Chapter 21.16
SIGNS

Sections:

21.16.050    Purpose.

21.16.100    Definitions.

21.16.200    Scope and exclusions.

21.16.210    General sign regulations.

21.16.220    Prohibited signs.

21.16.225    Off-premises portable business signs.

21.16.230    Decorative murals.

21.16.240    Flag poles.

21.16.250    Nonconforming signs.

21.16.255    Banners.

21.16.260    Civic banners and signs.

21.16.270    Political signs.

21.16.280    Construction signs.

21.16.290    Residential signs.

21.16.300    Signs in the public and semi-public zone.

21.16.310    Commercial signs.

21.16.320    Signs in planned regional shopping center zone.

21.16.330    Signs in industrial zones.

21.16.335    Signs in the transition area.

21.16.340    Signs in the Highway 99 mixed use zone.

21.16.050 Purpose.

The control of signs in areas adjacent to city streets and roadways and within commercial, industrial and residential areas, is hereby declared to be necessary to promote the public health, safety, welfare, convenience, and enjoyment of public travel in the city and to insure that information of interest to the public is presented safely and effectively and to protect the living environment for residents in the city and the quality of the commercial and industrial environment for businesses.

The sign regulations contained in this chapter are necessary to further a legitimate and compelling public interest by regulating the use of signs on public and private property and accomplish the following objectives:

A. To encourage the effective and creative use of signs as a means of communication in the city;

B. To improve pedestrian and traffic safety by reducing signs or advertising distractions and obstructions that contribute to limited site visibility;

C. To maintain and enhance the aesthetic environment and the city’s ability to attract sources of economic development and growth;

D. To minimize the possible adverse effect of signs on nearby public and private property;

E. To enable the fair and consistent enforcement of these sign regulations; and

F. To promote optimum conditions for meeting sign users’ needs while, at the same time, improving the visual appearance of an area that will assist in creating a more attractive environment. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.100 Definitions.

See Chapter 21.02 LMC for sign definitions. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.200 Scope and exclusions.

This chapter applies to all signs erected or altered within the city of Lynnwood. The following signs or displays are exempt from the regulations of this chapter:

A. Traffic, bicycle or pedestrian control signs or signals and signs used by the public works department as permitted by other city regulations;

B. Building address numbers;

C. Signs on the inside of buildings with doors closed and signs on the inside of windows;

D. Regulatory, informational, identification or directional signs installed by, or at the direction of, a government entity;

E. Signs required by law; however, not all signs required by law are exempt, for example, gasoline price signs;

F. Official public notices or official court notices;

G. Signs or displays not visible from streets, rights-of-way, sidewalks, adjacent property, parking lots or other areas open to the public;

H. The flag of government or noncommercial institutions such as schools;

I. Structures intended for separate use such as phone booths and recycling containers; provided, that no advertising oriented to the public right-of-way is attached to such structures;

J. Reasonable seasonal decorations within a recognized public holiday season;

K. Sculptures, fountains, mosaics, murals, building architecture, design features and other works of art that do not incorporate business identification or commercial messages;

L. Historic or commemorative site markers or plaques; and

M. Lettering or symbols painted directly onto or flush-mounted magnetically onto a licensed and operable motor vehicle operating in the normal course of business. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.210 General sign regulations.

A. Permit, Permanency and On-Premises Requirements. Except as provided by other sections of this chapter, all signs shall be located on-premises and require issuance of a sign permit prior to placement. All signs shall be permanently installed except for those portable and temporary signs expressly permitted by other sections of this chapter.

B. Illumination. The light from any illuminated sign shall be so shaded, shielded or directed that the light intensity or brightness will not be objectionable to surrounding properties.

C. Structural Requirements. All signs shall comply with the pertinent requirements of the Uniform Building Code, Uniform Sign Code, and National Electric Code as adopted by the city, insofar as standards of construction are concerned, but this chapter shall govern the size, location, height and other features of signs.

The back sides of single-faced signs shall be covered and finished in such a manner that no braces or other structural elements are visible from public view. All signs shall be covered in such a way that light sources are not directly visible, except neon and electronic changing message signs.

D. Maintenance. All signs shall be kept in good repair and maintained in a safe condition and any damage or deterioration including but not limited to missing sign faces, cabinet covers and sign components, damaged structural elements, and rust or peeling paint shall be repaired. Damaged or deteriorated signs shall be repaired within 30 days of notification by the city.

E. Placement. No signs shall be fastened to trees, shrubs or rocks. No signs shall be fastened to telephone and utility poles, street lights or traffic control devices unless they are allowed pursuant to federal or state laws. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.220 Prohibited signs.

The following signs and outdoor advertising devices are prohibited in all zones unless expressly permitted by other sections of this chapter:

A. Balloons.

B. Pennants.

C. Festoons.

D. Revolving signs and signs with moving parts.

E. Signs with flashing and blinking lights and signs with lights that go on and off sequentially, except for electronic changing message signs.

F. Portable reader board signs.

G. Off-premises signs, except for those permitted in LMC 21.16.225, 21.16.260, 21.16.270 and 21.16.290.

H. Portable and temporary signs, except for those permitted in LMC 21.16.225, 21.16.260, 21.16.270, 21.16.290 and 21.16.310.

I. Signs attached to vehicles that can be seen from the public right-of-way or adjacent property that do not have a current license or are inoperable.

J. Feather signs.

K. Inflatable signs. (Ord. 3311 § 12, 2018; Ord. 3052 § 1, 2014; Ord. 2693 § 3, 2007; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.225 Off-premises portable business signs.

A. Portable business signs (as defined in LMC 21.02.705) exhibit the following characteristics:

1. Stationary. Signs that are self-supporting and are displayed by placing on the ground (such as, but not limited to, A-frame signs or pedestal signs).

2. Movable. Signs that are not self-supporting and are carried by or under the immediate control of a human being.

B. Portable business signs are allowed in the public right-of-way adjacent to all zones, other than residential and public use zones; provided, that all of the following conditions are met:

1. Stationary.

a. The location of a single sign is permitted; provided, the sign is no more than 100 yards from the business it advertises and is adjacent to, but off of, the public right-of-way, or in the public right-of-way, but not on any defined or paved pedestrian walkway or the public highway.

b. The sign shall be no larger than 12 square feet in area without moving parts or lighting.

c. The sign shall be placed immediately adjacent to the edge of the right-of-way furthest from the public highway.

d. The sign shall be removed whenever the business is not open for business.

2. Movable – Double-Faced or Sandwich Board.

a. A single double-faced or sandwich board sign in the public right-of-way (but not the public highway) is permitted; provided, that the sign is never more than 100 yards from the business that it advertises.

b. The sign shall be carried over the shoulder at all times.

c. The signs shall be constructed of two faces joined together by shoulder straps. Each face shall be no larger than two and one-half feet wide and five feet high without moving parts or any lighting.

d. The sign shall be removed whenever the business is closed.

3. Movable – Handheld.

a. A single handheld sign in the public right-of-way (but not the public highway) is permitted; provided, that the sign is never more than 100 yards from the business that it advertises.

b. The sign shall be no larger than four square feet in area.

c. The sign shall be removed whenever the business is not open for business.

4. The sign bearer shall not:

a. Orally solicit business from people in vehicles, or use audio/visual devices to broadcast music, commercials or entertainment.

b. Shout at or otherwise disrupt traffic or endanger pedestrian or traffic safety.

c. Wear clothing with accoutrements, such as lights, pinwheels, flags, that might distract traffic.

d. Enter the street, except at designated crossings, and then only for the purpose of crossing the street.

e. Block the public sidewalk or force pedestrian traffic into the public highway.

5. For purposes of this section, “public highway” means that portion of the right-of-way lawfully used by vehicular traffic. (Ord. 2693 § 1, 2007)

21.16.230 Decorative murals.

Decorative or artistic murals may be painted or otherwise placed on any building or structure in any zone without a sign permit. However, a rendition of the mural shall be reviewed and approved by the community development department prior to placement to ensure that it is not considered a mural sign.

