Chapter 100 – SIGNS

Sections:

100.05    User Guide

100.10    Purpose

100.15    Scope and Exclusions

100.20    International Building Code – Compliance

100.25    Required Permits

100.30    Sign Type

100.35    Number of Signs

100.40    Sign Area

100.45    Sign Area Chart

100.50    Designated Corridors

100.52    CBD, JBD and YBD – Certain Signs Prohibited

100.55    Development Containing Uses in More Than One (1) Sign Category

100.60    Allocation of Sign Area within a Development with More Than One (1) Use or Tenant

100.65    Sign Height and Dimensions

100.70    Special Regulations Regarding Pole Signs

100.75    Location of Signs

100.80    Master Sign Plan

100.85    Prohibited Devices

100.90    Sign Maintenance and Removal

100.95    Landscaping Around Ground-Mounted Signs

100.100    Structural Components – Overall Appearance

100.110    Illumination Limitations on Electrical Signs

100.112    Special Signs

100.115    Temporary Signs

100.120    Bonds

100.05 User Guide

Chapters 15 through 56 KZC, which contain the use zone charts or development standards tables, assign a sign category to each use in each zone. This category is either A, B, C, D, E, or F. This chapter contains the specific requirements in each sign category. If you do not know what sign category applies to the subject property, you should consult the appropriate use zone chart or development standards table.

This chapter also contains regulations regarding special signs and temporary signs. These regulations are contained in KZC 100.112 and 100.115.

For properties within jurisdiction of the Shoreline Management Act, see Chapter 83 KZC.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4476 § 3, 2015; Ord. 4252 § 1, 2010)

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100.10 Purpose

It is the purpose of this chapter to balance the public interest and private business needs with the objectives of creating a community that is livable, sustainable and connected. Standards and regulations for Kirkland’s signs are designed to promote public safety and aesthetics in that they:

1.    Support the economic well-being of all businesses by providing sufficient means to identify their locations, products and services; and

2.    Protect and enhance the visual character and identity of the community by the thoughtful placement and design of signs; and

3.    Eliminate clutter and visual distraction by ensuring signs are appropriate in size and relationship to the subject property, street frontage and building size; and

4.    Allow sufficient flexibility and incentive for creative and innovative sign designs; and

5.    Uphold aesthetic standards of the city by encouraging good design and proper maintenance of signs; and

6.    Reduce potential hazards to motorists and pedestrians by reducing signage or visual distractions and obstructions that contribute to limited safety and site visibility; and

7.    Recognize free speech rights by regulating signs in a content-neutral manner; and

8.    Ensure consistency with the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.15 Scope and Exclusions

This chapter applies to all signs erected or altered after the effective date of this code. This chapter does not apply to the following:

1.    Traffic signs, directional signs not exceeding four (4) square feet, and signs displaying a public service message installed by a governmental agency.

2.    Point-of-purchase advertising displays such as product dispensers.

3.    National flags and flags of political subdivisions.

4.    Gravestones.

5.    Historical site plaques and signs integral to an historic building.

6.    Structures or improvements intended for a separate use, such as phone booths, donation containers and newspaper recycling boxes.

7.    Building addresses with numbers and letters not more than 10 inches in height.

8.    Exterior signs or displays not visible from streets or ways open to the public.

9.    Signs not exceeding two (2) square feet per sign face, either providing public information about the facilities present on the subject property or announcing a restriction on the subject property.

10.    One (1) sign per structure, not exceeding six (6) square feet in area, incorporated into the facade of a building and denoting the date of and other information about construction of the building.

11.    Temporary window signs that are located inside a window and visible from the exterior of a building.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4408 § 1, 2013)

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100.20 International Building Code – Compliance

1.    General – Each sign erected or altered after the effective date of this code must comply with the provisions of the International Building Code as adopted by the City.

2.    Conflict of Provisions – If any provision of this chapter conflicts with the International Building Code, the provision of this chapter will govern.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4320 § 1, 2011)

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100.25 Required Permits

1.    The following permits must be obtained for signs regulated by this chapter:

a.    A permit must be obtained from the Fire Department in order to erect or move a sign or alter the structural components of an existing sign.

b.    A permit must be obtained from the Planning and Building Department in order to display any sign for which a permit is not required by subsection (1)(a) of this section, except where those signs are excluded in KZC 100.15 or listed in KZC 100.115.

2.    If a proposed use or site plan requires approval through Process I, IIA, or IIB, as described respectively in Chapters 145, 150, and 152 KZC, the Planning Official may require that any sign proposed for that development be approved through the same process if he/she determines that it will provide more coordinated, effective signs.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4491 §§ 3, 4, 2015; Ord. 4286 § 1, 2011; Ord. 3954 § 1, 2004)

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100.30 Sign Type

Permitted types of signs for each sign category are listed below:

1.    Sign Category A – Wall-mounted and pedestal signs. Electrical signs are not permitted.

2.    Sign Category B – Wall-mounted, marquee and pedestal signs.

3.    Sign Categories C, D and E – Wall-mounted, marquee, pedestal, projecting and monument signs. Projecting signs may not project above the roofline of the structure to which the sign is attached.

4.    Sign Category F – Wall-mounted, marquee, pedestal, projecting, monument and pole signs. See also KZC 100.70 for special regulations regarding pole signs. Projecting signs may not project above the roofline of the structure to which the sign is attached.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.35 Number of Signs

The permitted maximum number of signs for each sign category is listed below. The permitted number applies only to the sign types listed in KZC 100.30 and does not apply to the temporary signs described in KZC 100.115.

1.    Sign Category A

a.    Each detached dwelling unit: one (1).

b.    Each complex or subdivision: no limitation.

2.    Sign Category B – One (1) per right-of-way providing direct vehicular access.

3.    Sign Categories C, D, E and F

a.    Wall-mounted signs: no limitation.

b.    Marquee signs: one (1) per business or use per right-of-way, pedestrian entrance, or vehicular entrance. Sign may not exceed four (4) square feet per sign face.

c.    Projecting signs: one (1) per pedestrian or vehicular entrance. Sign may not exceed four (4) square feet per sign face.

d.    Pedestal, monument, or pole sign: One (1) per abutting right-of-way per development; provided, that businesses selling fuel for motorized vehicles are allowed one (1) additional sign.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.40 Sign Area

The maximum permitted sign area for each sign category is listed below. The permitted area applies only to the sign types listed in KZC 100.30 and does not apply to the temporary signs described in KZC 100.115.

1.    Sign Category A

a.    Each detached dwelling unit: two (2) square feet.

b.    Each complex or subdivision: 20 square feet per sign face.

2.    Sign Category B – 20 square feet per sign face.

3.    Sign Categories C, D, E and F

a.    Each development is allowed the sign area shown in the chart in KZC 100.45; and

b.    Each individually licensed business within a multi-use complex is allowed 30 square feet; and

c.    Each multi-use complex containing seven (7) or more uses or businesses is allowed an additional 64 square feet per sign face per pedestal, monument or pole sign or 64 square feet for one (1) wall-mounted sign per abutting right-of-way. These signs may not have internally lighted sign fields and must be constructed with materials, colors, shapes, or other architectural features which are the same as the buildings with which the signs are associated.

d.     Businesses selling fuel for motorized vehicles are allowed an additional 20 square feet per sign face on the additional sign allowed by KZC 100.35(3)(d).

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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100.45 Sign Area Chart

General – The chart below establishes the sign area allowed by KZC 100.40(3)(a). The sign area is primarily dependent on the linear frontage of the subject property and the sign category of the use. To use this chart, first find the applicable sign category along the top of the chart, then find the linear frontage of the subject property along the left margin of the chart. Where the sign category and the linear frontage meet, you will find the maximum sign area for the subject property. Next, review the sign area multipliers listed on the right side of the chart to determine if there are any increases or decreases in the maximum allowable sign area.

