The purpose of this Article is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed outdoor advertising, outdoor advertising signs and outdoor signs of all types. It is intended to protect property values, create a more visually attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community and preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas. It is further intended to reduce sign or advertising clutter, distraction and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more open space, curb the deterioration of the natural environment and enhance community development by permitting signs which are compatible with their surroundings.
31.1 Governmental Signs Excluded
For the purpose of this Resolution “sign” does not include signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation.
31.2 General Requirements for All Signs and District
The regulations contained in this section shall apply to all signs and all use districts.
- Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only light emitting a light of constant intensity and no sign shall be illuminated by or contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights. In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be placed or directed so as to permit the beams and illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed upon a public thoroughfare, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance;
- No sign shall employ any parts or elements which revolve, rotate, wheel, spin or otherwise make use of motion to attract attention, subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not apply to any sign performing a public service function indicating time, temperature, stock market quotations or similar services;
- All wiring, fittings and materials used in the construction, connection and operation of electrically illuminate signs shall be in accordance with the provisions of the local electrical code in effect, if any;
- No projecting sign shall be erected or maintained from the front or face of a building a distance of more that two (2) feet, including those projecting from the face of any theater, hotel or motel marquee;
- No sign shall be placed on the roof of any building, except those signs whose supporting structure is screened so the sign appears to be a continuation of the face of the building;
- No portable or temporary sign shall be placed on the front or face of a building or on any premises, except as provided in section 31.6 herein;
- No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving devices. Such devices, as well as, strings of lights, shall not be used for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention when not part of a sign;
- No sign erected or maintained in the window of a building, visible from any public or private street or highway, shall occupy more than twenty (20%) percent of the window surface;
- No sign of any classification shall be installed, erected or attached in any form, shape or manner to a fire escape;
- All signs hung and erected shall be plainly marked with the name and telephone number of the person, firm or corporation responsible for maintaining the sign;
- Should any sign be or become unsafe or be in danger of falling, the owner thereof or the person maintaining the same shall, upon receipt of written notice from the Zoning Inspector, proceed at once to put such sign in a safe and secure condition or remove the sign;
- No sign shall be place in any public right-of-way except publicly owned signs, such as traffic control signs and directional signs. Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter, shall be permitted on any property;
- All signs shall be so designed and supported as to carry the weight of the sign and shall comply with the local building code in effect;
- All signs shall be secured in such a manner as to prevent significant movement due to wind;
- No advertising signs shall be attached to or supported by a tree, utility pole, trash receptacle, bench, vending machine or public shelter;
- No sign shall contain words, images or graphic illustration of an obscene or indecent nature;
- No sign shall be attached in such a manner that it may interfere with any required ventilation openings;
- No sign shall be located on a vacant lot, except for the purpose of advertising the lot for sale or lease or for such purpose as the notification of present danger or the prohibition of trespassing;
- No sign shall be located nearer than eight (8) feet vertically or four (4) feet horizontally from any overhead electrical wires, conductors or guy wires;
- No vehicle or trailer may be parked on a business premises or a lot for the purpose of advertising a business, product, service, event, object, location, organization or the like.
31.3 Permit Required
- No person shall locate or maintain any sign or cause a sign to be located or maintained unless all provisions of this Article have been met. To assure compliance with these regulations, a sign permit issued pursuant to this Resolution shall be required for each sign unless specifically exempted in this Article.
- A sign initially approved for which a permit has been issued shall not be modified, altered or replaced, nor shall design elements of any building or lot upon which such sign is maintained be modified, altered or replaced if any such design element constituted a basis for approval of such sign unless a new or amended permit is obtained consistent with these regulations.
31.4 Signs Permitted in All Districts Not Requiring a Permit
- Signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located, shall not exceed twenty (20) square feet in area, except in all residential districts where the area of the sign shall not be more than six (6) square feet;
- Professional name plates not to exceed four (4) square feet in area;
- Signs denoting the name and address of the occupants of the premises, not to exceed two (2) square feet in area.
