Hoquiam looks to change how businesses can use signs

UPDATED FOR CLARIFICATION:

The will look at adjusting their sign code.

Following comment from local businesses that the current sign code within the City of Hoquiam is too restrictive, the Planning Commission will be accepting public comment from residents or businesses about what kind of changes could be made to the laws on what signs can and cannot be placed within the city, and how the current restrictions can be adjusted or lifted.

During a public hearing on Thursday, August 3, 2017 starting at 5:30 PM at Hoquiam City Hall, the Planning Commission will take public testimony regarding amendments to Title 10.05.130 of the Hoquiam City Zoning Code.

Copies of the current sign code are available online at, www.cityofhoquiam.com, and the Hoquiam Public Library.

The sign code is also available for review during regular business hours at the City Public Works Department.

In addition to the public hearing, written comments may be sent to Hoquiam Planning Commission Chair, 609 8th Street, Hoquiam, WA 98550. Written comments must be received by 5:00 PM, August 3, 2017.

Inquiries regarding the amendments or the public hearing should be directed to Lon Howell at phone number 360-532-5700, extension 251.


10.05.130 Signs.

The intent of this section is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the number, size, design, quality of materials, construction, location, electrification and maintenance of all signs and sign structures; to preserve and improve the appearance of the city as a place in which to live and as an attraction to nonresidents who come to visit or trade; to encourage sound signing practices as an aid to business and for public information but to prevent excessive and confusing signing displays.

(1) Permits and Fees Required. No sign permit shall be issued unless the sign installer has a valid Washington State sign contractor’s license; provided, however, an applicant may obtain a permit to install a sign on his own property without a state license.

(2) Installation Requirements.

(a) Structural Requirements. The structure and erection of signs or flag poles within the city shall be governed by the city’s adopted Building Code. Compliance with the Building Code shall be a prerequisite to issuance of a sign permit under this code.

(b) Electrical Requirements. Electrical requirements for signs within the city shall be governed by the National Electrical Code. Compliance with the National Electrical Code shall be required by every sign utilizing electrical energy as a prerequisite to issuance of a sign permit under this code.

(c) Illumination Requirements. Illumination from or upon any sign shall be shaded, shielded, directed or reduced so as to avoid undue brightness, glare or reflection of light on private or public property in the surrounding area, and so as to avoid unreasonably distracting pedestrians or motorists. “Undue brightness” is illumination in excess of that which is reasonably necessary to make the sign reasonably visible to the average person on an adjacent street. Illumination, if used, shall be what is known as white or yellow and shall not be blinking, fluctuating or moving. Light rays shall shine only upon the sign or upon the property within the premises and shall not spill over the property lines, in any direction, except by indirect reflection.

(d) Maintenance. All signs, including signs heretofore installed, shall be constantly maintained in a state of security, safety, appearance and repair. If any sign is found not to be so maintained or is insecurely fastened or otherwise dangerous, it shall be the duty of the owner and/or occupant of the premises on which the sign is fastened to repair or remove the sign within five days after receiving notice from the sign code administrator. The premises surrounding a freestanding sign shall be free and clear of rubbish and landscaping area maintained in a tidy manner.

(e) Landscaping for Freestanding and Monument Signs. All freestanding and monument signs shall include as part of their design landscaping about their base so as to prevent vehicles from hitting the sign and to improve the overall appearance of the installation.

(f) Inspection. All sign users shall permit the periodic inspection of their signs by the city upon city request.

(g) Location. All monument and temporary freestanding signs (such as construction signs and property “for sale” signs) must be set back a minimum of five feet from any property lines, or outside the sight triangle established by the vision clearance ordinance, whichever is greater.

(3) More Restrictive Provision to Apply. Whenever two provisions of this code overlap or conflict with regard to the size or placement of a sign, the more restrictive provision shall apply.

