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City of Lodi, WI
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Lodi 4-2-2019 by Ord. No. A-537.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 340.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 278, Signs, adopted as Ch. 29 of the City Code, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as, referred to and cited as the "Sign Code of the City of Lodi, Wisconsin."
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authorization contained in § 62.23, Wis. Stats.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards for the construction, fabrication, erection, and use of signs, and to regulate the location, type, material, size, height, illumination and animation of signage for all properties within the City of Lodi. The adoption of this chapter reflects the formal finding of fact by the City of Lodi Plan Commission and City Council that regulation of signage advances the following substantial and compelling governmental interests:
(1) 
Aesthetics. To maintain and enhance the beauty, unique character, aesthetic environment, and quality of the City of Lodi, in a manner that will attract commerce, businesses, economic development, residents and visitors; to preserve, conserve, protect, and enhance the aesthetic quality and scenic beauty of all zoning districts of the City; to regulate the appearance and design of signs in a manner that promotes and enhances the beautification of the City and that complements the natural surroundings in recognition of the City's reliance on its natural surroundings and beautification efforts in retaining economic advantage for its community; and to assure that the benefits derived from the expenditure of public funds for the improvement and beautification of streets, sidewalks, public parks, public rights-of-way, and other public places and spaces, are protected by exercising reasonable controls over the physical characteristics and structural design of signs.
(2) 
Traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety. To maintain and improve vehicular traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety through properly located signs; to regulate signs in a manner so as to not interfere with, obstruct the vision of, or distract motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians; to allow for traffic control devices whose purpose is to promote roadway safety and efficiency by providing for the orderly movement of road users on streets and roadways, and that notify users of regulations and provide warning and guidance necessary for the safe, uniform and efficient operation of all elements of the traffic stream.
(3) 
Economic development. To promote economic development and the value of nonresidential properties, through sensitivity to surrounding land uses and maintaining an attractive community appearance.
(4) 
Effective communication. To encourage signs which are clear and legible; to encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication.
(5) 
Identification of goods and services. To aid the public and private sectors in identifying the location of goods and services.
(6) 
Compatibility with surroundings. To allow signs that are compatible with their surroundings and neighborhood character, while precluding the placement of signs that contribute to sign clutter or that conceal or obstruct adjacent land uses or signs; to preclude signs from conflicting with the principal permitted use of the site and adjoining sites; and to minimize the possible adverse effect of signs on nearby public and private property.
(7) 
Consistency with City plans. Advance the vision, goals, objectives and policies of the City's Comprehensive Plan and Main Street Corridor Plan.
B. 
The sign regulations in this chapter are not intended to censor speech or to regulate viewpoints, but instead are intended to regulate the adverse secondary effects of signs. Furthermore, these regulations leave ample and adequate alternative channels of commercial speech communication for the messages portrayed on advertising signs, namely, distributed print media, broadcast media, social media, and point-of-purchase display, and is narrowly defined so as to limit said prohibition to commercial speech on exterior signage and signage intended to be viewed from beyond the boundaries of a site.
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Common Council of the City of Lodi that the several provisions of this chapter are separable, in accordance with the following:
A. 
If any court of competent jurisdiction shall adjudge any provision of this chapter to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect any other provision of this chapter not specifically included in said judgment;
B. 
If any court of competent jurisdiction shall adjudge invalid the application of any provision of this chapter to a particular property, building, or structure, such judgment shall not affect the application of said provision to any other property, building, or structure not specifically included in said judgment.
Notwithstanding any language to the contrary in any other City of Lodi ordinance, a sign shall not be considered a structure or part of a structure for the purpose of applying yard and height regulations found in Chapter 340, Zoning, and for the purpose of applying permit requirements under City ordinances. Yard and height regulations of this chapter shall control over any contrary provision in any other ordinance.
A. 
Regulations apply to all zoning districts. The requirements of this chapter apply to all signs in all zoning districts unless specifically exempted or excluded.
B. 
Certain signs excluded. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "sign" does not include:
(1) 
Signs which are authorized to be placed within the limits of a street or highway under § 86.19, Wis. Stats., or regulations enacted under it.
(2) 
Signs erected and maintained by the City of Lodi or its utilities in carrying out its governmental or utility duties.
(3) 
Signs erected and maintained by other public utilities that are required to be erected by law, ordinance or regulation or which are placed, in the judgment of the utility, to warn the public of potentially dangerous situations.
(4) 
Signs on a vehicle, other than an unlawful vehicle sign.
(5) 
Interior building signs located on the interior of a building and not attached to an exterior window, which are primarily oriented to persons within the building.
(6) 
Window displays of merchandise, pictures, or models of products or services incorporated in a window display which are not directly attached to an exterior window surface.
(7) 
Umbrella signs with signage directly affixed via sewing, silk screening, painting or similar method to a nonrigid umbrella which is mounted on or in a table or in an umbrella holder adjacent to the table or outside seating areas for a licensed business establishment.
(8) 
Flags which do not contain a commercial message, logo, or colors.
(9) 
Decorations that are incidentally and customarily associated with any national holiday or religious holiday, or with any community festival or similar event.
A. 
Applicability. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no sign shall be erected, used, or altered until a sign permit has been issued by the Zoning Administrator for such sign. The changing of movable parts of signs which are designed for change or the repainting of original copy matter shall not be deemed to be alterations. Where a sign permit is not required from the Zoning Administrator under Tables 278-15A through 278-15D,[1] all signs are still required to conform to the regulations of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said tables are included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
Forms. Sign permits shall be on forms as prescribed by the City and shall include sufficient information, images, and diagrams in order for the City to determine compliance with this chapter, including a site plan indicating where the proposed sign would be located and a drawing showing the design and dimensions of the sign.
