Chapter 17.58
SIGNS1

Sections:

17.58.010    Short title.

17.58.020    Statement of purpose.

17.58.030    Interpretation.

17.58.040    Definitions.

17.58.050    Sign classification.

17.58.060    Construction and design standards.

17.58.070    Murals – Standards.

17.58.080    Nonconforming signs – Provisions for amortization.

17.58.090    Administration.

17.58.100    Variances.

17.58.110    Repealed.

17.58.120    Repealed.

17.58.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the “sign code” of the city of Chelan. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.020 Statement of purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to promote the use of signs which are both functional and attractive in appearance, through a sign regulation and permit system governing all exterior signs. This system is also intended to permit such signs that will, by their size, location, design, construction, or manner of display, not endanger the public safety of individuals, obstruct vision necessary for traffic safety, or otherwise endanger the public health, safety, or general welfare. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.030 Interpretation.

If any sections of the sign code conflict, the most restrictive shall govern. If there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall govern. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.040 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall be construed as specified in this section:

A. “Abandoned sign” is a sign which represents or displays any reference to a business or use which has been discontinued for more than six months or for which no valid business license is in effect in the city.

B. “Alteration of sign” is any construction material, size, name or location change except for normal maintenance to an existing sign.

C. “Area” or “sign area” is the total area of a sign excluding the sign support structure. The area is calculated by measuring from the outside edge of the frame. (For calculating the area of a double-faced sign, only one side of the sign is to be used.) Architectural embellishments and decorative features which contain no written or advertising copy, which are not illuminated and which contain no logos or trademarks shall not be included in the sign area. Signs painted on or attached to a wall or awning are calculated by imaginary straight lines around the entire copy or grouping of letters, words, or symbols, using a maximum of eight lines.

D. “Awning” is an overhead shelter, supported entirely from the exterior walls of a building composed of a rigid supporting framework and a flexible or nonrigid covering.

E. “Building face” is the exposed building front or exposed exterior wall of a building from the grade of the building to the eave line or parapet and the entire width of the building elevation.

F. “Building side” is a surface of a building that extends more or less perpendicularly from an observer standing in front or side of a building.

G. “Canopy” is a freestanding permanent rooflike structure with support columns composed of rigid materials providing protection from the elements, such as a service station gas pump island. A portion of a canopy may be supported by an adjacent structure.

H. “Commercial” is any activity carried on for financial gain.

I. “Drive-in restaurant” or “refreshment stand” is any place or premises used for sale, dispensing, or serving of food, refreshments, or beverages to customers in automobiles, including those establishments where customers may serve themselves and may eat or drink the food, refreshments, or beverages on the premises.

J. “Eave line” is the juncture of the roof and the perimeter wall of the structure.

K. “Erect” is to build, construct, alter, display, relocate, attach, hang, place, suspend, affix any sign, and shall also include the painting of murals and wall signs.

L. “Highway frontage” is property which abuts SR 150 or Highway 97A as designated by Washington State Department of Transportation.

M. “Historical site or structure” is any structure, collection of structures and their associated sites, deemed of importance to the history, architecture or culture of an area by an appropriate local, state or federal governmental jurisdiction. Included shall be structures on official national, state or local historic registers or official listings such as the National Register of Historic Places, the State Register of Historic Places, state points of historical interest, and registers or listings of historical or architecturally significant sites, places, historic districts, or landmarks as adopted by a certified local government.

N. “Marquee” is a permanent rooflike structure composed of rigid materials providing protection from the elements, attached to and supported by the building and projecting over public or private property. This does not include a projecting roof.

O. “Material” is any wood, metal, plastic, glass, cloth, fabric, or any other substance used to construct a sign.

P. “Multiple building complex” is a group of structures housing two or more retail offices, or commercial uses sharing the same lot, access and/or parking facilities or coordinated site plan.

Q. “Multiple tenant building” is a single structure housing two or more retail, office or commercial uses.

R. “Normal maintenance” is an act of repair or other acts to prevent decline, lapse or cessation from original state or condition.

S. “Public entity” is a state, county, district, public authority, or public agency.

T. “Repair” is to renew, refresh or to restore to sound condition.

U. “Sign,” in the singular or plural, means a structure or fixture using letters, symbols, trademarks, logos or written copy that is intended to aid the establishment, promote the sale of products, goods, services, or events.

The term “sign” includes, without limitation, the following types of signs:

1. “Accessory commercial sign” includes, but is not limited to, open/closed signs, bank card signs, credit card signs, travel club signs, welcome signs and vacancy/no vacancy signs; provided, that such signs are erected in accordance with the location requirements of this chapter, and that the sign does not advertise any business or product.

2. “Animated sign” means any sign which includes the optical illusion of action or motion or color changes of all or any part of the sign facing to show or give the appearance of video or television-type pictures that required electrical energy.

