Chapter 15.24


15.24.010    Adopted.

15.24.020    Title, scope and enforcement.

15.24.030    Administration.

15.24.040    Definitions and abbreviations.

15.24.050    Permits, fees and inspections.

15.24.060    Signs permitted in R-1, R-2, and R-3 zones.

15.24.070    Construction.

15.24.080    Projection into public right-of-way.

15.24.010 Adopted.

There is adopted for the purpose of regulation of the size, placement and design of exterior signs within the city an ordinance compiled and printed, known and described as “city of Clarkston sign ordinance.” [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999.]

15.24.020 Title, scope and enforcement.

(1) This chapter shall be known as the “city of Clarkston sign code,” may be cited as such, and will be referred to herein as “this code.”

(2) The purpose of this code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, quality of materials, construction, location, electrification, and maintenance of all signs and sign structures not located within a building.

(3) No sign shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view or interpretation of any official traffic sign, signal or device.

The regulations of this code are not intended to permit any violation of the provisions of any other lawful ordinance. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code §§ S-101, S-102.]

15.24.030 Administration.

(1) Definitions of Sign, Advertising Sign, Business Sign and Illuminated Sign.

(a) “Sign” means any structure, or part thereof, or any device attached to a structure, or painted, or represented on a structure, which shall display or include any letter, work, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, announcement, direction or advertisement. A sign includes any poster panel, painted bulletin and/or billboard. A sign does not include flags, pennants, insignia of nations or states, or political units, or political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious organizations, or campaigns of a similar nature, movement, drive or event. A sign shall not include a similar structure or device located within a building.

(b) “Advertising sign” means a sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment, or other services, materials or subject matter conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the same zoning lot with the sign.

(c) “Business sign” means a non-illuminated sign which directs attention to a business or profession conducted or related to products sold upon the same zoning lot on which, or in which, the sign is located.

(d) “Illuminated sign” means either a business sign or an advertising sign designed to give forth an artificial light or designed to reflect such light deriving from any source which is intended to cause such light or reflection. A “flashing sign” is an illuminated sign on which the artificial light is not maintained stationary and constant in intensity and color at all times when in use.

(2) Authority. The building official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all the provisions of this code.

(3) Right of Entry. Upon presentation of proper credentials, the building official or his duly authorized representatives may enter at reasonable times any building, structure or premises in the city to perform any duty imposed upon him by this code.

(4) Board of Appeals. In order to provide for reasonable interpretation of the provisions of this code there is hereby established a board of appeals as provided in the Uniform Building Code, Volume I.

(5) Violation Deemed Civil Infraction – Penalties – Forfeitures. Any person or entity which violates the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and for each violation shall be fined not to exceed the sum of $500.00. In lieu of a court appearance any person charged with having committed a civil infraction prohibited by the provision set forth in this section may forfeit to the Asotin County district court a penalty in the sum of $50.00.

For a second infraction of the same provision occurring within a 12-month period, the amount of the penalty forfeiture shall increase to $100.00. For a third and subsequent infraction of the same provision within a 12-month period, the amount of the penalty provisions shall increase to $150.00. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code § S-103.]

15.24.040 Definitions and abbreviations.

For the purpose of this code, certain abbreviations, terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall be construed as specified in this section. Words used in the singular include the plural, and the plural the singular.

“Approved plastic materials” shall be those specified in the UBC, Chapter 26, which have a flame-spread rating of 225 or less and smoke density not greater than that obtained from the burning of untreated wood under similar conditions when tested in accordance with the UBC, Chapter 26, in the way intended for use. The products of combustion shall be no more toxic than the burning of untreated wood under similar conditions.

“Board of appeals,” when used in this code, shall mean the hearings examiner for the city of Clarkston.

“Building official” is the officer or other person charged with the administration and enforcement of this code or his duly appointed deputy.

“Combination sign” shall mean any sign incorporating any combination of the features of pole, projecting and roof signs.

“Curb line” shall be the line at the face of the nearest street or roadway. In the absence of a curb, the curb line shall be established by the public works director.