31.5 Signs Permitted in Commercial and Manufacturing Districts Requiring a Permit
The regulations set forth in this section shall apply to signs in all commercial and manufacturing districts and such signs shall require a permit.
- In a commercial or manufacturing district, each business shall be permitted one flat or wall on premises sign. Projection of wall signs shall not exceed two (2) feet measured from the face of the main building. The area of all permanent on premises signs for any single business enterprise may be an area equivalent to one and one-half (1 ½) square feet of sign area for each lineal foot of building width or part of a building occupied by such enterprise, but shall not exceed a maximum area of one hundred (100) square feet.
- In a commercial or manufacturing district, two off premises signs with a total area not exceeding one hundred thirty (130) square feet may be permitted at a single location. No single off premises sign shall exceed one hundred thirty (130) square feet, nor shall off premises signs visible to approaching traffic have a minimum spacing of less than two hundred (200) feet. Off premises signs shall conform to all applicable yard and height regulations for the appropriate zoning district, except that such signs intended to be viewed from an elevated highway shall be not more than twenty (20) feet above the level of the roadway at its nearest point. Off premises wall signs shall have all structural and supporting member concealed from view.
- Temporary Signs
Temporary signs not exceeding fifty (50) square feet in area, announcing special public or institutional events the erection of a building, the architect, the builders or contractors may be erected for a period of sixty (60) days plus the construction period. Such temporary signs shall conform to the general requirements listed in section 31.2, the setback requirements listed in sections 31.12 to 31.16 and in addition, such other standards deemed necessary to accomplish the intent of this Article as stated in section 31.
- Free Standing Signs
Free standing on premises signs not over thirty (30) feet in height, having a maximum total sign area of one hundred (100) square feet per display area and located not closer than ten (10) feet to any street right-of-way line and not closer than thirty (30) feet to any adjoining lot line may be erected to serve a group of business establishments. There shall be only one free standing sign for each building, regardless of the number of businesses conducted in said building.
- Wall Signs Pertaining to Non-Conforming Uses
On premises wall signs pertaining to a non-conforming use shall be permitted on the same premises of such use, provided the area of such sign does not exceed twelve (12) square feet.
31.9 Political Signs
No political sign shall be posed in any place or in any manner that is destructive to public property upon posting or removal. No political sign shall be posted in a public right-of-way nor shall any sign be posted on a utility pole. No political sign shall be posted more than sixty (60) days before an election. All candidates for public office, their campaign committees or other persons responsible for the posting on public property of campaign material shall remove such material within two (2) weeks following election day.
31.10 Portable Signs
Any sign not permanently affixed to the ground or to a building, including any sign attached to or displayed on a vehicle that is used for the expressed purpose of advertising a business establishment, produce, service or entertainment, when the vehicle is to be parked as to attract the attention of the motoring pedestrian traffic.
31.11 Portable Sign Requirements and Guidelines
Portable signs must conform to the following requirements and guidelines:
- A portable sign shall not be located or parked within ten (10) feet of any street, alley or other public right-of-way line. Nor shall any portable sign be located or parked within the designated sight triangle for any street or driveway intersection.
- Electrical plugs, extension cords and other supplementary electrical illumination materials shall be weather proofed, securely attached and conspicuously located in order not be susceptible to possible health endangering incidents. Inspection and approval by a qualified electrician is mandated.
- Appearance of portable signs shall conform with all other regulations set forth herein.
- No portable sign shall be operable after the said time of ninety (90) days is expended. In addition, no permit shall be granted if applicant has held in operation a portable sign of aforesaid time period twice within the same year.
- The maximum allowable size of a portable sign shall be thirty two (32) square feet.
31.12 Sign Setback Requirements
Except as modified in sections 31.12 to 31.16, on premises signs where permitted shall be set back from the established right-of-way line of any thoroughfare at least ten (10) feet. No off premises sign shall be erected in front of the required setback line for the appropriate zoning district.
