Chapter 18.11
SIGN CODE

Sections:

18.11.010    Purpose.

18.11.020    Applicability.

18.11.030    Exempt from sign standards.

18.11.040    Prohibited signs.

18.11.050    Permanent commercial signs.

18.11.060    Temporary commercial signs.

18.11.070    Temporary noncommercial signs.

18.11.080    Front Street temporary banner.

18.11.090    Nonconforming signs.

18.11.100    General sign standards and administration.

18.11.110    Variances.

18.11.120    Definitions.

18.11.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards of design, placement, size, renovation, and proper maintenance of all exterior visible signs and sign structures within the City of Issaquah to:

A.    Contribute to the economic vitality of the community;

B.    Encourage signs that are both functional and attractive, and that clearly respond to the needs of the public in locating a residence or business establishment as well as general wayfinding;

C.    Ensure that signage is compatible with the unique character and natural beauty of Issaquah and its neighborhoods;

D.    Recognize the role signs have in creating a visually interesting and attractive place as well as contributing to good overall urban design, while avoiding visual distraction, clutter, chaos, obstructions, and an overly busy public environment;

E.    Implement the goals and vision of the “Mountains to Sound Greenway” and Chapter 47.42 RCW (Scenic Vistas Act) by managing the type, location, and proliferation of signage that may be visible from I-90;

F.    Provide signs that are pedestrian and bicycle oriented;

G.    In the Cultural and Business District Zone (CBD), encourage signage that is compatible with historical and cultural Downtown Issaquah CBD. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.020 Applicability.

This chapter is applicable to all signs erected or maintained on properties or rights-of-way within the City of Issaquah, except for areas with active development agreements that have their own sign standards. On any property, except the right-of-way, signs may only be established as an accessory use to a principally permitted use. Signs may not be the principal use on any property.

This chapter is not intended to and may not be interpreted to restrict noncommercial speech based on its content, viewpoint, or message. This chapter may not be construed to favor commercial speech over noncommercial speech in comparable circumstances. A commercial sign may contain a commercial or noncommercial message. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.030 Exempt from sign standards.

The following signs are exempt from the standards outlined in this chapter but may be subject to regulation under federal law, state law, or other chapters of the Issaquah Municipal Code:

A.    Signs required by local, state, or federal rule, regulation, or law.

B.    Government signs, which are signs installed by the City, county, state, Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Eastside Fire and Rescue, federal governmental agency, or other governmental agency for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and general welfare. This includes emergency or warning signs, traffic and directional signs, wayfinding or gateway signs erected and maintained by the City of Issaquah, public service information signs (defined as a sign that indicates danger and/or service and safety information), and any other sign placed for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare.

C.    Art that does not contain text or logos is not considered to be a sign and is not subject to standards in this chapter except when the art contains a logo, slogan, advertising message, company name, or contact information. Painted wall designs or patterns which do not represent a product, service, or registered trademark, and which do not meet the definition of a sign, are not considered signs.

D.    Signs not visible by the public from any location designated or designed for public travel, use, or public gathering, even if on private property. Additionally, any sign which is located in a building and which is clearly intended to be visible primarily to people located in the building; however, commercial message signs within three (3) feet of a window that are meant to be viewed from the right-of-way or an area open to the public are not exempt and are treated as window signage.

E.    Any sign on a vehicle, except when such vehicle is prominently visible from the public right-of-way or other public realm and is parked in that location for the primary purpose of attracting public attention to the sign. See IMC 18.11.040, Prohibited signs.

F.    Minor, Nonelectrified, and Unilluminated On-Site Signs:

1.    Commercial Signs:

a.    Balloons less than eighteen (18) inches in diameter with messages;

b.    “Credit available” signs less than two (2) square feet in size;

c.    Unit occupied signs less than one (1) square foot;

d.    Posters in cases related to uses and activities on the property;

e.    Umbrellas with messages.

2.    Residential nameplate signs less than two (2) square feet in size.

3.    Permanent Noncommercial Signs:

a.    Standard traffic and pedestrian signs, less than four (4) square feet in size, allowed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUCTD), and directed by a traffic engineer to assist traffic and pedestrians on private property;

b.    Memorial signs, defined as a sign, tablet, or plaque memorializing a person, event, structure, or site, less than six (6) square feet and limited to one (1) per street frontage. Typical memorial signs contain names and dates related to the person, event, structure, or site, and are unrelated to any current tenant or use, except when the tenant or use meets the minimum landmark length of forty (40) years. See example of a memorial sign below.

(Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.040 Prohibited signs.

Except when provided for in this chapter, no person may erect, alter, maintain, or relocate any of the following signs or sign features in the City and such existing signs must be removed consistent with IMC 18.11.100(C), Removal of Signs. Violators may be subject to the penalty provisions in Chapter 8.45 IMC, Enforcement.

A.    Abandoned signs. A sign which no longer identifies or advertises a bona fide business, lessor, service, owner, product, or activity, and/or for which no legal owner can be found. When a City inspector determines the maintenance, control, or safety of a sign is not being sustained, the sign is deemed abandoned and it must be removed.

B.    Animated signs. Digital or moving signs except approved reader boards in Community Facilities Zones, or as specifically allowed by this chapter.

C.    Billboard signs. A billboard sign is defined as a large permanent sign designed or used for high-visibility display of sign copy which is typically not associated with the property upon which the sign is placed. Billboards typically have a wood or steel sign structure with one (1) or two (2) sign faces oriented to major traffic routes. Billboards are larger than permitted pole signs and may include catwalks.

D.    Blinking signs or signs with flashing lights. Any illuminated sign or sign containing blinking, flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights, except the time and temperature portion of a sign.

E.    Cabinet signs. A cabinet sign is defined as a sign contained completely within a box, frame, or similar enclosure. Box signs are typically backlit with a plastic or plexi-glass face. They are also called box or can sign. See example below.

F.    Feather signs. A feather sign is defined as a feather banner sign, or a feather flag made of fabric, plastic, or similar material. It is attached to a flexible or rigid pole on one (1) side.

G.    Flags larger than sixty (60) square feet.

H.    Fuel price signs that are movable. See IMC 18.11.050(H) for definition of “fuel price sign.”

I.    Highway advertising. No person may erect or maintain a sign in violation of the Highway Advertising Control Act or the Scenic Vistas Act, Chapter 47.42 RCW.

J.    I-90 facing signs. No sign that is inconsistent with the restrictions of IMC 18.11.050(A)(4)(a) is allowed.

K.    Internally illuminated/backlit awning and canopy signs where light shines through the material.

L.    Illuminated signs that allow beams and illumination to shine upon a street, highway, sidewalk, or that project a sign onto the street, highway, or sidewalk using such beam or illumination.

M.    Large inflatable objects that are signs. A large inflatable object is defined as a large balloon or balloon-like object, greater than eighteen (18) inches in any dimension, that uses blown air or any gas to keep it inflated (except with a special event permit).

N.    Laser lights and search lights (except with a special event permit).

O.    Monument signs not in compliance with IMC 18.11.050(E), including the following:

1.    Any monument sign exceeding ten (10) feet in sign height.

2.    Monument signs in areas which do not meet the conditional criteria for that area.

P.    Natural features and street furniture with signs. Signs, balloons, or devices affixed or painted on street furniture, trees, rocks, or other natural features, which do not have a permit as a permanent sign.

Q.    Parked vehicles, trailers, or carts with signs. Signs along a public right-of-way which are attached, painted, or otherwise affixed to parked vehicles, trailers, or carts and are visible from a public right-of-way are prohibited except when the vehicle or trailer is any of the following:

1.    An authorized government vehicle;

2.    Being temporarily loaded or unloaded;

3.    On private property where the business is located; and must be all of the following:

a.    Within one hundred (100) feet of the space occupied by the business being promoted. See illustration below;

b.    Parked for a period not exceeding twenty-four (24) consecutive hours;

c.    Promoting a business with a valid City business license;

d.    Parked consistent with marked parking stalls.

4.    On private property where the vehicle is being operated as an outdoor vendor, consistent with IMC 18.11.060(B)(7).

R.    Primary use. No permanent sign may be located on a lot, parcel, or easement as the principal use of that lot, parcel, or easement.

S.    Readerboard sign. Includes electronic readerboard signs, except:

1.    Manual readerboards allowed with marquee signs;

2.    Readerboards allowed as electronic community facility readerboards;

3.    Readerboards which are already in place and are legal nonconforming.

T.    Readerboards, portable.

U.    Reflective material in signage including highly reflective metallic finishes, sequin studded materials, or fluorescent colors.

V.    Revolving signs or signs with movable parts except barber poles and numerical signs indicating parts of clocks or thermometers.

W.    Roof signs, except as otherwise allowed in this chapter. A roof sign is defined as a sign erected or constructed wholly upon and over the roof of any building and supported solely on the roof structure. Signs standing out horizontally from a mansard roof are considered wall signs.

X.    Strings of pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners, mylar balloons, or other similar moving or fluttering devices, or moving or revolving devices of a carnival-like nature.

Y.    Temporary signs attached to or posted on permanent signs.

Z.    Traffic hazard or public nuisance signs, including the following:

1.    Signs with advertising copy which imitate official traffic signs, or signals, or use such words as “stop,” “look,” “danger,” “caution,” “warnings,” or “go slow”;

2.    Signs that may confuse motorists or detract from any legal traffic control device as determined by the Director;

3.    Signs on or within medians, roundabouts, traffic circles, the clear view sight distance triangle of intersections (see IMC 18.11.100(F)), and any sign placed in such a manner that it obscures the vision of a motorist as determined by the Director.

AA.    Utility or public street features with signs. Signs, balloons, or devices affixed to or painted on the following locations within the public right-of-way or public property:

1.    Utility poles;

2.    Street sign poles;

3.    Traffic signal equipment and poles;

4.    Garbage receptacles;

5.    Benches;

6.    Bridges;

7.    Railings and railing supports;

8.    Boardwalks;

9.    Fences;

10.    Retaining walls;

11.    Bus shelters and other types of street furniture.

BB.    Any off-site sign. An off-site sign is defined as a sign relating, through its message and content, to a business activity, use, product, or service not available on the site on which the sign is erected, including any sign located on any property other than that property on which the business is located, except as specifically permitted in this chapter.

CC.    Signs located on a railroad right-of-way or land that was previously a railroad right-of-way and is now used for public purposes, except for governmental signs.

DD.    Commercial signs or messages attached to wireless communication facilities or construction cranes.

EE.    No sign may be in or over a public right-of-way with the following exceptions:

1.    Signs specifically permitted by this chapter to be in the right-of-way;

2.    Signs which meet the requirements of Chapter 12.05 IMC;

3.    Signs which are allowed by a special event or special use permit;

4.    Signs as described in this chapter as necessary to be in the right-of-way are listed in Table 18.11.040(EE). If there is a conflict between this table and the sign design type standards, the sign design type standards prevail.

Table 18.11.040(EE) – Signs Permitted in the Right-of-Way 

Signs Permitted in the Right-of-Way, Consistent With Provisions of This Chapter

Where in This Chapter

A-frames

18.11.060, Temporary commercial signs

Awning or canopy

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Banners on poles

18.11.070, Temporary noncommercial signs

Business District kiosks

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Directional, informational, interpretative markers

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Follow-through

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Front Street banner

18.11.080, Front Street temporary banner

Garage sale

18.11.060, Temporary commercial signs

Marquee

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Monument

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Neighborhood/District identification

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

General right-of-way

18.11.070, Temporary noncommercial signs

Outdoor vendor

18.11.060, Temporary commercial signs

Pedestrian-oriented

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Projection

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

Real estate (directional arrows, open house)

18.11.060, Temporary commercial signs

Wall

18.11.050, Permanent commercial signs

(Ord. 2979 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.050 Permanent commercial signs.

A.    General Standards for Permanent Commercial Signs:

1.    Permit:

a.    Except when a permit is not required per subsection B of this section, applicants must obtain all other applicable permits associated with the proposed sign before constructing or installing the desired sign. Other applicable permits may include, but are not limited to, building permits, electrical permits, and right-of-way use permits, unless the sign is specifically exempted below. To demonstrate compliance with these and other applicable codes and laws, an applicant may be required to provide additional information and drawings.

b.    Applicants may submit a sign package containing multiple signs associated with a business or project; however, they must pay more than one (1) fee as described in subsection (A)(2) of this section, Fee.

c.    Process: See Chapter 18.04 IMC, Procedures, for the decision maker for a permit. In addition, the Director has the authority to review and decide the acceptability of all changes of signage and revisions to an approved sign application.

d.    Duration: Permits are valid for a period of one (1) year from date of issuance by which time the subject sign(s) must be fully installed in compliance with all required permits, such as a building permit. If the sign is not installed within one (1) year, the applicant must submit a new application and fee, and obtain approval from the Director. One (1) six (6) month sign permit extension may be granted by the Director subject to the permit extension requirements in IMC 18.04.220, Decision.

