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Title: 18 - Signs

Chapter: 08 - Definitions

Section: 10 - Definitions

Words and phrases used in this title shall have the meanings set forth in this section. Words and phrases not defined in this section but defined in Titles 21 and 20, the respective coastal and non­coastal zoning ordinances of the county, shall be given the meanings set forth in such ordinances. Principles for computing sign area and sign height shall be given their common, ordinary meaning, unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Section headings or captions are for reference purposes only and shall not be used in the interpretation of this title.

"Abandoned sign" means any on-site remaining in place or not maintained for a period of ninety days which no longer advertises or identifies an ongoing business, product, or service available on the business premises where the display is located (B and P Code, Sec. 5490 (f)).

"Animated sign" means any sign that uses movement or change of lighting to depict action or create a special effect or scene.

"Banner sign" means any permanent sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is permanently mounted to a pole or a building by a permanent frame at one or more edges. Temporary rate or sale signs, national flags, flags of political subdivisions, or the official flag of any institution or business shall not be considered banners.

    "Beacon light" means any light with one or more beams, capable of being directed in any direction, or any light with one or more beams that rotate or move.

"Building frontage" means the linear distance of the wall or walls, or portions thereof devoted to the principal building, containing either the primary public entrance to the building or most closely parallel to the street frontage or frontages, whichever is greater. Overlapping portions of walls may include one wall only.

"Building marker" means any sign indicating the name of a building and date and the incidental information about its construction, which sign is cut into a masonry surface or made of bronze or other permanent material.

Building, principal. "Principal building" means the building in which is conducted the principal use of the zone lot on which it is located. Zone lots with multiple principal uses may have multiple principal buildings, but storage buildings, garages, and other clearly accessory uses shall not be considered principal buildings.

"Building sign" means any sign attached to any part of a building, as contrasted to a freestanding sign.

"Canopy sign" means any sign that is a part of or attached to an awning, canopy, or other fabric, plastic, or structural protective cover over a door, entrance, window, or outdoor service area. A marquee is not a canopy.

"Changeable copy sign" means a sign or portion thereof with characters, letters or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face or the surface of the sign. A sign on which the message changes more than eight times per day shall be considered an animated sign and not a changeable copy sign for the purposes of this title. A sign on which the only copy that changes is an electronic or mechanical indication of time or temperature shall be considered a "time and temperature"\' portion of a sign and not a changeable copy sign for the purposes of this title.

"Commercial message" means any sign wording, logo, or other representation that, directly or indirectly, names, advertises, or calls attention to a business, product, service, or other commercial activity.

"Community" For the purposes of this chapter only, "community" shall mean the immediate areas of local communities known individually as: Klamath, Klamath Glen, Requa, Crescent City, Fort Dick, Smith River, Hiouchi, and Gasquet.

"Community service sign" means a freestanding sign placed for the general benefit of all businesses within a community, identifying the community and the general types of commercial services offered without reference to individual businesses or business logos. The sign characteristics include wood materials, external illumination only, and two colors plus black and white. Any sign not meeting the above characteristics shall be considered a billboard.

"Construction period sign"\' means any temporary sign bearing only the name, address, and telephone number of the business to be operating on the property, or of any duly licensed contractor who is engaged in the construction of a building, during the period of time when the contractor is actively engaged in such work.

"Curb line" means the line at the face of the curb nearest to the street or roadway. In the absence of a curb, the curb line shall be established by the county engineer.

"\'Flag" means any fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols, used as a symbol of a government, political subdivision, or other entity.

"Freestanding sign" means any sign supported by structures or supports that is placed on or anchored in the ground, and that are independent from any building or other structure.

"Illegal sign" means any sign erected after the adoption of this title which has not been erected in compliance with county ordinances in effect at-the time of their erection, or which was subsequently modified illegally however, any sign erected prior to May 6, 1992 and listed in the sign file of the county and not substantially altered shall not be designated as an illegal sign but shall be considered a legal nonconforming use.

"Incidental sign" means a sign, generally informational, that has a purpose secondary to the use of the zone lot on which it is located, such as "no parking," " entrance," "loading only," "telephone," and other similar directives. No sign with a commercial message legible from a position off the zone lot on which the sign is located shall be considered incidental.

