    Cross References: Definitions generally, TMC 1.10.020.

18.25.210 Height, size and location.

(a) No projecting illuminated sign shall be affixed to a building so that the lowest overhanging part thereof shall be less than 10 feet above the level of the sidewalk or ground. No such sign projecting from a building shall extend more than eight feet beyond the lot line or the face of the building, and no such sign shall extend beyond a vertical plane two feet in back of the face of the curb. A projecting sign attached to a corner of a building and parallel to the vertical line of such corner shall be deemed to be erected at a right angle to the building wall.

(b) No projecting nonilluminated sign shall be affixed to a building so that the lowest overhanging part thereof shall be less than eight feet above the level of the sidewalk or ground. No such sign shall project more than three feet from the building wall. (Code 1981 § 39-160. Code 1995 § 118-257.)

Article VII. Temporary Signs

18.25.220 Defined.

(a) The term “temporary freestanding sign,” for the purposes of this article, shall mean any sign, sign device, banner, pennant, valance or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard or other material, with a frame, intended to be displayed for a short period of time. The advertisement contained on a temporary freestanding sign shall be limited to only the business, activity, industry or other pursuit conducted on or in the premises on which such sign is erected or maintained.

(b) The term “temporary nonfreestanding sign,” for the purposes of this article, shall mean any sign, sign device, banner, pennant, valance or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard or other material, without a frame, intended to be displayed for a short period of time. The advertisement contained on a temporary nonfreestanding sign shall be limited to only the business, activity, industry or other pursuit conducted on or in the premises on which such sign is erected or maintained.

(c) The term “temporary balloon sign,” for the purposes of this article, shall mean an air or gas filled balloon or other inflated device designed to emulate or advertise a product or call attention to a specific product, service, business or event. Such device may be inflated with gas or carbon dioxide or hot air and may be anchored to the ground or airborne and tethered to the ground, and is intended to be displayed for a short period of time. The advertisement contained on a temporary balloon sign shall be limited to only the business, activity, industry or other pursuit conducted on or in the premises on which such sign is anchored to the ground or airborne and tethered to the ground, or maintained.

(d) The term “limited duration, temporary, freestanding sign,” for the purposes of this article, shall mean any sign, sign device or advertising display constructed of fabric, cardboard, plaster or other material with a self-supportive frame intended to be displayed for a short period of time. Said signs may advertise a business, activity, or other pursuit not conducted on or in the premises on which the sign is erected or maintained. (Ord. 18741 § 2, 10-24-06; Ord. 16695 § 1, 4-12-94; Code 1981 § 39-172. Code 1995 § 118-276.)

    Cross References: Definitions generally, TMC 1.10.020.

18.25.230 Placing and time limitation.

(a) Temporary Freestanding Signs. One temporary freestanding sign, not exceeding six square feet per sign face and 48 inches in height may be placed or displayed at any given time on private property in any R or M dwelling district; provided, however, a sign not exceeding 32 square feet and 72 inches in height per sign face shall be permitted on parcels exceeding one acre in size. One temporary freestanding sign not exceeding 32 square feet per sign face and 72 inches in height may be placed or displayed at any given time on private property in any district other than the R or M districts. The temporary freestanding sign shall only be displayed during that time period the event, activity or pursuit occurs on the premises. Further, the temporary freestanding sign shall be erected only upon the day the event, activity or pursuit commences and shall be removed immediately after the event, activity or pursuit concludes. The display of a temporary freestanding sign shall be limited to two separate occasions during any calendar year. No permit is required for the display of a temporary freestanding sign.

(b) Temporary nonfreestanding signs shall be placed flat upon any face of a building. All such signs shall not extend above or beyond the face of a building on which they are placed or extend more than 12 inches from the face of the building, and shall not exceed 25 percent of the surface of the face of the building upon which they are displayed.

(c) Temporary balloon signs are subject to the following:

(1) Temporary balloon signs which exceed two cubic feet may not be placed on a property unless a permit is first obtained, as provided by TMC 18.15.030 and this section.

