Chapter 18.24


18.24.010    Purpose, intent and scope.

18.24.020    Definitions.

18.24.030    Permit—Required.

18.24.040    Permit—Exceptions.

18.24.050    Permit—Application.

18.24.060    Permit—Special use.

18.24.070    Permit—Comprehensive design plan.

18.24.080    Permit—Interpretation of applications.

18.24.090    Permit—Fee schedule.

18.24.100    Permit—Issuance.

18.24.110    Permit—Time limitation.

18.24.120    Inspection.

18.24.130    Recordkeeping.

18.24.140    General provisions.

18.24.150    Landscaping.

18.24.160    Construction standards.

18.24.170    Clearance, height and sight distance.

18.24.180    Support structure restrictions.

18.24.190    Light restrictions.

18.24.200    Portable signs.

18.24.210    Sign area and placement.

18.24.220    Projection clearance.

18.24.230    Civic and church signs.

18.24.240    Political signs.

18.24.250    Essential public needs.

18.24.260    Additional street frontage.

18.24.270    Single sign encouraged.

18.24.280    Change of copy allowed.

18.24.290    Prohibited signs.

18.24.300    Zoning district regulations—Generally.

18.24.310    Single-family and two-family residential districts (includes R:2, R:4, R:8).

18.24.320    Multifamily and transitional use districts (includes R:15, R:20).

18.24.330    All other zoning districts (includes C-1, C-2, C-3, LBD, M-1, M-2).

18.24.340    Existing signs.

18.24.350    Building official’s responsibilities.

18.24.360    Liability of city.

18.24.370    Violation—Penalty.

18.24.010 Purpose, intent and scope.

It is the purpose of this chapter to promote proper maintenance of signs; their thoughtful placement, designed to fit within the different land use zones; commercial communications that recognizes the need of businesses of various sizes; and creative and innovative design. These shall be done by regulation of the posting, displaying, erection, use and maintenance of signs.

This chapter shall not regulate building design, except as provided in CMC 18.24.070, nor shall it regulate official directional signs and traffic signs, copy of signs, signs not intended to be viewed from a public right-of-way, window displays, point of purchase advertising displays such as product dispensers, national flags, flags of political subdivisions, and symbolic flags of an institution or business, gravestones, barber poles, historical site plaques, signs in R:2 and R:4 zones of six square feet or less giving the street number, or other signs of a noncommercial nature. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 1, 1979).

18.24.020 Definitions.

Certain words and phrases stated in this chapter are defined for the purpose hereof as follows:

“Abandoned sign” means a sign that no longer correctly directs or exhorts any person, advertises a bona fide business, lessor, owner, product or activity conducted or available on the premises where such sign is located.

Billboard. See definition of “Outdoor advertising sign.”

“Building” means a roofed and walled structure built for permanent use.

“Building official” means the city employee or other specified person charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

“Changing message center” means an electronically controlled public service time and temperature sign, message center, or readerboard where different copy changes of a public service or commercial nature are shown on the same lamp bank.

City. Unless the context clearly discloses a contrary intent, the word “city” shall mean the city of Centralia.

“Comprehensive design plan” means building, design, landscaping and signs integrated into one architectural plan, the comprehensive plan being complete in all other building, structural and electrical requirements.

“Curbline” means the lines at the face of the curb nearest to the nearest street or roadway. In the absence of a curb, the curbline shall be so established by the city engineer.

“Directional sign” means a sign permanently erected or permitted by the city, county, state, or federal government to denote the name of a place or structure, or for safety of the public to direct and regulate traffic; also, a sign, notice, or symbol as to time and place of regular civic meetings and regular religious activities and services, also, a sign which has only information (informational-directional sign) on exit and entrance or parking and contains no form of advertising copy or the name of any advertiser.

“Double-faced sign” means a sign with two faces.

“Electrical sign” means a sign or sign structure in which electrical wiring, connections, and/or fixtures are used as part of the sign proper.

“Facade” means the entire building front or street wall face, including grade to the top of the parapet or eaves, and the entire width of the building elevation.

“Flashing sign” means an electric sign or a portion thereof which changes light intensity in a sudden transitory burst, or which switches on and off in a constant pattern in which no more than one-third of the nonconstant light source is off at any one time.

“Freestanding sign” means a sign attached to the ground and supported by uprights or braces placed on or in the ground. Also called ground or pole sign.

“Freeway” means an expressway or highway having several lanes and no intersections or stoplights, with full control of access.

“Freeway (or limited access highway) interchange” means the point of access or egress for a freeway or limited access highway. The setback requirement shall be from the centerlines of the intersecting routes; not from any access or egress ramp.

“Frontage” means the measurement of the length of the property line or building front.

“Incidental sign” means a small nonelectric sign eight square feet or less in area which pertains to goods, products, services or facilities which are available on the premises where the sign occurs, and intended primarily for the convenience of the public.

“Inspector” shall include any city employee working under the authority and direction of the building official.

“Landscaping” means any material used as a decorative feature, such as concrete bases, planter boxes, pole covers, decorative framing, and shrubbery or planting materials, used in conjunction with a sign, which expresses the theme of the sign, but does not contain advertising copy.