TOTAL
LINEAR
FRONTAGE OF SUBJECT
PROPERTY IS
LESS THAN

SIGN CATEGORIES

1.    Find the sign category that applies to your use.

2.    Find the linear frontage of the subject property.

3.    Where sign category and linear frontage meet, you will find the maximum sign size for the subject property.

4.    Use the multiplier to the right of the chart to determine if maximum allowable sign area is increased by the factors listed.

C

D

E

F

25

 

20

26

48

56

 

30

 

20

28

50

59

 

35

 

20

29

52

62

SIGN AREA MULTIPLIERS

40

 

21

31

55

65

 

45

 

21

32

57

68

 

50

 

22

33

59

70

 

55

 

23

34

61

72

 

60

 

23

35

63

74

 

65

 

24

36

64

76

1.    Except on a designated corridor, if no signs within the entire development are cabinet signs, then multiply the figure in the chart by 1.25 and multiply the sign area allowed by KZC 100.40(3)(b) by 1.25.

70

 

25

37

66

78

75

 

25

38

68

80

80

 

26

39

69

82

85

 

26

40

70

84

90

 

27

40

72

85

95

 

27

41

73

87

 

100

 

28

42

74

88

 

105

 

28

42

76

90

 

110

 

29

43

77

91

 

115

 

29

44

78

92

2.    If all signs within the entire development, other than center identification signs, are building-mounted signs, multiply either the above product or the figure in the chart by 1.25 and multiply the sign area allowed by KZC 100.40(3)(b) by 1.25.

120

 

30

44

79

94

125

 

30

45

80

95

130

 

30

46

81

96

135

 

31

46

82

97

140

 

31

47

83

99

145

 

32

47

84

100

 

150

 

32

48

85

101

 

155

 

32

48

86

102

 

160

 

33

49

87

103

 

165

 

33

49

88

104

 

170

 

33

50

89

105

 

175

 

34

50

89

106

 

180

 

34

51

90

107

 

185

 

34

51

91

108

 

190

 

34

52

92

109

 

195

 

35

52

93

110

 

200

 

35

53

94

111

 

205

 

35

53

94

112

 

210

 

36

53

95

113

 

215

 

36

54

96

114

 

220

 

36

54

97

115

 

225

 

36

55

97

116

 

230

 

37

55

98

116

 

235

 

37

56

99

117

 

240

 

37

56

99

118

 

245

 

38

56

100

119

 

250

 

38

57

101

120

 

(Measured in Linear Feet)

(Measured in Square Feet)

 

If the linear frontage of the subject property exceeds 250 feet, please refer to Plate 9.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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100.50 Designated Corridors

1.    General – KZC 100.45 contains limitations on sign area along the following designated corridors:

a.    Market Street between Central Way and Forbes Creek Drive.

b.    State Street, between NE 68th Street and 2nd Avenue South.

c.    Lake Washington Boulevard and Lake Street South between NE 38th Street and 3rd Avenue South.

d.    Lakeview Drive and NE 60th Street.

2.    Electrical Signs Prohibited – Electrical signs shall not be located along designated corridors.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4408 § 1, 2013; Ord. 4333 § 1, 2011)

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100.52 CBD, JBD and YBD – Certain Signs Prohibited

Cabinet signs shall be prohibited in all Central Business District (Chapter 50 KZC), Juanita Business District (Chapter 52 KZC) and Yarrow Bay Business District zones (Chapter 56 KZC).

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4333 § 1, 2011; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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100.55 Development Containing Uses in More Than One (1) Sign Category

If a subject property contains a mix of commercial and residential uses, the residential uses must comply with Sign Category A and the commercial uses must comply with the sign category assigned to the commercial uses that predominate on the subject property. Within mixed use projects, residential uses may have electrical signs (except on designated corridors) only if the electrical signs are attached to areas of the building associated with the commercial uses.