The following criteria shall be used to make this determination administratively:

A. The mural shall not contain any commercial messages or commercial logos or graphics or colors specifically identified with a particular business.

B. The mural shall not contain an image that depicts a business, product, service or commercial activity that occurs or takes place on the site where the mural is located. (Ord. 2957 § 30, 2012; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.240 Flag poles.

Flag poles shall comply with the height and setback requirements for monument and pole signs when located within the building setbacks prescribed by the zone in which they are located and comply with the height requirements for buildings on the remainder of the site. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.250 Nonconforming signs.

Existing nonconforming signs shall be subject to the following regulations:

A. Any existing nonconforming sign shall be made conforming if Level 2 or Level 3 improvements per LMC 21.12.400(B) and (C) are made to building(s) on nonconforming sites occupied by a conforming use, except if allowed to remain pursuant to state law.

B. Any existing nonconforming sign that has been abandoned for a continuous period of six months or more must be removed or made conforming before it can be used by a new business, except if allowed to remain pursuant to state law.

C. When any new sign for which a sign permit is required by this chapter is proposed to be installed on a business site where a nonconforming sign or signs are located, one nonconforming sign of similar type as the proposed sign shall be removed or brought into conformance with this chapter for each new sign installed on a business site. For example, one existing nonconforming freestanding sign would need to be removed or brought into conformance for each new freestanding sign installed on a particular business site, except if allowed to remain pursuant to state law.

D. Portable signs located within an area being annexed to the city that do not conform with the requirements of this chapter shall be removed within six months of the effective date of annexation.

E. Whenever any modification is to be made to the structure, frame or support of any nonconforming sign, such nonconforming sign shall be removed or brought into conformance with this chapter. Adding a new sign face to a nonconforming sign that does not modify the shape, size or any structural element of a nonconforming sign shall be allowed without a sign permit. This provision does not apply to regular maintenance that does not involve replacement of external elements.

F. Whenever a building facade that supports a nonconforming wall, nonrigid awning or projecting signs is remodeled, all such nonconforming signs located on the facade being remodeled shall be brought into conformance with this chapter.

G. Any nonconforming sign that has been designated historically or culturally significant or is placed on a structure that has been designated historically or culturally significant shall not be required to be removed.

H. Existing signs that are nonconforming may be relocated on the same parcel if displaced by government action; provided, that setback standards shall be met to the extent feasible. If an existing conforming or nonconforming sign would have setbacks reduced below applicable standards as a result of government action, the sign may be relocated on the same parcel to reduce the setback nonconformity to the extent feasible. Signs that are relocated under this subsection (H) will not be altered in size, shape, or height and shall be relocated at the expense of the government entity. (Ord. 3256 § 5, 2017; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.255 Banners.

A. The display of banners, as defined by Chapter 21.02 LMC, shall be consistent with the regulations of the Lynnwood Municipal Code.

B. For special events, the display of banners shall conform to the provisions of Chapter 5.30 LMC.

C. For civic events, the display of banners shall conform to the provisions of LMC 21.16.260.

D. The display of construction signs shall conform to the provisions of LMC 21.16.280.

E. For all other types of banners, display shall conform to the provisions of this section.

F. A banner permit is required for the installation and display of each type of banner authorized by this section. The fee for a banner permit shall be as specified by Chapter 3.104 LMC.

G. Banners shall be securely fastened as specified by the permit. Banners shall be maintained in good condition and shall be free of tears, rips, fading, delamination, detachment, etc. Banners shall not obscure or obstruct safety and fire protection equipment, appliances or signage.

H. Banner for Pre-Grand Opening Event.

1. For the purposes of this section, a “pre-grand opening event” is a one-time occurrence associated with new development or significant building expansion/renovation.

2. A banner for a pre-grand opening event may be authorized in addition to and displayed concurrently with a construction sign.

3. A banner for a pre-grand opening event shall be removed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion.

4. A banner for a pre-grand opening event shall not be displayed concurrently with a banner for a grand opening event or a periodic event.

5. A banner for a pre-grand opening event shall conform to the provisions of Table 21.16.255J.

I. Banner for Grand Opening Event.

1. For the purposes of this section, a “grand opening event” is a one-time occurrence associated with an event such as issuance of a new business license, business relocation, issuance of a new certificate of occupancy, a change in ownership, significant building expansion or renovation, etc.

2. A banner for a grand opening event shall not be displayed concurrently with a banner for a pre-grand opening event or a periodic event.

3. In conjunction with a permit for a grand-opening banner, the community development director may also authorize a banner upon an existing freestanding sign cabinet for the purpose of identifying a temporary business or use. The purpose is to allow a temporary business or occupancy to utilize the freestanding sign area associated with that building floor area. Such banner shall be designed to match the size and proportions of the existing freestanding sign area or cabinet, and may be displayed during the time allowed for the grand-opening banner.

J. Additional provisions for a banner for a pre-grand opening event and grand opening event are as specified by Table 21.16.255J.

Table 21.16.255J 

Banner for Pre-Grand Opening Event and Grand Opening Event

Commercial Use

Public, Institutional, or Nonprofit Use

Multiple-Family Residential Use

1. Pre-grand opening event

 

a. One-time banner

Permitted

Permitted

Permitted

 

b. Maximum duration of banner (consecutive days)

30

30

30

2. Grand opening event

 

a. One-time banner

Permitted

Permitted

Permitted

 

b. Maximum duration of banner (consecutive days)

45

45

45

3. Maximum number of banners

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

4. Permitted location (unless otherwise authorized)

On building, at business occupancy

On building

On building

5. Maximum size of banner (based upon floor area of occupancy)

 

a. 0 – 15,000 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

 

b. 15,001 – 30,000 sq. ft.

48 sq. ft.

48 sq. ft.

40 sq. ft.

 

c. 30,001 – 60,000 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

 

d. Greater than 60,000 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

6. Minimum interval between displays (applies to grand opening banners and all periodic displays)

30

30

K. Banner for Periodic Event.

1. For the purposes of this section, a “periodic event” is a unique occurrence of limited duration that is not a special event as defined by Chapter 5.30 LMC. A periodic event may be associated with and limited to a single occupancy, or a group of occupancies.

2. Additional provisions for a banner for a periodic event are as specified by Table 21.16.255K.

Table 21.16.255K 

Banner for Periodic Event

Commercial Use

Public, Institutional, or Nonprofit Use

Multiple-Family Residential Use

1. Periodic event

Permitted

Permitted

 

a. Maximum number of events per calendar year

2

2

 

b. Maximum duration of banner (consecutive days)

30

30

2. Maximum size of banner (based upon floor area of occupancy)

 

a. 0 – 15,000 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

32 sq. ft.

 

b. 15,001 – 30,000 sq. ft.

48 sq. ft.

48 sq. ft.

40 sq. ft.

 

c. 30,001 – 60,000 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

60 sq. ft.

 

d. Greater than 60,000 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

72 sq. ft.

3. Maximum number of banners

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

1 per occupancy’s street frontage

4. Minimum interval between pre-grand opening event or grand opening event and periodic event (consecutive days)

30

30

5. Minimum interval between periodic events (consecutive days)

30

30

6. Permitted location (unless otherwise authorized)

On building, at business occupancy

On building

On building

(Ord. 3052 § 2, 2014)

21.16.260 Civic banners and signs.

Banners and other signs displaying civic messages only are allowed on property owned by the city and no other property as follows:

A. General Requirements. Such civic banners and signs shall display only messages that promote events of a general civic interest. Such banners and signs shall not be attached to trees or shrubs and not placed in a way that might block visibility or create a safety hazard. Civic banners shall not be directly illuminated. Signs on city-owned property displaying civic messages other than banners shall comply with the sign regulations of the zone in which they are located.

