Chapter 33.57
SIGNS

Sections:

33.57.010    Goals and intent.

33.57.020    Definitions.

33.57.030    Certificate of compliance.

33.57.040    Commercial and Industrial sign standards.

33.57.050    Residential/Resource zoning district sign standards.

33.57.060    Exempt signs.

33.57.070    Prohibited signs.

33.57.080    Nonconforming signs.

33.57.090    Signage visible from a scenic highway.

33.57.100    Variances.

33.57.110    Review of Administrator’s action (appeals).

33.57.120    Severability.

SOURCE:    ADOPTED:

Ord. 694    06/13/00

33.57.010 Goals and intent.

(1) The goals of these sign regulations are:

(a) To encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication in the County;

(b) To maintain and enhance the visual environment and the County’s ability to attract sources of economic development and growth;

(c) To minimize excessive lighting in rural Clallam County along designated scenic highways;

(d) To maintain and enhance scenic views along the County’s scenic highways;

(e) To improve traffic and pedestrian safety and to eliminate distractions to vehicle drivers;

(f) To minimize the adverse effect of signs on nearby public and private property;

(g) To ensure compliance with the Scenic Vistas Act and the Growth Management Act; and

(h) To enable the fair and consistent enforcement of these sign regulations.

This chapter is adopted under the zoning authority of the County in furtherance of the more general purposes set forth in this title.

(2) It is the intent of this chapter that signs may be erected, placed, established, painted, created or maintained in the County only in conformance with the standards, procedures, exemptions and other requirements of this chapter. The intent of this chapter, as more specifically set forth herein, is:

(a) To permit a variety of types of signs in commercial and industrial zones and a limited variety of signs in other zones, subject to the standards of this chapter;

(b) To permit certain signs which are small, unobtrusive, and incidental to the principal use of the lots on which they are located; provided, that these types of signs are not portable signs which often cause safety problems due to blockage of vehicle/pedestrian sight lines and are further subject to the substantive requirements of this chapter;

(c) To bring existing, nonconforming signs which exceed an area/height/number cap set in this chapter into compliance with these standards after a set period of time in order to further the goals and intent set forth in this chapter;

(d) To prohibit signs not expressly permitted by this chapter; and

(e) To provide for monitoring and compliance with the provisions of this chapter. This chapter distinguishes between signs by their structural type and duration of use but to the maximum extent possible does not distinguish between signs by their content. Certain types of signs are classified as temporary if they are only up for a short and specified period of time. Signs required by law, public signs required for safety, and public signage, the purpose of which is to inform the traveling public of public roadside facilities, are exempt from the ordinance requirements.

33.57.020 Definitions.

Except where specifically defined herein, all words used in this chapter shall carry their customary meanings. Words used in the present tense include the future, and the plural includes the singular. The word “shall” is mandatory; the word “may” denotes a use of administrative discretion in making a decision. The words “used” or “occupied” shall be considered as though followed by the words “or intended, maintained, arranged or designated to be used or occupied.”

(1) “Abandoned sign” means a sign that, for a period of more than six (6) months, no longer correctly identifies, exhorts, or advertises any person, business, lessor, lessee owner, product or activity conducted or available on or off the premises on which the sign is located. Signage on a property which is continuously listed for sale or lease shall not be considered abandoned for a period of six (6) months after which it shall be considered abandoned and subject to conformance with this chapter.

(2) “Administrator” means the Director of the Clallam County Department of Community Development or his/her designee.

(3) “Advertising” means to announce publicly by emphasizing a printed notice or to call public attention to desirable qualities so as to arouse a desire to buy or patronize. This also includes logos, borders, backgrounds and accents.

(4) “Building frontage” means the linear frontage of a building facing an abutting public or private street. When a building fronts on multiple streets, the building frontage shall be the one building front that would result in the greatest linear frontage.

(5) “Community event sign” means a temporary informational sign that pertains exclusively to a specific upcoming event sponsored by a nonprofit organization or by a governmental entity and is removed soon after the event.

(6) “Construction sign” means a temporary informational sign that identifies the architect, engineers, contractors, suppliers or grant agencies involved in construction project or announces the character of the building and is removed soon after completion of construction.

