Chapter 21B.45
SIGNAGE

Sections:

21B.45.010    Purpose and intent.

21B.45.020    Applicability.

21B.45.030    Permit required.

21B.45.040    Application information.

21B.45.050    Prohibited signs.

21B.45.060    Exempt signs.

21B.45.070    Interpretation of tables and design standards.

21B.45.080    Table of allowed sign types and design review.

21B.45.090    Review and modifications to standards.

21B.45.100    Sign area calculation.

21B.45.110    General sign design standards.

21B.45.120    Design standards for specific sign types.

21B.45.130    Design and compatibility review.

21B.45.140    Temporary signs.

21B.45.150    Legal nonconforming signs.

21B.45.160    Variance.

21B.45.170    Enforcement.

21B.45.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to enhance and protect the economic vitality and visual environment of the Town Center, allow for the expression of free speech, and promote general safety and welfare by:

(1) Regulating the type, number, location, size, and illumination of signs; and

(2) Recognizing the purpose of signs for identification and economic well-being of businesses in the Town Center by supporting a full range of signs necessary for commercial services in the Town Center; and

(3) Ensuring a safe driving environment; and

(4) Recognizing and protecting the use of the public right-of-way as a forum for noncommercial speech; and

(5) Facilitating fair and consistent content-neutral enforcement; and

(6) Safeguarding and enhancing property values, attracting new residents, and encouraging orderly development; and

(7) Allowing for limited temporary commercial signage in the public right-of-way to provide commercial information to consumers to enable them to make vital decisions of purchasing a home, and to further the critical public goal of providing for equal access to housing; and

(8) Upholding the goals and policies of the Sammamish Comprehensive Plan and the Town Center Subarea Plan; and

(9) Promoting signs within the Town Center that contribute to the character of the Town Center, are integrated with natural surroundings and landscaping, and exhibit an intimate human scale; and

(10) Providing necessary signage to support central gathering places, increase social interaction, and encourage walkability; and

(11) Regulating signs in a manner that is timely, flexible, predictable, fair to all and that results in superior development; and

(12) Creating a vibrant and inviting commercial node that is reflected in the character and design of Town Center signage. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.020 Applicability.

Except as provided for in SMC 21B.45.060, Exempt signs, all signs shall be subject to the design provisions of this chapter; provided, that specific sign standards and design requirements may be further established through a unified zone development or building permit review and shall be determined during the applicable review process. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.030 Permit required.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no sign shall be erected, altered, or relocated within the Town Center without a permit issued by the City.

(2) No permit shall be required for repainting in like colors, cleaning, or other normal maintenance and repair of a permitted sign, or of sign face and copy changes that do not alter the size or structure of the sign or compliance with the design standards. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.040 Application information.

The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that a proposed sign(s) complies with this chapter as follows:

(1) All new signs requiring a permit or approval pursuant to SMC 21B.45.030 shall provide, in a form established by the City, at a minimum an accurate plan with complete dimensions, location, size, color, shape, materials, type of illumination, size and style of lettering, copy design and the proposed manner of installation. Additional information may be required as reasonably necessary for approval by the director.

(2) The size and location of every existing sign on the premises shall be noted.

(3) If a unified zone development plan was previously approved by the City and included sign approvals, an applicant whose sign conforms to that plan may refer to it in the application and may omit detailed drawings unless specifically requested to provide them.

(4) If design and compatibility review is required pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080, the applicant shall submit a compatibility analysis addressing the design criteria enumerated in SMC 21B.45.130, Design and compatibility review. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.050 Prohibited signs.

