Chapter 17.76
SIGNS

Sections:

Article I. Statement of Purpose

17.76.010    Statement of purpose.

Article II. Regulations

17.76.020    General provisions.

17.76.030    Definitions.

Article III. Signs Exempt from Permits

17.76.040    Signs exempt from permits.

17.76.050    Special exemption – Grand opening signs.

17.76.055    Special exemption – Coordinated signage programs.

Article IV. Special Category Signs – Prohibited Signs

17.76.060    Special category signs.

17.76.070    Prohibited signs.

Article V. Sign Guidelines by Zoning District

17.76.080    National Historic Landmark District.

17.76.085    Merchant information sign program.

17.76.090    Residential districts (R-I, R-II, R-III and R-IV).

17.76.100    Mixed use, commercial, and public, park and open space districts outside the National Historic Landmark District (C-I/MU, C-II/MU, C-I, C-II, C-II(H), C-III, P/OS(A), P/OS(B), and P-I).

17.76.110    Marine-related and manufacturing districts (M/C, M-I, M-II, M-II(A), M-II(B) and M-III).

17.76.113    Pilot project – Sims Way (SR20) local information signs.

17.76.117    Upper Sims Way (SR20) coordinated signage program.

Article VI. Permit Requirements

17.76.120    Permit – Required.

17.76.130    Permit – Application.

17.76.140    Permit – Fees and approval.

17.76.150    Permit – Identification – Permanent sticker.

Article VII. Administration and Enforcement

17.76.160    Variance.

17.76.165    Sign standard departures.

17.76.170    Interpretations.

17.76.180    Enforcing official – Powers and duties.

17.76.190    Removal of signs.

17.76.200    Nonconforming signs.

17.76.210    Liability.

Article I. Statement of Purpose

17.76.010 Statement of purpose.

A. The city council finds that it is necessary to regulate signs in the city to help assure that Port Townsend is a safe and attractive place in which to live and to do business.

B. Measures taken in this chapter to achieve this purpose reflect the city council’s consideration of:

1. The vantage points of pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, visitors, residents, and occupants of homes, shops, other buildings, and real property;

2. Safety through care in placement, sizing and illumination of signs so as to avoid visual clutter, distraction or obstruction of vision of pedestrians and motorists, or obstruction of rights-of-way;

3. Communication between businesses, organizations and the general public;

4. Economy for those erecting signs, or maintaining or modifying already-existing signs, through care in specifying style and construction; by reducing the need to replace signs which might become obscured by unnecessarily large neighboring signs; by providing adequate time to replace signs which do not comply with the new standards; by protecting property values; and by preserving the community character which attracts visitors and new residents and sustains business development;

5. Aesthetic benefits to business districts and the community at large through consistency in style, placement, and scale and harmony of signs with buildings, natural settings and other signs;

6. Compatibility of signs with the architectural and historical qualities of Port Townsend;

7. General public health, safety and welfare; and

8. Fair and consistent enforcement of these sign regulations.

C. The people of Port Townsend are proud of its National Historic Landmark District. Our national government declared Fort Worden and the district as two of the few national historic landmarks in the state of Washington. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has assisted the city with a sign provision for the historic district. Specific guidelines for signs were included in the Field Report on the Water Street Historic District, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1974. The city council finds that special sign regulations are required to preserve and reflect the historic character of the National Historic Landmark District.

D. The city council intends that to the fullest extent authorized by Chapter 47.24 RCW, now or as hereafter amended, the provisions of this chapter shall also govern within any street, bridge or wharf which also forms a part of any state highway in the city. In addition, the provisions of Chapter 47.42 RCW, the Highway Advertising Control Act-Scenic Vistas Act, now or as hereafter amended, shall not authorize erection of any sign contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997).

Article II. Regulations

17.76.020 General provisions.

The following provisions shall apply to all zoning districts and to all signs regulated by this chapter, subject however to the specific regulations in each zoning district:

A. No sign shall be erected, caused to be erected, or allowed to remain erected except in compliance with all the regulations established in this chapter. No owner or lessee of any real property located within the corporate limits of the city shall knowingly allow any sign to be erected on any such property in violation of the provisions of this chapter. No person shall take any action intending to, or having the effect of, circumventing the purpose and intent of this chapter. Sign permits shall be required for all signs except those specifically exempt from permits (see Article III of this chapter).

B. Signs within the National Landmark Historic District subject to design review as provided in this title must obtain approval of the historic preservation committee before a sign permit may be issued.

C. Safe and Secure Installation. As part of the sign permit application, monument and projecting signs shall require building plan review to assure that the signs, sign structures and bracing systems are designed and constructed to support the weight of the sign and the vertical and lateral forces which may occur from winds, snow or seismic activity. For signs on buildings these loads and forces shall be transmitted through the structural frame of the building in such a manner as not to overstress any of the elements of the building or sign structure. The working stresses of wire rope or its fastenings shall not exceed 25 percent of the ultimate strength of the rope or fasteners. Signs attached to masonry, concrete or steel shall be safely and securely fastened thereto with metal anchors, bolts or approved expansion screws of sufficient size and anchorage to safely support the loads applied. No wooden blocks or plugs or anchors with wood used in connection with the screws or nails shall be used, except in the case of signs attached to wood framing. Materials of construction for signs and sign structures shall be of the quality and grade as specified for buildings in the International Building Code as adopted in PTMC Title 16. All electrified signs shall be designed, installed and inspected in conformance with the National Electrical Code.

D. Sign Maintenance. All signs shall be constructed with materials and workmanship of high quality to avoid problems of deterioration and maintenance which would give rise to unsightly and unsafe conditions. It is the responsibility of the business to maintain the signage in good repair and function at all times. Signs in disrepair may be subject to enforcement and removal.

E. Clearance and Sight Distance. Marquees, canopy signs or projecting signs which project over areas where motor trucks may be required to pass beneath them shall maintain a minimum vertical clearance of 15 feet. No marquee, canopy sign or projecting sign shall project closer than two feet from the curb line of the street. All marquees, canopy signs and projecting signs must maintain a minimum of eight feet of vertical clearance over pedestrian ways. New freestanding and portable signs shall not be placed within a clear vision area at the intersection of any streets, alleys or driveways. This distance is typically 15 feet on either side of the intersection.

F. Light and Glare from Signs. The light source for externally illuminated signs shall be no farther away from the sign than the height of the sign and shall be downward-facing and shielded so that direct rays from the light do not spill over onto abutting properties or roadways or into the night sky. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2867 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997).

17.76.030 Definitions.

“Abandoned sign” means a sign that no longer correctly identifies, exhorts, or advertises any person, business, lessor, lessee, owner, product, or activity conducted or available on or off the premises on which such sign is located. Abandoned signs are prohibited.

“Advertising” means any display of letters, numerals, characters, words, symbols, emblems, illustrations, objects or registered trademarks which serve to call to the attention of the public products, services, businesses, buildings, premises, events, candidates or ballot propositions.

“Advertising vehicle” means any vehicle or trailer visible from a public right-of-way which has attached thereto or located thereon any sign or advertising device for the purpose of providing advertisement of products or directing people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property or any other premises.

Awning Sign. See “Canopy sign.”

“Banner, decorative” means an object made of multicolored cloth, fabric or similar flexible material which displays abstract or representational forms and which is completely devoid of letters, numbers, words or advertising. Streamers shall not be considered decorative banners.

“Banner sign” means any sign intended to be hung, with or without framing, and possessing characters, letters, symbols, emblems, trademarks, illustrations, or ornamentations applied to fabric or similar flexible material. Flags, streamers, decorative banners, canopy signs, and temporary signs, treated elsewhere in this chapter, shall not be considered banner signs.

“Bench sign” means a sign located on any part of the surface of a bench or seat placed on or visible from a public right-of-way. Bench signs other than memorial plaques are prohibited.

“Billboard sign” means any outdoor sign containing advertising which is not related to any use or activity on the premises on which the sign is located, but not including directional signs as defined in this title. Billboard signs are prohibited.

“Canopy” means a temporary or fixed shelter supported entirely from the exterior wall of a building without other means of support to the ground. For the purposes of this chapter, “canopy” shall include “awning.”

“Canopy sign” means any sign erected upon or against a canopy or awning.

“Changeable insert signage” means a monument or double-pole sign with changeable copy for available items, such as fresh seafood.

“Commemorative plaque” means a memorial plaque, sign, plate or tablet which is permanently affixed to or near the structure, object or event it is intended to commemorate and which displays no advertising.

“Commercial use” means the use of any structure or property for a purpose directly related to the sale of goods, the furnishing of services of any kind, or used in conjunction with the adjacent littoral commercial property.

“Community announcement sign” means a sign erected or authorized by the city on or over public right-of-way.

“Community event sign” means an informational or directional sign pertaining exclusively to a specific upcoming event sponsored by a governmental entity or nonprofit organization and held within a public facility.

“Construction sign” means a sign which is temporarily erected on premises undergoing construction and which identifies the architect, engineers, contractors, suppliers or other individuals or firms involved with the construction, or announces the character of the building or enterprise.

“Coordinated signage program” means a noncommercial, unified signage program that may be located within the public right-of-way within all commercial districts excepting those located within the Port Townsend National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). Signage programs of this type allow for the display of banners for nonprofit community festivals and/or events, or commemorative signage for members of the armed services such as the Blue Star Banner signs, or other similar uses. Coordinated signage programs are approved by council on a case-by-case basis.