C. 
Fees. Fees for sign permits shall be set from time to time by the Common Council by resolution. Fees shall be paid to the City Clerk at the time of submittal of the permit forms.
D. 
Granting and issuance.
(1) 
The Zoning Administrator shall review the application to ensure it is complete per the requirements of Subsection B and C, above.
(2) 
Where a sign permit is required under Tables 278-15A through 278-15D, the Zoning Administrator shall review said application for compliance with Subsection E, below, and shall, in writing, either approve or deny said sign permit within 10 working days of the acceptance of the complete application and payment of the required fee to the City Clerk. The Zoning Administrator may, at his or her discretion, refer the permit approval to the next Plan Commission meeting for recommendation regarding the permit.
(3) 
Tables 278-15A through 278-15D identify when a sign permit may not be granted prior to the approval of a conditional use Permit, Plan Commission or City Council approval. In such cases, the Zoning Administrator shall review said application for compliance with Subsection E, below, and shall schedule the item on the appropriate meeting agenda(s) within 30 working days of the acceptance of the complete application and payment of the required fee. Within 10 working days of recommendation or action by the body with recommending or approval authority, the Zoning Administrator shall approve or deny said sign permit based on such recommendation or action.
(4) 
Denial of a sign permit shall not result in total or partial reimbursement of permit fees paid. However, applicants may resubmit a revised application within 30 days of the denial for the same sign under the original permit fee.
E. 
Basis for granting sign permit. In deciding whether or not to grant a sign permit, the Zoning Administrator shall determine whether the proposed sign is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. In such review, the Zoning Administrator may also consider the following factors:
(1) 
Whether the sign is designed, constructed, installed, or maintained in such a manner that it does not endanger public safety or traffic safety.
(2) 
Whether the sign is in compliance with all provisions of the City of Lodi Municipal Code and Building Code. The Zoning Administrator may refer the permit to the City's Building Inspector for review and recommendation prior to issuing a determination on the permit.
F. 
Enforcement and revocation of sign permit.
(1) 
A sign permit may be revoked if the applicant has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or any conditions that may have accompanied the permit at the time of issuance, or misrepresentation of fact on the permit application. Revocation requires written notice by the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
In the event that construction and installation of a sign for which a permit has been issued has not commenced within one year from the date of the issuance of such permit, said permit shall be null and void and automatically revoked. If work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days any time after the work is commenced, the original permit shall become null and void. In such cases, a new permit shall be obtained to complete the work, and a new permit fee shall be required.
(3) 
Any sign subject to a revoked permit shall be removed by the licensee, sign owner, or property owner within 60 days of such revocation.
(4) 
Revocation shall not result in total or partial reimbursement of permit fees paid.
Any person affected by a decision of any City official or department acting under the terms of this chapter may petition for a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals as prescribed in Chapter 340. The filing of such petition automatically stays removal of any sign involved and already legally erected until the Board of Zoning Appeals decides whether to sustain, modify, or withdraw the notice.
A. 
Any sign erected, constructed, altered, enlarged, converted, moved or maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be declared unlawful, and the City Attorney may, upon any such violation having been called to his or her attention by the Building Inspector or Zoning Administrator, institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or any other appropriate action to prevent, enjoin, abate or remove such erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, conversion, maintenance or use, or, in the alternative, a citation may be issued by the Police Department for such violation.
B. 
Any person, firm, association or corporation who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon judgment or conviction therefor, be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1, § 1-3, of the Lodi Municipal Code. In any such action, the fact that a permit has been issued by any City official or department shall not constitute a defense, nor shall any oversight on the part of the public official, board or department constitute a defense.
C. 
Any and all costs incurred by the City in the removal of a sign or sign structure pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, which authorized assessment of the cost, shall constitute a lien against the property upon which the sign or sign structure existed and shall be collected in the same manner as provided elsewhere in the regulations of the City of Lodi.
A. 
Construction. All signs shall be constructed, mounted, and maintained so as to comply with the appropriate provisions of the Building Code as adopted by the City relating to the design, structural members and connections. Illuminated signs shall also comply with the applicable provisions of the Electrical Code as adopted by the City. Every sign and its framework, braces, anchors and other supports shall be constructed of such material and with such workmanship as to be safe and satisfactory to the Building Inspector.
B. 
Maintenance and repair. Maintenance of signs is allowed and maintenance of the same shall not require a permit. All signage within the jurisdiction of this chapter shall remain in a state of proper maintenance. Proper maintenance shall be the absence of loose materials (including peeling paint, paper or other material), the lack of excessive rust, the lack of excessive vibration or shaking, and the presence of the original structural integrity of the sign, its frame and other supports, its mounting, and all components thereof. Illuminated signs shall be maintained in good operating condition, including prompt removal and replacement of all defective bulbs, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent tubes, neon or other inert gas light segments, damaged or deteriorated electrical wiring, and malfunctioning control devices and related circuitry. The owner, lessee, or manager of a sign, and the owner of the land on which the same is located, shall keep grass or weeds and other growth cut and debris and rubbish cleaned up and removed from the site on which the sign is located.
A. 