“Mansard roof” means a sloped roof or rooflike facade architecturally able to be treated as a building wall.

“Marquee” means a permanent structure attached to, supported by, and projecting from a building and providing protection from the weather elements, but does not include a projecting roof. For the purpose of this chapter, a freestanding, permanent, roof-like structure providing protection from the elements, such as a service station gas pump island, will also be considered a marquee; also includes canopy.

“Marquee sign” means any sign which forms part of or is integrated into a marquee or canopy and which does not extend horizontally beyond the limits of such marquee or canopy; also “canopy sign.”

“Monument sign” is a ground mounted sign which is higher than three feet above the average ground elevation and which is attached to the ground by means of a wide base of solid appearance.

“Multiple-building complex” means a group of structures housing at least one retail business, office, commercial venture or independent or separate part of a business which shares the same lot, access and/or parking facilities.

“Multiple-tenant building” means a single structure housing more than one retail business, office or commercial venture, but not including residential apartment buildings.

“On-premises sign” means a sign which carries advertisements incidental to a lawful use of the premises on which it is located, including signs indicating the business transacted at, services rendered, goods sold or produced on the premises, name of the business, name of the person, firm or corporation occupying the premises.

“Off-premises sign” means any sign which advertises an establishment, merchandise, service, goods, or entertainment which is sold, produced, and manufactured, or furnished at a place other than on the property on which the sign is located.

“Outdoor advertising sign” means any off-premises sign owned by a third party as an outdoor display for the purpose of making anything known, for the use of which any charge is made for advertising thereon; also called “billboard.”

“Parapet” means a false front or wall extension above the roof line.

Planning Commission. The words “planning commission” mean the Centralia planning commission.

“Perimeter” means a square or rectangle required to enclose the sign area.

“Person” shall include individual, partnerships, associations, and corporations.

“Portable sign” means any sign made of any material, including paper, cardboard, wood or metal, which is capable of being moved easily and is not permanently affixed to the ground structure or building; also includes sidewalk or sandwichboard signs.

“Premises” means the real estate, as a unit, which is involved by the sign or signs mentioned in this section.

Principal Street Frontage. The principal street shall be the public vehicular street that the sign fronts upon. If the business establishment fronts upon more than one street, the sign applicant may choose which street frontage the measurements for sign area are to be based upon.

“Projecting sign” means a sign, other than a wall sign, which is attached to and projects from a structure or building face. A marquee sign will not be considered a projecting sign.

“Real estate sign” means a portable sign erected by the owner, or his agent, advertising the real estate upon which the sign is located for rent, lease or sale, or direction to said property.

“Recreational facility” means public property provided for the use and enjoyment of the general public for recreation.

“Revolving sign” means any sign which rotates or turns in motion by electrical or mechanical means in a circular pattern.

“Roof sign” means a sign erected upon or above a roof or parapet of a building or structure. Mansard roof signs shall not be included.

“Sign” means any commercial communication device, structure, or fixture which is visible from any public right-of-way intended to aid the business establishment in question in promoting the sale of a product, goods or service using graphics, symbols or written copy. For the purpose of this chapter, a sign shall not be considered to be building or structural design. It shall be restricted solely to graphics, symbols or written copy that is meant to be used in the aforementioned way.

“Sign area” means the entire area of a sign on which copy is to be placed. Only one side of a double-faced sign shall be included. The area of painted signs, individual lettered signs and other indirectly illuminated signs shall be calculated on the basis of the smallest rectangle, circle or spherical figure that will enclose the entire copy area of the sign. Any such calculation shall include the areas between the letters and lines as well as the area of any devices which are intended to attract attention.

“Sign height” means the vertical distance measured from the adjacent street grade or upper surface of the nearest street curb which permits the greatest height to the highest point of the sign.

“Sign structure” means any structure which supports or is capable of supporting any sign as defined in this chapter. A sign structure may be a single pole or may or may not be an integral part of a building. Structures which perform a separate use, such as a telephone booth, bus shelter or Goodwill container shall not be considered a sign structure.

“Street” means a public right-of-way which affords the principal means of access to abutting properties and is designed primarily for motor vehicles.

“Supergraphics” mean any design or graphic which is superior in size, quality or degree over that which is allowed unconditionally by this chapter, and creates an overall artistic image utilizing the building on which it is displayed as background.

“Temporary building sign” means a sign jointly erected and maintained on premises undergoing construction, by an architect, contractor, subcontractor, and/or material man upon which property such individual is furnishing labor or material.

“Temporary sign” means any sign or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, paper, cardboard, or other light materials, with or without frames, intended to be displayed for a limited time only. Signs painted upon window surfaces which are readily removed by washing shall be considered temporary signs.

“Under-marquee sign” means a sign which is attached to and suspended from a marquee or canopy but does not extend beyond such marquee or canopy.

“Uniform Building Code” means the adopted edition of the Uniform Building Code, published by the International Conference of Building Officials including any future amendments thereto.

“Wall sign” means a sign attached or erected parallel to and extending not more than eighteen inches from the facade or face of any building to which it is attached and supported throughout its entire length, with the exposed face of the sign parallel to the plane of the wall or facade. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 2, 1979).