3. “Awning sign” is a sign applied to or incorporated into the covering of an awning. An awning sign shall be considered a wall sign for the purposes of this chapter.

4. “Banner sign” is a sign constructed of cloth, fabric or other nonrigid material hanging from a staff, pole or frame or wall mounted. A banner sign shall be considered a temporary sign, except within the downtown planning area.

5. “Bench sign” is a sign located on any part of the surface of a bench or seat placed on or adjacent to a public right-of-way.

6. “Canopy sign” is a sign installed on the wall or side of a canopy that conceals the structural portion of the canopy roof.

7. “Commemorative plaque” is a memorial plaque or plate, with engraved or cast lettering, which is permanently affixed to or near the structure or object it is intended to commemorate.

8. “Construction sign” is a sign on the site of a construction project that identifies the project, its character or purpose and/or the architects, engineers, planners, contractors, or other individuals or firms involved.

9. “Directory sign” is a sign on which the names and locations of occupants or the use or uses of a building are given.

10. “Electronically changeable message sign” is a sign upon which graphics, symbols or words can be varied upon the face or faces of the sign.

11. “Easement sign” is an off-premises freestanding sign located within an ingress and egress easement providing access to the off-premises business and the easement specifically allows for signage. Easement signs shall obtain a conditional use permit and be limited to freestanding signs meeting the requirements of CMC 17.58.060.

12. “Flashing sign” is a sign or other advertising structure having lights or illuminations that flash, move, rotate, scintillate, blink, flicker, vary in intensity or color, or use intermittent electrical pulsations, except for time and temperature signs.

13. “Freestanding sign” is a sign permanently supported from the ground in a fixed location by a structure of poles, uprights, braces or monumental base and not supported by nor attached to a building. The base of such sign shall be located on the business property.

14. “Historically significant sign” is a sign which was installed or constructed prior to January 1, 1956, and which has been approved by the city council. Approved historical signs shall be restored and maintained in good condition.

15. “Illuminated sign” is a sign internally illuminated in any manner by an artificial light source within which the light source is not exposed.

16. “Indirectly illuminated sign” is a sign which by design is illuminated by reflection of a light source from the sign face. Such signs shall not project light from the light source across property lines, or directly towards traffic.

17. “Integral sign” is a memorial sign or tablet or name of or date of erection of a building when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible material mounted on the face of a building.

18. “Logo sign” is a sign bearing characters, letters, symbols, or characteristic design which, through trademark status or consistent usage, has become the customary identification for a business.

19. “Marquee sign” is a sign attached to fascia or on the roof of a marquee. For the purposes of this code, a sign located on the roof of a marquee shall be considered a projecting or freestanding sign and a sign located on the fascia or a marquee sign shall be considered a wall sign.

20. “Monument sign” is a type of freestanding sign supported by an internal structural framework or integrated into the landscaping or other solid structural features other than support poles.

21. “Moving sign” is a sign or other advertising structure having visible moving, revolving or rotating parts or visible mechanical movement of any kind or other apparent visible movement achieved by electrical, electronics or mechanical means, except for street clocks and time and temperature signs.

22. “Mural” is a painting applied directly to a wall or building.

23. “Nonconforming sign” is a sign located within the city limits of Chelan that was in existence prior to the effective date of the ordinance codifying this chapter which does not conform with the provisions of this chapter. Abandoned signs shall not be considered a nonconforming sign.

24. “Off-premises sign” is a sign which directs attention to a business, profession, product, activity or service which is not conducted, sold or offered on the premises where the sign is located as listed on the business license.

25. “On-premises directional sign” is a sign directing pedestrian or vehicular traffic to parking, entrances, exits, service areas, or other on-site locations.

26. “Pennants” or “streamers” are long tapering flags or strips of material used to attract attention to a business, place, or area.

27. “Political sign” is a sign identifying or expressing a political candidate or viewpoint on public issues decided by ballot.

28. “Portable sign” is a sign, excluding sandwich-board signs, that is capable of being moved easily and not permanently affixed to the ground, a structure, or a building.

29. “Projecting sign” is a sign other than a wall sign that extends horizontally from and is supported by a wall of a building or structure.

30. “Readerboard” is a sign face consisting of tracks to hold readily changeable letters allowing frequent changes of copy. A readerboard shall be considered a wall sign.

31. “Real estate sign” is a sign that advertises the real estate on which it is located for rent, lease, or sale.

32. “Roof sign” is a sign painted, erected or constructed wholly upon or over the roof of any building and supported on the roof structure; however, a sign located on a roof or a marquee shall be regarded as a projecting or freestanding sign.

33. “Sandwich-board sign” is a sign no more than forty-two inches in height and thirty inches in width and weighted to prevent it from tipping over.