Unsafe signs. Should any sign be or become unsafe or in danger of falling, the tenant and/or the owner of the property on which the sign is located or the person maintaining the same shall, upon receipt of written notice from the Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector, proceed at once to put such sign in a safe and secure condition or remove the sign. If any such person fails to comply within 15 days of such notice, he or she will be in violation of this chapter. The Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector, or their agents, may without notice order any structurally unsafe or structurally insecure sign to be immediately removed if the sign presents an immediate peril to the public health or safety.
B. 
Obsolete and abandoned signs. All signs shall be removed by the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is located when a business that it advertises has not been conducted for a period of 180 days or when, in the judgement of the Zoning Administrator or Building Inspector, such sign is so old, dilapidated, or has become so out of repair as to be dangerous or unsafe, whichever comes first. If the owner or lessee fails to remove it, the City may give written notice to the owner of the property on which such a sign is located, which notice shall give such owner 60 days to either bring such sign into compliance with this chapter or remove the sign. If the property owner fails to comply with the notice, he or she shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
A. 
Signs eligible for characterization as legal nonconforming. Any sign located within the City limits as of January 1, 2019, or located in an area annexed to the City that does not conform with this chapter is eligible for characterization as a legal nonconforming sign and is permitted, providing it meets the following requirements:
(1) 
The sign was covered by a proper sign permit prior to January 1, 2019;
(2) 
If no permit was required under the applicable law for the sign in question and the sign was, in all respects, in compliance with applicable law on January 1, 2019.
B. 
Loss of legal nonconforming status. A sign loses its nonconforming status if one or more of the following occurs:
(1) 
The sign is structurally altered in any way. Altering a sign does not include maintaining the existing appearance of the sign, changing or replacing the sign face, or changing the message of a marquee or governmental information sign. A tenant sign which comprises part of a business center sign may be replaced to accommodate a new tenant sign without triggering the need to bring the entire project identification sign, or any of its parts, into compliance with the provisions of this chapter;
(2) 
The sign is relocated;
(3) 
The sign fails to conform to City requirements regarding maintenance and repair and dangerous or abandoned signs;
(4) 
On the date of occurrence of any of the situations in Subsections B (1) through (3) of this section, the sign shall be immediately brought in compliance with this chapter with a new permit secured therefor or the sign shall be removed.
C. 
Legal nonconforming sign maintenance and repair. Nothing in this chapter shall relieve the owner of a legal nonconforming sign or the owner of the property on which the sign is located from the sections of this chapter regarding maintenance and dangerous and abandoned signs.
A. 
Consent of owner. Except as required by state law, no sign may be displayed without the consent of the legal owner of the property on which the sign is mounted or displayed. For purposes of this policy, "owner" means the holder of the legal title to the property and any party and person holding a present legal right to possession, control, or use of the property.
B. 
Substitution of noncommercial speech for commercial speech. Any sign authorized by this chapter may contain a noncommercial message. The sign face may be changed from a commercial message to a noncommercial message or from one noncommercial message to another noncommercial message; provided, however, that there is no change in the size, height, setback or spacing criteria contained in this chapter.
C. 
Appearance and design. The color, materials, and design of sign structures shall be complementary to the primary facade of the building on the subject property. The design of sign faces shall contribute to the legibility of the sign.
D. 
Signs on City property. Except as required by state law or otherwise permitted by this chapter, any sign installed or placed on City property without the consent of the City shall be deemed illegal and shall be forfeited to the public and subject to confiscation without notice.
E. 
Signs on public rights-of-way. Except as required by state law or otherwise permitted by this chapter, any sign installed or placed on public rights-of-way without the consent of the City shall be deemed illegal and shall be forfeited to the public and subject to confiscation without notice. No person shall paste, tape, staple, or otherwise fasten any paper or other material to, nor paint, stencil, or otherwise write or color, any object, vegetation, or pavement located within any street right-of-way; nor shall any of such object, vegetation, or pavement be defaced in any manner without the consent of the City.
F. 
Signs projecting over adjacent property. Signs may not project over adjoining parcels of other owners.
G. 
Signs projecting over public rights-of-way. Signs shall not be permitted to project over public rights-of-way except for approved street banner signs, and certain permitted signs in the C-2 District, provided the provisions of Subsection H below are met, and the sign may not extend to a point closer than two feet to the curb face. Where such sign projects over a Wisconsin state highway, a permit from the WisDOT shall be required in addition to a permit from the City.
H. 
Sign setbacks and placement.
(1) 
Except for approved on-building signs, pedestrian signs, or sandwich board signs in the C-2 District, all signs shall be completely located on private property.
(2) 
No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window, or fire escape, and no sign shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape.
(3) 
No sign shall be placed in a manner that would impede vehicular or pedestrian safety, or impede access or visibility. No sign shall be placed in a vision triangle as defined under § 340-19.
(4) 
Freestanding signs adjacent to public sidewalks shall be set back so that the sign base or any portion of the signage area under 10 feet in height is not within two feet of the sidewalk.
I. 
Measurement of sign height: the vertical distance from the base of the sign at average grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign.
J. 
Measurement of sign area. The measurement of sign area is based on the arrangement of sign copy and sign background:
(1) 
In the case of a freestanding sign (including three-dimensional objects), sign area shall include the total sign areas that can be viewed from any single vantage point, i.e., for a typical freestanding sign that faces two directions, only the largest sign face visible from any single vantage point shall count toward the total permitted sign area. Sign area shall not include any elements of the sign structure designed solely for support of the sign structure and located below or to the side of the sign message. Examples of parts of a freestanding sign structure which are exempt from the sign area include the sign base and the supporting columns, posts, or poles.