Except as indicated by this chapter, the following signs or displays are prohibited:

(1) Any sign that is otherwise allowed, but does not comply with the provisions of this chapter;

(2) Signs attached to a fence;

(3) Signs which, by reason of their size, location, movement, content, coloring, or manner of illumination, may be confused with traffic control signs or signals;

(4) Temporary signs except as specifically allowed in SMC 21B.45.140;

(5) Except as specifically allowed, signs located in the public right-of-way, or within travel lanes or sidewalks, or attached to traffic control signs, utility or signal poles;

(6) Changing message center signs or signs containing moving graphics, text, or video, or that are flashing, moving, rotating, animated, or inflated;

(7) A sign that extends higher than the peak of the roof, ridge line, or parapet of a building to which it is attached;

(8) Visible ballast boxes or other sign equipment;

(9) Posters, pennants, strings of lights, moving/flashing/blinking lights, balloons, searchlights, exposed electrical conduits, and other displays of a carnival nature, except on a limited basis as provided for in SMC 21B.45.140 as temporary business displays;

(10) Box or cabinet signs;

(11) Pole-mounted freestanding signs;

(12) Roof-mounted signs; and

(13) Billboards. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.060 Exempt signs.

The following signs or displays are exempted from the regulations under this chapter:

(1) Historic plaques not exceeding three square feet in area, and address numbers;

(2) Official or legal notices issued and posted by any public agency or court;

(3) Traffic control signs established by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or authorized by City of Sammamish department of public works;

(4) Plaques, tablets, or inscriptions, which are attached flat to the face of the building, which are nonilluminated, and which do not exceed four square feet in surface area;

(5) Incidental signs, which shall not exceed two square feet in surface area; provided, that said size limitation shall not apply to signs providing directions, warnings, or information when established and maintained by a public agency;

(6) Government flags; and

(7) Nonverbal religious symbols attached to a place of worship. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.070 Interpretation of tables and design standards.

(1) SMC 21B.45.080 determines whether a specific sign type is allowed in a zone district. The zone district and the public right-of-way are identified in the vertical column and the specific sign type is located on the horizontal row of these tables.

(2) If no symbol appears in the box at the intersection of the column and the row, the sign type is not allowed in that district, except for certain signs allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.140, Temporary signs.

(3) The review of all sign permit applications is administrative, and shall be conducted by the director of community development, subject to the review requirements identified below.

(4) If the number “1” appears in the box at the intersection of the column and the row, the sign type is allowed in that district subject to the sign design standards specified in SMC 21B.45.110, 21B.45.120, and the general requirements of the code.

(5) If the number “2” appears in the box at the intersection of the column and the row, the sign type is allowed subject to the sign design standards, general requirements, and the compatibility and design review specified in SMC 21B.45.130. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.080 Table of allowed sign types and design review.

(1) Table of Allowed Sign Types and Design Review for Town Center Zones.

 

TOWN CENTER ZONES

Sign Types

ROW

TC-A

TC-B

TC-C

TC-D

TC-E

Building-Mounted Signs:

Blade

2(1)

1

2

2

2

2

Opaque/Painted

 

2

2

2

2

2

Channel Letter/Shadow

 

2

2

 

 

 

Hanging

 

1

2

 

 

 

Marquee/Awning

 

2

2

 

 

 

Window

 

1

2

 

 

 

Freestanding Signs:

Community Banner

1

 

 

 

 

 

Directional (Pedestrian)

2

1

1

1

1

1

Directional (Vehicle)

2

1

1

1

1

1

Monument

 

2(2)

2

2

2

2

Changing Message Center

 

 

 

 

2

 

Development Conditions.

(1) Only allowed as part of a unified zone development plan application approved pursuant to Chapter 21B.95 SMC; and provided, that no sign shall extend into the vehicle travel lanes.

(2) Only allowed in the TC-A-4 and in the TC-A-5 zones.

(Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.090 Review and modifications to standards.

(1) All sign permits shall be approved administratively, subject to the permit review requirements of Chapter 20.05 SMC; provided, that:

(a) Signs subject to the Level 1 sign review shall be reviewed for compliance with this chapter but shall not be subject to the provisions of SMC 21B.45.130, Design and compatibility review;

(b) Signs subject to the Level 2 design and compatibility review requirements shall be reviewed for compliance with this chapter, including the provisions of SMC 21B.45.130, Design and compatibility review.

