Sec. 35.1-26.16. Modified signs.
(a) Except for those standards for signs which must be modified by the granting of a variance, or a rezoning, modified signs are permitted in all zoning districts, except historic districts, by conditional use permit approving a comprehensive signage plan. A request for a conditional use permit shall be sought in the same manner as provided by Section 35.1-15 of the zoning ordinance. City council may grant a conditional use permit upon a determination that:
(1) There is good cause for deviating from a strict application of the requirements of the zoning ordinance
(2) The modification(s), as proposed, will serve the public purposes and objectives set forth in the zoning ordinance at least as well, or better, that the signage that would otherwise be required under the zoning standards and requirements.
(3) For purposes of this section, the term "comprehensive signage plan" refers to a written plan detailing the type, quantity, size, shape, color, and location of all signs within the development that is the subject of the plan, where the number, characteristics, and/or location(s) of one (1) or more signs referenced in the plan do not comply with the requirements of the zoning ordinance.
(b) In approving a conditional use permit, city council may impose conditions regarding the location and other features of the proposed sign(s) as it may deem necessary to promote the public interest and to ensure the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance are met.
(c) City council will not grant more than the minimum modifications to the standards or requirements for signs than are necessary. City council will not grant a permanent modification to a standard or requirement if a temporary modification will suffice. A temporary modification may be granted if city council determines that permanent compliance can be obtained in a future phase of development of the site where the sign is located.
(d) City council will not grant a modification of any standard or requirement for a sign if:
(1) Ordinary financial considerations are the principal reason for the requested modification.
(2) The applicant created the condition or situation generating the need for the modification or the applicant has not exhausted all other practical solutions to the problem, including but not limited to, the redesign or relocation of the sign.
(3) The requested modification would create a special privilege or convenience for the applicant.
(e) Applications for a conditional use permit for a modified sign shall include the following:
(1) A written narrative description of the proposed modified sign, including a listing of the total number of signs proposed for the site and a summary of how the applicant believes the modified sign will serve the objectives set forth in the zoning ordinance.
(2) A written description of the type, size (dimensions), materials and proposed location of each sign on the site.
(3) A written description of any proposed lighting for illuminated signs.
(4) Color illustrations or photographs of signage existing on adjacent properties.
(f) City council shall not deny an application for a modification based upon the content of the sign and the denial of an application on such grounds is prohibited.
(g) Appeals of a decision of city council shall be taken in the same manner as provided in the zoning ordinance and in the Code of Virginia.
(h) Except for those standards for signs which must be modified by the granting of a variance, a conditional use permit or a rezoning, modified signs are permitted in a historic district by a certificate of appropriateness issued by the historic preservation commission. A request for a certificate of appropriateness for a modified sign shall be submitted to the historic preservation commission in the manner provided by Section 35.1-44.1 of the zoning ordinance. The historic preservation commission may grant modifications upon a determination that:
(1) The proposed sign is a re-creation or repair of a historically significant sign.
(2) The proposed sign will not be detrimental to the character of the historic district in which it is located or other adjacent properties.
The historic preservation commission shall not deny an application for a modification of a sign in a historic district based upon the content of the sign and the denial of an application on such grounds is prohibited. Appeals of a decision of the historic preservation commission shall be taken in the manner provided in section 35.1-44.1 of the zoning ordinance and in the Code of Virginia. (Ord. No. O-04-074, 6-22-04)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM