Chapter 18.42
DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS – SIGNS

Sections:

18.42.010    Purpose.

18.42.020    Permit requirements.

18.42.030    Exempt signs.

18.42.040    Prohibited signs.

18.42.050    Sign area calculation.

18.42.060    General sign requirements.

18.42.070    Community bulletin board signs.

18.42.080    A-frame/sandwich board signs.

18.42.090    Residential zone signs.

18.42.100    Downtown commercial zone signs.

18.42.110    Neighborhood business and community business Juanita subarea zone signs.

18.42.120    Community business west subarea zone signs.

18.42.130    Urban corridor, waterfront commercial and regional business zone signs.

18.42.135    Signs in the public/semi-public, parks and golf course zones.

18.42.140    Signs or displays of limited duration.

18.42.150    Billboards – Location and height standards.

18.42.160    Repealed.

18.42.170    Repealed.

18.42.180    Repealed.

18.42.190    Repealed.

18.42.200    Repealed.

18.42.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to enhance the visual environment of the City by:

A. Establishing standards that regulate the type, number, location, size, and lighting of signs;

B. Recognizing the private purposes of signs for the identification of businesses and promotion of products and services; and

C. Recognizing the public purposes of signs, which include considerations of traffic safety and economic and aesthetic welfare. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.020 Permit requirements.

A. Except as otherwise permitted by this chapter, no sign shall be erected, altered or relocated without approval by the City.

B. No building permit shall be required for repainting, cleaning, or other normal maintenance and repair of a sign, or for sign face and copy changes that do not alter the size or structure of the sign.

C. By installing any sign in the City, whether or not a permit is required, the owner of the sign acknowledges responsibility for compliance with this chapter, for the safety of the sign, and for any and all damage to property or injury to person resulting from the sign. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.030 Exempt signs.

The following signs or displays are exempted from the regulations under this chapter:

A. Historic site markers or plaques, gravestones, and address numbers;

B. Signs required by law, including but not limited to:

1. Official or legal notices issued and posted by any public agency or court; or

2. Traffic directional or warning signs;

C. Plaques, tablets or inscriptions indicating the name of a building, date of erection, or other commemorative information, which are an integral part of the building structure or are attached flat to the face of the building, which are nonilluminated, and which do not exceed four square feet in surface area;

D. Incidental signs, which shall not exceed two square feet in surface area; provided, that said size limitation shall not apply to signs providing directions, warnings or information when established and maintained by a public agency;

E. State or federal flags;

F. Religious symbols;

G. Repealed by Ord. 21-0523; and

H. Signs, flags or banners installed on City-owned property or in the right-of-way by the City for purposes of providing information, directions, or decoration. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.040 Prohibited signs.

Except as indicated by this chapter, the following signs or displays are prohibited:

A. Portable signs including, but not limited to, mobile readerboard signs, but excluding A-frame and sandwich board signs and other signs permitted under KMC 18.42.080 and 18.42.140;

B. Private signs on utility poles;

C. Signs which, by reason of their size, location, movement, content, coloring or manner of illumination, may be confused with traffic control signs or signals;

D. Signs located in the public right-of-way, except where permitted in this chapter or otherwise by law;

E. Posters, pennants, banners, strings of lights, blinking lights, balloons, searchlights and other displays of a carnival nature except where permitted in this chapter;

F. Changing message center signs, where the message changes more frequently than every eight seconds;

G. Billboards; and

H. Three-dimensional objects affixed or attendant to a permanent or temporary sign or display, such as vehicles, animals, instruments, or other figures; propellers, wind powered or other similar devices or objects; and air-filled figures other than balloons one foot or less in diameter. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 17-0445B § 1; Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.050 Sign area calculation.

A. Sign area for nonmonument freestanding signs shall be calculated by determining the total surface area of the sign as viewed from any single vantage point, excluding support structures.

B. Sign area for letters or symbols painted or mounted directly on walls or monument signs or on the sloping portion of a roof shall be calculated by measuring the smallest single rectangle which will enclose the combined letters and symbols.

C. Sign area for signs contained entirely within a cabinet and mounted on a wall, roof or monument shall be calculated by measuring the entire area of the cabinet. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.060 General sign requirements.

A. All signs, except billboards, bulletin boards, community identification signs, and temporary signs, shall be on-premises signs; provided, that uses located on lots without public street frontage in business and office zones may have one off-premises directional sign of no more than 16 square feet.