18.24.030 Permit—Required.

It is unlawful for any person to erect, re-erect, construct, apply or structurally alter or move any sign or cause the same to be done, except as provided by this chapter, without first obtaining a building permit for each sign from the building official. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(part), 1979).

18.24.040 Permit—Exceptions.

While all signs must comply with the provisions of this chapter, permits shall not be required for the following:

A.    Changing of advertising copy or message on a lawfully erected electric or painted sign, theater marquee or similar signs specifically designed for changeable copy;

B.    Painting, repainting, cleaning, repairing, and other normal maintenance unless structural or electrical changes are made;

C.    Real estate signs six square feet or less;

D.    Political signs;

E.    Temporary signs and decorations customary for special holidays erected on private property;

F.    Incidental signs eight square feet or less;

G.    Temporary paper signs in windows which do not exceed fifty percent of the window area;

H.    Religious symbols;

I.    Temporary building signs limited to two per project denoting the architect, engineer, contractor or developer, not exceeding thirty-two square feet for the first sign and twelve square feet for the second;

J.    Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings, dates of erection and the like;

K.    Bulletin boards not over twelve square feet in area for each public, charitable or religious institution when same is located on premises of the institution;

L.    Signs required by law, traffic or pedestrian control signs, signs indicating scenic or historic points of interest, which are erected by or on the order of a public officer in the performance of his public duty;

M.    Sculptures, fountains, mosaics and design features which do not incorporate advertising or identification;

N.    The flag of a government, or noncommercial institutions such as schools;

O.    Official public notices, official court notices;

P.    Signs painted on or attached inside a window using less than twenty percent of the window;

Q.    Temporary signs eight square feet or less in area which are displayed for less than thirty days;

R.    Signs, banners or flags of a civic nature or deemed to be a benefit to the community are allowed to be placed on publicly owned appurtenances located on public rights-of-way with the written approval of the city manager. Such signs, banners, or flags may contain the name, and or logo, of a sponsoring person, business, agency, or similar organization but may not contain any additional advertising or religious messages. The size, design, color, configuration, location of placement and length of display time of signs, banners, or flags shall be determined by the city manager. Location of signs, banners, or flags shall not create a traffic vision hazard. (Ord. 2087 § 1, 2002: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(1), 1979).

18.24.050 Permit—Application.

A.    Application for sign permits shall be made to the building official on a form as provided by the building department. Such application shall require:

1.    Name of business, address where work is to be performed;

2.    Name and title of the person completing the application;

3.    Name and address, telephone number of the person or firm doing the work and preferably the owner of the establishment;

4.    Washington contractor’s registration number;

5.    Value of the sign or sign work;

6.    A site plan showing location of sign in relation to buildings, property lines and public rights-of-way including the size and location of all existing signs on the property;

7.    A scale drawing of proposed sign or sign revision showing size, height, copy, structural and footing details, material specifications;

8.    A description of work to be performed and type of sign;

9.    Electrical load with name of electrical contractor responsible for installation of service feed wires if other than sign contractor.

B.    The building official may waive submission of plans and specifications when the structural aspect is of minor importance. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(2), 1979).

18.24.060 Permit—Special use.

In addition to sign permits mentioned above, the hearing examiner may grant permission for use of signs not otherwise allowed under this chapter under certain circumstances for the following types of signs:

A.    Off-premises signs are generally prohibited.

Exception: A variance for an off-premises sign may be justified if all of the following can be found to apply:

1.    The use applying for the variance caters to the tourist through the on-premises provision of food, lodging or recreation;

2.    The use is located at least one city block from a major arterial, as designated by the city;

3.    Such signs shall be directional in nature only (no advertising other than location allowed), shall be no larger than twenty square feet, and such signs shall be for businesses located within the city;

4.    No more than two such signs for each occupancy shall be approved;

5.    Such a sign shall meet all other applicable provisions of these standards.

B.    The variance procedure specified under the general zoning ordinances of the city shall be followed relative to application for such a variance and approval or disapproval thereof. Any sign over forty-two inches high in a required front yard setback is prohibited, if the sign obstructs the view. No freestanding sign shall be in or over public right-of-way.

C.    High rise signs not exceeding four hundred square feet in sign area may be permitted by the hearing examiner; provided, that such signs must be located on-premises in commercial areas.

D.    Roof signs which extend above the roof or parapet line may be permitted when the applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the hearing examiner that a freestanding or projecting sign could not be used.

E.    Temporary signs in excess of eight square feet may be permitted and a reasonable time period for which the permit will be in effect may be established. (Ord. 2147 § 3, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1439 § 1, 1979; Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(3), 1979).

18.24.070 Permit—Comprehensive design plan.

A.    Special consideration shall be given to signs which use a comprehensive design plan to encourage the integration of signage into the framework of the building where it is located. This may be done on an existing building whose facade is being altered, new building, or freestanding sign. Such special consideration will, in some cases, result in allowances of height or total area in excess of those limitations specified for particular zones in this chapter. Supergraphics may be permitted as a comprehensive design plan; provided, that final approval is obtained through the hearing examiner in accordance with the variance procedure described in this chapter. The exception herein is based on an effort toward creating visual harmony between the sign, the building and the site where it is located through the use of a consistent design theme.