31.13 Increased Setback
For every square foot by which any on premises sign exceeds fifty (50) square feet, the setback shall be increased on one-half (1/2) foot, but need not exceed one hundred (100) feet.
31.14 Setbacks for Off Premises Signs
If a setback line is not established for the appropriate zoning district, off premises signs shall be set back a minimum of twenty (20) feet from the right-of-way line.
31.15 Setbacks for Public and Quasi-Public Signs
Real estate signs and bulletin boards for a church, school or any other public, religious or educational institution may be erected not less than ten (10) feet from the established right-of-way line of any street or highway provided such sign or bulletin board does not obstruct traffic visibility at street or highway intersections.
- Sight Triangle
At the intersection of any two streets or the intersection of any private driveway and street there shall be an optical triangle with respective dimensions where within which no sign shall be located or parked. The dimensions of such sight triangle are as follows:
- Street to Street Intersection:
All signs shall not be located within a triangle formed by lines drawn between points of said front line and side lot lines of a lot twenty five (25) feet from their intersection, providing the normal sight within a vertical height band of two and one-half (2 ½) to six (6) feet above curb level is not obstructed except for poles, posts or tree trunks.
- Driveway to Street Intersection:
All signs shall not be located within a triangle formed by lines drawn between points on said front lot line and driveway edges of a lot fifteen (15) feet form their intersection, providing the normal sight within a vertical band of two and one-half (2 ½) to six (6) feet above curb level is not obstructed except for poles, posts or tree trunks.
31.17 Special Yard Provisions
On premises signs where permitted shall be erected or placed in conformity with the side and rear yard requirements of the district in which located, except that in any residential district, on premises signs shall not be erected or placed within twelve (12) feet of a side or rear lot line. If the requirements for a single side yard in the appropriate zoning district is more than twelve (12) feet, the latter shall apply.
For the purpose of this Article, outdoor advertising off premises signs shall be classified as a business use and be permitted in all districts zoned for manufacturing or business or lands used for agricultural purposes. In addition, regulation of signs along interstate and primary highways shall conform to the requirements of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5516 and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
- Non-Conforming Signs and Structures
Advertising signs and structures in existence prior to the effective date of this Resolution which violate or are otherwise not in conformance with the provisions of this Article shall be deemed non-conforming. All such legal non-conforming signs and structures shall be maintained in accordance with this Article. The burden of establishing the legal non-conforming status of any advertising sign or structure shall be upon the owner of the sign or structure.
31.20 Loss of Legal Non-Conforming Status
A legal non-conforming sign shall immediately lose its legal non-conforming status and therefore must be brought into conformance with this Article or be removed, if the sign is altered in copy (except for changeable copy signs) or structure; or if it is enlarged, relocated or replaced; or if it is part of an establishment which discontinues operation for ninety (90) consecutive days; or if it is structurally damaged to an extent greater than one-half (1/2) of its estimated replacement value. Similarly, any legal non-conforming advertising structure so damaged must be brought into compliance or be removed.
In case any sign shall be installed, erected, constructed or maintained in violation of any of the terms of this Resolution, the Zoning Inspector shall notify in writing the owner or lessees thereof to alter such sign so as to comply with this Resolution. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Article shall be deemed a violation and shall be punishable under section 5.17 of this Resolution. Political signs posted in violation of section 31.9 of this Resolution are subject to removal by the Zoning Inspector five (5) days after written notice of violation of section 31.9 has been given.
31.22 Aesthetic Criteria
In all districts, design and representation shall be inclined to unite the foreboding characteristics of the district. Aesthetic criteria shall be as follows:
- Colors used shall match the background or trim color of the principal building.
- If more than one sign is permitted, colors on the signs shall coordinate with each other to present a unified image.
Materials used shall be designed so as to be compatible with the architecture of the building and character of the district.
Information provided on the sign shall clearly indicate the name of the business and a simple product idea.
- Light sources shall be concealed from view by the incorporation of shrubs or other type of sightful ground cover.
b. A sightful land cover shall girdle the diameter of a freestanding post.