2.    Fee:

a.    A permit fee must be paid for all permanent sign permits in accordance with the City of Issaquah’s adopted fee schedule, except those permanent signs identified in subsection B of this section.

b.    If an applicant submits a sign package, each unique sign submitted is charged a separate sign permit fee, except when a fee is not required per subsection B of this section; however, multiple, identical signs are charged as if they are one (1) sign.

c.    All electric signs and illuminated signs require an additional permit which is to be procured directly from the state Electrical Inspector, in accordance with its established permit fee schedule.

3.    Sign Category and Number of Signs Allowed: Most permanent commercial signs are classified into one (1) of three (3) different sign categories:

a.    Primary Sign: The primary advertising for a business, enterprise, or community facility;

b.    Secondary Sign: A smaller sign that is not the primary sign of the business;

c.    Additional Sign: In addition to primary and secondary signs, the purpose of additional signs is to (through the use of small, minor signage) assist pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to find a business and add visual interest and variety to the circulation facility and positively contribute to its character;

d.    Other: If the sign is not classified into one (1) of these three (3) sign categories, that information is identified as part of the sign’s requirements. In some cases, other signs have unique designs; in other cases they rely on other sign design types. This is specified with each sign design type.

4.    Sign Restrictions and Incentives:

a.    Restrictions for Permanent Signs Adjacent to I-90:

(1)    Applicability of Restrictions:

(A)    Restrictions apply to a building or business adjacent to I-90 except:

i.    Where a street is located between I-90 and the property on which a building or business is established, such as SE 62nd Street;

ii.    Where the parallel building elevation to the freeway (including on-ramps and off-ramps) is determined by the Director to be the primary frontage for the building;

(B)    Where a development consists of two (2) or more buildings, this limitation applies only to the building(s) located closest to the I-90 right-of-way;

(C)    Restrictions apply to all permanent primary and secondary sign design types;

(2)    Restrictions:

(A)    Parallel Elevation of a Secondary Frontage: No building or business may be allowed signage on the building elevation which is parallel to the freeway (including on-ramps or off-ramps);

(B)    Perpendicular Elevation of a Secondary Frontage: A building or business is allowed a wall sign with letters limited to a maximum height of two (2) feet and the sign length may not exceed fifteen (15) feet. The total sign area may not exceed thirty (30) square feet;

(3)    Definitions for This Restriction Only: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

(A)    Parallel Elevation: An elevation at an angle of forty-five (45) degrees or less relative to I-90;

(B)    Perpendicular Elevation: An elevation at an angle greater than forty-five (45) degrees but less than one hundred ten (110) degrees relative to I-90;

(C)    Primary Frontage: The side of the building providing the main vehicle and/or pedestrian access, and/or the business’s primary orientation as determined by the Director;

(D)    Secondary Frontage: The side of the building other than the main vehicle and/or pedestrian access, as determined by the Director.

b.    Incentive No. 1 for Multi-Sided and Multi-Entry Ground Level Businesses:

(1)    Incentive and Sign Placement:

(A)    Businesses which meet all of the criteria in subsection (A)(4)(b)(2) of this section may have two (2) building-mounted primary signs and up to two (2) secondary signs;

i.    If a business has three (3) or more facades, for each facade that does not have a primary sign, one (1) secondary sign is allowed per facade, up to a total of two (2) secondary signs;

ii.    If the business has only two (2) facades, the secondary sign may be placed on a facade with one (1) of the primary signs;

(B)    Each primary sign must be located on the facade where the pedestrian entry is located and is calculated as specified in Table 18.11.050(A)(5), Sign Size by Facade Area.

(2)    To qualify for Incentive No. 1, a business must meet all of the following criteria:

(A)    Business faces two (2) or more streets or the public realm;

(B)    Has pedestrian-oriented entries on two (2) different sides of the building, each of which faces a street or public realm;

(C)    Both pedestrian-oriented entries must be open during regular business hours and be designed to draw the pedestrian’s attention to each entry’s presence by, for example, changes in weather protection (higher or lower than adjacent weather protection), changes in building plane (building projecting or being set in), changes in building materials, changes in building height (a tower). The pedestrian-oriented entries may open into the same foyer, or room if they are distinctly located on different sides of the building with the architectural treatment described above.

c.    Incentive No. 2 for Multi-Entry Ground Level Businesses:

(1)    Incentive, Sign Placement, and Sign Size:

(A)    Businesses which meet all the criteria in subsection (A)(4)(c)(2) of this section may have two (2) building-mounted primary signs and up to two (2) secondary signs;

i.    If a business has two (2) or more facades, for each facade that does not have a primary sign, one (1) secondary sign is allowed per facade, up to a total of two (2) secondary signs;

ii.    If the business has only one (1) facade, one (1) secondary sign may be placed on the facade with the two (2) primary signs;

(B)    Each sign is located near the pedestrian entry;

(C)    The sum of the two (2) primary sign sizes does not exceed the total primary sign size permitted in subsection (A)(5) of this section.

(2)    Criteria to Qualify for Incentive No. 2:

(A)    The business’s portion of the facade is a minimum of one hundred (100) feet in length;

(B)    The business’s entrances face a street or the public realm;

(C)    The business has two (2) pedestrian entries significantly separated from each other (a minimum of fifty (50) percent of the business’s facade length);

(D)    Both entries are open during regular business hours.

d.    An applicant, who qualifies, may use both Incentive No. 1 and Incentive No. 2.

5.    Sign Size: The primary sign may not exceed the following maximum sign area as indicated in Table 18.11.050(A)(5), except when the size is specified by its sign design type to be smaller than allowed by Table 18.11.050(A)(5); for example, monument signs. Secondary and additional sign sizes are specified with the specific sign design type. The calculation of sign area for an individual business must be related to the portion of the building facade owned or leased by that business and the wall on which the sign is attached. The facade area is calculated by multiplying the relevant facade length by the relevant facade height which is determined by the finished grade and the cornice line or eave line if the roof is not flat.

Table 18.11.050(A)(5) – Primary Sign Maximum Sign Area 

Facade Area (Square Feet)

Maximum Sign Area (Square Feet)

0 – 100

15

101 – 199

25

200 – 1,499

The larger of 7% of the facade to which the sign is attached or 25 square feet, up to a maximum of 100 square feet

1,500 – 2,999

The larger of 5% of the facade to which the sign is attached or 100 square feet, up to a maximum of 150 square feet

3,000 or greater

The larger of 4% of the facade to which the sign is attached or 150 square feet, up to a maximum of 200 square feet

6.    Permanent accessory uses are considered permanent commercial uses and must comply with the permanent and temporary commercial sign allowances and requirements. This includes accessory uses such as:

a.    Food trucks or espresso drive-throughs on a property;

b.    Car wash, convenience store, and/or restaurant with an automobile fuel station.

7.    Multi-sided signs and their sign structure must be finished on all visible sides.

8.    Sign Height and Clearance:

a.    Except when the height is further restricted by the sign design type, maximum sign height may not extend above the roof and may be no more than sixty-five (65) feet above building grade except when the sign is a corporate identification sign.

b.    Signs which are allowed to extend over a walkway or area where there may be pedestrians present, including into the right-of-way, must maintain at least eight (8) feet clearance between the walkway and the bottom of the sign and its sign structure. The following example illustrates examples of some signs that may extend into the right-of-way and the necessary clearance.

9.    Sign Location and Placement:

a.    The primary signs must be placed on the primary street frontage providing pedestrian access except when the Director determines another configuration better serves the public.

b.    Signs may be placed on any street frontage facing the public realm or a circulation facility excluding alleys, except if another placement is specifically allowed by the sign design type.

c.    In Olde Town, see “Olde Town Design Standards, Sign Design” for signs in the following zones: Cultural and Business District (CBD), Multifamily High (MF-H), and Multifamily Medium (MF-M).

d.    Where a business has no entrance or exterior street frontage on a public or private street, the Director may approve one (1) wall sign on one (1) exterior wall of the building space used by that business. With approval by the building owner, a business with no street frontage must be allowed one (1) sign that is maximum of fifteen (15) square feet in size for their business name and/or logo. Each sign counts toward the maximum sign area allowed on that street frontage. For example, a grocery store with an internal pharmacy, bank, separate restaurant, and/or espresso stand.

e.    All permanent commercial signs intended to be placed or allowed on site must be wholly within the property consistent with the requirements of this chapter, or as allowed by Chapter 12.05 IMC, Sidewalk Use.

f.    Permanent commercial signs may be placed in right-of-way only if specifically allowed by sign design type.

g.    Except when allowed to be in the right-of-way, the sign must be placed entirely outside of the circulation facility; and, in no case may signs extend into the area intended for vehicular travel. Where no curb exists, the sign must be placed outside the roadway at least ten (10) feet from the roadway edge or consistent with the City’s roadway safety requirements.

h.    Minimum setback requirements for public or private facilities:

(1)    Out of the sight distance triangle of intersections and driveways as described in IMC 18.11.100(F);

(2)    Ten (10) feet from any driveway, alley, or vehicle access point;

(3)    Two (2) feet from any curb or roadway edge;

(4)    Two (2) feet from any pedestrian sidewalk or ADA accessible path;

(5)    Five (5) feet from any building access point if not attached to the building.

i.    The sign may not obstruct or impinge on pedestrian or accessible routes to or along the public or private sidewalk or encroach into the minimum clear pathway area of forty-eight (48) inches in width.

j.    The sign location may not interfere with the opening of car doors, use of bicycle parking facilities, bus stops, loading zones, or other similar functions.

k.    Signs may not create a hazard to either pedestrians or motorists as determined by the Director.

B.    Permanent Commercial Signs Allowed Without a Permit:

1.    General Requirements:

a.    The signs identified in this section do not require a permit or temporary sign agreement when all conditions listed for the specific sign are met, except if a home occupation is allowed a pedestrian-oriented sign. All pedestrian-oriented signs require a permit.

b.    All permanent commercial signs allowed without a permit must be nonelectric and nonilluminated, except when specifically allowed below.

2.    List of Permanent Commercial Sign Design Types Allowed Without a Permit:

a.    Directional/informational signs and interpretive markers;

b.    Drive-through selection signs;

c.    Home occupation signs.

3.    Directional/Informational Signs and Interpretive Markers:

a.    Examples of Directional/Informational Signs and Interpretive Markers:

Below Left, Structured Parking Informational Sign With Electrified Parking Information

Below Right, Interpretive Marker

Below Left, Informational/Directional Sign in the Right-of-Way

Below Right, Ten (10) Foot Tall Informational/Directional Sign

b.    Directional/informational signs and interpretive markers are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(B)(3)(b).

Table 18.11.050(B)(3)(b) – Directional/Information Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

All Zones

On site

Additional

See below

12 sq. ft.

4

10 feet

Right-of-way

4 sq. ft.

4

4 feet

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Directional/Informational Signs and Interpretive Markers:

(1)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: The maximum number of signs is determined by what is necessary to inform and direct the public and users as determined by the Director.

(2)    Location and Placement: See general sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section. Directional/informational signs and interpretive marker signs in the right-of-way must:

(A)    Only be used when placement in the right-of-way is necessary to serve the purpose of the sign; for example, a sign located at a parking entrance to identify it to drivers;

(B)    Be placed no more than ten (10) feet from the property, business, or service the sign is related to.

(3)    Structured parking is allowed one (1) on-site electrified informational sign at each entry indicating the status of parking (status examples include open, full, and number of available stalls). Signs may provide the status of each level of a multi-story garage. The changeable copy portion of the informational sign, indicating the status of the parking available, may be electronic and remotely changed. Signs may have one (1) or two (2) sign faces and may not exceed twelve (12) square feet per face.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. Specific definitions related to this section are as follows:

(A)    Directional Sign: A sign limited to directional messages, principally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as “one-way,” “entrance,” and “exit.” Directional signs indicating entrance, exit, one-way circulation, drive-up window, etc. Assists with wayfinding;

(B)    Informational Sign: A sign which is incidental and necessary for public safety and convenience and general information that has a purpose secondary to the use of the property on which it is located;

(C)    Interpretive Marker: Identifies or explains specific events, sites, structures, features, objects, or natural processes. In effect, this type of interpretive device “marks” a particular site or feature, instead of presenting a general story or abstraction.

4.    Drive-Through Selection Signs:

a.    Example of Drive-Through Selection Signs:

Below, Drive-Through Selection Sign

b.    Drive-through selection signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(B)(4)(b).

Table 18.11.050(B)(4)(b) – Drive-Through Selection Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Business with a drive-through

On site

Additional

1

16 sq. ft.

1

8 feet

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Drive-Through Selection Signs:

(1)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: In addition to the number shown in Table 18.11.050(B)(4)(b), additional drive-through selection signs are allowed if they are not visible from the right-of-way. Drive-through selection signs which are not visible from the right-of-way are not limited to the maximum area per sign face standard in Table 18.11.050(B)(4)(b).