B.    The comprehensive design plan, excepting supergraphics as set forth above, shall be presented to the planning commission with a narrative outlining the proposed plan, including, but not limited to, the following:

1.    How the physical components of the sign go to make up the area of copy detailing legibility, visibility, and readability factors on the basis of traffic speed, color combinations, sign placement, and like matters;

2.    How the sign relates to the immediate surroundings, including existing and proposed buildings, other signs and landscape;

3.    How the sign relates to the desired land use characteristics that the sign proposal is being asked to promote; and

4.    A colored rendering.

C.    In evaluating the proposed plan, the planning commission shall assess the foregoing information on the basis of the alternative solutions available using the existing chapter and either approve or disapprove such plan. Approval may be conditional upon restrictions deemed necessary by the planning commission in accordance with the above guidelines. Applications for comprehensive design plan permits shall be made to the building official on forms provided by the building department, and shall be submitted along with the regular sign permit application. (Ord. 2147 § 4, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(4), 1979).

18.24.080 Permit—Interpretation of applications.

In all applications for permits where a matter of interpretation arises, the most rigid definition shall prevail. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3(A)(5), 1979).

18.24.090 Permit—Fee schedule.

A.    The fees prescribed in this section must be paid the city of Centralia for each sign installation for which a permit is required by this section and must be paid before any such permit is issued by the building official. Fees for building permits for each sign erected, installed, affixed, structurally or electrically altered, relocated, or created by painting shall be set in accordance with the current edition of the Uniform Building Code enforced by the city.

B.    The fees prescribed in this section, except for the minimum permit fee listed in the edition of the Uniform Building Code enforced by the city, may be refunded in the event that no portion of any work authorized by the permit has been performed and; provided, that no inspections have been made. Such refund may be authorized by the building official upon application by the permittee within one hundred twenty days from the date of permit issuance. Prior to the authorization of any refund under the provisions of this section, the building official shall require that the permittee’s copy of the issued permit as well as any sign permit sticker previously issued are thereby returned to the building official’s office. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3B, 1979).

18.24.100 Permit—Issuance.

The building official shall issue a sign permit upon approval of application, and payment of the required fees. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3C, 1979).

18.24.110 Permit—Time limitation.

A.    Permits issued by the building official shall become null and void if the structure of work as authorized by such permit is not commenced within one hundred twenty days from the date of the issuance of the permit, and completed within six months (one hundred eighty days) of the commencement of construction.

B.    If work has commenced and the permit becomes null and void or expires because of lack of progress or abandonment, a new permit covering the proposed construction shall be obtained before proceeding with the work. The fee shall be one-half the amount required for the original permit, provided no changes have been or will be made in the original plans and specifications; and provided, that such lack of progress or abandonment has not exceeded one year.

C.    If a new building permit is not obtained within one hundred twenty days from the date the initial permit became null and void, the building official shall require that any work which has been commenced or completed be removed from the building site, or issue a new permit, on application.

D.    Work shall be considered to have commenced and be in active progress when, in the opinion of the building official, a full complement of workmen and equipment is present at the site to diligently incorporate materials and equipment into the structure, weather permitting. This provision shall not be applicable in case of civil commotion or strike or when the building work is halted due directly to judicial injunction, order or similar process. The fact that the property or parties may be involved in litigation shall not be sufficient to constitute an exception to the period set forth in this section. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3D, 1979).

18.24.120 Inspection.

A.    All signs as defined by this code are subject to inspection and reinspection by the building official. The building official is empowered to establish a procedure for the inspection of signs.

B.    This section shall require the owner of any sign found upon inspection to be in defective condition, or which does not comply with the terms, conditions, and provisions of this chapter, to be repaired or removed within thirty days from the date of notice of such defect as delivered by the building official either by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by registered letter in the U.S. mail at the owner’s last known address; provided, however, that if the inspector ascertains and determines that the maintenance or use of such sign shall adversely affect the public safety, he/she may require the immediate removal at owner’s expense, or prohibit the use of the sign until such defects shall have been remedied. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3E, 1979).

18.24.130 Recordkeeping.

The building official shall keep records of the disposition of all hearings involving the planning commission, hearing examiner and city council in regards to sign usage, appeals, etc., with the permit file. (Ord. 2147 § 5, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 3F, 1979).

18.24.140 General provisions.

The provisions set forth in CMC 18.24.150 through 18.24.290 shall apply to all signs governed by this chapter. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4 (part), 1979).

18.24.150 Landscaping.

At the time of installation, all freestanding signs shall include, as part of the design, landscaping at the base to prevent automobiles from hitting the sign support structure and to improve the overall appearance. Shrubs, plantings, or decorative features such as concrete or brick bases, planter boxes, wood timbers may be used, using the following guidelines:

A.    Landscaping with plants and shrubs shall be used whenever the location and physical properties of the lot are not a problem and planning can be easily maintained;

B.    Landscaping shall be in proportion to the size and height of the sign;

C.    Landscaping shall be maintained and no dead shrubs, broken parts, cracked or extremely chipped material shall be allowed to remain without repair. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4A, 1979).

18.24.160 Construction standards.

A.    Each sign shall be adequately constructed, and securely and substantially anchored so as to withstand wind pressure in accordance with the requirements of the Washington State Uniform Building Code and shall meet the Uniform Building Code standards as now in force or hereafter amended in every other respect.