(7) “Election sign” means any sign which serves to influence, is intended to influence, or appears to be of the type which is commonly erected to influence, an election or ballot proposition.

(8) “Facade sign” means a sign which is attached parallel to and within nine (9) inches of the wall of a building, or vertical face of an awning or parapet which is supported by and confined within the limits of such wall, awning or parapet and which displays only one sign surface. “Facade sign” also include signs affixed to (within nine (9) inches at one point) or painted on an awning, canopy or roof so long as they do not extend above the primary roofline or more than eight (8) feet from the outside edge of the building. Soft drink dispensing machines will be considered a facade sign if located within nine (9) inches of the building.

(9) “Flashing sign” means a sign or a portion thereof which changes light intensity or switches on and off in a repetitive pattern at less than one-minute intervals, or uses electrical energy to provide motion or the optical illusion of motion.

(10) “Freestanding sign” means a sign which is supported by permanent uprights, pole or braces to the ground and which is not connected to a building.

(11) “Grade” means the average elevation of the natural ground surface immediately below the sign before construction, exclusive of any filling, berming, mounding or excavating solely for the purpose of locating the sign; and provided, that when the elevation of the natural ground surface of a freestanding/monument sign is below the grade of the edge of the adjacent roadway, then the height of a freestanding or monument sign shall be measured from the grade at the outer edge of the roadway nearest the proposed sign location.

(12) “Grand opening sign” means a temporary sign of no more than thirty (30) days’ duration announcing the new opening of a store or a complete change in ownership or product line sold.

(13) “Illuminated sign” means any sign illuminated in any manner by an on-site artificial light source.

(14) “Monument sign” means a ground-related, freestanding sign which is attached to the ground or to its base on grade by a solid sign structure and which structure extends from the ground or base to the sign face at the same or greater width as the sign face. Signs on fences are considered a form of monument sign.

(15) “Multiple-business complex” means a group of structures housing at least two (2) separate businesses or agencies operating under separate State tax numbers, or a single structure containing more than one business with separating walls and at least one outside or inside access for each business which shares a common lot, access and/or parking facility operating under separate State tax numbers.

(16) “Multiple-business complex sign” means a sign that is designated to identify a multiple business complex including directory signs for businesses within the complex.

(17) “Mural” means an outdoor wall painting on a building which consists exclusively of paint applied to the wall or to framework attached within nine (9) inches of the wall and which contains no advertising.

(18) “Noise” means any intended or unintended sound created by the sign or its installed equipment which exceeds forty (40) decibels as measured from the nearest point adjacent to the property or place of business, whichever is closer.

(19) “Nonconforming sign” means any sign in existence within the County on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter which does not conform with the provisions of this chapter, but which did conform to all applicable laws in effect on the date the sign was originally erected.

(20) “Portable sign” means any moveable sign which is not permanently affixed to the ground or a structure or building. This definition includes movable reader boards, outdoor soft drink dispensers located farther than nine (9) inches from a building and sandwich boards that are placed so as to be seen from public right-of-ways.

(21) “Primary roofline” means the roofline under which a majority of the square footage of the business is located.

(22) “Real estate sign” means a temporary sign advertising real estate for sale, rent or lease.

(23) “Sign” means any object, device, fixture, placard, banner, structure or portion thereof, including any letters, figures, design, symbol, trademark or device that uses any color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol or writing intended to advertise, announce the purpose of, or identify the purpose of a person or entity, or to attract attention to any message, activity, service, place, subject, person, firm, corporation, public performance, article, machine or merchandise or to communicate information of any kind to the public, and which is visible from any right-of-way open to the public. Lighting that highlights an architectural feature of a building and does not consist of lettering, symbols or graphics shall not be considered a sign.