(2)    Location and Placement: For sign location and placement information see subsection (A)(9) of this section.

(3)    Illumination: The face of the sign presenting the selection information may be illuminated either internally or externally; no other sides may be illuminated or electrified. See sign illumination information in IMC 18.11.100(E).

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of “drive-through selection sign” is a sign that displays the available selection for ordering at a drive-through business, such as a menu.

5.    Home Occupation Signs:

a.    Example of Home Occupation Signs:

Below, Wall Sign on Left and Pedestrian-Oriented Sign on Right

b.    Home occupation signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(B)(5)(b).

Table 18.11.050(B)(5)(b) – Home Occupation Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Residences where home occupations are allowed and present

On site

Other: wall, window

1 – 2, see below

2 sq. ft.

1

12 feet

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Home Occupation Signs:

(1)    Sign Category: Home occupation signs are not primary, secondary, or additional signs.

(2)    Sign Design Types: Home occupation signs do not have a unique sign design type and may select a window or wall sign within the parameters provided in subsection (B)(5) of this section.

(3)    Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(A)    All home occupations may have one (1) window or wall sign.

(B)    In addition, where there are ground-related residential units on streets designated for sidewalk use in Chapter 12.05 IMC, legal and permitted home occupations may choose to add a pedestrian-oriented sign as another sign. The applicant must obtain a permit for the pedestrian-oriented sign, which complies with the requirements of subsection F of this section, Projection and Pedestrian-Oriented Signs. The maximum area of the sign faces for a pedestrian-oriented sign with a home occupation is specified in subsection F of this section.

(4)    Location and Placement: In cases where a home is not visible from the street, the sign may be placed on the owner’s property near the road, but not in the right-of-way. See general information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

(5)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

C.    List of Permanent Commercial Sign Design Types Allowed With a Permit:

1.    Awning, canopy, wall, window signs;

2.    Monument signs;

3.    Projection and pedestrian-oriented signs;

4.    Community facility signs;

5.    Automobile fueling station signs;

6.    Marquee signs;

7.    Corporate identification signs;

8.    Follow-through signs;

9.    Business District kiosk signs.

D.    Awning, Canopy, Wall, Window Signs:

1.    Examples of Awning, Canopy, Wall, Window Signs:

a.    Examples of Awning and Canopy Signs, and Edge Signs:

Below Left, Awning as a Primary or Secondary Sign

Below Right, Awning as an Additional Sign

Below, Canopy Sign With Letters Above Canopy

Below Left, Awning Edge

Below Right, Canopy Edge

b.    Examples of Wall Signs:

Below Left, Externally Lit Wall Sign

Below Right, Individually Lit Letters Forming a Wall Sign

c.    Examples of Window Signs:

Below Left, Window Signs and Decals, Covering Less Than Fifty (50) Percent of the Windows

(Note: the example on left may depict a window with more than twenty-five (25) percent nonsign decals covering the windows.)

Below Right, Additional Window Sign

2.    Awning, Canopy, Wall, Window Signs Are Allowed as Specified in Table 18.11.050(D)(2):

Table 18.11.050(D)(2) – Awning, Canopy, Wall, Window Signs 

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF and if allowed by subsection G of this section

See below

Primary

1 except window; see below

Subsection (A)(5) of this section

1

Subsection (A)(8) of this section

Secondary

1 except window; see below

30 sq. ft.

1

Subsection (A)(8) of this section

Additional

See below

See below

1

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Awning, Canopy, Wall, and Window Signs:

a.    Maximum Number of Primary and Secondary Signs: See incentives and restrictions for the maximum number of primary and secondary signs in subsection (A)(4) of this section.

b.    Location and Placement: See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

c.    Illumination: See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information, and subsection D of this section for specific illumination related to awning, canopy, wall, and window primary and secondary signs.

d.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

4.    Other Requirements for and Information Related Only to Awning and Canopy Signs:

a.    If multiple awnings or canopies are present, an awning or canopy sign may be either a primary sign or a secondary sign. In all cases, the primary and secondary signs must be on separate awnings or canopies.

b.    If an Awning or Canopy Is Used for an Additional Sign:

(1)    Maximum Number of Total Signs and Placement:

(A)    One (1) sign per awning or canopy edge is allowed parallel to the facade, where the awning or canopy is not used as primary or secondary sign;

(B)    One (1) sign per any awning or canopy edge perpendicular to the facade.

(2)    Maximum Area per Sign Face: The maximum area is determined by a maximum letter or logo height of six (6) inches.

(3)    Maximum Height: Must be placed on awnings or canopies associated with ground floor windows.

c.    Permitted Location and Placement:

(1)    Awnings and canopies may be on site or extend into the right-of-way. Awnings and canopies attached to on-site buildings and structures may extend into the right-of-way consistent with Chapter 12.05 IMC or as allowed by special use permit in Chapter 5.14 IMC;

(2)    Canopy signs are allowed on and above the face of the canopy.

d.    Illumination:

(1)    Awnings and canopy signs may be externally illuminated; no internal illumination which is visible through or above the awning or canopy is allowed;

(2)    Canopy signs may have external illumination, channel letters, halo-style illumination, or similar.

e.    Specific Definitions Related to This Section Are as Follows:

(1)    Awning: An architectural projection roofed with flexible material supported from an exterior wall of a building and/or other sign structure;

(2)    Canopy: A permanent, rigid architectural projection supported from an exterior wall of a building and/or other structure;

(3)    Edge, Awning or Canopy: The vertical edge of an awning or canopy, generally parallel or perpendicular to the facade.

5.    Other Requirements for and Information Related Only to Wall Signs:

a.    When a Wall Sign Is an Additional Sign:

(1)    Allowed only as multi-business wall signs;

(2)    Maximum Number of Total Signs and Placement: One (1) per street frontage with a maximum of two (2) allowed;

(3)    Maximum area per sign face is sixteen (16) square feet;

(4)    Permitted Location: Must be entirely on site;

(5)    Maximum Height: No higher than ten (10) feet above the ground.

b.    Location and Placement of Wall Signs:

(1)    Primary and Secondary Signs: Wall signs may extend up to twelve (12) inches into the right-of-way;

(2)    Wall signs may not extend more than twelve (12) inches from the building facade on which they are installed.

c.    Signs standing out horizontally from a mansard roof are considered wall signs; however, they may not extend vertically above the top of the mansard.

d.    Painted Wall Sign: Only the portion of a painted wall sign or mural which contains a logo, trademark, or other commercial message is governed by the requirements of this chapter and a painted border is not included in the overall dimensional size limitations.

e.    Definitions: A multi-business wall sign is an on-site sign which identifies tenants and may identify building name for a multi-business development. Also known as tenant directory sign.

6.    Other Requirements for and Information Related Only to Window Signs:

a.    Maximum Number:

(1)    The combination of all window signs (temporary, permanent, primary, secondary, additional) may not exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the total window area on any facade. The combination of all graphics, artwork, photos, and decorations may not exceed an additional twenty-five (25) percent, for a total of fifty (50) percent of the window area on any facade, except when a space is empty, unoccupied, or under construction. If a space is empty, unoccupied, or under construction, then its windows may be fully obscured through art, decoration, or graphics. Window signs such as open/closed, store hours, address, and other necessary directional and informational signs are exempt from total sign area limitations;

(2)    Window signs as additional signs may not exceed the facade’s linear footage divided by twenty (20) (for example, a sixty (60) foot facade could have up to three (3) window signs: sixty (60) linear feet of facade divided by twenty (20) feet per window sign equals three (3) window signs).

b.    When a Window Sign Is an Additional Sign:

(1)    Maximum Area per Sign Face: Maximum area is established by a maximum letter size or logo height of twelve (12) inches;

(2)    Position/Maximum Height: For window that a business has facing public realm or circulation facility, excluding alleys, the business may have a window sign as an additional sign.

c.    Permitted Location: Primary, secondary, additional window signs must be entirely on site.

d.    Definition: A window sign is defined as any permanent sign which is painted or mounted onto a windowpane, or which is hung directly inside the window including advertisements for services or products in the form of decals, emblems, paint, exposed neon, and banners. Any sign placed behind glass or within a building and located in such a manner as to have an obvious intent to capture interest of those outside the building is considered a sign. Permanent window signs are those which identify the business, products, or services and are intended to be in place more than thirty (30) days.

E.    Monument Signs:

1.    Examples of Monument Signs:

Below Left, Individual Business Monument Sign

Below Right, Multi-Business Monument Sign.

See IMC 18.11.120, monument sign definition, for an example of a residential monument sign.

2.    General Standards for Monument Signs:

a.    Location and Placement: See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section;

b.    Maximum Area per Sign Face: Neither the portion of the sign structure providing support, nor the frame, are counted when determining the square footage of the sign;

c.    Maximum Height: Overall sign height includes the frame or sign structure on which it is mounted;

d.    Illumination: The sign may have exterior illumination only, regardless of the area or zone in which the monument sign is located. See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information.

e.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

3.    Monument signs with business and commercial activities are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(E)(3).

Table 18.11.050(E)(3) – Business and Commercial Monument Signs

Monument Sign Use Areas

How Allowed

Where Sign Is Allowed by Business Configuration

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Outside of Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Talus, and CBD Zone

Allowed outright

Individual business

 

On site

See below

See below

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Multi-business

50 sq. ft.

10 feet

Within Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Talus

Allowed conditionally; see below

Individual Business

 

1

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Multi-business

50 sq. ft.

In CBD

Allowed conditionally; see below

In SF home

1

15 sq. ft.

2

5 feet

Multi-business

25 sq. ft.

10 feet

a.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Business and Commercial Monument Signs:

(1)    Sign Category and Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(A)    Individual business monument signs are primary or secondary signs. Up to one (1) primary sign and one (1) secondary monument sign may be permitted, if a monument sign is allowed in Table 18.11.050(E)(3) or in subsection (E)(3)(a)(2) of this section. An individual business is located on a separate lot and not legally part of a multi-business development;

(B)    Multi-business development monument signs are primary signs used to identify the development and some or all of its tenants or occupants. Up to one (1) primary monument sign may be permitted, if a monument sign is allowed in Table 18.11.050(E)(3) or in subsection (E)(3)(a)(2) of this section. Monument signs may not be used as a secondary sign. Tenants and occupants may have their own signs, but they may not be monument signs in a multi-business development;

(2)    Conditions of Placement for Monument Signs in Certain Areas of the City:

(A)    Monument Signs in Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Talus, and Cultural and Business District (CBD) After the Adoption of This Chapter:

i.    A monument sign, legally in place before the adoption of this chapter, is an allowed sign and may remain, be maintained, have its structure or sign face replaced, and undergo a name change until such time as the building or business is demolished. The monument sign may be replaced prior to demolition; however, the replaced monument sign must comply with the monument sign use area standards regarding location, maximum area, maximum number of faces, and maximum height in this section. This provision supersedes the limitations in IMC 18.11.090(D), Nonconforming Signs;

ii.    If a building is demolished, the monument sign must be eliminated, and other signs must be used; except if during development or redevelopment, and prior to certificate of occupancy, the Director issues a written determination that the building(s) may not be placed close to and sufficiently visible from the street, then a monument sign may be warranted to identify the business or development;

iii.    A monument sign must be a primary sign.

(B)    Monument Signs in Cultural and Business District Zone (CBD) After the Adoption of This Chapter:

i.    For any existing development that contains multiple buildings and multiple retail tenants, they may elect to have one (1) monument sign prior to demolition.

ii.    Where an existing house is set back from the street and used for a business, there may be one (1) monument sign prior to demolition.

4.    Monument signs with residential projects (single family subdivision or multifamily development with one (1) or multiple buildings) are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(E)(4).

Table 18.11.050(E)(4) – Residential Monument Signs

Monument Sign Use Areas

How Allowed

Where Sign Is Allowed by Residence Type

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Outside of Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Talus, and CBD Zone

Allowed outright

Single- family subdivision; multifamily

On site

See below

See below

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Within Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Talus

Prohibited

Single- family subdivision

Allowed conditionally; see below

Multifamily

On site

See below

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

In CBD Zone

Prohibited

a.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Residential Monument Signs:

(1)    Sign Category and Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(A)    Monument signs for single family subdivisions do not have a sign category; they are other signs. If they are allowed in Table 18.11.050(E)(4) and in subsection (E)(4)(a)(2) of this section, there may be one (1) per vehicular entry, placed near that entry;

(B)    Monument signs for a multifamily building or development may be a primary sign, if they are allowed in Table 18.11.050(E)(4) and in subsection (E)(4)(a)(2) of this section. One (1) primary monument sign is allowed for a multifamily building or development.

