TITLE 18 - Signs and Related Regulations

 

CHAPTER 18.01 GENERAL PROVISIONS

18.01.010 Title
18.01.020 Purpose
18.01.030 Compliance with Title Provisions
18.01.040 Interpretation
18.01.050 Relationship to Other Regulations
18.01.060 Definitions

CHAPTER 18.02 SIGN REGULATIONS

18.02.020 Purpose and Scope
18.02.030 Permits Required
18.02.040 Application
18.02.050 Measurement
18.02.060 Fees
18.02.070 Maintenance
18.02.080 Inspections
18.02.090 Abatement of Abandoned Signs
18.02.100 Sign Sizes
18.02.110 Exemptions
18.02.120 Prohibited Signs
18.02.130 Non-conforming Exceptional Signs
18.02.140 Non-conforming Existing Signs
18.02.150 Variance
18.02.160 Penalties
18.02.170 Severability

CHAPTER 18.01 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Legislative History: Ord. 2004 (2013)

SECTIONS:
18.01.010 Title
18.01.020 Purpose
18.01.030 Compliance with Title Provisions
18.01.040 Interpretation
18.01.050 Relationship to Other Regulations
18.01.060 Definitions


18.01.010 Title.  This title shall be known as the Sign Ordinance of the City of Hood River and shall be referred to herein as "this title."

18.01.020 Purpose.  This title has been designed in accordance with the goals, policies, and most appropriate statements of the intent of the City's Comprehensive Plan.  It is the purpose of this title, therefore, to provide a means for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

18.01.030 Compliance with Title Provisions

A. No permit shall be issued by the Building Official for the construction, reconstruction, or alteration of a sign or lot that does not conform to the requirements of this title.

B. A plan showing the proposed construction or structural alteration shall be required.  The applicant shall be responsible for the accuracy of the plan. 

18.01.040 Interpretations

A. The City Manager or other city official, as designated by the City Council, shall have the initial authority and responsibility to interpret and enforce all terms, provision, and requirements of the Sign Ordinance.  If requested, the City Manager shall make an interpretation in writing.  The City Manager’s interpretation does not have the effect of amending the provisions of this Title. Any interpretation of  this Title shall be based on the following considerations:
1. The Comprehensive Plan;
2. The purpose and intent of the Sign Ordinance as applied to the particular section in question; and
3. The opinion of the City Attorney.

CHAPTER 18.02 - SIGN REGULATIONS

Legislative History:   Ord. 2004 (2013)

SECTIONS:
18.02.020 Purpose and Scope
18.02.030 Permits Required
18.02.040 Application
18.02.050 Measurement
18.02.060 Fees
18.02.070 Maintenance
18.02.080 Inspections
18.02.090 Abatement of Abandoned Signs
18.02.100 Sign Sizes
18.02.110 Exemptions
18.02.120 Prohibited Signs
18.02.130 Non-conforming Exceptional Signs
18.02.140 Non-conforming Existing Signs
18.02.150 Variance
18.02.160 Penalties
18.02.170 Severability


18.02.020 Purpose And Scope

A. This ordinance provides reasonable and necessary regulations for the erection and maintenance of signs in order to:
1. Maintain a balance between the need to identify buildings and activities and the negative impact on community image created by visual clutter;
2. Protect the public health and safety;
3. Preserve, protect, and enhance the economic, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values and objectives of the City; and
4. Prevent the interference of signage regulated herein with official traffic signs or signals.
B. The regulations of this code are not intended to permit any violation of the provisions of any other law or regulation.
C. The Uniform Sign Code, as amended, is hereby adopted by reference as though fully set forth.  In cases of conflict between the provisions of said sign code and this ordinance, the provisions of this ordinance shall apply. 
D. It is not the purpose of this ordinance to regulate signs that are regulated exclusively by federal or state law.  In any case in which federal or state law preempts this ordinance, federal or state law shall apply.

18.02.030 Permits Required.  A sign shall not hereafter be erected, re-erected, constructed, and altered, except as provided by this code and after a permit for the same has been issued by the city.  A separate permit shall be required for a sign or signs for each entity, and a separate permit shall be required for each group of signs on a single supporting structure.  In addition, electrical permits shall be obtained for electric signs.  All signs are subject to review by the building and planning departments of the City of Hood River.

18.02.040 Application.  Application for a sign permit shall be made in writing upon forms furnished by the City.  Such application shall contain the location by street and number of the proposed sign structure, the name and address of the owner, the sign name and address of the contractor or erector, and a complete site plan.  The Building Official may require the filing of plans or other pertinent information where in his opinion such information is necessary to ensure compliance with this code.  Standard plans may be filed with the City.

