Chapter 20.60
SIGNS1

Sections:

20.60.001    Scope and purpose.

20.60.005    Definitions.

20.60.010    Exempt signs.

20.60.015    Signs not requiring a permit.

20.60.020    Prohibited signs.

20.60.025    Permit procedures.

20.60.030    General sign regulations.

20.60.035    Permitted signs, by type and zoning district.

20.60.040    Special provisions for residential (R) zones.

20.60.045    Special provisions for the CBD and CBD-Core zones.

20.60.047    Special provisions for the MX zones.

20.60.050    Special provisions for the MED, OP and CL zones.

20.60.052    Special provisions for the MP zone.

20.60.055    Special provisions for the CB, CG, ML and MR zones.

20.60.058    Special provisions for the PF zone.

20.60.060    Special provisions for the FAIR zone.

20.60.062    Special provisions for PD zones.

20.60.065    Specific sign requirements.

20.60.070    Temporary signs.

20.60.075    Nonconforming signs.

20.60.080    Administration and enforcement.

20.60.090    Innovative sign design review.

20.60.001 Scope and purpose.

This chapter establishes regulations governing the installation, alteration, relocation, maintenance, use, and removal of all signs in the city. While the city recognizes the rights of businesses, organizations, and individuals to identify their properties, goods and services, those needs must be balanced with the community’s desire to maintain and enhance the aesthetic environment of the city for the betterment of its citizens and in the interest of economic development. The purpose of this chapter is to accomplish the following:

(1) To encourage effective sign communication that is responsive to the needs of the public in locating establishments by identification, address, product and/or service information;

(2) To protect properties from the loss of prominence and reduced effectiveness of individual signs which would result from the unregulated number, size, and location of signs;

(3) To enhance the visual character and identity of the city and reduce clutter and visual distraction;

(4) To ensure that signs in the city do not adversely affect pedestrian and traffic safety by obstructing vehicle sight distance, interfering with official traffic signs, signals and devices, and unduly directing attention away from the demands of safe driving;

(5) To further the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan;

(6) To preserve the right of free speech exercised through the use of signs containing noncommercial messages. (Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.005 Definitions.

(1) A “sign” is any word, placard, board, notice, logo, insignia, symbol, flag, banner, balloon or inflatable device or pennant, which uses graphics, symbols, or written copy and is used to advertise or promote the interest of any person, institution, or business. Works of art, fountains, mosaics and building or structural design features that do not contain a commercial message, logo, symbol, or identification are not signs according to this definition.

(2) “Abandoned sign” means any sign pertaining to a business or occupant whose products or services or noncommercial messages have ceased to be offered to the public or ceased to be in effect on said premises for a period of more than 90 days.

(3) “Backlit rigid canopy sign” means any type of facade sign affixed to or integral with the surface of a translucent rigid canopy lit by lights directed toward the canopy material and mounted from internal canopy frames.

(4) “Banner” means any sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a pole or building by any means. National flags, state or municipal flags, seasonal flags, or the official flag of any institution or business shall not be considered banners.

(5) “Billboard” means any sign designed for use with readily changeable advertising copy unrelated to any use or activity on the property on which the sign is located.

(6) “Building identification sign” means any sign that is an integral part of the structure of a building or made of bronze or other permanent material, and that identifies and advertises only the name of a building, date and incidental information about its construction, and other historical information.

(7) “Building wall” means the side of a building as measured between the intersection of two other sides, or between the intersection of interior walls when one building contains multiple owners or tenants.

(8) “Business sign” means any sign that identifies and advertises the name of an enterprise, person, institution, business, service, or product.

(9) “Construction sign” means a sign which identifies the architect, engineers, contractors and other individuals or firms involved with the construction of a building, or announces the character of the building or enterprise, which is erected during the building construction period.

(10) “Development complex” means any commercial center, institution or development which contains four or more separate businesses or institutions located within or upon a single premises or, if on separately owned properties, which share common parking areas and/or access drives.

(11) “Development complex sign” means any sign that identifies and advertises the name of a development complex and/or the businesses or institutions occupying a development complex.

(12) “Electronic message sign” means a sign containing a message or display that consists of a pattern of lights or other technology which is capable of changing at intermittent intervals in order to vary the message being communicated (see “full-color electronic message sign” and “monochrome electronic message sign”).

(13) “Facade sign” means a sign painted upon or erected flush along the exterior wall or window of a building or upon an awning attached to such exterior wall and displaying only one sign surface. Facade signs may not extend above the top of the exterior wall of a building.

(14) “Flashing sign” means a sign or portion thereof which changes light intensity or switches on and off in a constant or random pattern and no more frequently than once every two seconds, or contains motion or the optical illusion of motion by use of electrical energy, including strobe lights in window displays. Changing message signs or time and temperature signs shall not be considered flashing signs; provided, they do not flash as defined herein.

(15) “Freestanding sign” means a sign erected on a self-supporting structure erected and supported from the ground (see “monument sign” and “pole sign”).

(16) “Full-color electronic message sign” means an electronic message sign which utilizes multi-color technology to display a message or image. Full-color electronic message signs typically maintain the ability to display images, animations and video. The use or display of video or animations is not permitted in any zoning district.

(17) “Incidental sign” means a sign, generally informational, that has a purpose secondary to the use of the property on which it is located, such as “no parking,” “enter,” “exit,” “loading only,” “telephone,” and other similar directives.

(18) “Monochrome electronic message sign” means an electronic message sign which utilizes only one color (such as white, red or amber) technology to display a message or image. Monochrome signs shall display text only; no video, animations or similar displays are permitted when using monochrome electronic message signs.

(19) “Monument sign” means a sign supported by a base that is equal to or greater than the sign cabinet the base is intended to support/display. The base of the monument sign shall be constructed using similar exterior materials as the building(s) to which the sign corresponds or an approved alternative high quality material (e.g., stone veneer). Monument signs may also consist of painted text or channel letters mounted on a freestanding seating wall or retaining wall where the total height of the structure meets the limitations of this code.

(20) “Nameplate” means any sign, six square feet or smaller, that identifies a person, business, institution, family or group.

(21) “Off-premises sign” means any sign designed for use with permanent advertising copy that advertises any enterprise not located on the property or development complex on which the sign is located.

(22) “Outdoor vehicle display” means any open-air lot at least two acres in size or with at least 300 feet of lineal frontage on a single street, used for the purposes of year-round display and sales of any vehicle as defined in Chapter 46.70 RCW, or as otherwise permitted pursuant to PMC 20.47.010(3).

(23) “Pennant” means any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in a series.

(24) “Pole sign” means a freestanding sign that is structurally mounted on one or more poles.

(25) “Political sign” means any temporary sign that advertises a candidate for office or opinion on a ballot measure in a pending public election.

(26) “Portable sign” means any temporary sign that is self-supporting but not permanently attached to the ground and can be moved from one location to another. This definition includes, but is not limited to, sandwich board or “A” frame signs; balloons and inflatables used as signs; and umbrellas used for advertising.

(27) “Projecting sign” means a sign that is erected perpendicular to and supported from the wall of a building.

