Do I need a sign permit?

  • A.

    Sign Permit. A sign permit is required to erect, move, alter, replace, suspend, display, or attach a sign, whether permanent or temporary, unless otherwise specified in Section 17.75.050 (Signs and Sign Activities Allowed Without a Permit).

    B.

    Sign Program. The purpose of a sign program is to facilitate harmonious signs on multi-tenant commercial properties.

    1.

    A sign program approved by the planning commission is required for any parcel with four or more businesses or commercial tenant spaces, regardless of whether the tenant spaces are occupied. A sign program may be requested by an applicant for a parcel with fewer than four businesses or tenant spaces, but is not required.

    2.

    Individual signs within each sign program must comply with the provisions of this chapter.

    3.

    Once a sign program is approved, sign permits are not required for individual business signs that are installed in compliance with the sign program: individual signs in compliance with an approved sign program can be approved by the director through a sign program compliance review.

    (Ord. No. 652, § 2, 11-16-21)


  • 17.75.050 - Signs and sign activities allowed without a permit.

    A.

    Signs that do not require permits as may be indicated in Sections 17.75.090 (Standards for All Signs on Non-Residential Properties), and 17.75.100 (Standards for All Signs on Residential Properties).

    B.

    Governmental or other legally required notices or signs, including any city-required window signs for businesses.

    C.

    The following sign activities, subject to any applicable technical permits.

    1.

    The normal maintenance of a sign, including cleaning, repainting, or repairing, except when prohibited for a nonconforming sign.

    2.

    A change in copy or sign face in the same style and color scheme as the existing sign.

    3.

    Changes to the copy of a changeable copy sign.

    4.

    Signs that have completed a compliance review by the director and are installed in conformance with an approved sign program.

    (Ord. No. 652, § 2, 11-16-21)


  • 17.75.060 - Sign permit and sign program application procedures; minor exception; permit denial or revocation; appeal.

    A.

    Sign permit and sign program review shall be performed solely for compliance with this chapter.

    B.

    Application Requirements. An application for a sign permit or sign program shall be filed with the director on a city-approved form and shall include the following information.

    1.

    Sign Permit Application Requirements.

    a.

    Property owner permission for the applied-for sign permit or sign program, in writing.

    b.

    A scaled site plan indicating location of all signs (existing and proposed).

    c.

    Elevations indicating placement of all proposed signs, as well as color photographs no smaller than four inches × six inches clearly showing the elevation, placement, and sign area of all existing signs, including with relation to neighboring properties and structures.

    d.

    Written descriptions of proposed colors, font styles, materials, fabrication methods, and letter sizes for each sign for which a permit is being requested.

    e.

    The address where the proposed sign(s) will be located, including the assessor's parcel number.

    2.

    Sign Program. Two copies of the following information. Approved sign programs will be kept by the planning division and used in the review of any and all sign applications made by the owner or tenants of the subject property.

    a.

    Overall sign design, location, placement, and sizes of all signs proposed within the center, and any existing signs.

    b.

    Fully-dimensioned and detailed site and elevation plans, colored renderings that clearly show lettering design, including a colors and materials board, and written descriptions of each individual proposed sign, and any existing signs.

    c.

    For any application involving the revision or addition to an existing sign program, the applicant must submit a new sign program application to include details of the proposed revision as well as a mailing list of the current tenants at the subject site.

    d.

    The application must include the address where the proposed sign(s) will be located, including the assessor's parcel number.

    C.

    Other Permits Required. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, all signs shall comply with applicable building permit and/or electrical permit requirements.

    D.

    Review and Appeal Authority. Table 17.75.060-1 identifies the responsible review and appeal authority for each type of sign approval. The appeal authority's decision shall be final.


  • TABLE 17.75.060-1


    Permit TypeReview AuthorityAppeal Authority
    Sign PermitDirectorPlanning Commission
    Sign ProgramPlanning CommissionCity Council

     

  • E.

    Sign Permit Findings. The director shall approve a sign permit application, with or without conditions, after making the following findings:

    1.

    The sign complies with the standards of this chapter, any applicable specific plan, and any applicable previously approved sign program.

    2.

    The sign will not impair pedestrian and vehicular safety.

    3.

    The sign's design or proposed construction will not threaten public safety.

    F.

    Sign Program Required Findings. The planning commission shall approve a sign program application, with or without conditions, after making the following findings:

    1.

    The sign program complies with the standards of this chapter, and any applicable specific plan requirements; or

    2.

    A sign program that does not comply with the standards of this chapter, shall be approved only if findings consistent with subsection (I) (Minor Exception), below, can be made.

    3.

    The sign program standards will result in signs that are visually related or complementary to each other and to the buildings and/or developments they identify through the integration of predominant architectural materials, elements, or details of such buildings or developments.

    4.

    The sign program will not result in signs that would impair pedestrian and vehicular safety.

    5.

    The signs' design or proposed construction will not threaten public safety.

    G.

    Application Timelines.

    1.

    Sign Permit.

    a.