(2) 
For signs comprised of individual letters and related copy which are attached to a background surface, such as an awning, sign area shall be measured as the sum of the smallest rectangles and right triangles enclosing entire sign message.
(3) 
For signs comprised of letters and related copy surrounded by one or more sign background colors on a single panel, frame, or cabinet, sign area shall be measured as the sum of the smallest single rectangle and right triangles enclosing the entire panel, frame or cabinet.
(4) 
For signs comprised of individual letters and related copy surrounded by one or more sign background colors on individual panels, frames or cabinets, sign area shall be measured as the sum of the smallest single rectangle and right triangles enclosing the entire sign message and any and all background color areas.
(5) 
For signs comprised of one or more three-dimensional objects (i.e., balls, cubes, clusters of objects, sculpture or statue-like trademarks), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane.
K. 
Sign illumination.
(1) 
Electrical permit. All signs in which electrical wiring and connections are to be used shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Wisconsin State Electrical Code. If the sign contractor is not UL listed (Underwriters' Laboratories), the applicant shall have an electrical subcontractor to supervise the work and obtain an electrical permit prior to installation. Electric service to signs shall be concealed from public view.
(2) 
Voltage displayed. The voltage of any electrical apparatus used in conjunction with a sign shall be conspicuously noted on that apparatus.
(3) 
External illumination. Exterior illumination of signage shall be limited to direct illumination from a shielded light source or individual solid letters with internal lighting sources that backlight the wall in a "halo" effect. The lighting element of all such fixtures shall not be visible from public rights-of-way or adjoining properties.
(4) 
Internal illumination. Internally illuminated signs shall permit light to shine fully through the lettering and graphic element of the sign. The background for such lettering and graphics shall be opaque or translucent and shall transmit light at a level substantially less than that transmitted through the lettering and graphics. If the contrast between the lettering or graphic elements and background does not permit adequate legibility, a translucent white boarder of up to one inch in width may be placed around said lettering or graphic elements.
(5) 
Brightness limitation.
(a) 
Electronic messaging signs. In no instance shall lighting intensity from an electronic messaging sign exceed 0.30 footcandle above ambient lighting conditions on a cloudless night when measured at an appropriate distance with a standard light meter held four feet above the ground level with the light sensor pointed toward the sign face. Appropriate distance shall be calculated as the square root of: the area of the sign (single side) multiplied by 100, rounded down to the nearest whole number. For example: area of the sign equals 85 square feet; appropriate distance is the square root of 85 multiplied by 100 or 92.2. Appropriate distance equals 92 feet. In no instance shall lighting intensity from an electronic messaging sign exceed 0.50 footcandle above ambient lighting conditions on a cloudless night when measured with a standard light meter held four feet above the ground level with the light sensor pointed toward the sign face at the property line adjoining residential zoned properties. Electronic messaging signs shall be equipped with photosensitive equipment which automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the sign in direct relation to the ambient outdoor illumination.
(b) 
All other illuminated signs. In no instance shall lighting intensity from an illuminated sign exceed:
[1] 
Within residential zoning districts: 0.50 footcandle above ambient lighting conditions on a cloudless night when measured at all adjoining property lines with a standard light meter held four feet above the ground level with the light sensor pointed toward the sign face.
[2] 
Within all zoning districts: 75 footcandles above ambient lighting conditions on a cloudless night when measured with a standard light meter held four feet above the ground level with the light sensor pointed toward the sign face from a distance equal to the narrowest dimension of the sign face. When the sign is located on a lot adjoining a property zoned and used exclusively for residential purposes, this limit is reduced to 50 footcandles and in no instance shall lighting intensity from the sign exceed 0.50 footcandle above ambient lighting conditions on a cloudless night when measured with a standard light meter held four feet above the ground level with the light sensor pointed toward the sign face at the adjoining property line.
(6) 
Glare. All artificial illumination shall be designed, located, shielded, and directed so as to prevent the casting of glare or direct light upon adjacent public rights-of-way or surrounding property.
(7) 
Reflectors and lights. Where gooseneck sign lighting is allowed, reflectors or other shields may be required to concentrate the illumination upon the area of the sign so as to prevent glare upon the street or surrounding property. It shall be unlawful to maintain any sign which is wholly or partially illuminated by floodlights or spotlights, unless such lights are completely concealed from view from the public rights-of-way.
A. 
Abandoned sign.
B. 
Advertising vehicle signs. Except vehicles legally parked in any of the locations described below:
(1) 
A licensed and operable business vehicle parked on site at the place of business in a parking space designated for vehicle parking or storage on a site plan approved by the City; or
(2) 
A licensed and operable business vehicle legally parked on site at the residence of an employee (including driveways and legal on- and off-street parking spaces) or customer.
C. 
Beacon/search beacon sign.
D. 
Commercial message flag sign.
E. 
Flashing or moving sign.
F. 
Mobile/portable/trailer sign.
G. 
No permanent sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of strings of lights, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving devices.
H. 
Outside neon signs.
I. 
Off-premises advertising sign.
J. 
Roof sign.
K. 
Traffic interference/safety hazard. No sign shall be erected at any location where it may, by reason of its position, shape, color or design, interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device, nor shall such sign make use of words such as "stop," "look," "danger," or any other word, phrase, symbol, or character in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead, or confuse users of streets or highways.