(28) “Real estate sign” means any sign that advertises the sale, rental or lease of real property.

(29) “Regional shopping center” means a development complex consisting of at least 500,000 square feet of enclosed leasable area.

(30) “Residential development sign” means any sign that identifies a residential subdivision, condominium or apartment complex of four units or more.

(31) “Roof sign” means any sign erected and constructed wholly on and over the roof of a building, or supported by the roof structure, or extending vertically above the highest portion of the roof.

(32) “Sale and promotional sign” means any temporary sign that advertises a business sale, temporary activity on a property, grand opening and/or special event.

(33) “Sandwich board sign” means a temporary sign set upon the ground, consisting of two sign faces hinged at the top and separated at the bottom to make it self-standing upon the ground.

(34) “Sheet plastic signs” means any sign made of a rigid plastic material which creates a surface area upon which multiple letters, words or symbols are placed.

(35) “Street frontage” means the distance for which a lot line of a property adjoins a public or private street, from one lot line intersecting said street to the furthest distant lot line intersecting the same street. For the purposes of this code, “street” does not include controlled access highways (i.e., SR-167, SR-512).

(36) “Temporary sign” means any sign as defined above that is intended to be used for short periods of time and/or is constructed of nonpermanent materials, including, but not limited to, cloth, canvas, light fabric, vinyl, paper or other light materials.

(37) “Under-canopy sign” means a sign suspended over a sidewalk or pedestrian way by attachment to the underside of a canopy, marquee, awning, or similar structure, perpendicular to the wall.

(38) “Video” means the use of live action shot with a video camera or creative animation(s) created through the use of computer graphic imaging, which is displayed on an electronic message sign or similar device. The use or display of video is not permitted in any zoning district.

(39) “Window sign” means any sign, temporary or permanent, designed to communicate information about an activity, business, commodity, event, sale, or service, that is placed inside a window or upon a window pane or glass and is legible from a distance of eight feet from the exterior of the window. Displays of merchandise for sale shall not be considered window signs. (Ord. 3119 § 45, 2016; Ord. 3073 § 31, 2014; Ord. 3010 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.010 Exempt signs.

The following signs shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

(1) Official notices authorized by a court, public body, or public safety official;

(2) Directional, warning, identification or information signs authorized or required by federal, state or municipal governments, including traffic or pedestrian control/direction signs;

(3) The flag of a noncommercial institution such as a school, not exceeding 24 square feet in area in any residential zone or 60 square feet in area in a nonresidential zone, or the flag of a government regardless of size; subject to the building height limitation of the applicable zone. Each business shall be allowed one flag bearing the business’s name, insignia, logo or product name; provided, such flags are not flown at a height exceeding the building height limitation of the applicable zone nor the size limitations noted above. Such flags shall not apply towards the total allowable sign area for a site nor be considered to constitute a freestanding sign;

(4) Religious symbols and seasonal decorations within the appropriate holiday season;

(5) Barber poles;

(6) All signs not legible from a distance of more than eight feet from a property line abutting a public right-of-way;

(7) One nameplate/street address identification per premises;

(8) Signs regulating the use or identification of publicly owned parks and recreation facilities, including trail signage, when authorized by the city of Puyallup parks and recreation department;

(9) Incidental no parking signs not exceeding two square feet in area. Said signs may bear the name, address and phone number of a towing company responsible for impounding violators; and

(10) One electronic message sign per site that utilizes monochrome color technology, no more than six square feet in area that alternates between messages no more frequently than once every two seconds. (Ord. 3119 § 46, 2016; Ord. 3010 § 2, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.015 Signs not requiring a permit.

The following signs shall not require a permit, but are required to meet specific requirements contained in this chapter:

(1) Memorial plaques, building identification signs and building cornerstones when cut or carved into a masonry surface or when made of noncombustible material and made an integral part of the building or structure;

(2) Signs relating to trespassing, no hunting, garage sales, household pets, etc., not exceeding two square feet in area;

(3) Nonelectric incidental signs not exceeding two square feet in area in the RS, RM, CBD, MP and PD zones, and four square feet in all other zones;

(4) Any window sign; provided, that no individual sign or combination of signs shall exceed 25 percent coverage of an individual window area. The area of window signs as allowed under this section shall not count towards the total allowable sign area permitted for a particular property;

(5) Construction signs, subject to the requirements of PMC 20.60.070;

(6) Real estate signs on private property, subject to the requirements of PMC 20.60.070;

(7) Political signs, subject to the requirements of PMC 20.60.070;

(8) Temporary signs as allowed in PMC 20.60.070. (Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.020 Prohibited signs.

The following devices and locations are specifically prohibited:

(1) Signs located in such a manner as to obstruct or otherwise interfere with an official traffic sign, signal or device or obstruct or interfere with a driver’s view approaching, merging or intersecting traffic, or which are an imitation of or resemble official traffic signs;

(2) Except as provided for in PMC 20.60.050(1)(c)(iii) and 20.60.070(7), signs encroaching upon or overhanging public rights-of-way;

(3) Cloth, paper, soft plastic banners, balloons and other inflatable devices, or similar advertising signs or devices bearing any logo, product name, business name or other advertising, and any balloon or other inflatable device over 10 feet in diameter and pennants bearing other than a logo or product name; except those displayed as temporary signs as regulated in PMC 20.60.070;

(4) Flashing signs or signs which sparkle or twinkle in sunlight;

(5) Portable or temporary signs except as allowed in PMC 20.60.070;

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

(7) Billboards in any zone;

(8) Abandoned or dilapidated signs;

(9) Roof signs;

(10) Any sign erected or placed in a public right-of-way, except for temporary off-premises signs as authorized herein, except those authorized by a governmental agency under the provisions of this code;

(11) Any sign with content or subject matter that constitutes obscenity as defined by law;

(12) Signs painted on or affixed to bus benches or to any vehicle parked for more than 72 hours on any premises other than the site in which the business is located;

(13) Rotating or motion signs;

(14) Any sign affixed to a utility pole, whether located on private property or within the public right-of-way, pursuant to RCW 70.54.090; and

(15) Any sign displaying video or animations. (Ord. 3010 § 3, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.025 Permit procedures.

The following regulations shall apply to all signs that require a permit pursuant to this chapter:

(1) Permit Requirements. No sign shall be installed, constructed, painted, structurally altered, posted, or applied without first obtaining a sign permit from the development services department, unless specifically exempted by this code. Maintenance or repair activities of lawfully established signs, such as repainting or refacing without increasing sign area, shall not require a permit. A single permit application may be filed for a group of signs proposed to be installed at one time.

(2) Permit Application Procedures. Applications for signs shall include the appropriate items from the following list:

(a) A completed application on a form provided by the department;

(b) Two site plans showing the location of the affected lot, buildings(s) and sign(s), showing both existing and proposed signs;

(c) If the application is for a facade sign, two copies of a building elevation or photograph showing the location of the proposed sign on the structure;

(d) Two copies of a scaled drawing of the proposed sign or sign revision including size, height, copy, structural footing details, materials specifications, method of attachment, illumination, front and end views of marquees, calculation for dead load and wind pressure, and any other information required to ensure compliance with appropriate codes and laws;

(e) Written consent of the owner of the building, structure, or property where the sign is to be erected;

(f) Other information as may be necessary to evaluate the permit application;

(g) The requisite permit fee as adopted by resolution of the city council.