B. Timing. Civic events may be of two types, with timing for the display of banners and signs as follows:

1. Special Civic Event. Special civic events are civic events designated by the city council by resolution or that are directly supported with city funding. Special civic events may consist of a series of associated events lasting for a time period up to 12 months. Banners and signs associated with special civic events may be placed up to three months in advance of the start of the event and shall be removed within one week following the conclusion of the event.

2. General Civic Event. General civic events are civic events not designated by city council resolution and which are not directly funded by the city. Banners announcing a general civic event shall be placed no more than two weeks prior to the event and shall be removed within one week following the event.

C. Civic Banners in the Right-of-Way. Civic banners may be displayed within and across public street rights-of-way; however, placement of the banners shall be subject to approval of the public works department. In addition, any person, organization or public agency wishing to place such a banner within a public right-of-way shall have liability insurance in form acceptable to the city, naming the city as an additional insured, in an amount of at least $1,000,000 to cover any accidents that may have resulted from the placement of the banner.

D. Ground Signs on Easement. Ground signs displaying civic messages may be located within easements for such a purpose on privately owned property as long as ground signs are allowed in the zone where they are to be located. Such ground signs displaying civic messages shall comply with all the regulations in LMC 21.16.310(A) except for the regulation prohibiting removable letters. (Ord. 2768 § 2, 2009; Ord. 2449 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.270 Political signs.

Political campaign signs, concerning candidates or issues, shall not require a sign permit, but this exemption shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from responsibility for its erection and maintenance in conformance with all applicable laws. Such signs, if they are more than four square feet and not greater than 32 square feet per side, may be located anywhere in the city except within the public right-of-way or on city-owned property. Political signs no more than four square feet per side may be located along the edge of the public right-of-way; however, they shall not be located on or overhang pavement, street medians, sidewalks, or any area where people walk, ride bicycles, drive or park vehicles. No political signs shall be located on city park property or within the public right-of-way adjacent to city park property or on any street median. The owners of such signs, and the owners of the property on which the signs are located, shall be responsible for removal within seven days after the election, except in the case of a primary election where successful candidates will appear in a general election, such signs shall be removed within seven days after the general election. Signs that display political messages that do not pertain to an election may remain until such time the issue the message relates to has been accomplished or resolved. (Ord. 2449 § 2, 2003; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.280 Construction signs.

Construction signs may be displayed only during construction on the site where the sign is located. Only one such sign is permitted per street frontage. No construction sign shall be more than 32 square feet per face or 10 feet in height. Construction signs shall conform to the setback requirements for monument signs. Construction signs may be placed only after a grading or building permit has been issued for construction of the development the sign makes reference to. Construction signs shall be removed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for all approved construction on a business site or residential development site or on expiration of the building or grading permit, whichever occurs first. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.290 Residential signs.

Only the following signs are permitted:

A. Occupant Identification, Home Occupation and Child Day-Care Center Signs. A sign identifying the occupants of a residence or home occupation on which premises the sign is located, providing:

1. There shall not be more than one sign per dwelling unit;

2. The maximum size of a child day-care sign shall be six square feet for a sign placed flat against the wall of a building, or six square feet and not more than 42 inches high for a freestanding sign. The maximum size of an occupant identification sign or a home occupation sign shall be two square feet for a sign placed against the wall of a building, or two square feet and not more than 24 inches high for a freestanding sign;

3. Freestanding signs shall be permanently installed and shall be set back a minimum of five feet from a right-of-way;

4. There shall be no internal illumination of, nor external illumination directed at, the sign; and

5. The components of the sign shall not be temporary or removable.

B. Restrictions or Danger in Use of Premises. Signs no larger than two square feet referring to the restrictions or danger in use of premises on which the sign is located, including, but not limited to, “no trespassing,” “beware of dog,” and “electrified fence” signs.

C. On-Site Sale of Household Goods. Signs advertising sale of household goods, for example, garage and yard sales, providing such signs:

1. Do not exceed four square feet in area per side;

2. Are attached to a wall or mounted in the ground on the site where the sale would occur;

3. Are placed no more than one day prior to sale and removed within one day following sale;

4. Shall only be used for the sale of household goods and shall not be used for home occupations or any other residential or commercial purpose;

5. Portable off-premises sale of household goods signs are allowed providing such signs:

a. No more than three off-premises signs for sale of household goods are allowed. These signs may be located along the edge of street rights-of-way; however, they shall not be located on or overhang street pavement, street medians, sidewalks or any area where people walk, ride bicycles, drive or park vehicles;

b. May be located on property other than that where household goods are for sale with the permission of the property owner where sign is placed. These signs shall not be fastened to any telephone or utility pole, fence, traffic control device, public structure, rock, tree or shrub;

6. Shall not be located on city park property or within public rights-of-way adjacent to city park property.

D. Real Estate Signs.

1. Signs advertising the sale, rental or lease of property, providing such signs:

a. Do not exceed 10 square feet per side, do not exceed five feet in height and are attached to a wall or mounted in the ground on the site for sale, rent or lease only so as to prevent such signs from becoming a hazard to pedestrians or motorists for individual developed single-family lots;

b. Do not exceed 32 square feet in area per side and subject to the location, number and height regulations of LMC 21.16.310(I) for the following: tracts of undeveloped land; tracts of partially developed land which may be developed at a higher density; and subdivisions; and

c. Are removed once the property and/or buildings being advertised are sold, rented or leased.

2. Portable off-premises real estate open house and directional signs are allowed providing such signs:

a. Shall only be used for sale, lease or rental of real property and shall not be used for home occupations or any other residential or commercial purpose;

b. May be within the public right-of-way located along the edge; however, they shall not be located on or overhang street pavement, street medians, sidewalks or any area where people walk, ride bicycles, drive or park vehicles;

c. In number are no more than the minimum necessary to direct the public from principal and minor arterials in the city to property for sale, lease or rent and no more than one sign per agent, property manager or seller shall be placed per street intersection;

d. May be located on property other than that for sale, lease or rent with permission of property owner where the sign is located. These signs shall not be fastened to any telephone or utility pole, street light, traffic control device, public structure, fence, rock, tree or shrub;

e. Shall not exceed four square feet per side;

f. Shall only be placed when agent, seller or property manager is at the property for sale, lease or rent and only on Saturday and Sunday during daylight hours, and only on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.;

g. Shall not be located on city park property or within public rights-of-way adjacent to city park property.

The above described signs do not require a sign permit, but this exemption shall not relieve the owner of the sign from the responsibility for its conformance with this section.

E. Construction Signs. Construction signs providing such signs:

1. Do not exceed 10 square feet per side, and do not exceed five feet in height for individual developed single-family lots. Such signs may be attached to a wall or mounted in the ground on the site of construction so that such signs are not a hazard to pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists for individual developed single-family lots. Such signs shall be removed at the time permitted construction receives final approval by the city;

2. Do not exceed 32 square feet per side and comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.280 for the following: tracts of undeveloped land; tracts of partially developed land that may be developed at a higher density; subdivisions and development in multiple-family zones.

The above signs do not require a sign permit, but this exemption shall not relieve the owner of such signs from the responsibility for compliance with this section.

F. Residential Development or Institution Identification Signs. Ground signs which identify residential developments such as subdivisions and apartment complexes or institutional uses such as churches and schools providing such signs:

1. Are located within the development or site so identified;

2. Do not exceed one per street frontage;

3. Comply with the ground sign regulations in LMC 21.16.310 except for the regulation prohibiting removable letters; and

4. Such signs shall require a sign permit.

G. Signs for Offices in Multiple-Family Zones. There shall be no signs allowed except wall signs, ground signs, and building directories. All wall and ground signs shall conform to the requirements and criteria of LMC 21.16.310. All wall signs shall be noninternally illuminated, except for individual letter signs and signs with opaque sign face backgrounds that only allow letters and/or business logos or graphics to be visible at night. Wall signs on building facades oriented toward nearby residential zones shall not be illuminated. (Ord. 2883 § 3, 2011; Ord. 2449 § 3, 2003; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.300 Signs in the public and semi-public zone.