Signs shall be allowed on private property in the City in accordance with Tables 278-15A through 278-15D found at the end of this chapter.[1] Tables 278-15A through 278-15D address permitted signage as it relates to permits, quantity, location, area, height, lighting, and electronic messaging. These regulations are in addition to those regulations set forth in other sections of this chapter. The requirements set forth in Tables 278-15A through 278-15D shall be declared to be part of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said tables are included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
Legal, and principal, nonresidential land uses located in residential or planned unit development districts may have permanent signs as permitted in Tables 278-15A and 278-15C, provided the following additional limitations and requirements are met:
(1) 
The total on-premises sign area of all permanent business signs and permanent miscellaneous signs shall not exceed 48 square feet.
(2) 
No individual sign shall be greater than 24 square feet.
(3) 
No individual sign shall be greater than eight feet high, except wall signs, which shall not exceed 20 feet.
(4) 
No more than two permanent business signs shall be allowed per site.
(5) 
Deviations from the requirements in Subsection A(1) through (4) may be allowed under § 278-19 or if specifically approved as part of a Planned Unit Development General Development Plan (PUD-GDP) or Specific Implementation Plan (PUD-SIP).
The provisions of this section shall apply to freestanding signs per § 278-15, Table 278-15A.
A. 
Each business within a multitenant building shall be eligible for integration into a business center sign. The allocation of sign area for each tenant shall be determined by the property owner.
B. 
In order to accommodate increased signage needs for multitenant buildings, business center signs may be increased by up to 25% in area from those standards found in Table 278-15A for freestanding signs.
C. 
A business center may erect one freestanding sign, except that if such business center is located on a corner lot or a through lot, and if the least dimension of such lot is 500 feet or more, two freestanding signs may be permitted. No more than one business center sign may be located on the same frontage.
A. 
Electronic message signs shall be permitted only with a nonresidential land use with approval of a conditional use permit under Article X of Chapter 340.
B. 
No more than one electronic message sign shall be permitted per site.
C. 
No electronic message sign may contain messages or images for the sale of products not sold on site or for businesses or services not provided or sold on site, except for emergency government notifications such as AMBER Alerts.
D. 
Electronic message signs may be integrated into the design of the following sign types: monument signs, pole signs, dual post signs, drive-through signs, window signs, or off-premises governmental information signs.
(1) 
No more than 50% of a sign's actual area shall contain an electronic message sign.
(2) 
Electronic message signs shall count toward the site's maximum permitted signage.
E. 
Electronic message signs shall be maintained so as to be able to display messages in a complete and legible manner. Messages and nontext images shall not change appearance more than once every 20 seconds, and transitions between messages shall be via instantaneous change (one second or less). Use of electronic message signs for images, text, or lighting that change appearance in a manner not permitted above shall be considered flashing, scrolling, or animated signs, which are prohibited per § 278-14.
F. 
Electronic message signs shall comply with the lighting requirements of § 278-13K. Electronic message signs shall be equipped with photosensitive equipment which automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the sign in direct relation to the ambient outdoor illumination.
G. 
In addition to the setback requirements of this chapter, no electronic message sign shall be located within 75 feet of any adjacent residential zoned parcel.
During review of a sign permit, the Zoning Administrator shall determine whether an exception to any of the requirements under this chapter is being requested and shall make a recommendation to the Plan Commission as to if the exception should be granted. Exceptions from the sign requirements in this chapter may be authorized by the Plan Commission after specific findings by the Plan Commission that such exception is reasonable and necessary under special circumstances for which the exception is requested and that such exception will not violate the intent of these provisions. Exceptions shall be processed as conditional uses, subject to necessary public hearings and all of the other provisions of the City ordinances with respect to conditional uses. The Plan Commission may stipulate conditions it deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, aesthetics and welfare.
Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions shall be used in the interpretation of this chapter:
ABANDONED SIGN
Any sign remaining in place on a site or a portion of a site (such as a single tenant in a multitenant building) that has been vacant, closed, or otherwise unoccupied for a period of 180 days.
ACTIVE BUILDING BOARD SIGN
A type of temporary approved development sign that is made of a rigid material such as plywood or corrugated plastic, which may be displayed only on the site of a building under construction, and only during the time period in which the building permit is valid.
ACTIVE PLAT BOARD SIGN
A type of temporary approved development sign that is made of a rigid material such as plywood or corrugated plastic, which may be displayed only on the site of a subdivision plat under construction, and only during the time period when less than 75% of the lots in the plat phase have been sold.
ADDRESS SIGN
A type of site directional or informational sign that contains address numerals.
ADVERTISING
Any writing, painting, display, emblem, drawing, sign, or other device designed, used, or intended for display or any type of publicity for the purpose of making anything known or attracting attention to a place, product, goods, services, idea, or statement.
ADVERTISING VEHICLE SIGN
A vehicle, or portion thereof, which contains any sign or advertising device, either permanently or temporarily affixed to the vehicle.
ALTERATION
Any change to the sign's frame, supporting structure, lighting (other than bulb replacement), material, height, location, or any other alterations as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
ARM AND POST SIGN
A type of yard sign mounted on a post or posts, either with a bracket arm extending outward to support a hanging sign, with the sign attached directly to the side of the post, or with the sign mounted between two posts.
AVERAGE GROUND LEVEL
Average ground level is defined as the average elevation of the ground upon which the sign supports are placed, except when the sign supports rest upon a berm or other area elevated above the surrounding ground. In such cases, the average elevation of the base of such berm or other area shall be considered as the ground level.