“Departure” means a request by an applicant to meet or exceed an applicable standard through the use of an alternative technique or standard not otherwise permitted under this chapter.

“Directional sign” means a sign which contains specific directional information and contains no advertising.

“Directory sign” means a sign which displays exclusively the names, logos and locations of occupants or uses of a building or complex; which includes, but may not be limited to, signs for office buildings, church directories and signs for malls, arcades, and similar commercial buildings. No advertising other than the name, logo and locations of occupants or uses is included.

“Externally illuminated sign” means a light source separated from the sign surface and illuminating the sign surface by means of spotlights or similar fixtures.

“Flag” means the officially recognized symbol of a government jurisdiction displayed on cloth or similar flexible fabric. See “Streamer” for other flags.

“Flashing sign” means a sign or a portion thereof which changes light intensity or switches on and off in a repetitive pattern, or uses electrical energy to provide motion or the optical illusion of motion and/or flashing or changing colors. This includes text or array LED signage. Flashing signs are prohibited.

“Freestanding sign” means a sign which is supported by uprights or braces connected permanently to the ground and which is not connected to a building. See also “Pole sign.”

“Grand opening” means the celebration or promotional period beginning on or shortly after the date when a new, permanent business or use is open for business in a permanent, fixed building. Grand opening events must be related to opening of a new business, a change of business location, construction of a new business structure, major remodeling or expansion valued at $50,000 or more, change of ownership, or change of name. Grand opening signs are exempt from a sign permit, and allowed for 15 calendar days.

“Identification sign” means the name and/or address of a private or public use.

“Illuminated sign” means any sign illuminated in any manner by an artificial light source.

“Incidental sign” means a small, non-illuminated information sign two square feet or less in area which pertains to goods, products, services or facilities which are available on the premises where the sign occurs, and intended primarily for the convenience of the public while on such premises.

“Internally illuminated sign” means an indirect, concealed light source which is recessed or contained within any element of a sign.

“Local information sign (LIS) program” means a program designed to direct travelers to food and lodging located off Sims Way (SR20). The city installs and maintains the back panel, while the business provides their logo sign.

“Marquee” means a permanent structure attached to and supported by the building and projecting over public or private property.

“Merchant information sign (MIS) program” means the adopted operational and design standards for a signage program located within public rights-of-way of the Port Townsend National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). The program is designed to direct pedestrians within the NHLD to various public and private locations. This is done primarily via a NHLD map keyed to individual strips that contain participant addresses. Where feasible and available, the MIS program will also allow pedestrians to obtain participant information via electronic means. The use of quick response (QR) codes is one current example of such electronic means but others may become available and acceptable when determined so by the city. The city installs and maintains the sign and back map panel. Participants purchase an addressing strip from the city, who arranges for its engraving and installation on the MIS sign. The participant strip may, as space allows, contain a means to direct persons electronically (via, e.g., a QR code) to a participant’s website. The city may also use the MIS signs, in either electronic or written format, to provide notice of sanctioned events and information.

“Monument sign” means a ground-related, freestanding sign which is attached to the ground or to its base on grade by a solid sign structure and which structure extends from the ground or base to the sign face at the same or greater width as the sign face.

“Moving sign” means signage that exhibits movement (including inflatable structures) or changes advertising images faster than every thirty seconds. Moving signs are prohibited.

“Multiple-business complex” means a group of structures housing at least two separate businesses or agencies, or a single structure containing more than one business with separating walls and at least one outside access for each business which shares a common lot, access and/or parking facility.

“Multiple-tenant building” means a single structure housing more than one business or agency which does not incorporate a separate outside access for each enterprise, but not including residential apartment buildings.

“Mural sign” means a wall sign which consists exclusively of paint applied to the wall of a building without application of any other material or framing.

“Neon lighting” means lettering, numerals, symbols, logos, emblems or illustrations which are directly visible and are constructed of and illuminated solely by glass tubes filled by neon gas or equivalent light-emitting gaseous elements.

“Nonconforming sign” means any sign in existence within the city on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, or located in an area annexed to the city thereafter which does not conform with the provisions of this chapter, but which did conform to all applicable laws in effect on the date the sign was originally erected; provided, however, that any such sign which is within 120 percent of the area and height dimensional limitations set forth in this chapter and otherwise fully conforms with this chapter shall be deemed a conforming sign.

“Off-premises sign” means a sign relating, through its message and content, to an activity, use, product, or service which is not available on the premises on which the sign is erected. Off-premises signs are prohibited, except for those in PTMC 17.76.080. See “Portable sign” and “Sandwich board sign.”

“Outdoor advertising display” means a sign of any kind or character whatsoever placed for outdoor advertising purposes on the ground or on any tree, wall, bush, rock, post, fence, building, structure or thing whatsoever. The term “placed” includes erecting, construction, posting, painting, printing, tacking, nailing, gluing, sticking, carving or otherwise fastening, affixing and making visible in any manner whatsoever.

“Pole sign” means any freestanding sign composed of a sign cabinet, backboard, frame or base and the visible sign pole or pylon by which it connects to the ground. Single-pole signs are prohibited.

“Political sign” means any sign which serves to influence, is intended to influence, or appears to be of the type which is commonly erected to influence an election or ballot proposition.

“Portable sign” means any exterior movable sign, such as a sandwich board sign, which is capable of being moved easily and is not permanently affixed to the ground or a structure or building. See “Off-premises sign” and “Sandwich board sign.”

“Primary street frontage” means the length of the principal building along the street frontage where the main entry is located; provided, that if the principal building is located on a corner primary street frontage shall be determined using the building side which abuts the more heavily traveled street.

“Principal building” means a fully enclosed and roofed structure, or portion thereof in separate ownership, which houses the primary uses of at least one business, residence or other establishment. Accessory buildings or outbuildings are not included in this definition.

“Project sign” means an on-premises sign that advertises a large commercial, residential or mixed-use project prior to its construction and occupancy.

“Projecting sign” means an off-premises sign which is attached to and projects from a structure, wall or building face further than six inches. Signs located on awnings and valances are considered to be projecting signs.

“Readerboard” means that portion of a sign on which copy may be easily changed by manual/mechanical means or by lighting effects without reworking, repainting, or otherwise altering the physical composition of the sign. Readerboards that use simple block letters that must be physically manipulated to change the message are prohibited within the National Historic Landmark District, and portable readerboards are prohibited in all zoning districts.

“Real estate caravan tour sign” means a portable sign erected by a real estate company on the day of the tour to direct realtors to real estate locations.

“Real estate sign” means a portable or freestanding sign erected by the owner, or his/her agent, advertising the real estate upon which the sign is located for rent, lease or sale.

“Revolving sign” means a sign which rotates or turns in a circular pattern. Revolving signs are prohibited.

“Roof-mounted sign” means a sign erected upon or above a roof of a building or structure. Roof-mounted signs, including any signs painted directly on the roof surface, are prohibited.

“Sandwich board sign” means a portable sign that may or may not be located on the business premises. See “Portable sign” and “Off-premises sign.” The purpose of sandwich board signs is to help identify businesses not at street level and/or not on Water or Lawrence Streets. Sandwich board signs outside of the National Historic Landmark District are prohibited.

“Sign” means any object, structure or portion thereof, other than a flag or government symbol, which contains advertising and which is visible from any right-of-way open to the public.

“Sign area” means the entire area of a sign on which the copy is to be placed including both sides of a double-faced sign. Sign areas shall be calculated by measuring the area of the smallest square, circle, rectangle, triangle, or combination thereof that will encompass the extreme limits of the advertising copy, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the background of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the backdrop or structure against which it is placed, but not including any supportive framework, bracing, architectural embellishments or decorative features or fences or walls which contain no written copy or other advertising and when any such fences or walls otherwise meet the requirements of this title and are clearly incidental to the display itself.

“Sign face” means any surface of a sign upon which there is lettering or other advertising.

“Sign height” means the vertical distance from grade to the highest point of a sign or any projection thereof.

“Sign structure” means any structure which supports or is capable of supporting any sign as defined in this chapter. A sign structure may be a pole or poles, or may be an integral part of a building. Structures which perform a separate use, such as a telephone booth, bus shelter, recycling or used goods container, etc., shall not be considered a sign structure.

“Snipe sign” means a sign made of any material when such sign is tacked, nailed, posted, pasted, glued or otherwise attached to trees, poles, stakes, fences, or other objects, and the advertising matter appearing thereon is not applicable to the use of the property where the sign is located. Snipe signs are prohibited.

“Store front” means a commercial use with an individual public entrance that fronts on a street.

“Streamer” means an attention-attracting device consisting of two or more flags, pennants, balloons, ribbons, reflectors, fringes or similar objects strung together on a common line, pole, or sign structure, or attached to one or more products offered for sale. Streamers are prohibited.

“Street frontage” means a side of a building which contains an entrance open for public use and which side also faces an abutting street.

“Symbol sign” means a projecting sign consisting exclusively of a symbol, picture or object which represents the specific products or services available on the premises, and which sign does not include any lettering, numerals or registered trademarks.

“Temporary sign” means any sign or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, paper, cardboard, or other light materials, without frames, which is displayed for a limited time only. Residential yard signs and signs painted on window surfaces which are readily removed by washing shall also be considered temporary signs.