Only the following signs are allowed in this zone:

A. Ground Signs. In accordance with the ground sign regulations in LMC 21.16.310 except for the regulation prohibiting removable letters.

B. Incidental Signs. In accordance with LMC 21.16.310.

C. Monument Signs. A conditional use permit may be granted for monument signs, providing they are not oriented toward nearby residential zones. No more than one monument sign shall be allowed per subject site. Monument signs shall conform to the regulations of LMC 21.16.310; however, in no case shall they be more than 20 feet in height. Monument signs shall not be illuminated if visible from nearby residential zones.

D. Other Signs. Those signs permitted under LMC 21.16.290. (Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.310 Commercial signs.

This section concerns business signs, and applies in all commercial zones except the planned regional shopping center zone. Only those signs which do not conflict with regulations contained in this and other Lynnwood Municipal Code titles, and which are consistent with the definition of a business sign in LMC 21.02.672, are permitted subject to the following standards. The word “street,” as it appears in this section, shall not include I-5, I-405, SR-525 or the Snohomish County PUD right-of-way.

A. Freestanding Signs.

1. Pole Signs.

a. Area. The total allowable sign area for pole signs on individual and multiple business sites that qualify for one pole sign shall be 75 square feet plus one-half foot for each lineal foot of street frontage over 250 feet. Any one pole sign shall be no more than 150 square feet in area per side.

On business sites which qualify for more than one pole or monument sign, per subsection (A)(1)(b) of this section, the total allowable sign area per street frontage shall be calculated at 75 square feet plus one-half square foot for each lineal foot over 250 feet. No pole sign face shall exceed 155 square feet in area. On business sites with both pole and monument signs, the total area of such signs oriented toward a particular street shall not exceed the maximum sign area based on that street’s linear frontage, except on multiple business sites and sites with pole signs at least 50 feet from the street. See subsection (A)(2) of this section for calculation of monument sign area. The allowable sign area shall be computed separately for each street frontage, and only the sign area derived from the street frontage along a street may be oriented toward that street. The allowable sign area for a pole sign located at a corner shall be derived from the one street frontage it is oriented toward. Only one face of a double-faced sign shall be considered in computing its area, providing both sides pertain to the same business.

i. Additional Area for Multiple Business Sites. Multiple business sites shall be allowed an additional 20 square feet of freestanding sign area for each business in excess of one up to a total of 80 square feet of additional pole sign area per multiple business site. Such additional sign area shall not be used to increase the sign area of any business beyond that amount which would be allowed if located in an individual business site of the same size as the multiple business site. Sign structures containing this additional sign area shall be constructed in such a way to be easily modified to reflect changes in the number of tenants on the site. Any multiple business site which is at least 150,000 square feet in lot area and contains at least 10 separate businesses shall be allowed one additional freestanding sign for identification of the site generally. Such signs shall not exceed 160 square feet in area.

ii. Additional Area for Pole Signs at Least 50 Feet from a Street. For all pole signs located at least 50 feet from a street, sign area may be increased five percent for each 10 feet the sign is from the street, up to a maximum of 200 square feet of total sign area per sign.

b. Number of Pole Signs. Along each public street abutting an individual or multiple business site, that site may have one permanently installed pole sign per the following schedule. However, on corner sites where two pole signs would be spaced less than 250 feet apart as measured in a straight line, only one sign shall be allowed.

Street Frontage per Street Pole

Signs Allowed

1 – 300 feet

1

301 – 600 feet

2

601 – 900 feet

3

901+ feet

4

On sites with less than 300 lineal feet of street frontage on one street or corner sites where two signs would be less than 250 feet apart as measured in a straight line, additional pole signs may be allowed by conditional use permit; provided, that such signs are in keeping with the intent of this title.

Whenever a conditional use permit for additional pole signs is considered, the hearing examiner may require that the height, area, and/or specific dimensions of signs be reduced and/or the setback from property lines be increased.

Sites which qualify for additional pole signs may substitute ground signs for those additional pole signs.

c. Location, Height and Design Criteria for Pole Signs.

i. Location. The setback for pole signs along public streets shall be as provided below:

(A) Pole signs shall be located more than 35 feet from the street right-of-way.

(B) Pole signs shall be located at least 100 feet from adjacent I-5, I-405, and SR-525 boundaries. Pole signs shall be located at least 100 feet from the Snohomish County PUD right-of-way where it is adjacent to I-5. This requirement does not apply to signs located adjacent to freeway on-ramps and off-ramps. Pole signs shall be located at least 10 feet from any side or rear property line and 25 feet from any property line adjacent to a residential zone.

These limitations do not apply to nonilluminated private traffic direction signs directing traffic movement within a business site, not exceeding four square feet in area for each sign, or traffic directions painted on the surface of a parking lot or driveway.

ii. Height. Pole signs shall comply with the height regulation for monument signs depending on their distance from the street up to a maximum of 25 feet in height above the average ground level at the base of the sign for all commercial zones. Pole signs may be 30 feet high if located within 500 feet of I-5, I-405 or SR-525 boundaries and at least 100 feet from a public street. However, pole signs shall not be higher than 20 feet on property separated from the above freeways by a public street. The height of signs may be further limited by the maximum height for buildings specified in the respective zone. When signs are located on sites within 100 feet of residential-zoned property, illuminated sections of the sign shall not exceed 20 feet in height if visible from those properties.

iii. Design Criteria. Pole signs shall meet the following design criteria and criteria indicated on Figure 3 of this chapter:

(A) The sign exterior shall consist of materials and colors that minimize reflection capabilities and are similar and complementary to those of the primary buildings on the property where the sign is located. The sign and support or base shall be constructed of materials that are easily maintained and maintain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time.

(B) The design of the sign and base or support shall be similar and complementary with the architecture of the primary buildings on the property where the sign is located.

(C) The sign base shall be surrounded by a single landscape area that is at least two feet wide between the sign base and raised curb that surrounds and protects the landscape area. The landscape area shall include evergreen plant material and may also include other materials, such as brick pavers or decorative planters.

2. Monument Signs.

a. Area. Maximum monument sign area shall be 35 square feet at the minimum setback from the street right-of-way and an additional two square feet for each one foot back from the minimum setback line measured perpendicular to the street, up to a maximum of 75 square feet per side.

b. Number of Monument Signs. The total number of monument, ground and pole signs on a business site shall not exceed the maximum number of pole signs allowed by subsection (A)(1)(b) of this section.

c. Location, Height and Design Criteria for Monument Signs.

i. Location. The leading edge of monument signs shall be located at least 10 feet from the street right-of-way, at least 10 feet from any side property line and at least 25 feet from any property line adjacent to a residential zone.

Monument signs shall be located at least 100 feet from adjacent I-5, I-405 and SR-525 boundaries. Monument signs shall be located at least 100 feet from the Snohomish County PUD right-of-way where it is adjacent to I-5. This requirement does not apply to signs located adjacent to freeway on-ramps and off-ramps.

Monument signs shall not be located within a triangular area at street intersections or street and driveway intersections formed by two points measuring 20 feet back from the point where the two street right-of-way lines merge or a street right-of-way line and edge of driveway merge and extending a line that connects these two points to complete the triangle. (See Figure 4 of this chapter.)

ii. Height. Monument signs shall be no more than six and one-half feet high at the minimum setback from the street right-of-way and one additional foot in height for each one and one-half feet back in a perpendicular line from the street. The maximum height for monument signs shall be 25 feet for all commercial zones. Monument signs may be 30 feet high if located within 500 feet of I-5, I-405, SR-525 boundaries and at least 100 feet from a public street. However, monument signs shall not be higher than 25 feet on property separated from the above freeways by a public street. When signs are located on sites within 100 feet of residential-zoned property, illuminated sections shall be no more than 20 feet in height if visible from those properties.

iii. Design Criteria. Monument signs shall meet the following design criteria and criteria shown on Figure 5 of this chapter:

(A) The sign shall be located so it does not interfere with the visibility of drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, riders or others at intersections, driveways, bike lanes, crosswalks, or other places of ingress or egress.

