Chapter 19.02


19.02.010    Purpose.

19.02.020    Applicability.

19.02.030    Subareas – Sign development and standards.

19.02.040    Definitions.

19.02.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this title is to establish standards for the regulation of design, placement, size, renovation, and proper maintenance of all exterior signs and sign structures within the city of West Richland in order to:

A. Assist business in contributing to the economic well-being of the community.

B. Encourage signs and sign structures that are both functional and attractive and that clearly respond to the needs of the public in locating a residence or business establishment.

C. Promote traffic safety and protect the health, property, and general welfare of its citizens.

D. Ensure the development, standardization, and placement of informational signs.

E. Reduce distractions and obstructions from signs that would adversely affect traffic safety and to alleviate hazards caused by signs projecting over or encroaching upon public ways.

F. Support the goals and vision of the city of West Richland by managing the type, location, and proliferation of signs within the city limits.

Central business district:

G. Encourage signs that are pedestrian-oriented.

H. Encourage signs that are uniform in size and presentation. [Ord. 16-00 § 1, 2000].

19.02.020 Applicability.

These provisions are applicable to all properties within the city of West Richland. [Ord. 16-00 § 1, 2000].

19.02.030 Subareas – Sign development and standards.

Subareas in the city of West Richland will be encouraged to develop uniqueness within guidelines for signage and the signage within a subarea may be distinguished within the parameters of this title. City subareas may establish their own development standards including regulations pertaining to signage. The requirements for signs in subareas, however, may not be less restrictive than the requirements of this title unless the city council permits a subarea to be otherwise. [Ord. 16-00 § 1, 2000].

19.02.040 Definitions.

For the purpose of this title, certain abbreviations, terms, phrases, words, and their derivatives shall be construed as specified in this section.

“Address sign” means a sign displaying the street number or name of the occupant of the premises, or both.

“Advertising sign” means a sign directing attention to a business, profession, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the lot where the sign is located.

“Area of sign” means the sum of all display areas as determined by circumscribing the exterior limits on the mass of each display erected on one sign structure with a circle, triangle, or quadrangle connecting all extreme points. The structure supporting a sign or the painted or architectural background of a sign is not included in determining the area of the sign unless the structure or background is designed in a manner to visually amplify the sign itself.

“Awning” means an architectural projection roofed with flexible material supported from an exterior wall of a building and/or other sign structures.

“Banner” means a flexible material on which a sign is painted or printed.

“Billboard” means a ground, wall, or roof sign erected, constructed, or maintained for the purpose of displaying outdoor advertising.

“Blade sign” means a wall-mounted sign perpendicular to the building face. See “Pedestrian-oriented sign.”

“Building” means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

“Bus shelter sign” means a sign placed at a public bus shelter that provides a directory of store sponsors/tenants, including bus route maps and bus route information.

“Business identification sign” means a sign that identifies the name of a business.

“Canopy” means a permanent, rigid architectural projection supported from an exterior wall of a building or other structures.

“Clearance (of a sign)” means the smallest vertical distance between the grade of the adjacent street or street curb and the lowest point of any sign, including framework and embellishments, extending over that grade.

“Construction/contractor sign” means a temporary sign for informational purpose which identifies the architect, engineers, contractors, and other individuals or firms involved with the construction of a building or announcing the character of the building or enterprise, that is erected during the building construction period.

“Directional sign” means a sign limited to directional messages, principally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as one-way, entrance, and exit. Directional signs indicating entrance, exit, one-way circulation, and drive-up window, and informational signs containing no advertising matter beyond that necessary to accomplish their directional or informational purpose will not be considered advertising signs. See also “Information sign.”

“District identification sign” means a pedestrian-oriented sign with uniform design specific to a recognized commercial district.

“Double-faced sign” means a sign with two faces on opposite sides of each other.

“Electric sign” means any sign containing electrical wiring but not including signs illuminated by an exterior light source.

“Facade area” means that portion of a frontal plane owned or leased by a business.

“Flag” means a flexible cloth or cloth-like material printed with decorative image, sign message, or symbol of governmental body or other organization. See also “Banner.”

For Sale/Rent/Lease Sign. See “Real estate sign, for sale, rent, lease.”