“Trailer sign” means a sign used for advertising purposes mounted on a vehicle normally licensed by the state as a trailer. Signs larger than two square feet in area attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer parked on public or private property are prohibited.

“Upper Sims Way (SR20) coordinate signage program” means the program which provides for the limited private use of city-provided signage for businesses located within the Upper Sims Way (SR20) project area when specific criteria are met and city approval is granted.

“Vehicle canopy sign” means a sign placed on a structure built high enough to allow vehicles to drive underneath it. Only the business name and directional signage may be mounted on canopy structures higher than 10 feet above grade.

“Wall sign” means a sign which is attached parallel to, and within six inches of, a wall, which is supported by and confined within the limits of such wall, and which displays only one sign surface.

“Window sign” means a sign placed upon the interior or exterior surface of a window, or placed inside the window within three feet of the window, which faces the outside and which is intended to be seen primarily from the exterior. (Ord. 3097 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

Article III. Signs Exempt from Permits

17.76.040 Signs exempt from permits.

The following types of signs are allowed in all areas without a sign permit. These exemptions shall not be construed as relieving the owner of any sign for the responsibility of its erection and maintenance, or for compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance regulating same.

A. Parking Lot Identification Signs. Parking lot identification signs may be erected without a sign permit if restricted to posting regulations regarding the use of the lot and to identifying a parking lot with its owner, operator, or name of the business providing the lot. No advertising other than the name of the business shall be included. The total sign area for parking lot identification signs shall not exceed 32 square feet for each 1,000 square feet of parking lot area and each sign face shall not exceed six square feet; provided, that each lot shall be allowed at least one parking lot identification sign; and provided further, that these restrictions may be exceeded to the extent required by any applicable laws of the state. Parking lot identification signs shall not exceed a sign height of six feet;

B. Community fundraising signs pertaining to a specific proposed public construction project or fundraising campaign; provided, that only one such sign shall be erected at a time, the sign area shall not exceed 32 square feet, and the sign shall not be displayed for longer than two years or the conclusion of the project or campaign, whichever occurs soonest;

C. Real estate signs, with permission of the owner, limited to one sign of four and one-half square feet maximum area per sign face on each parcel of property offered for sale in residential zones. In other zones, one sign is allowed up to 16 square feet per sign face on each separate parcel of property offered for sale. Larger real estate signs for future projects or those under construction are considered project signs and must apply for sign permits. Each real estate sign must be removed no later than five business days after closing of sale of the property advertised. Closing of sale shall be considered the date of recording with the Jefferson County auditor.

1. Off-premises real estate signs are not permitted. Exception: Real estate signs advertising an open house or real estate caravan tour may be placed off premises if:

a. Placed on the property on which the sale is held and/or in nearby public rights-of-way;

b. Signs are no larger than three square feet per sign face; and

c. Displayed for no longer than the day of the open house.

2. Real estate signs are not permitted within any public right-of-way. Exception: Real estate caravan tour signs and open house signs may be placed off premises and in the public right-of-way if signs are no larger than three square feet per sign face and displayed for no longer than the day of the tour or the day of the open house. Signs placed in public rights-of-way must be self-supported by a stake or similar device and may not be attached to utility poles or traffic signs. Care must be taken to assure that the placement of such signs will not create a hazard to the public by obstructing the view or passage of pedestrians, cyclists or motorists;

D. Garage or Rummage Sale Signs. Garage or rummage sale signs are temporary signs not to exceed three square feet per sign face which provide direction to a household sale. Up to three such signs may be placed without a sign permit on the property on which the sale is held and/or in nearby public rights-of-way. Signs placed in public rights-of-way must be self-supported by a stake or similar device and may not be attached to utility poles or traffic signs. Care must be taken to assure that the placement of such signs will not create a hazard to the public by obstructing the view or passage of pedestrians, cyclists or motorists. Garage or rummage sale signs shall not be displayed for longer than three consecutive days in a calendar year and must be removed within 24 hours after the sale. Garage or rummage sale signs may not be displayed more than three times during any 12-month period for direction to a sale on the same premises;

E. On-premises or on-vehicle incidental signs not exceeding two square feet each;

F. On-premises directional signs not exceeding six square feet, the sole purpose of which is to provide for vehicular and pedestrian traffic direction and which display no advertising;

G. Political signs, with permission of the owner, erected on private property up to four and one-half square feet per sign face in residential zones and 16 square feet per sign face in other zones; provided, that political signs shall be removed within 10 days after the final election involving the candidate or ballot proposition advertised by the sign;

H. Temporary construction signs limited to a total sign area of 16 square feet per construction site, displayed no longer than one year and removed no later than 10 days after completion or occupancy of the project; larger signs are considered project signs and require a sign permit;

I. Traffic, directional or informational signs lawfully installed, or required to be installed, by a government entity; provided, that in the event of any conflict between the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of any applicable state law, the provisions of this chapter shall govern unless expressly preempted by the laws of the state;

J. Signs not intended to be viewed from, and which are not readable from, a public right-of-way;

K. Window merchandise display;

L. Flags of the United States, the state, the city, the county, foreign nations, and any other flag adopted or sanctioned by an elected legislative body of competent jurisdiction; provided, that such a flag shall not exceed 60 square feet in sign area and shall not be flown from a pole the top of which is more than 40 feet in height. Such flags must be flown in accordance with protocol established by the Congress of the United States for the Stars and Stripes. Any flag not meeting any one or more of these conditions shall be considered a banner sign and be subject to regulation as such;

M. Decorative banners if no more than five per each premises;

N. Legal notices required by law;

O. Barber poles;

P. Grave markers;

Q. Incidental, nonilluminated signs identifying small specialized community service structures, such as phone booths, public transit shelters, and collection containers for used goods or recyclable materials;

R. Incidental, nonilluminated signs placed on the inside of windows limited to three per storefront;

S. Nonilluminated informational signs pertaining to motor fuel which are affixed to the surface of fuel pumps, but not including signs projecting from the sides or top of such pumps;

T. Temporary signs limited to 15 days in a calendar year, including one temporary banner up to 32 square feet displayed up to two times in a calendar year;

U. Lettering or symbols painted directly onto or mounted magnetically onto an operable motor vehicle operating in the normal course of business; provided no part of such signs shall project higher than the roof surface of any such vehicle other than franchised delivery vehicles, buses or taxis;

V. Signs attached to franchised delivery vehicles, buses or taxis;

W. Up to six square feet of sign area for temporary uses approved through Chapter 17.60 PTMC;

X. Mural signs within the National Historic Landmark District in existence on September 7, 2010;

Y. Nonilluminated religious symbols mounted on church premises;

Z. One permanent, wall-mounted identification sign up to three square feet in sign area per street frontage for each residential building. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.070).

17.76.050 Special exemption – Grand opening signs.

A. Grand opening signs may be displayed on the premises up to 15 days in a calendar year without a sign permit.

B. All other regulations provided herein and not expressly suspended by this section shall apply to grand opening signs.

C. The provisions of this section may not be applied to more than one grand opening event at any business location within any 12-month period; provided, that each separate business location within a multiple-business complex shall be entitled to a grand opening event separate from a grand opening event for the complex as a whole. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.080).

17.76.055 Special exemption – Coordinated signage programs.

Special exemption – coordinated signage programs such as the Blue Star Banner signs or similar programs as approved by city council. Such signs may be displayed on utility or light poles (with the permission of the utility) located within all commercial districts excepting those located within the Port Townsend National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). The city council shall review requests to establish a coordinated signage program on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is consistent with the intent of this provision and in the public interest. The council may approve the request as submitted, or approve the request with conditions, or may deny the request. (Ord. 3097 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014).

Article IV. Special Category Signs – Prohibited Signs

17.76.060 Special category signs.

The following regulations shall apply to the special categories of signs set forth below, in addition to all the other requirements of this chapter which may be applicable. Special category signs require sign permits. Signs within the National Landmark Historic District are subject to the provisions of PTMC 17.76.080.

A. Community Announcement Signs. Community announcement signs are signs erected and authorized by the city on or over a public right-of-way. Such signs shall include air vents and be limited to 30 feet in width and 24 inches in height; provided, however, that the ground clearance, vision clearance and methods of construction in suspension are approved by the director. Erection of signs over public rights-of-way shall be by or under the supervision of the city, and all costs incurred by the city relating thereto shall be reimbursed to the city by the permittee. Community announcement signs require a Sims Way community announcement banner permit, and are limited to display one banner at a time for a week at a time. Signs announcing an upcoming event shall be removed by city staff after the event.

B. Service Club Signs. Service club signs are signs which display the recognized shield, logo or symbol of an international service club which has an established chapter in Port Townsend, has regularly scheduled meetings, but does not own or lease premises within the city. Each such sign may not exceed five square feet. Service club signs may be displayed only at a single location which has been approved by the director.

C. Special Purpose Sign. A special purpose sign is a temporary sign to be displayed less than 60 consecutive days in a calendar year for a purpose not anticipated by this chapter, but not in conflict with it, or in a unique situation as determined by the director. The total area of all special purpose signs intended to be displayed on any one premises shall be determined by the director; provided, however, that the total area shall not exceed 32 square feet.