(2)    Conditions of Placement for Monument Signs in Central Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, and Talus:

(A)    A monument sign, legally in place before the adoption of this chapter, is an allowed sign and may remain, be maintained, have its structure or sign face replaced, and undergo a name change until such time as the building is demolished. The monument sign may be replaced prior to demolition; however, the replaced monument sign must comply with the monument sign use area standards regarding location, maximum area, maximum number of faces, and maximum height in this section. This provision supersedes the limitations in IMC 18.11.090(D), Nonconforming Signs;

(B)    If a multifamily building(s) is demolished or a single family subdivision redeveloped, the monument sign must be eliminated, and other signs must be used; except if during development or redevelopment, and prior to certificate of occupancy, the Director issues a written determination that the building(s) may not be placed close to and sufficiently visible from the street, then a monument sign may be warranted to identify the residence or development.

(C)    Monument signs for single family subdivisions are prohibited.

5.    Monument signs for neighborhoods or districts are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(E)(5).

Table 18.11.050(E)(5) – Neighborhood/District Monument Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs per Neigh. or District Entrance

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

All areas

Right-of-way or on site

Other, monument

1

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

a.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Neighborhood or District Monument Signs:

(1)    Sign Category: Neighborhood/district monument signs do not have a sign category; they are other signs.

(2)    Monument signs are available to a recognized neighborhood or commercial district.

(3)    The monument sign must be designed to establish the neighborhood or commercial district. For example, it must be consistent in material, color, mountings, and text style.

F.    Projection and Pedestrian-Oriented Signs:

1.    Examples of Projection and Pedestrian-Oriented Signs:

Below Left, Projection Sign

Below Right, Pedestrian-Oriented Sign

2.    Projections and pedestrian-oriented signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(F)(2).

Table 18.11.050(F)(2) – Projection and Pedestrian-Oriented Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF and if allowed by subsection (G) of this section

See below

Primary; see below

1

Subsection (A)(5) of this section

2

Subsection (A)(8) of this section

Secondary; see below

1

30 sq. ft.

2

Subsection (A)(8) of this section

Additional; see below

See below

4 sq. ft.

2

12 feet

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Projection and Pedestrian-Oriented Signs:

a.    Sign Category: Projection signs are primary and secondary signs. Pedestrian-oriented signs are additional signs.

b.    Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(1)    For incentives and restrictions on the maximum number of primary and secondary signs, see subsection (A)(4) of this section;

(2)    One (1) pedestrian-oriented sign per business for each facade facing a circulation facility, including alleys when a public pedestrian entry to the business is from an alley, and the entry is open and accessible during business hours.

c.    The two (2) faces of the projection or pedestrian-oriented sign must be parallel to each other.

d.    Location and Placement:

(1)    Projection and pedestrian-oriented signs attached to on-site buildings may extend into the right-of-way consistent with Chapter 12.05 IMC or as allowed by special use permit in Chapter 5.14 IMC. They may also be fully on site;

(2)    Minimum setback must be two (2) feet from curb or edge of vehicular surface;

(3)    Projection sign may not extend above the parapet or eave except when the projection sign is for a cinema or theater. In all cases, a projection sign must be limited to sixty-five (65) feet or the base building height in the zone;

(4)    Projection signs may extend outward up to seventy-five (75) percent of the width of the abutting sidewalk but no more than six (6) feet from the wall they are mounted on;

(5)    Pedestrian-oriented signs may not project beyond the awning, canopy, or marquee;

(6)    See general sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

e.    Illumination: May be externally illuminated; no internal illumination is allowed. See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information.

f.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. Specific definitions related to this section:

(1)    Pedestrian-oriented sign is a permanent, nonilluminated sign, the primary purpose of which is to provide information for pedestrians and bicyclists. Blade signs are an example of a pedestrian-oriented sign;

(2)    Projection sign is a sign that is wholly or partly dependent upon a building for support and which projects more than twelve (12) inches from such building.

G.    Community Facilities Signs:

1.    Example of Community Facilities Signs:

Below, Community Facilities Monument Sign With Readerboard

2.    Community facility signs are allowed as specified in Tables 18.11.050(G)(2)(a) and 18.11.050(G)(2)(b).

Table 18.11.050(G)(2)(a) – Community Facilities Signs Associated With a Building as the Primary Use 

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height

CF-OS, CF-R, CF-F, CF-OSPO, CF-RPO, CF-FPO

On site

Primary: monument

1

32 sq. ft.

2

Sign structure and sign: 10 feet

See below

Other primary: wall, projection, window

2 – 3

Subsection (A)(5) of this section

1 – 2

See below

Subsection (A)(8) of this section

CF-OS, CF-R, CF-F

Readerboard portion

1

24 sq. ft.

1 – 2

See below

 

Table 18.11.050(G)(2)(b) – Community Facilities Signs Not Associated With a Building Except as an Accessory Use

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

CF-OS, CF-R, CF-F, CF-OSPO, CF-RPO, CF-FPO

On site

Other, see below;

Monument

See below

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

CF-OS, CF-R, CF-F

Other, readerboard portion

1

24 sq. ft.

1 – 2

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Community Facilities Signs:

a.    CF Parcels With Buildings as a Primary Use:

(1)    Sign Category: Community facilities monument signs and other primary signs (wall, window, projection signs) are each treated as primary signs for the purposes of sizing each primary sign. Community facilities may not use secondary signs but may select from any additional sign identified and allowed in this section;

(2)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: May have a total of up to three (3) primary signs. The three (3) primary signs may be either a monument sign and two (2) other primary signs or three (3) other primary signs;

(3)    Any additional sign selected follows the standards for that additional sign in this section;

(4)    Maximum number of sign faces and standards for other primary signs must follow the standards for that sign design type in subsection D of this section, Wall or Window Signs, or subsection F of this section, Projection Signs.

b.    CF Parcels Without a Building, Except as an Accessory Use:

(1)    Sign Category: When a community facility does not have a building, such as a park or sports field except accessory uses such as a bathroom building or a picnic shelter, the signs do not have a sign category; they are other signs;

(2)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: The maximum number is one (1) monument sign per each parcel side fronting on a circulation facility or public realm;

(3)    The sign design type is monument sign.

c.    A Community Facilities Readerboard Sign:

(1)    The maximum area per sign face for the readerboard portion of the sign is a portion of the monument sign, or other primary sign face, that a readerboard may use; it is not additive.

(2)    Maximum Number of Sign Faces for a Readerboard, as a Part of Another Sign: The readerboard may have the same number of faces as the sign it is a part of, which is two (2) faces with a monument sign or projection sign and one (1) face with a wall or window sign.

(3)    A readerboard may not be a separate sign. It must be a portion of a monument sign or other primary sign.

(4)    Electronic readerboards are not allowed with privately owned community facilities signs.

(5)    Readerboard signs may be electronic or manual.

d.    A Community Facilities Monument Sign: Community facilities monument signs follow subsection E of this section, General Standards for Monument Signs.

e.    An Electronic Readerboard Sign Must Meet the Following Requirements:

(1)    The signs must be designed and placed to prevent light and glare from being visible to adjacent residential properties;

(2)    The signs must dim during twilight and night hours to reduce glare and must be turned off during night hours. Night hours are between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

(3)    The display must include only static text and/or static graphics. No moving graphics, or animations such as flying or fading, video, or blinking/pulsing/strobe effects are allowed;

(4)    Each message and/or graphic must be displayed for at least ten (10) seconds. The change from one (1) message/graphic to the next may utilize a scrolling or wipe effect, but the effect may not take more than one (1) second to complete.

f.    Location and Placement:

(1)    Other Primary Signs, Wall, Window, and Projection Signs Used With a Community Facilities Building: Location of community facilities signs, either on site or in the right-of-way, must follow the standards for that sign design type in subsection D of this section, Wall and/or Window Signs, or subsection F of this section, Projection Signs;

(2)    Community Facilities Monument Signs: May not be located closer than two (2) feet from any property line and must comply with any other applicable setbacks;

(3)    See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

g.    Illumination: A monument sign may be externally illuminated; no internal illumination is allowed, except for the portion of the sign that is an electronic readerboard. A manual readerboard may not be backlit. See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information as well as the illumination standards for other primary signs (wall, window, projection).

h.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

H.    Automobile Fueling Station Signs:

1.    Example of Fueling Station Sign:

Below, Fueling Station Monument Sign With Fuel Pricing

2.    Automobile fueling station signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(H)(2).

Table 18.11.050(H)(2) – Automobile Fueling Station Signs 

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs per Street Frontage

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Fueling station as primary land use

On site

Other, monument

1

50 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Other, pole

15 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Fueling station as primary or secondary land use

Other, fuel price sign portion

1

total

15 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

Other, signs on canopy are wall signs

1

See below

1

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Automobile Fueling Station Signs:

a.    Sign Category: Automobile fueling station signs are not primary, secondary, or additional signs; they are other signs. Automobile fueling station signs are the only signs allowed with this use, except if there are accessory uses at the fueling station such as convenience stores, restaurants or other retail, self-service car washes, and service bays for vehicle service and repair. See subsection (A)(6) of this section regarding signs for these permanent accessory uses.

b.    Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(1)    One (1) monument or pole sign is allowed per fueling station street frontage;

(2)    Only one (1) fuel price sign is allowed per fueling station and it must be integrated with the monument or pole sign. See IMC 18.11.040, Prohibited signs, regarding movable fuel price signs.

c.    Signs on Fueling Station Canopy, Whether the Fueling Station Is a Primary or Secondary Use:

(1)    Maximum Area per Sign Face: The maximum area per sign face is determined by the use of letters and/or logo no more than two (2) feet in height.

(2)    Maximum Height: The maximum height is determined by the height of the canopy on which the letters and/or logo are being placed. The letters and logo may not extend above the edge of the canopy roof or eave if the roof is sloped.

d.    Fueling Station as Secondary Use:

(1)    Examples of a fueling station as a secondary use are when a grocery or big-box store has a fueling station in addition to its primary use of grocery or big-box store and there is no intervening public right-of-way between the grocery or big-box store and the fueling station.

(2)    The sign for the secondary use may be incorporated with the monument sign of the primary use; however, in no instance may the fuel price sign itself exceed the size, number of faces, and sign height limitations shown in Table 18.11.050(H)(2).

e.    Location and Placement:

(1)    Monument or pole signs must be at least two (2) feet from any property line;

(2)    Canopy signs must be on the face of the canopy covering the pump island(s);

(3)    See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

f.    Illumination: All signs may be illuminated signs. See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information.

g.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. Specific definitions related to this section:

(1)    Fueling stations are businesses selling motor fuel or alternative fuels (for example, electric vehicle charging) to the public;

(2)    A fuel price sign is a nonmovable sign advertising the price of motor fuel.

I.    Marquee Signs:

1.    Example of a Marquee Sign:

Below, a Marquee With a Marquee Sign and Changeable Copy

2.    Marquee signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(I)(2).

Table 18.11.050(I)(2) – Marquee Signs

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Mixed use and nonresidential areas: CBD, IC, IC-CI, M, MU, MU-CI, MUR, PO, UC, UV-COM, UV-MUR-H, UV-MUR-T, UV-O, UV-RET, UV-VC, VR

See below

Primary

1

Subsection (A)(5) of this section

2

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Marquee Signs:

a.    Sign Category: A marquee sign is considered the primary sign of the business. A marquee may not be used as a secondary sign.

b.    Location, Placement, and Maximum Height of Marquee Signs:

(1)    A marquee sign may extend into the right-of-way consistent with Chapter 12.05 IMC;

(2)    May extend above the parapet or roof but may not be taller than sixty-five (65) feet or the allowed base building height in the area of the City in which it is located;

(3)    See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

c.    Changeable Copy Portion of the Marquee:

(1)    Letter sizing may not exceed twelve (12) inches in height;

(2)    May not extend beyond, below, or be attached to the underside of the marquee.

d.    Illumination: The marquee sign may only be externally illuminated. The changeable copy portion of the marquee may be backlit. See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information.

e.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. Specific definitions related to this section:

(1)    A marquee is a permanent structure or canopy located above the primary entrance to a building, such as a theater, that projects over the sidewalk and is attached to, and entirely supported from, the street wall of the building;

(2)    A marquee sign is a sign painted on or attached to a permanent overhanging marquee sign structure which projects from the face of a building.

J.    Corporate Identification Signs:

1.    Example of Corporate Identification Sign:

Below, Corporate Identification Sign

2.    Corporate identification signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(J)(2).

Table 18.11.050(J)(2) – Corporate Identification Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category and Design Type

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height

On a high-rise structure; see below

On site

Other, wall

2

200 sq. ft.