18.02.050 Measurement.  The following criteria shall be used in measuring a sign and sign placement to determine compliance with this ordinance:
1. Area of Face:  "False fronts" and mansard roofs will be excluded when calculating the area of the primary face.
2. Height:  The overall height of a sign or sign structure is measured from the average grade directly below the sign to the highest point of the sign or sign structure.
3. Legal Setback Line:  A setback line established by ordinance beyond which a sign may not be built.  A legal setback line may be a property, vision clearance, or vehicle clearance line.
4. Roof Line: The ridge on a gable, peaked roof or the parapet or fascia of a flat roof.  A mansard roof is considered a gable roof for the purposes of this definition.
5. Sign Area: The area of the smallest geometric figure which encompasses the facing of a sign, including copy, insignia, background, and borders, but excluding essential sign structure, foundation, or support.  For a multi-faced or two-sided sign, the sign area shall be the total of all faces.  If the sign consists of more than one (1) section or module, all areas will be totaled.
6. Vision Clearance:  Vision clearance is a triangular area formed at a corner lot or parcel by the intersection of dedicated public right-of-way lines and a straight line joining said lines through points fifteen (15) feet back from their intersection.  The vision clearance area shall provide an area of unobstructed vision from three and one-half (3 1/2) to eight (8) feet above the top of the curb.  Natural topographic features, utility poles, and tree trunks are excluded from this requirement.  Refer to Diagram “A” – Visual Clearance (Section 17.04.090).

18.02.060 Fees.  A sign permit fee and a plan-checking fee shall be paid in accordance with the schedule established by resolution of the City Council.

18.02.070 Maintenance.  All signs and sign support structures, together with all of their supports, braces, guys, and anchors shall be maintained in a safe condition.  The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or posted at all times. 

18.02.080 Inspections.  All signs for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the Building Official. Footing inspections may be required by the Building Official for all signs having footings including post type signs.  All signs containing electrical wiring shall be subject to the provisions of the applicable electrical code, and the electrical components used shall bear the label of an approved testing agency.  The Building Official may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of Section 15.24, after notice to the owner of record of the premises in which the sign is located.  All signs may be re-inspected at the discretion of the Building Official.

18.02.090 Abatement of Abandoned Signs.  Abandoned signs may be abated pursuant to Hood River Municipal Code, Chapter 8.08, as a nuisance.

18.02.100 Sign Sizes.

A. Commercial and Industrial Zones:
1. Number:
a. The total number of signs per entity shall not exceed three (3) signs, not including free-standing or directional signs; and
b. There shall not be more than two (2) signs on any building face.
c. Entities that occupy more than one (1) building shall be treated as separate entities.
2. Area: 
a. The total area of signs allowed on the primary face shall not exceed eight percent (8%) of the building face, occupied by that entity, including windows.
b. A sign constructed on a second building face of an entity shall not exceed four percent (4%) of that building face.
c. If an entity has three (3) building faces, the sign allowed on the second building face may be increased to eight percent (8%) of that building face.  If a third sign is placed on the third face, it shall not exceed four percent (4%) of that building face.
d. In no case shall the total area of all signs on any one building face exceed 200 square feet.
3. Height:  The maximum height of all free-standing signs, with the exception of the freeway zone, shall be twenty-five (25) feet.
4. Free-standing signs:
a. Free-standing signs shall be limited to one (1) per parcel and shall be included in the total area of allowed signs for each entity.
b. Free-standing signs shall not exceed a total of sixty-four (64) square feet of area and not exceed two (2) faces.
c. Parcels over 150,000 square feet (3.44 acres) in one (1) ownership shall be entitled to a free-standing sign not to exceed a total of 100 square feet.
d. Free-standing signs (all portions) shall meet the vision clearance and vehicle clearance requirements.
5. Projecting Signs:  A projecting sign shall not exceed thirty-two (32) total square feet.
6. Roof Signs:  No sign shall extend above the roof line or the top of a parapet wall, whichever is higher.
7. Awnings:  signs on awnings shall not exceed the permitted sign area.
8. Temporary signs:
a. Temporary signs shall be limited to one (1) per parcel for up to ninety (90) days.
b. Temporary signs shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in size.
9. Sandwich boards:
a. Only one (1) sandwich board on private property per entity shall be allowed.
b. A sandwich board shall be included in the total number of signs and sign area allowed for a particular entity.