AWNING SIGN
A type of on-building sign that is directly affixed via sewing, silk screening, painting, or similar method to a nonrigid removable awning which is mounted to the facade of a building.
BANNER/PENNANT SIGN
A type of temporary business sign that is made of flexible material such as cloth or vinyl and is supported along one or more sides or at two or more corners by wires, ropes, string, nails, or other removable fastening materials.
BEACON/SEARCH BEACON SIGN
Any light with one or more beams directed into the atmosphere or directed at one or more points not on the same site as the light source; also, any light with one or more beams that rotate or move.
BLADE SIGN
A type of pedestrian sign that is mounted perpendicular to the wall on which it is mounted, extends less than three feet from the wall, and is oriented to pedestrian traffic.
BOARD SIGN
A type of temporary miscellaneous business sign that is temporarily placed on the ground and is made of rigid material such as plywood or corrugated plastic.
BUILDING FRONTAGE
The width of the building facade that fronts a public street.
BUILDING MANAGEMENT IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A type of site directional or informational sign indicating the name and/or address of the property owner, tenants, and/or manager of the property.
BULLETIN BOARD SIGN
A type of freestanding daily notice sign located on site, containing changeable copy.
BUSINESS CENTER DEVELOPMENT
A business center is any development containing two or more structures containing principal land uses on the same lot; and/or any single structure on a single lot which contains two or more nonresidential uses.
BUSINESS/TENANT FRONTAGE
The portion of a building frontage occupied by a single tenant space having a public entrance within the building frontage. For businesses located on the interior of a building without building frontage, the building elevation providing customer access shall be considered the business frontage.
CANOPY SIGN
A type of on-building sign that is directly affixed via bolts, brackets, or similar method to a rigid permanent canopy which is mounted to, or adjacent to, the facade of a building.
CHANGEABLE COPY
Sign copy that may be changed manually to provide different information such as boards with changeable letters, bulletin boards, and chalkboards.
COMMERCIAL MESSAGE
Any sign wording, logo, or other representation that, directly or indirectly, names, advertises, or calls attention to a business product, service, idea, or commercial activity.
COMMERCIAL MESSAGE FLAG SIGN
A flag attached to a freestanding or wall-mounted flag pole that contains a commercial message.
COPY
Words, letters, numbers, figures, designs, or other symbolic representations incorporated into a sign.
CUSTOMER ENTRANCE
The entrance that the public can use when an establishment is open to the public.
DAILY NOTICE SIGN
A sign typically used to advertise daily specials, daily menu items, or on-site events that change on a daily basis and which usually includes changeable copy. This type of sign is often associated with restaurants, taverns, retail stores, music venues, and retail stores. Daily notice signs is a sign category within the Permanent and Temporary Business Sign Groups, which includes the following sign types: menu board sign, bulletin board sign, drive-through sign, and sandwich board sign.
DOOR SIGN
A type of sign that is attached to the inside face of an exterior door or is etched into the glass face.
DRIVE-THROUGH SIGN
A type of daily notice sign used in conjunction with drive-through or drive-in establishments.
DUAL POST SIGN
A type of freestanding sign mounted to the sides or ends of two or more posts, with the majority of the sign area located between the outermost posts.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE SIGN
A type of sign that displays words, lines, logos, graphic images, or symbols, which may be changed electronically to provide different information, and which includes computer signs, electronic reader boards, video screens, LCD signs, electronic time and temperature signs, and other signs with electronically controlled changing or moving displays.
ELEVATION, BUILDING
The view of any building or other structure from any one of four sides, regardless of the configuration or orientation of a building. No building shall be treated as having more than four building elevations. Each elevation will generally be identified as a north, south, east or west building elevation.
EXTERNAL ILLUMINATION
The lighting of an object from a light source located a distance from the object.
FACADE
See "elevation, building."
FEATHER SIGN
A sign consisting of a piece of vertically elongated, flexible material such as cloth or vinyl which is affixed to a single pole driven in the ground.
FLASHING OR MOVING SIGN
A sign containing any flashing, rotating, or brilliant intermittent parts or lights or bare reflecting-type bulbs, except those giving public service information such as time, date, temperature, weather, or similar information or where allowed by conditional use permit. Electronic message signs meeting the definition and requirements of this chapter shall not be considered flashing or moving signs.
FRAME SIGN
A type of yard sign that consists of a frame into which a sign face can be inserted and erected upon two wood, metal, or plastic stakes or ground spikes.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign permanently resting on or supported by a slab, pedestal, post, pylon, or any other form of base located on the ground. Freestanding signs is a sign category within the Permanent Business Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: monument sign, pole sign, and dual post sign.
HEIGHT OF SIGN
The vertical distance from the base of the sign at average grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign.
HISTORIC MARKER SIGN
A type of optional miscellaneous sign available to officially recognized historic properties, sites, or districts, typically denoting the name of the building onto which it is mounted, its date of erection, and/or historical information.
HOME OCCUPATION SIGN
A sign category and sign type that conveys information regarding an approved home occupation within a residential zoned parcel.
INFLATABLE SIGN
A sign capable of being filled with and expanded by air or other gas, including animated or "dancing" inflatable signs.
LIGHTING, AMBIENT
Illumination in which the only light that falls onto the sign comes from sources that are available naturally (e.g., sunlight, moonlight) or from artificial lighting sources used for other purposes in the vicinity of the sign (e.g., streetlights, lighting installed for other purposes or sites).
LIGHTING, BACKLIT
Illumination that is arranged in such a way that the light is cast from behind the sign to the eyes of the viewer. Often, the lighting element is unshielded but concealed behind individual freestanding letters, creating a silhouette effect.
LIGHTING, GOOSENECK
Illumination resulting from light emitted directly from a shielded light fixture located at the top of the sign and angled downward onto the sign face. The light fixture is attached to a curved neck which is often flexible, allowing the user to position the light source onto the sign face. Other forms of downward angled light fixtures may be substituted for curved neck fixtures.
LIGHTING, INTERNAL
Illumination emanating from a lighting element that is located behind the sign face and which is completely enclosed. Such illumination is diffused through a translucent material such as plastic or frosted glass. These include internally lit cabinets or internally lit individual letters or characters.
MAINTAIN
Maintaining the existing appearance of the sign; replacing the sign face or the supporting structure with identical materials, colors, and messages; changing the message of a marquee sign or off-premises governmental information sign.
MAINTENANCE
Sign maintenance is the replacement or repair of a part or portion of a sign required by ordinary wear, tear, or damage, with like material, color, and design. Maintenance of signs does not include changing the size, height, design, or style of signs.
MARQUEE SIGN
A type of on-building sign that is mounted to a permanent roof-like structure that projects out from the exterior wall of a structure and shelters the entrance and/or entrance approaches to a building.
MENU BOARD SIGN
A type of daily notice sign mounted flat against a wall containing changeable copy.
MOBILE/PORTABLE/TRAILER SIGN
A sign not permanently attached to the ground that is designed to be moved from one location to another. Also, a sign mounted on a frame or chassis designed to be relocated, including unlicensed or inoperable vehicles and/or trailers whose principal use is for signage. Sandwich board signs meeting the definition and requirements of this chapter shall not be considered mobile or portable signs, nor shall signage affixed to a contractor's trailer located on a site for which there is an active building permit.
MONUMENT SIGN
A type of freestanding sign in which the bottom edge of the sign face is located within one foot of a ground-mounted pedestal.
MURAL SIGN
Artwork applied to the wall of a building that covers all or a portion of the wall and depicts a scene or event of natural, social, cultural, or historic significance, but does not advertise a product for sale on the site. Murals depicting the name of a business or logo of a business shall count as a wall sign under the provisions of this chapter.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
Permanent signs existing as of the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the provisions of this chapter, such as brightness, scrolling, size, height, and location provisions, shall be nonconforming signs.
OFF-PREMISES ADVERTISING SIGN
A permanent sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment that is conducted, sold, or offered elsewhere than upon the site where the sign is displayed. Off-premises advertising signs include billboards and exclude government informational signs.
OFF-PREMISES GOVERNMENTAL INFORMATION SIGN
A type of off-premises freestanding optional miscellaneous sign owned by the City of Lodi, located outside of the right-of-way, typically providing information to the community and visitors regarding entry points to the community, scheduled public events, public activities, public announcements, and public facilities of a governmental nature, excluding traffic control, community wayfinding signs, and other government transportation or census related messages located within a right-of-way.
ON-BUILDING SIGN
A type of sign permanently affixed to an outside wall of a building. On-building signs is a sign category which includes the following sign types: wall sign, awning sign, canopy sign, marquee sign, and projecting sign.
ON-SITE DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A type of site directional or informational sign that includes a directional arrow or symbol that directs people to a specific destination within a development or site. On-site directional signs may also include either the name, logo, or symbol of the destination, provided that the name, logo, or symbol is less than two square feet.
ON-SITE WARNING SIGN
A type of site directional or informational sign that indicates a warning from the property owner related to conditions on-site and/or that cites a City, state, or federal law, order, rule, or regulation. Such signs shall contain no commercial message. Examples include signs listing parking hours or "No Trespassing," "No Loitering," or "Customer Parking Only" signs.
OPTIONAL MISCELLANEOUS SIGN
A sign category that conveys information which the City finds essential to encourage placemaking, particularly related to officially recognized historic places, officially designated neighborhoods, and conveying information for the general public. Signs in this category are only permitted through official government action, including designation of historic places, creation of outlots in a plat or certified survey map, or conditional use permit. Optional miscellaneous sign is a sign category within the Permanent Miscellaneous Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: historic marker sign, permanent plat sign, off-premises governmental information sign, and home occupation sign.
OUTSIDE NEON SIGN
Electric signs lighted by long, luminous gas-discharge tubes that contain rarefied neon or other gases located on the exterior of a property or building.
PEDESTRIAN SIGN
A sign attached perpendicularly to the facade of a building and mounted just above sidewalk level, and which is oriented and sized for visibility to nearby pedestrians rather than to motorists. Pedestrian signs is a sign category within the Permanent Business Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: blade sign and suspended sign.
PERMANENT BUSINESS SIGN
A permanent sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment conducted, sold, offered, or manufactured upon the site where the sign is located. Permanent business signs are a sign group containing various sign categories and sign types that a business is eligible to use. Permanent business signs include the following sign categories: freestanding signs, on-building signs, pedestrian signs, daily notice signs and window and door signs.
PERMANENT MISCELLANEOUS SIGN
A permanent sign that is available to all sites in the City regardless of land use. Permanent miscellaneous signs is a sign group containing various sign categories and sign types that a site or business is eligible to use. Permanent miscellaneous signs includes the following sign categories: site directional or informational signs and optional miscellaneous signs.
PERMANENT PLAT SIGN
A type of optional miscellaneous sign typically indicating the name of a neighborhood, neighborhood association, or subdivision recognized by the City.
PLAT PHASE
The collection of lots, rights-of-way, and outlots located within the perimeter boundary of a final plat.
POLE SIGN
A type of freestanding sign mounted to the side or center of one post.
PROJECTING SIGN
A type of on-building sign that is mounted at any angle other than parallel to the wall on which it is mounted, and extends beyond three feet from the face of the wall.
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT
A district that is zoned R-1, R-2, or R-3 under Chapter 340, Zoning, of the City Code.
ROOF SIGN
A sign displayed above the eaves or cornice of a building.
SANDWICH BOARD SIGN
A type of portable daily notice sign placed on the ground and constructed in such a manner as to form an "A"-like shape, hinged or not hinged at the top, with each angular face held together at an appropriate distance by a supporting element such as a folding bar, latch, or chain. Sandwich board sign shall also include "T"-like shaped signs, a freestanding sign ordinarily in the shape of an upside down "T" which is readily movable and not permanently attached to the ground or structure. Anything attached to a sandwich board sign shall not project outside the perimeter of the sign face nor project in excess of one inch from the sign face. Sandwich board signs shall be kept inside the business during closed business hours.
SIGN
In this chapter, the word "sign" means any object, device, display, structure, or part thereof, situated or visible from outdoors, which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, figures, designs, logos, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination, animation or projected images.
SIGN AREA
The entire face of a sign, including the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, logo, or other display, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the background of the display but not including any supporting framework.
SIGN FACE
The area or display surface used for the message.
SITE
A site shall include all lots that are contiguous, under unified single ownership and intended to remain under unified single ownership under the jurisdiction of this chapter. A site may also be determined to be a portion of a single lot where more than one building in a business center development (approved by the City) contains separate businesses. For the purposes of this chapter, the site shall be determined by the Zoning Administrator.
SITE DIRECTIONAL OR INFORMATIONAL SIGN
A sign category that includes signs that are essential in order to protect the public health, safety, and/or welfare. Specifically, these signs are used to provide information essential to the following public purposes: to deliver mail; to identify property addresses for the provision of emergency services such as fire or rescue service; to identify the management of rental properties for the provision of emergency services; to provide information about parking limitations or warnings against trespass; and to provide information about required traffic flow where a safe path to a destination is not evident. Site directional or informational signs is a sign category within the Permanent Miscellaneous Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: address sign, building management identification sign, on-site warning sign, and on-site directional sign.
STAKE SIGN
A type of yard sign that consists of a sign face erected upon one or more metal wires or wood, metal, or plastic stakes of no more than three inches in width.
STREET BANNER SIGN
A sign category and sign type that is intended to promote public events of City-wide interest displayed over a public street, alley, or highway.
SUSPENDED SIGN
A type of pedestrian sign that is mounted perpendicular to the nearest wall and suspended from the underside of a horizontal plane surface, such as a covered porch, arcade, canopy, or marquee.
TEMPORARY APPROVED DEVELOPMENT SIGN
A sign which is limited to display only during the active development of a building or plat. Temporary approved development signs are a sign category within the Temporary Business Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: active building board sign and active plat board sign.
TEMPORARY BUSINESS SIGNS
A temporary sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment conducted, sold, offered, or manufactured upon the site where the sign is located. Temporary business signs are a sign group containing various sign categories and sign types that a business is eligible to use. Temporary business signs includes the following sign categories: temporary miscellaneous business sign, temporary approved development pedestrian signs, and daily notice signs.
TEMPORARY MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS SIGNS
A sign located outside of a building for limited durations, often used for the purpose of informing the public of a sale or special offer/event. Temporary miscellaneous business signs are a sign category within the Temporary Business Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: board sign, banner/pennant sign, feather sign, inflatable sign, temporary board and banner signs, temporary approved development signs, and daily notice signs.
TEMPORARY MISCELLANEOUS SIGN
A temporary sign that does not contain a commercial message. Temporary miscellaneous signs is a sign group containing two sign categories, yard signs and street banners, which is available to all land uses.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign or advertising intended to be displayed for a certain limited period of time. If a sign display area is permanent, but the message displayed is subject to periodic changes, that sign shall not be considered as temporary.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL SIGNS
Signs that have a depth or relief on their surface. Where a sign consists of one or more three-dimensional objects (i.e., balls, cubes, clusters of objects, sculpture or statute-like trademarks), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane.
WALL SIGN
A type of on-building sign that is mounted directly on, and parallel to, a building facade or other vertical building surface. A wall sign also includes a sign located on the interior of a building that is intended to be viewed primarily from beyond the boundaries of the site. Whether an interior sign is considered a wall sign shall be determined by the Zoning Administrator during the sign permit review process.
WINDOW AND DOOR SIGN
A sign located within a building that is attached to the inside face of an exterior window, or door, or is etched into the glass face. Window and door signs is a sign category within the Permanent Business Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: window sign and door sign.
WINDOW PANE
The area defined by any combination of the window frame and mullions located within said frame.
WINDOW SIGN
A type of sign that is attached to the inside face of an exterior window, or door, or is etched into the glass face.
YARD SIGN
A sign category that is intended to accommodate a wide variety of sign purposes (e.g., garage sale signs, for sale signs, real estate sales signs, political signs, "slow down for kids" signs, community event signs, etc.), often needed on a temporary basis. Such signs are freestanding and mounted on one or two stakes or posts and do not have footings. A yard sign is a sign category within the Temporary Miscellaneous Sign Group, which includes the following sign types: stake sign, frame sign, and arm and post sign.