(3) Parties placing temporary signs as allowed herein within public rights-of-way shall annually obtain a blanket sign permit for multiple locations in accordance with established administrative procedures. An applicant must provide the city with proof of continuous liability insurance during the effective period of the permit, relative to damage or injuries resulting from placement of the sign. Said insurance shall be sufficient in amount to a level established by the city.

(4) Expiration of Permits. A sign permit shall become null and void if the work for which the permit was issued has not been completed within six months of its issuance.

(5) Notice of Permit Denial. When a sign permit is denied by the director, the applicant shall be given a written notice of the denial, together with a brief written statement of the reasons for the denial, and advised of rights of appeal.

(6) Appeal from Denial of Permit Application. An appeal of the director’s decision to deny a permit application may be made to the hearing examiner by filing an appeal on forms provided by the department and paying the requisite appeal fee established by city council. Appeals shall be processed under the provisions of Chapter 20.87 PMC, Interpretations. (Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.030 General sign regulations.

The following general sign regulations shall apply to all signs not specifically exempted by this chapter:

(1) Building Code Compliance. The structure and installation of all signs shall comply with the latest adopted edition of the city’s building code. Such signs shall meet all other applicable provisions of this chapter.

(2) Sign Illumination. All sign illumination shall be from the interior or from floodlight projection shielded to preclude glare visible from public rights-of-way and neighboring properties.

(3) Measurement of Sign Area. The square footage of a sign made up of letters, words, symbols, trademarks and business or corporate colors within a frame shall be determined from the outside edge of the frame itself. The square footage of a sign composed of only letters, words, or symbols shall be determined from imaginary straight lines drawn around the entire copy or grouping of such letters, words, or symbols. Double-faced signs shall be calculated as the area of one side only. Three-dimensional signs shall be calculated as the maximum area visible from any single direction at any point in time.

(4) Means of Structural Support. No sign shall be attached to, supported by or propped up against any utility pole, light standard, traffic sign, fire hydrant or any other public facility located within the public right-of-way, except as authorized herein.

(5) Condition and Maintenance. All signs shall be of rust-inhibitive material or treatment, and shall be maintained in good condition in the opinion of the code enforcement manager. All signs, together with all of their supports, braces, guys and anchors shall be kept in good repair and in a safe state of preservation. The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or posted at all times.

(6) Address Display Required. All freestanding signage shall display the full address of the subject site or range of addresses within a development complex, placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. The address letters and numbers shall contrast with their background. Addresses shall be displayed using Arabic numerals/alphabet letters. Address numbers shall be a minimum of six inches high with a minimum stroke of one-half inch for freestanding signs within 50 feet of the closest public right-of-way, 12 inches high for freestanding signs that are 51 feet to 100 feet from the closest public right-of-way and 18 inches high for freestanding signs that are over 100 feet from the closest public right-of-way.

(7) Development Complexes. Signs within a development complex shall be subject to the following requirements:

(a) Business Signs. Each institution or business shall be permitted facade signs and no more than one projecting sign subject to the maximum size requirements set forth for the applicable zone. The tenant space width shall be used to determine maximum sign area; a tenant located in a floor above lower tenants may count the same wall length in determining allowable facade signage.

(b) Freestanding Signs. Each development complex shall be permitted one freestanding or monument development complex sign per public street frontage. The maximum permitted sign area for each development complex sign shall be as provided within the applicable zoning district, plus a bonus of 10 additional square feet per business or institution within the development complex; provided, that such bonus shall not exceed 50 percent of the base allowable sign area.

(8) Regional Shopping Centers. Regional shopping centers shall be allowed signs as follows, regardless of zoning designation:

(a) Freestanding Signs. One per public street frontage; one square foot in area per lineal foot of street frontage; not to exceed 225 square feet; height and setbacks as regulated by the CG zone;

(b) Monument Signs. One per public street frontage; not to exceed 64 square feet in area or 10 feet in height; may be electronic message signs;

(c) Directional Signs. One per public street entrance; not to exceed 16 square feet in area or four feet in height;

(d) Freeway-Oriented Freestanding Sign. One per regional shopping center site; not to exceed 400 square feet in area with a bonus 25 percent area for nontext architectural features;

(e) All signs must comply with the standards contained within PMC 20.60.065.

(9) No sign shall be used as a fence. Permanent signs attached to fences shall not exceed 32 square feet in area and only one such sign shall be permitted for each 100 lineal feet of fence.

(10) No sign shall be attached to a tree in any manner.

(11) Outdoor Vehicle Displays. Outdoor vehicle display sites that have frontage on a given street that exceeds 300 feet in length shall be allowed one additional freestanding sign. (Ord. 3119 § 47, 2016; Ord. 3010 § 4, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.035 Permitted signs, by type and zoning district.

Table 20.60.035
Permitted Signs, by Type and Zoning District

Type of sign

RS zones

RM zones

PF zone

MED, OP, CL zones

CBD, CBD- Core zones

CB zone

CG zone

MX zones

MP zone

ML zone

MR zone

FAIR zone

Pre-existing PDR zone

Pre-existing PDC zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Backlit rigid canopy sign

N

N

P

P

N

P

P

N

P

P

P

P

N

N

(2)

Building identification

P*

P*

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P*

P

(3)

Facade sign

P*

P*

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P*

P

(4)

Full-color electronic message sign

N

N

P**

N

N

P**

P**

N

N

P**

P**

P**

N

N

(5)

Pole sign

P*

P*

P

N

N

P

P

N

N

P

P

P

P*

N

(6)

Monochrome electronic message sign

P*

P*

P

N

N

P

P

N

N

P

P

P

N

N

(7)

Monument sign

P*

P*

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P*

P

(8)

Off-premises sign

N

N

N

N

P

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

(9)

Projecting sign

N

N

N

N

P

P

N

P

N

N

N

N

N

P

(10)

Residential development sign

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

N

N

N

N

P

P

(11)

Sale and promotional sign

N

N

P

P

P

P

P

P

N

N

N

P

N

P

(12)

Sheet plastic sign

P*

P*

P

P

N

P

P

N

P

P

P

P

N

N

(13)

Temporary sign

P*

P*

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P*

P

(14)

Temp. off-premises sign

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

(15)

Under-canopy sign

N

N

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

N

P

(16)

Window sign

N

N

P

P

P

P

P

N

N

N

N

N

N

P

P = Allowed in Zone

N = Not Allowed in Zone

* Only Permitted for Specific Uses

** Only Permitted for Specific Uses along Primary Arterials

(Ord. 3119 § 48, 2016; Ord. Ord. 3010 § 5, 2012; Ord. 2954 § 19, 2010; Ord. 2851 § 8, 2006; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2813 § 3, 2004; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2745 § 4, 2003; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.040 Special provisions for residential (R) zones.