In all other cases, if the subject property contains uses assigned to different sign categories, the signs for the entire development must comply with the sign category assigned to the uses that predominate on the subject property.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4193 § 1, 2009)

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100.60 Allocation of Sign Area within a Development with More Than One (1) Use or Tenant

The owner(s) of a development with more than one (1) use or tenant must submit to the City a letter allocating the allowable sign area for the development to the various uses or leasable area in the development or to sign(s) which identify the development. The owner(s) must agree in the letter to include the specified sign allocation in all leases, rental agreements, condominium by-laws and similar documents.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.65 Sign Height and Dimensions

The permitted height of signs for each type of sign is listed below:

1.    Wall-Mounted and Marquee Signs:

Shall not project above the roofline of the building, parapet or similar architecture feature to which they are attached.

2.    Under Marquee Signs:

Shall not extend further from a building facade than the marquee or canopy to which they are attached.

3.    Pedestal Signs:

a.    Shall not exceed five (5) feet above average ground elevation.

b.    Must conform to the dimensional standards shown on Plate 12.

4.    Monument Signs:

a.    Shall not exceed 12 feet above average ground elevation.

b.    Must conform to the dimensional standards shown on Plate 13.

5.    Pole Signs:

a.    Shall not exceed 20 feet above average ground elevation.

b.    Must conform to the dimensional standards shown on Plate 13A.

See KZC 100.70 for special regulations regarding pole signs.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4408 § 1, 2013)

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100.70 Special Regulations Regarding Pole Signs

Pole signs are permitted only in Sign Category F. They must be approved using Process I, described in Chapter 145 KZC. However, prior to issuing a decision, the Planning Director may consult with the Planning Commission. The City may grant a request for a pole sign and may grant increased sign area and height if:

1.    It is necessary to identify a use that is oriented toward and primarily intended to serve motorists on the interstate system; and

2.    It will not be out of scale or character with signs for nearby uses; and

3.    It will not focus attention away from existing signs oriented to the interstate motorist and create a demand for increased height for other signs; and

4.    It will not create a traffic hazard.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.75 Location of Signs

1.    General

a.    Except as allowed under subsection (2) of this section, all signs must be located on the same lot or property as the use, building, or event with which the sign is associated.

b.    All signs shall be located outside those areas required in KZC 115.135 to be kept clear of all sight obstructions.

2.    Exceptions – The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply as follows:

a.    The provisions of subsection (1)(a) of this section do not apply to the signs regulated under KZC 100.115.

b.    Wall-mounted and marquee signs may extend into a right-of-way abutting the subject property only upon approval of the Department of Public Works.

c.    Monument and pole signs must be set back at least five (5) feet from all property lines, except in zones that have no setbacks.

d.    The owners of two (2) or more properties that adjoin or are separated only by a private roadway may propose a joint sign package to the City. The City will review and decide upon the proposal by the Planning Director. The City will approve the joint sign package if it will provide more coordinated, effective and efficient signs. In determining the total allowable size for all of the signs in the joint sign package, the City will use the total area of signs that would be allowed for all of the participating properties if they were not proposing a joint sign package. The decision of the Planning Director in approving or denying a joint sign package may be appealed using the appeal provision, as applicable, of Process I, KZC 145.60 through 145.110.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.80 Master Sign Plan

1.    General – This section provides a mechanism under which special consideration can be given to signs which use a master sign plan to encourage the integration of signs into the framework of the building or buildings on the subject property. The City may allow deviations from the requirements of this chapter consistent with the criteria listed in subsection (4) of this section. At an applicant’s request, this section may also be used to review proposed changes to sign plans which were initially approved as part of a previously approved PUD or CUP under prior zoning ordinances or through Process IIA or IIB under this code (Ordinance 2740, as amended).

2.    Required Review Process – An application for a master sign plan under this section will be reviewed and decided upon by the Planning Director. However, prior to issuing a decision, the Planning Director may consult with the Planning Commission.

3.    Required Information – As part of any application for a master sign plan under this section, the applicant shall submit the following information:

a.    A narrative describing how the proposal is consistent with the criteria listed in subsection (4) of this section.

b.    A colored rendering of the proposed signs in relation to development in the area and on the subject property.