B.    Signs containing electrical circuitry shall meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code, all state laws, as now in force or hereafter amended, and an approved electrical testing lab. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4B, 1979).

18.24.170 Clearance, height and sight distance.

A.    A marquee sign, or sign projecting over areas where motor trucks may be required to pass beneath them, shall be erected to maintain a minimum vertical clearance of fifteen feet for the free passage of motor trucks.

B.    Signs must meet vehicular sign distance requirements established by the city engineer. Where signs are adjacent to or abutting an alley, the minimum vertical clearance shall not be less than fifteen feet. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4C, 1979).

18.24.180 Support structure restrictions.

When a projecting or roof sign is used, no angle irons, guy wires or braces shall be visible, except those that are an integral part of the overall design, such as decorative metals or woods, or unless they are required for safety. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4D, 1979).

18.24.190 Light restrictions.

A.    No person shall construct, establish, create and no person shall maintain any stationary exterior lighting or illumination system or any interior system which is intended to be viewed from a public street, highway or other public thoroughfare used for vehicular traffic which system contains or utilizes:

1.    Any exposed incandescent lamp with a wattage in excess of twenty-five watts unless a dimmer or sunscreen is attached;

2.    Any exposed incandescent lamp with an internal metallic reflector;

3.    Any exposed incandescent lamp with an external reflector;

4.    Any revolving beacon light;

5.    Any continuous or sequential flashing operation in which more than one-third of the lights are off at any one time and/or which uses light of more than twenty-five watts.

B.    These provisions shall not apply to:

1.    Lighting systems owned or controlled by any public agency for the purpose of directing or controlling navigation, traffic, or highway or street illumination;

2.    Aircraft warning lights;

3.    Electronic information systems which display the time of the day and/or atmospheric temperature or programmable electronic messages of a public service or commercial nature provided they do not create a traffic safety hazard as determined by the city traffic engineer. The area of electronic signs shall be included in the allowable area specified in CMC 18.24.330;

4.    Temporary lighting used for repair or construction as required by governmental agencies. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4E, 1979).

18.24.200 Portable signs.

A.    Portable signs are allowed in place of or in conjunction with on-premises signs. One portable sign is allowed per structure regardless whether it houses a single business or multiple vendors. Portable signs shall meet the following:

Portable signs are allowed in place of or in conjunction with on-premises signs; provided, that such signs:

1.    Shall not exceed eight square feet per side;

2.    No more than one portable sign may be displayed per business street frontage;

3.    All portable signs shall be located on the premises which they are advertising;

4.    All portable signs shall be nonelectric;

5.    Portable signs shall not be readerboard.

B.    Portable signs such as A-boards shall be allowed subject to the following:

1.    Only one portable sign per business may be displayed at one time;

2.    The sign area shall not exceed six square feet per face and limited to two faces;

3.    May not be placed on public sidewalks except as provided in Chapter 5.30 CMC (Sidewalk Sales);

4.    May not be placed to cause a site distance problem, obstruction, or hazard;

C.    Real estate or open house signs less than two feet in area may be placed on public property during a specific open house period provided:

1.    They do not create a safety hazard.

2.    They are removed immediately after the open house promotion has ended.

3.    In no case shall they remain for more than twenty-four hours. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4F, 1979).

18.24.210 Sign area and placement.

The allowable signage area shall be calculated from the building frontage or lot frontage, whichever is greater, but the sign or signs may be located any place on the building or lot, provided it complies with setback and spacing requirements of this chapter, the applicable setback requirements in the zoning codes for residential applications, and the following setback requirement for C-1, C-2, LBD, M-1 and M-2 zones:

A.    Minimum of two feet setback from established right-of-way; and

B.    Freestanding signs shall not project over or into the right-of-way; and

C.    Signs must meet vehicular clearance, height and sight-distance requirements established by the city engineer along city rights-of-way and at intersections. (Ord. 2164 § 1, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part)), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4G, 1979).

18.24.220 Projection clearance.

A.    No wall or projecting sign shall project more than two feet above or over the wall, roof line or parapet of the building to which it is attached.

B.    Signs shall not project more than eight feet from the property line or building face, and must be a minimum of two feet from a curb.

C.    All projecting signs over the public right-of-way must be a minimum of eight feet above the sidewalk; except, when located in an alley or in an area where motor trucks may be required to pass, minimum vertical clearance shall be fifteen feet. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4H, 1979).

18.24.230 Civic and church signs.

The building official may approve and permit to be erected entrance signs, at or near the city limits, on public rights-of-way, or private property when possible, with owner’s permission, for the benefit of visitors, on which may be listed institutional names, churches, and points of interest. Civic organizations and churches may be permitted to place their insignias thereon. When such entrance sign is permitted by the building official, each name or insignia shall not exceed a size of sixteen inches by seventy-four inches for each organization. If more than one insignia is placed on the sign, the total aggregate area of such sign shall not exceed twenty-four square feet. Such sign shall not be placed so as to cause a traffic hazard. It shall be set back at least twenty-five feet from the street. In addition to such civic and church signs, the city council may authorize such other signing for nonprofit corporations as the council deems appropriate, in keeping with the intent and purpose of this section, and upon such terms, conditions and limitations as the council may impose in such instance. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1651 § 1, 1989: Ord. 1421 § 4I, 1979).