(B) The sign exterior shall consist of materials and colors that minimize reflection capabilities and are similar and complementary to those of the primary buildings on the property where the sign is located. The sign and support or base shall be constructed of materials that are easily maintained and maintain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time.

(C) The design of the sign and base or support shall be similar and complementary with the architecture of the primary buildings on the property where the sign is located.

(D) The sign base shall be surrounded by a single landscape area that is at least two feet wide between the sign base and raised curb that surrounds and protects the landscape area. The landscape area shall include evergreen plant material and may also include other materials, such as brick pavers or decorative planters.

3. Ground Signs. The total number of ground, monument and pole signs on a business site shall not exceed the maximum number of pole signs allowed by subsection (A)(1)(b) of this section. However, one additional ground sign may be allowed to identify a business parking area that is not adjacent to the business site where the business is located and one additional ground sign may be allowed to identify an access driveway to a street not adjacent to the business site where the business is located.

All ground signs shall be subject to the following criteria:

a. The sign is located to minimize interference with drivers’ or others’ visibility in intersection or at place of ingress or egress;

b. The sign has no moving parts;

c. The sign consists of materials and colors which minimize reflection capabilities;

d. The sign components are securely attached to the sign structure and not temporary or removable;

e. The sign shall not be internally illuminated, except for an individual letter sign or a sign with an opaque sign face background that only allows letters and/or business logos or graphics to be visible at night. Indirect lighting, if used, shall be uncolored, nonblinking, and directed away from traffic;

f. The sign shall have a solid base that is not less than three-quarters of the width of the sign face;

g. The sign shall be no more than 25 square feet in area;

h. The sign shall be located at least five feet from the street right-of-way;

i. The sign shall be no higher than three and one-half feet above the adjacent sidewalk or street curb;

j. The sign exterior shall consist of materials and colors that are similar and complementary to those of the primary buildings on the business site. The sign and base shall be constructed of materials that are easily maintained and maintain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time; and

k. The sign may be permanently attached to retaining walls and fences; however, such walls and fences shall be at least five feet from the street right-of-way.

Such signs may be located closer than five feet from the street right-of-way by conditional use permit, if it is found necessary or desirable in the public interest to locate the sign nearer to the right-of-way, and that it will not interfere with visibility as indicated above.

B. Building Signs.

1. Wall Signs.

a. Area. The total allowable sign area for each business for signs attached to a building frontage including mural signs shall be 60 square feet, or one square foot for each lineal foot of building frontage, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of 200 square feet. However, wall signs that comply with the Sign Design – Creative/Artistic Elements Guidelines of the Lynnwood Citywide Design Guidelines, as adopted by reference in LMC 21.25.145(B)(3), may be allowed up to a 30 percent increase in wall sign area. Businesses may have up to 10 square feet of sign area to place on a directory sign on any facade of the building where they are located, except in no case shall the maximum sign area exceed 15 percent of a building facade considered building frontage. See Figure 2 of this chapter and LMC 21.02.358 to determine building frontage.

On other building facades not considered frontage, the maximum sign area shall be one-half square foot for each lineal foot of building facade or 100 square feet, whichever is smaller. Wall signs on building facades that are oriented toward adjacent property zoned residential shall not be illuminated.

The allowable sign area shall be computed separately for each building facade. Sign area shall not be transferred from one facade to another. Only one face of a double-faced sign shall be considered in computing its area, providing both sides pertain to the same business. For purposes of determining sign area, awning signs are part of the sign area allowed for signs attached to buildings.

b. Height. Wall signs shall not extend higher than one foot above the wall to which they are attached.

c. Transfer of Allowed Area from Freestanding Signs to Signs Attached to Buildings. Freestanding sign area may be applied to signs attached to buildings; provided, however, that such area be apportioned equally to all tenants and shall only be transferred to a building frontage. A record of any such transfer must be filed with the planning department. The maximum wall sign area per building facade with transfer shall be 400 square feet or 10 percent of the building frontage area to which the sign is attached, whichever is smaller.

2. Projecting, Marquee, and Nonrigid Awning Signs. Projecting signs shall not extend above the wall to which they are attached. Marquee signs shall not extend higher than the wall to which they are attached. Nonrigid awning signs shall not extend higher than the wall to which they are attached.

Projecting and marquee signs and nonrigid awnings shall be at least eight feet above any walkway and 16 feet above any area used by vehicular traffic. However, nonrigid awnings with signs may be placed at the top of garage bay doors unless contact by vehicular traffic is possible. Projecting signs on business sites shall not extend into the public right-of-way or adjacent property. Marquee signs shall not block windows or doorways. The area for projecting, marquee and nonrigid awning signs shall come out of the sign area allocation for the building facade they are attached to. Nonrigid awning signs shall have a maximum dimension of four feet from top to bottom. The sign area for nonrigid awning signs shall be the entire area of any nonrigid awning that projects less than three feet from a building. The sign area for all other nonrigid awning signs shall be the rectangular area around letters and/or graphics displayed on the nonrigid awning. (See Figure 1 of this chapter.) Projecting and marquee signs may be illuminated; however, they shall not be illuminated if oriented toward adjacent residential-zoned property.

3. Roof Signs. The planning director may approve the placement of one roof sign per building if it is determined that such a sign is necessary because permitted wall signs cannot be placed so as to be readable from the street closest to the building. Any roof sign approved by the planning director may only be mounted on any building if it complies with the building code or other city regulations. A roof sign shall not be higher than 10 feet above the roof deck and shall be subject to the placement and design criteria described on Figure 6 of this chapter. The area of a roof sign shall come out of the sign area allocation for building facade closest to the sign.

When roof signs are located on sites which have street frontage within 100 feet of residential-zoned property, illuminated sections shall not exceed 20 feet in height from the ground if visible from those properties.

C. Incidental Signs. Incidental signs, each not more than four square feet in area per side, do not require a sign permit and may be in excess of the allowable sign area providing they are attached to a building below the roof line, or if placed in the ground, are no more than three feet above grade, and at least five feet from the street right-of-way. No more than four such signs per business shall be located on a business site. Incidental signs less than three square feet in area shall not be counted as one of the four allowable signs or as part of the allowable sign area.

D. Electronic Changing Message Signs. No sign shall have blinking or flashing lights; provided, however, electronically changing message signs shall be allowed. These signs shall not change displays or images at a rate less than one every five seconds except for signs which provide alternate messages only as to times and temperature, which may change at a rate of not less than one message every two seconds. All such signs shall be equipped with a device which automatically dims the intensity of the lights during hours of darkness.

E. Internal Information Signs. Signs intended to be seen by the public within a business site, oriented away from the street and not readable from the public right-of-way and adjacent property, shall not be regulated as signs. Such signs shall include but are not limited to internal directory signs, certain incidental signs and menu boards.

F. Portable Business Signs. Portable signs shall only be allowed within eight feet of any building where a business is located. There is no limitation on the number of such signs. However, these signs shall not be placed in the ground, on walkways, in parking areas, drive aisles, or anywhere that might block visibility or create a safety hazard.

G. Special Event Signs. Signs for special events as defined by Chapter 5.30 LMC shall conform to the provisions of that chapter. Signs for temporary activities or occurrences not regulated as a special event shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.