“Franchise sign” means a sign whose display surface is divided between the product or service advertised and premises identification when the product or service advertised is not the primary product or service line available on the premises.

“Freestanding sign” means a self-supporting sign not attached to any building, wall, or fence, but in a fixed location, including ground-mounted and pole-type signs.

“Front or face, building” means the outer surface of any building, that is visible from or abuts at its property line, a public or private street, or highway.

“Frontage, primary” means the side of the building providing the main vehicle or pedestrian access, or the business primary orientation.

“Frontage, secondary” means the side of the building other than the main vehicle or pedestrian access.

“Frontal plane” means the surface area found within the perimeter bounded by the finished grade line, the cornice line, and exterior side walls not including intermediate walls perpendicular to such surface area.

“Garage/yard sale sign” means a temporary sign advertising the sale of personal property used to dispose of personal household possessions and including sample sales. It is not for the use of any commercial venture.

“Grade line” means an imaginary straight line drawn at the mean elevation of the adjacent ground and delineating the intersection of the frontal plane and the plane of the adjacent ground.

“Grand opening event” means the celebration or promotional period beginning on or shortly after the date when a new business or use is open for business. Grand opening events must be related to: a change of business location; construction of a new business structure; major remodeling; change of ownership; change of name; or change in the type of business engaged in by an existing business.

“Height of sign” means, for a freestanding sign, the vertical distance measured from:

1. The curb grade of the nearest street to the highest point of the sign structure; or

2. In the case where the curb grade of the nearest street is lower than the building grade, the base of the sign at its lowest point to the highest point of the sign structure; and

3. For a sign attached to a building, the vertical distance measured from the building grade to the highest point of the sign or structure.

“Holiday decoration sign” means a temporary sign, in the nature of decorations, clearly incidental to and customarily and commonly associated with any national, local, or religious holiday.

“Illegal sign” means a sign that does not meet the requirements of the sign regulations of this title and has not received legal nonconforming status.

“Illuminated sign” means a sign with an artificial light source incorporated internally or externally for the purpose of illuminating the sign. Illuminated signs shall require a special use permit in all zoning districts except commercial and industrial districts.

“Information sign” means a sign that is incidental and necessary for public safety and convenience and general information that has a purpose secondary to the use of the property on which it is located. See also “Directional sign.”

“Land use and construction notice sign” means a sign that is used for notification of major land use or construction activity.

“Large inflatable object” means a large balloon or balloon-like object, greater than 18 inches in any dimension, that uses blown air or any gas to keep it inflated.

“Marquee” means any hood or projection above an entrance other than a roof or fascia projecting from the wall of a building.

“Marquee sign” means a sign painted on, attached to, or consisting of an interchangeable copyreader, on a permanent overhanging structure which projects from the face of a building.

“Memorial sign” means a sign, tablet, or plaque memorializing a person, event, structure, or site.

“Monument sign” means a self-supporting sign not attached to any building, wall, or fence, but in a fixed location, including ground-mount and monument signs constructed at ground level or on earthen mounds.

“Movable sign, A-frame” means a portable two-faced, A-frame, or sandwich board style sign that is readily movable and has no permanent attachment to a building, structure, or the ground.

“Multi-business development” means a development that includes two or more businesses that share a single structure or separate structures which are physically attached.

“Multi-business wall sign” means an on-premises sign that identifies tenants and may identify building name for a multi-business development.

“Nonconforming sign” means a sign existing at the effective date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this title that could not be built under the terms of this title.

“Off-premises directional sign” means a sign erected for the purpose of directing pedestrian or vehicular traffic to a facility, service, or business located on other premises.

“Off-premises sign” means a sign relating, through its message and content, to a business activity, use, product, or service not available on the premises on which the sign is erected.

“On-premises sign” means a sign which carries only advertising strictly applicable to a lawful use of the premises on which it is located, including signs or sign devices indicating the business transacted, principal services rendered, and goods sold or produced on the premises, name of the business and name of the person, firm, or corporation occupying the premises.

“Outdoor vendor sign” means a temporary movable A-frame sign that is used for temporary outdoor vendors.

“Painted wall mural” means a mural having an insignificant commercial message and generally applied to a wall.