B. Fuel price signs shall not be included in sign area or number limitations of KMC 18.42.100 through 18.42.135, provided such signs do not exceed 20 square feet per street frontage.

C. Projecting and awning signs shall not be permitted for uses in the residential zones. Signs mounted on the sloping portion of roofs shall not be permitted in the residential, downtown residential, and downtown commercial zones. Allowances for projecting and awning signs in the downtown commercial zone are found in KMC 18.42.100. In other zones, projecting and awning signs and signs mounted on the sloping portion of roofs may be used in lieu of wall signs, provided:

1. They maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet above finished grade;

2. They do not project more than six feet perpendicular from the supporting building facade;

3. They meet the standards of subsection J of this section if mounted on the roof of a building; and

4. They shall not exceed the number or size permitted for wall signs in a zone.

D. Changing message center signs, and time and temperature signs, which can be a wall or freestanding sign, shall not exceed the size permitted for a wall or freestanding sign, and shall be permitted only in the NB, CB west, UC, WC, and RB zones. Changing message center signs and time and temperature signs shall not exceed the maximum sign height permitted in the zone.

E. Directional signs shall not be included in the sign area or number limitation of KMC 18.42.080; provided, they shall not exceed six square feet in surface area and are limited to one for each entrance or exit to surface parking areas or parking structure.

F. Sign Illumination and Glare.

1. All signs in the NB, CB, UC, WC, RB or DC zone districts may be illuminated. Signs in all other zones may be indirectly illuminated, provided the light source for indirectly illuminated signs shall be no farther away from the sign than the height of the sign;

2. Indirectly illuminated signs shall be arranged so that no direct rays of light are projected from such artificial source into residences or any street right-of-way;

3. Electrical requirements for signs shall be governed by Chapter 19.28 RCW and WAC 296-46-910; and

4. Signs with an on/off operation shall be permitted only in the CB, UC, WC, and RB zones.

G. Maximum height for wall signs shall not extend above the highest exterior wall or structure upon which the sign is located, except in the DC zone which is governed by KMC 18.42.100.

H. Maximum height for projecting signs shall not extend above the highest exterior wall upon which the projecting sign is located.

I. Maximum height for awning signs shall not extend above the height of the awning upon which the awning sign is located.

J. Any sign attached to the sloping surface of a roof shall be installed or erected in such a manner that there are no visible support structures, shall appear to be part of the building itself, and shall not extend above the roof ridge line of the portion of the roof upon which the sign is attached.

K. Except as otherwise permitted by this chapter, off-premises directional signs shall not exceed four square feet in sign area.

L. Mixed use developments or multiple-family dwellings in the NB, CB, DC, UC, WC, or RB zones are permitted one permanent residential identification sign not exceeding 32 square feet in addition to the maximum sign area requirements in the zone where the development is located. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 18-0454 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 14-0391 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.070 Community bulletin board signs.

One community bulletin board sign is permitted at properties located within the public/semi-public zones. Community bulletin board signs are subject to the following provisions:

A. Community bulletin board signs shall not exceed 32 square feet per side;

B. Community bulletin board signs may be internally illuminated;

C. Community bulletin board signs may be electrically controlled and may contain messages that change at intervals of five seconds or greater. All such signs shall be turned off between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

D. Community bulletin board sign messages are limited to those notifying the public of community events and public services. No commercial advertising shall be permitted on community bulletin board signs. Lettering shall be only one color;

E. Community bulletin board signs shall not be located in the right-of-way and shall not impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

F. Wall signs and freestanding signs are permitted; and

G. The maximum height for freestanding signs shall not exceed 15 feet. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.080 A-frame/sandwich board signs.

A-frame/sandwich board signs shall be permitted throughout the City; provided, that:

A. Sign does not exceed six square feet per face;

B. Sign is only displayed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., or during business hours, whichever is earlier;

C. Sign must be displayed on-premises, except as expressly permitted in this chapter;

D. Sign must not be located in the right-of-way or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

E. Only one sign for each street frontage shall be permitted, up to a maximum of two signs; and

F. No banners, streamers, balloons or pennants may be attached to any sign. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.090 Residential zone signs.

