Sec. 35.1-26.3. General regulations.
(a) The following shall not be subject to the provisions of the zoning ordinance regulating signs:
(1) Signs which are subject to the regulations of the Virginia Department of Transportation and which are placed in the public rights-of-way or on city-owned property by the city for public information purposes. Such signs include but are not limited to, signs which direct or regulate pedestrian or vehicular traffic, community identification signs which identify the location of buildings and facilities or scenic or historic attractions, and similar types of signs;
(3) Memorial signs or tablets; and
(4) Decorative embellishments attached to light poles.
(6) Signs that are intended for wayfinding purposes in or signs that are only legible from within an IN-1 or IN-2, Institutional District.
(b) For the purposes of the zoning ordinance, other provisions notwithstanding, awning signs shall be allowed and treated as building mounted signs. The maximum permissible area for awning signs shall be subject to, and calculated with, the maximum permissible building mounted sign area for the specific district in which such signs are located. These provisions are applicable to awning signs regardless of the material.
(c) Window signs covering more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the glass area shall be calculated with and included in the maximum permitted building mounted sign area in the district.
(d) Discontinued uses. Within thirty (30) days after a use or activity that is advertised by a sign ceases, the owner of such use or activity or the owner of the property on which the sign advertising the discontinued use or activity is located shall remove any changeable copy on the sign. In the event the use of any nonconforming sign is abandoned for two (2) or more years the sign and its supporting structure shall be removed by the owner of the use or activity or by the owner of the property on which the sign is located. If the sign and its supporting structure are not removed the city shall give the property owner notice to remove the sign and a deadline for removal. If the property owner fails to remove the sign after having been given written notice by the city to do so or if the city after reasonable efforts to do so is unable to locate the property owner, the city may pursue any or all of the following remedies: (i) through its employees or agents enter the property upon which the sign is located, remove the sign and its supporting structure and bill the property owner for the costs of such removal; (ii) apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order requiring the removal of such abandoned nonconforming sign by the owner by means of injunction or other appropriate remedy; and/or (iii) charge the owner of the property where the sign is located with a violation of the zoning ordinance as provided in Section 35.1-20.
(e) Existing signs. Any existing sign and/or sign structure legally erected and maintained, which is nonconforming to the provisions of the June 22, 2004 amendments to the zoning ordinance, may continue in its nonconforming status as long as it is maintained in its then structural condition as it existed at the time of adoption of this article (see nonconforming Section 35.1-27). When a nonconforming sign, sign frame, and/or sign structure is intentionally reconstructed or structurally altered by the business or building owner, the surface area and height requirements for a new sign, sign frame, and/or sign structure, under this ordinance, shall apply. The new sign, sign frame, and/or sign structure may exceed the ordinance requirements, however, to a limit which is calculated by taking a twenty-five percent (25%) reduction in the height and/or square foot area of the original sign, sign frame and/or sign structure, provided that the new sign, sign frame, and or sign structure is constructed within sixty (60) days of the removal of the previous nonconforming sign and sign application approval is granted as provided in Sections 35.1-26 through 35.1-26.16.14 of the zoning ordinance. New signs, sign frames and/or sign structures, which exceed the ordinance requirements pursuant to this provision shall be considered as nonconforming. Replacements of signs destroyed by acts of God, or other occurrences beyond the control of the owner shall comply fully with Section 35.1-26 of the zoning ordinance. (View 25% Reduction In Height Sign
(f) Portable signs, pennants, streamers, off site directional signs, and flashing signs are prohibited.
(g) Compliance with electrical code. All illuminated signs must comply with UL standards of the statewide uniform building code.
(h) Violations and penalties: refer to Section 35.1-20. (Ord. No. O-04-074, 6-22-04; Ord. No. O-13-034)