The following regulations apply to signs located on property in RS and RM zones:

(1) Facade and Freestanding Signs. The following signs shall be permitted in the RS and RM zone districts:

(a) Freestanding signs in all RS and RM zone districts are limited to monument signs only as allowed under PMC 20.60.035. Maximum height and setbacks for monument signs in all RS and RM zone districts shall conform to PMC 20.60.065(5).

(b) Residential Development Signs. Residential developments of four or more dwelling units are permitted one monument or facade sign for each public street frontage adjacent to the project (or for each entrance in the case of a subdivision project). Maximum sign area for each sign shall not exceed 25 square feet in area.

(c) Nonconforming or conditionally permitted commercial and institutional uses in all RS and RM zone districts shall be permitted one facade sign and one monument sign per public street frontage (see PMC 20.60.065(5)), not to exceed a combined total of 25 square feet in area for every 150 feet of public street frontage. For frontage greater than 150 feet, one square foot of additional sign area shall be allowed for each six feet of frontage up to a maximum of 40 square feet.

(d) One nonilluminated sign, not exceeding eight square feet in area, monument or facade, shall be allowed for each adult family home, boarding home, residential care facility, and family day care home not requiring a conditional use permit for establishment of use.

(e) Home Occupations. One nameplate sign (no larger than six square feet in area), mounted flush against the wall of the residence, shall be allowed for all home occupations.

(2) Sandwich Board Signs. Sandwich board signs shall be permitted within public rights-of-way in any residential zone subject to the requirements set forth in PMC 20.60.070(7).

(3) Electronic Message Signs. Conditionally permitted, nonresidential uses in an R zone shall be permitted, but limited to one monochrome electronic message sign if the subject site has frontage on a primary or secondary arterial and said sign is located along the frontage of or facing toward a primary or secondary arterial roadway.

(4) Sign Illumination. Illuminated signage is only permitted when reviewed and specifically authorized through the conditional use permit process for a conditionally permitted nonresidential use. Signs may be illuminated by an external light source that is placed no further than 10 feet from the sign face and is shielded to avoid illumination beyond the sign face. Light sources shall be shielded so that the lamp is not visible beyond the premises.

(5) Freestanding Signs. Freestanding signs are limited to monument signs as allowed under PMC 20.60.035 and 20.60.065(5). Pole signs are not permitted in any RS or RM zone district. (Ord. 3119 § 49, 2016; Ord. 3010 § 6, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.045 Special provisions for the CBD and CBD-Core zones.

The following regulations apply to signs located on property in the CBD and CBD-Core zones:

(1) Business Signs. Each enterprise, institution or business shall be permitted facade signs, one under-canopy sign per street frontage, and one projecting or monument sign, subject to the following maximum size requirements. (Note: Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion facade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum is not exceeded for a particular property.)

(a) Maximum aggregate sign area: one and one-half square feet per lineal foot of all building walls fronting a street.

(b) Maximum facade sign area: one and one-half square feet for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached.

(c) Maximum projecting sign area: one square foot for each lineal foot of building wall from which the sign projects, not to exceed 25 square feet.

(d) Under-Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.

(i) The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(ii) The maximum allowable horizontal length of an under-canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(iii) The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of an under-canopy sign and the ground shall be eight feet.

(2) Off-Premises Signs. Off-premises signs shall not be freestanding and shall not exceed 12 square feet in area, except temporary off-premises sandwich board signs only within public rights-of-way shall be subject to the requirements of PMC 20.60.070(7) and the following, whichever is more restrictive:

(a) Maximum height: 42 inches.

(b) Maximum width: 30 inches.

(c) Placement: may be located on public sidewalks or adjacent areas in a manner so as to allow adequate pedestrian circulation, but in no event within an area upon which vehicles regularly travel or park. No sign may be placed closer than 12 inches to a tree or other planting within the right-of-way.

(d) Maximum number: one per business.

(3) Projecting Signs. Signs may project over public rights-of-way a maximum of four feet; provided, such signs shall not extend to within two feet of the street curb or the improved shoulder edge, nor impede free and complete use of the sidewalk for pedestrians. Projecting parallel signs may project over public rights-of-way; provided, such signs shall not extend more than one foot beyond the wall of the building.

(4) Prohibited Signs in the CBD and CBD-Core Zones. The following sign types are prohibited:

(a) Backlit canopy signs;

(b) Full-color and monochrome electronic message signs; and

(c) Pole signs. (Ord. 3010 § 7, 2012; Ord. 2851 § 8, 2006; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.047 Special provisions for the MX zones.

The following regulations apply to signs located on property in the MX zones:

(1) Business Signs. Each enterprise, institution or business shall be permitted facade signs, one under-canopy sign per street frontage, and one projecting or monument sign, subject to the following maximum size requirements. (Note: Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion facade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum is not exceeded for a particular property.)

(a) Maximum aggregate sign area: one and one-half square feet per lineal foot of all building walls fronting a street or pedestrian walkway.

(b) Maximum facade sign area: one square foot for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached.

(c) Maximum projecting sign area: one square foot for each lineal foot of building wall from which the sign projects, not to exceed 25 square feet.

(d) Under-Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.

(i) The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(ii) The maximum allowable horizontal length of an under-canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(iii) The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of an under-canopy sign and the ground shall be eight feet.

(2) Projecting Signs. Signs may project over public rights-of-way a maximum of four feet; provided, such signs shall not extend to within two feet of the street curb or the improved shoulder edge, nor impede free and complete use of the sidewalk for pedestrians. Projecting parallel signs may project over public rights-of-way; provided, such signs shall not extend more than one foot beyond the wall of the building.

(3) Prohibited Signs in the MX Zone. The following sign types are prohibited:

(a) Backlit canopy signs;

(b) Full-color and monochrome electronic message signs; and

(c) Pole signs. (Ord. 3010 § 8, 2012; Ord. 2954 § 20, 2010).

20.60.050 Special provisions for the MED, OP and CL zones.

The following regulations shall apply to signs located on property in the MED, OP and CL zones:

(1) Business Signs. Each enterprise, institution or business shall be permitted facade signs, one under-canopy sign per street frontage, one projecting sign per street frontage and one monument sign, each subject to the following maximum size requirements. (Note: Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion facade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum is not exceeded for a particular property.)

(a) Maximum Facade Sign Area. One square foot for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached.

(b) Maximum Freestanding Sign Area. One square foot for each five lineal feet of street frontage, not to exceed 40 square feet.

(c) Under-Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.

(i) The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(ii) The maximum allowable horizontal length of an under-canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(iii) The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of an under-canopy sign and the ground shall be eight feet.

(2) Prohibited Signs in the MED, OP and CL Zones. The following sign types are prohibited:

(a) Pole signs; and

(b) Full-color and monochrome electronic message signs. (Ord. 3119 § 50, 2016; Ord. 3010 § 9, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2745 § 4, 2003; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.052 Special provisions for the MP zone.