B. Residential zones.
1. Subdivisions:
a. Permanent signs are limited to a maximum area of sixteen (16) square feet.
b. Maximum height of a permanent sign shall be six (6) feet.
c. Permanent signs shall be limited to one (1) at each entrance to the subdivision.
2. Multi-Family Dwellings: 
a. A permanent sign for twelve (12) or more multi-family dwelling units may have a maximum area of sixteen (16) square feet.
b. A permanent sign for eleven (11) or fewer multi-family units may have a maximum area of twelve (12) square feet.
3. Standards:
a. Height:  Six (6) feet.
b. Illumination:  Signs may have external illumination.  Reflective type bulbs shall be used for indirect illumination of the  display surface, if properly shielded from direct  glare onto streets and adjacent properties.  Electric signs are prohibited.
4. Nonresidential Uses (including hospitals, schools, churches, and other institutional uses):
a. Size:  Maximum twenty-four (24) square feet in size.
b. Number: one (1) per parcel unless on a corner lot which allows a maximum of two (2) signs totaling twenty-four (24) square feet in size.
5. Temporary Signs:
a. Temporary signs shall be limited to one (1) per parcel for up to ninety (90) days.
b. Temporary signs shall not exceed twelve (12) square feet in size.
6. Bed and Breakfast Facilities / Home Occupations:
a. Home occupation (Section 17.04.100): a non-illuminated sign no larger than one (1) square foot.
b. Bed and breakfast facilities (Section 17.04.110): one (1) non-illuminated sign not exceeding one and one-half (1½) square feet.

C. Open Space/Public Facilities Zone.
1. Two (2) signs for each site or facility shall be allowed.
2. Each sign shall not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet in size.

D. Freeway Zone.
1. Purpose:  This special overlay zone is intended to provide for and regulate free-standing signs located along I-84.  The affected properties, as described below, are those that depend primarily on highway traffic.  Because of the sign’s location, traffic along I-84 cannot read them within a reasonable and safe distance to exit the highway.  Therefore, height and area limitations for free-standing signs in this zone have been increased. 
2. Location:  The Freeway Zone shall be described as the area located east of the White Salmon-Highway 35 highway, west of the City of Hood River/Hood River County boundary, south of the Columbia River, and north of I-84, located within the city limits of Hood River and zoned Commercial  or Light Industrial within the following described boundaries:
a. Commencing at Engineer's Centerline Station "'2nd' 13+77.00 P.O.T.", thence north 1-03-44 East to Station "'2nd' 17+01.06 P.S." and the point of beginning of the description contained herein; thence West 40.00 feet to a point; thence Northerly along a 40.00 foot offset line from said '2nd' Street Centerline, said Centerline being described as a 20-00-00 degree spiral to the left with a length of 200 feet and a deflection angle of 2.5, to Station "'2nd' 19+01.06 P.S.C."; thence along a 20-00-00 degree simple curve to the left, an arc distance of 177.48 feet to Station "'2nd' 20+78.55 P.T."; thence from said offset line, Northeasterly a distance of 40.00 feet to said Centerline Station "'2nd' 20+78.55 P.T."; thence North 54-26-03 West along said Centerline a distance of 72 feet to the Centerline of Access Road 'C'; thence North 35-33-50 East a distance of 24 feet to Centerline Station "'R' 1193+06.04 P.C."; thence along a 35-00-00 degree simple curve to the right an arc distance of 162.25 feet to Station "'R' 1194+68.30 P.T."; thence South 87-38-53 East along said 'R' Centerline a distance of 204.75 feet to Engineer's Centerline "'R' 1196+73.05 P.O.T."; thence continuing along said centerline extended a distance of 960 feet to the West bank of the Hood River as it exists this date; thence southerly along said West bank a distance of 800 feet to the North right-of-way of Interstate 84; thence Westerly along said North right-of-way a distance of 900 feet to a point 200 feet East of the Point of Beginning; thence West 200 feet to the Point of Beginning.  Bearings, distances, and stations based on Oregon State Highway Division Preliminary Copy of The Construction Detail Map of the "Second Street Interchange, (Hood River)", dated September 1991.
3. Number: One (1) free-standing sign shall be permitted for each parcel/ownership and shall be included in the allowed area for signs as listed in the Commercial/Industrial section of this ordinance.
4. Area:  The sign shall not exceed an area of 200 square feet per face and shall not have more than two (2) faces.
5. Height:  The sign shall not exceed sixty (60) feet.
6. Other signs: All other signs shall meet the requirements of the Commercial/Industrial portion of this ordinance.


18.02.110 Exemptions.  The following signs shall not require review under this ordinance:
1. Change of Ownership:  A change of sign ownership requires compliance with this ordinance.
2. Directional Signs: Directional signs less than six (6) feet above grade and less than twelve (12) square feet or six (6) square feet per side in compliance with the vision clearance and vehicle criteria.
3. Banners:  Banners attached to the City of Hood River's classic light poles
4. Memorial Tablets or Signs:  Signs carved into a building or which are a part of materials which are an integral part of the building.
5. Traffic Signs:  Traffic, municipal, or directional signs for hospital or emergency services, legal notices, railroad signs, and danger signs.