(2) A temporary balloon sign may be placed on the properties specified in the permit four times a calendar year for one week at a time. The maximum altitude at the top of the temporary balloon sign shall not exceed 55 feet including the length of the tether or height of structure to which the temporary balloon sign is attached. No temporary balloon sign may be placed on properties unless the owner has provided notice to all agencies requiring notification at least one week ahead of erection of the temporary balloon sign. Said notice shall be given by certified mail at the expense of the person for whom the temporary balloon sign will be erected. Agencies who desire notification of temporary balloon sign erection shall contact the development services division which shall maintain a list of such agencies.

(3) As a condition for the issuance of a permit, the owner and/or user of the temporary balloon sign must agree to hold the city harmless from all claims resulting from the placement of the temporary balloon sign.

(4) The permit fee for a temporary balloon sign shall be $25.00 per placement on a property. The permit shall expire one week from its effective date.

(5) Temporary balloon signs are only allowed in C-4, C-5, I-1 and I-2 zoning districts.

(6) The temporary balloon signs must meet all applicable FAA regulations.

(7) The gas used in any temporary balloon signs must be noncombustible and the balloon may not be internally illuminated.

(8) No permit shall be issued for placement of a temporary balloon sign on property within 500 feet from the property line of a hospital with a helicopter landing pad.

(9) No temporary balloon sign shall be tethered within 55 feet of an overhead power line or property line.

(d) Limited Duration, Freestanding Signs. Not more than two limited duration, freestanding signs, not exceeding six square feet per sign face and 48 inches in height may be placed or displayed on private property with the consent of the property owner. Limited duration, freestanding signs may be displayed and may remain in place only from 5:00 p.m. Thursday until 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Not more than two limited duration, freestanding signs may be displayed on any property at any given time. No permit is required for the display of a limited duration, freestanding sign. (Ord. 18741 § 3, 10-24-06; Ord. 16695 § 2, 4-12-94; Code 1981 § 39-173. Code 1995 § 118-277.)

    Cross References: Public works department, TMC 2.30.110.

18.25.240 Temporary banners, pennants or flags over streets.

No banner, bunting, pennant, ornament or flag, except the flags of the United States and the state, shall be suspended or projected over the streets, avenues, alleys or other public property of the city when used for business advertisements or for personal or corporate gain or publicity; provided, that a permit may be issued by the code enforcement director for the temporary suspension or projection of any such banner, bunting, pennant, ornament or flag over the streets, avenues, alleys or other public property for a period not to exceed 30 days when the same are to be used for conventions, receptions and occasions in which the public in general is concerned. (Code 1981 § 39-174. Code 1995 § 118-278.)

    Cross References: Building code enforcement division, Chapter 2.50 TMC.

18.25.250 Unlawful signs.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to cover entirely the front or rear doors and windows of any business building with paint, cloth or paper signs placed either on the inside or outside thereof. It shall be the duty of the proprietor, manager or person in charge or control of such business building to leave a transparent opening in the doors and windows of not more than five and one-half feet above sidewalk level so that persons on the outside may detect a fire within such building. The transparent portion of the window or opening shall be unobstructed by curtains, draperies, papers or other materials and shall be not less than two feet square in area.

(b) It shall be unlawful to erect or maintain a projecting sign made of combustible or incombustible framework covered with cloth, cardboard or paper upon which a sign or advertisement is painted or printed and no such cloth or paper shall be spread over or suspended from any existing projecting sign or canopy. (Code 1981 § 39-175. Code 1995 § 118-279.)

18.25.260 Allowed without permit.

The following temporary signs are allowed in any zoning district and do not require a permit:

(a) Official flags of government jurisdictions and flags which are emblems of on-site business firms and enterprises, religious, charitable, public, and nonprofit organizations.

(b) Decorative streamers with no printed advertising. (Ord. 18066 § 1, 8-12-03. Code 1995 § 118-280.)

Division 3. Subdivisions

    Cross References: Planning, Chapters 2.65 and 18.05 TMC; buildings and building regulations, TMC Title 14; comprehensive zoning regulations, TMC Title 18, Division 4.

    State Law References: Subdivision regulations, K.S.A. 12-749 et seq.