(4) Permit – Requirements. No sign governed by the provisions of this code of more than four square feet in sign area shall be erected, structurally altered or relocated by any person, firm or corporation after the date of adoption of this code without a permit issued by the city (with the exceptions as noted). No new permit is required for signs which have permits and which conform with the requirements of this code on the date of its adoption unless and until the sign is structurally altered or relocated.

(5) Permit – Applications. Applications for permits shall contain the name and address of the owner and user of the sign, the name and address of the owner of the property on which the sign is to be located, the location of the sign structure, drawings or photographs showing the design and dimensions of the sign and details of its proposed placement and such other pertinent information as the administrator of this code may require to ensure compliance with this code and other applicable ordinances. Permit applications shall be available for inspection by the public upon request. Upon completion of a permit application, the application shall be acted on within two weeks unless there is a requirement for further time under SEPA.

(6) Fee Schedule. Fees for sign permits shall be established by resolution of the city council.

(7) Prohibited Signs. Prohibited signs are subject to removal (except legal nonconforming signs as defined by this chapter) by the city at the owner’s or user’s expense. The following signs or displays are prohibited:

(a) Roof signs;

(b) Animated signs, including so-called digital signs or digital billboards;

(c) Portable signs;

(d) Advertising vehicles;

(e) Signs which purport to be, or are an imitation of, or resemble an official traffic sign or signal, or which bear the words “stop,” “caution,” “danger,” “warning,” or similar words;

(f) Signs which, by reason of their size, location, movement, content, coloring or manner of illumination, may be confused with or construed as a traffic control sign, signal or device, or the light of an emergency or radio equipment vehicle, or which obstruct the visibility of traffic or a street sign, signal or device;

(g) Signs which are located upon or projecting over public streets, sidewalks, or rights-of-way except as provided for in subsection (9)(b)(ii) of this section and except for awnings and marquees in HMC 10.04.034(5) and except for municipal signs erected by the city with the approval of or the appropriate authority, sandwich board signs in subsection (9)(a)(viii) of this section and off-premises directional signs in subsection (8)(l) of this section;

(h) Signs attached to utility poles;

(i) Off-premises signs, except as provided for in subsection (9)(b)(ix) of this section and by conditional use permit pursuant to this title;

(j) Strings of banners, pennants, and other graffiti-like material;

(k) Freestanding signs;

(l) Billboards.

(8) Exemptions. The following signs do not require a sign permit (unless noted), nor shall the area and number of such signs be included in the area and number of signs permitted for any site or use. This shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility of its erection and maintenance and its compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any other law or ordinance:

(a) The flag, emblem or insignia of a nation or other governmental unit or nonprofit organization subject to the guidelines concerning their use set forth by the government or organization which they represent. Flag poles require a sign permit for structural review.

(b) Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings, stained glass windows and dates of erection when cut into the surface or the facade of the building or when projecting not more than two inches.

(c) Traffic or other municipal signs, signs required by law or emergency, railroad crossing signs, legal notices, and any temporary or nonadvertising signs as are authorized under policy approved by the city council.

(d) Signs of public utility companies indicating danger or which serve as an aid to public safety or which show the location of underground facilities or of public telephones.

(e) Flush-mounted wall signs used to identify the name and address of the occupant for each dwelling, provided the sign does not exceed two square feet in sign area.

(f) Signs located in the interior of any building or within an enclosed lobby or court of any building or group of buildings, which signs are designed and located to be viewed exclusively by patrons of such use or uses.

(g) One bulletin board not over fifty square feet in sign area for each public, charitable or religious institution where the same is located on the premises of said institution. A sign permit is required.

(h) Decorations, or such signs in the nature of a decoration, clearly incidental and customary and commonly associated with any national, local or religious holiday.

(i) Painting, repainting or cleaning of an advertising structure or the changing of the advertising copy or message thereon shall not be considered an erection or alteration which requires a sign permit unless a structural change is made.

(j) Sculptures, fountains, mosaics and design features which do not incorporate advertising or identification.