(2) Sign design may be reviewed and approved as part of a unified zone development plan review consistent with Chapter 21B.95 SMC, provided:

(a) Specific sign designs approved as part of a unified zone development plan will require a sign permit, but will not require additional design review at the time of permit application when in accordance with the approved unified zone development plan; or

(b) Additional design standards and guidelines may be adopted through the review process, subject to specific design review of signs at the time of building permit application. Additional design standards and guidelines adopted through the review process shall govern all subsequent sign design reviews including replacement signs.

(3) The director may approve applicant-proposed modifications of up to 25 percent of the sign area, height, width, and other dimensional standards as part of the Level 2 design and compatibility review process, pursuant to SMC 21B.45.130; provided, that any such approval shall be based upon an overall sign concept that is integrated with the building and is consistent with the goals of SMC 21B.45.130, Design and compatibility review. Applicant-proposed modifications to the number of signs allowed, illumination standards, the types of signs allowed, or sign modifications that would result in a sign that is not designed consistent with this purpose of this chapter shall not be considered.

(4) Applicants proposing a sign that is subject to the Level 1 basic sign review may choose to request a Level 2 design and compatibility review in order to take advantage of the director’s ability to modify sign standards, pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.100 Sign area calculation.

(1) Sign area shall be calculated as follows:

(a) Sign area for nonmonument freestanding signs shall be calculated by determining the total surface area of the sign as viewed from any single vantage point, excluding support structures.

(b) Sign area for pole signs shall be calculated by determining the total surface area of the sign as viewed from any single vantage point, excluding support structures.

(c) Sign area for letters or symbols painted or mounted directly on walls or monument signs or on the sloping portion of a roof shall be calculated by measuring the smallest single rectangle that will enclose the combined letters and symbols.

(d) Sign area for signs contained entirely within a cabinet and mounted on a wall, roof, or monument shall be calculated by measuring the front surface area of the cabinet.

(2) Maximum Sign Height.

(a) For a freestanding sign, the vertical distance measured from the surface of the ground to the highest point of the sign or sign structure; and

(b) For a building-mounted sign, the vertical distance measured from the building grade to the highest point of the sign or structure designed to support a sign.

(3) Sign clearance is measured from the surface of the ground to the lowest portion of the sign structure.

(4) Area of building facade is calculated by multiplying the width of the building or tenant space associated with the commercial use by the height of the building or tenant space.

(5) The lineal feet of building facade is calculated by measuring the width of the building or tenant space associated with the commercial use. Building modulation(s) are not included in the lineal feet of building facade. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.110 General sign design standards.

(1) General Requirements.

(a) All signs shall be constructed primarily of nonreflective materials;

(b) Building-mounted sign frames and other support structures shall be concealed or integrated into the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials such that they are not easily visible;

(c) Building-mounted signs must be in proportion to the size and design of the architectural features of the building facade;

(d) All signs, except directional signs and community banners, shall be on-premises signs;

(e) Maximum height for building-mounted signs shall not extend above the highest exterior wall upon which the sign is located; provided, that blade signs shall not exceed the roofline of the building along the facade that the blade sign is attached to;

(f) Total sign area for primary and secondary wall signs associated with uses occupying the ground level of a building shall not exceed 10 percent of the ground-level building facade associated with the sign; provided, that there is a minimum allowed sign area of 10 square feet and a maximum allowed sign area of 320 square feet;

(g) Total sign area for primary and secondary wall signs associated with uses that do not occupy the ground level of a building (e.g., the use is on the second or third story) shall not exceed five percent of the building facade associated with the use;

(h) Tenants are allowed one primary sign regulated by this chapter per building facade that contains a public entry (open during all business hours), up to a maximum of two facades;

(i) Tenants are allowed three secondary signs regulated by this chapter per building facade that contains a public entry (open during all business hours);

(j) Wall sign width shall not exceed a width of two-thirds of the lineal width of the building facade associated with the sign;

(k) Signs shall not cover windows, building trim, or architectural ornamentation.