“Display surface” is the area made available by the sign structure for the purpose of displaying the advertising message.

“Electric sign” shall mean any sign containing electrical wiring, but not including signs illuminated by an exterior light source.

“Fin sign” shall mean a sign which is supported wholly by a one-story building or an open-air business or by poles placed in the ground or partly by such a pole or poles and partly by a building or structure.

“Ground sign” shall mean a billboard or similar type of sign which is supported by one or more uprights, poles, or braces in or upon the ground other than a combination sign, fin sign or pole sign, as defined by this code.

“Incombustible material” is any material which will not ignite at, or below a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit during an exposure of five minutes, and which will not continue to burn or glow at that temperature. Tests shall be made as specified in the UBC.

“Legal setback line” is a line established by ordinance beyond which no building may built. A legal setback line may be a property line.

“Nonstructural trim” is the molding, battens, caps, nailing strips, latticing, cutouts or letter and walkways which are attached to the sign structure.

“Plastic materials” are those made wholly or principally from standardized plastics listed and described in UBC, Chapter 26.

“Pole sign” shall mean a sign wholly supported by a sign structure in the ground.

Portable Display Surface. A “portable display surface” is a display surface temporarily fixed to a standardized advertising structure which is regularly moved from structure to structure at periodic intervals.

“Projecting sign” shall mean a sign other than a wall sign, which projects more than 18 inches from the wall and is supported by a wall of a building or structure.

“Projection” means the distance by which a sign extends over public property or beyond the building line.

“Roof sign” shall mean a sign erected upon or above a roof or a parapet of a building or structure.

“Sign” is any medium including its structure and component parts, which is used or intended to be used to attract attention to the subject matter for advertising purposes other than paint on the surface of a building.

Sign Structure. A “sign structure” is any structure which supports or is capable of supporting any sign as defined in this code. A sign structure may be a single pole and may or may not be an integral part of the building.

“Structure” is that which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece or work artificially built up or composed of parts jointed together in some definite manner. The size of a sign shall be determined as follows:

(a) Freestanding Sign. Limited to one per street frontage. The height of freestanding signs is limited to 35 feet. Freestanding signs exceeding 35 feet shall be subject to the variance process. Freestanding signs are limited to a sign area of two square feet for each foot of lot frontage, with a maximum size of 200 square feet.

(b) Total Sign Area. Within commercial and industrial zones, the total surface area of all signs shall not exceed two square feet for each lineal foot of lot frontage, with a maximum of 200 square feet. In the event a building has frontage on two or more streets, the property owner shall be given the option of selecting one street frontage for the purpose of computing allowable sign area.

“Temporary sign” shall include any sign, banner, pennant, valance, or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard, wallboard, or other light materials, with or without frames; intended to be displayed for a limited period of time only.

“Uniform Building Code” means the Uniform Building Code as adopted by the Clarkston Municipal Code, Chapter 15.04.

“Wall sign” shall mean any sign attached to or erected against the wall of a building or structure, with the exposed face of the sign in a plane parallel to the plane of said wall.

(a) Wall signs may not project more than 18 inches from the wall to which they are attached. On an alley frontage, no wall sign shall project below a height of 15 feet above the grade below.

(b) Where a building houses only one business, a maximum of three wall signs may be placed on one wall, but no more than four wall signs may be placed on the entire building. The display surface area of all wall signs on any one wall shall not exceed 10 percent total area of the wall on which they are located.

(c) Where a building houses more than one business, wall signs shall be limited in number to one wall sign per business on a wall with a limit of two wall signs per business per building. The size of any one business sign shall be no larger than 60 square feet, with the display surface area of all wall signs on any one wall not exceeding 10 percent total area of the wall on which they are located. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code § S-201.]

15.24.050 Permits, fees and inspections.

(1) No sign shall hereafter be erected, re-erected, constructed, altered, or maintained except as provided by this code and a permit for the same has been issued by the building official. A separate permit shall be required for a sign or signs for each business entity, and/or a separate permit for each group of signs on a single supporting structure.