The following regulations shall apply to signs located on property in the MP zone:

(1) A master signage plan pursuant to PMC 20.60.030(7) shall be required of every business park development prior to the installation of any signs;

(2) In addition to signs allowed for individual businesses, each business park shall be permitted one monument sign per street frontage, subject to the provisions of PMC 20.60.065(5);

(3) Facade signs shall not exceed two square feet in area for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached, not to exceed a maximum of 40 square feet;

(4) Each sign shall be designed in a consistent style which blends with the overall architectural theme of the park as required in PMC 20.35.031;

(5) Monument signs are the only types of freestanding signs which shall be allowed subject to the following:

(a) Monument signs shall be set back at least five feet from the public right-of-way.

(b) Sign height shall not exceed greater than 42 inches above grade when located within a required setback area or 15 feet when located outside of a required setback area.

(c) Total sign face area shall not exceed 100 square feet.

(d) The placement of monument signs shall not interfere with any vehicular sight distance requirement as determined by the city engineer, nor shall it interfere with pedestrian circulation.

(e) Monument signs shall be compatible in design and illumination to site and vicinity improvements and landscaping. (Ord. 3119 § 51, 2016; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.055 Special provisions for the CB, CG, ML and MR zones.

The following regulations shall apply to signs located on property in the CB, CG, ML and MR zones:

(1) Business Signs. Each lot shall be permitted facade signs, one under-canopy sign per street frontage, and one projecting or freestanding sign per street frontage, each subject to the following maximum size requirements; provided, that if a site is part of a development complex, the provisions of PMC 20.60.030(7) shall apply. (Note: Multiple businesses in the same building shall apportion facade length, building wall, and street frontage such that any maximum is not exceeded for a particular property.)

(a) Maximum Facade Sign Area. The total area of facade signage shall not exceed one and one-half square feet for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached.

(b) Maximum Freestanding Sign Area. One square foot for each lineal foot of street frontage, not to exceed 150 square feet per sign.

(c) Under-Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions.

(i) The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(ii) The maximum allowable horizontal length of an under-canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(iii) The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of an under-canopy sign and the ground shall be eight feet.

(2) Temporary off-premises signs within public rights-of-way shall be subject to the requirements of PMC 20.60.070(7) or the following, whichever is more restrictive:

(a) Maximum height: 42 inches.

(b) Maximum width: 30 inches.

(c) Placement: may be located on public sidewalks or adjacent areas in a manner so as to allow adequate pedestrian circulation, but in no event within an area upon which vehicles regularly travel or park. No sign may be placed closer than 12 inches to a tree or other planting within the right-of-way.

(3) Electronic Message Signs. Full-color electronic message signs may only be located along the frontage of or facing toward a primary arterial in the CB, CG, ML and MR zones. Monochrome electronic signage may be located along the frontage of or facing toward primary or secondary arterial. The performance standard provisions of PMC 20.60.065(3)(a) through (i) shall apply to all electronic message signs in these zone districts. (Ord. 3010 § 10, 2012; Ord. 2954 § 21, 2010; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.058 Special provisions for the PF zone.

The following regulations shall apply to signs located on property in the PF zone, unless otherwise approved through a conditional use permit or master plan:

(1) Facade Signs. One square foot for each lineal foot of the building wall from which the sign is attached, not to exceed 40 square feet per building wall.

(2) Freestanding Signs. One square foot for each five lineal feet of street frontage, not to exceed 40 square feet.

(3) Monument Signs. Notwithstanding any limitation for freestanding signs, each site shall be allowed one monument sign, not to exceed 40 square feet in area. Monument signs shall be subject to the location criteria contained in PMC 20.60.065(5).

(4) Under-Canopy Sign Area and Dimensions. One under-canopy sign per street frontage is allowed.

(a) The maximum allowable sign area shall be one square foot for each lineal foot of width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(b) The maximum allowable horizontal length of an under-canopy sign shall be equal to the width of the canopy, awning, marquee or similar structure from which the sign is suspended, as measured perpendicular to the building wall.

(c) The minimum vertical clearance between the lower edge of an under-canopy sign and the ground shall be eight feet.

(5) Electronic Message Signs. Electronic message signs are allowed as a monument sign for public schools only. Full-color electronic message signs may only be located along the frontage of a primary arterial in the PF zone for public schools only. Monochrome electronic signage may be located along the frontage of a primary or secondary arterial or collector in the PF zone for public schools. The performance standard provisions of PMC 20.60.065(3)(a) through (i) shall apply to all electronic message signs in this zone district. (Ord. 3010 § 11, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2813 § 3, 2004).

20.60.060 Special provisions for the FAIR zone.

The following limitations and regulations shall apply to signs located on property in the FAIR zone:

(1) Business Signs. Facade signs and freestanding signs shall be permitted subject to the following:

(a) Maximum Facade Sign Area. Four hundred square feet per public street frontage;

(b) Maximum Freestanding Sign Area. One square foot for each lineal foot of street frontage, not to exceed 250 square feet each;

(c) A maximum of one freestanding sign may exceed the building height limitation of the FAIR zone.

(2) No provision of this code shall apply within the FAIR zone during the annual spring and fall fair events.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, pennants may be used within the FAIR zone and the fair parking overlay zones as a means of demarcating parking areas and pedestrian walkways; provided, that no pennant may be placed more than 42 inches above the adjoining grade.

(4) Electronic Message Signs. Full-color electronic message signs may only be located along the frontage or facing toward a primary arterial in the FAIR zone. Monochrome electronic signage may be located along the frontage or facing toward primary or secondary arterial. The performance standard provisions of PMC 20.60.065(3)(a) through (i) shall apply to all electronic message signs in this zone district. (Ord. 3119 § 52, 2016; Ord. 3010 § 12, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.062 Special provisions for PD zones.

(1) Pre-Existing PDR and PDC Zones. The following regulations shall apply to signs located on property in PDR or PDC zones established prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter:

(a) Permitted types of signs shall be as defined in the matrix “Permitted Signs, by Type and Zoning District,” contained within PMC 20.60.035.

(b) Specific sign requirements for signs proposed in pre-existing PDR zones shall be as defined in PMC 20.60.040. Specific sign requirements for signs proposed in pre-existing PDC zones shall be as defined in PMC 20.60.050.

(2) New PD Zones. The number, types, and size of signs in new PD zones shall not be limited by the requirements of this chapter, but shall be allowed as proposed in a master sign plan approved at the time the PD zone is approved. If a master sign plan is not proposed, signs shall be allowed as in subsection (1) of this section. (Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.065 Specific sign requirements.

The following specific sign regulations shall apply to all signs as permitted herein and not specifically exempted by PMC 20.60.010:

(1) Reserved.

(2) Building Identification Signs. One building identification sign for each building shall be permitted; provided, that no such sign shall exceed 25 square feet in area.

(3) Electronic Message Signs. The following performance standards shall apply to all electronic message signs:

(a) Static Image Display Minimum. Electronic message signs which provide changing messages shall not blink or flash or change their message more frequently than once every two seconds. In order to promote driver/pedestrian safety and to improve the overall aesthetic value of the community, owners/operators of electronic message signs are strongly encouraged to consider utilizing a longer static image display time period than the minimum two seconds as established herein.

(b) Maximum Transition Time Between Static Images. Electronic message signs shall transition between static images immediately as to prevent drawn out frame animations which may result in the illusion of motion.