(2) Illumination. Signs may be illuminated as follows:

(a) Illumination shall be limited to indirect lighting unless otherwise specifically allowed by the specific sign type design standards; provided, that no sign may be both internally and indirectly illuminated;

(b) Indirect sign illumination shall be no further away from the sign than the height of the sign;

(c) Indirectly illuminated signs shall be arranged so that no direct rays of light are projected from such artificial source into residences or any street right-of-way;

(d) Indirect sign light fixtures shall complement the design of the sign and building facades or structures associated with the sign;

(e) Indirect sign lighting shall be “full cutoff” and shall not result in direct illumination of the sky and adjacent properties and structures, and shall be designed to minimize reflected glare to adjacent properties and structures;

(f) Sign illumination shall automatically turn off within one hour of the close of the business, use, or activity; and

(g) Additional illumination standards may be contained in SMC 21B.45.120, Design standards for specific sign types, or adopted through the approval of a unified zone development plan application pursuant to Chapter 21B.95 SMC.

(3) Location. All signs shall be located as follows:

(a) Building-Mounted Signs.

(i) Shall be attached to the building facade of the business or commercial enterprise they are advertising;

(ii) Shall be located on the same floor as the business or commercial enterprise they are advertising; provided, that businesses that occupy more than one floor shall place the sign on the lowest floor occupied by the business;

(iii) Shall not exceed a height of 15 feet above grade if associated with a business located on the bottom floor of a building;

(iv) Shall not conflict with the ability to view any other sign associated with the building to which the sign is attached;

(v) Shall not conflict with vehicle travel lanes if blade or hanging signs extend into the street right-of-way as otherwise allowed by the City; and

(vi) May extend over the sidewalk if they are hanging or blade signs otherwise approved by the City.

(b) Freestanding Signs.

(i) May be located on private property with the consent of the private property owner, unless otherwise allowed in this chapter;

(ii) May be located in the public right-of-way pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1) and with the written approval by the City of Sammamish;

(iii) Located on private property shall be no further than five feet from the street; and

(iv) Shall not obstruct sight distances as prescribed by Chapter 14A.01 SMC, Public Works Standards Adopted, or by SMC 21B.25.200, Sight distance requirements.

(4) Sign Standards along 228th Avenue SE.

(a) The only signs visible from 228th Avenue SE shall be either monument signs no taller than six feet above grade or wall signs less than 30 square feet or 18 inches multiplied by the length of the front facade measured parallel to 228th Avenue SE (whichever is smaller);

(b) Except for wall signs on pedestrian-oriented facades built up to the sidewalk, all signs visible from 228th Avenue SE are limited to signs that advertise a commercial node or group of businesses rather than a single business; and

(c) For other design standards, see Chapter 21B.30 SMC. (Ord. O2018-466 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.120 Design standards for specific sign types.

(1) Blade and Hanging Signs. Blade signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that blade signs:

(a) Shall provide a minimum clearance of eight feet;

(b) With horizontally oriented text or graphics shall not project or be located more than five feet from the building facade;

(c) With vertically oriented text or graphics shall not project more than three feet from the building facade;

(d) Shall be limited to two square feet of sign area per each 10 lineal feet of applicable building frontage;

(e) Buildings that contain multiple tenants shall use a similar shape and mounting technique for hanging or blade signs;

(f) Sign text and graphics may use neon lettering, subject to provisions of SMC 21B.45.110(2); and further provided, that neon signs shall not be visible from 228th Avenue; and

(g) May be opaque signs containing internal illumination consistent with SMC 21B.45.110.