4.    Criteria – The City may approve a proposed master sign plan if:

a.    The proposal manifests exceptional effort toward creating visual harmony between the sign, buildings, and other components of the subject property through the use of a consistent design theme. The elements which create visual harmony may include but are not limited to color, materials, location, and/or type of sign(s) proposed.

b.    The proposed deviations are the minimum necessary to create readable signs from the rights-of-way providing direct vehicular access based on traffic speeds and patterns in the area of the subject property.

c.    The signs are in character and orientation with planned and existing uses in the area of the subject property.

5.    Minor Modifications – The Planning Official may grant a minor modification to the approved master sign plan in writing if:

a.    The change does not increase the sign area of the subject property approved in the original master sign plan.

b.    The change maintains visual harmony with those elements specifically identified in the original master sign plan as integral to the design theme of the subject property (for example: location(s), color(s), material(s), or type(s)).

6.    Appeals – The decision of the Planning Director in approving or denying a master sign plan under subsection (2) of this section and modifications granted by the Planning Official under subsection (5) of this section may be appealed using the appeal provision, as applicable, of Process I, KZC 145.60 through 145.110.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.85 Prohibited Devices

1.    General – Except as specifically allowed under subsection (2) of this section, the following devices and facilities are specifically prohibited:

a.    Pennants, banners, streamers and private flags except as permitted under KZC 100.115.

b.    Strings of lights, flashing lights, colored lights, advertising search lights, and flares.

c.    Twirlers, propellers, and wind-activated devices.

d.    Balloons.

e.    Repealed by Ord. 4532.

f.    Any sign that rotates, turns or moves by electrical or mechanical means except barber poles.

g.    Projecting and under marquee signs, except as permitted by KZC 100.35.

h.    Any sign attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer parked on public or private property. The prohibition of this subsection does not prohibit the identification of a firm or its principal products on a vehicle operating during the normal course of business.

i.    Any portable outdoor sign, except as regulated by KZC 100.115.

j.    Any sign with the shape and colors of a traffic sign.

k.    Any sign which constitutes a traffic hazard including but not limited to signs containing words such as “stop,” “look,” “danger.”

2.    Exceptions – The provisions of subsections (1)(a) through (k) of this section do not apply to the following:

a.    Holiday decorations.

b.    The use of devices described in subsection (1) of this section for no more than seven (7) days to announce the grand opening of a business or use.

c.    Repealed by Ord. 4532.

d.    Thematic flags, banners or pennants that are complementary to and normally associated with the character of a specific location.

e.    Changing message centers.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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100.90 Sign Maintenance and Removal

1.    Maintenance – All signs must be kept in a safe manner at all times. Damaged or deteriorated signs must be repaired within 30 days of notification by the City. The area surrounding groundmounted signs must be kept free of litter and debris at all times.

2.    Removal – Unless otherwise specified in this code, the applicant or property owner must remove all nonconforming signs within 14 days and all conforming signs within 90 days of the date of the closure or discontinuance of the business, use or event with which the signs were associated.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.95 Landscaping Around Ground-Mounted Signs

An area around the base of each ground-mounted sign equal to the sign area must be landscaped to improve the overall appearance of the sign and to reduce the risk of automobiles hitting the sign or supports of the sign. This landscaping must include vegetation and may include other materials and components such as brick or concrete bases, planter boxes, pole covers, or decorative framing.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.100 Structural Components – Overall Appearance

To the maximum extent possible, signs should be constructed and installed so that angle irons, guywires, braces, and other structural elements are not visible. This limitation does not apply to structural elements that are an integral part of the overall design such as decorative metal or wood.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.110 Illumination Limitations on Electrical Signs

No sign may contain or utilize any of the following:

1.    Any exposed incandescent lamp with a wattage in excess of 25 watts.

2.    Any exposed incandescent lamp with an internal or external reflector.

3.    Any continuous or sequential flashing operation.

4.    Except for changing message centers, any incandescent lamp inside internally lighted signs.

5.    External light sources directed towards or shining on vehicular or pedestrian traffic or on a street.

6.    Internally lighted signs using 800 milliamp ballasts if the lamps are spaced closer than 12 inches on center.

7.    Internally lighted signs using 425 milliamp ballasts if the lamps are spaced closer than six (6) inches on center.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.112 Special Signs

1.    Off-Site Directional

a.    Maximum number: one (1).

b.    Maximum sign area: 16 square feet per use, not to exceed 64 square feet.

c.    Permitted location: Private property/public right-of-way. Signs which are permitted to be placed within a public street right-of-way shall be located between the curb and the abutting private property, or where no curb exists, between the edge of the paved travel lane or paved shoulder and the abutting private property, but in no case on a sidewalk or driveway.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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100.115 Temporary Signs

Temporary signs are those intended and designed to be displayed for a limited period of time. They must be made of cloth, paper, cardboard or similar lightweight material and must be installed to be easily removed. They may not be lighted. Signs which are permitted to be placed within a public street right-of-way shall be located between the curb and the abutting private property, or where no curb exists, between the edge of the paved travel lane or paved shoulder and the abutting private property, but in no case on a sidewalk or driveway.

1.    Signs for Properties for Sale or Rent

a.    Maximum number: one (1) per dwelling unit or property for sale or rent;

b.    Maximum sign area:

1)    Detached dwelling units: six (6) square feet per sign face;

2)    Other uses: 32 square feet per sign face;

c.    Permitted location: on the property for sale or rent;

d.    Duration: must remove after the property is sold or rented;

e.    Off-site signs: In addition to the provisions above, during any time when a property is open for public viewing, additional off-site signs may be displayed subject to the following:

1)    Maximum Number: One (1) sign per block within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the property for sale or rent;

2)    Maximum sign area: six (6) square feet per sign face;

3)    Permitted location: Except for areas required to be kept clear of sight obstructions by KZC 115.135:

a)    On private property, with the consent of the property owner, or

b)    In public rights-of-way, other than paved vehicular travel lanes, paved parking areas, sidewalks or pedestrian paths, driveway aprons and center medians.

2.    Signs for Properties with Active Construction

a.    Maximum number: one (1) per right-of-way abutting the property;

b.    Maximum sign area: 32 square feet per sign face;

c.    Permitted location: on the property actively under construction.

3.    Signs Displayed Prior to, During and After Elections

a.    Maximum number: no limit;

b.    Maximum sign area: six (6) square feet per sign face;

c.    Permitted location:

1)    On private property with the consent of the property owner; and

2)    In public rights-of-way, other than paved vehicular travel lanes, paved parking areas, sidewalks or pedestrian paths, driveway aprons and center medians;

d.    Permitted duration: no later than seven (7) days after the final election.

4.    Temporary Signs in Nonresidential Zones

a.    Maximum number: no limit;

b.    Maximum sign area: no maximum;

c.    Permitted location: property in a nonresidential zone on which the business is located, attached to the face of a building, a wall or fence;

d.    Permitted duration: during the use, event or condition advertised on the sign, but not more than 60 days.

5.    Signs Associated with Temporary Events

a.    Maximum number: no limit;

b.    Maximum sign area: six (6) square feet per sign face;

c.    Permitted location:

1)    On the property with which the sign is associated; and

2)    In public rights-of-way, other than paved vehicular travel lanes, paved parking areas, driveway aprons and center medians. Signs placed on sidewalks must be located outside of the path of pedestrian travel, leaving a travel width of at least five (5) feet;

d.    Permitted duration: between two (2) days prior to and four (4) hours after the event.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016; Ord. 4408 § 1, 2013; Ord. 4286 § 1, 2011; Ord. 3814 § 1, 2001)

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100.120 Bonds

The City may require a bond under Chapter 175 KZC to ensure compliance with any aspect of this chapter.

(Ord. 4532 § 1, 2016)

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