City of Monona, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 10-16-2017 by Ord. No. 9-17-689; 5-20-2019 by Ord. No. 5-19-717]
[1]
Editor's Note: The City's Signage Districts Map is on file and available for inspection in the City offices.
A. 
The purpose of this article is to establish standards for the fabrication, erection, and use of signs, and to regulate the location, type, size, and height of signage for all properties within the City of Monona. The adoption of this article reflects the formal finding of fact by the City of Monona Plan Commission and Common Council that regulation of signage advances the following compelling governmental interests:
(1) 
Reduce signage that the City has determined to be a cause of unsafe traffic and visibility conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and passengers.
(2) 
Protect pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and passengers from injury caused by the faulty and uncontrolled construction and use of signs within the City.
(3) 
Protect pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and passengers from injury caused by distractions, obstructions, and hazards created by certain signs or by cluttered, distracting, or illegible signage.
(4) 
Promote the public welfare, health, and safety of all persons using public thoroughfares and rights-of-way within the City of Monona in relation to the signage displayed thereon, or overhanging, or projecting into such public spaces.
(5) 
Preserve the value of private property by assuring the compatibility of signs with surrounding land uses.
(6) 
Assure that public benefits derived from expenditures of public funds for the improvement and beautification of public streets and other public structures and spaces are protected by exercising reasonable controls over character and design of signage.
(7) 
Advance the aesthetic goals of the City throughout the community and ensure the effectiveness and flexibility in the design, creativity, or use of signage without creating a detriment to the general public.
B. 
Furthermore, this article leaves ample and adequate alternative channels of commercial speech communication for the messages portrayed on advertising signs - namely, distributed print media, broadcast 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.
C. 
Signs that fail to comply with the requirements in this article are subject to the penalties found in § 1-4 of the City of Monona Municipal Code.
A. 
Definition of a sign. In this article, 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, or projected images.
B. 
"Signs" do not include:
(1) 
Traffic control and other government messages located within a right-of-way.
(2) 
Decorations that are incidentally and customarily associated with any national holiday or religious holiday, or with any community festival or similar event.
(3) 
Art works, including but not limited to wall murals, which do not contain a commercial message, logo, or colors; and/or which contain pictorial representations referring to businesses, merchandise, products, or services of an exclusively historic nature of 50 years or older (meaning no longer offered as an active commercial enterprise).
(4) 
Building colors and lighting which do not contain a commercial message or commercial logo.
(5) 
Interior site signs located on the interior of the grounds of the Conservancy Zoning District and Public Facilities Zoning District, which are primarily oriented to persons within the grounds.
(6) 
Interior building signs located on the interior of a building and not attached to or located within three feet of the inside of a window, which are primarily oriented to persons within the building.
(7) 
Window displays of merchandise, pictures, or models of products or services incorporated in a window display, which are not directly attached to an interior or exterior window surface.
(8) 
Vehicles that are licensed, operable, and parked in legal parking spaces, except where in violation of § 434-11 of the City of Monona Municipal Code.
This section provides the definitions and rules related to various sign groups, sign categories, and sign types. Figures 480-70(1) through 480-70(4) provide the regulations for these signs applicable to each zoning district.[1] Any sign type not addressed by this article shall be construed to be prohibited. The term "site" has a unique and distinct definition within this article. See § 480-64F(19) for the complete definition.
A. 
Definitions and rules related to the permanent business signs group. Permanent business sign: A sign permanently installed in the ground or affixed to a building which directs attention to the activity conducted upon the site where the sign is located. "permanent business signs" is 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, and daily notice signs. See Figure 480-70(1) for additional rules for permanent business signs related to zoning districts.[2]
(1) 
Freestanding sign category. A sign permanently resting on or supported by a slab, pedestal, post, pylon, or any other form of base located on the ground. The sign must be designed of materials complementary to and harmonious with the building and site, and closely integrated with site landscaping. Freestanding signs shall not interfere with vehicle or visibility or circulation. The footing and related supporting structure of a permanent freestanding sign including bolts, flanges, and brackets, shall be concealed by landscaping as approved by the Plan Commission. Said landscaping shall be encouraged to be diverse and colorful, and shall be continuously maintained to comply with the approved landscaping plan. There are the following types of freestanding sign types:
(a) 
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 or is 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.
(b) 
Pylon sign. A type of freestanding sign erected upon one or more pylons or poles, generally of a height that is taller than permitted for a monument sign. Pylon signs shall be constructed of decorative poles or poles encased in a decorative enclosure. Bare metal, wood, or other poles are not permitted. Pylon signs are only allowed on sites identified within the City of Monona Pylon Sign Parcel Map. See § 480-65.
(2) 
On-building sign category. A type of sign permanently affixed to an outside wall of a building and shall be made of durable all-weather materials. There are the following on-building sign types:
(a) 
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.
[1] 
The top edge of a wall sign shall not extend above the top edge of the vertical exterior wall or above the lowest edge of a roofline of the portion of the building to which it is mounted.
[2] 
Wall signs shall not project more than 18 inches horizontally beyond the face of any wall or other surface to which they are mounted.
(b) 
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 face of a building. The structural support of the canopy shall be designed by a licensed professional engineer and approved by the Building Inspector as in compliance with the Monona Building Code. All frames and supports shall be of metal and designed to withstand pressure as provided in § 480-92. No supports shall exist beyond the setback line between the canopy and the sidewalk or ground below.
[1] 
Sign copy shall be horizontally and vertically centered on the face(s) of the canopy. Sign copy shall not project above or below the canopy face.
[2] 
Script shall be limited to eight inches in height and shall cover no more than 10% of the canopy area.
(c) 
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 building and shelters the entrance and/or entrance approaches to a building. The structural support shall be designed by a licensed professional engineer and approved by the Building Inspector as in compliance with the Monona Building Code. All frames and supports shall be of metal and designed to withstand pressure as provided in § 480-92. No supports shall exist beyond the setback line between the marquee sign and the sidewalk or ground below.
[1] 
Sign copy shall be horizontally and vertically centered on the face(s) of the marquee.
[2] 
Marquee signs must be finished and enclosed on both the top and bottom of the sign between the back of the sign face and the building face.
[3] 
Marquee signs may only be approved through the conditional use permit process. See § 480-52.
(d) 
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 face of a building, securely attached to and supported by the building and shall be without posts or columns beyond the setback line. The structural support, if any, shall be designed by a licensed professional engineer and approved by the Building Inspector as in compliance with the Monona Building Code. All frames and supports shall be of metal and designed to withstand pressure as provided in § 480-92. No supports shall exist beyond the setback line between the awning and the sidewalk or ground below.
[1] 
Sign copy shall be horizontally and vertically centered on the face(s) of the awning.
[2] 
Sign copy shall not project above, below, or beyond the awning surface.
[3] 
Sign copy shall not exceed 50% of the area of an angled face of the awning.
[4] 
Sign copy shall not be more than 12 inches tall on a vertical face of the awning.
[5] 
The entire awning (including the vertical and angled faces combined) shall be considered a sign for purposes of area measurement. See Figure 480-70(1).[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[6] 
The area of the sign copy shall be measured using the methods described in Figure 480-74(2).[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(e) 
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, extending from the face of the wall.
(3) 
Pedestrian category. A sign attached perpendicularly to the face of a building and mounted above sidewalk level, and which is oriented and sized for visibility to nearby pedestrians rather than to motorists. See Table 480-70(1) for exact dimensional requirements of this category.[5] The sign shall be made of durable all-weather materials. The following pedestrian sign types are regulated by this article:
(a) 
Blade sign. A type of pedestrian sign that is mounted perpendicular to the wall on which it is mounted, extends less than four feet from the wall.
(b) 
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, or canopy.
[5]
Editor's Note: Said table is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(4) 
Daily notice sign category. A sign typically used to advertise daily specials, daily menu items, or on-site events that change on a daily basis, which usually includes changeable copy. This type of sign is often associated with restaurants, taverns, retail stores, and music venues. There are the following daily notice sign types:
(a) 
Menu board sign. A type of daily notice sign mounted flat against a wall containing changeable copy.