(2) Channel Letter, Opaque, Painted, and Shadow Signs. Channel letter, opaque, painted, and shadow signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that:

(a) Channel letter, opaque, painted, or shadow signs that are also wall signs shall be attached directly to the building facade, such that there is a maximum protrusion of one foot unless the sign incorporates sculptural elements or architectural devices. The sign frame shall be concealed or integrated into the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials;

(b) Channel letter and shadow signs shall only be wall signs. Opaque and painted signs may be wall signs, hanging, or blade signs;

(c) Lettering on opaque signs may be internally illuminated where the light only shines through the letters;

(d) Buildings that contain multiple tenants shall use a consistent sign design in terms of lettering, size, color, and style;

(e) Shadow signs may be illuminated by reflected lighting against the building facade located behind the sign letters or graphics;

(f) Channel letter signs shall be open, such that internal neon lighting is visible;

(g) Painted signs may be illuminated by indirect fully cutoff lighting;

(h) Wall sign lettering and graphics shall not exceed a maximum height of two feet.

(3) Marquee/Awning Signs. Marquee/awning signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that:

(a) The sign shall provide a minimum clearance of eight feet;

(b) The face of the sign (lettering and graphics) on a marquee or awning shall be on a parallel plane to the building facade;

(c) The awning or marquee supporting the sign shall extend at least three feet from the face of the building, shall be located over a pedestrian walkway or sidewalk, and shall be designed to provide protection from the weather, in addition to supporting the sign;

(d) Sign may be comprised of channel lettering, opaque, or shadow signs;

(e) Sign lettering and graphics shall not exceed two feet in height;

(f) Sign width shall be limited to no more than two-thirds of the width of the awning;

(g) Marquee signs may be placed on the front, above, or below the marquee associated with the sign; and

(h) Marquee and awning signs may be externally illuminated pursuant to SMC 21B.45.110(2).

(4) Window Signs. Window signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that:

(a) Permanent and temporary window signs are limited to a maximum of 25 percent of the window area in addition to the size limitations of SMC 21B.45.110(1);

(b) Signs shall be constructed of neon, stained glass, gold leaf, cut vinyl, or etched glass;

(c) Signs shall not be illuminated, except that a single internally lit neon or stained glass window sign is allowed.

Figure 21B.45.120a. Window sign example.

(5) Monument Signs. Monument signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that:

(a) One monument sign is allowed per commercial, institutional, or mixed-use building subject to the following:

(i) The sign may be up to six feet tall;

(ii) Monument signs for individual businesses should include the street address number with six-inch minimum lettering that is clearly readable from the street;

(iii) Lettering style, form, size, dimension, and color shall be consistent on signs identifying multiple tenants;

(b) One monument sign is allowed associated with a single-family subdivision or multifamily residential development, provided the sign shall not exceed a height of 48 inches;

(c) Monument signs may only be indirectly illuminated;

(d) Monument signs shall be designed incorporating natural materials (e.g., granite or basalt stone facing, wood, landscaping), muted colors, and design styles characteristic to the Northwest;

(e) The total sign area contained within a monument sign shall not exceed 48 square feet.

(6) Directional Signs. Directional signs may be allowed pursuant to SMC 21B.45.080(1); provided, that:

(a) Pedestrian-Oriented Directional Signs.

(i) Signs shall be located within 10 feet of the intersection of two or more pedestrian sidewalks or paths;

(ii) Signs shall not exceed a height of eight feet;

(iii) Sign lettering and graphics shall not exceed a height of six inches.

(b) Vehicle-Oriented Directional Signs.

(i) Signs shall be located within 20 feet of one of the following intersections:

(A) SE 4th Street and 228th Avenue SE;

(B) SE 8th and 228th Avenue SE; and

(C) As otherwise identified through a unified zone development plan application;

(ii) Signs shall not exceed a height of eight feet;

(iii) Sign lettering and graphics shall not exceed a height of 10 inches; and

(iv) All signs located on a street corner or driveway shall conform with Chapter 14A.01 SMC, Public Works Standards Adopted, and SMC 21B.25.200, Sight distance requirements. (Ord. O2018-466 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.130 Design and compatibility review.