(k) “No trespassing,” “no dumping,” “no parking” or “private” signs identifying essential public needs (i.e., restrooms, entrance, exit, telephone, etc.) and other informational warning signs, which shall not exceed three square feet in surface area.

(l) Directional signs erected by the city on arterial streets directing the public to public, civic, or nonprofit facilities. Such signs shall be erected at the discretion of the director of public works and shall be subject to city design guidelines. In addition, with the approval, the director of public works may allow the erection of directional signs as are necessary to designate commercial areas or significant tourist sites within the city.

(m) Signs erected by the city along the Riverside Dike.

(9) Permitted Signs. The following signs are permitted subject to the applicable limitations as noted.

(a) Temporary Signs. The following signs are classified as temporary (nonpermanent). Temporary signs are permitted subject to the applicable limitations:

(i) Construction Signs. A sign permit is required. Such signs may be displayed only after a building permit is obtained and during the period of construction on the construction site. Only one such sign is permitted per construction project for each public street upon which the project fronts. The applicable limits are as follows:

(A) In all zones other than single-family residential zones, no construction sign shall exceed thirty two square feet in sign area (printed copy on one side only) or ten feet in height, nor be located closer than ten feet from the property line or closer than thirty feet from the property line of the abutting owner.

(B) In single-family residential zones, no construction sign shall exceed thirty-two square feet in sign area (printed copy on one side only) or ten feet in height, nor be located closer than ten feet from the property line of the abutting owner.

(ii) Grand Opening Displays. No sign permit is required. Such temporary signs, posters, banners, strings of lights, clusters of flags, balloons or other air- or gas-filled figures, and searchlights are permitted for a period of seven days only to announce the opening of a completely new enterprise or the opening of an enterprise under new management. All such materials shall be removed immediately upon the expiration of seven days. Such displays are permitted only in districts where the enterprise so advertised is allowed under district zoning regulations. Searchlights may be permitted by any business or enterprise provided the beam of light does not flash against any building or does not sweep an arc of forty-five percent from vertical.

(iii) Special Event Signs. No sign permit is required. Such temporary signs may be placed upon private property only and shall not be larger than four square feet. Said signs shall not be posted or attached to telephone poles, power poles or other public utility facilities. Such signs may be displayed thirty days prior to an event and must be removed within seven days after the event’s conclusion. The event committee for which the sign is displayed shall be responsible for its removal and subject to the penalties as provided in this code. Searchlights may be permitted by any business or enterprise provided the beam of light does not flash against any building or does not sweep an arc of forty-five percent from vertical.

(iv) Real Estate Signs. No sign permit is required. All exterior real estate signs must be of wood or plastic or other durable material. The permitted signs, with applicable limits, are as follows:

(A) Residential “For Sale” and “Sold” Signs. Such signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage not to exceed five square feet in sign area, placed wholly on the property for sale, and not to exceed a height of seven feet.

(B) Residential Directional “Open House” Signs. Such signs shall be limited to one sign per street frontage on the premises for sale and three off-premises signs. However, if a realtor has more than one house open for inspection in a single development or subdivision, he/she is limited to four off-premises “open house” signs in the entire development or subdivision. Such signs are permitted only during daylight hours and when the realtor or seller or an agent is in attendance at the property for sale. No such sign shall exceed five square feet in sign area.

(C) Undeveloped Commercial and Industrial Property “For Sale or Rent” Signs. One sign per street frontage advertising undeveloped commercial and industrial property for sale or rent. The sign shall not exceed thirty-two square feet in sign area and seven feet in height.

(D) Developed Commercial and Industrial Property “For Sale or Rent” Signs. One sign per street frontage advertising a commercial or industrial building for rent or sale is permitted while the building is actually for rent or sale. If one face of the building is less than ten feet from the building line, the sign shall be placed on the building or in a window. The sign shall not exceed seven feet in height and, if freestanding, shall be located more than fifteen feet from any abutting property line or a public right-of-way line. Said sign shall not exceed thirty-two square feet in sign area.