(c) Brightness. All electronic message signs shall come equipped with an automatic dimming photocell device which will automatically adjust the display’s brightness based on preset levels relative to ambient light conditions. All electronic message signs shall operate at brightness levels of no more than 0.3 foot-candles above ambient light levels. All electronic message signs shall also be preset to prevent luminance beyond 5,000 nits during daylight hours and 500 nits at night.

(i) Prior to the issuance of a sign permit, the applicant shall provide written certification from the sign manufacturer/installer, reviewed and signed by the owner of the sign, that the light intensity has been factory preset not to exceed 0.3 foot-candles or the above referenced nits levels and that those settings are protected from end-user manipulation by password-protected software or other method as deemed appropriate by the director.

(d) Off-Times. All electronic message signs shall be equipped with an automatic timer that will be set to the following off-time standards:

(i) On property zoned RS, RM or PF, or on a nonresidential property within 300 feet of any residential development where an electronic sign will be visible within five years of installation, electronic signs shall be shut off between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

(e) Dispersal Requirements. One electronic message sign shall be permitted on each site or development complex. One additional bonus electronic message sign shall be permitted if the following conditions exist:

(i) The second sign is located along or facing a separate primary arterial abutting the site or development complex; and

(ii) The second sign is located a minimum of 500 feet from the first permitted electronic message sign on the same site and is 250 feet from an electronic message sign located on another premises. The bonus provision herein shall not apply if these spacing and location criteria cannot be met. Spacing standard provisions of subsections (4)(e) and (f) of this section shall also apply.

(f) Freestanding Electronic Message Signs. Freestanding electronic message signs shall be monument signs only except for signs located on the grounds of a public school facility within the public facilities (PF) zone may also be a pole sign.

(g) No Animation or Video. Electronic message signs shall be used to display one static image for no less than the minimum time period specified herein before moving on to another static image display. Displays shall not appear to flash, undulate, or pulse, or portray explosions, imitate any form of traffic control device, display fireworks, flashes of light, or blinking or chasing lights. Displays shall not appear to move toward or away from the viewer, expand or contract, bounce, rotate, spin, twist, or otherwise portray graphics, video or animation as it moves onto, is displayed on, or leaves the signboard.

(h) Malfunctioning Sign. In the event that a sign is malfunctioning, the owner of said sign shall turn the sign off until such time that the sign is repaired and functioning correctly in compliance with this section.

(i) Controlled Access Highway. No electronic message sign shall be oriented towards a controlled access highway facility.

(4) Freestanding Signs.

(a) Height. The height of a pole freestanding sign shall be measured from the elevation of the crown of the nearest public street, to the highest point on the freestanding sign or its supporting structure. The height of a monument sign shall be measured from the finished grade immediately abutting the base of the sign; in no event shall a monument sign be installed on an earthen berm, retaining wall or otherwise artificially created/graded surface as to elevate it above the surrounding landscape in an effort to exceed the maximum height for monument signs set forth herein. Pole signs shall not exceed 15 feet in height at a line coinciding with required front yard or street side yard setbacks as shown in the table below; in no event shall a monument sign exceed a height of 10 feet. For each additional one foot of setback beyond required front yard or street side yard setbacks, pole sign height may be increased one foot; provided, that in no event shall a pole sign exceed 36 feet in height.

(b) Setbacks. Except as provided for monument signs in subsection (5) of this section, all freestanding signs exceeding four feet in height shall comply with the setback requirements as provided for in this subsection. All setbacks shall be measured from the nearest point of the sign to the closest property line(s).

Nonresidential Setbacks 

 

Limited Commercial (CL)

Community Business (CB)

General Commercial (CG)

Office Professional (OP)

Light, Rail Manuf. (ML), (MR)

Front yard

20'

10'

20'

20'

20'

Arterials

25'

25'

25'

20'

20'

Rear yard

20'

10'

0'

20'

0'

Side yard

10'

0'

0'

5'

0'

Street side

15'

10'

10'

15'

10'

 

Public Facilities (PF)

Business Park (MP)

Central Business (CBD/CBD-CORE)

Mixed Use Zones (MX)

FAIR

Front yard

*

**

**

**

***

Arterials

*

**

**

**

***

Rear yard

*

**

**

**

***

Side yard

*

**

**

**

***

Street side

*

**

**

**

***

* See PMC 20.44.020 for setback regulations in the PF zone district.

** No pole mounted freestanding signs allowed in these zone districts.

*** See PMC 20.47.020 for setback regulations in the FAIR zone.

(c) Landscaping. Landscaping around the base of a freestanding sign shall be required in those instances where a sign is proposed for placement within or adjacent to an existing landscaped area on a site. Landscaping shall include a mix of groundcovers and shrubs.

(d) All freestanding signs shall comply with the sight distance triangular setback area height requirements specified by the applicable zone.

(e) A freestanding sign shall not be located closer than 50 feet from another freestanding sign located upon another premises; provided, that this subsection shall not prohibit the ability to place one freestanding sign upon a premises that would otherwise have a right to such a sign; nor shall this subsection be applied in a manner that would require a setback for such freestanding sign in excess of what would otherwise be required by this chapter.

(f) A freestanding sign located within 40 feet of a property line abutting a street right-of-way shall not be located closer than 100 feet from another freestanding sign on the same premises.

(5) Monument Signs – Maximum Height and Setbacks in All Zones. Monument signs are subject to the following provisions:

(a) No more than one monument sign per street frontage.

(b) Monument signs shall be set back at least five feet from the public right-of-way.

(c) Monument signs shall be no greater in height than one foot above the adjoining finished grade for each foot of setback to a maximum of 10 feet.

(d) Placement of monument signs shall not interfere with any vehicular sight-distance requirements, as determined by the city engineer, nor shall it interfere with any pedestrian circulation.

(e) Monument signs shall incorporate the same building materials in their design as the building to which they apply or an approved alternative high quality material (e.g., stone veneer).

(f) Monument signs which do not encroach into required front or side yard setbacks shall conform with the requirements for freestanding signs for the applicable zone.

(6) Incidental Signs.

(a) No more than two incidental signs per street entrance.

(b) No such sign shall exceed two square feet in area in the RS, RM, CBD, MP and PD zones, and shall not exceed four square feet in area in all other zones.

(7) Off-Premises Signs. Off-premises signs, except temporary signs specifically permitted under PMC 20.60.070(7), shall be subject to the following regulations:

(a) Maximum height: 15 feet;

(b) Maximum area: 50 square feet;

(c) Minimum yard setback: 20 feet;

(d) Minimum distance from RS, RM or PDR zone: 100 feet;

(e) Minimum distance from street intersection: 25 feet;

(f) Maximum number per parcel of property: one.

(8) Community Event Message Signs.

(a) A nonprofit organization shall be eligible to apply for a conditional use permit to allow a sign area bonus for a community event message sign. The purpose of this area bonus shall be to allow the display of changing messages and information on such matters as the date, time, location and sponsor of special events of community interest. Such signs shall meet the following standards and conditions:

(i) Each nonprofit organization shall be eligible for a bonus for no more than one facade sign or one freestanding sign.