34. “Shadow lighting” refers to sign composed of letters and/or images that are suspended and parallel to a wall or surface, where lighting projects from the back of the letters/images to the wall or surface, creating a shadow effect.

35. “Standing sign” is a type of freestanding sign supported by a structural post that extends from the outside edge of one or both sides of the sign.

36. “Suspended sign” is a sign which hangs below the permanent overhang, marquee or canopy extending over public or private sidewalks or rights-of-way.

37. “Temporary sign” is a sign, banner, pennant, valance, or advertising display constructed of cloth, paper, canvas, cardboard, or other light nondurable materials intended to be displayed for no more than thirty days per calendar year. Types of signs included in this category include but are not limited to: grand opening, special sales, special events, and garage sale signs.

38. “Time and temperature” is that portion of a sign intended to display only the time of day and current temperature.

39. “Wall graphic” is a wall design in which color and form are part of an overall design on the building.

40. “Wall sign” is a sign painted, attached to or erected against and parallel to the wall plane of a building or structure. A wall sign shall be confined within the limits of said wall and shall not extend more than twelve inches from the face of the wall. Awning signs shall be considered wall signs for the purposes of this code.

41. “Window sign” is a sign located on the interior of a window within one foot of the glass or located on the exterior of a window.

V. “Sign height” is the vertical distance measured from the grade below the sign to the highest point of the sign.

W. “Wall plane” is that portion of a building face which is contained on one general plane. If there is a shift in the facade forward or back, a new plane is created. A single wall plane may contain windows and doors. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1220 § 1, 2001; Ord. 1185 §§ 1, 2, 3, 2000; Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.050 Sign classification.

A. Exempt Signs. The following types of signs and devices shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter; provided, that all applicable standards or conditions specified are met:

1. Accessory commercial signs;

2. Banner signs, decorative flags, pennants, or streamers; provided they are only displayed for one thirty-day period within a calendar year and must have the date of initial posting clearly written on the face of the banner, streamer or pennant;

3. Barber poles;

4. Billboard signs located on the outfield fence of the city of Chelan parks baseball fields;

5. Commemorative plaques and integral signs;

6. Community activity signs or banner signs; provided they are installed no sooner than thirty days prior to the event or activity and removed within fourteen days of the completion of the activity or event;

7. Construction signs; provided, that there shall be only one such sign per street frontage of a building; and provided, that the area of each sign shall not exceed sixteen square feet in a residential district and thirty-two square feet in other zoning districts and that all such signs shall be removed within thirty days of completion of the building;

8. Exterior holiday or festive decoration lights; provided they are removed within three weeks following the holiday;

9. Flags and/or insignia of any government;

10. Historically significant signs;

11. Historical site or structure signs; provided they are approved by the city council. Such signs shall be a maximum of twelve square feet and nonilluminated unless allowed elsewhere in this code. Only the name of the site or structure, hours of visitation and admission charges if any shall be indicated on the sign;

12. Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings including but not limited to building names, except when such features include commercial wording, moving parts, or moving lights;

13. Menu signs for drive-in restaurants;

14. Menu signs for other than drive-in restaurants; provided, that the menu displayed is the same as that given to customers and such sign shall have a maximum size of four square feet;

15. Movie theater display cases; provided there are not more than two cases not to exceed twenty-four square feet each;

16. Murals, except any portion of a mural that meets the definition of a “sign” in Section 17.58.040(U); and provided it is approved by the city council or its designee subject to those standards set forth in Section 17.58.070;

17. Noncommercial signs bearing only property numbers, postal box numbers or names of occupants of premises;

18. Political signs; provided all such signs shall be removed no later than one week after the election to which the signs pertain;

19. Real estate signs; provided there shall be only one such sign per lot. Such signs shall not be placed where a vehicle driver’s visibility including but not limited to intersections, alleys, or driveways might be obstructed. The maximum area of the sign in residential zones shall not exceed four square feet and the height shall not exceed forty-two inches. In nonresidential zoning districts, the area of the sign shall not exceed sixteen square feet and the height shall not exceed six feet. The sign must be removed within thirty days from the date of closing;

20. Real estate sale signs for condominium projects and subdivisions; provided the maximum area of the sign shall not exceed thirty-two square feet, the height shall not exceed eight feet, and has the initial date of posting on the sign. Such signs shall be removed within five years of initial posting or sale of seventy-five percent of the total number of lots or condominium units, whichever occurs first. If there is no initial date of posting on such sign, said sign shall be a prohibited sign;

21. Signs of a public entity, including, without limitation, community service informational signs, kiosk signs, public utility information signs, traffic control signs and all signs erected by a public officer in the performance of a public duty; provided, however, that such signs shall meet the location, size and structural requirements of this chapter;

22. Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter; provided, that such signs shall not exceed six square feet in area per sign;

23. Temporary signs; provided, that such signs must be securely affixed to the surface of a building wall or window, or between existing structures, poles and/or other supports, must have the date of initial posting clearly written on the face of the sign and must be removed not later than thirty days after initial posting;

24. Time and temperature signs; provided, that the sign conforms to the height restrictions for a freestanding sign for the zoning district in which it is located;

25. Wall graphic, except that portion which contains letters, symbols, trademarks, logos, written copy, moving parts or moving lights;

26. Window signs.

B. Prohibited Signs. It is unlawful to erect or maintain:

1. Abandoned signs;

2. Animated signs;

3. Bench signs;

4. Portable signs;

5. Off-premises signs;

6. Roof signs or marquee signs which are located on, project or extend above the eave or parapet line of any portion of the building;

7. Signs in a dilapidated or hazardous condition;

8. Signs on doors, windows or fire escapes that restrict free ingress or egress;

9. Flashing signs;

10. Moving signs;

11. Signs which purport to be, are an imitation of, or resemble an official traffic sign or signal or which could cause confusion with any official sign, or which obstruct the visibility of any traffic/street sign, signal, or obstruct a vehicle driver’s visibility at, including, but not limited to, intersections, alleys, and driveways;

12. Signs attached to utility, street light and traffic control standard poles;

13. Signs on any vehicle or trailer parked as a stationary display for advertising purposes on public or private property which are visible from public rights-of-way. This provision shall not prohibit signs which are painted on or magnetically attached to any vehicle operating in the normal course of business;

14. Electronically changeable message sign, except as allowed in Section 17.58.060(B)(7).

C. Permitted Signs. Except as otherwise provided in this title, all signs shall be permitted; provided they meet all conditions and requirements established in this chapter. (Ord. 1533 § 6 (Exh. 70) (part), 2017: Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1220 § 2, 2001; Ord. 1185 §§ 4 – 7, 2000; Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.060 Construction and design standards.

A. General Requirements. All permitted signs must conform with the following sign location, size and design requirements, unless otherwise provided for in this chapter:

1. Building Coverage. Except as provided herein, signs attached to a building face including, but not limited to, wall and projecting signs shall not be located on more than two sides of any building. Exception: If the building contains an individual business or businesses with separate entrances on more than two sides of the building, signs may be located on three sides of the building. Businesses with the main entrance fronting on an alley may use the exception stated above.

2. Clearance. Clearance under the lowest point of any sign which projects out over a public walkway shall not be less than eight feet, except suspended signs which shall not be less than seven feet.

3. Lighting.

a. A sign illuminated by spotlights or indirect lighting shall be lighted in such a manner that glare from the light source is not visible to pedestrian or vehicle traffic and shall not cause glare into any residential zoning district.

b. Wiring for indirectly illuminated signs shall be installed in accordance with the current edition of the National Electrical Code.

4. Multiple Tenant Buildings. In buildings with multiple tenants, it shall be the building owner’s responsibility to assign the allowed sign size and location between tenants to comply with the sign code.

5. Signs with Opposing Faces. Signs with opposing faces one hundred thirty-five degrees or less shall be considered a two-sided sign and only one side of the sign shall be used in calculating sign size. If the opposing faces of a sign are more than one hundred thirty-five degrees, both opposing faces shall be used in calculating sign size.

6. Uniform Sign Code. All signs shall be constructed and erected in conformance with the current edition of the Uniform Sign Code, as the same now exists or as may be hereafter amended, which is hereby adopted and incorporated herein by this reference as if fully set forth.

B. Design Requirements. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, the signs specified below shall comply with the requirements set forth herein.

1. Directory Signs. In addition to all other signs allowed in this chapter, each business shall be permitted one wall directory sign not to exceed four square feet per business or use attached flush with the wall. Individual signs within an approved directory sign may be added, moved or substituted with signs for new businesses or uses without going through the design review process; provided, that the design is consistent and the provisions of the original permit are met.

2. Freestanding Signs. For buildings which are located at least ten feet or more back from any street frontage, a single freestanding sign located in the area that the building is ten feet or more from the frontage and the otherwise allowable wall signage may be substituted for the otherwise allowable signs. Any such freestanding sign shall be entirely within the yard area, shall not obstruct public walkways, and shall not be placed where a vehicle driver’s visibility might be obscured including, but not limited to, intersections, alleys, and driveways. The maximum area of freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-five square feet; provided, that parcels with more than fifty feet of frontage on any one street may increase the maximum size of the sign located on that street frontage by one square foot for each ten lineal feet of street frontage in excess of fifty feet, to a maximum size of fifty square feet. A freestanding sign may only be allowed on a lot that has at a minimum fifty feet of width at the street frontage. Corner lots and through lots shall only be allowed to calculate frontage on one street. Freestanding signs shall not exceed sixteen feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less. Flagpoles, crosses, etc., shall not be used in calculating structure height.

