Chapter 12.80


12.80.010    Purpose.

12.80.020    Definitions.

12.80.030    Memorial sign request for consideration.

12.80.040    City review of memorial sign application.

12.80.050    Location, placement, ownership, and wording of memorial signs.

12.80.060    Multiple memorial sign applications.

12.80.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the roadside memorial sign program is to:

A. Provide families of persons fatally injured in crashes within the public road right-of-way in West Richland with a process to sponsor a memorial sign to be installed near the scene of the crash; and

B. Ensure memorial signs are located and installed in a safe and consistent manner; and

C. Increase public awareness of the need to drive safely. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].

12.80.020 Definitions.

Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this chapter shall be set forth in this section.

“Close proximity” shall mean as determined by the city where the placement of a memorial sign can be placed so as not to create a safety concern and can be placed on a pole in a suitable location. Placement on any structure such as bridges, utility poles, etc., is not allowed.

“Deceased” shall mean any person who was fatally injured in a vehicle involved crash in West Richland.

“Immediate family member” shall mean a spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, mother, stepmother, father, stepfather, grandparent, step grandparent, or lineal descendent of the deceased.

“Loss of life event” shall mean a vehicle involved crash within the city’s road right-of-way in West Richland resulting in fatal injury.

“Representative” shall mean a person authorized by and acting in the interest of an immediate family member.

“Single crash site” shall mean the site of all vehicle crashes that occur within 1,000 feet from each other, regardless of when they occur. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].

12.80.030 Memorial sign request for consideration.

An immediate family member or their representative may request consideration to sponsor a sign memorializing the deceased by submitting a city memorial sign permit application to the city for a loss of life event that occurred within the city of West Richland’s road right-of-way within the last two years that was not a result of law enforcement actions. The documentation provided by the applicant must establish that the deceased died as a result of a vehicle crash at a specific location in the city of West Richland. In the absence of the accident report, the applicant may produce other information or documents that are equally reliable. The city, in its sole discretion, shall determine whether other information or documents provided in lieu of an accident report are sufficiently reliable. Applications that are not complete, on forms not furnished by the city, or are for private streets will not be accepted. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].

12.80.040 City review of memorial sign application.

The roadside memorial sign program shall be administered by the public works department in partnership with the police department. Within 90 days after the city receives a correctly completed application submitted pursuant to this program, the city shall complete its review of the application, inspect the proposed site for the roadside memorial sign, and shall send a written decision to the applicant indicating approval with the proposed location of the memorial sign or provide a written decision denying the request indicating why. Approval shall be granted by the city if all the following criteria are met and conditioned on compliance with the criteria listed in WRMC 12.08.050:

A. A complete application has been accepted by the city;

B. Loss of life event occurred within two years of the date of a completed application;

C. Event involved vehicle crash that resulted in loss of life;

D. Application was submitted by an immediate family member of the deceased or their representative;

E. The deceased’s loss of life was not part of law enforcement action against the deceased;

F. Placement of the sign does not create a safety issue;

G. No other memorial signs exist within 1,000 feet of the proposed placement location (except as allowed in WRMC 12.80.060); and

H. Roadside memorial sign fee per the city’s master fee schedule has been paid. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].

12.80.050 Location, placement, ownership, and wording of memorial signs.

A. Once an application has been approved, the applicant must pay within 30 days the fee set forth in the city of West Richland’s master fee schedule to cover the cost of administration, fabrication, and installation of the memorial sign and any name plaques that may be requested.

B. The city will select, purchase, install, remove, and retain ownership of the memorial signs and name plaques.

C. Memorial signs shall not exceed 24 inches by 30 inches. Signs will be installed in accordance with applicable city policies and standards for signs. This includes posts, hardware, materials, vertical, longitudinal, and lateral positionings. Name plaques shall not exceed 24 inches by 12 inches and shall be installed directly below the memorial sign.

D. One of the following six messages, relating to the cause of the crash, is available for memorial sign installation. The city, at its discretion, shall determine whether the requested message is related to the cause of the crash:

1. Please Don’t Drink and Drive.

2. Please Drive Safely.

3. Seat Belts Save Lives.

4. Please Watch for Pedestrians.

5. Please Watch for Bicyclists.

6. Please Watch for Motorcyclists.

E. A secondary name plaque displays the message “In memory of ______” (deceased’s name). Up to three secondary name plaques may accompany a single memorial sign upon city approval.

F. Memorial signs shall be placed only in city road right-of-way, on the right side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic. Signs shall not be installed in the median of any city roadway or the center of any roundabout.

G. Memorial signs shall be placed in close proximity to where the accident occurred at the location where the city determines it is safe and practical to do so.

H. Only one sign shall be installed per 1,000 feet of roadway for each direction of traffic except as allowed per WRMC 12.80.060. However, a memorial sign will not be placed in a location where the memorial sign obstructs the visibility of an existing traffic sign or traffic signal, or impairs sight distance below adopted city standards. Signs will not be placed on any bridge or where these signs cause any concern or obstruction to any public appurtenance.

I. The city reserves the right to relocate a memorial signs and name plaques during the five-year period as needed for capital improvements, maintenance activities, changes conditions, or any other reason deemed necessary by the city.

J. The city will not replace the memorial sign or name plaque should it be vandalized, damaged, or found missing; however, the applicant may apply for a new sign, including payment of the fee set forth in the city of West Richland’s master fee schedule. Any replacement signs will remain until the end of the original five-year period.

K. Unless it is determined that public safety requires the sign be removed, the city of West Richland will allow the sign to remain in the road right-of-way for five years after its placement, or until the city determines that the condition of the sign has deteriorated to a point where it is no longer serviceable, whichever occurs first. The city shall remove and retain ownership of the sign after removal. The city may properly dispose of the sign unless applicant has requested, in writing on the application, possession of the sign after its removal. The applicant shall be responsible for promptly obtaining the sign from the city after its removal. Any signs left unclaimed after 30 days will be disposed of. The request to take possession of the sign is incumbent on the applicant.

L. Unattended candles, balloons, flowers and or any other items shall not be allowed at the memorial sign location, on the memorial sign or within the city’s road right-of-way and may be immediately removed by the city. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].

12.80.060 Multiple memorial sign applications.

Only one memorial sign will be installed per single crash site. Should a sign already exist, an additional name plaque may be added to an existing sign upon city approval. The city may approve applications for an additional memorial sign at an existing crash site under the following circumstances:

A. Additional name plaques added to an existing memorial sign would exceed the maximum of three name plaques; or

B. A second memorial sign can be installed across the roadway from the existing memorial sign so that the second sign installation faces oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. [Ord. 1-23 § 1, 2023].