(24) “Sign area” means the entire face of the sign, including advertising surface, backlit surface, and any framing, trim or molding but does not include the supporting structure. Sign area is measured by multiplying the maximum horizontal width by the maximum vertical width. The surface area of a sign painted on a wall, awning or roof shall be measured by multiplying the maximum width of the copy by the maximum length of the copy. Sign areas may also be calculated by measuring the smallest square, circle, rectangle, triangle or combination thereof that will encompass the extreme limits of the advertising copy, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the background of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the backdrop or structure against which it is placed, including an awning. Supportive framework which contains no written copy or other advertising and is clearly incidental to the display itself shall not be included in sign area calculations; provided, that the sign support structure shall be the minimum necessary to support the sign. For the purpose of this chapter the total sign area of any two (2) faced sign with parallel faces or V-type sign having an interior angle of forty-five (45) degrees or less shall be calculated as the area of the larger of the two (2) faces or one face if equal in size. All other multiple-faced or paneled signs shall be the total area of all faces or panels combined.

(25) “Sign surface” means any surface of a sign upon which there is lettering or other advertising.

(26) “Sign height” means the vertical distance from grade to the highest point of a sign or any projection thereof.

(27) “Sign structure” means any structure that supports or is capable of supporting any sign as defined in this chapter. A sign structure may be a pole or poles, or may be an integral part of a building. Structures that perform a separate use, such as a telephone booth, bus shelter, recycling or used goods container, etc., shall not be considered a sign structure. Sign structures shall be the minimum necessary to support the sign and shall not depict any product being advertised.

(28) “Street” means a public or private way open to the general public for the purpose of vehicular traffic, including all classes of roadways and easements.

(29) “Temporary sign” means a nonpermanent sign intended for use for a short period of time, which includes election signs, construction signs, real estate signs, grand opening signs, community event signs and residential yard sale signs.

(30) “Under common ownership” describes a situation where one person, corporation, legal entity or related legal entities owns contiguous properties occupied by closely related businesses in which case these businesses will be considered to be one business, operating on one property for the purpose of applying this chapter (i.e., a car dealership may cover multiple contiguous parcels and have several related businesses on these parcels but shall be considered to be “under common ownership” for the purpose of interpreting the provisions of this chapter).

(31) “Vehicular signs” are signs affixed or painted on work vehicles, tractor-trailers, busses, vans or other vehicles.

33.57.030 Certificate of compliance.

A certificate of compliance for a sign is used to track sign installations for record keeping and to ensure all signs erected after passage of this chapter are in conformance with the chapter. No sign may be erected within the areas of the County under Clallam County jurisdiction without a certificate of compliance obtained from the Clallam County Department of Community Development unless it is a temporary sign or an exempt sign (CCC 33.57.080). No nonconforming sign maintenance, except exchanging the area of existing advertising copy for a business not changing land use category or repainting to freshen faded or damaged advertising copy shown on the face of the sign for a business not changing land use category or changing lighting tubes/bulbs with bulbs of the same or lesser intensity, is allowed without a certificate of compliance.

33.57.040 Commercial and Industrial sign standards.

There are only four (4) basic types of signs that are used by business and industry. Those four (4) types include signs that are attached to the building (facade), signs that are set apart from the building (freestanding/monument), vehicular signs and temporary signs that are needed when certain conditions are met. Any sign that cannot be configured to qualify as one of these four (4) sign types and is not an exempt sign is prohibited in all zones. The time, place, number and manner regulations of these four (4) types of signs is as follows:

(1) The total area of signage attached to any face of the building(s) in one or more facade signs shall not exceed the square footage limit for a facade signage of one square foot of sign area for each linear foot of building frontage facing a single public or private road. No facade sign may extend above the primary roofline or project more than eight (8) feet from the roofline edge of the building. For multiple-business complexes each business within a plaza may have one facade sign attached to the commercial structure that is limited to one square foot of sign area per linear foot of each businesses building frontage.

(2) A freestanding sign or monument sign within a commercial or industrial zone shall be limited to one sign for each area of land under common ownership that is not the site of a multiple-business complex. This one sign (either freestanding or monument) shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet of sign area and shall not exceed ten (10) feet in height above grade. For multiple-business complexes, one freestanding sign or one monument sign may be used to advertise the plaza or complex name and the businesses within the complex. This sign shall be limited to one sign not exceeding the signage area limit of 100 square feet and whose height shall not exceed ten (10) feet in height above grade.