3. Projecting Signs. The total area of all projecting signs shall not exceed fifteen square feet or project more than five feet from the building face for an individual business. The structure around or supporting the sign, such as wrought iron work, shall not be included in the total sign area.

4. Sandwich-Board. Sandwich-board signs may be placed in front of the business establishment the sign is advertising during business hours only. It shall be placed adjacent to the curb; provided, that such sign shall not be placed in any location which obstructs visibility or creates blind spots at intersections or obstructs pedestrian or vehicular travel. Sandwich-board signs shall be limited to one per business, shall not exceed forty-two inches in height and thirty inches in width, shall be painted or finished with a sealer, and shall be nonilluminated.

5. Suspended Signs. One suspended sign may be substituted for a projecting sign; provided it does not exceed six square feet, twelve inches in height or six feet in length.

6. Wall Signs. The maximum area for the total of all permitted wall signs for any single wall plane shall not exceed ten percent. This shall include all window and door areas and shall be measured from the sidewalk or ground line to the building eave line or parapet.

7. Electronically Changeable Message Sign. Such signs may be permitted on properties zoned PLF subject to the sign size and location restrictions applicable to the sign type, e.g., wall, projecting, freestanding, directory, etc.

C. Exceptions to Design Requirements. The following are exceptions to the design requirements set forth in subsection B of this section.

1. Gas Stations. Gas stations shall be limited to a maximum of two of these signs: canopy, wall, freestanding, or projecting. Gas station canopy signs are allowed a maximum area of fifty square feet per side on any two sides and a business symbol, not to exceed twelve square feet, may be allowed on a third side. For gas stations with highway frontage, freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-five feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less. The maximum area shall be fifty square feet for all freestanding and projecting signs. For gas stations without highway frontage, freestanding signs shall not exceed sixteen feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less. The maximum area shall be twelve square feet. Only one freestanding sign shall be allowed per business property or parcel. The maximum area of projecting signs shall be fifteen square feet. Flagpoles, crosses, etc., shall not be used in calculating structure height.

2. Highway Frontage. Only the following signs may be located within highway frontage located outside of the downtown planning area (see Figure 1 below) and shall conform to the following standards:

a. Projecting and Freestanding Signs. Projecting and freestanding signs shall be allowed with a maximum area of fifty square feet for all projecting and freestanding signs. More than one freestanding sign shall be allowed; provided freestanding signs are spaced a minimum of fifty feet apart. The maximum area for all projecting and freestanding signs shall be fifty square feet; provided, that parcels with more than one hundred feet of frontage on any one street may increase the maximum size of the sign(s) located on that street frontage by one square foot for each ten lineal feet of street frontage in excess of one hundred feet, to a maximum sign(s) size of seventy-five square feet.

Freestanding signs shall be spaced a minimum of fifty feet apart. Freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-five feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less. Flagpoles, crosses, etc., shall not be used in calculating structure height.

b. Directory Signs. The same requirements apply as set forth in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

c. Sandwich-Board Signs. The same requirements apply as set forth in subsection (B)(4) of this section.

d. Wall Signs. The same requirements apply as set forth in subsection (B)(6) of this section.

3. Lake Frontage. For buildings with frontage on Lake Chelan, an additional freestanding or projecting sign shall be allowed on the lake frontage; provided, that the total area of all freestanding and projecting signs shall not exceed fifty square feet per business or use.

4. Motels. For motels with more than one hundred feet of street frontage, an additional projecting sign, not to exceed thirty-two square feet, shall be allowed.

5. Zoning Districts.

a. T-A District. In the T-A District, freestanding signs are allowed up to fifty square feet and not exceeding twenty-five feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less.

6. Mobile Home Parks. Signs and advertising devices shall be prohibited in a mobile home park except as follows:

a. One identifying sign at the entrance of the mobile home park which may be indirectly lighted but shall be nonflashing and which shall not exceed thirty-two square feet in area and six feet in height.

b. Directional or information signs for the convenience of tenants and the public relative to parking, office, traffic movement, etc.; provided such signs are not larger than two square feet in area.

c. A sign within the buffer or the setback area along a public or private road shall be no more than forty-two inches in height.

7. Residential Development, Residential Subdivision and Planned Development Identification Signs. Provided that such signs give only the name and street address of the development or subdivision, residential development, residential subdivisions and planned development signs shall be placed at the entrance to the development or subdivision and shall not obstruct visibility, create blind spots or obstruct pedestrian travel. Signs shall be a maximum of fifty square feet, and shall not exceed four feet in height. Signs shall be limited in number to one per development or subdivision entrance. If lighting is installed, said lighting shall be shielded and directional. The term residential development shall include condominium developments.

8. Conditional Use Permit Requirements. For those zoning districts within this title wherein the following are specified as conditional uses, the following requirements shall be met:

a. Bed and Breakfast. Signs in residential districts shall not exceed twelve square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed ten feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. Only one sign shall be allowed on any site or structure. Signs in all other districts are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

b. Churches. Signs in residential districts shall not exceed a total of eighteen square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed ten feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. Signs in all other districts are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

c. Gas Stations. Gas station signs shall be limited to a maximum of two of these signs: canopy, wall, freestanding, or projecting. Gas station canopy signs are allowed a maximum area of fifty square feet per side on any two sides and a business symbol, not to exceed twelve square feet, may be allowed on a third side. Freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-five feet in height or the highest point of the structure, whichever is less. Flagpoles, crosses, etc., shall not be used in calculating structure height.

d. Historical Sites or Structures. Historical site or structure signs in residential districts shall not exceed twelve square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed ten feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. The sign shall include only the name of the site or structure, hours of visitation and admission charges, if any. Only one sign shall be allowed on any site or structure. Signs in all other districts are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

e. Home Occupations. Home occupation signs in residential districts shall not exceed four square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed six feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. Only one sign shall be allowed and said sign shall be nonilluminated. Signs in all other districts shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

f. Motels. Motel signs in residential districts shall not exceed a total of twelve square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed fifteen feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. Signs in all other districts are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

g. Public and Commercial Parking Lots. Public and commercial parking lot signs in residential districts shall not exceed twelve square feet in area. Freestanding signs shall not exceed fifteen feet in height and shall be located within the property boundaries. Only one sign shall be allowed for each off-street parking area and said sign shall be nonilluminated. Signs in all other districts are subject to the provisions of this chapter.

9. Nonconforming Uses. For those zoning districts in which nonconforming uses have been permitted, there shall be no commercial advertising except one nonilluminated sign not exceeding four square feet in area or six feet in height and such sign shall be located within the property boundaries.

10. Downtown Planning Area. Signs within the downtown planning area (see Figure 1 below) shall also comply with the following standards below:

Figure 1. Downtown planning area.

a. Building Coverage. Storefront buildings may include a sign or signs on any building face, provided the signs meet applicable standards herein.

b. Sign Illumination. Except for gas station signs, neon sign projecting or window signs, and signs with shadow lighting, internally illuminated signs within the downtown planning area are prohibited.

Figure 2. Acceptable (neon – left image and shadow lighting – center image) and unacceptable (back-lit box sign) sign lighting.

c. Freestanding Signs. For buildings which are located at least ten feet or more back from any street frontage, a single freestanding sign may be located in the front yard per the following requirements:

 

Freestanding Sign Requirements1,2

Monument Sign

Standing Sign3

Height Limit

42'' to 6'

6'

Maximum Sign Area

20 – 40 sf4

16 sf

Minimum Setback

2' from back of existing or planned sidewalk

2' from back of existing or planned sidewalk

Landscaping5

1 sf landscaping per 1 sf of sign face

1 sf landscaping per 1 sf of sign face

Minimum Frontage

50'

50'

Notes:

1.    A minimum lettering height of six inches for the primary business name and three inches for secondary business names is recommended for readability.

2.    Buildings on corner lots may have one sign per street frontage provided the signs are separated by at least one hundred fifty feet (measured in a straight line). Corner lots may use different street frontages separately in terms of calculating maximum monument sign area.

3.    Standing signs shall include a wood, metal, or other similar and durable material for framing and support. Standing signs shall utilize two support legs. No internal sign lighting is permitted.

4.    The maximum area of freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty square feet; provided, that parcels with more than fifty feet of frontage on any one street may increase the maximum size of the sign located on that street frontage by one square foot for each ten lineal feet of street frontage in excess of fifty feet, to a maximum size of forty square feet.

5.    Landscaping includes a decorative combination of ground cover and shrubs to provide seasonal interest in the area surrounding the sign. Landscaping shall be well maintained at all times of the year. The planning manager may reduce the landscaping requirement where the signage incorporates stone, brick, or other decorative materials.

Figure 3. Acceptable examples of monument and standing signs.

d. Projecting Signs. Projecting signs shall meet the standards set forth in subsection (B)(3) of this section plus: Projecting signs shall not cover or conflict with windows or other substantial architectural features of a building, as determined by the director.

e. Banner Signs. Banner signs shall comply with projecting sign requirements set forth in this section, except:

i. Projection. No more than four feet from the building facade.

ii. Number of Signs. Multiple banner signs are permitted on a facade provided they use consistent spacing/placement and bracket design and meet other applicable standards herein.