D. Community Event Signs. Community event signs may include up to six portable off-premises signs no larger than six square feet per sign face with an approved sign permit including method of construction and current proof of liability insurance. Signs announcing an upcoming event may be erected up to one week prior to the event, and shall be removed within 48 hours after the event. Temporary community event signs placed within the National Historic Landmark District are exempt from the Chapter 17.30 PTMC historic design review process.

E. Project Signs. Project signs shall be single-sided with a maximum sign area of 32 square feet and a maximum height of six feet. Project signs may be erected subsequent to the completion of SEPA environmental review and all other applicable land use permitting processes; issuance of a building permit is not required for the approval of a project sign. Project signs shall be allowed for up to one year from date of initial installation, or until certificate of occupancy for the first unit. Project signs must then be removed and additional project signs shall not be allowed for a subject project or site.

F. Departures. Departures from sign standards may be allowed by the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.100).

17.76.070 Prohibited signs.

The following signs are prohibited within the city:

A. Abandoned signs;

B. Bench signs;

C. Billboards;

D. Flashing, revolving or any other moving signs; provided, that the moving hands of a clock or changing numerals of a time and/or temperature device may be permitted subject to the other regulations provided in this chapter;

E. Off-premises signs except real estate signs, political signs, community event signs, mural signs, sandwich board signs, and garage sale signs specifically authorized or exempted herein;

F. Off-premises real estate signs except for real estate open house or caravan tour signs;

G. Portable readerboard signs;

H. Roof-mounted signs, including any signs painted directly on the roof surface;

I. Signs or sign structures which by coloring, shape, working or location resemble or conflict with traffic control signs or devices;

J. Signs which create a safety hazard for pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

K. Signs larger than two square feet in area attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer on public or private property to purposefully gain additional signage not allowed in that zone; provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed as prohibiting the identification of a franchise or its products on a vehicle operating during the normal course of business. Franchised delivery vehicles, buses or taxis are exempt from this provision;

L. Signs attached to utility poles or traffic signs. Exception: Coordinated signage programs, such as the Blue Star Banner signs and other similar programs deemed to be in the public’s interest as approved by city council, may be attached to utility poles with the permission of the utility;

M. Signs within the public right-of-way except where specifically authorized herein. Other exceptions include community event signs, permitted sandwich board signs, garage or rummage sale signs, real estate open house or caravan tour signs, and signs which overhang the public right-of-way as specifically authorized herein;

N. Signs in city-designated buffer zones or greenbelt area;

O. Signs which display the symbol, slogan or trademark of national brands of soft drinks or other products which do not form the bulk of the business transactions of the premises;

P. Signs contrary to the provisions of this chapter;

Q. Streamers;

R. Signs with any sign face larger than 25 square feet which is illuminated all or in part by internal lighting;

S. Signs substantially comprised of high-value, high-chroma fluorescent colors. (Ord. 3097 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.090).

Article V. Sign Guidelines by Zoning District

17.76.080 National Historic Landmark District.

The following sign regulations shall apply within any mixed use, commercial, and public, park, and open space zoning districts (i.e., C-I/MU, C-II/MU, C-I, C-II, C-II(H), C-III, C-IV, P/OS(A), P/OS(B), and P-I) wherever lands within these zoning districts are also within the National Historic Landmark District. Signs that exclusively use pre-approved colors and fonts may be administratively approved. Other signs must be presented to the historic preservation committee during a regularly scheduled meeting. Wood is the preferred sign material. See the design guidelines for signs within the adopted Historic Preservation Standards Manual referenced in PTMC 17.30.160.

Exception: Temporary signs and participant strips used in the merchant information sign (MIS) program, including QR codes of a size approved by the city, are exempt from historic preservation design review.

A. Total allowable sign area is determined as follows:

1. One square foot of sign area for each lineal foot of primary street frontage abutting the principal building;

2. But at least 40 square feet for each principal building or, in the case of a multiple-business complex, for each separate store front;

3. At least 40 square feet for an outdoor business which operates without a building;

4. Should more than one business share an entry, an additional six square feet may be added for a multiple-tenant directory;

5. Includes all types of signs on all sides and all stories of the building or premises. Exceptions: Parking lot identification signs, symbol signs, commemorative plaques, window sign letters less than six inches in height, window signs above the first floor and/or mezzanine, mural signs approved pursuant to subsection I below, and signs listed as exempt in PTMC 17.76.040 are not included in determining allowable sign area.

B. Maximum Sign Height. No sign may be placed higher than the second story window sill level, or on or above the cornice line of a one-story building. Exceptions:

1. Window signs advertising an establishment located on an upper floor and placed in the window of such an establishment;

2. Freestanding and portable signs are limited to five feet in height, except sandwich board signs are limited to four feet in height.

C. Projecting signs are subject to the following additional regulations:

1. No larger than 12 square feet per side;

2. May project no more than four feet from the building;

3. Minimum clearance of eight feet must be maintained above the sidewalk and six inches from the vertical wall;

4. Only one projecting sign, including symbol signs, is allowed for each main entry;

5. Projecting signs may only be externally illuminated.

D. Window Signs.

1. Window signs require a sign permit unless lettering is less than six inches in height.

2. Window signs above the first floor are allowed only to businesses located exclusively above the first floor, are restricted to a total sign area of one square foot for each lineal foot of the width of the window glass, and such signs are not included in allowable sign area of the building.

E. Freestanding Signs.

1. Monument signs shall be no more than 12 square feet in sign area per side.

2. Pole signs are permitted only if mounted on two poles placed at the outermost sides of the sign face.

F. Sandwich Board Signs.

1. The intent of sandwich board signs is to help identify businesses located within the National Historic Landmark District but not at street level and/or not on Water or Lawrence Streets. Sandwich board signs may be placed upon a public or private sidewalk subject to the following restrictions and requirements:

a. Sandwich board signs for businesses located on Water Street or Lawrence Street are limited solely to those businesses without a street-level window display fronting on Water or Lawrence Street. Individual window displays shall count while shared window displays shall not count. Maximum one sandwich board sign per building entrance. It is the responsibility of the property owner or manager to ensure that multiple spaces are accommodated on the sandwich board signage. Staff shall consult with the owner of the property in front of which the sign is to be placed, and seek to avoid conflict between competing businesses.

b. Signs may be placed near markings separating parking spaces, but not within a crosswalk and not closer than 15 feet from the intersection of the extension of the curb lines (edge of curbs on the vehicular traffic side) of each intersecting street or from another sandwich board sign. Exception: Up to three sandwich board signs may be placed on the sidewalk of any street which intersects Water Street. Signs shall be placed no closer than 15 feet from the intersection placed adjacent to but not obstructing the crosswalk adjacent to Water Street.

c. Maximum sign area is eight square feet per sign face; maximum sign width is 30 inches; maximum sign height is four feet; minimum sign height is 30 inches.

d. Signs must be placed at least 30 inches but no further than six feet from curb or, if placed adjacent to a building, no further than three feet from the building line. Exception: Signs may be placed within 12 inches of the curb line wherever parking is prohibited in the adjacent street.

e. Signs may not be placed closer than 12 inches from any tree grate or other planting.

f. No sandwich board sign may be placed within the National Historic Landmark District which advertises a business or premises which is located outside of the National Historic Landmark District.

g. The sign area of each sandwich board sign shall be included in the total allowable sign area calculated pursuant to subsection A of this section for the premises in which the business advertised is located.

h. Continuous proof of liability insurance must be provided naming the city as additional insured in amount and policy provisions as approved by the finance director of the city.

i. Each sign must be of sound construction and designed to the satisfaction of the director to withstand high winds.

j. No more than one sandwich board sign may be erected for each business advertised.

k. Sandwich boards may not include attachments such as streamers and balloon(s).

2. No other pole signs, portable, sandwich board, sidewalk or other freestanding signs are allowed, unless expressly authorized herein.

G. Illuminated Signs.

1. Subdued, externally illuminated signs with limited spot lighting are encouraged.

2. The total area of signs illuminated by internal lighting shall not exceed six square feet per separate store front.

3. Signs illuminated by neon lighting may have a total sign area of up to 12 square feet per separate store front. See the design guidelines for neon signage within the adopted Historic Preservation Standards Manual referenced in PTMC 17.30.160.

H. Entrance Signs.

1. Signs identifying rear entrances shall be no more than four square feet in area.

2. Signs directed toward the water are not allowed unless the building has a public waterside entrance.

I. Mural Signs. In addition to the allowable sign area prescribed in subsection A above, additional mural signs are allowed subject to prior approval of the Port Townsend historic preservation committee. Upon application, the historic preservation committee may authorize such mural signs upon a finding that the design and placement of the proposed sign contributes to the National Historic Landmark District. The historic preservation committee may also authorize specific placement of such mural signs off premises or in a manner which exceeds the applicable size or height limits prescribed herein. The findings of the historic preservation committee shall be based upon specific standards adopted by the committee and shall be submitted in writing to the director who shall attach same to the application for sign permit. See the design guidelines for murals within the adopted Historic Preservation Standards Manual referenced in PTMC 17.30.160.

J. Tour Assembly Signs. Each business which has been authorized by franchise agreement with the city to conduct public tours within the public rights-of-way may, if such business does not have business premises within the National Historic Landmark District, place one portable sandwich board sign on the sidewalk at a location and in a manner approved by the director. The business owner shall also obtain and submit to the director written permission of the owner of the property immediately abutting the location of the proposed sign, and shall also submit proof of liability insurance naming the city as additional insured. The finance director shall approve the amount and policy provisions of such liability insurance. The sign area of such sign shall not exceed six square feet per sign face and such sign area shall not be included in the allowable sign area of the abutting property.

