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Chapter 415


Section 415.010. Purpose. [Ord. No. 428 §1, 2-5-2014]

A. The purpose of this Chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, quality of materials, construction, locations, electrification and maintenance of all signs and sign structures not located within a building.

B. No sign shall be erected in such a manner to confuse or obstruct the view or interpretation of any official traffic sign, signal or devise.

C. The regulations of this Chapter are not intended to permit any violations of other provisions of this Code or of any other lawful ordinance.

D. This Chapter shall not affect any existing signs as of date of passage, except that where this Chapter calls for sign removal, that paragraph shall be enforced only after the day of passage.

Section 415.020. Advertising Signs and Billboards. [Ord. No. 428 §2, 2-5-2014]

A. No billboards or advertising signs shall be permitted inside the City limits, except:

1. Temporary signs pertaining to the lease or sale of a building or premises; provided, however, that such signs do not exceed nine (9) square feet in area, and no more than one (1) sign, for the identical purpose, may be exhibited.

2. No sign may exceed fifty (50) square feet in size.

3. The sign must be attached to a building and may not project from any building more than three (3) feet, nor be higher than ten (10) feet above rooftop, except filling stations may have one sign not attached to a building.

4. All portions of the sign and supporting structure must be a minimum of twelve (12) feet above the street elevation.

5. All signs must be set back a minimum of ten (10) feet from the street right-of-way.

6. All signs must be kept properly maintained, painted and supported.

B. Advertising signs will be permitted when utilized to advertise the business on the lot or parcel upon which the sign is located.

Section 415.030. Sign Permit. [Ord. No. 428 §3, 2-5-2014]

A. Application. Persons wishing to erect a sign as provided in Section 414.010 shall file an application for a permit together with plans and data showing his ideas and intentions as well as specifications and location of the proposed sign.

B. Filing Of Application; Review. Such application shall be filed with the City Clerk who shall immediately refer such application to the Board of Aldermen for review.

C. Approval Or Denial. After review by the Board of Aldermen to determine compliance with this Chapter, the permit shall be approved or denied. If denied, the reason therefor shall be stated and the applicant notified of the reason for such denial.

D. Exemption.

1. The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to signs which were in place at the date of the passage of the ordinance from which this Chapter is derived.

2. The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to notices posted by law enforcement in association with their official duties, notices posted by order of any court, notices posted in association with a legal action for the purposes of making service of legal process, or notice to the public required by law to be posted in public places.

Section 415.040. Abandoned Sign Removal — When Deemed Nuisance. [Ord. No. 428 §4, 2-5-2014]

A. The sign copy on any abandoned sign shall either be entirely removed from the abandoned sign or covered with an opaque material matching the background color of the abandoned sign by the owner of the real estate or at such owner’s direction within sixty (60) days of the date upon which the use of the real estate which was advertised by the abandoned sign is terminated.

B. Within sixty (60) days of the mailing of written notification from the City to the owner of the real estate upon which an abandoned sign is located, regarding the requirement of removal of sign copy on any abandoned sign described in Subsection (A) hereof, then such sign copy shall be removed by said owner or at such owner’s direction in the manner described in Subsection (A).

C. Any person notified under this Chapter to abate a nuisance shall exercise one (1) of the following alternatives within seven (7) days from service of notice:

1. Abate the nuisance at the expense of the person so notified;

2. Furnish the City Clerk with written consent for the City to abate the nuisance with the costs of such abatement to be assessed to the person consenting. In such circumstance, the person notified to post a bond or deposit in an amount equal to anticipated costs of the abatement as determined by the City; or

3. File a written request with the City Clerk requesting a reconsideration hearing before the Mayor or his or her designee challenging the allegation that a nuisance exists.

D. The giving of notice as provided in this Section shall in no way be a prerequisite to prosecution for violation of this article.

Section 415.050. Non-Conforming Signs — Amortization. [Ord. No. 428 §5, 2-5-2014]

A. All signs which have been lawfully erected shall be deemed to be legal and lawful signs and may be maintained subject to the provisions of this Section.

B. Non-conforming signs which become deteriorated or dilapidated to the extent of over sixty percent (60%) of the physical value they would have if they had been maintained in good repair must be removed within sixty (60) days. Non-conforming signs which are damaged to the extent of sixty percent (60%) or less of their physical value must be repaired within sixty (60) days from date of notification or removed. Non-conforming signs which are damaged, other than by vandalism, to the extent of over sixty percent (60%) of their physical value must be removed within sixty (60) days of receiving such damage or brought into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter. Non-conforming signs which are damaged by vandalism to the extent of over sixty percent (60%) of their physical value must be restored within sixty (60) days, removed or brought into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.

C. Non-conforming signs may not be enlarged or increased in height.

D. Non-conforming signs which are enlarged or increased in height in violation of this Section shall be considered a nuisance.

E. A non-conforming sign may not be relocated except when such relocation brings the sign into compliance with this Chapter. Non-conforming signs which are relocated in violation of this Section must be removed.

Section 415.060. Violations and Penalties. [Ord. No. 428 §6, 2-5-2014]

Any person, firm or corporation who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects or refuses to comply with or resists the enforcement of any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of an ordinance violation. Each day that the violation is permitted to exist after notification in writing by the City Clerk or Mayor and the expiration of time designated in said notice shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 415.070. Non-Exclusive Remedies. [Ord. No. 428 §7, 2-5-2014]

A. The procedure set forth in this section is not a prerequisite nor does it preclude the City from seeking prosecution of these violations pursuant to other ordinances of the City, said conviction which may result in a punishment of a fine or imprisonment; provided that in any case where a penalty for an offense is fixed by State Statute of the State, the statutory penalty, and no other, shall be imposed for such fine. Every day any violation of this Chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense. The Mayor may elect among the following remedies:

1. Civil Penalties. A user who has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this division, an individual sign permit, or order issued hereunder, or any other standard or requirement shall be liable to the City for a maximum civil penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) per violation, per day. In the case of a monthly or other long-term violation, penalties shall accrue for each day during the period of the violation.

a. The Mayor may recover reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with enforcement activities, including abatement expenses, and the cost of any actual damages incurred by the City.

b. In determining the amount of civil liability, the court shall take into account all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent of harm caused by the violation, the magnitude and duration of the violation, any economic benefit gained through the user’s violation, corrective actions by the user, the compliance history of the user, and any other factor as justice requires.

c. Filing a suit for civil penalties shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against a user.

2. Abatement.

a. When the City, whether by its own means or by contract, has effected the cutting and removal of any sign as provided in this Chapter, the City shall bill the responsible property owner promptly for all expenses incurred therefor by the City, and such bill shall be payable within thirty (30) days. If such bill is not paid within thirty (30) days, the expenses therein set out, plus accrued interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum from the date of completion of the work, shall be included in the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the City and such charge shall be due and payable by such owner at the time payment of such tax bill becomes due.

b. Where the full amount due the City under this Section 415.070 is not paid within thirty (30) days, the Mayor or City Clerk shall promptly record in the office of the Audrain County Collector a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred in the work, the date of completion of the work, and the description and location of the property on which the work was done, and the recordation of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus court costs, if any, until final payment has been made. The costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes and shall be subject to a delinquent penalty of eight percent (8%) in the event they are not paid in full before the tax bill upon which such charge appears becomes delinquent.

c. Sworn statements recorded as provided in this Section 415.070 shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and the work has been properly and satisfactorily done, and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest and costs, constitutes a lien against the property designated or described in the statement and that the charges stated therein are due and collectible as provided by law.