(E) Undeveloped Residential Property “For Sale” Signs. One sign per street frontage advertising undeveloped residential property for sale is permitted not exceeding thirty-two square feet in sign area. Said sign must be placed more than thirty feet from the abutting owner’s property line and may not exceed a height of seven feet.

(F) Subdivisions approved after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section are permitted one cluster of flagpoles (not to exceed five flagpoles) in front of sales offices to advertise the new development.

(v) Political Signs. No sign permit is required. Political signs, banners or posters shall not be larger than ten square feet of sign area and shall not be posted or attached to curbstones, lampposts, street signs, hydrants, bridges, trees located in planting strips or parks, telephone poles, power poles or other public utility facilities or other thing situated upon any public street or highway or any publicly owned property within the city; provided further, that political signs may be placed in planting strips but must have the permission for such placement of the abutting property owner. No political sign shall placed upon any private property without the permission of the resident or owner thereof, and in cases where there is no occupied structure on the property, no political sign shall be placed thereon without the written permission of the owner of the property. Such political signs must be removed fourteen days after the election in which the candidate or issue advertised on a sign has been determined. For a successful candidate in a primary election the sign may remain until the final election, but shall be removed within fourteen days after the election. The candidate or committee for whom the sign is displayed shall be responsible for its removal and subject to the penalties as provided in this code.

(vi) Community Banners or Cloth Signs. Such signs may be permitted and extend across a public street by permission of the city administrator or appointed representative. Such signs may only be placed at city-designated locations and erected by city personnel.

(vii) Banners. Such signs may be permitted on private property. Banners may be used to advertise a sale, other special events, or for new businesses waiting for a permanent sign. Notification to the city is required prior to hanging the banner. This notification shall include acknowledgement of the banner requirements, the dates the banner will be used and location of the banner. Businesses are only allowed one banner per wall with a maximum of two banners per business at any one time. All banners must comply with the following:

(A) Maintenance Standards. All banners must be legible, made of durable materials, and must be well maintained.

(B) Time Limitation. Banners are limited to two thirty-day placements per calendar year.

(C) Location on Property. Banners must be located completely on a wall, and tacked down on four corners. Banner size shall be regulated to a maximum of ten percent of the architectural elevation per wall.

(viii) Sandwich Board Signs. Only businesses that cater to pedestrians, such as: restaurants, retail businesses that sell clothing, gifts, accessories, small markets, or other similar uses as determined by the director of community development, shall be allowed to have sandwich board signs. Such signs shall only be pedestrian-oriented in nature and businesses will only be allowed a maximum of one sandwich board sign. These signs are subject to the following conditions:

(A) Notification. Notification to the city is required prior to displaying a sandwich board sign. This notification shall include acknowledgement of the sandwich board sign requirements, list of materials used, and rendering of the sign, including the dimensions. Prior to the issuance of the permit, the applicant shall furnish proof to the city that the applicant is covered by liability insurance in the minimum aggregate sum of five hundred thousand dollars and that the city of Hoquiam is named as an additional insured on such policy.

(B) Size. The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet per side in size and shall not be wider than two feet.

(C) Maintenance Standards. Signs shall be constructed out of materials able to withstand typical Northwest weather. Such materials may be metal, finished wood, chalkboard, whiteboard or plastic; signs and copy shall be of professional quality. Owners of sandwich board signs shall be required to keep their signs in a legible, intact, and well-maintained manner.

(D) Display Time. Signs may only be displayed during business hours. If business hours continue past daylight hours, precautions should be taken to place the sign in a location where it is readily visible after dark. This shall not be construed to allow the wiring of a sign for lighting.

(E) Location. Signs may be located no further than twelve feet from the entrance to the business. Such signs shall not be placed in a location which is within the vision triangle or any location which will impede vehicular traffic. Further, such signs shall not be placed in a manner which will block or otherwise obstruct the safe use of sidewalks, building entrances or stairs by pedestrians, including pedestrians who are visually impaired or otherwise handicapped.

(ix) Garage Sales (Yard Sales, Moving Sales, Patio Sales). No sign permit is required. Such sign shall be limited to one sign on the premises and three off-premises signs. No such sign shall exceed four square feet in sign area. The sign or signs may be displayed only during the sale and must be removed the day the sale ends. The person or persons for whom the sign or signs are displayed shall be responsible for its removal and subject to the penalties as provided in this code.

(x) Seasonal Sales. No sign permit is required. Vendors who receive a temporary business license as defined in HMC 4.05.085 for seasonal or temporary sales activities (e.g., Christmas trees or fireworks) are permitted one sign not to exceed twenty square feet in sign area. This sign shall be mounted to the booth or trailer used for temporary sales.

(b) Permanent Signs.

(i) Signage on Awnings and Marquees. Signage will be allowed on awnings and marquees in commercial and industrial zones of the city. Such signage shall be limited to thirty percent coverage of the face of the marquee or the exposed surface of the awning. The signage area shall be calculated on the basis of the smallest rectangle, circle or spherical figure that will enclose the entire copy area of the sign. Any such calculations shall include the areas between letters and lines as well as the areas of any devices which are intended to attract attention.

(ii) Projecting Signs. Projecting signs will be allowed in the commercial zones of the city. No more than one-third of the height of any projecting sign shall exceed the height of the building to which it is attached. The minimum clearance above grade shall not be less than eight feet. A projecting sign may not project over an alley right-of-way. A projecting sign may not project more than two-thirds of the distance from the building to the curb line. No projecting sign shall be closer than two feet from the curb line. No projecting sign shall extend more than ten feet from the face of a building. Businesses will be allowed no more than one projecting sign for their use. For businesses which have building frontage on two different streets, a maximum of one projecting sign may be located on each separate street frontage.

(iii) Freestanding Signs. Freestanding signs are permitted only where it can be demonstrated that monument signs are not effective due to topography, landscaping and/or natural vegetation, building locations/setbacks, adjacent land uses, or other physical restraints not created by acts of the property owner. In such cases, such sign shall not exceed fifteen feet in height, shall not exceed the size standards of Table 10.05.130(2), and shall be subject to design approval by the city. It shall be incumbent upon the owner/operator of such facility to establish the need for such sign based upon the above criteria.

(iv) Wall signs.

(v) Monument Signs. Monument signs shall be permitted subject to Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(vi) Low Profile Monument Signs. Low profile monument signs shall be permitted, subject to the following criteria:

(A) Shall not exceed five feet in height as measured from the average ground elevation at the base of the sign, provided there is no sight obstruction.

(B) Sign area shall not exceed eighteen square feet.

(C) Two signs per entrance to the parcel are permitted, with a maximum of four signs total.

(vii) Informational Signs. As defined in HMC 10.09.100(3) are permitted for the uses identified in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(viii) Internal Circulation Signs. As defined in HMC 10.09.100(4) are permitted for the uses identified in Table 10.05.130(1).

(ix) Off-Premises Directional Signs. Off-premises directional signs, as defined in HMC 10.09.160(2), are permitted for certain uses. It is the intent of this subsection to allow the limited placement of off-premises directional signs by co-locating them on an existing conforming monument sign. The business co-locating on an existing sign must conform to the following restrictions:

(A) The business must prove an off-premises directional sign is necessary to provide directions to access the site;

(B) The business and proposed sign must be located in a commercially zoned area;

(C) Text shall be limited to the business name, logo, and a directional arrow, or may contain certain advancing language, such as “next right”;

(D) The sign must be located on the nearest collector street or arterial. If a business has a double frontage, city staff will review that unique situation to determine whether two directional signs are warranted;

(E) The business must present proof of a written agreement between the property owner where the directional sign will be located and the business owner prior to issuance of a permit;

(F) Sign area is limited to six square feet; this shall not be construed to allow the on-premises sign to increase its sign area; and

(G) If the business using an off-premises directional sign leaves its location, the business must remove the off-premises sign within sixty days.

(x) Public service signs in the form of changing message center signs may be permitted. However, the changing message center signs shall not be used for commercial purposes, such as to advertise a product, service, or use. Messages will be strictly limited to public information regarding activities, events, time, date, temperature, atmospheric condition and news of interest to the general public. Said signs shall be limited to the type, size, shape, and location specified for the zoning district in which said signs are located.

(10) District Regulations. This section shall apply to all zones designated in the zoning ordinance.

(a) Residential Districts.

(i) Nonresidential Uses within Residential Districts. Each use is permitted one monument sign as described in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(ii) Home Occupations. Home occupation signs relate to home occupations as defined in the zoning ordinance HMC 10.05.060.

(iii) Single-Family Subdivisions and Mobile or Manufactured Home Parks or Subdivisions. Two signs may be permitted per entrance from an access street, provided said signs do not exceed eighteen square feet in sign area each and five feet in height. Such signs can be low profile monument or fence mounted, and can be placed anywhere on the property along access streets, not necessarily at entrances.

(iv) Multifamily Complex. Each multifamily complex is permitted two signs per entrance from an access street, provided said signs do not exceed eighteen square feet in sign area each and five feet in height. Rental information such as contact name and phone number can be included as a subservient portion of this sign. Such signs can be low profile monument or fence mounted, and can be placed anywhere on the property along access streets, not necessarily at entrances.

(b) Commercial, Industrial and Open Space/Institutional Districts.

(i) Each single-occupancy building not in a multiple-building complex is permitted signs as described in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(ii) Each multiple-occupancy building is permitted signs as described in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(iii) Each multiple-building complex is permitted signs as described in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2).

(iv) A shopping center or other large commercial complex constituting a commercial subdivision or subject to a binding site plan and being more than thirty acres in size and more than three hundred fifty thousand square feet in gross floor area of buildings is permitted one shopping center or commercial complex sign not exceeding thirty feet in height and three hundred square feet in sign area. If the site has a freeway-oriented sign that can be seen and provides reasonable identification from all arterial frontages adjacent to the site, that sign shall count as the shopping center or commercial complex sign and no such additional signs shall be permitted; provided, however, if the site plan review committee determines that the freeway oriented sign does not provide reasonable identification from other arterial streets, both a shopping center or commercial complex sign and a freeway-oriented sign may be permitted. Signs under this provision will have a monument style, provided the site plan review committee shall have the authority to approve a modified sign design if due to height or other design considerations such a monument sign would be impractical or inappropriate. All such signs must be located at least twenty feet from all property lines and rights-of-way.

(v) Businesses which conform to the standards in this chapter may have an off-premises directional sign.

(c) Commercial Subdivision, Planned Industrial Development, Planned Community and Business Park. Each commercial subdivision, planned industrial development, planned community and business park is permitted monument signs as described in Tables 10.05.130(1) and (2). Each use within a planned community or business park, and each use within a commercial subdivision which cannot be described as a multiple-building complex, is permitted inclusion on an informational sign. One informational sign per entrance may be located along any internal street, generally at intersections with other internal streets. Such signs may be low profile monument signs subject to Table 10.05.130(1), or a maximum five-foot-high freestanding sign subject to design review.

Each separate parcel within a business park zone is permitted monument signs as described in Table 10.05.130(1).

(11) Variances. Variances from provisions of this chapter may be granted by the city of Hoquiam in accordance with HMC 10.07.120.

(12) Legal Nonconforming Signs.

(a) Continuance. Legal nonconforming signs may remain in use under the following conditions:

(i) No such sign shall be changed in any manner that increases the noncompliance of such sign with the provisions of the ordinance codified in this section established for signs in the district in which the sign is located.

(ii) The burden of establishing a sign to be legally nonconforming under this section rests upon the person or persons, firm or corporation claiming legal status for a sign.

(iii) “Structural alteration” means any action that changes the height, size, or shape of the sign or any action that affects the base or support(s) of the sign. When a sign is structurally altered, it ceases to be a legal nonconforming sign and must conform to the provisions of this chapter.

(iv) When a business or activity containing a legal nonconforming sign is enlarged or remodeled to a value of fifty percent or more of existing value of real property improvements, then such sign must be brought into conformity with this chapter.

(v) When a business or activity containing a legal nonconforming sign changes the type of the business, then such sign must be brought into conformance with this chapter.

(vi) Violations. Any violation of this chapter shall terminate immediately the right to maintain a nonconforming sign.

(13) Illegal Signs.

(a) Termination of Illegal Signs. The right to maintain any sign shall terminate and shall cease to exist whenever the sign is:

(i) Abandoned. No person shall maintain or permit to be maintained on any premises owned or controlled by him any sign which has been abandoned;

(ii) Damaged or destroyed beyond fifty percent. The determination whether a sign is damaged or destroyed beyond fifty percent shall rest with the code administrator and shall be based upon the actual cost of replacing said sign; and/or

(iii) Structurally substandard under any applicable ordinance of the city to the extent that the sign becomes a hazard or a danger.

(iv) Signs Affixed to Defunct or Closed Businesses. All signs affixed to a building or on the premises of a business which is defunct, or which has been closed for more than sixty days, including frames, posts, poles and other hardware, shall be removed by the owner of the premises. If not removed, the city shall cause the removal of the signs and place a lien upon the property for the cost of removal.

(b) Removal of Unlawful Signs.

(i) Any unlawful permanent-type sign which has not been removed within thirty days after conviction of violation or imposition of civil penalty may be removed by the city and the costs charged to the violator. If removal costs have not been paid and the sign reclaimed within thirty days of its removal by the city, the city may sell or otherwise dispose of the sign and apply the proceeds toward costs of removal. Any proceeds in excess of costs of removal shall be paid to the owner of the sign.

(ii) Signs which the administrator finds upon public streets, sidewalks, right-of-way or other public property or which wherever located present an immediate and serious danger to the public because of their unsafe condition may be immediately removed by the administrator without prior notice.

(iii) Any unlawful temporary or portable-type sign located on private property which has not been removed after twenty-four hours from notification may be removed by the city. The sign may be reclaimed by the owner after a civil penalty of one hundred dollars has been paid. If the sign has not been reclaimed within thirty days of its removal by the city, the city may sell or otherwise dispose of the sign and apply the proceeds toward costs of the removal. Any proceeds in excess of costs of the removal shall be paid to the owner of the sign.

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

(c) Violation – Penalty.

(i) Violation of the provisions of this code or failure to comply with any of its requirements shall constitute a misdemeanor and such violation shall be punished as provided by the statutes of the state of Washington for the commission of a misdemeanor. Each day such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.

(ii) The erector, owner or user of an unlawful sign or the owner of the property on which an unlawful sign is located and who maintains such violation may each be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties herein provided.

(14) Administrator.

(a) Appointment – Powers and Duties Generally. The administrator of this code shall be appointed and removed by the city administrator. The administrator is authorized and directed to enforce and carry out all provisions of this code, both in letter and spirit, with vigilance and with all due speed. To that end, the administrator is authorized to formulate procedures consistent with the purposes of this code. The administrator is further empowered to delegate the duties and powers granted to and imposed upon him under this code. As used in this code, “administrator of this code” or “administrator” shall include his authorized representative.

(b) Inspection Authority. The administrator is empowered to enter or inspect any building, structure or premises in the city upon which, or in connection with which, a sign, as defined by this code, is located, 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.

