Chapter 14.17


14.17.010    Purpose.

14.17.020    Definitions.

14.17.030    Scope.

14.17.040    Permits required.

14.17.045    Exemption.

14.17.050    Approval process.

14.17.060    Business signage/advertising.

14.17.070    Height.

14.17.080    Setbacks.

14.17.090    Size.

14.17.100    Number.

14.17.110    Manner of display.

14.17.120    Light display.

14.17.130    Nonconformance.

14.17.140    Variances.

14.17.150    Appeals.

14.17.160    Administrative interpretation.

14.17.170    Compliance and enforcement.

14.17.180    Severability.

14.17.010 Purpose.

The regulations set out in this chapter are for the construction and display of flags, flagpoles, towers and tower structures. The city has determined that clear rules and regulations are needed governing the permitting review, erection and construction of flags, flagpoles, towers, tower structures, and associated light displays to assure that such structures are built with a proper footing and foundation and that the appropriate safety concerns are addressed and observed. In addition, the city of Leavenworth has found that the natural scenic beauty and adopted Old World Bavarian-Alpine theme form the basis for Leavenworth’s thriving tourist industry, upon which the city’s economic health heavily depends, and that structures complementing the aesthetics and scale of the Old World Bavarian-Alpine theme form a key part of the overall visual attractiveness of the city, and thereby contribute both to the aesthetic and economic well-being of the city of Leavenworth. Consistent with the city of Leavenworth’s Old World Bavarian-Alpine theme, the city has adopted the sign, zoning, and development codes to regulate the heights of structures, buildings and facilities, to provide for safety concerns, to regulate advertising, to maintain and improve the community appearance, to eliminate visual clutter, to ensure traffic safety, to preserve property values and to attract sources of economic development to the city.

Without limiting the generality in the preceding paragraph, the city of Leavenworth expressly finds that the regulations set forth in this chapter further the following substantial interest of the city and its citizens:

A. Maintenance and improvement of the community’s appearance;

B. Elimination of visual clutter;

C. Ensuring and improving traffic/property safety;

D. Preserving property values;

E. Attracting sources of economic development. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.020 Definitions.

All definitions relevant to this chapter shall be included in Chapter 21.90 LMC. Unless specifically defined, words or phrases used shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application. [Ord. 1544 § 1 (Att. A), 2017; Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.030 Scope.

The regulations set out in this chapter apply to flags, flagpoles, towers, tower structures and light displays in all zone districts. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.040 Permits required.

A. No flagpole, tower, or tower structure 15 feet in height or greater shall be erected or constructed without first obtaining a building permit pursuant to the 2006 International Building Code, Section 105.1, Permits Required, as amended.

B. Unless additional review is required pursuant to LMC 14.17.060, a building permit application for a flagpole, tower, or tower structure shall be reviewed for compliance with this chapter and all applicable codes and a decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny shall be issued within 21 days of receipt of a fully complete permit application. All applications for flagpoles, towers or tower structures requiring a building permit shall include plans and specifications stamped by a professional licensed engineer to assure proper grounding, strength, wind resistance, seismic loads, and other relevant engineering requirements.

C. Metal flagpoles requiring a building permit shall be engineered and constructed in accordance with the American National Standard Institute – National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (ANSI/NAAMM) Guide Specifications for Design of Metal Flagpoles, FP 1001-97 as amended, and as adopted in the 2006 International Building Code, Section 102.4. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.045 Exemption.

It is recognized that Leavenworth is located in a valley with outstanding natural scenic beauty, and that this resource has been enhanced by adoption of the Old World Bavarian Alpine Theme. These two assets form the basis for Leavenworth’s thriving tourist industry, upon which the city’s economic health so heavily depends. The city’s Mai Pole complements the Old World Bavarian Alpine Theme, as provided for in this section, and continues to form a key part of the overall visual attractiveness of the city, and thereby contributes both to the aesthetic and economic well-being of Leavenworth. The Mai Pole is a unique and strictly Bavarian object. Similar Mai Poles appear in many German or Germanic towns. In accordance with this tradition, there is only one Mai Pole for each town. The Mai Pole is, therefore, a Bavarian style object which is unique to itself and the city of Leavenworth. It is also an integral part of the “Bavarian village” theme in which Leavenworth emulates the “old world” Bavarian alpine region in design and appearance. This distinguishes the Mai Pole from other “towers” and “tower structures” identified in this chapter. Therefore, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the “city of Leavenworth Maibaum (Mai Pole).” [Ord. 1474 § 1 (Att. A), 2014.]

14.17.050 Approval process.

Persons seeking permits or approval under this chapter shall be subject to the limited administrative review process pursuant to LMC Title 21. The city may seek consultation for height and lighting restrictions through the Federal Aviation Administration. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.060 Business signage/advertising.

Flags, other than government flags, flagpoles, towers, and related structures, uses or displays which are designed for or in effect serve advertising purposes and/or focus attention on location for business purposes shall be considered signage and shall be regulated by the city’s sign and architectural theme ordinances, and are subject to the review and approval of the city’s design review board. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.070 Height.