[1] 
Menu board signs shall be securely affixed to the exterior wall of the building containing the use.
[2] 
Menu board signs shall not extend more than four inches from the wall on which they are mounted.
(b) 
Order board sign. A type of daily notice sign used only in conjunction with drive-through or drive-in establishments.
[1] 
Order board signs shall require a conditional use permit. The conditional use permit application for a drive-through sign is typically reviewed as a component of a conditional use permit application for an entire site, but a drive-through sign may be applied for as a distinct conditional use permit.
[2] 
Order board signs shall be freestanding or mounted on the exterior wall of the building containing the use.
[3] 
Freestanding two-way microphone/speaker devices shall not count toward the maximum permitted area of the order board sign.
[4] 
Order board sign audio components shall meet the noise standards set forth in § 480-10A of the Zoning Ordinance.
[2]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
Definitions and rules related to the temporary business signs group. Temporary business sign: A temporary sign which directs attention to the activity conducted upon the site where the sign is located. "Temporary business signs" is a sign group containing various sign categories and sign types. "Temporary business signs" includes the following sign categories: window signs, temporary board and banner signs, and temporary approved development signs. See Figure 480-70(2) for additional rules for temporary business signs related to zoning districts.[6]
(1) 
Window sign category. A sign located within a building that is attached to the inside face of an exterior window. The following window sign types are addressed by this article:
(a) 
Window sign. A type of sign that is either painted onto a window, attached to the inside face of an exterior window, or located inside a building within three feet of a window and intended to be viewed from the exterior of the building. Window signs may face toward the outside, the inside, or both. They shall not be placed on a door window, other windows needed to be clear for pedestrian safety, or on any window outside of the ground-floor.
(2) 
Temporary board and banner sign category. A sign located outside of a building for a period not to exceed 28 calendar days in any six-month period. Such signs are often used for the purpose of informing the public of a sale or special offer. There are the following temporary board and banner sign types:
(a) 
Board sign. A type of temporary board and banner sign that is placed on the ground and is made of rigid material.
[1] 
Board signs are not permitted in the City of Monona.
(b) 
Sandwich board sign. A type of temporary board and banner 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. Each angular face shall be held together by a supporting element such as a folding bar, latch, or chain.
[1] 
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.
(c) 
Banner sign. A type of temporary board and banner 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.
(d) 
Feather sign. A type of temporary board and banner sign consisting of a piece of vertically elongated, flexible material such as cloth or vinyl which is affixed to a single pole driven into the ground. The pole may be rigid or flexible but is not permanent.
[1] 
Feather signs are not permitted in the City of Monona.
(3) 
Temporary approved development sign category. A sign which is limited to display only during the active development of a building or plat. Mesh screens containing images and/or text are permitted only during this time period, but are not considered signs. There are the following temporary approved development sign types:
(a) 
Active building or plat board sign. A type of temporary approved development sign that is made of a rigid material, but does not constitute a construction site fence within the meaning of § 66.1102(5), Wis. Stats.
[1] 
"Active Building" means when a building on site is under construction. The sign can only be displayed during the period between the issuance of a building permit and the issuance of the first building occupancy permit.
[2] 
"Active Plat" means when a subdivision plat on site is under construction. The sign can only be displayed during the time period between the recording of the final plat and the issuance of building permits for 90% of the lots; as applied to each development phase in the final plat.
(4) 
Prohibited temporary sign category. Exterior signs or similar eye-catching devices with the characteristics described in § 480-64E are prohibited at all times by this article.
[6]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
C. 