K. “Merchant information sign (MIS) program” means the adopted operational and design standards for a signage program located within the Port Townsend National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). The program is designed to direct pedestrians within the NHLD to various public and private locations. This is done primarily via a NHLD map keyed to individual strips that contain a participant’s name and address. Where feasible and available, the MIS program may also allow pedestrians to obtain participant information via electronic means. The use of quick response (QR) codes is one current example of such means but others may become available and acceptable when determined so by the city. The city installs and maintains the sign and back map panel which are located primarily within public rights-of-way. Participants purchase an addressing strip from the city, who arranges for its engraving and installation on the MIS panel. The participant strip may, as space allows, contain a means to direct persons electronically (via, e.g., a QR code) to a participant’s website. The city may also use the MIS installations to provide notice of city-sanctioned events and information in either electronic or written format.

L. Signage on awnings shall only be permitted on the vertical faces. See the design guidelines for awnings in the adopted Historic Preservation Standards Manual referenced in PTMC 17.30.160.

M. Prohibited Signs. In addition to those signs listed as prohibited in PTMC 17.76.070, portable readerboard signs are not permitted in the National Historic Landmark District. (Ord. 3097 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014; Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.030).

17.76.085 Merchant information sign program.

The merchant information sign (MIS) program establishes a uniform off-premises signage program within public rights-of-way of the Port Townsend National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). The program is designed to direct pedestrians within the NHLD to various public and private locations. Each MIS panel consists of a NHLD map keyed to individual strips that contain a participant’s name and address. Additional information, such as a logo, can be permitted as space allows. Each MIS panel will allow up to eight individual participant strips. In addition to the provisions contained in this section, the DSD director is authorized to formulate and adopt procedures for administration of the MIS program.

A. Applicability. To be eligible for the MIS program, participants must meet the following criteria:

1. MIS participants may be any public, private or nonprofit entity with a physical location (i.e., address) within the NHLD. A participant may have one strip within the program. Preference is given to street level businesses on Water or Lawrence Street.

2. Participants will be given the chance to advertise on one MIS panel, however, inclusion is on a space available, first-come-first-served basis. If no space exists on a preferred MIS panel, then a qualified participant may request to be put on a waiting list for that panel. As participants leave the program (or a particular panel), the first entity on the waiting list queue will be given the chance to advertise on that MIS panel.

3. A seasonal business may participate, but must pay a fee for the MIS strip to be covered or removed by staff during the time the business is not in operation.

B. Standards. Signage shall be subject to the following standards:

1. The city installs and maintains the sign and back map panel. Participants purchase an addressing strip from the city, who arranges for its engraving and installation on the MIS panel.

2. The participant strip may, as space allows, contain a means to direct persons electronically (via, e.g., a QR code) to a participant’s website. The use of quick response (QR) codes is one current example of such means but others may become available and acceptable when determined so by the city. Any use of electronic means of communication must relate directly to an individual participant’s line of work and be approved by the city as part of the application process prior to installation.

3. The city may also use the MIS panels to provide notice of city-sanctioned events and information in either electronic or written format.

C. Application. A business or organization that meets the criteria identified in subsection A of this section may apply for participation in the MIS program by submitting the following materials:

1. A completed application on a form as prepared by the development services department.

2. The merchant information sign program is subject to re-evaluation and may be changed and/or removed through council action.

D. Review Process. The subject application shall be subject to a Type I review and appeal process. (Ord. 3097 § 1 (Exh. A), 2014).

17.76.090 Residential districts (R-I, R-II, R-III and R-IV).

In addition to the other applicable provisions of this chapter, the following regulations also apply in each residential zoning district (i.e., R-I, R-II, R-III and R-IV):

A. Total Allowable Sign Area.

1. Each residential building is allowed one permanent, wall-mounted, identification sign per street frontage and one temporary yard sign and each such sign may not exceed three square feet in sign area. No sign permit is required for either sign.

2. Each subdivision, planned unit development, binding site plan or commercial use permitted outright or by conditional use permit in residential zones is allowed 24 square feet of sign area.

3. Consistent with Chapter 17.56 PTMC, home occupations are allowed one sign, which shall be no larger than three square feet in size, without illumination, and mounted flat to either the principal or accessory structure.

4. Government buildings, schools, and churches are allowed one identification sign not to exceed 16 square feet and one reader-board sign not to exceed 24 square feet. If the property includes an intersection of two public rights-of-way, two monument signs are allowed, but together both signs are not to exceed 16 square feet total sign area.

5. One nonilluminated bulletin board not larger than 12 square feet in area is allowed for each public, charitable or religious institution when the same is erected on the premises of the institution. Such bulletin board is not included in the determination of allowable sign area, and no sign permit is required.

B. Maximum sign height is five feet.

C. Freestanding Signs.

1. Permanent freestanding signs must be monument signs or pole signs mounted on two poles placed at the outermost sides of the sign face;

2. Temporary yard signs may be displayed for up to 15 days in a calendar year and may be mounted on a single pole or stake. Exceptions:

a. Garage or rummage sale signs pursuant to Article IV of this chapter, special category signs;

b. Real estate and political signs pursuant to PTMC 17.76.040;

3. Freestanding signs must be set back at least five feet inside property lines. Exception: The director is authorized to permit alternate placement of freestanding signs when meeting the five-foot setback requirement would:

a. Necessitate the removal of mature landscaping; or

b. Require placement of the sign in a location so obscured from view, due to topographic or other site-related constraints, that the purpose of the signage is defeated.

Notwithstanding this exception, the director shall not allow the placement of any freestanding sign that would pose a hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic safety or interfere with intersection clear vision areas.

4. No other pole, portable, sandwich board, sidewalk or other freestanding signs are allowed.

D. Off-premises signs are not permitted. Exception: Signs authorized to be erected off-premises pursuant to PTMC 17.76.040, Signs exempt from permits, and PTMC 17.76.060, Special category signs.

E. Illuminated Signs. Only externally illuminated signs are permitted. Additional requirements:

1. Light fixtures shall be shielded to ensure that the light source is not directly visible off-site; and

2. Under no circumstances may sign illumination pose a hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic safety. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh.

A), 2010; Ord. 2700 § 28, 1999; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.040).

17.76.100 Mixed use, commercial, and public, park and open space districts outside the National Historic Landmark District (C-I/MU, C-II/MU, C-I, C-II, C-II(H), C-III, P/OS(A), P/OS(B), and P-I).

In addition to the other applicable provisions of this chapter, the following regulations also apply in each mixed use (i.e., C-I/MU and C-II/MU), commercial (C-I, C-II, C-II(H), C-III, C-IV), and public, park and open space (i.e., P/OS(A), P/OS(B) and P-I) zoning districts:

A. Total allowable sign area is determined as follows:

1. One square foot of sign area for each lineal foot of primary street frontage abutting the principal building, with the exception of C-I/MU and C-II/MU in which the total allowable sign area is 50 square feet for each principal building;

2. But at least 100 square feet for each principal building, and at least 32 square feet for each business in a multiple-business complex;

3. At least 40 square feet for an outdoor business which operates without a building;

4. Government buildings, schools, churches and the Port Townsend Visitors Center are permitted one identification sign not to exceed 32 square feet and one readerboard sign not to exceed 12 square feet per sign face. If the property includes an intersection of two public rights-of-way, two monument signs are allowed, but together both signs are not to exceed 32 square feet total sign area;

5. Includes all types of signs on all sides and all stories of the building or premises. Exceptions: Parking lot identification signs, symbol signs, incidental signs, window sign lettering less than six inches in height, motor fuel price signs erected pursuant to subsection G of this section, monument signs erected as a directory sign for a multiple-business complex pursuant to subsection (E)(2) of this section, service club signs authorized pursuant to PTMC 17.76.060, one nonilluminated bulletin board not larger than 12 square feet in area for each public, charitable or religious institution when erected on the premises of the institution, and signs listed as exempt in PTMC 17.76.040 are not included in the determination of allowable sign area.

B. Maximum sign height is as follows:

1. Seventeen feet for wall signs, but in no event may signs extend higher than the nearby surface of the roof of the building unless the portion of the building projecting higher than the roof was legally established prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter and contained signage at that location that was legally established when it was constructed.

a. Departures from the sign code maximum height limit for signs in the C-I, C-II, and C-II(H) zones to exceed 17-foot height limit may be approved pursuant to Chapters 17.44 and 17.46 PTMC, commercial and mixed use design standards and process. The general location of all proposed signage must be presented at the time of new commercial design review; replacement of existing signage consistent with this section shall require additional commercial design review.

2. No signs other than directional signs and business name may be erected on vehicle canopies; directional signs shall be mounted no higher than 10 feet above grade. Doorway or window canopy signs or signs mounted on a marquee may not extend higher than the highest roof surface of the canopy or marquee, but in no event may extend higher than the nearby roof surface of the building.

C. Projecting signs are subject to the following additional regulations:

1. No larger than 16 square feet per side;

2. May project no more than four feet from the building;

3. Minimum clearance of eight feet must be maintained above the sidewalk and six inches from the vertical wall;

4. Only one projecting sign, including symbol signs, is allowed for each main entry.

D. Window signs require a sign permit unless lettering is less than six inches in height.

E. Freestanding Signs.

1. Each single-business or multiple-tenant building shall be allowed one monument or one double-pole sign not to exceed a sign area of 24 square feet.