(1) The goal of the Level 2 design and compatibility review is:

(a) To encourage interesting, creative, and unique sign design that is consistent with the character of the Town Center;

(b) To encourage signs that are timeless, create an intimate pedestrian environment, and incorporate natural materials (e.g., granite or basalt stone, wood, landscaping) or colors (muted earthen tones) associated with the Northwest; and

(c) To ensure that signs are part of, and consistent with, the overall design approach of a project.

(2) The following criteria are the parameters that will be used for reviewing signs for compatibility and design to achieve the goals listed above and the purpose of this chapter; these criteria are in addition to the sign design standards contained within SMC 21B.45.110 and 21B.45.120:

(a) Architectural Compatibility. The signs shall be compatible in size, proportion, shape, character, and quality of design with the exterior architecture of the premises and other structures in the immediate area.

(b) Simplicity. To the extent feasible, the sign should be graphic and with limited use of words, with the design emphasis on simplicity of style. A simple design or abstract graphic design is preferred. Similarly, a simple sign frame and supporting structure are preferred.

(c) Target Audience. Only one sign per building facade should be designed for vehicle and pedestrian use. Signs that are targeted primarily to serve pedestrians are generally preferred over signs targeted for both pedestrian and vehicle audiences.

(d) Identification. A commercial sign should be designed for the primary purpose of identifying a business or office.

(e) Fewer Signs. In the use of the total sign allowance at a particular premises, the use of a minimum number of signs is preferred to the use of many signs, so that a cluttered effect is avoided.

(f) Shape, Size, and Orientation. The shape of a sign should not conflict with the architectural lines of its setting. Signs should be directed toward the passing motorist or pedestrian. No sign should be designed to be readable or to attract motorists from a great distance.

(g) Illumination and Colors. A sign must not overpower its surroundings through hue, saturation, or brilliance or close combination of incompatible colors. Sources of illumination shall be screened from public view and shall be designed to avoid glare onto a street or adjacent property.

(h) Landscaping. Signs shall be placed with consideration for existing and future growth of trees and other landscaping. A monument sign reviewed under this section must be placed in a landscaped area or planter, with landscaping maintained.

(i) Compatibility with Adjacent Uses. The design, illumination, and location of a sign shall not impair the visibility or the design quality of existing, conforming signs, adjacent buildings, or adjacent uses. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.140 Temporary signs.

The following temporary signs or displays are permitted and, except as required by the International Building Code; Chapter 16.20 SMC, Construction Administrative Code; or as otherwise required in this chapter, do not require a sign permit, subject to the requirements set out in this chapter. All temporary signs shall not obstruct sight distances and shall follow the regulations prescribed by Chapter 14A.01 SMC, Public Works Standards Adopted, and by SMC 21B.25.200, Sight distance requirements. No temporary signs shall be located within center medians or within roundabouts and the amenity zone along the outside turning edge of a roundabout, traffic circles, or islands. Temporary signs shall not be illuminated.

(1) Noncommercial Temporary Signs. No sign permit is required to post a noncommercial temporary sign in the public right-of-way or on private property if it meets the requirements in this section and in the following table. Noncommercial temporary signs not conforming to the regulations of this section may be approved through a right-of-way permit.

(a) On roads that only have a shoulder and do not have a sidewalk, noncommercial temporary signs must be placed beyond the edge of the asphalt, and may not be placed so that any part of the sign extends over the asphalt.

(b) Noncommercial temporary signs shall not be placed in a manner that negatively affects the health of trees, shrubs, or other landscaping.

 

Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type I Public Right-of-Way (Non-A-Frame)

Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type II Public Right-of-Way (A-Frame)

Noncommercial Temporary Sign Type III – Private Property (All Sign Types)(1)

Size Limit

4 square feet

6 square feet

32 square feet

Height Limit

3 feet above grade

3.5 feet

8 feet

Duration

180 consecutive days per calendar year

5 consecutive days

180 consecutive days per calendar year

Development Conditions

(1) Placement of off-premises temporary signs on private property is subject to the landowner’s authorization.