18.24.240 Political signs.

A.    Political signs shall be limited to one sign per candidate on a private lot. The signs shall be removed within fourteen days after the election, except that a candidate who wins a primary election may continue to display political signs until fourteen days after the general election. Permits shall not be required.

B.    No person, association, corporation, or organization shall place, construct, erect, or install any political or campaign sign of any kind or nature in any election, upon any vacant property or abandoned vehicle or machinery placed on vacant property, unless permission has been obtained from the owner, or upon the public streets, public property, highways, or rights-of-way within the corporate limits of the city. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4J, 1979).

18.24.250 Essential public needs.

Signs identifying essential public needs, such as restrooms, telephone, beware of dog, deliveries in rear, entrance, exits, etc., which are less than six square feet in area, are allowed and shall not need a permit. (Ord. 2049 § 1, (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4K, 1979).

18.24.260 Additional street frontage.

Corner locations or locations with frontage on more than one street are permitted one additional sign for each street frontage; provided, that the sign is allowed, and no freestanding sign shall be located closer than one hundred fifty feet to another freestanding sign on the same lot. Such secondary signs shall be limited to an area not greater than fifty percent of the area allowed for the same type of sign on the main street frontage. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4L, 1979).

18.24.270 Single sign encouraged.

Upon approval of the building official, the area of a sign may be allowed up to twenty-five percent more than the maximum area normally permitted for that business when only one sign is used. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4M, 1979).

18.24.280 Change of copy allowed.

A.    The holder of a permit shall, for the duration thereof, have the right to change the advertising copy on the structure or sign for which the permit was issued without being required to pay any additional fee or to conform to any additional requirements, except that whenever a permit sticker is removed in the changing of the sign face, a new sticker must be obtained from the building official and attached to the new sign face.

B.    The building official shall issue a sticker which corresponds to the original permit and correct the information on the permit if changed, at no charge to the applicant.

C.    No sign may be structurally or electrically changed or moved without obtaining a new permit. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 4N, 1979).

18.24.290 Prohibited signs.

From and after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to erect or place within the city:

A.    A swinging projecting sign;

B.    Outdoor advertising signs (billboards);

C.    Flashing signs (except legally installed electronic signs), signs which revolve in excess of five revolutions per minute, and signs which contain wind-actuated elements;

D.    Signs attached to, or placed on, a vehicle or trailer parked on private or public property. This provision is not to be construed as prohibiting the identification of a firm or its principal products on a vehicle operating during normal course of business. Franchised buses or taxis are exempt from this chapter;

E.    The placing on sidewalks or on private property of benches bearing advertising matter, other than those authorized by the hearing examiner as a conditional use as provided in this section. However, signs advertising the public transit authority may be placed on benches at bus stops;

F.    Private signs placed in or on a public thoroughfare, except the required follow-up (directional) signage for those businesses who receive approval from the Washington State Department of Transportation for I-5 logo signs; provided, however, such directional signage shall be designed and installed in accordance with the latest edition of the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.” The applicant shall be responsible for furnishing the signs and paying the applicable sign permit fee plus the city’s cost for time and materials necessary to install, maintain or replace the signage. The applicant shall submit a scale drawing of the proposed sign, including a list of materials to be used to construct the sign, to the city for approval at the time of application.

At such time as it becomes necessary or prudent as determined by the city to construct multiple signage boards in accordance with the above referenced MUTCD, the sign owners shall be responsible for their individual shares of the costs to construct, maintain or replace the board and all other individual signs previously approved shall be removed from the public right-of-way;

G.    Any sign which constitutes a traffic hazard or detriment to traffic safety by reason of its size, location, movement, content, coloring, or method of illumination, or by obstructing the vision of drivers, or by obstructing or detracting from the visibility of any official traffic control device by diverting or tending to divert the attention of drivers of moving vehicles from traffic movement on streets, roads, intersections, or access facilities. No sign shall be erected so that it obstructs the vision of pedestrians. Flashing or revolving red, green, blue or amber lights shall be prohibited on any sign. Any sign, which by glare or method of illumination constitutes a hazard to traffic, shall be prohibited. No sign may use the words “stop,” “look,” “danger,” “drive-in,” or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic;

H.    Signs not properly maintained, showing neglect, or in a dilapidated or hazardous condition so as to violate the purpose, intent and objective of this chapter shall be required to be repaired or removed;

I.    Abandoned signs, except as provided in CMC 18.24.330(K);

J.    Signs in residential zoning districts for home occupations. (Ord. 2147 § 6, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1630 § 1, 1988: Ord. 1421 § 4O, 1979)

18.24.300 Zoning district regulations—Generally.

No sign of any kind shall be permitted to be constructed, erected, or maintained in various zoning districts of the city, except as set forth in CMC 18.24.310 through 18.24.330. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 5 (part), 1979).

18.24.310 Single-family and two-family residential districts (includes R:2, R:4, R:8).

A.    In all single-family and two-family residential districts, only one temporary nonilluminated real estate sign, either owner or agent, per street frontage of not over three square feet per sign face shall be permitted. Such sign shall not need a permit.