1

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Corporate Identification Signs:

a.    Sign Category: A corporate identification sign is not a primary, secondary, or additional sign; they are other signs. However, the tenant/owner for whom the corporate identification sign is granted may have all other signage allowed by this chapter as primary, secondary, additional, and temporary signage.

b.    Maximum Sign Height and Position of Corporate Identification Sign(s) and Other Permitted Signage:

(1)    Corporate identification signs may not project above the top or beyond the edge of the wall or element to which they are affixed;

(2)    A corporate identification sign is located at the top of the building, not in relationship to the location of the tenant’s leased space;

(3)    If a building owner and tenant determines that two (2) corporate identification signs are necessary, the two (2) signs must be on different facades and they must be oriented to face I-90 and/or SR-900, and not Cougar or Squak Mountains;

(4)    All the other signage must be located at ground/circulation facility level.

c.    The purpose of a corporate identification sign is to identify one (1) significant tenant within a building. A building owner may allow a corporate identification sign at the upper levels of a high-rise building if it meets all of the following criteria:

(1)    The sign is on a high-rise structure which is at least ten (10) stories tall;

(2)    The high-rise structure contains the single use of a hotel, motel, or hospital; or the sign is for an enterprise that is an anchor tenant in the building.

d.    Corporate identification signs must be mounted to the building with a mounting system that is not visible beyond the edges of the sign elements.

e.    Illumination:

(1)    Sign illumination must be limited to halo lighting with a white light source; provided, that signs may be internally illuminated when the surface on which the sign is mounted is made of glass or other highly reflective material that would interfere with the appearance of the sign if halo-lit. If the sign is internally illuminated, the illumination is limited to only those letters or sign elements that appear white when lit. Any illumination must be designed to ensure no exposed lighting source or raceway;

(2)    The corporate identification sign’s hours of illumination may be reasonably restricted to hours when most people see the sign, and not illuminated during normal hours of sleep (hospitals, hotels, and motels are exempt from this requirement);

(3)    See IMC 18.11.100(E) for illumination information.

f.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

K.    Follow-Through Signs:

1.    Examples of a Follow-Through Sign:

Below Left, Single Information on a Follow-Through Sign

Below Right, Co-Located Information on a Follow-Through Sign

2.    Follow-through signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(K)(2).

 

Table 18.11.050(K)(2) – Follow-Through Signs

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height

Mixed use and nonresidential areas: CBD, CF-F, CF-FPO, IC, IC-CI, M, MU, MU-CI, MUR, PO, UC, UV-COM, UV-MUR-H, UV-MUR-T, UV-O, UV-RET, UV-VC, VR

Multifamily: MF-H

Right-of-way

Additional

See below

See below

2

See below

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Follow-Through Signs:

a.    Follow-through signs are allowed only where Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has approved a sign as part of the WSDOT Motorist Information Sign Program within their right-of-way jurisdiction and WSDOT has required additional signs to direct drivers to the specific business or site via follow-through signs.

b.    Maximum Number of Total Signs: The maximum number of signs is the minimum number necessary to comply with WSDOT’s requirements.

c.    Maximum Area per Sign Face: The maximum area per sign face is the minimum size necessary to comply with WSDOT’s requirements.

d.    Maximum Sign Height: Maximum sign height of sign is per City street standards for street signs.

e.    Manufacture of the sign and its installation must be by the applicant, following the City’s specifications.

f.    Illumination: Ambient illumination only.

g.    Location and Placement:

(1)    Wherever possible, follow-through signs are co-located with other businesses on a follow-through sign rather than posted separately;

(2)    See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

h.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a follow-through sign is a sign which is required to be placed in the City right-of-way by the Washington State Department of Transportation Motorist Information Sign Program and is designed to direct travelers to gas, food, lodging, camping, recreation, tourist activities, and twenty-four (24) hour pharmacies. The applicant must comply with all regulations of the Motorist Information Sign Program.

L.    Business District Kiosk Signs:

1.    Examples of Business District Kiosk Signs:

Below, Left and Center, Pedestrian Scale Business District Kiosk Shown Overall and a Closeup

Below Right, Example of a Circular Kiosk

 

Below Left, Two (2) Sided Business District Kiosk

Below Right, Four (4) Sided Business District Kiosk

2.    Business District kiosk signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.050(L)(2).

Table 18.11.050(L)(2) – Business District Kiosk Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Sign Category

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Kiosk

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Sidewalk use districts established in Chapter 12.05 IMC

On site or right-of-way

Additional

See below

See below

4

10 feet

3.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Business District Kiosk Signs:

a.    Maximum Number of Total Signs and Placement: Prior to submitting for a sign permit, a Master Business District Kiosk Plan must be submitted and approved. In a Master Business District Kiosk Plan, an applicant must propose locations demonstrating compliance with all the location criteria below and in Chapter 12.05 IMC. The Director evaluates the proposed locations of the Master Business District Kiosk Plan to ensure locations are appropriate and coordinated per all of the following criteria:

(1)    Placed at key intersections or decision points, and designed predominantly for pedestrians and bicyclists but useful to drivers as well;

(2)    Sited to facilitate use by both pedestrians and vehicles, such as in the planting strip between the curb and sidewalk;

(3)    Allow for door swings, vehicular sight lines, and pedestrian routes, and similar functional considerations, when locating them;

(4)    See sign location and placement information in subsection (A)(9) of this section.

b.    Maximum Area per Sign Face:

(1)    Maximum Area per Sign Face:

(A)    An individual sign for each business within the kiosk is limited to three-fourths (3/4) square feet on sides oriented to and for pedestrian use. Letter size must be no larger than five (5) inches in height.

(B)    The applicant may request the use of twelve (12) inch tall letters/logo on sides oriented to vehicles. Where this larger letter/logo size is allowed, each sign panel with the larger letter/logo size may be no more than three (3) feet in length. A proposal use of the larger letter size must meet all the following criteria to be allowed:

i.    The twelve (12) inch letter/logo size will be considered where vehicular volumes, speeds, and number of travel lanes are such that larger letters/logos may be necessary for safe viewing; two (2) lane roads, one (1) in each direction, with travel speeds at or below thirty (30) miles per hour do not qualify.

ii.    If the larger letter/logo size is approved for use, a multi-sided kiosk must be used to ensure that there is at least one (1) pedestrian-oriented side and one (1) vehicular-oriented side.

iii.    No more than two (2) sides may use the larger letters/logo. At least one (1) side of the kiosk must be for pedestrian use.

(2)    A kiosk may also include a sponsor’s name and logo which are limited to six (6) inches in height, one (1) per each side of the kiosk; on circular kiosks, two (2) names/logos are permitted.

(3)    Kiosk sides may also be used for maps and noncommercial information.

c.    Business District kiosk signs located on the public right-of-way require a sign permit, possibly a building permit, depending on the design of the kiosk and as determined by the Building Official, and a Master Business District Kiosk Plan. A Business District kiosk sign must also demonstrate compliance with the sidewalk use district, Chapter 12.05 IMC.

d.    Business District kiosk signs may only include maps, noncommercial information, business name and logos, directional arrows, and distances.

e.    Illumination: Ambient illumination only.

f.    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a Business District kiosk is a sign used to assist pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers in locating businesses within a neighborhood. Business District kiosks are allowed on private and public property for the purpose of locating a business. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.060 Temporary commercial signs.

A.    General Standards for Temporary Commercial Signs: The following provisions apply to all temporary commercial signs placed within the City:

1.    Permit: No permit is required but certain temporary commercial signs require a temporary sign agreement. See each sign design type in subsection B of this section regarding whether a sign requires a temporary sign agreement and subsection C of this section for temporary sign agreement standards.

2.    Fee: No fee is required to place temporary commercial signs in the City.

3.    Temporary Commercial Sign Materials and Construction:

a.    Signs must be constructed of any material durable enough to withstand rain, wind, and normal wear-and-tear for the anticipated use, and must conform to the other requirements of this chapter;

b.    Must be maintained in an aesthetic and safe condition;

c.    May not be an electric sign and may not be an illuminated sign;

d.    May not move or vibrate, emit noise, or be animated or have changing images.

4.    Duration: The length of time each sign is permitted is listed in subsection B of this section. Any temporary sign that is specific to an event must be removed within five (5) days of the end of the event.

5.    Restrictions: No temporary commercial signs may be placed in the area restricted by IMC 18.11.050(A)(4)(a).

6.    Height: Specific sign heights are listed in subsection B of this section. In no case are signs to extend above the roof line and in no case may they be higher than sixty-five (65) feet above the grade regardless of building height.

7.    Sign Placement:

a.    Temporary commercial signs may be placed in the right-of-way only if specifically allowed by subsection B of this section;

b.    All temporary commercial signs intended to be placed or allowed on site must be wholly within the property consistent with the requirements of this chapter;

c.    Except when allowed to be in the right-of-way, the sign must be placed entirely outside of the circulation facility; and, in no case may signs extend into the area intended for vehicular travel. Where no curb exists, the sign must be placed outside the roadway at least ten (10) feet from the roadway edge or consistent with the City’s roadway safety requirements;

d.    Minimum Setback Requirements for Public or Private Facilities:

(1)    Out of the sight distance triangle of intersections and driveways as described in IMC 18.11.100(F);

(2)    Ten (10) feet from any driveway, alley, or vehicle access point;

(3)    Two (2) feet behind any curb or roadway edge;

(4)    Two (2) feet from any pedestrian sidewalk or ADA accessible path;

(5)    Five (5) feet from any building access point if not attached to the building.

e.    The sign may not obstruct pedestrian or accessible routes to or along the public or private sidewalk or encroach into the minimum clear pathway area of forty-eight (48) inches in width;

f.    The sign may not interfere with the opening of car doors, use of bicycle parking facilities, bus stops, or loading zones;

g.    The sign must remain portable and may not be attached or anchored to trees or to public property including, but not limited to, utility or light poles, parking meters, or pavement;

h.    Signs are prohibited in, on, or within public or private medians, roundabouts, traffic circles, utility poles, lampposts (except banners as specified in this section), traffic poles and signals, and street trees;

i.    Signs may not create a hazard to either pedestrians or motorists as determined by the Director.

B.    Temporary Commercial Signs: The following provisions apply to all temporary commercial signs placed in the City:

1.    List of Temporary Commercial Sign Design Types:

a.    A-frames;

b.    Commercial banners on light poles;

c.    Commercial banners on buildings;

d.    Construction, contractor, or “coming soon” signs;

e.    Garage sale signs;

f.    Outdoor vendor signs;

g.    Project real estate signs;

h.    Residential unit real estate signs (for sale, lease or rent);

i.    Real estate directional arrow signs;

j.    Residential real estate open house signs;

k.    Window signs.

2.    A-Frame Signs:

a.    Example of A-Frame Sign:

Below, A-Frame Sign

b.    Commercial A-frame signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(2)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(2)(b) – A-Frame Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Business/ Tenant Space

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of A-Frame

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones

On site

Right-of-way

1

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

365 days

Yes

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to A-Frame Signs:

(1)    Signs may only be present during the hours a business or service is open.

(2)    Sign Placement, in Addition to Subsection (A)(7) of This Section:

(A)    On Site: Must be on site, directly in front of or adjacent to the sponsoring business and on the property directly in front on the business, no farther than twenty (20) feet from the primary public pedestrian entrance to the business and not in front of another business except when an alternate location is approved in writing by the Director;

(B)    In Right-of-Way: If the business meets the criteria below, one (1) A-frame, up to fifty (50) feet from the business’s primary entrance, may be placed in the right-of-way. The sign must be located the shortest distance between the sign and the entrance to the site or with a sight line to the business’s primary entrance. If a distance greater than fifty (50) feet is necessary, the Director must approve the alternate location in writing. An A-frame is allowed in the right-of-way if the sign cannot be placed on the property directly abutting the sponsoring business and meets one (1) of the following two (2) criteria:

i.    The business is so close to the right-of-way that there is insufficient space to place the A-frame on site and within twenty (20) feet of the primary public pedestrian entrance to the business;

ii.    The business is not within twenty (20) feet of the right-of-way, and a sign placed on site and no more than twenty (20) feet from the business’s primary public pedestrian entrance does not have a sight line from the sign to right-of-way.

(3)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

3.    Commercial Banners on Light Poles:

a.    Example of Commercial Banner on Light Pole:

Below, Pair of Commercial Banners on a Light Pole

b.    Commercial banners on light poles are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(3)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(3)(b) – Commercial Banners on Light Poles

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Banner Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF-F and CF-FPO

On site

See below

10 sq. ft. on poles over 15 ft.

5 sq. ft. on poles up to 15 ft.

2

90 days

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Commercial Banners on Light Poles:

(1)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: There may be up to two (2) banners per pole.

(2)    Sign Placement, in Addition to Subsection (A)(7) of This Section:

(A)    Banners may not be higher than the light pole itself. This standard establishes maximum height of the sign.

(B)    Banners must maintain a clearance of at least eight (8) feet above areas where pedestrians are likely to be present.

(3)    Banners may only be installed with permission of the light pole owner.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

4.    Commercial Banners on Buildings:

a.    Example of a Commercial Banner on a Building:

Below, a Commercial Banner Attached to a Building

b.    Commercial banners are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(4)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(4)(b) – Commercial Banner Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Business/ Tenant Space

Max. Area of Banner Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Banner Above Finished Grade

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF-F and CF-FPO

On site

1

32 sq. ft.