“Painted wall sign” means a permanent sign, mural, or graphic design having a commercial message or identification and painted directly onto a building surface.

“Pedestrian-oriented sign” means a permanent, nonilluminated sign, the primary purpose of which is to provide information for pedestrians and bicyclists. Blade signs are a type of pedestrian-oriented sign.

“Pennant” means a series of tapering, triangular flags hanging on a string.

“Political signs” or “political banners” means temporary signs for local, state, or national purposes advertising a candidate or candidates for public elective office or a political party, or signs urging a particular vote on a public issue or referendum decided by ballot.

“Poster” means a decorative placard or advertisement associated with a movie or live theater or concert or sports event.

“Primary sign” means a sign on the principal frontage of the building.

“Principal frontage street” means the street that fronts and/or provides primary access to the building.

“Private property sign” means a sign on private property that limits access, parking admittance, pertains to security provisions, or that defines entrances or exits.

“Projection sign” means a sign that is wholly or partly dependent upon a building for support and that projects more than 12 inches from such building.

“Public facilities directional sign” means a sign that provides directions for public buildings such as public schools, libraries, hospitals, and other similar public service facilities.

“Public facilities sign” means any temporary or permanent sign erected and maintained by any public or quasi-public agency, including city, county, school district, special district, state or federal, or by any religious or charitable institution for designation or identification of public, charitable or religious facility property.

“Reader board” means a sign or part of a sign on which the letters are readily replaceable so the copy can be changed from time to time at will.

“Real estate sign, for sale, rent, lease” means an on-premises or off-premises sign advertising property is for sale or rent.

“Real estate sign, off-premises (open house signs and directional arrows)” means a portable and temporary sign advertising, or assisting people in locating, property that is for sale, rent, or lease.

“Real estate sign, on-premises” means a portable and temporary sign or within a freestanding sign advertising a property that is for sale, rent, or lease that is located on the site that is for sale, rent, or lease. This includes temporary signs located at the entrance of subject developments advertising the sale of lots, subdivision, houses, or dwelling units.

“Residential sign, nameplate” means a nonelectrical on-premises identification sign giving only the name, address, and/or occupation of an occupant or group of occupants.

“Residential/subdivision identification permanent sign” means a freestanding or wall sign identifying a recognized subdivision, condominium, or apartment complex.

“Roof sign” means a sign erected or constructed wholly upon and over the roof of any building and supported solely on the roof structure. Signs standing out horizontally from a mansard roof are considered wall signs.

“Rotating sign” means any sign or portion of a sign that revolves on a fixed axis.

Sandwich Board Sign. See “Movable sign, A-frame.”

“Secondary sign” means a sign on the secondary frontage of the building, as determined by the community development/planning director.

“Service organization sign” means a sign sponsored by service or fraternal organizations, clubs, and similar organizations located in the city of West Richland.

“Sign” means any material, structure, or device, or part thereof, composed of letter or pictorial matter, or on which lettered or pictorial matter is placed when used or located outside or on the exterior of any building, including an inside window display area, for display of an advertisement, announcement, notice, directional matter, or name; and includes sign frames, billboards, reader boards, sign boards, painted wall signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, pennants, fluttering devices, projecting signs or ground signs; and also includes any announcement, notice, directional matter, or name; and also includes any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration, or insignia used to advertise or promote the interest of any person or business when the same is placed in view of the general public.

“Sign, primary” means the sign on the primary frontage of the building.

“Sign, secondary” means the sign that is not the primary sign of the business.

“Special or one-time event signs” means signs for activities concerning a drive or event of a political, civic, seasonal, cultural, philanthropic, educational, or religious event or organization that will occur intermittently.

“Street frontage” means the side of the building facing a street that abuts the property on which the building is located.

“Temporary sign” means any sign intended to be displayed for a limited period.

“Wall sign” means any sign attached to and supported by a wall of a building, or the wall of a structure, including a mansard roof, with the exposed face of the sign in a plane parallel to the plane of the wall.

“Window sign” means any sign that is painted or mounted onto an exterior of a window pane, or is hung directly inside the window including advertisements for services or products in the form of decals, emblems, paint, exposed neon, and/or banners within three feet of the window pane. [Ord. 16-00 § 1, 2000].