"Location sign" means any nonilluminated off-site sign with copy limited to the location and name of a civic, fraternal, religious organization and limited to a single dark-colored backing with white lettering only.

"Lot" means any parcel or piece of land or a portion of a subdivision, the boundaries of which have been established by some legal instrument of record, that is recognized and intended as a unit for the purpose of transfer of ownership.

"Marquee" means any permanent roof-like structure projecting beyond a building or extending along and projecting beyond the wall of the building, generally designed and constructed to provide protection from the weather.

"Marquee sign" means any sign attached to, in any manner, or made a part of a marquee.

"Multi-use center" means a group of two or more businesses on a single zone lot.

"Nonconforming sign" means any sign that does not conform to the requirements of this title.

"Off-site sign" means any advertising structure which is located on a zone lot other than that occupied by the business, products or services advertised, including billboards.

"Pennant" means any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message or any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in series, designed to move in the wind.

"Person" means any association, company, corporation, firm, organization, or partnership, singular or plural, or any kind.

    "Portable sign"\' means any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to, signs designed to be transported by means of wheels signs converted to A- or T-frames menu and umbrellas used for sandwich board signs balloons used as signs, advertising, and signs attached to or painted on vehicles parked and visible from the public right-of-way, unless said vehicle is used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business. For purposes of this title, signs erected seasonally for a seasonal business shall not be considered portable.

"Projecting sign" means any sign affixed to a building or wall in such a manner that its leading edge extends more than eighteen inches beyond the surface of such building or wall, and no more than two-thirds of the distance to the curb line with a maximum projection of eight feet.

"Real estate sign" means any temporary sign advertising the sale or lease of property and located on the site of the property offered.

"Residential sign" means any sign located in a district zoned for residential uses that contains no commercial message except advertising for goods or services legally offered on the premises where the sign is located, if offering such service at such location conforms with all requirements of Title 20, the zoning ordinance.

"Roof sign" means any sign erected and constructed on and over the roof of a building, supported by the roof structure, and extending vertically above the highest portion of the roof.

Roof sign, integral. "Integral roof sign" means any sign erected or constructed as an integral or essentially integral part of a normal roof structure of any design, such that no part of the sign extends vertically above the highest portion of the roof and such that no part of the sign is separated from the rest of the roof by a space of more than eighteen inches.

"Setback" means the distance from a property line or access casement to the nearest part of the applicable building, structure, or sign, measured perpendicularly to such property line or access easement.

"Sign" means any medium including its structure and component parts, which is used or intended to be used to attract attention to the business or subject matter from off the zone lot primarily for advertising or to communicate information of any kind to the public.

    "Sign file/sign permit." Sign files govern on-site signs which predate this title, while sign permits regulate signs placed or modified after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.

"Street" means a strip of land or way subject to vehicular traffic (as well as pedestrian traffic) that provides direct or indirect access to property, including, but not limited to, avenues, boulevards, courts, drives, highways, lanes, places, roads, or other thoroughfares. For purposes of this title, alleys arc not considered streets.

"Street frontage" means the distance for which a lot line of a zone lot adjoins an improved public street, from one lot line intersecting said street to the furthest distant lot line intersecting the same street.

"Suspended sign" means a sign that is suspended from the underside of a horizontal plane surface and is supported by such surface.

"Temporary sign" means any sign, including a portable sign, that is used only temporarily or is not permanently mounted to a rigid wall, frame, or structure in conformance with allowable wind and stress loads. For purposes of this title, signs erected seasonally for a seasonal business shall not be considered temporary.

"Wall sign" means any sign attached parallel to, but within eighteen inches of, a wall, painted on the wall surface of, or erected and confined within the limits of an outside wall of any building or structure, which is supported by such wall or building, and which displays only one sign surface.

"Window sign" means any accessory sign, pictures, symbol, or combination thereof, designed to communicate secondary information about an activity, business, commodity, event, sale or service, that is placed inside a window or upon the window panes or glass and is visible from the exterior of the window.

"Zone lot" means a portion of land consisting of one or more parcels or units that is legally nonconforming, or of sufficient size to meet minimum zoning requirements for area, use, building set­backs, parking and lot coverage for the existing or proposed use.


(Ord. 92-19 (part), 1992.)