Signs in the downtown residential, R and MHC zones are limited as follows:

A. Nonresidential Use.

1. One sign identifying nonresidential uses, not exceeding 25 square feet and not exceeding six feet in height, is permitted;

2. Schools are permitted one sign per school or school facility entrance, which may be located in the setback. Two additional wall signs attached directly to the school or school facility are permitted;

3. Home occupation and home industry signs are limited to wall signs not exceeding six square feet.

B. Residential Use.

1. One sign not exceeding two square feet is permitted; and

2. One permanent residential development identification sign not exceeding 32 square feet is permitted per neighborhood, subdivision, manufactured housing community, apartment/condominium complex, or other residential area. The maximum height for the sign shall be six feet. The sign may be freestanding or mounted on a wall, fence, or other structure. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 19-0481 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.100 Downtown commercial zone signs.

Signs in the downtown commercial zones shall be limited as follows:

A. Wall signs are permitted, provided they do not total an area more than 10 percent of the building facade on which they are located and provided they are limited to building facades with street frontage or to building facades with a business entrance if the business has an exterior facade which does not face a street. A maximum of two wall signs may be permitted per allowed facade, except that multitenant buildings may have one wall sign per business. The wall sign shall be placed on the facade not more than 25 feet above grade, measured to the top of the sign, except that properties fronting SR-522 may have one wall sign above 25 feet above grade if the sign is limited to the name and/or logo of the business(es) or development.

B. Freestanding Signs.

1. Number and Size.

a. One freestanding sign not exceeding 50 square feet is permitted for each street frontage of the lot, provided corner lots with a street frontage of less than 100 feet on each street shall be permitted only one freestanding sign. Properties fronting SR-522 may have one freestanding sign for the frontage along SR-522 that shall not exceed 75 square feet.

b. Properties providing freestanding signs no greater than five feet in height are allowed a maximum sign size of 60 square feet, unless located on SR-522 where such signs shall not exceed 85 square feet;

2. On lots where more than one freestanding sign is permitted, the sign area permitted for individual freestanding signs may be combined, provided the combined sign does not exceed 80 square feet, except that properties fronting SR-522 may combine signage to a maximum of 100 square feet; and

3. The maximum height for freestanding signs shall be 15 feet, unless the sign is placed along the frontage of SR-522 when it may be a maximum of 25 feet in height.

C. Awning Signs. An awning sign(s) may be used in place of a wall sign or freestanding sign. A maximum of 50 square feet of copy may appear on the vertical face area; the drop edge of the awning shall not exceed 12 inches in height. The maximum height of an awning shall be 10 feet. Awnings may extend over the right-of-way and have clearances according to the terms of the adopted International Building Code. The awning sign shall be unlit or externally illuminated. Directed lighting under an awning for purposes of lighting a business entrance is allowed. Backlighting of awnings for sign purposes shall not be permitted.

D. Projecting Signs. A projecting sign(s) may be used in place of a wall sign or freestanding sign. Such projecting signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in size if unlit or externally lit, or six square feet if internally lit. Such signs shall be located on building facades with street frontage or to building facades with a business entrance if the business has an exterior facade which does not face a street. A projecting sign may extend over the public right-of-way by no more than four feet from the wall it is mounted on. When projecting over a public right-of-way, a minimum of eight feet clearance above the surface of the sidewalk is required. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.110 Neighborhood business and community business Juanita subarea zone signs.

Signs in the NB and CB Juanita zones shall be limited as follows:

A. Wall signs are permitted, provided they do not total an area more than 10 percent of the building facade on which they are located;

B. Freestanding Signs.

1. One freestanding sign not exceeding 50 square feet is permitted for each street frontage of the lot, provided corner lots with a street frontage of less than 100 feet on each street shall be permitted only one freestanding sign;

2. Multiple-tenant developments that have more than 300 feet of street frontage on one street may have one additional freestanding sign for each 300 feet of street frontage, or portion thereof. Such signs shall be separated from one another by a minimum of 150 feet, if located on the same street frontage;

3. On lots where more than one freestanding sign is permitted, the sign area permitted for individual freestanding signs may be combined; provided the combined sign does not exceed 150 square feet; and

4. The maximum height for freestanding signs shall be 15 feet. [Ord. 18-0454 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.120 Community business west subarea zone signs.