B.    One temporary removable sign of not over one and one-half square feet in area, with the word “open,” may be used when attached to an existing real estate sign, or where a real estate sign is not installed on the property, one temporary removable sign of not over six square feet in area, with the word “open,” or the words “open for inspection,” may be used only when the owner or owner’s agent is on the premises. A permit or permit fee shall not be necessary for such a temporary sign.

C.    One nameplate sign, situated on the premises and bearing only the name of the principal occupant(s) and the street number of a private dwelling, or both, but not to exceed two square feet, shall be permitted.

D.    A temporary building sign not exceeding twenty-five square feet shall be permitted.

E.    One permanent development sign not exceeding fifty square feet in area per main entrance to the development shall be permitted.

F.    Each nonresidential use permitted in the zone, such as churches, schools, clinics, shall be allowed one sign, indirectly lighted, and not exceeding twenty-five square feet.

G.    All requirements of CMC 18.24.150 through 18.24.290 shall apply. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 5A, 1979).

18.24.320 Multifamily and transitional use districts (includes R:15, R:20).

A.    On-premises signs are permitted and illumination is permitted except where specifically prohibited.

B.    One freestanding sign and one wall sign shall be permitted for each lot; provided, that total signage shall be limited to one square foot of sign area for each linear foot of street frontage.

C.    One nonilluminated real estate sign, either owner or agent, of not more than sixteen square feet per each street frontage shall be allowed and shall not require a permit. Such sign must be removed upon sale of the premises.

D.    One temporary building sign not exceeding twenty-five square feet of sign area shall be allowed while construction is being completed and shall not require a permit.

E.    All requirements of CMC 18.24.150 through 18.24.290 shall apply. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 5B, 1979).

18.24.330 All other zoning districts (includes C-1, C-2, C-3, LBD, M-1, M-2).

A.    On-premises signs are permitted and illumination is permitted except where specifically prohibited.

B.    All requirements of CMC 18.24.150 through 18.24.290 shall apply.

C.    Except where otherwise permitted by special use permit, all signs permitted within these districts shall be on-premises signs.

D.    Revolving pole or freestanding signs shall not exceed five revolutions per minute.

E.    Signs attached to the bottom of a marquee, canopy or permanent walkway cover (under-marquee signs) shall not exceed one for each of the business entrances on the premises, with a sign area not to exceed six square feet per sign face. Such sign shall be located in front of the business adjacent to the main entrances and shall be located no less than eight feet above the grade of the sidewalk or walkways nearest the sign.

F.    Freestanding signs shall not exceed thirty feet in height. Freestanding signs shall be permitted as follows:

1.    Each single-tenant building shall be permitted one freestanding sign, with a maximum sign area of one square foot for each one foot of main street frontage, not to exceed one hundred fifty square feet.

2.    Each multitenant building shall be permitted one freestanding sign with a maximum sign area of one and one-half square feet for each one foot of main street frontage, not to exceed two hundred fifty square feet. In addition, a maximum of twenty-five square feet of directory sign for each tenant shall be allowed, not to exceed one hundred square feet total per building.

3.    Each multifamily complex shall be permitted one freestanding sign with a maximum sign area of one and one-half square feet for each one foot of main street frontage, not to exceed two hundred fifty square feet. In addition, a maximum of twenty-five square feet of directory sign for each tenant shall be allowed, not to exceed one hundred square feet total per complex.

4.    On a business, multitenant building, or multibuilding complex with total frontage on the main street of more than three hundred feet, the business shall be allowed one additional freestanding sign for each three hundred feet of frontage, not to exceed one hundred fifty square feet. Each sign shall be placed one hundred fifty feet apart.

5.    Tourist oriented businesses in the immediate area of Interstate 5 (I-5) may, upon approval of the planning commission, recognizing the general intent and purposes of this chapter, and with such restrictions as the planning commission may deem advisable, have in addition one freestanding sign facing upon the freeway. In exercising this authority the planning commission need not be limited by the specific restrictions set out in this chapter.

6.    Projecting signs are permitted in lieu of freestanding signs and shall not exceed one for each business on the premises, with the sign area not to exceed fifty percent of that allowable for a freestanding sign for that business. Such sign shall not be less than eight feet above grade of the closest sidewalk, nor extend more than six feet beyond the wall of the building to which it is attached. Such sign shall not extend more than two feet above the roof line, parapet or facade of the building and shall be located at least two feet inside the curbline. Businesses located in a multibuilding complex or a multitenant building may be permitted a projecting sign in lieu of a wall sign.

G.    Wall signs, painted or other, shall be calculated by two square feet of signage for each one foot of lot frontage or business establishment frontage, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of three hundred sixty square feet per business. If any business has only a wall sign, it shall be permitted at least sixty square feet regardless of street or building frontage.

1.    In a multitenant building, any business which has an outside entrance which opens directly to the business shall be allowed a wall sign with an area equal to two square feet per one foot of length of the business facade. If the businesses located within the building do not have outside entrances, the total square footage shall be assigned on the basis of two square feet per lineal foot of main street frontage, and it shall be the responsibility of the building owner or manager to establish the signage allowed to each business.