The top of all flags (including the flagpole), towers or similar structures and/or displays, regardless of the manner of mounting, shall be no higher than the height restriction for buildings/structures in the zone district in which they are located. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.080 Setbacks.

Flags, flagpoles, towers and similar structures and/or displays must be set back sufficient distance from property lines so as not to create a safety hazard on adjacent property. These structures and their related flags shall be set back sufficient distance to enable the flag to fly fully open without flying over the property of others, unless express permission in writing has been given by the property owner to do so. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.090 Size.

The maximum flag size allowed on a flagpole, tower, tower structure, or similar structure shall be as follows:


Size of Flag (Maximum)

20 ft.

4 ft. by 6 ft.

25 ft.

5 ft. by 8 ft.

30 ft. – 35 ft.

6 ft. by 10 ft.

40 ft. – 45 ft.

6 ft. by 10 ft. or 8 ft. by 12 ft.

50 ft.

8 ft. by 12 ft. or 10 ft. by 15 ft.

Changes to the dimensional standard of the flag shall be allowed if the total area of the flag allowed is not exceeded and if it can be demonstrated that the revision to dimensional standards meets the intent of the Leavenworth Municipal Code. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.100 Number.

A. No more than three flagpoles, towers or similar structures shall be allowed per parcel or lot.

B. No more than three flags may be mounted vertically and/or displayed on each flagpole, tower or similar structure located on a parcel or lot. Furcated poles with multiple mounting structures shall not be allowed.

C. Small flags (not to exceed 24 square feet) mounted in stanchions on the face/eaves of buildings and flags which are displayed flush to the face of the building are not limited in number (unless subject to LMC 14.17.060, in which case, limitations may apply). [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.110 Manner of display.

Flags and insignia of any government should be displayed in as approved manner pursuant to federal guidelines in Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1 (the Federal Flag Code). [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.120 Light display.

Lighting of the flagpole at night is allowed. To contain the impacts of unsafe lighting and light pollution, the city prohibits the following when used with or for flags, flagpoles, towers or similar structures regulated under this chapter:

A. Floodlights, searchlights, beacons, and laser source light fixtures which are not confined to illumination of the pole and flag;

B. Neon lighting;

C. Lighting which creates hazards to pedestrian and traffic safety, and which is a nuisance to surrounding properties because of excessive glare, excessive light production in relation to need, and/or lighting which create shadow and light which together create a hazard; and

D. Blinking, flashing, animated, and/or moving lights.

Whenever possible downlighting and shielding/baffling of fixtures shall be incorporated into the design of the flag, flagpole, tower, tower structure, and light display. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.130 Nonconformance.

A. Preexising Nonconforming Flags, Flagpoles, Towers, and Similar Structures and/or Displays. No outdoor flag, flagpole, tower or similar structure and/or light display which was lawfully installed prior to the enactment of the ordinance creating this chapter of the Leavenworth Municipal Code shall be required to be removed or modified except as expressly proved herein; however, no modification, alteration or replacement shall be made to a nonconforming structure unless the structure thereafter conforms to the provisions of this chapter. Normal maintenance and repair of any flag, flagpole, tower or similar structure and/.or light display shall be allowed.

B. Conformance after Abandonment/Damage. In the event that a flag, flagpole, tower or similar structure and/or light display is abandoned for more than one year, or is damaged beyond 75 percent of appraised, assessed value, the repaired or replacement flag, flagpole, tower or similar structure or light display shall comply with the provisions of the chapter. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.140 Variances.

Variances from the standards of this chapter shall be pursuant to the processes outlined in Chapter 18.56 LMC, Variance, and LMC 21.09.050, Quasi-judicial review of applications, and shall be made to and decided by the Leavenworth hearing examiner pursuant to LMC 21.03.060(E). [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.150 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by any part, requirement or process of this chapter shall have the right and obligation to seek administrative review of this chapter or any decision made pursuant to it. Appeals of decision of the community development director, the building official and/or the design review board or their designees made under this chapter, shall be to the Leavenworth hearing examiner pursuant to the processes set forth in Chapter 21.11 LMC, Appeals, and LMC 21.03.050(A)(1). See LMC 21.03.060(J) and (K) and LMC 21.15.070(A)(10) and (11). An applicant aggrieved by any part, requirement or process set forth in this chapter must exhaust all available administrative remedies before seeking recourse in the courts. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.160 Administrative interpretation.

Administrative interpretations of this chapter shall be made by the director of community development pursuant to Chapter 21.03 LMC. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.170 Compliance and enforcement.

Compliance and enforcement of this chapter shall be pursuant to Chapter 21.13 LMC, Enforcement and Appeals. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]

14.17.180 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter is, for any reason, held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity of constitutionality of the remaining portions of this chapter. [Ord. 1336 § 1, 2009.]