Definitions and rules related to the permanent miscellaneous signs group. Permanent miscellaneous sign: A permanent sign that is available to all sites in the City regardless of land use (with the exception of the institutional information sign, which is only permitted on sites used for municipal buildings or academic facilities and requires a conditional use permit.) "Permanent miscellaneous signs" is a sign group containing various sign categories and sign types. Permanent miscellaneous signs includes the following sign categories: City-required signs and optional miscellaneous signs. See Figure 480-70(3) for additional rules for permanent miscellaneous signs related to zoning districts.[7]
(1) 
City-required sign category. A sign category that includes signs that the City finds essential in order to protect the public health, safety, and/or welfare. Specifically, these signs are used to facilitate 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 impose parking limitations or warnings against trespass; and, to facilitate traffic flow where a safe path to a destination is not evident. There are the following City-required sign types:
(a) 
Address sign. A type of City-required sign that identifies the street address of a property.
(b) 
Building management identification sign. A type of City-required sign indicating the name and/or address of the property owner, tenant, and/or manager of the property.
(c) 
On-site warning sign. A type of City-required 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. Examples include signs listing parking hours or "No Trespassing," "No Loitering," or "Customer Parking Only" signs.
(d) 
On-site directional sign. A type of City-required 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 or equal to one square foot.
(2) 
Optional miscellaneous sign category. A sign category that facilitates placemaking, particularly related to officially-recognized historic places, officially-designated neighborhoods, and conveying information for the general public. Metal plaque and institutional information signs are only permitted through official government action, including designation of historic places or the presence of public facilities. There are the following optional miscellaneous sign types:
(a) 
Institutional information sign. A type of optional miscellaneous sign typically facilitating scheduled public events, public activities, and public facilities.
[1] 
Institutional information signs shall only be permitted on sites used for municipal buildings or academic facilities.
[2] 
Institutional information signs shall require a conditional use permit.
[3] 
Institutional information signs shall be configured as monument signs.
[4] 
Institutional information signs may have changeable copy or be configured as an electronic message sign meeting the requirements of § 480-67.
[a] 
Electronic message signs shall only be permitted within the Multifamily Residence, Conservancy, Public Facilities, Cemetery, Neighborhood Small Business, Retail Business, Community Design, and Commercial/Industrial Districts.
(b) 
Metal plaque 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.
(c) 
Flag sign. A type of optional miscellaneous sign that is located outside of a building with no display limit. It's made of vinyl, fabric, or other similar lightweight all-weather flexible material which is mounted on a pole. The pole can either be driven into the ground or attached to a building. If the pole is driven into the ground, it must be rigid and permanent. If the pole is attached to the building, it must also be rigid.
[7]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
D. 
Definitions and rules related to the temporary miscellaneous signs group. Temporary miscellaneous sign: "temporary miscellaneous signs" is a sign group containing one sign category, yard signs, which is available to all land uses. See Figure 480-70(4).[8]
(1) 
Yard sign category. A sign category that is intended to accommodate a wide variety of sign purposes (common examples of yard signs are, but not limited to the following: garage sale signs, for-sale signs, political signs, "slow down for kids" signs, etc.), needed on a temporary basis. Such signs are freestanding and mounted on one or two stakes or posts and do not have footings. All yard signs must be placed on-premise. See on-premise sign locations in Figure 480-70(5) and 480-70(6). The following yard sign types are addressed by this article:
(a) 
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.
(b) 
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.
(c) 
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.
[8]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
E. 
Prohibited signs. Refer to § 480-90A for additional sign prohibitions and limitations.
(1) 
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 90 consecutive days.
(2) 
Advertising vehicle sign. A vehicle, trailer, or other piece of equipment which contains any sign, which is unlicensed and/or inoperable, and which is parked on a public right-of-way or in a location that is not an active work site so as to be seen from a public right-of-way.
(a) 
Business vehicles legally parked in any of the locations described below shall not be considered advertising vehicle signs.
[1] 
A business vehicle parked on-site at the place of business in a parking space designated for company vehicle parking or storage on a site plan approved by the City; or
[2] 
A business vehicle legally parked on-site at the residence of an employee (including driveways and legal off-street parking spaces)
(3) 
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.
(4) 
Board sign. A sign that is temporarily placed on the ground and is made of rigid material.
(5) 
Bulletin board sign. A freestanding sign located on-site containing changeable copy.