(2) Commercial Temporary Signs.

(a) Temporary Commercial Displays. On-premises signs, posters, pennants, strings of lights, blinking lights, balloons, and searchlights are permitted for a period of up to 30 consecutive days once each calendar year for businesses located in Sammamish Town Center. Temporary commercial displays shall meet the placement and dimensional standards for the sign type utilized.

(b) Signs Located on Property with Active Construction.

(i) One nonilluminated, double-faced sign is permitted for each public street upon which the project fronts;

(ii) No sign shall exceed 32 square feet in surface area or 10 feet in height, or be located closer than 30 feet from the property line of the adjoining property; and

(iii) Signs must be removed by the date of first occupancy of the premises or one year after placement of the sign, whichever occurs first.

(3) Signs Associated with Properties for Sale or Rent.

 

Signs Located on Property with Individual Unit for Sale or Rent

Sign Quantity

One per public or private street frontage

Permitted Location

Public or private street frontage

Permitted Duration

Signs shall be removed within five days after closing of the sale, lease or rental of the property

Maximum Sign Area

8 square feet

Maximum Height

6 feet

 

Signs Located Off-Site of Property with Individual Unit for Sale or Rent (1)

Sign Quantity

One (2)

Permitted Location

Public right-of-way adjacent to the intersection of the primary vehicle entrance to the property and closest public street

Permitted Duration

Signs shall be removed within five days after closing of the sale, lease or rental of the property

Maximum Sign Area

6 square feet

 

Portable Off-Premises Residential Directional Signs for Active Open Houses for Sale or Rent (3)

Maximum Sign Area

6 square feet

Maximum Height

42 inches

 

Signs on Property with Commercial or Industrial Property for Sale or Rent

Sign Quantity

One

Permitted Location

Public or private street frontage

Maximum Sign Area

32 square feet

Maximum Height

12 feet

 

Signs on Newly Constructed Residential Developments for Sale

Sign Quantity

One

Permitted Location

Public or private street frontage

Maximum Sign Area

32 square feet

Maximum Height

12 feet

 

Directional Signs Located Off-Site of Newly Constructed Residential Developments for Sale

Sign Quantity

Two

Permitted Location

Private property (with permission); public right-of-way

Maximum Sign Area

16 square feet

Maximum Height

6 feet

Development Conditions.

(1)    Only allowed for properties with a unit for sale or rent that is not located adjacent to a public street.

(2)    When more than three off-site real estate signs are proposed for a location, the fourth proposed sign owner shall install and make available to other licensed real estate agents a frame, designed to allow for a minimum of six signs to be hung in a stacked fashion, to accommodate multiple signs; frames installed to hold multiple real estate signs shall not exceed a height of six feet; off-site signs located on a frame shall individually not exceed a height of one and one-half feet, a width of two feet, and an area of three square feet.

(3)    Such signs shall be permitted only when the agent or seller is in attendance at the property for sale or rent.

(4) Community Banner Signs.

(a) Community banner signs shall only be located on public banner poles erected by the City for that use;

(b) Letters on such signs shall not be less than 12 inches in height except for lettering associated with sponsor logos;

(c) Community banner signs shall not be illuminated or have any attention-getting lights; and

(d) Sponsor logos shall be limited to the name and corporate symbol of the sponsor.

(5) Pedestal Signs. Temporary pedestal signs are allowed in the TC-A and TC-B zones, subject to the following provisions:

(a) The sign shall be placed such that there is a minimum of a six-foot-wide pedestrian access around the sign;

(b) The sign shall not exceed a height of six feet;

(c) The sign face shall not exceed an area of three square feet;

(d) Sign lettering and graphics shall not exceed a height of four inches;

(e) The frames and other support structures shall be consistent with the building’s architectural character in terms of form, color, and materials such that there is a consistent design theme. (Ord. O2018-466 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2010-293 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.150 Legal nonconforming signs.