H. Searchlights. Searchlights shall only be permitted if they meet the following criteria:

1. That the duration of time for display of the searchlight shall not be more than 10 days;

2. That no permit for display of a searchlight shall have been approved for the same applicant during the six-month period prior to the most recent application;

3. That the searchlight be so located as to minimize interference of driver visibility at intersections or at points of ingress and egress;

4. That the searchlight be located 35 or more feet from the right-of-way; and directed away from traffic on nearby streets;

5. The intensity and color of light and the duration of its operation shall not constitute a nuisance as defined in LMC 10.08.200; and

6. That a fee as shown in Chapter 3.104 LMC shall be paid in connection with any such permit.

I. Real Estate Signs. Signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of commercially zoned property on which the sign is located shall require a temporary sign permit. Such signs shall not be permitted unless a property, building(s) and/or tenant space(s) is for sale, lease or rent. Each such sign shall not exceed 24 square feet in area, and if freestanding, shall be set back at least six feet from the street right-of-way. Such signs shall not be placed where they can obstruct driver, bicyclist or pedestrian visibility. There shall be no more than one such sign per street corner or one per street frontage, whichever is less. Such signs shall be no more than six and one-half feet in height, shall not be illuminated and shall be removed once the property and/or buildings being advertised are sold, leased or rented. In addition, any such nonconforming sign shall require a permit and be made conforming by October 9, 2000.

J. Construction Signs. Construction signs for commercially zoned property shall comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.280.

K. Signs in Restricted Business Zone. Signs shall comply with the following:

1. No roof signs shall be allowed;

2. No freestanding signs shall be allowed, except ground signs in accordance with the regulations of this section; and

3. Building signs shall comply with the regulations of this section. All building signs shall be noninternally illuminated, except for individual letter signs and signs with opaque sign face backgrounds that only allow letters and/or business logos or graphics to be visible at night. Signs on building facades oriented toward nearby residential zones shall not be illuminated.

L. Sign Variances. Requests to relax standards of this section shall be processed as variances and shall meet all the criteria for granting of variances, unless otherwise provided for. In considering any application for a variance to relax the required setback for pole or monument signs, the hearing examiner shall take into account the following factors and all others in the public interest in determining whether special circumstances exist which warrant a variance:

1. The extent to which vegetation and/or topography of the subject and/or adjacent properties would obscure a pole sign at the required setback on the subject property; provided, that removal of the obstructing vegetation and/or topography is beyond the control of the owner of the subject property or contrary to city policies or ordinances.

2. The size of the subject property as it relates to possible locations for the proposed sign.

3. The extent to which nearby existing pole or monument signs located at less than the required setback would obscure a pole sign at the required setback on the subject property.

4. The extent to which visibility of the proposed sign might be enhanced by mounting the sign lower or higher (but not exceeding the required height limit) than nearby obstructions, rather than by reducing the required setback.

5. The width, alignment, and extent of improvement of the right-of-way toward which the proposed sign would be oriented, insofar as this determines the angle at which the sign would be viewed by the traveling public.

If the hearing examiner determines that a variance to relax a pole or monument sign setback is warranted, the examiner may require periodic review of any reduction granted and/or provisions for eventual relocation to the required setback if existing and anticipated future conditions so indicate. If provisions for relocation appear appropriate, the examiner may require installation of wiring and a foundation at the required setback concurrent with erection of the sign at a lesser setback and a bond or other suitable guarantee of relocation. (Ord. 3140 § 3, 2015; Ord. 3052 § 3, 2014; Ord. 3010 § 2, 2013; Ord. 2957 §§ 30, 31, 2012; Ord. 2699 § 28, 2007; Ord. 2388 §§ 9, 10, 2001; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.320 Signs in planned regional shopping center zone.

The following signs are permitted, subject to the following limitations:

A. Monument, Pole and Ground Signs. Monument, pole and ground signs are permitted; however, the number shall not exceed the number of public streets abutting the property. Such signs shall be subject to the setback, sign area and height regulations of LMC 21.16.310.

B. Wall Signs. Wall signs are permitted, provided such signs shall be subject to the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(B), except wall signs are only allowed on building frontages, as defined by LMC 21.02.358.

Notwithstanding LMC 21.16.310(B), wall signs may be located on all elevations of a building only if that building is located on a building site, as defined by LMC 21.02.175, that has more than 50 acres in area. The total allowable sign area for all businesses with signs attached to the primary building frontage (as designated by the building owner) shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of building frontage, up to a maximum of 200 square feet. Sign area in the amount of 1.5 times the signage allowed on the primary building frontage may be distributed to the remaining elevations; provided, that no one elevation may have sign area exceeding the amount allowed on the primary building frontage.

C. Electronic Changing Message Signs. Electronic changing message signs are permitted, provided such signs shall be subject to the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(H), and that electronic changing message signs shall be located such that they:

1. Are predominantly not visible from a public right-of-way.

2. Are located on a building elevation with a primary entrance and facing an area predominantly used by pedestrians.

3. Are located on a building that is part of a larger building site as defined by LMC 21.02.175 that has at least 50 acres in area.

D. Internal Information Signs. Internal information signs are signs intended to be seen by the public upon entering a business site to direct the circulation of traffic. Internal information signs shall include but are not limited to internal directory signs, incidental signs, and directional signs. Such signs shall be located at least 50 feet from the public right-of-way. The number of internal information signs is limited to the number of driveways a business site has.

E. Searchlights. Searchlights are permitted, subject to the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(H). For the planned regional shopping center zone, the term “applicant” as stated in LMC 21.16.310(H)(2) shall be defined as the shopping center management or his/her designated representative and not an individual business or property owner. Searchlight permits within the planned regional shopping center zone shall only be issued to the applicant as defined above.

F. Real Estate Signs. Real estate signs shall comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(I).

G. Construction Signs. Construction signs shall comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.280.

H. Promotional/Entertainment Signs. Promotional/entertainment signs may be located in the PRC zone, provided such signs:

1. Are predominantly not visible from a public right-of-way.

2. Are located on a building elevation facing an area predominantly used by pedestrians.

3. Are located on a building site as defined by LMC 21.02.175 that has at least 50 acres in area.

4. Do not exceed 500 square feet each.

5. Do not cover more than 15 percent of a building elevation as a total of all signs allowed under this subsection. (Ord. 3192 § 6, 2016; Ord. 2467 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.330 Signs in industrial zones.

A. Objectives. Permitted signs should be the minimum necessary for the expected business uses, and minimize light, glare, and other adverse sign impacts on nearby residences.

B. Signs. The following signs are permitted, subject to the following limitations:

1. Wall Signs at Transitional Sites.

a. All signs shall be of a uniform color and letter style compatible with building materials used elsewhere on the site;

b. There shall be not more than one sign per business;

c. The top of such signs shall not be higher than the top of the building;

d. The maximum sign area shall be per the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(B);

e. The signs shall not be internally illuminated and signs on building facades oriented toward nearby residential zones shall not be externally illuminated;

f. The signs shall be constructed with materials which minimize reflective capabilities;

g. Signs shall only be located on the building frontage; and

h. No roof signs shall be allowed.

2. Wall Signs at General Sites.

a. All signs shall be of a uniform color and letter style compatible with building materials used elsewhere on the site;

b. The top of such signs shall not be higher than the top of the building;

c. The maximum sign area shall be per the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(B);

d. Signs shall not be internally illuminated except for individual letter signs and signs with opaque sign face backgrounds that only allow letters and/or business logos or graphics to be visible at night;

e. Signs on building facades oriented toward nearby residential zones shall not be illuminated;

f. The signs shall be constructed with materials which minimize reflective capabilities; and

g. No roof signs shall be allowed.

3. Ground Signs. Ground signs shall be allowed subject to the following regulations:

a. All ground signs shall conform to the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(A); and

b. A maximum of two ground signs are allowed per street per property, and spaced at least 300 feet apart.