1

30 feet

30 days per calendar quarter year

Yes

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Commercial Banners:

(1)    Sign Placement, in Addition to Subsection (A)(7) of This Section: All commercial banners must be attached to the building housing the business and located on the side of the building which faces the street, or if their business does not face a street, then their primary entrance.

(2)    The entire banner must be attached flush to the facade of the building, anchored at all four (4) corners, and may not extend above the roofline or around the corner of a wall.

(3)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

5.    Construction, Contractor, or “Coming Soon” Signs:

a.    Example of Construction, Contractor, or “Coming Soon” Sign:

Below Left, Construction Sign

Below Right, Coming Soon Sign

b.    Construction/contractor or “coming soon” signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(5)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(5)(b) – Construction, Contractor or “Coming Soon” Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area of Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

All zones

On site

See below

32 sq. ft.

1

10 feet

See below

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Construction, Contractor, “Coming Soon” Signs:

(1)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: For a property or tenant space under construction, one (1) sign per street frontage is allowed. If there is no street frontage, then one (1) sign per tenant space.

(2)    Duration: All construction, contractor, or “coming soon” signs allowed in this subsection may be in place while permits are active, and construction is ongoing. The sign must be removed from the site within ten (10) days of the cessation of excavation, construction, demolition, rehabilitation, structural alteration, or related work on site, or expiration of the construction permit(s).

(3)    Sign Placement, in Addition to Subsection (A)(7) of This Section: The sign must be located at least ten (10) feet from any adjoining property line and two (2) feet behind the street property line.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a construction, contractor, or “coming soon” sign is a temporary sign for informational purposes which identifies individuals or firms involved with the construction of a building or announcing the character of the building or enterprise, which is erected during the building construction period.

6.    Garage Sale Signs:

a.    Example of a Garage Sale Sign:

Below, a Wire Frame Garage Sale Sign

b.    Garage sale signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(6)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(6)(b) – Garage Sale Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Garage Sale

Type of Sign

Max. Area of Stake/ Wire Frame Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

All zones which include a residential use

Right-of-way

4

Stake/ wire frame

4 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

See below

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Garage Sale Signs:

(1)    The only type of sign that may be used for garage sale signs is stake/wire frame signs.

(2)    Duration: Signs may only be present for up to three (3) days, associated with the sale, to assist with advertising and direction.

(3)    See sign placement in subsection (A)(7) of this section.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a garage sale sign is a temporary sign advertising the sale of personal property used to dispose of personal household possessions and including sample sales. It is not for the use of any commercial venture. Garage sale signs are also known as yard sale, moving sale, or patio sale signs.

7.    Outdoor Vendor Signs:

a.    Example of an Outdoor Vendor Sign:

Below, Food Truck Whose Truck Sign Also Serves as a Commercial Banner

b.    Outdoor vendor signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(7)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(7)(b) – Outdoor Vendor Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Business

Types of Signs

Max. Area per Banner or A-Frame Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Banner or A-Frame

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Where a permitted use

See below

Option 1

See below

Yes

1

Comm’l banner

16 sq. ft.

1

8 feet

1

A-frame

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

Option 2

2

A-frame

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Outdoor Vendor Signs:

(1)    Outdoor vendor signs are used for food trucks, fruit or vegetable stands, tree stands, pop-up uses, accessory vending stands, and similar activities. On-site signage is allowed if the use is separate from the primary or permanent use(s) of the site.

(2)    The only types of signs that may be used for outdoor vendor signs are commercial banners or A-frame signs.

(3)    Maximum Number of Total Signs:

(A)    For option one in Table 18.11.060(B)(7)(b), the outdoor vendor may have either a vehicle with the business name parked as a sign (see IMC 18.11.040(P)) or a commercial banner;

(B)    For option two in Table 18.11.060(B)(7)(b), if two (2) A-frames are present, no vehicle sign may be present or visible;

(C)    Menu boards, without advertising and a logo no more than fifteen (15) percent of the sign face, and in compliance with A-frame size and sign height, are considered informational signs (see IMC 18.11.050(B)(3)).

(4)    Duration: Sign duration follows the allowed duration of the business it is advertising.

(5)    Hours: Signs may only be present during business hours.

(6)    Sign Placement: In addition to subsection (A)(7) of this section, signs associated with outdoor vendors allowed on site must be placed on site only. Signs associated with outdoor vendors allowed in the right-of-way must place signage in the right-of-way, in compliance with subsection (A)(7) of this section.

(7)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

8.    Project Real Estate Signs:

a.    Example of a Commercial Project Real Estate Sign:

Below Left, Commercial Project Real Estate Sign With Two (2) Faces

Below Right, Commercial Project Real Estate Sign With One (1) Face

b.    Project real estate signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(8)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(8)(b) – Project Real Estate Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Entrance/ Street Frontage

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Residential property in all zones

On site

1

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

365 days

Yes

Commercial property in all zones

On site

1

32 sq. ft.

2

10 feet

365 days

Yes

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Project Real Estate Signs:

(1)    Sign Purpose:

(A)    Residential: Advertising the initial availability of lots and/or houses in a subdivision or units (condominiums) at the entrance of the development, while the lots or houses are for sale;

(B)    Commercial: Advertising commercial or industrial property or building on the street frontage of the property, while the property or building is for sale, rent, or lease.

(2)    Duration: The applicant may request one (1) extension of time, not to exceed six (6) months, for any project real estate sign.

(3)    Sign Placement, in Addition to Subsection (A)(7) of This Section:

(A)    The sign must be located more than ten (10) feet from any adjoining property line and two (2) feet behind the street property line;

(B)    If the sign is for a commercial property, the sign may be attached to the building or be freestanding.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

9.    Residential Unit Real Estate Signs (For Sale, Lease or Rent):

a.    Example of Residential Unit Real Estate Sign:

Below, Unit Real Estate Sign Using a Yard Arm With a Rider Above and Below the Arm

b.    Residential unit real estate signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(9)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(9)(b) – Residential Unit Real Estate Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Street Frontage

Max. Number of Total Signs

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign Structure and Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Residential property in all zones

On site

1

2

6 sq. ft.

2

6.5 feet

See below

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Residential Unit Real Estate Signs:

(1)    Maximum Area per Sign Face: In addition to the primary residential unit real estate sign, two (2) riders of up to one and one-half (1.5) square feet each are permitted. The square footage of the riders is in addition to the size of the primary sign.

(2)    Maximum Height: The maximum sign height includes the height of a yard arm to hold the sign and the height of any riders.

(3)    Duration: Signs may remain in place on site until ten (10) days after the property is sold, rented, or leased.

(4)    For sign placement, see subsection (A)(7) of this section.

(5)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a residential unit real estate sign (for sale, rent, lease) is an on-site sign advertising that the immediate residential property is for sale, rent, or lease.

10.    Real Estate Directional Arrow Signs:

a.    Example of a Real Estate Directional Arrow Sign:

Below, Wire Frame Real Estate Directional Arrow Sign

b.    Real estate directional arrows signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(10)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(10)(b) – Real Estate Directional Arrow Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs

Type of Sign

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

All zones which include a residential use

Right-of-way

See below

Stake/ wire frame

1.5 sq. ft.

2

2 feet

See below

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Real Estate Directional Arrow Signs:

(1)    Directional arrow signs are to be used solely for directing people to a house for sale or lease, or an apartment for rent, or a condominium unit for sale. No off-site real estate directional arrow sign is allowed for advertising the sale or rental opportunities of commercial property or properties outside the City.

(2)    The only type of sign that may be used for real estate directional arrow signs is stake/wire frame signs.

(3)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: The minimum number of signs necessary for each turn in locating the house or condominium unit from the closest arterial street.

(4)    Duration: Signs must be removed when the sale closes, or in case of a lease, when the tenant takes possession.

(5)    See sign placement in subsection (A)(7) of this section.

(6)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of an off-site real estate directional arrow sign is a portable and temporary sign advertising, or assisting people in locating, property that is for sale, rent, or lease.

11.    Residential Real Estate Open House Signs:

a.    Example of a Residential Real Estate Open House Sign:

Below, A-Frame Residential Real Estate Open House Sign

b.    Residential real estate open house signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(11)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(11)(b) – Real Estate Open House Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Number of Total Signs per Property

Type of Sign

Max. Area per Sign Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of A-Frame

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

All zones which include a residential use

Right-of-way

4

A-frame, stake/ wire frame

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

See below

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Residential Real Estate Open House Signs:

(1)    The only type of signs that may be used for real estate open house signs is A-frame and stake/wire frame signs.

(2)    No off-site real estate open house signs are allowed for advertising the sale or rental opportunity of a commercial property.

(3)    Maximum Number of Total Signs: No more than four (4) signs per property per agent for any one (1) residential open house may be displayed at one (1) time; except if the agent has more than one (1) listed property in a development, then the agent’s total number of such signs for the development is limited to five (5).

(4)    Duration: Signs may be displayed only between dawn and dusk on days when there is an open house and only when the seller or seller’s representative is at the property and the open house is occurring. For rental or leased buildings, an open house is only during the initial lease period.

(5)    See subsection (A)(7) of this section for sign placement.

(6)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. Specific definitions related to this section:

(A)    An off-site real estate open house sign is a portable and temporary sign advertising, or assisting people in locating, property that is for sale, rent, or lease;

(B)    An open house is an event held to welcome people to view a piece of residential real estate which is being offered for sale.

12.    Window Signs:

a.    Example of a Window Sign: See permanent commercial window signs example in IMC 18.11.050(D).

b.    Temporary window signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.060(B)(12)(b).

Table 18.11.060(B)(12)(b) – Window Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. % of All Window Area per Each Business/ Tenant Facade

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Sign

Max. Height of Sign Above Finished Grade

Max. Duration

Temp. Sign Agreement?

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF-F and CF-FPO

On site

25%

1

20 feet

30 days

No

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Window Signs:

(1)    See subsection (A)(7) of this section for sign placement.

(2)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120. The definition of a temporary window sign is an advertisement for services or products in the form of decals, emblems, paint, exposed neon, or banners. Any sign of a temporary nature displayed within a building on the inside of the glass or in close proximity to the window and intended to be viewed by persons outside of the building. Temporary window signs are those which identify the business, products, or services and are intended to be in place no more than thirty (30) days.

C.    Temporary Sign Agreement:

1.    When required for certain temporary commercial signs, a sign number must be issued by the City prior to installation of the sign. By submitting the temporary sign agreement, an applicant acknowledges the applicable standards, including indemnification if signs are allowed in the right-of-way, and ensures compliance with any time limits. To determine if a temporary sign agreement is required for a temporary commercial sign, see the standards for that sign above. Whether a temporary sign agreement is required or not, compliance with all standards listed for the specific sign must be met.

2.    A temporary sign agreement authorizes the applicant to place the identified sign(s) on the disclosed property or location for the allowed duration, starting from the date of issuance of a sign number. Any temporary commercial sign which requires a temporary sign agreement must properly display the issued sign number on the sign.

3.    For signs allowed in the right-of-way which require a temporary sign agreement, the property identified on the temporary sign agreement must be the business address with which the sign is associated, such as for A-frames; or the address shown on the City of Issaquah business license, such as for outdoor vendors. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.070 Temporary noncommercial signs.

The following provisions apply to all temporary noncommercial message signs placed within the City.

A.    General Standards for Temporary Noncommercial Signs: Noncommercial speech signs express noncommercial messages such as public/community events, religious, political, ideological, or other philosophical messages. Noncommercial speech signs do not promote commercial businesses, projects, or services. The content of such signs is not regulated but the sign is subject to any time, place, or manner standards for the sign in this section, and the general and specific following requirements:

1.    Permit: A sign permit or temporary sign agreement are not required to install a temporary noncommercial sign.

2.    Fee: No fee is required to place temporary noncommercial signs in the City.

3.    Temporary Noncommercial Sign Materials and Construction:

a.    Signs must be constructed of any material durable enough to withstand rain, wind, and normal wear and tear for the anticipated use, and must conform to the requirements of this chapter;

b.    Must be maintained in an aesthetic and safe condition;

c.    May not be an electric sign and may not be an illuminated sign;

d.    May not move or vibrate, emit noise, or be animated, or have changing images.

4.    Duration must be consistent with the definition of temporary signs as defined in IMC 18.11.120 and not be dilapidated or derelict.

5.    Sign Height: Specific sign heights are listed in subsection B of this section. In no case are signs to extend above the roof line and in no case may they be higher than sixty-five (65) feet above the grade regardless of building height.

