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Municipal Code

Chapter 24. Sign Code

Sec. 24-17. Non-conforming signs and sign structures.

(1) Policy. It is the policy of the City of Marshfield to encourage, and to the maximum extent practicable, require that all signs within the city be brought into compliance with the terms of this chapter.

(2) Valid permit required. The status afforded sign and sign structures pursuant to this section shall not be applicable to any sign or sign structure for which a sign permit was initially required but for which no sign permit was ever issued. Such sign and/or sign structures are deemed illegal and are subject to the provisions of this chapter governing illegal signs.

(3) Existing sign and/or sign structures rendered non-conforming. Signs which existed prior to the effective date of this chapter and which were constructed in compliance with the previous regulations but became non-conforming as a result of this legislation will be regulated as follows:

  1. A non-conforming sign may be altered, converted or changed as long as such alteration, conversion or change does not increase the extent of non-conformity or exceed the 50-percent provision in paragraph (d) of this subsection.   No such sign shall be moved in whole or in part to any other locations where it would remain non-conforming.
  2. Any non-conforming sign, the use of which has been discontinued for a period of 90 days, regardless of any intent to resume or not to abandon such, shall not thereafter be reestablished except in full compliance with this chapter.
  3. The routine maintenance or repair of a sign and sign structures is permitted, provided the cumulative repair or maintenance does not exceed 50 percent of the replacement cost of the sign.
  4. If any non-conforming sign requires change, repair, or maintenance which would constitute an expense of more than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the sign, such sign must either be removed or brought within the requirements of this section. Any non-conforming sign that is damaged due to circumstances beyond the owner's control shall be allowed to be rebuilt, provided that the nonconformity is not increased in any way.  Any sign that must be removed shall be done so within 60 days, weather permitting, of the date of the receipt of notice from the zoning administrator. Any sign requiring change, repair, or maintenance to become conforming must be restored within 120 days, weather permitting from the date of notice.
  5. A sign that would be permitted under this chapter only with a sign permit, but which was in existence on the effective date of this chapter, or on a later date when the property is annexed to the city, and which was constructed in accordance the ordinances and other applicable laws in effect on the date of its constructions, but which by reason of its size, height, location, or construction is not in conformance with the requirements of this chapter, shall be issued a non-conforming sign permit if an application is filed within 90 days of receiving notification of non-conformance from the zoning administrator.
  6. Bring the existing sign into compliance with the code.

(4) Condemnation.

  1. Legal non-conforming sign and sign structures located on a lot of property that is severed from a larger lot of property and acquired by a public entity for public use by condemnation, purchase, dedication or any other means may, at the discretion of the city, be relocated on the remaining lot without extinguishing the legal non-conforming status of the sign provided that the non-conforming sign:
    1. Is not increased in size or height;
    2. Remains structurally unchanged except for reasonable repairs or alterations;
    3. Is placed in the same relative position on the remaining property that is occupied prior to the relocation; and
    4. Is relocated in such a manner so as to comply with all applicable safety requirements.
  2. After relocation pursuant to this section, the legal non-conforming sign shall be subject to all provisions of this sign code in its new location.

(Ord. No. 987, 1—3, 9-9-2003; Ord. No. 999, 1—3, 10-27-2003; Ord. No. 1136, 1, 8-26-2008)