2. Each multiple-business complex is allowed one monument sign or one double-pole sign per street frontage for a directory sign. The sign area of such directory sign is not to exceed 32 square feet plus eight square feet per separate business advertised and an additional 12 square feet to allow display of the name of the complex, up to 102 square feet per sign face, and 10 feet of sign face width.

3. Maximum sign height is five feet for a monument sign of a single business or multiple-tenant building, and six feet for a monument directory sign of a multiple-business complex.

4. Six-foot-tall monument signs or double-pole signs must be set back from property lines one foot. Exception: The director is authorized to permit alternate monument sign placement within the right-of-way in conformance with the Upper Sims Way (SR20) coordinated signage program and the local information sign (LIS) program.

5. Each monument sign or double-pole sign shall have a landscaped area at the base of the sign of at least twice the size of the sign area.

6. No other freestanding or portable signs are allowed.

F. Illuminated Signs.

1. Externally illuminated signs are encouraged.

2. The total area of signs illuminated with internal or neon lighting shall not exceed 25 square feet per separate store front.

G. Readerboard signs may not exceed 12 square feet per sign face. Exceptions:

1. In addition to the sign area allowed pursuant to subsection A of this section, any business selling motor fuel to the public may have one permanently mounted motor fuel price sign not to exceed 18 square feet per sign face. If such sign is incorporated as part of the monument sign allowed pursuant to this section, the allowable height of such monument sign may be increased by four feet.

2. The director is authorized to permit one permanently mounted readerboard sign for community event announcements on premises owned by the city or a nonprofit organization under contract with the city. Such sign shall not exceed a sign area of 50 square feet per sign face.

3. Portable readerboard signs are not permitted. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2920 § 3, 2005; Ord. 2840 § 2(Exh. E), 2003; Ord. 2637 § 2, 1998; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.050).

17.76.110 Marine-related and manufacturing districts (M/C, M‑I, M‑II, M-II(A), M‑II(B) and M-III).

In addition to the other applicable provisions of this chapter, the following regulations also apply in each marine-related and manufacturing (i.e., M/C, M-I, M-II, M-II(A), M-II(B) and M-III) zoning district:

A. Total allowable sign area is determined as follows:

1. Sixty-four square feet for each principal building;

2. But each separate business in a multiple-tenant building or multiple-business complex shall be allowed at least 32 square feet of sign area;

3. Each multiple-tenant building is allowed an additional six square feet for a directory sign;

4. Government buildings and schools are permitted one identification sign not to exceed 32 square feet and one reader-board sign not to exceed 12 square feet per sign face. If the property includes an intersection of two public rights-of-way, two monument identification signs are allowed, but together both signs are not to exceed 32 square feet total sign area;

5. Includes all types of signs on all sides and all stories of the building or premises. Exceptions: Parking lot identification signs, incidental signs, monument signs, window sign letters less than six inches in height, one nonilluminated bulletin board not larger than 12 square feet in area for each public, charitable or religious institution when erected on the premises of the institution, and signs listed as exempt in PTMC 17.76.040 are not included in determining allowable sign area.

B. Maximum sign height is as follows: 17 feet for wall signs.

C. Projecting signs are subject to the following additional regulations:

1. No larger than 16 square feet per side;

2. Shall project no more than four feet from the building;

3. Minimum clearance of eight feet must be maintained above the sidewalk and six inches from the vertical wall;

4. Only one projecting sign, including symbol signs, is allowed for each main entry.

D. Window signs require a sign permit unless lettering is less than six inches in height.

E. Freestanding Signs.

1. Each multiple-business complex is allowed one monument sign per street frontage for a directory sign. The sign area of each such directory sign shall not exceed 16 square feet plus six square feet per separate business advertised, but not larger than 64 square feet.

2. Maximum sign height is five feet for a monument sign of a single business or multiple-tenant building, and six feet for a monument directory sign of a multiple-business complex.

3. Six-foot-tall monument signs or double-pole signs must be set back from property lines one foot.

4. A changeable insert sign that advertises seafood sold within the port of Port Townsend boat haven is allowed.

5. Readerboard signs shall not exceed 12 square feet per sign face.

6. No other freestanding or portable signs are allowed.

F. Illuminated Signs.

1. Externally illuminated signs are encouraged.

2. The total area of signs illuminated with internal or neon lighting shall not exceed 25 square feet per separate store front. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2637 § 3, 1998; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.060).

17.76.113 Pilot project – Sims Way (SR20) local information signs.

This pilot program evaluates the effectiveness of establishing a uniform off-premises signage program along Sims Way (SR20) for food and lodging businesses located within portions of commercially zoned land off Sims Way (SR20) between the Kearney Street and Haines Place intersections (referred to as the “lower Sims Way defined area or study area”), and along Sims Way for retail businesses located in the vicinity of Sherman and Sims and Howard and Sims (referred to as “the upper Sims Way defined area”). The pilot program will allow food and lodging businesses located within the lower Sims Way study area and retail-oriented businesses located within the upper Sims Way defined area to advertise on city-approved and installed off-premises signage within a section of lower Sims Way and upper Sims Way (SR20) as set forth in this section. The off-premises signs will be strategically placed along the road at an intersection or parallel street to alert travelers about the nearby food and lodging services available off lower Sims Way defined area and retail services off the upper Sims Way defined areas. For lower Sims Way, local information signs (LIS) will be blue panels with directional arrows and individual business logos and/or names. A maximum of four business logo signs may be installed on each back panel of the two-sided LIS. For upper Sims Way, local information signs (LIS) will be similar to the sign depicted in Attachment 2 to Ordinance No. 3064, Local Information Sign Plan. A maximum of four business logo signs may be installed on each sign.

A. Applicability. A business located off of Sims Way (SR20) on a side street or parallel street within the lower Sims Way study area between Kearney and Haines Place or the upper Sims Way defined area may apply for standardized signage on a city installed and maintained back panel; provided, that all of the following are met:

1. For lower Sims Way, the business is located within the designated program area as indicated on the Sims Way (SR20) local information sign project area map as adopted by city council. For upper Sims Way, the business is located within 250 feet of either the intersection of Sims and Howard or Sherman and Howard.

2. Repealed by Ord. 3064.

3. Only one sign shall be permitted per parcel, lot or site.

4. For lower Sims Way only, the business was identified as being eligible for participation in the program in the Sims Way (SR20) local information sign assessment and plan that was adopted by council, or circumstances have changed that would now allow the business to meet the evaluation criteria as identified in the Sims Way (SR20) local information sign assessment and plan.

B. Criteria. To participate in the coordinated signage program, a business must meet all of the following criteria:

1. The parcel, lot or site on which the subject business is located does not abut Sims Way (SR20). For upper Sims Way, the business is located within 250 feet of either the intersection of Sims and Howard or Sherman and Howard.

2. For lower Sims Way only, the main source of income for the business must be from food and/or lodging services. For upper Sims Way, the main source of income must be from retail-oriented services.

3. The subject business must have adequate unused sign area available to accommodate the additional sign area that would be provided by the new signage established through this program.

4. The program has a first-come, first-served policy. For lower Sims Way only, if an existing back panel is full, a qualified business wishing to join the program will be put on a waiting list. When a business leaves the program, the first business on the waiting list will be given the chance to join.

5. A seasonal business may participate, but must pay a fee for the sign to be covered or removed during the time the business is not in operation.

C. Standards. Signage shall be subject to the following standards:

1. The location of signage permitted by this program within the Sims Way (SR20) right-of-way shall be determined by the city.

2. Participation in this program does not establish any opportunity for the participating business to maintain signage within the right-of-way except as provided by the program.

3. The city reserves the right to modify or terminate the program. The city reserves the right to relocate and/or remove any and all signage established through this section should its relocation and/or removal be warranted to accommodate an identified public need. Sign removal and/or relocation shall not be compensable to the business.

4. Signage established consistent with this program shall be associated with a specific business and not a building. Businesses in a multiple-business complex such as Port Townsend Business Park shall not be allowed to participate individually. Should a business that is participating in the program close or relocate, the signage provided through the program shall be removed. Subsequent businesses that occupy the same space may reapply for participation in the program if they meet the criteria contained in subsection A of this section.

D. Application. A business that meets the criteria identified in subsection A of this section may apply for inclusion in the program by submitting the following materials:

1. A completed application on a form as prepared by the development services department.

2. A scaled drawing of the proposed logo sign prepared by a licensed sign maker consistent with the size and materials standards contained in the Sims Way (SR20) local information sign assessment and plan.

3. A signed letter of agreement between the business and the city prepared in a standardized format as approved by the city attorney.

4. The annual fee will be based on the actual cost to the city for constructing the local information signs. All businesses will be required to provide two business logos, one for each direction of travel, if there is space on the back panel to do so. The business is responsible to pay the sign maker for the cost of the finished logo sign.

E. Review Process. The subject application shall be subject to a Type I review and appeal process. (Ord. 3064 § 1 (Att. 1), 2011; Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

17.76.117 Upper Sims Way (SR20) coordinated signage program.

This program establishes applicability, criteria, standards, application requirements and a review process to allow the limited private use of city-provided signage in the public right-of-way for businesses located within the Upper Sims Way (SR20) project area if specific criteria are met and city approval is granted.