6.    Sign Placement:

a.    Temporary noncommercial signs may be placed in right-of-way only if specifically allowed in subsection B of this section;

b.    All temporary noncommercial signs intended to be placed or allowed on site must be wholly within the property consistent with the requirements of this chapter;

c.    Except when allowed to be in the right-of-way, the sign must be placed entirely outside of the circulation facility; and, in no case may signs extend into the area intended for vehicular travel. Where no curb exists, the sign must be placed outside the roadway at least ten (10) feet from the roadway edge or consistent with the City’s roadway safety requirements;

d.    Minimum Setback Requirements for Public or Private Facilities:

(1)    Out of the sight distance triangle of intersections and driveways as described in IMC 18.11.100(F);

(2)    Ten (10) feet from any driveway, alley, or vehicle access point;

(3)    Two (2) feet from any curb or roadway edge;

(4)    Two (2) feet from any pedestrian sidewalk or ADA accessible path;

(5)    Five (5) feet from any building access point if not attached to the building.

e.    The sign may not obstruct pedestrian or accessible routes to or along the public or private sidewalk or encroach into the minimum clear pathway area of forty-eight (48) inches in width;

f.    The sign may not interfere with the opening of car doors, use of bicycle parking facilities, bus stops, or loading zones;

g.    The sign must remain portable and may not be attached or anchored to trees or to public property including, but not limited to, utility or light poles, parking meters, or pavement.

h.    Signs are prohibited in, on, or within public or private medians, roundabouts, traffic circles, utility poles, lampposts (except banners as specified in this section), traffic poles and signals, and street trees.

i.    Signs may not create a hazard to either pedestrians or motorists as determined by the Director.

B.    Temporary Noncommercial Signs: The following provisions apply to all temporary noncommercial signs placed within the City:

1.    List of Temporary Noncommercial Sign Design Types:

a.    General on-site signs;

b.    General right-of-way signs;

c.    Noncommercial banners on light poles;

d.    Flags.

2.    General On-Site Signs:

a.    Example of General On-Site Sign:

Below Left, Banner

Below Center, Stake/Wire Frame Sign

Below Right, Banner

b.    Temporary noncommercial general on-site signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.070(B)(2)(b).

Table 18.11.070(B)(2)(b) – General On-Site Signs 

 

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Max. Total Area of All Sign Faces

Types of Signs

Max. Area for Each Type of Sign’s Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Type of Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Residential and Community Facility Zones

Single Family: C-Res, SF-E, SF-S, SF-SL, SF-D, UV-SF-1, UV-SF-0

Multifamily: MF-M, MF-H, UV-MF

Community Facilities: CF-OS, CF-OSPO, CF-R, CF-RPO, CF-F, CF-FPO

32 sq. ft.

A-frame

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

Stake/wire frame

4 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

Window

15 sq. ft.

1

Window placement

Banner

15 sq. ft.

2

– 25 feet on a single pole or building

– 4 feet otherwise

Nonresidential and Mixed Use Zones

Mixed Use: PO, CBD, MU, MU-CI, MUR, IC-CI, UC, VR, UV-MUR-H, UV-MUR-T

Nonresidential: IC, UV-COM, UV-RET, UV-O, UV-VC, M

32 sq. ft.

A-frame

6 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

Stake/wire frame

4 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

Window

32 sq. ft.

1

Window placement

Banner

32 sq. ft.

2

– 30 feet on a single pole or building

– 10 feet otherwise

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to General On-Site Signs:

(1)    The only types of signs that may be used for general on-site signs are A-frame, stake/wire frame, window, and banner signs.

(2)    Placement:

(A)    Freestanding banners, such as those held by poles, must be placed five (5) feet from the property line;

(B)    See sign placement in subsection (A)(6) of this section.

(3)    Sign Area:

(A)    The maximum total sign area may be composed of any combination of signs and sign faces but the total sign area must be less than or equal to the maximum total sign area allowed;

(B)    Window signs may not cover more than twenty-five (25) percent of the window area on any facade.

(4)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

3.    General Right-of-Way Signs:

a.    Example of a General Right-of-Way Sign:

Below, Stake/Wire Frame Sign in the Right-of-Way

b.    Temporary noncommercial general right-of-way signs are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.070(B)(3)(b).

Table 18.11.070(B)(3)(b) – General Right-of-Way Signs

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Type of Sign

Max. Area per Stake/Wire Frame Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Height of Sign

Allowed in right-of-way adjacent to all zones

Right-of-way

Stake/wire frame

4 sq. ft.

2

4 feet

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to General Right-of-Way Signs:

(1)    The only type of sign that may be used for right-of-way signs is stake/wire frame signs.

(2)    See sign placement in subsection (A)(6) of this section.

(3)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

4.    Noncommercial Banners on Light Poles:

a.    Example of a Noncommercial Banner on Light Pole:

Below, Noncommercial Banner on Light Pole Secured Between Bars

b.    Banners on light poles in the right-of-way are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.070(B)(4)(b).

Table 18.11.070(B)(4)(b) – Noncommercial Banners on Light Poles

Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Maximum Area per Banner Face

Max. Number of Sign Faces per Total Sign

Max. Duration

Nonresidential and multifamily uses in all zones; property zoned CF-F and CF-FPO

Right-of-way

10 sq. ft. on poles over 15 feet

5 sq. ft. on poles up to 15 feet

2

90 days

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Noncommercial Banners on Light Poles:

(1)    Sign Placement:

(A)    Banners may not be higher than the light pole itself. This establishes maximum height of the banner;

(B)    Banners must maintain a minimum clearance of at least eight (8) feet above sidewalks and other areas where pedestrians are present and fourteen (14) feet over on-street parking or travel lanes;

(C)    See general sign placement in subsection (A)(6) of this section.

(2)    Banners must be supported between bars to prevent fluttering.

(3)    Banners must receive the permission of the pole owner prior to installation and must be installed per the pole owner’s specifications.

(4)    Noncommercial banners may not be used for advertising name and/or logo of business, a commercial development, or products. If commercial sponsorship information is desired on the banner, it may not be more than fifteen (15) percent of the total banner sign area.

(5)    Definitions: See general definitions in IMC 18.11.120.

5.    Flags:

a.    Example of a Flag:

Below, Flag Hung From a House, not a Flag Pole

b.    Flags are allowed as specified in Table 18.11.070(B)(5)(b).

Table 18.11.070(B)(5)(b) – Flags

Zones Where Sign Is Allowed

Permitted Location

Max. Size Each Flag Face

Max. Height of the Flag

All zones

On site

25 sq. ft.

30 ft.

Mixed use: PO, CBD, MU, MU-CI, MUR, IC-CI, UC, VR, UV-MUR-H, UV-MUR-T

Nonresidential: IC, UV-COM, UV-RET, UV-O, UV-VC, M

On site

60 sq. ft.

40 ft.

c.    Other Requirements for and Information Related to Flags:

(1)    See sign placement in subsection (A)(6) of this section.

(2)    Definitions: See definitions in IMC 18.11.120 for definitions of flags and banners. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.080 Front Street temporary banner.

The Front Street temporary banner permit allows temporary noncommercial banners when all requirements have been met. Permanent or commercial banners are not allowed over the right-of-way in any location.

A.    Application and Process: Applicants apply to the City at intervals during the year, using an application process available to all allowed users.

B.    Allowed Users: Only the City of Issaquah and entities which receive funding from the City of Issaquah are allowed users of the Front Street temporary banners. Furthermore, allowed users may only install banners for a program or event for which they received funding in that calendar year.

For those non-City entities which qualify as allowed users, the program or event utilizing the proposed banner must further a governmental purpose.

C.    Location: Temporary noncommercial banners are allowed over the right-of-way only at City-designated locations.

D.    Number: A City-sponsored user may not have more than one (1) banner up per calendar quarter year for each Front Street banner location. There is no limitation on the number of City of Issaquah banners.

E.    Banner Installation and Design:

1.    Temporary banners must be installed by the City and only with a valid approved banner permit;

2.    All Front Street temporary banners must be made of heavy-duty material and constructed to withstand wind, weather, and other likely conditions. The City provides specifications to interested applicants, who must provide documentation confirming the banner complies with the specifications;

3.    If commercial sponsorship information is desired on the banner, it may not be more than fifteen (15) percent of the total banner sign area.

F.    Duration: Banners may be installed for up to three (3) weeks with each approval.

G.    Fees: A fee must be paid in accordance with the City of Issaquah’s adopted fee schedule. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.090 Nonconforming signs.

A sign existing at the effective date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter which could not be built under the terms of this chapter.

A.    Signs legally in existence at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter that do not comply with the standards of this chapter must be deemed legally nonconforming and may continue to exist per this section. Legal nonconforming status may not apply to signs that have received notice of infraction prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

B.    Legal nonconforming signs may be removed for cleaning and routine maintenance such as repainting, cleaning, and changing of lighting and wiring without being brought into conformance with the current sign chapter.

C.    Nothing in this section relieves the owner or user of a legal nonconforming sign or owner of the property on which such nonconforming sign is located, from the provisions of this chapter regarding safety, maintenance, and repair of signs; however, any repainting, cleaning, and other normal maintenance or repair of the sign or sign structure may not modify the sign structure or copy in a way which makes it more nonconforming or the sign may lose its legal nonconforming status.

D.    Legal nonconforming signs may continue to exist except as follows:

1.    Any legal nonconforming sign that undergoes a name change or has twenty (20) percent or more of the sign face (except billboards as defined under IMC 18.11.040(C), Prohibited Signs) or sign structure changed, must be brought into conformance with the current sign chapter within sixty (60) days of such change;

2.    Any legal nonconforming sign that is damaged in excess of fifty (50) percent of the current estimated value of the sign must be brought into conformance immediately with the current sign chapter;

3.    Any legal nonconforming sign that is relocated or replaced must be brought into conformance immediately with the current sign chapter.

E.    Landmark Signs:

1.    A nonconforming sign may continue to exist if it is determined by the Development Commission that the sign qualifies as a landmark sign. Application for designation as a landmark sign must be made on forms available from the Permit Center. An application must consist of a completed application form; any necessary supporting documentation such as plot plans, photographs, or other information; and the appropriate application fee.

2.    The Development Commission classifies a sign as a landmark sign if, after review of a permit application, it determines that the sign complies with all of the following criteria:

a.    There is evidence that the sign is at least forty (40) years old at the time of a complete application submittal;

b.    The sign is demonstrated to have one (1) or more of the following characteristics, making it a significant community landmark:

(1)    Associated with a local historic figure, event, or place;

(2)    Embodies significant evidence of the history of a product, business, or service advertised;

(3)    Embodies significant history of a building;

(4)    Characteristic of a specific historic period of the local area;

(5)    Outstanding example of the sign maker’s art, whether because of their excellent craftsmanship, use of materials, or design;

(6)    Local landmark, that is, signs recognized as a popular focal point in the community.

c.    The sign, though nonconforming, is consistent with the purpose of this chapter, as described in IMC 18.11.010.

3.    Landmark signs may continue to exist except as follows:

a.    Any landmark sign undergoes a name change;

b.    Has twenty (20) percent or more of the text changed resulting in an alteration of the text, whether style or message;

c.    The sign structure is changed other than to maintain, repair, or replace the sign such that there is a resulting alteration of appearance.

    If any of the above occurs, the sign must be brought into conformance immediately with the current sign chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.100 General sign standards and administration.

A.    Administration:

1.    No sign may hereafter be erected, reerected, constructed, refaced, altered, or repaired except as provided in this chapter, and a permit for the sign has been issued by the Director, except when such sign does not require a permit; or a temporary sign agreement has been received by the City except when such sign does not require a temporary sign agreement. A separate permit or temporary sign agreement is required for each individual sign except when specifically noted in the relevant section.

2.    Responsibility:

a.    The ultimate responsibility for any sign is borne by the legal owner of the property on which the sign is located, including inspections.

b.    The Director may require, when necessary, that the property owner or agent be party to or applicant for any required sign permit.

c.    For temporary signs or signs placed in the right-of-way, the person who placed the sign, or is responsible for the sign, is also responsible for its removal or is subject to penalties as provided in this Code.

3.    Right-of-Entry: Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this chapter, or whenever the Director has reasonable cause to believe that there exists any sign or any condition which makes such sign unsafe, the Director may enter the premises or building on which such sign is located at all reasonable times to inspect the sign or to perform any duty imposed on him by this chapter. If such building or premises on which the sign is located is occupied, then the Director must first present proper credentials and request entry; and if such building or premises is unoccupied, then the Director must first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry. If such entry is refused, the Director must have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry. No owner or occupant or any other person having charge, care, or control of any building or premises must fail or neglect, after proper request is made, to promptly permit entry therein by the Director or his authorized representative for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this chapter.

4.    Inspections: All signs permitted by this chapter must be subject to inspection by the Director including all sign footings and sign installation.

B.    Maintenance:

1.    All signs, together with their supports, braces, guys, and anchors, must be kept in repair and in a safe condition. The display surface of all signs must be kept neatly painted or posted at all times. Signs not repaired or removed may be remedied by the City, and the sign owner may be billed for the cost of removal, though the City is not required to take any such action.

