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Municipal Code

Chapter 24. Sign Code

Sec. 24-13. Design guidelines.

(1) General size, scale and location to the extent practical.

  1. Signs affixed to the exterior of a building shall be compatible with the style, composition, materials, colors and details of the building, as well as with other signs used on the building or its vicinity.
  2. Signs shall fit within the existing facade features, shall be confined to signable areas and shall not interfere with door and window openings, conceal architectural details or obscure the composition of the facade.
  3. Sign size shall be scaled to be appropriate with the size of the overall elevation and architectural form(s) on which it is located.
  4. Whenever possible, signs located on buildings within the same block shall be placed at the same height in order to create a unified sign band.
  5. Signs on multiple-tenant buildings should be designed to complement or enhance other signs on the building.
  6. Monument signs are the preferred style of freestanding signs. Wall signs are the preferred style of building signs.

(2) Materials and installation.

  1. Signs shall be mounted so that the method of installation is concealed. Signs applied to masonry surfaces should be mechanically fastened to mortar joints only and not directly into brick or stone. Drilling to provide electrical service shall follow the same rule.
  2. No sign (except flags) shall be suspended by chains or other devices that will allow the sign to swing due to wind action. Signs shall be anchored to minimize any lateral movement that would cause wear on the sign face or supporting members or connections.
  3. All permanent signs and their supporting members shall be constructed of standardized sign materials.
  4. Sign materials should be compatible with the design of the face of the facade where they are placed and should contribute to the legibility of the sign.
  5. No combustible materials other than approved plastics shall be used in the construction of electric signs.
  6. All signs shall comply with the appropriate detailed provisions of the building code as adopted by the city relating to the design, structural members and connections. Signs shall also comply with the applicable provisions of the electrical code as adopted by the city.
  7. Monument sign structures shall be constructed utilizing the materials and colors of the primary structure on the site or other compatible material.

(3) Color.

  1. Sign colors and finish shall be designed to reduce glare and enhance legibility.
  2. The use of compatible colors is recommended both on the sign face and between the sign and structure, buildings, surroundings or project.
  3. The use of too many colors is discouraged to avoid overwhelming the basic function of communication and compete with the content for the viewer's attention.
  4. When a single property has multiple tenants with separate storefronts, wall signs shall be compatible.

(4) Typeface and size.

  1. The size of the letter area to the overall sign background shall be proportionate.
  2. Where a single property has multiple tenants with separate storefronts, the sign area and height shall be of uniform size on all wall signs.
  3. The number of letter styles should be limited to not more than two for smaller signs and three for larger signs.
  4. Symbols and logos can be used in place of words wherever appropriate.
  5. Identification signs of a prototype design and corporate logos shall conform to the criteria for all other signs.

(5) Landscaping. A landscaped planting area shall be provided around the base of all freestanding, permanently mounted signs. The planting area shall extend from the sign base a minimum of three feet, be protected from vehicular encroachment, and be landscaped with a combination of low-growing shrubs or ground covers. The landscaped treatment shall be designed and maintained not to obstruct visibility of the sign message.

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