(6) 
Dangerous, deteriorated, or dilapidated signs. Signs which are an imitation of or resemble in shape, size, copy or color an official traffic sign or signal or which block traffic visibility or which, through age, neglect or weather, are determined to be unsafe by the Zoning Administrator.
(7) 
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.
(8) 
Flashing/scrolling/animated sign. A sign having lights or illumination which flashes, scrolls, moves, rotates, twinkles, blinks, flickers, varies in intensity of color, or uses intermittent electrical pulsations. Electronic message signs meeting the definition and requirements of § 480-67 of this article shall not be considered flashing, scrolling, or animated signs.
(9) 
Floodlighted signs. Reflection illuminated signs whose light source is positioned so that 25% or more of light intensity directly from the light source is visible from a public right-of-way by vehicular traffic or whose light source is visible from residential property.
(10) 
Inflatable sign. A sign capable of being filled with and expanded by air or other gas, including animated or "dancing" inflatable signs.
(11) 
Mobile/portable sign. A sign mounted on a frame or chassis designed to be easily relocated, including unlicensed or inoperable vehicles and/or trailers. Licensed and operable business vehicles, trailers, or other pieces of equipment shall not be considered mobile or portable signs.
(12) 
Off-premise advertising sign. A sign which directs attention to activity that is conducted upon the site where the sign is displayed. Off-premise advertising signs include billboards.
(a) 
Existing legal off-premise advertising signs made nonconforming by this section shall be permitted to continue as legal, nonconforming signs, subject to the requirements of § 480-94.
(13) 
Roof sign. A sign displayed above the eaves or cornice of a building.
F. 
Other definitions.
(1) 
Building frontage. The width of the building facade that fronts a public street, highway, or interstate.
(2) 
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 frontage, the building elevation providing customer access shall be considered the business frontage.
(3) 
Copy. Words, letters, numbers, figures, designs, or other symbolic representations incorporated into a sign.
(4) 
Changeable copy. Sign copy that may be changed manually to provide different information such as boards with changeable letters, bulletin boards, and chalkboards.
(5) 
Customer entrance. The entrance that the public can use when an establishment is open to the public.
(6) 
Electronic message sign. See § 480-67.
(7) 
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.
(8) 
External illumination. The lighting of an object from a light source located a distance from the object.
(9) 
Facade. See "elevation."
(10) 
Height of sign. The vertical distance from the average ground level at the base of the sign to the top of the highest attached component of the sign. See § 480-74B for the measurement of sign height.
(11) 
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 changing the face of an off-premise advertising sign (billboard).
(12) 
Lighting, ambient. Illumination in which the only light that falls onto the sign come 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., street lights, lighting installed for other purposes or sites)
(13) 
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.
(14) 
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.
(15) 
Lighting, internal. Illumination emanating from a lighting element that is located behind the sign face and which is completely enclosed.
(a) 
Internally illuminated signs shall have individual channel letters or silhouettes, light-colored copy on a dark-colored or opaque cabinet field background (so the copy is legible during the day and night), and a translucent message. When illuminated, the sign shall appear to have an illuminated copy with a dark or nonilluminated background.
[1] 
The requirements of Subsection F(15)(a), above, shall not apply to internally illuminated individual characters, letters, or shapes that do not contain copy on the sign face.
(b) 
Neon lighting is not considered to be internal lighting.
(16) 
Lighting, neon. Glass tube lighting in which a gas and phosphors are used in combination to create a colored light. Neon lighting is not considered internal lighting as defined in Subsection F(15) above.
(17) 
Sign area. The entire face of a sign, including the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, 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. See § 480-74D.
(18) 
Plat phase. The collection of lots, rights-of-way, and outlots located within the perimeter boundary of a final plat and intended to be developed concurrently.
(19) 
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 article. A site may also be determined to be a portion of a single lot where multiple building are present or more than one building contains separate businesses (approved by the City). For the purposes of this article, the site shall be determined by the Zoning Administrator.
(20) 
Sign face. The area or display surface used for the message.
(21) 
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. A mobile or portable sign shall not be considered a temporary sign or used for such a purpose. Refer to Figure 480-70(2) and Figure 480-70(4) for rules related to temporary signs.[9]
[9]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
(22) 
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 statue-like trademarks), fitting within the smallest simple geometric shape (rectangle, circle, or triangle), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane. See § 480-74D(5).
(23) 
Window. The total area within a single window pane.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
All parcels identified on the City of Monona Pylon Sign Parcel Map are eligible for a pylon sign in accordance with all applicable rules of this Chapter. See Figure 480-65(1).[1]
(1) 
All parcels on the Map must directly face U.S. Highway 12/18 (the Beltline), excluding parcels zoned Conservancy.
(a) 
Facing U.S. Highway 12/18 shall be defined as a parcel that either directly abuts the U.S. Highway 12/18 right-of-way or the parcel directly abuts a public street that is parallel to and directly abuts the U.S. Highway 12/18 right-of-way (such as the 2100 and 2800 block of Royal Avenue).
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
Electronic message sign. A type of sign in which the displays may be changed electronically, and which includes computer signs, electronic reader boards, video screens, LCD signs.
(1) 
Electronic message signs shall only be permitted with a Plan Commission approved conditional use permit for an institutional information sign.
(a) 
No more than one electronic message sign shall be permitted per site.
(2) 
In addition to the setback requirements of this article, no electronic message sign shall be permitted unless the message element is not visible from any property within a single-family or two-family Zoning District.
(3) 
Electronic message signs may only be integrated into the design of institutional information signs.
(a) 
No more than 33% of a sign's actual area shall contain an electronic message sign.
(b) 
Electronic message signs shall count toward the site's maximum permitted sign area.
(4) 
Messages and nontext images shall not change appearance more than once every 10 seconds, and transitions between messages shall be via instantaneous change. 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 § 480-64E(7).
(5) 
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.
(6) 
Electronic message signs shall comply with the lighting requirements of Chapter 480, Attachment 2.
(7) 
Electronic message signs shall be maintained so as to be able to display messages in a complete and legible manner.
A. 
Fuel price signs. A type of sign required by Wis. Stat. § 100.18(8).
(1) 
Fuel price signs shall not be separate signs, but rather shall be integrated into the design of a permitted sign, described in § 480-64A and in Figure 480-70(1).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figure is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(2) 
Fuel price signs may be illuminated, per the lighting requirements of Chapter 480, Attachment 2.
(3) 
Fuel price signs may contain changeable copy.
(4) 
All prices posted on fuel price signs shall remain in effect for at least 24 hours after they are posted, per Wis. Stat. § 100.18(8).
A. 
Signs shall be allowed on private property in the City in accordance with Figures 480.70(1) through 480.70(4), which address permitted signage as it relates to permits, quantity, area, location, lighting, and zoning districts. The requirements set forth in Figures 480.70(1) through 480.70(4) shall be declared to be part of this article.[1]
(1) 
The rules for permanent business signs are located in Figure 480.70(1).
(2) 
The rules for temporary business signs are located in Figure 480.70(2).
(3) 
The rules for permanent miscellaneous signs are located in Figure 480.70(3).
(4) 
The rules for temporary miscellaneous signs are located in Figure 480.70(4).
(5) 
The rules for on-premise sign locations are located in Figure 480-70(5) and 480-70(6).[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
(6) 
Signage for all Planned Community Development projects shall be permitted per the base zoning district and may be granted flexibility through the Planned Community Development process.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
Sign setbacks. Signs must be located on-premises, outside of the vision triangle, and must not be located within any street right-of-way, unless otherwise specified or approved by the Plan Commission. Each sign type must be setback in a location consistent with Figure 480-70(1), Figure 480-70(2), Figure 480-70(3), Figure 480-70(4), and Figure 480-70(5).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figures are included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
Sign height.
(1) 
The height of a freestanding sign shall be measured from the average ground level adjacent at the base of the sign to the top of the highest attached component of the sign, or from the centerline grade of the nearest adjacent public road, if such information is supplied with the permit application and confirmed by the Zoning Administrator, whichever is higher.