(ii) The maximum bonus available shall be 50 percent of the base permitted sign area if located in a residential zone, or 100 percent if located in any other zone.

(iii) Permanent advertising of a commercial nature shall be allowed only in commercial zones, and shall not exceed 25 percent of the total area of the community event message sign.

(iv) The sign shall be made reasonably available to other community-based nonprofit organizations for the display of information about their special events or other announcements of a noncommercial nature.

(v) The signs shall not be of a size, or sited in such a manner, that will substantially hinder the visibility of other legal signs on adjacent properties.

(b) In reviewing an application for a community event message sign, the hearing examiner, and city council on appeal, shall consider the following objectives, and may impose conditions to ensure that these objectives are met:

(i) By virtue of the sign’s design, size, location and other factors including appropriate landscaping, the sign shall be harmonious and compatible with its surroundings, and consistent with community aesthetic sensibilities.

(ii) The sign shall not be erected nor shall any electronic or electric changing copy be controlled in a manner that will be a substantial distraction to motorists, thus causing a traffic hazard.

(9) Fuel Price Informational Signs. Signs advertising the price of motor vehicle fuel sold from a fuel pump located on the premises are permitted and shall not count towards maximum allowable sign area totals, subject to the following:

(a) Only one fuel price information sign shall be permitted per fuel pump island;

(b) Sign area shall not exceed 216 square inches;

(c) Each fuel pump informational sign shall be affixed directly to the fuel pump structure or canopy and shall be stationary;

(d) In addition, one freestanding fuel price informational sign shall be allowed per public street frontage. Said signs shall not exceed four square feet per pump or a maximum of 32 square feet, whichever is less;

(e) Size limitations specified in this section include the use of company name, logo, and any other product advertisement information;

(f) Any other sign advertising any other product sold on the premises is subject to all other sign type, number, and size restrictions of this code. (Ord. 3119 § 53, 2016; Ord. 3073 § 32, 2014; Ord. 3010 § 13, 2012; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.070 Temporary signs.

The following regulations shall apply to all signs intended or permitted to be displayed for a limited time only:

(1) Political Signs.

(a) Political signs shall be permitted in all zones.

(b) Political signs shall not exceed eight square feet in area and shall not exceed 42 inches in height; provided, that these restrictions shall not apply to lawfully established billboards.

(c) Political signs shall be removed within 10 days after the election; provided, that signs promoting candidates or ballot propositions in a primary election may remain displayed through the general election.

(d) Political signs shall not be placed within any public right-of-way, except that political signs may be placed in parking or planting strips, i.e., the area between the sidewalk and the street, or where there are no sidewalks, the unimproved part of the right-of-way. If a political sign is placed in a parking or planting strip, permission of the abutting property owner or person having legal control of the abutting property shall be obtained.

(e) Political signs shall not be placed in a manner that creates a safety hazard or obstructs vehicle or pedestrian traffic, or violates Chapter 10.56 PMC, which governs triangular sight areas.

(f) If a sign is established in violation of this subsection, the city may provide notice to the violator and a reasonable opportunity to remedy the sign violation. If the violator fails to timely remedy the violation, or the sign creates a safety hazard or obstructs vehicle or pedestrian traffic, or violates Chapter 10.56 PMC, the city may immediately remove the sign. If the city removes a sign, then the city should notify the violator that the city removed the sign.

(2) Temporary Use/Stand Signs. Signs advertising a permitted temporary use and/or stand are permitted, subject to the following standards:

(a) Individual signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (2)(f) of this section, all signs associated with temporary uses or stands shall be located on the premises of the permitted temporary use or stand and shall be located outside of structural setback areas and required landscaped areas for the applicable zone and shall not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular movement.

(c) The sign(s) shall only be displayed during the permitted days of operation of the associated temporary use or stand.

(d) Only one sign shall be permitted per public street frontage directly abutting that area containing the permitted temporary use or stand.

(e) The temporary use or stand shall comply with all permitting requirements and standards of Chapter 20.70 PMC and PMC Title 5. Applications for said use or stand shall specifically denote the proposed signage.

(f) Seasonal produce stands operating under temporary use permits per PMC 20.70.016 shall be permitted one off-premises sign to direct customers to the stand in addition to permitted on-premises signage. This provision is not applicable to seasonal produce stands that are part of a farmers’ market event. Said off-premises sign shall be located within 1,000 feet of the seasonal produce stand, shall not exceed 32 square feet in area, shall meet all city vehicular sight-distance standards and shall be removed during months when the seasonal produce stand is not operating. No such off-premises sign shall be located within a public right-of-way unless permitted as a valid sandwich board sign under this chapter.

(3) Real Estate Signs.

(a) Real estate signs shall be permitted in all zones; provided, that all signs shall be located upon the property to which they apply, except as provided for in subsections (3)(d) and (7) of this section.

(b) Such signs shall conform with the following maximum size requirements: four square feet in area for the first 10,000 square feet in lot area, plus four square feet for each additional 10,000 square feet of lot area, not to exceed 32 square feet.

(c) Real estate signs shall be removed upon closing of the sale.

(d) In addition, real estate signs advertising the sale of lots located within a subdivision shall be permitted; provided, that there shall be no more than one sign per entrance, and each sign shall be no greater than 32 square feet in area, no greater than eight feet in height, and erected no longer than a period of one year. Existing off-premises real estate signs shall be allowed to remain for a period of one year past the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

(4) Construction Signs.

(a) Construction signs shall be permitted in all zones; provided, that such signs shall be located upon the property to which they apply.

(b) No more than one sign may be erected per construction site.

(c) Construction signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in residential zones and 32 square feet in nonresidential zones.

(5) Banner and Other Temporary Signs.

(a) Special sale or promotional signs, including but not limited to banners and inflatables, designed to advertise or promote the opening of a new business, specific events, merchandise and/or prices, shall be allowed in all zones where such uses are allowed. All such signs shall be removed immediately upon termination of the sale or event that they advertise.

(b) All banner signs must be attached to the facade, wall or window of the building which includes the business which they advertise, except that for outdoor vehicle display businesses banner signs may also be attached to a fence or pole.

(c) No business shall have more than two such signs for every 600 lineal feet of street frontage, except that for outdoor vehicle display businesses there shall be no limitation for vertical pole banners.

(d) The total sign size shall not exceed 50 percent of the size of the permitted facade sign and shall not count towards the total allowable sign area for a particular property.

(e) Balloons shall not exceed a height above grade of eight feet. On weekends only, for outdoor vehicle displays when permitted in any zone, balloons shall not exceed a height above grade of 75 feet, provided they shall be anchored/tethered from all property lines one foot for each foot in height.

(6) Community Events Signs. Signs announcing community events relating to tourism or downtown promotion, such as a fair, farmers’ market or parade, may be permitted to locate over public rights-of-way within the CBD and CG zones. A banner may also contain a community message such as, “Welcome to Puyallup,” or “Welcome to Downtown Puyallup.” Such banners shall not advertise or promote any business or the sale of any product or commodity. Banners shall only be suspended over sidewalks or streets at locations where the city has provided a banner-mounting facility pursuant to good engineering practices and shall be consistent with the paramount purpose of public rights-of-way to provide safe and convenient traffic circulation. Alternatively, such signs may be permitted to be attached to the wall of a building subject to approval by the community development director.