A. Applicability. A business located within the Upper Sims Way project area that fronts on Sims Way (SR20) may apply for use of city-provided standardized signage that is located within the Sims Way (SR20) right-of-way; provided, that all of the following are met:

1. The business is located within the designated portions of the Upper Sims Way project area as indicated on the Upper Sims Way project area map as adopted by the council.

2. The parcel, lot or site on which the subject business is located does not have another active business that was previously approved for participation in the program; only one sign shall be permitted per parcel, lot or site.

3. The business was identified as being eligible for participation in the program in the Upper Sims Way signage assessment and plan that was adopted by the city council, or circumstances have changed that would now allow the business to meet the evaluation criteria as identified in the Upper Sims Way signage assessment and plan.

B. Criteria. To participate in the coordinated signage program, a business must meet all of the following criteria:

1. The identification sign which is or could best be oriented to traffic for the subject business must be blocked by vegetation or structures when viewed from the adjacent street travel lane centerline at a distance of 210 feet per legibility model A as established in the Upper Sims Way signage assessment and plan.

2. Signs that are visible from greater distances shall not qualify for participation in the program.

3. Signs that are not visible from the opposing traffic lane shall not qualify for participation in the program.

4. The subject business must have adequate unused sign area available to accommodate the additional sign area which would be provided by the new signage established through this program.

C. Standards. Signage shall be subject to the following standards:

1. The location of signage permitted by this program within the Sims Way (SR20) right-of-way shall be determined by the city.

2. Participation in this program does not establish any opportunity for the participating business to maintain signage within the right-of-way except as provided by the program.

3. Redevelopment of the site or building housing the business will require reassessment of applicability to participate in this program.

4. The city reserves the right to modify or terminate the program. The city reserves the right to relocate and/or remove any and all signage established through this section should its relocation and/or removal be warranted to accommodate an identified public need. Sign removal and/or relocation shall not be compensable to the business.

5. Signage established consistent with this program shall be associated with a specific business and not a building. Should a business that is participating in the program close or relocate, the signage provided through the program shall be removed. Subsequent businesses that occupy the same space may reapply for participation in the program if they meet the criteria contained in subsection A of this section.

6. Lighting of signage established through this section may be provided by the applicant at their expense; provided, that it is established consistent with the specifications for exterior lighting contained in the Upper Sims Way signage assessment and plan and has been reviewed and approved by the city.

D. Application. A business that meets the criteria identified in subsection A of this section may apply for inclusion in the program by submitting the following materials:

1. A completed application on a form as prepared by the development services department.

2. A scaled drawing of the proposed sign face prepared consistent with the size and materials standards contained in the Upper Sims Way signage assessment and plan.

3. A signed letter of agreement between the business and the city prepared in a standardized format as approved by the city attorney.

4. No fee is required for this application.

E. Review Process. The subject application shall be subject to a Type I review and appeal process. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

Article VI. Permit Requirements

17.76.120 Permit – Required.

No sign or portion of any sign, except those exempted in PTMC 17.76.040 or 17.76.060, shall be erected, re-erected, replaced, revised, attached, structurally altered, or relocated by any person, firm or corporation from and after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter without a permit issued by the city. No permit shall be required for structure repair, cleaning, repainting an approved design or other normal maintenance, nor for changing the message on a readerboard sign, as long as the sign structure is not modified in any way. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.110).

17.76.130 Permit – Application.

Applications for sign permits shall be made to the director upon permit forms provided by the city. Such application shall require:

A. Name of business and address where the work is to be performed;

B. Name and title of applicant;

C. Name, address and telephone number of the firm doing installation work;

D. Name and address of the sign owner if other than the business installing the sign;

E. A complete list describing each existing sign on the premises, including sign type, copy, sign area, location on premises, and date to be installed; signs proposed within the National Historic Landmark District must provide font and color samples;

F. A site plan showing the location of the affected lot, buildings, and signs, showing both existing signs and proposed signs;

G. A scale drawing of each proposed sign or sign revision, including location, size, height, copy, structural and footing details, material specifications, method of attachment, illumination, front and end views of canopies and any other information required to ensure compliance with appropriate laws;

H. Electrical load with name of electrical contractor responsible for installation of service feed wire if other than sign contractor. Amperage and voltage must be prominently displayed on the sign. (Note: Electric signs must conform to the National Electrical Code);

I. An application for a Sims Way community announcement banner permit for a community announcement sign that will extend over a public right-of-way;

J. Written consent of the owner of the building, structure, or property where the sign is to be erected. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.120).

17.76.140 Permit – Fees and approval.

Permit fees shall be in accordance with the current fee schedule adopted by city ordinance. Upon approval of plans and payment of the required fee, the director shall issue the sign permit. Permits shall be numbered in the order of their issuance and shall disclose:

A. The type and description of sign(s) as defined in this chapter;

B. The street address of the property upon which the sign will be installed;

C. The amount of the fee paid for the permit;

D. The date of issuance;

E. The name of the person or company installing the sign;

F. The name of the sign owner. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.130).

17.76.150 Permit – Identification – Permanent sticker.

With each permit issued, the director shall issue a corresponding permanent, numbered sticker indicating issuance of the sign permit. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee or his/her agent to attach the sticker in a location on the sign(s) or sign structure(s) where it can be readily seen from the street, or an alternate location approved by the city. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.140).

Article VII. Administration and Enforcement

17.76.160 Variance.

The director shall have the authority to grant a variance from the requirements of this chapter in accordance with the following procedures and considerations:

A. The person seeking a variance shall prepare and submit an application on forms provided by the director accompanied by a fee specified by Chapter 20.09 PTMC.

B. Upon receipt of an application, the director shall first review the application for completeness. If the application is incomplete, the director shall promptly return it to the applicant and indicate the additional information needed to make the application complete.

C. Within 15 days of receipt of a complete application, the director shall make a preliminary determination of whether to grant the application, grant the same under specified conditions, or deny the variance. In making his/her determination, the director may grant a variance only upon specific, written findings of fact setting forth and showing that the following conditions exist:

1. Literal interpretation and strict application of the provisions and requirements of this chapter would cause either:

a. Undue hardship on the applicant because of unique or unusual conditions pertaining to the subject property; or

b. Loss or substantial modification of a sign which has been found by the historic preservation committee to contribute significantly to the National Historic Landmark District;

2. The unique or unusual conditions do not result from actions of the applicant or owner of the subject property;

3. Granting the variance would not confer a special privilege to the subject property that is denied to other similarly situated properties;

4. Granting the variance would not be materially detrimental to the property owners in the vicinity or to the traveling public;

5. Granting the variance would not be contrary to the objects of this chapter relating to the placement of signs and the reduction of clutter; and

6. Granting the variance would be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this chapter and would not establish a precedent for subsequent variance requests which could diminish the effect of this chapter in furthering these purposes.

D. In granting any variance, the director may attach thereto such conditions regarding the location, character and other features of the proposed sign as he/she may deem necessary to carry out the spirit and purpose of this chapter in the public interest.

E. Within five days of making his/her preliminary determination, the director shall cause to be mailed a notice of the determination to the owner or reputed owner of the properties within 200 feet of the subject property, as shown by the property tax records of the Jefferson County assessor, and by posting notice in a conspicuous place on the subject property and at the Port Townsend City Hall. The applicant shall provide the list, prepared by a licensed title company, of tax parcels and their owners, with said owners’ names and addresses placed on labels suitable for mailing. The notice shall identify the applicant, the street address or legal description of the subject property, the variance requested, the director’s preliminary determination and where the application and director’s findings may be inspected, and shall indicate that written comments or objections will be received and considered by the director for a period of 10 days following the date of mailing.

F. Within five days of expiration of the comment period, the director shall consider any comments or objections made and render a final decision. The director shall cause to be mailed notice of his/her final decision to the applicant and to each person from whom written comments or objections to the preliminary determination have been received. Such decision shall be final and binding unless appealed in writing to the hearing examiner within 15 days of the date of mailing of the director’s final decision. Any person may file such an appeal by completing an appeals application accompanied by an appeal filing fee specified by Chapter 20.09 PTMC.

G. In the event of an appeal, the hearing examiner will review the reasons and information set forth in the letter of appeal, the findings, conclusions, and decision of the director, together with any written material submitted by the director, and may take public comment. The hearing examiner shall affirm the decision of the director unless s/he finds the decision to be clearly erroneous, or arbitrary and capricious, or contrary to law, in which case the hearing examiner may modify the decision or any conditions in connection therewith, or remand the same to the director.

H. No action to set aside or modify the decision of the hearing examiner may be brought in any court or other tribunal unless the action shall be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the decision. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.150).

17.76.165 Sign standard departures.

A. A “departure” is a written request by the applicant to exceed a particular standard or group of standards through the use of techniques or approaches not otherwise permitted in this chapter.

B. Departures from the standards contained in this chapter may be permitted for:

1. On-premises signage in commercial, mixed use, public and manufacturing districts if approved as part of the design review process (if applicable), or administratively (if the signage is not subject to design review).

2. Off-premises directional signage for:

a. Allowed seasonal agricultural uses located in residential zoning districts.

b. Public uses, not-for-profit community groups and events and other similar uses.

c. Conditionally approved uses in residential districts if approved as part of the conditional use process. Home occupations and other uses that are permitted outright in residential districts may not apply for a departure.