2.    In a multibuilding complex, each building shall be allowed wall signage based on the building frontage.

3.    Signage on awnings and marquees is allowed in commercial and industrial zones of the city. Signage shall be limited to thirty percent coverage of the face of the marquee or the exposed surface of the awning. The signage area shall be calculated on the basis of the smallest rectangle, circle, or spherical figure that will enclose the entire copy area of the sign. Any such calculation shall include the areas between the letters and lines as well as the area of any devices which are intended to attract attention.

H.    Temporary signs are permitted for special functions such as grand opening or liquidation sales, and shall require a special use permit as defined in CMC 18.24.060.

I.    Paper or other temporary signs, including painted signs which can be easily removed by washing, may be affixed or otherwise attached to or displayed within glass display windows of commercial establishments and stores without the requirement of a permit being obtained therefor; provided, however, that no such sign exceeds fifty percent of the open window space, and does not exceed a maximum of seventy-five square feet.

1.    Credit card (monetary, institutional, etc.) signs, decals or emblems shall be additionally allowed but limited to twenty-four square inches, or an aggregate of ninety-six square inches per business premises.

2.    Signs which are permanently painted upon a window surface shall be treated as a wall sign and included in the total allowable sign area.

J.    Signs may be erected upon off-street parking lots which are operated in connection with stores or other places of business.

1.    Wording on the sign shall be limited to the name of the business and may include the words “Customer Parking Only,” or any combination thereof.

2.    One such sign, not larger than twenty square feet, shall be permitted at each entrance.

3.    A permit shall be required for such signs.

K.    Vacant stores shall be controlled as follows:

1.    Any owner or person entitled to possession of any vacant store is prohibited from displaying upon the windows of such vacant store any sign, lettering or printed matter, except one sign, consisting of a maximum of twelve square feet, advertising the availability of the premises, and except as otherwise allowed by this chapter.

2.    Within ninety days after a store becomes vacant, the owner of or person entitled to possession of such vacant store is required to remove all signs, lettering or printed matter, visible to the public and placed upon the premises of such vacant store by or on behalf of the previous owner or occupant.

L.    Additional signs are permitted as follows:

1.    Directional signs giving directions to motorists regarding the location of parking areas, delivery areas, access drives, and access ways, shall not exceed six square feet per sign face and shall meet the locational requirements of Chapter 20.04 CMC. Permits are not required.

2.    Real estate signs shall not exceed one for each street frontage and shall not exceed thirty-two square feet per sign face and shall not be illuminated. Permits are not required.

3.    Incidental signs shall be restricted to one per twenty-five feet of principal street frontage, shall not exceed eight square feet, and no such business shall be allowed more than four such signs. Incidental signs shall include, but are not limited to, gasoline price signs, bank interest signs, and signs advertising a specific product, or service. Such signs shall conform to the regulations of this chapter. (Ord. 2152 § 1, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 5C, 1979).

18.24.340 Existing signs.

Permanent signs which were installed legally prior to passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter and do not conform to the provisions of this chapter shall be allowed to remain as a legal nonconforming sign until the sign is removed, structurally or electrically changed, or moved.

Prohibited signs, as identified in this chapter, shall have ninety days after the effective date of this chapter to be brought into conformity with this chapter except roof signs, which shall be allowed legal nonconforming status as provided herein. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 6A, 1979).

18.24.350 Building official’s responsibilities.

A.    The building official shall establish a procedure to inventory all existing signs in the city and establish their legality.

B.    Temporary and portable signs are required to conform with the provisions of this chapter.

C.    If the building official shall find that any of the provisions of this chapter are being violated, he shall give written notice to the person responsible for such violation, and/or the owner of the premises on which the sign is displayed, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it.

D.    The building official shall order discontinuance, alteration, removal, or take any other action necessary to correct violations or ensure compliance with all of the provisions of this chapter.

E.    If the building official finds that any sign is dangerous to the public safety, he may take steps to remove the sign immediately without notification, and at the expense of the owner of the sign.

F.    Any appeal from the decision of the enforcing officer shall be made to the hearing examiner as currently provided by ordinance. All pertinent information, specific details, both graphic and written, shall be submitted with the appeal or the appeal will not be considered. (Ord. 2147 § 7, 2005: Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 6B, 1979).

18.24.360 Liability of city.

This chapter shall not be constituted to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person owning, building, altering, constructing or removing or moving any sign in the city for damages to anyone injured or damaged either in person or property by any defect therein; nor shall the city, or any agent thereof, be held as assuming such liability by reason of permit or inspection authorized in this chapter or a certificate of inspection issued by the city or any of its agents. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 7A, 1979).

18.24.370 Violation—Penalty.

A.    Any person violating any provision of this chapter, whether as principal, agent, or employee, for which violation no other penalty is prescribed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars for each sign in violation; and such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each sign of which any violation of this chapter is committed or permitted.

B.    As an alternative to the above, if the local city attorney elects to treat the sign as a public nuisance, he may do so.

C.    If the city attorney elects to call the sign a public nuisance, the public prosecutor may proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain an injunction to abate that nuisance. (Ord. 2049 § 1 (part), 2000: Ord. 1421 § 7B, 1979).