Signs in the CB west zone shall be limited as follows:

A. Wall signs are permitted, provided they do not total an area more than 15 percent of the building facade on which they are located;

B. Freestanding Signs.

1. One freestanding sign not exceeding 85 square feet, plus an additional 20 square feet for each additional business in a multiple-tenant structure but not to exceed 145 square feet total, is permitted for each street frontage of the lot, provided corner lots with a street frontage of less than 100 feet on each street shall be permitted only one freestanding sign;

2. Multiple-tenant developments that have more than 300 feet of street frontage on one street may have one additional freestanding sign for each 300 feet of street frontage, or portion thereof. Such signs shall be separated from one another by a minimum of 150 feet, if located on the same street frontage;

3. On lots where more than one freestanding sign is permitted, the sign area permitted for individual freestanding signs may be combined, provided the combined sign area does not exceed 250 square feet; and

4. The maximum height for freestanding signs shall be 20 feet. [Ord. 18-0454 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.130 Urban corridor, waterfront commercial, and regional business zone signs.

Signs in the UC, WC and RB zones shall be limited as follows:

A. Wall signs are permitted, provided they do not total an area more than 15 percent of the building facade on which they are located;

B. Freestanding Signs.

1. One freestanding sign not exceeding 170 square feet is permitted for each street frontage of the lot, provided corner lots with a street frontage of less than 100 feet on each street shall be permitted only one freestanding sign;

2. Multiple-tenant developments that have more than 300 feet of street frontage on one street may have one additional freestanding sign for each 300 feet of street frontage, or portion thereof. Such signs shall be separated from one another by a minimum of 150 feet, if located on the same street frontage not exceeding 150 square feet;

3. On lots where more than one freestanding sign is permitted, the sign area permitted for individual freestanding signs may be combined; provided the combined sign area does not exceed 300 square feet; and

4. The maximum height for a freestanding sign shall be 25 feet. [Ord. 14-0391 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.135 Signs in the public/semi-public, parks and golf course zones.

Signs in the public/semi-public zone, and the parks zone, are limited as follows:

A. One community bulletin board sign is permitted at properties located within the public/semi-public zones with the property owner’s permission, provided the sign conforms with KMC 18.42.070;

B. No temporary sign may be placed on properties within the public/semi-public and golf course zones without the property owner’s permission. No temporary sign or display may be placed and/or left unattended on City-owned property (not including a City right-of-way), unless in conjunction with an approved special event permit (KMC 8.40.025), temporary use permit (KMC 18.100.100) or other permission from the City;

C. Properties located within the public/semi-public zones are permitted one sign per facility entrance, which may be located in the setback. Two additional wall signs attached directly to the facility are permitted; and

D. Signs in the golf course zone shall meet the standards of the nearest adjoining zone to which the sign faces. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.140 Signs or displays of limited duration.

Temporary signs are permitted and, except as required by the International Building Code, or as otherwise required by this chapter, do not require building permits, but are limited as follows:

A. General Provisions. All temporary signs are subject to the placement, size, and height requirements of this chapter, and the requirements set forth in the underlying zone, provided:

1. Temporary signs shall not be permanently attached to the ground, a building, or to any other structure, other than what is necessary to secure it to prevent theft, wind damage or safety problems;

2. Temporary signs showing evidence of deterioration, such as rips, tears, color fading, frayed edges or otherwise showing need of general maintenance that can be seen from the property line shall be removed, repaired or replaced promptly (provided the replacement complies with all other portions of this chapter), and the owner of the lot upon which the sign is located shall be responsible for sign maintenance;

3. All temporary signs placed on private property shall have the consent of the property owner or person in control of the property;

4. Temporary signs shall only be placed in the right-of-way subject to the conditions of this chapter and where the following additional conditions are met:

a. The sign owner has permission from the owner of the abutting property. Temporary signs shall not be located in right-of-way adjacent to public property owned or under the control of a unit of federal, state or local government, or special purpose district such as a school, park, public utility, port or library district, unless otherwise approved by the unit of government or special purpose district;

b. Temporary signs are prohibited from being placed within roundabouts, medians, shoulders, travel lanes and areas of the public right-of-way that are not accessible by a sidewalk or pedestrian walking path;

c. All temporary signs shall be placed in a manner that is safe for all users of public right-of-way. Temporary signs shall not block access to structures or parked cars, and shall not block vehicular sight distance at corners or intersections; and

d. All temporary signs shall be posted for a duration not to exceed 90 days in any consecutive 365-day period.