(3) Vehicular signage visible from a State scenic and recreational highway shall be limited to thirty-two (32) square feet and vehicular signage shall be set back from the lot line or right of public use line that fronts on the State scenic and recreational highway a minimum of fifty (50) feet. Firm identification signage and other signage at the minimum sizes required by State or federal law on commercial/industrial vehicles shall not be calculated as part of the thirty-two (32) square foot signage limitation. Work vehicles making a delivery or making a service call away from the home base of the business are not subject to this provision, as the purpose of this provision is to prevent vehicular signs from being used as a form of long-term freestanding sign. Likewise, local franchise holders for national moving van companies are not subject to the square footage limitation of this provision, as the local franchise holder has no control over the size of signage on the vehicles.

(4) When the conditions for a temporary sign are met, one temporary sign may also be allowed on a commercial/industrial property. Conditions present to qualify for a temporary sign would include the sale of property/business, a grand opening, construction of a business, and when advertising a community event. Such signage is limited to one unlit thirty-two (32) square foot sign that shall not exceed five (5) feet in height above grade.

(5) Externally illuminated signs shall not exceed background area average illumination levels when measured five (5) feet beyond any vertical surface of the sign; lighting fixtures shall be carefully located, aimed and shielded so that light is only directed on to the sign surface with a light source that is not directly visible from the adjacent roadway. Internally illuminated signs using 800 milliamp ballasts shall not have lamps spaced closer than twelve (12) inches apart or if using 425 milliamp ballast shall not be closer than six (6) inches apart.

(6) Commercial/Industrial zoning includes the following zoning districts

Zone Name    Zoning Symbol

Light Industrial    LI

Industrial    M

Commercial    GC

Tourist Commercial    TC

Western Region Rural Center    WRC

Urban Center    UC

Urban Regional Commercial    URC

Urban Neighborhood Commercial    UNC

Rural Center    CEN

Rural Limited Commercial    RLC

Rural Neighborhood Commercial    RNC

Carlsborg Commercial    CC

Rural Village    RV

Rural Commercial    RC

Sequim General Retail District    S(GC)

Sequim Light Manufacturing    S(LM)

Sequim Bypass Commercial    S(BC)

Sequim Neighborhood Commercial    S(NC)

33.57.050 Residential/Resource zoning district sign standards.

There are only four (4) basic types of signs that are used in residential/resource zones. Those four (4) types include signs that are attached to the building (facade), signs that are set apart from the building (freestanding/monument), vehicular signs and temporary signs that are needed when certain conditions are met. Any sign that cannot be configured to qualify as one of these four (4) sign types and is not an exempt sign is prohibited in all zones. The time, place, number and manner regulations of these four types of signs is as follows:

(1) Freestanding, monument and facade signage in Residential/Resource zoning districts, regardless of use, is limited to one unlit sign of one type with a maximum of six (6) square feet of signage; and provided, that within a Commercial Forest zoning district (CF) the maximum sign size is twenty (20) square feet of signage.

(2) If the one sign allowed is a freestanding sign or monument sign, it shall not exceed five (5) feet in height above grade and shall be unlit.

(3) Vehicular signage visible from a County road or State scenic and recreational highway shall be limited to a total of thirty-two (32) square feet and vehicular signage shall be set back from the lot line or public right of use line that fronts on the State scenic and recreational highway a minimum of 100 feet. On parcels that predate the effective date of this chapter that cannot meet the 100-foot vehicular sign setback due to lack of lot depth, vehicular signs can be parked within twenty (20) feet of the lot line farthest from the scenic and recreational highway. Firm identification signage and other signage at the minimum sizes required by State or federal law on commercial/industrial vehicles shall not be calculated as part of the thirty-two (32) square foot signage limitation. Work vehicles making a delivery or making a service call away from the home base of the business are not subject to this provision, as the purpose of this provision is to prevent vehicular signs from being used as a form of long-term freestanding signs.

(4) When the conditions for a temporary sign are met, one temporary sign may also be allowed on a Residential/Resource property. Conditions present to qualify for a temporary sign would include property/home sale and when advertising a community event. Such signage is limited to one unlit six (6) square foot sign for a property/home sale, construction sign and community event and shall not exceed five (5) feet in height above grade.