2.    Signs are maintained by the property owner or person in possession of the permit.

3.    Maintenance must be such that the signage continues to conform to the conditions imposed by the permit.

4.    A damaged sign, including signs vandalized or subjected to graffiti, must be repaired within sixty (60) days.

5.    Internally illuminated signs or sign panels that have been damaged must remain unilluminated until repaired.

6.    Metal pole covers and sign cabinets must be kept free of rust and rust stains.

7.    Signs must be washed routinely to remove moss and debris.

C.    Removal of Signs:

1.    Unsafe Signs:

a.    Permanent: If the Director finds that any permanent sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or not properly secured, the Director must give written notice to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land on which the sign is erected, who must remove or repair the sign within a specified time from the date of the notice. If the sign is not removed and repaired, the Director must revoke the permit issued for such sign, as provided in this chapter, and must pursue any means necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Director may cause any sign which is determined to be a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily without notice.

b.    Temporary: If the Director finds that any temporary sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or not properly secured, the sign must be removed and held for a period of time, at least five (5) business days, after which the City may dispose of the sign(s).

2.    Expired Advertising Signs: Any sign existing on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, which no longer advertises an existing business conducted or product sold on the premises, must be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after notice from the Director. The Director, upon determining that such sign exists, must notify the owner of the premises in writing to remove the sign within thirty (30) days from the date of such notice. Upon request, the Director may extend the removal requirement for one (1) period, not to exceed ninety (90) days, but the sign may not remain in use and functioning during the extension period; and it is maintained consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

3.    Expired or Invalid Temporary Sign Agreement or Temporary Sign Agreement Sign Number: Failure to properly display the sign number may result in removal of the sign. Displaying of a temporary commercial sign either before the sign number has been issued, or after the allowed duration of such sign, may also result in a sign enforcement action being taken; such as, in the right-of-way the sign may be removed, or if on private property, the City may pursue any means necessary to enforce the applicable standard.

4.    Other Violations: In the event of a violation of any other provision of this chapter the Director must give written notice, specifying the violation, to the holder of the sign permit, or, if no permit exists, to the named owner of the land where the sign is erected, to correct the violation or remove such a sign. Nonconforming temporary signs located on public right-of-way may be removed without notice.

5.    Recovery of Removed Signs:

a.    All signs removed by the City must be available for recovery by the owner of such sign for a period of two (2) weeks, after which they may be destroyed;

b.    The City is not responsible for damages or loss during removal or storage.

D.    Activities That Do Not Require a Permit: No permit is required for the following activities if they are performed consistent with the standards provided in this chapter:

1.    Maintenance or Cleaning: Replacement of signs is allowed without a permit following temporary removal for maintenance or cleaning of signs or following temporary removal for permitted building facade changes. This exception does not include any structural, electrical, copy, refacing or color changes of a sign.

2.    Name change or replacement of up to twenty (20) percent of the face of an existing sign (except a billboard; see IMC 18.11.040(C)), when such replacement does not increase the sign area or dimensions of the sign, is not considered a new sign or a structural alteration and does not require a permit.

3.    Changeable Copy: No permit is required for the changing of the advertising copy or message on a lawfully erected, painted, or printed sign, marquee, or similar signs specifically designed for the use of changeable copy. No structural changes or change to the dimension of the sign may occur with this action.

E.    Sign Illumination: In addition to any other lighting limitations or requirements elsewhere in this chapter:

1.    Lighting for signs must be held to the minimum needed to convey the sign’s message;

2.    Lighting of signs must be in character with the building/development and the surrounding area;

3.    All lighting must be LED and capable of being dimmed separately from all other light sources. Color temperature for white light may not exceed three thousand (3,000) K;

4.    Sign lighting may not be so bright and distracting as to be a traffic hazard;

5.    Lighting must be designed to highlight the signage. External light sources must be shielded and directed onto or toward the sign only, facing downward;

6.    Visible raceways and transformers for all components of a sign, such as logos and individual letters, are prohibited except when painted to match the building exterior upon which the sign is placed;

7.    For signs comprised of channel letters, the interior of such signs may not contain reflective material that enhances the brightness of the sign (unpainted metal, mirror type surfacing). A white painted interior box is acceptable to diffuse the light;

8.    No additional signs may be internally illuminated (ambient illumination only) unless specifically allowed by the standards for a particular additional sign;

9.    Allowed illumination sources include:

a.    External Illumination: Projecting light fixtures used for externally illuminated signs must be simple and unobtrusive in appearance and do not obscure the graphics of the sign;

b.    Reverse illuminated sign/halo effect signage lighting;

c.    Internally lit channel letters;

d.    Exposed Neon Tubing: Exposed LED lighting may be appropriate if it has the look of exposed neon lighting. This is solely for signage and does not include outlining buildings or architectural elements.

F.    Sight Distance: Signs must be placed outside of the sight distance triangle, schematically shown below, or below three (3) feet six (6) inches. For more information on the specifics of locating and placing signs in the sight distance triangle, see the City Street Standards.

G.    Other Requirements:

1.    Indemnification: Owners of signs allowed to be placed within the public right-of-way by a sign permit or temporary sign agreement must agree to indemnify the City for any damages caused by the sign. The form of the indemnity agreement is included within the temporary sign agreement for some temporary signs or in a separate recorded document for permanent signs. Before any agreement or permit is approved, the applicant must agree to the indemnification language. See also Chapter 12.05 IMC for more information regarding permanent signs.

2.    Insurance: Any permanent commercial signs placed in the right-of-way must make the City an additional insured at a value to be determined by the City and be current while the signs are in place. See also Chapter 12.05 IMC for more information regarding permanent signs.

3.    Sign permit approval by the City, issuance of a sign number in response to a temporary sign agreement, or implementation of the standards in this chapter does not constitute any representation as to whether the selected location contains any utilities or irrigation infrastructure, or that the location meets the sight distance provisions or other safety requirements. Nor must sign approval by the City, issuance of a sign number in response to a temporary sign agreement, or implementation of the standards in this chapter be construed as relieving the owner of any sign for the responsibility of its erection, maintenance, and removal, and its compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance regulating the same. The applicant is fully responsible to research and ensure such placement of a sign does not harm the right-of-way or damage any landscape, utility, or irrigation system and meets safety standards. Damage caused by any sign installation is the responsibility of the sign owner or owner’s representative.

4.    Right-of-Way: Where it is necessary to determine the applicable land use zone, the land use zone is based on the most proximate property’s land use zoning, relative to the proposed sign location. (Ord. 2979 § 3 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.110 Variances.

A.    Purpose: It is the purpose of this section to authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variances from the provisions of this chapter which are not contrary to the public interest and only where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of such ordinance(s) would result in unnecessary hardship, while ensuring that any variance is compatible with Issaquah Comprehensive Plan and this chapter’s purpose and vision.

B.    Application, Review Process, and Criteria: Information regarding application for a variance is in Chapter 18.04 IMC. Variances must be reviewed pursuant to IMC 18.04.490.

C.    Variances Not Permitted: No variance may be granted that would allow a sign or device which is prohibited by IMC 18.11.040, Prohibited Signs.

D.    No other method may be used to adjust sign standards established by this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).

18.11.120 Definitions.

See definitions in Chapter 18.02 IMC except definitions specific to this chapter, some of which are shown in Table 18.11.120. Definitions which are used in one (1) location within this chapter have been incorporated into that section.

 

Table 18.11.120 – Definitions 

A-frame

A portable, two (2) faced sign which is readily movable and has no permanent attachment to a building, structure, or the ground. Also known as a movable, sandwich board, or pedestal sign.

Banner

Flexible, sturdy material on which a sign is painted, printed, or sewn that is attached to buildings or other structures. Banners may also have decorative images, symbols, and messages. Some are commercial banners, some may be noncommercial banners. If it represents a governmental body it is a flag; see Flag.

Channel or wall-mounted letters

Signage composed of letters individually mounted or painted on a structure or wall, without a border or decorative enclosure.

Circulation facility

Circulation encompasses all public and private facilities necessary for motorized and nonmotorized movement, including pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles.

Clearance (of a sign)

If the sign is above a street, the smallest vertical distance between the grade of the adjacent street or street curb and the lowest point of any sign; if the sign is above landscape or another surface, the smallest vertical distance between the grade below the sign and the lowest point of any sign. This includes framework and embellishments, extending over that grade.

Commercial banner

A sign which is temporary and commercial in nature. Examples include: sign used while a permanent wall sign is fabricated and/or undergoing the permit review process; sign advertising a temporary event such as a sale, special event, grand opening, or other commercial event for a permanent business; sign used with an accessory use or temporary use such as an outdoor vendor.

Electric sign

Any sign containing electrical wiring but not including signs illuminated by an exterior light source. See also Illuminated sign.

Erect

To build, construct, alter, repair, display, relocate, attach, hang, place, suspend, affix, or maintain any sign, and includes the painting of exterior wall signs.

Flag

A flexible cloth or cloth-like material printed with the symbol of a country, state, county, city, or other governmental body. If it does not represent a governmental body it is a banner; see Banner.

Illuminated sign

A sign with an artificial light source incorporated internally or externally for the purpose of illuminating the sign. See Electric sign.

Monument sign

A self-supporting, ground-related, freestanding sign which is detached from a building. A monument sign is attached to the ground or its base on grade by a solid-appearing sign structure which extends from the ground or base to the sign face at the same or greater width as the sign face. Example of a monument sign:

Multi-business development

A development which includes two (2) or more businesses which share a single structure or separate structures. A development indicates that there are one (1) or more buildings under a common development scheme or common ownership.

Noncommercial

Noncommercial speech signs express noncommercial messages such as public/community events, religious, political, ideological, or other philosophical messages. Noncommercial speech signs do not promote commercial businesses, projects, or services.

Pole sign

A self-supporting, freestanding sign which is detached from a building and is supported by one (1) or more poles or columns which serve as the structural support for the sign. The poles or columns are less than one-quarter (1/4) the width of the sign face. Example of a pole sign:

Public realm

The space that is generally publicly accessible, regardless of ownership, including streets, roads, squares, forecourts, parks, sidewalks, trails, and open spaces.

Readerboard sign

A sign or part of a sign on which the letters are readily replaceable such that the copy can be changed from time to time at will, or an electronically controlled version on which a temporary text message or graphic is displayed.

Sign

Any material, structure, or device, or part thereof, composed of text, symbols, or graphics, or on which text, symbols, or graphics are placed when used or located outside or on the exterior of any building and includes any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration, or insignia used to inform or attract the attention of the public when the same is placed in view of the public.

Sign area

The sum of all display sign areas as determined by circumscribing the exterior limits on the mass of each display erected on one (1) sign structure with a circle, triangle, or quadrangle connecting all extreme points. The sign structure supporting a sign, or the painted or architectural background of a sign, is not included in determining the sign area except when the sign structure or background is designed in a manner to visually amplify the sign itself or is specified to be included in the sign’s standards. Example of measuring sign area:

Sign category

See IMC 18.11.050(A)(3).

Sign design type

See the following sections of this Code for sign design types: IMC 18.11.050(B)(2), permanent commercial signs allowed without a permit; IMC 18.11.050(C), permanent commercial signs allowed with a permit; IMC 18.11.060(B)(1), temporary commercial signs; IMC 18.11.070(B)(1), Temporary noncommercial signs.

Sign face

Sign face equals sign area and indicates how many sides of a structure may have signs on it. The table for each sign design type specifies how many times a sign face may be used with that sign design type, typically between one (1) and four (4), to create the total sign.

Sign height

For signs that are not attached to a building (such as monument, pole, or directional/informational signs), the vertical distance measured from the grade immediately around the sign to the highest point of the sign or its sign structure.

 

For a sign attached to a building, the vertical distance measured from the building grade immediately below the sign to the highest point of the sign or its sign structure.

 

If the grade has been perceptibly built up, the curb grade of the nearest street to the highest point of the sign or sign structure. Example of measuring sign height:

Sign number

The number the City issues in response to the submittal of a temporary sign agreement.

Sign structure

Any structure that supports or is designed to support any sign as defined in this chapter. A sign structure may be a single pole and may or may not be an integral part of the building. Examples of sign structure with arrows pointing to the sign structure:

Stake/wire frame sign

A temporary sign that is posted in the ground by a stake or wire frame. Example of wire frame sign:

Street frontage

The side of the building facing a street which abuts the property on which the building is located. Examples of street frontage:

Temporary sign

A sign structure or device used for the display of messages or images, which is easily installed and removed, and which is not intended or suitable for long-term or permanent display due to the sign construction, materials, placement, or installation.

Total sign

The total sign is composed of the number of allowed sign faces.

(Ord. 2952 § 2 (Exh. A), 2021).