B. Temporary Signs in Residential Zones. Temporary signs are permitted in all residential zones, subject to the conditions set out in this chapter and the following:

1. Temporary signs are permitted on private property, provided:

a. For residential uses in a residential zone, no more than four signs visible from the public right-of-way per lot are allowed. The total size of all signs combined shall be limited to six square feet total;

b. For nonresidential uses in a residential zone, no more than one sign visible from the public right-of-way per tenant space is allowed. The sign shall be limited to six square feet total;

2. Temporary signs are permitted in the right-of-way in residential zones provided the sign shall comply with all relevant requirements in this chapter and shall not exceed four square feet total, and shall not exceed three feet in height from the ground when displayed.

C. Temporary Signs in Nonresidential Zones. Temporary signs are permitted in the downtown commercial zones, waterfront commercial, neighborhood business and community business Juanita subarea, community business west subarea, urban corridor, waterfront commercial, and regional business zones, subject to the conditions set out in this chapter and the following:

1. Temporary signs are permitted on private property, provided:

a. For nonresidential uses, banners, posters, pennants, banners, strings of lights, blinking lights, balloons and searchlights and streamers are allowed, provided:

(1) Temporary signs shall be restricted to on premises, limited to the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and shall not exceed a period of 30 days in a 180-day period;

(2) Banners shall be no larger than 48 square feet, provided no more than 10 square feet of banner per 10 feet of building facade as measured by that portion of the building facing the access street, up to a maximum of 48 square feet, is permitted, but always in proportion to the business building;

(3) All other temporary signs, other than banners, shall be limited to one per tenant space, a maximum area of six square feet, and a maximum height of six feet; and

(4) Temporary signs shall be professionally produced by a person skilled in the art of graphic design, shall be hung in a manner which does not obstruct traffic or a view of any other business, and shall be well maintained.

b. For residential uses, no more than four signs visible from the public right-of-way per lot are allowed. The total size of all signs combined shall be limited to six square feet total.

2. Temporary signs are permitted in the right-of-way, provided the sign shall comply with all relevant requirements in this chapter, and shall not exceed six square feet total, and shall not exceed three feet in height from the ground when displayed. [Ord. 21-0523 § 2 (Exh. A); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.150 Billboards – Location and height standards.

A. Any billboard which was legally in existence on the effective date of this section, which is December 5, 2017, is declared to be a nonconforming billboard and may remain, subject to the provisions of this section and any other applicable regulations.

1. A nonconforming billboard shall not be increased in height, size or elevation, or enlarged in any other manner. The billboard face(s) on a nonconforming billboard shall not be increased in size or number.

2. A nonconforming billboard shall not be relocated or moved to another location in the City, including other locations on the same property.

3. A nonconforming billboard shall not be replaced with another billboard; provided, that a nonconforming billboard may be replaced or reconstructed if the billboard is damaged or destroyed by fire, weather event, or other act of God or by another means beyond the owner’s control, such as a vehicle collision.

4. Installation of electronic changing message or reader boards on nonconforming billboards is prohibited.

5. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or other applicable law or regulation, no billboard owner or his or her agent shall remove, cut, or otherwise alter any vegetative screening on public property or private landscaping required by code as a condition of permit approval in order to improve the visibility of a nearby billboard.

6. If the structural components of a nonconforming billboard deteriorate and the billboard becomes an unsafe structure, then the nonconforming billboard shall be removed within 30 days of the date that the City issues a notice and order to do so. Replacement or reinstallation of a billboard removed under this subsection shall not be allowed.

7. Nothing in this subsection A shall be construed to prohibit a billboard owner or his or her agent from making repairs to a billboard.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a nonconforming billboard that is not located within the jurisdiction of the Washington Scenic Vistas Act, Chapter 47.42 RCW, shall be discontinued and removed within 10 years from the effective date of this section, in order to allow the owner to amortize the value of the billboard over the 10-year period. Upon the expiration of this 10-year amortization period, the billboard shall be removed immediately. [Ord. 17-0445B § 2; Ord. 14-0391 § 2 (Exh. 1); Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.160 Billboards – General requirements.

Repealed by Ord. 17-0455B. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.170 Billboards – Special restrictions in the CB zone.

Repealed by Ord. 17-0455B. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.180 Billboards – Alteration or relocation limitations.

Repealed by Ord. 17-0455B. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.190 Billboards – View and vegetative screening protections.

Repealed by Ord. 17-0455B. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]

18.42.200 Billboard free areas.

Repealed by Ord. 17-0455B. [Ord. 11-0329 § 3 (Exh. 1).]