(5) Residential/Resource Zoning includes the following zoning districts

Zone Name    Zoning Symbol

Urban Moderate Density    MD

Urban Very Low/Urban Low Density    VLD/LD

Urban Low Density    LD

Urban Very Low Density    VLD

Urban Residential Low    URL

Urban Residential High    URH

Rural Low Mixed    RLM

Rural Character Conservation 3    RCC3

Rural Character Conservation 5    RCC5

Quillayute Residential    QR

Western Regional Rural    RW1

Rural    R1

Rural Suburban Community    RSC

Western Regional Rural Moderate    RW2

Rural Moderate    R2

Western Regional Rural Low    RW5

Rural Low    R5

Rural Very Low    R20

Commercial Forest/Mixed Use 5    CFM5

Commercial Forest/Mixed Use 20    CFM20

Commercial Forest    CF

Agricultural Retention    AR

Public Land    P

Airport Overlay District    AO

Open Space Overlay/Open Space Corridors    OS

Sequim Urban Residential – I    S(R-I)

Sequim Urban Residential – II    S(R-II)

Sequim Urban Residential – III    S(R-III)

Sequim Urban Residential – IV    S(R-IV)

Sequim Mixed Use    S(MU)

33.57.060 Exempt signs.

The following types of signs shall be exempt from the standards established within this code and from the certificate of compliance requirements of this chapter; provided, that any standards in this section are met:

(1) Official notices authorized by a court, public body or public safety official, provided they are removed within seven (7) days after conclusion of the subject of notification;

(2) Directional, warning or information signs authorized by federal, State or municipal governments or signs required by law not exceeding 200 square feet of sign area and twenty (20) feet in height. Directional signs located within State or County right-of-way shall be administered by State standards for directional signs and, if within Clallam County right-of-way, shall be administered by the Motorist Informational Sign Ordinance, Chapter 9.21 CCC;

(3) Memorial plaques, building identification signs and building cornerstones which are cut or carved into a masonry surface or when made of noncombustible material and made an integral part of the building or structure. Plaques, tablets, or inscriptions indicating the name of a building, its date of erection, or other commemorative information, which are an integral part of the building structure or are attached flat to the face of the building, and which are not illuminated, except incidentally from light sources used for other purposes;

(4) Sculptures, murals, landscape features, fountains, mosaics, religious symbols, and design features which do not incorporate advertising or identification;

(5) The flag of a government or noncommercial institution such as a school;

(6) Traffic or pedestrian control signs or signals, or 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/her public duty;

(7) Exterior signs or displays not visible from streets or ways open to the public;

(8) “No trespassing,” “no dumping,” “no parking,” “private,” and other informational warning signs which shall not exceed four (4) square feet in surface area and eight (8) feet maximum height above grade;

(9) Commercial or residential address signs with lettering not exceeding twelve (12) inches in height and newspaper boxes located within ten (10) feet of an existing commercial/industrial building; and

(10) Election signs no greater than thirty-two (32) square feet in area and five (5) feet in height above grade.

33.57.070 Prohibited signs.

The following signs or displays are prohibited, except as otherwise specifically allowed within this chapter. Prohibited signs are subject to removal by the County at the owner’s or user’s expense.

(1) Signs which, by reason of their size, location, movement, content, coloring or manner of illumination may be confused with or construed as a traffic control sign, signal, or device, or the light of an emergency or radio equipment vehicle; or which obstruct the visibility of any street sign or signal device;

(2) Signs identifying activities, products, businesses or services which have been discontinued for more than six (6) months on the premises upon which the signs are located;

(3) Private signs on public utility poles;

(4) Portable signs, due to fact that they are often placed where they block safety sight lines of motorists pulling into or out from a business or within safety sight triangles on corner lots;

(5) Signs erected, altered or relocated without a permit issued by the County or any other governmental agency that requires a permit under law;

(6) Signs that rotate or have a part or parts that move or revolve shall not be permitted in any zone except for the face of a clock less than six (6) square feet in size;