    Completeness. The director shall determine completeness of a sign permit application within 15 days of submission. If the application is deemed incomplete, the director shall inform the applicant in writing, stating the reasons therefor. If the application is deemed incomplete a second time, it shall be denied without prejudice and a new application shall be required.

    b.

    The director shall grant, conditionally grant, or deny a sign permit application within ten days after it has been deemed complete. In the event of an application being conditionally granted, or denied, the director shall provide in writing the reasons therefor.

    2.

    Sign Program.

    a.

    The director shall determine completeness of a sign program application within 30 days of submission. If the application is deemed incomplete, the director shall inform the applicant in writing, stating the reasons therefor. A sign program application may be resubmitted up to three times following a determination of incompleteness. Thereafter, an incomplete application shall be denied without prejudice and a new application shall be required.

    b.

    The director shall set for public hearing before the planning commission a completed sign program application on the next available commission meeting, but in no event later than 45 days following a determination of completeness.

    H.

    Sign Permit or Sign Program Conditions. Any condition imposed on a sign permit or sign program will be limited to protecting the public health and safety, or to ensure compliance with view preservation requirements of this code, and will not affect the sign message, or have the intent or effect of reducing allowable signage for a property.

    I.

    Minor Exception. A minor exception to the limitations in this chapter may be obtained as follows:

    a.

    There are special circumstances applicable to the property including size, shape, topography, location, surroundings, building placement, or architectural style that warrant modified standards to afford the property privileges enjoyed by other properties in the vicinity and in the same zone.

    b.

    The modified standards do not constitute a grant of special privileges inconsistent with the limitations upon other properties in the vicinity and in the same zone.

    c.

    The maximum exception allowed is a ten percent increase in sign area and/or 10 percent increase in sign height for any individual sign, and only to the extent necessary to mitigate the special circumstances at the property.

    d.

    A minor exception may not be used to apply for or erect prohibited signs, or signs that would otherwise violate the provisions of this chapter.

    e.

    An application for a minor exception may be filed pursuant to Section 17.66.030 (Application) of this code. The director shall grant or deny the application within ten business days of receipt. The director's decision may be appealed to the planning commission in writing, stating the reasons therefor, within ten calendar days of the date of the decision. The planning commission shall hear the appeal as a noticed public hearing no later than 30 days following the date of the city's receipt of the appeal. The planning commission's decision is final. The time for a challenge to the decision in a court of law shall be governed by California Code of Civil Procedures Section 1094.8. Notice of the planning commission's decision shall include citation to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.8.

    J.

    Modifications to Sign Permits or Sign Programs. An approved sign permit or sign program may be modified or amended through the same procedure as the original approval. However, minor amendments to a sign permit or sign program may be approved by the director if it is determined the intent of the original approval, required findings, and any conditions attached thereto, are not affected.

    K.

    Permit Denial or Revocation.

    1.

    A sign permit or sign program may be denied by that permit's review authority on the following grounds:

    a.

    One or more of the required findings to grant a sign permit or sign program cannot be made.

    b.

    The applicant has made material misrepresentations on the application.

    2.

    A sign permit or sign program may be revoked by that permit's review authority on the following grounds:

    a.

    Any condition of the sign permit or sign program has not been complied with.

    b.

    Uncorrected violations of this chapter.

    c.

    The sign is being operated in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance or is a threat to the public health and safety.

    L.

    Appeals. A review authority's permit decision may be appealed in compliance with Chapter 17.80 (Hearing Notice and Appeal Procedures); provided that, the appeal must be submitted in writing within seven days of the reviewing authority's decision, and the appeal hearing shall be set no later than 30 days after the appeal is received by the city. When a final decision is issued by the planning commission or city council, the time for a challenge to the decision in a court of law shall be governed by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.8. Notice of the reviewing body's decision shall include citation to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.8.

    (Ord. No. 652, § 2, 11-16-21)


  • A.

    Sign Permits.

    1.

    A sign permit expires 12 months after the date of approval unless the sign has been installed or a different expiration date is stipulated in the approval.

    2.

    A sign permit expires when the activity, product, business, service, or other use that is being advertised or identified has ceased for a period of not less than 90 days or has moved from the location where the sign was allowed.

    3.

    A sign permit expires when a sign is removed from the approved location for more than 90 days or a new permit is approved for a replacement sign.

    4.

    Upon written request by the applicant, the director may extend a sign permit up to an additional 12 months from the original date of expiration based on parcel specific conditions justifying the original approval and whether or not those conditions have changed (e.g., physical site changes such as a new building or effects of a natural disaster, change in applicable sign regulations, etc.). The director may make the extension subject to new conditions of approval should parcel-specific conditions warrant revised or new conditions to meet the required findings.

    5.

    Notwithstanding any expiration date that may be applicable to a sign permit, the expiration date of that sign permit shall be the same as the latest expiration date of the building permit or other applicable permits for the project for which the sign permit was issued.

    B.

    A sign program has no expiration date, but will become moot if the project's entitlements expire.

    (Ord. No. 652, § 2, 11-16-21)