Figure 4. Banner sign examples.

f. Suspended Signs. One suspended sign is permitted for each business in a storefront building provided they meet all the following requirements:

i. Projection. Suspended signs shall have one foot minimum between the sign and the outer edge of the marquee, awning, or canopy and between the sign and the building facade.

ii. Clearance. Suspended signs shall maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet between the walkway and the bottom of the sign.

iii. Vertical Dimension. Suspended signs shall not exceed one foot in height.

Figure 5. Suspended sign examples.

g. Wall Signs.

i. Size. The maximum area for the total of all permitted wall signs for any single wall plane shall not exceed ten percent. This shall include all window and door areas and shall be measured from the sidewalk or ground line to the building eave line or parapet.

ii. Location and Design.

(A) Location. Wall signs shall be centrally located per the architectural features on the facade. Wall signs shall extend no wider than eighty percent of the width of the facade or storefront space. For example, most buildings are designed with specific areas of the building intended for signage – applicants shall utilize these areas for signage. Signs shall not cover over windows or other significant architectural features, as determined by the director. Where there is more than one tenant on the facade, signs should be centered above the storefront space, where architectural features allow. For multi-story buildings with upper level commercial tenants, signs may be located on applicable upper levels provided they meet applicable standards herein.

(B) Shape/Design. Applicants are encouraged to design and shape signs consistent with the architectural features of the facade. For example, rounded signs can look out of place in rectangular spaces unless they are centered or proportioned to fit the space. See Figures 6 and 7 for good and bad examples, respectively.

(C) For buildings built prior to 1950, applicants are encouraged to find historical photos (prior to 1950) to find appropriate examples of signage for the subject building.

(D) Maximum Height. Wall signs may not extend above the building parapet, soffit, the eave line or the roof of the building. Except for signs identifying the name of the building, wall signs shall not be placed above the second floor of any buildings featuring more than two stories.

(E) Mounting. Wall signs must be mounted plumb with the building, with a maximum protrusion of one foot unless the sign incorporates sculptural elements or architectural devices. The sign frame must be concealed or integrated into the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials.

(F) Lettering. The maximum height for lettering is three feet. The maximum height for logos is four feet. Greater heights for lettering and logos may be approved by the director when designed proportional to the building facade.

Figure 6. Examples of wall signs located, sized, and shaped compatible with the facade.

Figure 7. Unacceptable wall sign examples. These signs are out of scale with the facades and appear to cover over historical architectural features.

iii. Signs located on fire walls on the side of storefront buildings shall not include internal illumination.

Figure 8. Acceptable fire wall sign example.

(Ord. 1533 § 6 (Exh. 71) (part), 2017: Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1185 §§ 8, 9, 10, 2000; Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.070 Murals – Standards.

(Reserved)

17.58.080 Nonconforming signs – Provisions for amortization.

A. Purpose. The ultimate purpose of any zoning or land use regulation is to confine certain classes of buildings to certain localities and to restrict other uses. The continued existence of those which are nonconforming are inconsistent with these goals, and therefore nonconforming buildings and uses should be reduced to conformity as completely and quickly as possible without causing substantial injustice.

The city council recognizes that, absent specific regulations, nonconforming uses may tend to flourish. It is not the city’s intent that nonconforming signs continue in perpetuity. For this reason, the city has continued the amortization process which started with the adoption of a ten-year amortization period contained in Chelan Ordinance No. 789.

The city council finds there are reasonably priced alternatives to the maintenance of nonconforming signs and the periods for amortization listed below will provide owners of existing nonconforming signs with a reasonable opportunity to obtain other alternative signs and a period to amortize the reasonable economic life and use of any existing nonconforming signs.

B. Notice. The city will provide written notice of the expiration of the amortization period, as noted above, to the person responsible for said sign(s) at their last known address and provide notice to the owner of the property on which the sign is located. The city will utilize the tax assessor’s office to find the latest, updated address for the property owner. Said notice will be provided by mail, postmarked no later than thirty days prior to the cut-off date provided for in this section for request for consideration/extension (seven months prior to expiration of amortization period), unless extenuating circumstances as determined by the city require otherwise.

C. Request for Consideration/Extension. The city has established the time periods stated in subsection B of this section with the understanding that these time periods, along with the ten-year period established pursuant to Chelan Ordinance No. 789, provide a reasonable time period to recover the life expectancy of most signs. However, the city recognizes there may be special, unusual circumstances that may fall outside of those parameters.

1. Any person aggrieved by the imposition of the amortization clause may request a review of such application of the clause. The request for review shall be filed with the city not later than six months prior to the expiration of the amortization period. The review shall be heard by the board of adjustment pursuant to Chapter 2.15.