(7) Signs or advertising displays consisting of clusters of posters, banners not affixed to a building wall, pennants, ribbons, streamers, strings of lights other than holiday lights used exclusively for decorative purposes, spinners, twirlers or propellers, flashing signs, rotating or blinking lights, chasing or oscillating lights, light projections on other natural or manmade surfaces, television type video, flares, balloons, inflatable signs, bubble machines and similar devices of carnival nature, or containing elements creating sound greater than 40 decibels as measured from the nearest adjacent property or business boundary shall not be permitted in any zone;

(8) Signs within the public right-of-way unless erected by Clallam County or the State of Washington.

33.57.080 Nonconforming signs.

It is the intent of this section to ensure that nonconforming signs of exceptional size and height are reduced in size and height in accord with this section and to ensure that nonconforming signs are retrofitted into conforming signs as expeditiously and fairly as possible while avoiding any unreasonable invasion of established property rights. The following standards apply to nonconforming signs:

(1) Residential/Resource Zones.

(a) Existing, legally erected, nonconforming freestanding signs greater than 128 square feet in area and/or taller than fifteen (15) feet shall be reduced to this standard (128 square feet in area/fifteen (15) feet in height).

(b) A property whose commercial use predates the existence of a zoning code in Clallam County shall be able to retain one existing, legally erected, nonconforming freestanding sign between thirty-two (32) square feet and 100 square feet in area and fifteen (15) feet in height but any sign larger than this standard shall be reduced to this standard. All existing, legally erected, nonconforming facade signage may be retained but shall not be enlarged in area or changed in location.

(c) All existing, legally erected, nonconforming, freestanding signs not covered in subsections (1)(a) or (1)(b) of this section which are greater than twenty (20) square feet in area and/or taller than five (5) feet shall be reduced to this standard.

(2) Commercial/Industrial Zones.

(a) Existing, legally erected, nonconforming, freestanding signs greater than 128 square feet in area and/or taller than fifteen (15) feet shall be reduced to this standard (128 square feet in area/fifteen (15) feet in height).

(b) A property with one or more existing, legally erected, nonconforming, freestanding sign(s) larger than 128 square feet covered by subsection (2)(a) of this section, that also has a secondary sign larger than thirty-two (32) square feet but smaller than 128 square feet may retain such secondary, existing nonconforming, freestanding sign; provided, that if it is greater than sixty-four (64) square feet in size and fifteen (15) feet in height then it must be reduced to this standard.

(c) A property with no existing, legally erected, nonconforming, freestanding sign(s) larger than 128 square feet may retain one existing, legally erected, nonconforming freestanding sign between thirty-two (32) square feet and 100 square feet in size and fifteen (15) feet in height but any sign larger than this standard shall be reduced to this standard if a single sign or the standards below if more than one sign exceeds this standard.

(d) All existing nonconforming, freestanding signs not covered in subsections (2)(a), (2)(b) or (2)(c) of this section shall be reduced to the new sign standard of thirty-two (32) square feet in area and ten (10) feet in height.

(e) All existing, legally erected, nonconforming facade signage erected prior to the passage of the 1993 sign code may be retained but shall not be enlarged in area or changed in location.

(3) Clallam County passed a comprehensive sign code in 1993. Since the 1993 sign code did not require nonconforming signs to come into compliance, all owners of legally erected, nonconforming signs have already had at least seven (7) years to amortize their signs. Nonconforming signs which must be brought into conformance with the area and/or height standards of this chapter may elect to do so after an amortization period that begins either, on the date of the original sign building permit and runs for a term of one year for every $1,000 of project value claimed on the original sign building permit, or alternatively, two (2) years from the effective date of this chapter whichever is greater.

(4) Any sign which was nonconforming under the sign code adopted in 1993 (formerly Chapter 9.26 CCC) or under this code that has been enlarged shall be subject to conformance with the standards of this code without the amortization periods provided in subsection (3) of this section for legally established nonconforming signs after the notice specified in this title is provided to the owner. If the enlarged portions of the sign are not removed within the period specified in the notice, the entire sign becomes a prohibited sign subject to immediate conformance with the area and height requirements of this code.

(5) Any sign erected after the passage of the 1993 sign code (formerly Chapter 9.26 CCC) that was a prohibited sign under the 1993 sign code shall be subject to removal by the County after the notice specified in this title is provided to the owner.

(6) Properties with nonconforming signage shall only be allowed to erect new or replacement signage requiring a certificate of compliance after bringing an equivalent number of nonconforming signs on the property into conformance with the standards of this chapter.

(7) A change in commercial or industrial land use as determined from review of land uses listed for each zone or change in a conditional use or a change of use under Section 3405 of the Uniform Building Code shall require all signage to come into conformance with the new sign standards of this chapter.

(8) Nonconforming signs which have had the entire sign face area taken down to the ground as a result of natural disaster or which are removed as a result of loss of lease or are removed as a result of a construction project shall not be re-erected without bringing them into conformance with this chapter. No work on an undamaged, existing nonconforming sign that brings such sign into greater conformance with this code shall be considered to be a sign removal requiring conformance with the standards for new signage.

(9) A sign or sign structure removed by the County shall be held not less than thirty (30) days after notice to the owner by the County during which period it may be recovered by the owner upon paying the County for cost of removal and storage, and upon payment of any imposed fine. If not recovered within the thirty (30) day period, the sign or sign structure is hereby declared abandoned and title thereto shall be vested in the County for disposal in any manner permitted by law.

(10) All existing illuminated signs, other than facade signs, located in Rural Commercial, Rural Limited Commercial and Rural Neighborhood Commercial zoning districts and which:

(a) Are within 600 feet of the outer boundary of a designated scenic and recreational highway; and

(b) Do not advertise a business that is open during the entire time the sign is illuminated, shall be allowed a five (5) year amortization period after which lighting to these signs must be set by timer to be off when the business closes in order to further the goal in CCC 33.57.010(1)(c).

(11) To encourage the retrofit of nonconforming signs to the standards of this chapter, Clallam County establishes an incentive program to assist owners of such signs. The County will make available, on a competitive basis, the total sum of $30,000 for a program to assist the owners of nonconforming signs to replace or retrofit such signs into a sign that meets the standards of this code. The $30,000 County funding set aside for this program may also be used as a match to scenic byway grant funding available to remove outdoor advertising signs.

33.57.090 Signage visible from a scenic highway.

A permit or other written approval is required from the Washington State Department of Transportation prior to review of certain types of sign permits by Clallam County for those areas within 600 feet of a designated scenic and recreational highway to show conformance with the Scenic Vistas Act and the Highway Advertising Control Act (Chapter 468-66 WAC).

33.57.100 Variances.

Applications for a variance from the standards established by this code shall be processed as Type III permits as set forth in Chapter 26.10 CCC and the review criteria outlined in Chapter 33.30 CCC, Variances. Variances shall not be permitted for modification to the number of signs and sign types specified in this chapter. Sign size variances shall not exceed 10 percent of the standard required unless it can be demonstrated that the sign qualifies as a community landmark sign and must show that the increase is required to allow the sign owner to purchase a standardized sign required by a national manufacturer who does not offer signs in a conforming size. A sign size (area) variance of less than 10 percent in area that meets the preceding criteria shall be processed as a Type II administrative variance as set forth in Chapter 26.10 CCC. Sign height variances over the 10 percent limit are available to those business owners that can demonstrate that their nonconforming sign qualifies as a community landmark sign. A community landmark sign must predate the effective date of this code by at least 20 years, have advertised the same business under the same name for all of that time, have become an important cultural landmark to County residents and would be difficult to retrofit to the nonconforming sign standard without destroying the unique character of the sign.

33.57.110 Review of Administrator’s action (appeals).

Any person aggrieved by the granting, denying or rescinding of a decision of the Administrator made under this chapter may seek review from the Hearing Examiner in accordance with Chapters 33.33 and 26.10 CCC. The request must be in writing setting forth the basis of the appeal and must be accompanied by the appropriate fees outlined in Chapter 5.100 CCC.

33.57.120 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter or the application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.