Chapter 10.50
SIGNS

Sections:

10.50.010    Purpose.

10.50.015    Sign chart.

10.50.020    Signs exempt from the regulations of this chapter.

10.50.030    Minimum regulations.

10.50.040    Prohibitions.

10.50.050    Removal when function or business ceases or moves.

10.50.060    –

10.50.170    Repealed.

10.50.200    General provisions.

10.50.220    Severability.

10.50.010 Purpose.

All signs, where allowed by the WCC, shall meet the following standards unless otherwise regulated within this title. The intent 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 enhance the visual character and identity of the city and reduce clutter and visual distraction.

(3) 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.

(4) To further the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan.

(5) To preserve the right of free speech exercised through the use of signs containing noncommercial messages.

(6) To implement community design standards, consistent with the goals and policies of the city of Wenatchee’s comprehensive plan.

(7) To promote the community’s appearance by regulating the number, design, character, location, type, quality of materials, scale, illumination, and maintenance of signs to maximize their positive visual impact.

(8) To provide for the orderly and reasonable elimination of existing signs that are not in conformance with this chapter to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.015 Sign chart.

A sign chart is established and contained herein as a tool for the purpose of determining the specific sign standards applicable in each zoning district.

Sign Chart 

P = Permitted C = Conditional

Sign Type

Commercial Districts

Mixed Use Districts

Residential Districts

Overlay Zones

CBD

NWBD/SWBD

CN

I

WMU

OMU

RMU

RF

RS

RL

RM

RH

HEO

CSO

MRC

IO

PO

RRO

Monument signs

Landscaping required pursuant to WCC 10.50.030(22).

Quantity

 

One per street frontage

P

P

P

P

P

P

P1

 

P1

P1

P1

P1

P2

P

P1,3

P

P

P

Copy Area

 

25 square feet

 

 

P

 

 

 

P1

 

P1

P1

P1

P1

 

 

P1,3

 

P

P

• 25 square feet for less than 150 feet of street frontage.

• 40 square feet for greater than 150 feet of street frontage.

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

P

 

 

 

 

• 40 square feet for less than 300 feet of street frontage.

• 100 square feet for greater than 300 feet of street frontage.

 

P

 

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

Height

 

Eight feet

P

P

 

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

P

 

P

 

 

Six feet

 

 

P

 

 

 

P1

 

P1

P1

P1

P1

 

 

P1,3

 

P

P

Wall Signs

No sign shall extend above the eaves, parapet, cornice, or soffit of any building.

Quantity

 

One per storefront or facade

P

 

P

 

P

P

P1

 

 

 

 

 

P2,4

P

P1,3

P

P

P

Unlimited

 

P

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 square feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 percent of facade or up to 60 square feet, whichever is less

P

 

P

 

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2,4

P

P1,3

P

P

P

Unlimited

 

P

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projecting Sign

Maximum sign size is 24 total square feet.

No sign shall extend above the eaves, parapet, cornice, or soffit of a single story.

No sign shall extend beyond the sill line of a second story window.

Signs overhanging the public right-of-way must have a revocable permit.

Minimum eight feet above adjacent grade; may project a maximum of five feet from building facade.

Quantity

 

Used in place of a wall sign for each facade

P

 

P5

 

P

P5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

P1,3

P

P

P

One per building facade

 

P

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

 

 

Freestanding Sign

Maximum sign height is 30 feet; maximum quantity is one per street frontage.

Landscaping required pursuant to WCC 10.50.030(22).

Copy Area

 

• 25 square feet for less than 100 feet of street frontage.

• 60 square feet for greater than 100 feet of street frontage.

 

P

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 square feet

 

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs with Effects

P

P

 

P

C

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

P

 

P

C

C

Electronic Message Center/Reader Boards

 

Installed as part of a permanent sign structure

P

P

 

P

C6

P6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

P

C

C

Signs Exempt by Zone

*additional exempt signs listed at WCC 10.50.020

Real Estate Signs

 

Six square feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

P

P

P

P

 

 

P

 

 

P

32 square feet

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

P

P

 

P

P

 

Election/Political Signs

Must be removed within one week after election.

Six square feet

 

 

 

 

 

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

P

P

P

32 square feet

P

P

P

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On-Site Portable Signs

Sign size/copy area and height shall be limited based on the applicable sign type and zoning district.

Shall be constructed so as to avoid being blown or washed from their intended location and so as to avoid tipping or falling.

Shall not block intersections or otherwise constitute a public safety hazard.

Placement on the public right-of-way without permission of the city of Wenatchee will result in the immediate removal of the sign from the public right-of-way.

Must be removed at the end of the day, except vinyl banners.