(15) Conflict and Severability. If any provision of this code is found to be in conflict with any other provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code of the city, the provision which establishes the higher standard shall prevail.

(16) Visual Quality. The administrator is empowered to prepare graphic materials such as photographs and drawings of sign types and styles acceptable to the city, and to disallow proposed signs that do not comply with the general types and styles represented by these graphic materials. Appeals of such administrator decisions shall be to the land use hearing examiner in accordance with the city of Hoquiam development guidelines and public works standards.

Table 10.05.130(1) – Permitted Sign Categories by Land Use Zone 

Zones and Land Use Type

Monument

Wall

Low Profile Monument

Awning

Info

Internal Circulation

Residential

1. Single-Family Subdivision

P

P

2. Multifamily Complex

P

P

3. Home Occupations

P*

4. Nonresidential Use (e.g., church)

P

P

5. Mobile Home Subdivisions and Parks

P

P

Commercial, Retail, Industrial Uses

1. Single-Occupancy Building

P

P

P**

P

P

2. Multiple-Occupancy Building

P

P

P**

P

P

3. Multiple-Building Complex

P

P**

P

4. Uses within Multiple-Building Complex

P

P

Regional Shopping Center

P**

Commercial Subdivisions, Business Parks and PUD – Industrial

P

P

Uses within Commercial Subdivisions, Business Parks and PUD – Industrial

P

P

P

P

*    Nonresidential uses in residential zones are permitted one monument sign – Maximum thirty-two SF; max. five feet high.

**    Either a monument sign or a low profile monument sign – not both.

Table 10.05.130(2) – Permitted Sign Sizes – Monument Signs 

Total ROW Frontage of Parcel

Allowable Sign Area Sq. Ft.

Allowable Sign Structure Size Sq. Ft.

Maximum Height Feet

Number Permitted

< 200 feet

24

40

5

1

200 – 399 feet

36

54

6

1

400 – 599 feet

50

70

8

1

600 – 799 feet

60

80

8

2 max

800 – 999 feet

66

88

10

2 max

1,000 feet and >

72

96

10

2 max

Monument Sign Notes:

1.    Monument sign width shall not exceed 15 feet.

2.    If a corner parcel with two arterial streets as frontage and there are entrances on both streets:

a.    A two- or three-faced sign may be placed on the corner of the property; or

b.    Regular monument signs are permitted at each entrance.

3.    Setback = greater of five feet from property lines or minimum sight distance requirements.

4.    Single- or multiple-occupancy buildings whose premises extend through a block to face on two parallel streets with customer entrances on each street are permitted; provided, that each sign is located on different street frontages and are separated by more than 100 feet measured in a straight line between signs.

Table 10.05.130(3) – Permitted Sign Sizes – Wall Signs 

The surface area of any building-mounted sign or canopy-mounted sign shall not exceed the areas below.

Architectural Building Elevation Wall Area

Maximum Sign Surface Area (for that wall area)

Below 100 square feet

26 sq. ft.

100 – 199 square feet

26 sq. ft. + 11% of facade area over 100 sq. ft.

200 – 499 square feet

38 sq. ft. + 12% of facade area over 200 sq. ft.

500 – 999 square feet

75 sq. ft. + 11% of facade area over 500 sq. ft.

1,000 – 1,499 square feet

131 sq. ft. + 7.5% of facade area over 1,000 sq. ft.

1,500 – 2,999 square feet

169 sq. ft. + 3% of facade area over 1,500 sq. ft.

Over 3,000 square feet

214 sq. ft. + 3% of facade area to a maximum of 400 sq. ft.

(Ord. 12-10 §§ 1 – 3, 2012; Ord. 10-29 § 1, 2010; Ord. 10-27 § 4, 2010; Ord. 10-25 § 32, 2010; Ord. 04-07 § 20, 2004; Ord. 00-09 § 4, 2000. Formerly 10.05.050).

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