(1) Any sign located within the City limits on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title, or located in an area annexed to the City thereafter, which does not conform with the provisions of this code, shall be considered a legal nonconforming sign and is permitted, provided it also meets the following requirements:

(a) The sign was covered by a permit on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title if one was required under applicable law; or

(b) If no permit was required under applicable law for the sign in question, the sign was in all respects compliant with applicable law on the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this title.

(2) Loss of Legal Nonconforming Status. Nonconforming signs shall not be altered in size, shape, height, location, or structural components without being brought to compliance with the requirements of this code. Repair and maintenance are allowable, but may require a permit if structural components require repair or replacement. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.160 Variance.

(1) A sign variance is categorized as a Type 1 land use application and shall be subject to the requirements of SMC 21A.110.030. Variances from the terms of this chapter may be granted by director of community development upon complete application. Variances may be granted when, because of unique circumstances applicable to the property, including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, the strict interpretation of the regulations of this chapter deprives such property of privileges enjoyed by other property in the vicinity and under identical zoning classifications.

(2) The variance shall not constitute a grant of special privilege inconsistent with a limitation upon uses of other properties in the vicinity and zone in which such property is situated. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A))

21B.45.170 Enforcement.

(1) Compliance with Other Applicable Codes. All signs erected or altered under this chapter must comply with all applicable federal, state and local regulations relating to signs, including without limitation the provisions of the International Building Code as adopted in SMC 16.05.070 by the City. If any provision of this code is found to be in conflict with any provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code of the City, the provision which establishes the higher standard shall prevail.

(2) Sign Maintenance. All permanent and temporary signs must be kept in good repair and in a safe manner at all times. The sign owner must repair damaged or deteriorated signs within 30 days of notification by the City. The area surrounding freestanding signs must be kept free of litter and debris at all times.

(3) Inspection. Code enforcement officers are authorized to inspect any sign covered by this chapter for the purpose of inspection of the sign, its structural and electrical connections, and to ensure compliance with the provisions of this code. Such inspections shall be carried out during business hours, unless an emergency exists.

(4) Abatement. In addition to the abatement authority provided by proceedings under SMC 21A.115.030, the City or its agents may summarily remove any sign placed on a right-of-way or public property in violation of the terms of this chapter under the following circumstances:

(a) When a sign is determined by the City engineer or director of community development to present an immediate threat to the safety, health, and welfare of the public;

(b) When a sign is illegally placed within the public right-of-way, within a landscape median, landscape island, traffic circle, attached to a utility pole or City traffic sign, upon public sidewalks or roadway, or on any public building or structure when such facilities are located on public property or within public right-of-way;

(c) When a sign is determined by the City to be abandoned; provided, that the City must first provide 14 days’ notice to the underlying property owner or business owner that the sign is deemed abandoned;

(d) Disposal of Signs. When a sign has been removed by the City as authorized by this section, the City shall take the following actions:

(i) The City shall hold a sign for at least seven days. After seven days the City may dispose of the sign without prior notice to the sign owner. The City shall not be responsible for damage or loss during removal or storage of any signs in violation of this code. Sign owners wishing to reacquire possession of removed signs prior to their disposal shall pay an impoundment fee pursuant to SMC 23.100.010.

(ii) For signs with a fair market value exceeding $500.00, the City shall provide notice by mail to the following:

(A) Sign owner. If the mailing address can be determined by the City after reasonable efforts in investigation. “Reasonable efforts” shall include investigation efforts that take no longer than one-half hour of staff time.

(B) Underlying property owner. If the address of the sign owner cannot be reasonably ascertained, the City shall mail the notice to the underlying real property owner, as identified in the records of the King County assessor’s office. (Ord. O2018-462 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2017-436 § 1 (Att. A))