Allowed

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

P

P

 

Off-Site Community Banners

Maximum quantity is one sign per lot.

Used for civic or not-for-profit events only.

Displayed for a maximum of a 30-day period and the date of initial posting shall be clearly written on the face of the sign.

Allowed

P

P

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

P

 

 

NOTES:

1 Identification signs for on-site development only; on-site and off-site advertising is prohibited.

2 Backlit signs with letters or graphics on a plastic sheet (can sign) are prohibited. Individually lit letters are allowed.

3 No backlit signs are permitted (can signs).

4 Not to extend beyond the sill line of a second story window.

5 Shall not project over the public right-of-way extended vertically and no closer than two feet of the curb.

6 May be installed as part of a wall or monument sign only.

(Ord. 2011-30 § 5)

10.50.020 Signs exempt from the regulations of this chapter.

(1) One temporary unlighted sign not exceeding six square feet in area outside the public right-of-way;

(2) The identification of a premises bearing only property numbers, post box numbers, names of occupants or premises, or other identification and three square feet or less;

(3) Legal notice, identification, informational, or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies and six square feet or less;

(4) Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts, or moving lights and six square feet or less;

(5) Signs directing traffic and providing parking instructions and customer information signs, legible from on site only, on private property that bear no advertising matter, six square feet or less;

(6) Signs identifying significant historical locations, six square feet or less;

(7) Time or temperature sign six square feet or less;

(8) Signs six square feet or less used to direct persons to temporary activities, such as, but not limited to, garage/yard sales, open houses, real estate sales and estate sales, in residential zoning districts;

(9) One residential subdivision or development identification monument sign less than five feet in height with a copy area less than 25 square feet and outside of all setbacks;

(10) Additional exempt signs are listed in WCC 10.50.015, Sign chart. (Ord. 2011-30 § 6; Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.030 Minimum regulations.

All signs shall be an accessory, conditional, or prohibited use as listed in Chapter 10.10 WCC, District Use Chart, provided all applicable provisions of this chapter and the WCC are met.

(1) Except as otherwise permitted by this title, no sign shall be erected, altered or relocated without approval by the city;

(2) No one may apply for a sign permit unless the applicant has ownership or control of the subject property on which the sign is to be located;

(3) Applicant shall certify, in applying for a sign, that applicant has ownership or control of the subject property, which representation, if false, shall constitute a violation of this title subject to WCC 10.04.050, Administration and enforcement;

(4) No sign permit shall be required for repainting, cleaning, or other normal maintenance and repair of a sign, or for sign face and copy changes that do depict on-site business;

(5) Sign permits shall be required for all alterations or modifications of a sign’s size, structure of the sign, or the addition of “effects” to the sign;

(6) In all residential and mixed use zones, signs within 25 feet from driveways, points of access, and uncontrolled intersections shall be less than three feet in height from the elevation of the public right-of-way and set back a minimum of five feet from the public right-of-way. (A controlled intersection is one that has lights in all directions controlling the flow of pedestrians and traffic.);

(7) Signs must not impede visual access to the street or pedestrian ways;

(8) “Sign copy area” means the entire area within a single continuous perimeter composed of squares or rectangles which enclose the extreme limits of the advertising message, logos, symbols or letters on a sign. The copy area of a projecting and/or freestanding sign is calculated as one face only. Overall cabinet or sign backing is limited to 20 percent of sign copy area (e.g., a 60-square-foot sign can have a 72-square-foot cabinet);

(9) “Effect” means any portion of a sign designed to move mechanically, electrically, or by any other means to easily rotate, alternate, or move messages, images, graphics, lighting, or any portion of a sign or sign feature. The following could be considered types of effects:

(a) A moving object, thing, person, animal, or happening through apparent movement including rotation;

(b) Leading the eye by producing lineal or circular movement;

(c) Random twinkling of lights;

(d) Spelling out a word one letter, number, or character at a time and may include flashing the completed word or words;

(e) Flashing or intermittent sign illumination;

(f) Animation or scenes similar to television commercials;

(10) For permitted signs with “effects,” the interval between the effects shall be uniform in pattern so that the sequence is even and regular or the “effect” produces an apparent motion that is continuous, even, and smooth flowing;

(11) No “effect” shall produce a motion exceeding 10 feet per second plus an additional five feet per second for each 10-foot distance over 20 feet between the sign and the nearest adjacent street or right-of-way, up to a maximum of 50 feet per second;

(12) Any “effect” time and temperature sign shall have a three-second or shorter time frame between effect changes for display of time and temperature only, except for signs displaying both time and temperature simultaneously;

(13) No “effect” sign shall revolve at a speed greater than five revolutions per minute;