C. On-Premises Signage Departures – Applicability. Through the review process established by this section, sign departures may be allowed from the following sign standards:

1. Sign location;

2. Sign size; provided, that the proposed increase in signage is proportionate to the size of the subject building(s). In no case should increased signage for any building exceed 130 percent of the maximum allowable square footage as established for the building(s) through strict application of this chapter;

3. Sign height, excepting that pole signage shall not be permitted;

4. Number of signs;

5. Amount of internally or externally illuminated signage.

D. On-Premises Signage Departures – Standards. In order for a departure from on-premises sign standards to be allowed, the applicant must demonstrate that:

1. The proposal would better serve the public interest as defined by the city’s comprehensive plan, its implementing regulations and other adopted plans and policies than a strict application of the standards contained in this chapter.

2. The proposal is more innovative and appropriate for the site and/or use than that allowed by the adopted standards.

3. The proposal exceeds the intent of the respective sign standard(s) as compared to a strict application of the established standard(s).

E. On-Premises Signage Departures – Process. The director shall review the application and shall make the final decision. In the following situations, the director shall first receive the recommendation of the applicable advisory committee as follows:

1. The historic preservation committee for businesses or commercial uses in the National Historic Landmark District, or signs proposed for location in the National Historic Landmark District.

2. Commercial design review advisory committee for sign departures for businesses or uses outside the National Historic Landmark District, where the business or use is subject to commercial design review per Chapters 17.44 and 17.46 PTMC.

The advisory committee may make their recommendation on a simple majority of the members present. The director may deny a departure if he or she concludes that such departure does not meet the criteria as specified above. A director’s decision is appealable according to the procedures governing Type 1-A permits.

F. Off-Premises Signage Departures – Applicability. Through the review process established by this section, off-premises directional sign departures may be allowed for:

1. Directional signage for allowed seasonal agricultural uses located in residential zoning districts;

2. Public uses, not-for-profit community groups and events and other similar uses;

3. Uses allowed conditionally within residential districts when proposed and approved with the conditional use permit. Previously approved conditional uses in residential districts may apply for off-premises directional signage through a modification of their conditional use permit as permitted by PTMC 17.84.110.

G. Off-Premises Directional Signage Departures – Standards. Provided an off-premises signage plan is submitted, signs located other than at the site of the business or site may be approved if the following criteria are met:

1. Off-premises signage for seasonal agricultural uses located in residential zoning districts and uses allowed conditionally within residential districts when proposed and approved with the conditional use permit:

a. The subject use is located significantly away from developed commercial districts, such that, without the sign(s), residents and visitors would likely be unaware of the existence of the use;

b. The subject use is not located in an area characterized by a regular and fully developed street grid;

c. It is difficult to locate the subject use due to the complexity and length of roads that provide access to the site;

d. The proposed off-premises sign(s) are the minimum necessary to provide directional guidance to the street fronting the subject use.

2. Off-premises signage for public uses, not-for-profit community groups and events, and other similar uses:

a. Off-premises signage shall be limited to no more than seven off-premises signs, which may be located at major intersections within two miles of the subject use.

H. Off-Premises Signage Plan – Contents. An off-premises signage plan contains the following:

1. Existing on-premises signage:

a. Sign type and quantity;

b. Sign area (square feet) for each sign and total area of all on-site signage;

c. Sign location (on a scaled site plan).

2. Proposed off-premises signage:

a. Sign type (include a scaled drawing of each proposed off-premises sign);

b. Sign area (square feet) for each proposed off-premises sign and total area of all off-premises signs;

c. Proposed off-site sign location(s) on a scaled map. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010).

17.76.170 Interpretations.

Where there is any dispute concerning the interpretation of this chapter, the decision of the director shall prevail, subject to the appeal provisions set forth in Chapter 20.01 PTMC. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.160).

17.76.180 Enforcing official – Powers and duties.

The enforcing official of this chapter shall be the director, who is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all the provisions of this chapter. Upon presentation of proper credentials, the director may enter at reasonable times any building, structure, or premises to perform any duty imposed upon him/her by this chapter. Signs for which a permit is required may be inspected periodically by the director for compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.170).

17.76.190 Removal of signs.

A. Abandoned signs shall be removed by the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is located within 60 days after the business or service advertised by the sign is no longer conducted on the premises.

B. The director may order the removal of any sign erected, installed or allowed to remain in violation of this chapter. He or she shall give at least 30 days’ notice in writing to the owner of such sign, or of the building, structure or premises on which such sign is located, to remove the sign or to bring it into compliance with this chapter. The director may order removal of the sign at the expense of the owner of the premises if compliance with the written order is not obtained. Notice to the owner shall be deemed to be given as of the date of deposit in the United States mail addressed to the address on record that date at the office of the Jefferson County assessor. Exception: In the case of temporary signs, banner signs, portable signs or streamers, only five days’ notice need be given.

C. The director may cause any sign which is erected or displayed in violation of this chapter to be summarily removed without notice and at the expense of the owner of the sign and/or premises if:

1. The condition or placement of the sign presents in the opinion of the director an immediate threat to the safety of the public; or

2. The sign is placed in the public right-of-way or upon city property or attached to a utility pole, tree or traffic sign in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.180).

17.76.200 Nonconforming signs.

A. Nonconforming signs shall be removed or brought into compliance with this chapter no later than the expiration of the amortization period of each such sign, determined as follows:

1. For signs made nonconforming by passage of Ordinance 2039, July 31, 1997;

2. For signs made nonconforming by the passage of Ordinance 3012, September 7, 2010;

3. Preexisting sandwich board signs legally established prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, September 12, 2010, shall be considered legal nonconforming six years after the effective date of said ordinance.

B. Exception Pertaining to Certain Flashing, Blinking or Revolving Signs. Insofar as any sign or parts thereof flash, blink, move, or revolve in a manner prohibited by PTMC 17.76.070, such nonconformity shall be terminated no later than 30 days after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. Otherwise, such other nonconforming conditions of such sign are subject to the provisions of this section pertaining to nonconforming signs.

C. Loss of Nonconforming Status.

1. A nonconforming sign shall immediately lose its legal, nonconforming status if:

a. The sign is altered in any way in structure, color or copy, except for readerboard signs; or

b. The sign is damaged in excess of 50 percent of the original cost of the sign; or

c. The sign is relocated; or

d. The sign is replaced.

2. On the occurrence of any of the events described in subsection (C)(1) of this section, the sign shall be immediately brought into compliance with this chapter with a new permit secured therefor, or shall be removed; provided, however, that the director may authorize specific alterations of such nonconforming signs if s/he finds that:

a. The end of the nonconforming sign’s amortization period is more than two years away; and

b. The total amount of aggregate noncompliance of the sign area of the existing signs on the premises is reduced at least 50 percent by the proposed alterations; and

c. The alteration shall not affect the original amortization period for the nonconforming sign.

D. Notice of Nonconforming Signs. The director shall endeavor to give notice of the legal nonconformance and amortization periods set forth in this section to the owners of signs required to be removed. Such notice should be given to the owners of the signs as shown by city records within 60 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter or of the ordinance which renders the signs nonconforming, whichever occurs later. Only one such notice need be given. Failure of the director to give the notice specified in this section, or failure of the sign owner to receive any such notice, shall not limit or affect the city’s power to enforce this chapter, or in any way reduce the ability of the city to require removal of the nonconforming signs as provided by law.

E. Administrative Appeal. The owner of a nonconforming sign may appeal to the director to request an extended period of use of such sign beyond the amortization period determined by this section. Any such appeal must be made to the director upon forms provided by the city and must be accompanied by an appeal filing fee in the amount specified in Chapter 20.09 PTMC. The director shall require that the appellant provide as part of his/her appeal a general description of the sign, its dimensions and physical position; evidence sufficient to establish the date and cost of the sign as originally constructed and installed; the amount of depreciation claimed and the depreciation schedule used for such sign as reflected by Internal Revenue Service schedules for prior years; the estimated cost of relocation or alteration of such sign, where applicable; together with any other information or documents specified by the director which are reasonably necessary to assist the city in making a determination on the appeal. The director shall consider the statements and documentary evidence contained in the application and any supplementary information which s/he may reasonably require. In addition, s/he shall inspect the subject sign to determine its general condition, state of repair, and the extent to which the sign does not conform to the requirements and limitations of the ordinance codified in this chapter. In making his/her determination, the director shall consider the unrecoverable cost invested in the sign, the estimated remaining life of the sign and the degree of nonconformity. The director shall prepare and make available for public inspection the specific method s/he intends to use in processing such appeals. All determinations of appeals made pursuant to this section shall be made in writing with specific findings of fact and conclusions in support of the decision. All such determinations of the director are subject to appeal as provided by Chapter 20.01 PTMC. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.190).

17.76.210 Liability.

This chapter shall not be constituted to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person owning, building, altering, constructing, or removing or moving any sign in the city for damages to anyone injured or damaged either in person or property by any defect or action in this chapter, nor shall the city or any agent thereof be held as assuming such liability by reason of permit or inspection authorized in this chapter or a certificate of inspection issued by the city or any of its agents. (Ord. 3012 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2571 § 2, 1997. Formerly 17.76.200).