(7) Sandwich Board Signs within Public Rights-of-Way. When allowed within a specific zone, temporary signs not otherwise permitted may be placed within public rights-of-way for the express purpose of directing persons to a premises, subject to the following requirements:

(a) Maximum sign area: six square feet per side.

(b) Maximum sign height: 36 inches measured from the lowest adjoining grade within one foot of the sign to the top of the sign.

(c) Signs shall only be displayed during the hours the premises or business is open to the general public, but in any event no earlier than 9:00 a.m. or later than 7:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. or later than 7:00 p.m. in C and M zones), and shall be removed from the right-of-way between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

(d) There shall be no more than three signs per premises in R zones and no more than one sign per business in C or M zones. All signs within C and M zones shall be located directly adjacent to the property on which the advertised business is located.

(e) No sign shall be placed in median strips, planter/traffic islands, or in the roadway; shall block a sidewalk; shall encroach into any portion of a required handicapped ramp; shall be located closer than two feet from the face of curb to the nearest sign edge or six feet from the edge of pavement to the nearest sign edge along roadways with no curb.

(f) Signs shall be of durable materials and construction, sufficient to withstand any environmental condition that may cause the sign to become detached from the ground.

(g) Due to the temporary nature of the sign(s) and the requirement for daily placement and removal in accordance with the requirements set forth in subsection (7)(c) of this section, it shall be the responsibility of the sign owner to ensure proper placement. City staff is authorized to immediately remove and destroy any signs found to be in violation of the requirements of this section. (Ord. 3015 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2866 § 8, 2006; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2704 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.075 Nonconforming signs.

Signs lawfully in existence as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter may remain and be maintained, even if a particular sign would not otherwise be permitted under this code. Whenever a business, person, enterprise or institution for which existing signage does not conform to the requirements of this chapter seeks to structurally alter or enlarge an existing sign, or erect or install a new sign, the provisions of this section shall apply.

(1) In the event a nonconforming sign is removed, or structurally altered, pursuant to installation of a new sign, all applicable sections of the Puyallup sign ordinance (Chapter 20.60 PMC) shall apply to the new proposal. The alteration or enlargement of existing signs or the installation or erection of new signs shall not increase the degree of nonconformity, in terms of number, size, height, setback or any other applicable regulation.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to temporary signs or to illegal signs. Temporary signs that do not comply with the requirements of this chapter, and other illegal signs, shall be removed within 30 days after notification of the city of the sign’s nonconformity.

(3) Billboards which do not conform to the requirements of this chapter shall be removed, altered or replaced so as to fully conform to the requirements of this chapter within nine years after the date of installing the billboard, or six years after notification of the city of the billboard’s nonconformity, whichever is longer, or at whatever time application is made for building or other permits for improvements to the property which exceed $60,000 in value. Nonconforming billboards shall not be altered so as to constitute an increase in the height and/or structural dimensions of the billboard.

(4) Nonconforming Billboards in Newly Annexed Properties. All billboards nonconforming as to the requirements of this chapter located on newly annexed properties to the city shall be fully removed and/or brought into conformance within six years of final city approval of the applicable annexation action, or at whatever time application is made for building or other permits for improvements to a property which exceed $60,000 in value.

(5) Signs in existence as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter that would have been legal under former regulations, but are now nonconforming, may be issued a permit to establish their legal status; provided, that application for such a permit must be made within 60 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 3119 § 54, 2016; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2704 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.080 Administration and enforcement.

The community development director or his/her designee shall be responsible for administration of this chapter and is authorized to formulate procedures consistent with its intent and purpose.

(1) Administrative Adjustments. The community development director shall have the authority to grant or deny requests for adjustments to the provisions of this chapter upon application in accordance with procedures set forth in Chapter 20.86 PMC, whenever such provisions are unduly prohibitive to reasonable use of property as intended by this chapter.

(a) The director may grant an adjustment of no greater than 10 percent (rounded to the nearest foot or square foot); provided, that no increase in the number of signs shall be allowed;

(b) An adjustment shall not be materially detrimental to other properties or land uses in the surrounding area;

(c) The adjustment shall be consistent with the general purpose and intent of this chapter and/or the comprehensive plan.

(2) Removal of Signs. The community development director may order the removal of any sign erected, installed, or maintained in violation of this chapter. Where there is no immediate threat to public safety or welfare, written notice shall be first given to the sign owner, the sign permittee, or the owner of the property where the sign is placed. However, where any sign is located in the public right-of-way in violation of this chapter, it shall be subject to immediate removal. Illegal temporary signs in the public right-of-way shall not be stored and are subject to disposal by the city.

(3) Civil Penalties. In addition to any other remedy available to the city, a person violating or failing to comply with any provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the procedures for violation, hearing, and penalties as set forth in Chapter 20.95 PMC. (Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).

20.60.090 Innovative sign design review.

(1) A design review process is hereby established to allow for innovation and flexibility in sign design when found to be compatible with the character of the surrounding area and the overall character of the city. The intent of this section is to provide criteria by which a sign that does not comply with one or more standards of this code (excluding the height of freestanding sign(s)) may be permitted, subject to design review, public notification, and findings of consistency with the guidelines included herein.

(2) The design review and historic preservation board shall review all requests for design review when applications are so made to the development services department and shall issue a recommendation to either approve, deny, or approve with modifications or conditions.

(3) The development services director shall consider the recommendations of the design review board and issue his/her written decision within 10 working days of receipt of the recommendation. The decision of the director may be appealed pursuant to the appeal provisions of Chapter 20.87 PMC.

(4) The following criteria shall be considered by the board in making its recommendation and by the director when issuing a decision:

(a) Whether the proposed sign is compatible with the architectural design of the building and structures on the same parcel;

(b) Whether the sign is compatible with the character of the surrounding area, including materials and other elements of the area;

(c) Whether the sign is consistent in size and orientation with the character of the surrounding area (i.e., pedestrian- or automobile-oriented commercial districts);

(d) Whether the sign is consistent with the purpose and intent of the comprehensive plan and this code (as outlined by PMC 20.60.001) and is not a prohibited sign type as defined by PMC 20.60.020;

(e) Whether the applicant is reducing in either number, size or location some otherwise allowable sign(s) on the site, where applicable. In no event shall this section be used to exceed maximum height of any freestanding signage;

(f) Whether the deviation is necessary to provide relief from the standards of this code due to special circumstances;

(g) Whether the proposed sign demonstrates an innovative method of meeting the scope and purpose of the sign ordinance, as defined by PMC 20.60.001. The architectural design of the signage shall be evaluated relative to PMC 20.60.001 and the comprehensive plan, as well as all other applicable sections of this code. (Ord. 3119 § 55, 2016; Ord. 3051 § 14, 2013; Ord. 2821 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2783 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2649 § 1, 2000).


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Prior legislation: Ords. 2147, 2196, 2268, 2316, 2346, 2362, 2393, 2399, 2449, 2454, 2468, 2510, 2513 and 2615.