(14) Any sign with “effect(s)” must be a minimum distance of at least 250 feet measured along the center of the street from any other sign with “effect(s)”;

(15) Any illuminated sign located on a lot adjacent to or across the street from any residential district and that may be visible within 200 feet of any residential zoning district or overlay shall not be illuminated between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.;

(16) Any illuminated sign in a mixed use district (RMU, OMU, CN, WMU, and MRC) shall only be illuminated during normal business hours;

(17) Any external illumination sign shall be shielded and directed in such a manner as to not shine directly or trespass onto adjoining properties or across a street;

(18) For purposes of illumination, all lights attached to the sign in any manner shall not extend more than five feet from the sign structure;

(19) If legally established free standing (monument or pole signs) nonconforming on-site sign(s) exists on the subject property, the existing on-site sign(s) must be used or removed before any new on-site sign may be placed, except where permitted by this chapter;

(20) Legal nonconforming signs shall not advertise off-premises businesses or activities, except for legally established billboards;

(21) Nonconforming on-site and off-site signage, see also WCC 10.72.050, Nonconforming signs;

(22) All freestanding and monument signs shall be landscaped at a ratio of one square foot of gross sign area to one and one-half square feet of landscaping as follows:

(a) Landscaping shall be planted at or surrounding the base of the sign;

(b) On monument signs, landscaping shall be located and visible from the sides and behind the face of the sign with low lying ground cover in front of the sign;

(c) The landscaping area shall be a minimum of 36 square feet with no dimension less than six feet;

(d) Sign landscaping may be counted toward other required landscaping, provided the landscaping meets the applicable requirements of Chapter 10.62 WCC, Landscaping and Screening. (Ord. 2011-30 § 7; Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.040 Prohibitions.

(1) Rotary beacon lights, zip lights, strobe lights, or similar devices shall not be attached to, nor be incorporated in, any sign or in any use where the intent of their use is to draw attention;

(2) No sign shall be illuminated or use lighting where such lighting is directed at any portion of a traveled street or will otherwise cause glare or impair the vision of the driver of a motor vehicle or otherwise interfere with the operation thereof;

(3) No sign shall use an “effect(s)” to create an unduly distracting and hazardous condition to a motorist, pedestrian, or the general public;

(4) Signs on Vehicles. Signs attached to or located on a stationary vehicle or trailer which is visible from a public right-of-way and placed predominately and/or moved to a specific location for the primary purpose of displaying any sign. This prohibition does not prohibit the identification of a firm or principal products on a vehicle operating during the normal course of business;

(5) Signs attached to trees or public utility poles;

(6) Signs mounted on public property or within the public right-of-way, except when permitted by this title. (Ord. 2011-30 § 8; Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.050 Removal when function or business ceases or moves.

(1) If a building, structure or premises is vacated for a 12-month period of time, the owner of said property shall be responsible for removing all nonconforming on-site signs, except for those signs recognized by the historic preservation board as having a significant historical value to the community;

(2) Any sign that is recognized as having significant historical value to the community by the historic preservation board may be moved to another building or location within the central business district, South Wenatchee business district, and North Wenatchee business district;

(3) If a sign advertising a business that moves or ceases operations from the subject property, the owner of said property shall be responsible for removing all the text and display relating to advertising the business within 30 days. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.060 Residential mixed use.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.070 Neighborhood commercial.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.080 Central business district.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.090 North Wenatchee business district.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.100 South Wenatchee business district.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.110 Industrial district.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.120 Waterfront mixed use.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.130 Office mixed use.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.140 Mixed residential corridor.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.150 Historic entertainment overlay.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.160 Columbia Street overlay.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.170 Multifamily development in the RS, RL, RM, and RH districts.

Repealed by Ord. 2011-30. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.200 General provisions.

(1) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, the building official, or other city employee as authorized by the director, may remove without notice any sign which is in violation of any provision of this chapter and located in the public right-of-way, or which is posted on a utility pole.

(2) Neither the city nor any of its agents shall be liable for any damage to the sign when removed under this section.

(3) Nothing in this chapter shall relieve any person, corporation, firm, or entity from responsibility for damages to any other person suffering physical injury or damage to property as a result of the installation, display, maintenance, removal or inspection of any sign authorized under this chapter. The city and its employees and officials shall assume no liability for such injury or damage resulting from the authorization of any permit or inspection implementing the provisions of this chapter.

(4) For all purposes hereinafter, the owner of the premises shall be presumed to be the landowner of all signs thereon, unless the contrary shall appear from facts brought to the attention of the director. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))

10.50.220 Severability.

If any section, subsection, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, that decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 2010-03 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2007-34 § 2 (Exh. A))