2. The aggrieved applicant has the burden of establishing the unreasonableness of the amortization period and must provide evidence showing the particular period is unreasonable.

3. The board of adjustment shall consider such things as lease obligations, life expectancy of the nonconformance, depreciation and the actual amount invested in the nonconforming sign. The board of adjustment shall also consider alternative uses available to the applicant to bring the design into compliance. The board of adjustment shall not consider replacement costs or fair market value in determining the value to the applicant.

4. The board of adjustment shall also consider the benefit to the public that is derived from the termination of the nonconformance, including: the concern for safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic; whether distracting signs may serve to break the concentration of those using the roads with the result of loss of life or property; or the location of the sign so as not to impair the safety of a moving vehicle by obscuring the driver’s vision. In addition, the board of adjustment is to consider the promotion of public safety, the promotion of aesthetic values and the interest of the general welfare.

5. The board of adjustment shall consider the preservation and improvement of the city’s physical environment, natural amenities and desirable characteristics of the city, as set forth in the city’s land use regulations. The board of adjustment may consider any combination of these legitimate public concerns; however, the board of adjustment may not rely solely upon the promotion of the aesthetic values to the city in supporting the amortization period.

6. The board of adjustment shall conduct a balancing of interest, considering the interest and hardship to the applicant, and whether the hardship to the applicant reasonably outweighs the benefit the public would derive from the termination of the nonconformance. If after careful consideration, the board of adjustment finds the amortization period as applied to the applicant’s nonconformance would result in a greater hardship to the applicant than benefit to the public, the board of adjustment may extend the amortization period to a point in time, where the balancing of interests would support the termination of the nonconformance. In no event shall this amortization period be greater than three additional years.

D. Loss of Nonconforming Status. A nonconforming sign shall immediately lose its nonconforming designation if:

1. The sign is altered in any way or moved;

2. The business changes ownership;

3. The sign is replaced; or

4. Any new sign is erected or placed in connection with the enterprise using the nonconforming sign.

On the happening of any one of subsections (D)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section, the sign shall no longer be designated a nonconforming sign and the administrator shall notify the sign user, sign owner or owner of the property upon which the sign is located of cancellation of the designation and the sign shall immediately be brought into compliance with this chapter and a new sign permit secured therefor, or shall be removed within ten days of notification. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.090 Administration.

A. Permit Requirement. No sign governed by the provisions of this chapter shall be erected, altered or relocated from and after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter without a permit issued by the city.

B. Permit Applications. Application for a sign permit shall be made by the owner or tenant of the property on which the sign is to be located, or his authorized agent. Such application shall be made in writing on forms furnished by the city. Only fully completed applications shall be accepted.

The application for a sign permit shall be accompanied by the following plans and other information:

1. The name, address and telephone number of the owner or person entitled to possession of the sign and of the sign contractor or erector;

2. The location by street address of the proposed sign structure;

3. A drawing shall be submitted along with the sign permit application. This drawing shall be on paper capable of being folded for storage in an eight and one-half by eleven inch file, and shall become the property of the city. The drawing shall include the following:

a. An accurate drawing, to a scale appropriate for showing all detail, of the sign including all mounting structures and devices,

b. An accurately scaled drawing of all building faces to be signed, including the scaled outlines of all existing and proposed signs, in the case of wall and projecting signs,

c. An accurately scaled site plan, showing the location of building(s), street(s), and sign(s) in the case of freestanding signs.

C. Application Fees. An application fee shall be paid to the city and shall accompany an application for sign permit. The application fee shall be set by resolution of the city council.

D. 1. Enforcement Authority. The sign code shall be administered and enforced by the city administrator or his/her designee.

2. Administration. All signs in the city requiring a permit shall be reviewed by the administrator who shall consider the proposed general design, arrangement, size, lighting, placement and appropriateness of the proposed sign in relation to other signs and other structures on the premises and contiguous area in keeping with the intent of this chapter. The administrator shall approve or deny the permit. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.100 Variances.

A. Any person may apply to the board of adjustment for a variance from the requirements of this chapter. The sign variance shall be processed in the same manner as set forth in Chapter 17.64 as now exists or as may be hereafter amended. A fee will be charged based on processing costs as provided for city council resolution. In making any favorable decision on a variance application, the board of adjustment must adopt findings of fact and conclusions based on those findings shown to meet the criteria set forth in Chapter 17.64.

B. Application for a variance on the same grounds shall not be heard within one year of the date of the board of adjustment’s decision. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.110 Appeals.

Repealed by Ord. 1502. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).

17.58.120 Enforcement and sign removal.

Repealed by Ord. 1502. (Ord. 1417 § 3 (Exh. B) (part), 2011: Ord. 1022 § 13 (part), 1995).


1

Prior legislation: Ords. 768, 789 and 892.