4. Real Estate Signs. Real estate signs shall comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.310(I).

5. Construction Signs. Construction signs shall comply with the regulations of LMC 21.16.280. (Ord. 3311 § 13, 2018; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

21.16.335 Signs in the transition area.

Only the following signs are permitted in the transition area:

A. General Regulations.

1. Backlit signs are prohibited; signs with individual backlit letters are acceptable.

2. Illuminated signs are permitted except on top floor building facades facing westerly that would be visible from the residential areas west of 36th Avenue W.

3. External sign lighting is permitted. The lighting shall not shine directly toward adjacent residentially zoned properties and shall not project towards the night sky.

4. For residential real estate signs, see LMC 21.16.290(D).

5. For commercial incidental signs, internal information signs, portable business signs, temporary commercial event signs, real estate signs, construction signs and variances for commercial signs, see LMC 21.16.310.

B. Monument Sign Standards. Monument signs shall conform to the requirements of Table 21.16.01.

 

Table 21.16.01: Monument Sign Standards 

Requirements a, b, c

Single- and Multi-Tenant Developments

(less than 25,000 sq. ft. of floor area)

(25,000 – 50,000 sq. ft. of floor area)

(more than 50,000 sq. ft. of floor area)

Maximum Height

4 ft.

6 ft.

8 ft.

Maximum Sign Area

20 sq. ft.

30 sq. ft.

40 sq. ft.

Minimum Setback from Front Property Lines d

For signs 4 ft. in height or less: 5 ft.

For signs greater than 4 ft. in height up to 8 ft. in height or less: 10 ft.

Minimum Setback – Side d

5 ft.

Landscaping e

2 ft. of landscaping surrounding the entire base of the sign

Minimum Separation f

250 ft. between signs

Notes for Table:

a.    Monument signs shall include the address number on the face of the sign. Address numbers shall meet fire department requirements and shall not be counted towards the sign area.

b.    The sign shall consist of materials and colors that minimize reflection capabilities and are consistent and complementary to the architecture of the primary building on site. Materials shall be easily maintained and shall retain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time.

c.    The sign shall comply with the design criteria in Figure 5 of this chapter.

d.    Signs shall not be located within a triangular area at street intersection or street and driveway intersections formed by two points measuring 20 feet back from the point where the two street right-of-way lines merge or a street right-of-way line and edge of driveway merge and extending a line that connects these two points to complete the triangle (see Figure 4 of this chapter).

e.    Landscaping shall include a decorative combination of groundcover and shrubs to provide seasonal interest in the area surrounding the base of the sign. Landscaping shall be well maintained at all times of the year. The required landscaping area shall be protected by a raised curb if not surrounded by additional landscaping.

f.    An individual building, development, or complex may not display more than one monument sign per street frontage. However, additional monument signs can be used on the site as long as they advertise a different business on site and can be placed at least 250 feet from the first sign along applicable street frontages. No two signs shall be closer than 250 linear feet.

C. Wall Sign Standards.

1. Single-Story Building.

a. Business tenants with building frontage: one square foot of signage for each linear foot of building frontage; provided, that each tenant is allowed a minimum of 40 square feet of signage.

b. Business tenants without building frontage: one-half square foot for each lineal foot of building facade, not to exceed 100 square feet maximum.

c. Allowable sign area may not be transferred from one facade and/or building frontage to another.

2. Multi-Story Building.

a. Ground floor business tenants with a direct exterior entrance into the business (not a lobby) are permitted one square foot of signage for each linear foot of building frontage of the applicable tenant space; provided, that each tenant is allowed a minimum of 40 square feet of signage. This signage shall be located at their exterior entry on the ground floor.

b. Other Business Tenants with Building Frontage. The total exterior wall signage allowed shall be a maximum of one square foot of signage for each linear foot of building, up to a maximum of 250 square feet per building frontage (total for all business tenants). This signage may identify either the building, a major tenant of the building, or individual tenants that do not have a direct exterior entrance into their tenant space (or a combination of all three), as determined and allocated by the building owner. This signage may be located only on either the ground floor or the top floor (below the cornice or edge of the roof) of the building (or both), as determined by the owner.

c. Business Tenants without Building Frontage. The total exterior wall signage allowed shall be a maximum of one-half square foot for each lineal foot of building facade which does not meet the definition of building frontage, up to a maximum of 100 square feet (total for all business tenants). The property owner shall allocate this signage among tenants without building frontage, including tenant spaces without wall space along the exterior facade. This signage may located only at the ground floor or the top floor of the building (or both), as determined by the owner.

d. Allowable sign area may not be transferred from one facade and/or building frontage to another.

e. In no case shall allowable sign area be permitted on intermediate floors (above the first story or below the top story).

3. Residential Development or Institutional Identification Signs. Wall signs for multifamily development identification are permitted. Signs at ground floor public residential or institutional entrances shall have a maximum size of 20 square feet per such entrance. Additional signs may be permitted on the top floor (below the cornice or roof edge), provided such signs shall be allocated as part of the total allowable sign area per facade by the owner (see above).

4. Home Occupation Signs. Home occupations may be allocated sign area as part of an internal or external sign directory; no other signage is permitted.

5. Maximum Height. Wall signs may not extend above the building parapet, soffit, the eave line or the roof of the building.

6. Mounting. Building signs should be mounted plumb with the building, with a maximum protrusion of one foot unless the sign incorporates sculptural elements or architectural devices. The sign frame shall be concealed or integrated into the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials.

D. Projecting, Marquee and Awning Signs. Projecting, marquee and awning signs shall meet the requirements of LMC 21.16.310(B)(2) in addition to the following:

1. The sign shall not project more than five feet from the building, unless the sign is a part of a permanent marquee or awning over the sidewalk. Vertically oriented signs shall not project more than three feet from the building. Signs shall not project into the public right-of-way.

2. Sign area shall be counted as part of the allocation for wall signs, above.

3. Signs shall not extend above the building parapet, soffit, eave line or the roof of the building, except for theaters.

4. Marquee and awning signs shall not cover more than 70 percent of the applicable storefront or awning.

E. Blade Signs. Blade signs are small signs with faces perpendicular to the building facade. They generally are mounted directly to the building facade or hung below a canopy or projecting weather protection. Blade signs are generally oriented to face pedestrians walking down the fronting sidewalk. Blade signs meeting the following conditions are allowed for commercial uses:

1. Projection. Blade signs may project up to three feet. Bracket signs shall have one foot minimum between the sign and the outer edge of the marquee, awning, or canopy and between the sign and the building facade.

2. Clearance. Blade/bracket signs shall maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet between the walkway and the bottom of the sign.

3. Dimensions. Blade signs shall not exceed six square feet in area. Bracket signs shall not exceed two feet in height.

4. Mounting. Blade signs must avoid covering or modifying windows or other architectural feature.

F. Prohibited Signs. The following signs are specifically prohibited:

1. Pole-mounted signs.

2. Signs employing moving or flashing lights.

3. Signs employing exposed electrical conduits.

4. Visible ballast boxes or other equipment.

5. Roof-mounted signs.

G. Other Signs. See LMC 21.16.310(C) through (J). (Ord. 3077 § 2 (Exh. A), 2014)

21.16.340 Signs in the Highway 99 mixed use zone.

Only the following signs are permitted in the Highway 99 mixed use zone:

A. General Regulations.

1. Back-lit signs are prohibited; signs with individual back-lit letters are acceptable.

2. Neon signs are permitted.

3. External sign lighting is permitted. The lighting shall not be visible from adjacent residentially zoned properties and shall not project towards the night sky or past the sign.

4. For residential real estate signs, see LMC 21.16.290(D).

5. For commercial incidental signs, internal information signs, portable business signs, temporary commercial event signs, real estate signs, construction signs and variances for commercial signs, see LMC 21.16.310.

B. Pole Sign Standards.

1. One pole sign shall be permitted for a single- and multi-tenant development with a gross building floor area of 50,000 square feet or more. Pole signs shall not be permitted for single- and multi-tenant developments with a gross building floor area less than 50,000 square feet.

