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Chapter 32.38 Land Use Reviews

City Code Chapter

32.38.010 General.

(Amended by Ordinance 185915, effective May 1, 2013.)

  1. A.  Procedures.  Land use reviews of signs are administered under the provisions of Title 33, Planning and Zoning as modified by this chapter. 
  2. B.  Adjustments and Modifications.  Requests for adjustments from the regulations of Chapters 32.30 through 32.38 are reviewed under Section 32.38.030, Adjustments.  Modifications from the regulations of Chapters 32.30 through 32.38 through Design Review or Historic Resource Review are reviewed as specified in Chapters 33.825 and 33.846 of the Zoning Code.  When the provisions of this Title prohibit adjustments, applications for adjustments will not be accepted.
  3. C.  Content-Neutral Administration of Land Use Reviews.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Title or of related standards referenced in this Title, applications for adjustments, design review, and historic resource review for signs will be reviewed only with respect to sign structure or placement, or with reference to copy only to the extent of color or typeface and excluding any reference to message, category, subject, topic, or viewpoint.

32.38.020 Design Review and Historic Resource Review.

(Amended by Ordinance 185915, effective May 1, 2013.)

  1. Where design review or historic resource review is required by this Title, the awning or sign will be reviewed in accordance with the provisions of either Zoning Code Chapter 33.825, Design Review or Chapter 33.846, Historic Resource Review.

32.38.030 Adjustment Review.

  1. A. Purpose. Sign adjustments are intended to allow flexibility to the sign regulations while still fulfilling the purpose of the regulations. The specific approval criteria allow signs that enhance the overall character of an area or allow for mitigation of unusual site conditions.
  2. B. Procedures. The adjustment procedures stated in Chapter 33.805, Adjustments, apply to sign adjustments. However, the approval criteria of this section are used, rather than of those of Chapter 33.805 of the Zoning Code.
  3. C. Approval criteria. Sign adjustments will be approved if the review body finds that the applicant has shown that the criteria of Paragraph C.1. or 2, below are met.
    1. 1. Area enhancement. The applicant must meet criteria C.1.a. and b. and either C.1.c. or d.
      1. a. The adjustment for the proposed sign will not significantly increase or lead to street level sign clutter, to signs adversely dominating the visual image of the area, or to a sign that will be inconsistent with the objectives of a specific plan district or design district; and
      2. b. The sign will not create a traffic or safety hazard; and
      3. c. The adjustment will allow a unique sign of exceptional design or style that will enhance the area or that will be a visible landmark; or
      4. d. The adjustment will allow a sign that is more consistent with the architecture and development of the site.
    2. 2. Site difficulties. If there are unusual site factors that preclude an allowed sign from being visible to the street immediately in front of the site, an adjustment will be granted to achieve the visibility standards of Subparagraph d below. This adjustment is not intended to be used to make signs visible to other streets and rights of ways or to freeways. Site difficulties may include the sign face being blocked due to topography of the site, existing development or landscaping on the site, or from abutting development or landscaping. This set of adjustment criteria is generally intended for freestanding and projecting signs and allows greater flexibility in placement of the sign. The adjustment will be approved if all of the following criteria are found to be met:
      1. a. There is no reasonable place on the site for an allowed sign without an adjustment to achieve the visibility standards of Subparagraph d below;
      2. b. If the proposed sign extends into the right-of-way, the sign will not create a traffic or safety hazard;
      3. c. Of potential adjustments to meet the visibility standard of Subparagraph d., the request is the most consistent with the surrounding development and sign patterns; and
      4. d. The adjustment is the minimum needed for a sign to meet the following visibility standards:
    3. Posted Road SpeedVisibility To Travel Lanes On The Street In Front Of The Site
      35 mph or less200 feet
      40-50 mph300 feet
      55 mph or more400 feet

32.38.040 Determination of Nonconforming Sign Status Review.

  1. A.  Purpose. This review determines if a sign has legal nonconforming sign status.
  2. B. When this review is required. A Determination of Nonconforming Sign Status Review is required where a land use review or permit for a sign is requested, and the applicant does not provide standard evidence or the Director does not find the evidence to be satisfactory. This review also may be requested by an applicant when it is not required.
  3. C. Procedure. Determination of Nonconforming Sign Status Reviews are processed through a Type II procedure. See Zoning Code Chapter 33.730, Quasi-Judicial Procedures.
  4. D. Approval criteria. The legal nonconforming status of a sign will be certified if the review body finds that the applicant has shown that the following approval criteria have been met. The applicant must show that the sign meets criteria D.1. and either criteria D.2 or D.3:
    1. 1. The sign has not been moved, structurally altered, or increased in size since November 17, 1998; and
    2. 2. The sign existed before November 18, 1998; or
    3. 3. The sign would have been allowed when established.