18.02.120 Prohibited Signs.  The following signs are prohibited within the City limits of Hood River:
1. Moving Signs:  Moving signs or flashing signs or any sign or structure which has any visible moving part or visible mechanical movement of any description or other apparent visible movement achieved by any means, including intermittent electrical pulsation or by action of normal wind currents, excepting clocks, barber poles, public service information signs, and time or temperature signs.
2. Portable Signs: Portable or bench signs, excluding sandwich boards located on private property.
3. Pole and Tree Signs: Signs placed on, painted on, or affixed to any utility pole or tree.
4. Unofficial Signs: Unofficial signs which purport to be, or are an imitation of, or resemble official traffic signs or signals, or which attempt to direct the movement of traffic, or which hide from view any official traffic sign or signal.
5. Car Signs:  A sign placed on, affixed to, or painted on a motor vehicle, vehicle, or trailer, which is placed on public or private property for the primary purpose of providing a sign not otherwise permitted in this ordinance.
6. Flags and Banners:  Flags, banners, and objects designed to move with the wind that are located on a roof or project above a roof by more than forty-five (45) feet if located on a free-standing pole.

18.02.130 Non-Conforming Exceptional Signs.  The Planning Commission will conduct a quasi-judicial hearing in accordance with the requirements of Review Procedures (Section 17.09) of the Hood River Municipal Code upon submission of an application for recognition as a nonconforming exceptional sign.  The Planning Commission may recognize exceptional nonconforming signs when the following three (3) criteria are met:
1. Age.  The sign structure was constructed at least thirty-five (35) years prior to the date of application, and has been maintained or restored in its original location, design, and appearance;
2. Asset.  The sign structure is recognized as a special feature in the city, and a visual or historic asset; and
3. Inspection.  The sign structure has been inspected and certified by a licensed sign contractor and a licensed electrician (if applicable) to be in safe condition.


18.02.140 Non-Conforming Existing Signs
A. Nonconforming signs are those signs lawfully installed prior to the effective date of this ordinance that do not conform to the standards of this code.
B. All nonconforming signs for a single entity shall be made to comply with this ordinance when structural alteration, relocation, replacement with a different sign, or application for a new sign for that entity occurs.  Repair of a part of a sign or sign structure to a safe condition, including normal maintenance, shall be permitted without loss of its nonconforming status provided that there are no other changes to the sign or sign structure. 
C. All nonconforming signs shall be made to comply with this ordinance no later than November 1, 1998.  Any nonconforming temporary sign shall be made to comply with this ordinance by May 1, 1992.  All nonconforming signs located in the Freeway Zone shall be made to comply with this ordinance no later than 180 days after the effective date of this ordinance.
D. Nonconforming signs lawfully located within the City of Hood River commercial or industrial zone on the effective date of this ordinance that are visible from a federal interstate highway or federally aided primary (hereinafter "such signs") may remain unless funds are allocated to provide for payment of just compensation by the City of Hood River pursuant to ORS Chapter 377 and the Highway Beautification Act, provided that within sixty (60) days from the effective date of this ordinance the owner of each such sign:
1. Provides proof to the City Planning Department that each such sign was in existence on the effective date of this ordinance;
2. Provides the location of each such sign on the effective date of this ordinance to the City Planning Department;
3. Provides a copy of a valid permit for each such sign issued by the State of Oregon pursuant to ORS 377.700 - 377.840.
E. Signs located on property annexed to the City of Hood River after the adoption of this ordinance shall be made to comply with this Chapter within seven (7) years of annexation.
F. Signs located on real property located at 3N 10E 27D, Tax Lot 1000, shall be required to comply with the following provisions as long as the property remains in its present configuration.
1. Two free-standing signs shall be permitted.
2. Area:  No sign shall exceed an area of 200 square feet per face and shall have no more than two (2) faces.
3. Height:  Free-standing signs shall not exceed 60 feet.

18.02.150 Variance.  Relief may be requested from all sign regulations except for prohibited signs pursuant to the provisions of the Variances section (Chapter 17.18) of this title.

18.02.160 Penalties.  Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a violation and will be subject to the penalty and abatement proceedings in the Severability – Penalties section (Chapter 17.10) of this title.  In addition to any costs, assessments, or restitution the court may impose, the fine shall not be less than $250 per violations plus $2.50 per day in which the person is found in violation, and shall not exceed $1,000 per violation plus $10 per day in which the person is found in violation.

18.02.170 Severability.  The invalidity of a section or subsection of this ordinance shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections or subsections.