2. Maximum height of 15 feet.

3. Minimum sign setback of 25 feet.

4. Maximum sign area is 75 square feet.

5. Comply with design criteria in LMC 21.16.310(A)(1)(c)(iii).

C. Monument Sign Standards. Monument signs shall conform to the requirements of Table 21.16.02.

 

Table 21.16.02: Monument Sign Standards 

Requirementsa,b,c

Single- and Multi-Tenant Developments

(less than 25,000 sf floor area)

(25,000-50,000 sf floor area)

(more than 50,000 floor area)

Maximum Height

4 ft.

6 ft.

8 ft.

Maximum Sign Area

20 sf

30 sf

40 sf

Minimum Setback from Front Property Linesd

5 ft. plus 1.5 ft. per additional foot in height above 3.5 ft.

Minimum Setback – Sided

5 ft.

Landscapinge

2 ft. of landscaping surrounding the base of the sign

Minimum Separationf

250 ft. between signs

Notes for Table:

a. Monument signs shall include the address number on the face of the sign. Address numbers shall meet fire department requirements and shall not be counted towards the sign area.

b. The sign shall consist of materials and colors that minimize reflection capabilities and are consistent and complementary to the architecture of the primary building on site. Materials shall be easily maintained and shall retain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time.

c. The sign shall comply with the design criteria in Figure 5 of this chapter.

d. Signs shall not be located within a triangular area at street intersection or street and driveway intersections formed by two points measuring 20 feet back from the point where the two street right-of-way lines merge or a street right-of-way line and edge of driveway merge and extending a line that connects these two points to complete the triangle (see Figure 4 in this chapter).

e. Landscaping shall include a decorative combination of groundcover and shrubs to provide seasonal interest in the area surrounding the base of the sign. Landscaping shall be well maintained at all times of the year. The required landscaping area shall be protected by a raised curb if not surrounded by additional landscaping.

f. In general, an individual building, development, or complex may not display more than one monument sign per street frontage. However, additional monument signs can be used on the site as long as they advertise a different business on site and can be placed at least 250 feet from the first sign along applicable street frontages. No two signs shall be closer than 250 linear feet.

D. Wall Sign Standards.

1. Single Story Building.

a. Business tenants with building frontage: one square foot of signage for each lineal foot of building frontage; provided, that each tenant is allowed a minimum of 60 square feet of signage.

b. Business tenants without building frontage: one-half square foot for each lineal foot of building facade, not to exceed 100 square feet maximum.

c. Allowable sign area may not be transferred from one facade and/or building frontage to another.

2. Multistory Building.

a. Ground-floor business tenants with a direct exterior entrance into the business (not a lobby) are permitted one square foot of signage for each linear foot of building frontage of the applicable tenant space; provided, that each tenant is allowed a minimum of 60 square feet of signage. This signage shall be located at their exterior entry on the ground floor.

b. Other Business Tenants with Building Frontage. The total exterior wall signage allowed shall be a maximum of one square foot of signage for each linear foot of building, up to a maximum of 250 square feet per building frontage (total for all business tenants). This signage may identify either the building, a major tenant of the building, or individual tenants that do not have a direct exterior entrance into their tenant space (or a combination of all three), as determined and allocated by the building owner. This signage may be located only on either the ground floor or the top floor (below the cornice or edge of the roof) of the building (or both), as determined by the owner.

c. Business Tenants without Building Frontage. The total exterior wall signage allowed shall be a maximum of one-half square foot for each lineal foot of building facade which does not meet the definition of building frontage, up to a maximum of 100 square feet (total for all business tenants). The property owner shall allocate this signage among tenants without building frontage, including tenant spaces without wall space along the exterior facade. This signage may be located only at the ground floor or the top floor of the building (or both), as determined by the owner.

d. Allowable sign area may not be transferred from one facade and/or building frontage to another.

e. In no case shall allowable sign area be permitted on intermediate floors (above the first story or below the top story).

3. Residential Development or Institutional Identification Signs. Wall signs for multifamily development identification are permitted. Signs at ground-floor public residential or institutional entrances shall have a maximum size of 20 square feet per such entrance. Additional signs may be permitted on the top floor (below the cornice or roof edge), provided such signs shall be allocated as part of the total allowable sign area per facade by the owner (see above).

4. Home Occupation Signs. Home occupations may be allocated sign area as part of an internal or external sign directory; no other signage is permitted.

5. Maximum Height. Wall signs may not extend above the building parapet, soffit, the eave line or the roof of the building.

6. Mounting. Building signs should be mounted plumb with the building, with a maximum protrusion of one foot unless the sign incorporates sculptural elements or architectural devices. The sign frame shall be concealed or integrated into the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials.

E. Projecting, Marquee and Awning Signs. Projecting, marquee and awning signs shall meet the requirements of LMC 21.16.310(B)(2) in addition to the following:

1. The sign shall not project more than five feet from the building, unless the sign is a part of a permanent marquee or awning over the sidewalk. Vertically oriented signs shall not project more than three feet from the building. Signs shall not project into the public right-of-way.

2. Sign area shall be counted as part of the allocation for wall signs, above.

3. Signs shall not extend above the building parapet, soffit, eave line or the roof of the building, except for theaters.

4. Marquee and awning signs shall not cover more than 70 percent of the applicable storefront or awning.

F. Blade Signs. Blade signs are small signs with faces perpendicular to the building facade. They generally are mounted directly to the building facade or hung below a canopy or projecting weather protection. Blade signs are generally oriented to face pedestrians walking down the fronting sidewalk. Blade signs meeting the following conditions are allowed for commercial uses:

1. Projection. Blade signs may project up to three feet. Bracket signs shall have one foot minimum between the sign and the outer edge of the marquee, awning, or canopy and between the sign and the building facade.

2. Clearance. Blade/bracket signs shall maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet between the walkway and the bottom of the sign.

3. Dimensions. Blade signs shall not exceed six square feet in area. Bracket signs shall not exceed two feet in height.

4. Mounting. Blade signs must avoid covering or modifying windows or other architectural feature.

G. Prohibited Signs. The following signs are specifically prohibited:

1. Signs employing moving or flashing lights.

2. Signs employing exposed electrical conduits.

3. Visible ballast boxes or other equipment.

4. Roof-mounted signs.

H. Other Signs. See LMC 21.16.310(C) through (J). (Ord. 3283 § 3, 2018; amended during 9/14 supplement; Ord. 2911 § 1, 2011; Ord. 2310 § 42, 2000)

Figure 1    Sign Area Calculation

Sign Area Calculation (Cont.)

Figure 2    Building Frontage

Figure 3    Pole Signs

Pole sign design criteria:

One Sign Support: Width of sign base/support shall be at least three feet wide.

Two or More Sign Supports: Vertical sign supports may extend beyond the outside edge of the sign face(s). There shall be no gaps between the sign supports and sign face(s). No individual sign support shall be less than two feet wide.

Materials and Design: Sign and base shall be constructed of building materials that are easily maintained and maintain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time. The exterior of the sign and base shall use materials and color similar to those of the primary buildings on the same property. The design of the sign and base shall be similar and complementary with the architecture of the primary buildings on the same property.

Figure 4    Sight Triangle

Figure 5    Monument Signs

Monument sign design criteria:

Sign Base: The sign base/support shall be solid and width of sign base shall be at least 50% of sign face length. No sign base shall be less than three feet wide. There shall be no gaps between the sign base and sign face(s).

Materials and Design: Sign and base shall be constructed of building materials that are easily maintained and maintain their shape, color, texture and appearance over time. The exterior of the sign and base shall use materials and color similar to those of the primary buildings on the same property. The design of the sign and base shall be similar and complementary with the architecture of the primary buildings on the same property.

Figure 6    Roof Signs

Figure 7    Freestanding Sign Height, Setback, & Area