(2) Application for a sign permit shall be made in writing upon forms furnished by the building official. Such application shall contain the location by street and number of the proposed sign structure, as well as the name and address of the owner and the sign contractor or erector. All sign permit applications shall be accompanied by an engineer-approved drawing from a licensed sign contractor, showing wind speed. The building official may require other pertinent information where in his opinion such information is necessary to ensure compliance with this code. Standard plans may be filed with the building official.

(3) The following signs shall not require a sign permit. These exceptions shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility of its erection and maintenance, and its compliance with the provisions of this code or any other law or ordinance regulating the same.

(a) The changing of the advertising copy or message on a painted or printed sign only. Except for theater marquees and similar signs specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy, electric signs shall not be included in this exception.

(b) Painting, repainting or cleaning of an advertising structure or the changing of the advertising copy of message thereon shall not be considered an erection or alteration which requires sign permit unless a structural change is made.

(c) Sidewalk signs located on 12-foot-wide sidewalks and placed only on the outer four feet adjacent to the street. Sidewalk signs shall be no larger than three feet by three feet in dimension. Sidewalk signs are not to be displayed other than during normal business hours.

(4) A sign permit fee and a plan-checking fee shall be based on a total valuation of the sign structure. The fee will be assessed according to the building permit fee schedule, as established in the Uniform Building Code.

(5) All signs, together with all of their supports, braces, guys and anchors shall be kept in repair and in a proper state of preservation. The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or posted at all times.

(6) All signs for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the building official. Footing inspections may be required by the building official for all signs having footings. All signs may be re-inspected at the discretion of the building official.

(7) All signs containing electrical wiring shall be subject to the provisions of the governing electrical code and the electrical components used shall bear the label of an approved testing agency.

(8) The building official may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with provisions of subsection (5) of this section. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code §§ S-301 – S-308.]

15.24.060 Signs permitted in R-1, R-2, and R‑3 zones.

(1) One sign of not more than six square feet pertaining to the sale, lease or rental of the property on which the sign is displayed; providing, that if said property faces more than one street, one sign shall be allowed on each street frontage. Each such sign shall be located not nearer than 10 feet to adjoining premises, nor nearer than five feet to a street line.

(2) One unlighted sign of not more than six square feet giving the name of the occupant and his profession or business.

(3) One bulletin board of not more than 20 square feet permitted for charitable, educational or religious institutions.

(4) Two utility signs not over two square feet each denoting “Entrance” or “Exit” if necessary for that purpose.

(5) One temporary sign of not to exceed 10 square feet in area giving the name of the contractors, engineers, and/or architects during a construction period. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code § S-401.]

15.24.070 Construction.

(1) General. The supports for all signs or sign structures shall be placed in or upon private property and shall be securely built, constructed and erected in conformance with the requirements of this code.

(2) Materials. Materials of construction for signs and sign structures shall be of the quality and grade as specified for buildings in the Uniform Building Code.

(3) In all signs and sign structures, the materials and details of construction shall, in the absence of specified requirements, conform with the following:

(a) Structural steel shall be of such quality as to conform with UBC, Chapter 2208-2209. Secondary members in contact with or directly supporting the display surface may be formed of light-gauge steel, provided such members are designed in accordance with the specifications of the design of light-gauge steel as specified in UBC, Chapter 2208-2209, and in addition shall be galvanized. Secondary members, when formed integrally with the display surface, shall be not less than No. 24 gauge in thickness. When not formed integrally with the display surface, the minimum thickness of the secondary members shall be No. 12 gauge. The minimum thickness of hot-rolled steel members furnishing structural support for signs shall be one-quarter inch, except that, if galvanized, such members shall be not less than one-eighth inch thick. Steel pipes shall be of such quality as to conform with UBC, Chapter 2208-2209. Steel members may be connected with one galvanized bolt, provided the connection is adequate to transfer the stresses in the members.

(b) Anchors and supports when of wood and embedded in soil, or within six inches of the soil, shall be pressure-treated with an approved preservative. Such members shall be marked or branded by an approved agency.

(c) Restrictions on Combustible Materials. Ground signs may be constructed of any material meeting the requirements of this code. Combination signs, roof signs, wall signs and projecting signs on marquees shall be constructed of non-combustible materials, except as provided in subsection (3)(d) of this section. No combustible materials other than approved plastics shall be used in the construction of electric signs.

(d) Nonstructural trim and portable display surfaces may be of wood, metal, approved plastics or any combination thereof.

(e) Anchors. Members supporting unbraced signs shall be so proportioned that the bearing loads imposed on the soil in either direction, horizontal or vertical, shall not exceed the safe values. Braced ground signs shall be anchored to resist the specified wind (70 mph) or seismic load acting in any direction. Anchors and supports shall be designed for safe bearing loads on the soil and for an effective resistance to pullout amounting to a force 25 percent greater than the required resistance to overturning. Anchors and supports shall penetrate to a depth below ground greater than that of the frostline.

Portable ground signs supported by frames or posts rigidly attached to the base will be adequate to resist the wind pressure specified in this chapter.

Signs attached to masonry, concrete or steel shall be safely and securely fastened thereto by means of metal anchors, bolts or approved expansion screws of sufficient size and anchorage to support safely the loads applied.

No wood blocks or plugs or anchors with wood used in connections with screws or nails shall be considered proper anchorage, except in the case of signs attached to wood framing.

No anchor or support of any sign shall be connected to, or supported by, an unbraced parapet wall, unless such wall is designed in accordance with the requirements for parapet walls specified for seismic zones in the Uniform Building Code.

(f) Approved Plastics. The building official shall require that sufficient technical data be submitted to substantiate the proposed use of any plastic material and, if it is determined that the evidence submitted is satisfactory for the use intended, he may approve its use.

(g) Clearance from Fire Escapes, Exits or Standpipes. No sign or sign structure shall be erected in such a manner that any portion of its surface or supports will interfere in any way with the free use of any fire escape, exit or standpipe.

(h) Obstruction of Openings. No sign shall obstruct any openings to such an extent that light or ventilation is reduced to a point below that required by this code.

(i) Signs erected within five feet of an exterior wall in which there are openings within the area of the sign shall be constructed of noncombustible material or approved plastics. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code §§ S-501, S-502.]

15.24.080 Projection into public right-of-way.

(1) General Provisions.

(a) No part of any private structure or any appendage thereto shall project beyond the property line of the building site, except that signs, marquees and awnings may project into public right-of-way when constructed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The projection of any sign, structure or appendage shall be the distance measured horizontally from the property line to the outermost point of the projection.

(i) Clearance from Street. Signs, marquees or awnings shall maintain a minimum horizontal clearance of not less than four feet from the curb line or edge of pavement, but in no case shall project more than two-thirds of the horizontal distance from the property line to the curb line or edge of pavement.

(c) The clearance of any sign, structure or appendage shall be the distance measured vertically from the grade of the sidewalk, curb or centerline of the street, whichever is highest, to the lowest point of the projection.

(i) Clearance above Grade. Signs, marquees and awnings shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of not less than eight feet above the sidewalk, curb or centerline of the street.

(ii) Clearance from Aboveground Utilities. Signs, marquees and awnings shall maintain minimum clearance from aboveground utility lines in accordance with the National Electrical Safety Code.

(iii) Obstruction of Traffic Control Devices. Signs, marquees and awnings shall not visually or otherwise interfere with the function or purpose for which the device was installed.

(iv) Any projection into the right-of-way shall be supported entirely by a building or other structure located outside of the right-of-way.

(v) No sign, marquee or awnings shall project into any public alley below a height of 14 feet above grade, nor project more than 12 inches where the structure is located 14 to 16 feet above grade. The sign, marquee or awning may project not more than 36 inches into the public alley where the structure is located more than 16 feet above grade. [Ord. 1313 § 1, 1999. Sign Code § S-601.]