(2) 
The average ground level is defined as the average elevation within a three-foot radius of the sign on 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.
C. 
Minimum ground clearance. All on-building and pedestrian signs shall have a minimum clearance of 14 feet above a drive, alley, street, parking space, or other vehicle surface and a minimum of eight feet above a sidewalk, patio, or other ground-level surface.
D. 
Measurement of sign area: The measurement of sign area is based on the arrangement of sign copy and sign background (sign background does not include building architectural elements such as painted strips or exterior building material changes, as determined by City staff):
(1) 
In the case of a freestanding sign (including three-dimensional objects), sign area shall include the total sign area(s) 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).
(2) 
For signs comprised of letters and related copy surrounded by one or more sign background colors on a single panel, frame, or cabinet, the sign area shall be measured as the smallest single rectangle enclosing the entire sign message and any and all background color areas. See Example 1 in Figure 480-74(2).
(3) 
For signs comprised of individual letters and related copy surrounded by one or more sign background colors on individual panels, sign area shall be measured as the smallest single rectangle enclosing the entire sign message and any and all background color areas. See Example 1 in Figure 480-74(2).
(4) 
Groupings of related smaller signs shall be counted as one sign. In such cases, sign area shall be measured as the smallest single rectangle enclosing the individual signs and any and all background color areas. See Example 2 in Figure 480-74(2).
(5) 
For signs comprised of one or more three-dimensional objects (i.e., balls, cubes, clusters of objects, sculpture or statue-like trademarks), fitting within the smallest simple geometric shape (rectangle, circle, or triangle), the sign area shall be measured as their maximum projection upon a vertical plane. See Figure 480-74(1) below.
Figure 480-74(1): Measurement of 3D Sign Area
Figure 480-74(2): Measurement of Sign Area
Example 1: Individual letters or words grouped on one or more panels
Smallest single rectangle
Example 2: Individual letters on separate panels
Smallest single rectangle
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
No freestanding sign listed under § 480-64(A)(1), on-building sign listed under § 480-64(A)(2), order board sign under § 480-64(A)(4)(b), on-site warning sign under § 480-64(C)(1)(c), on-site directional sign under § 480-64(C)(1)(d), or institutional information sign under § 480-64(C)(2)(a) shall be erected, installed, or constructed without approval from the City of Monona Plan Commission.
(2) 
No pedestrian sign under § 480-64(A)(3), menu board sign under § 480-64(A)(4)(a), window sign under § 480-64(B)(1), temporary board and banner sign under § 480-64(B)(2), or metal plaque sign or flag sign under § 480-64(C)(2) shall be erected, installed, or constructed without the granting of a permit from the Zoning Administrator in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(3) 
No pylon or marquee signs under §§ 480-64(A) and 480-64(B) shall be erected, installed, constructed, or maintained without the structural support being designed by a licensed professional engineer and approved by the Building Inspector as in compliance with the Building Code of the City. All frames and supports shall be of metal and designed to withstand pressure as provided in § 480-92.
(4) 
For signs requiring a permit in Subsection A(1), above, this section shall apply and be construed to require a permit for a change of copy on any sign or for any conversions or changes in the sign structure.
(5) 
This section shall not apply to repainting or re-facing with the same sign copy, cleaning, repair, or other normal maintenance of the sign or sign structure.
(6) 
No new permit is required for signs which are in place as of the effective date this article, and such signs may remain as legal nonconforming signs. Any alteration or relocation of such signs shall conform to the requirements of this article. Refer to § 480-94 for rules pertaining to nonconforming signs.
(7) 
Any sign permit granted hereunder shall not be assigned or transferred to any other sign, including a modified sign face or modified sign structure.
(8) 
The owner or tenant may request all such signs at one site be included under one permit.
B. 
Review authority.
(1) 
The Plan Commission shall review all freestanding, on-building, order board, on-site warning, on-site directional, or institutional information signs, all signs accompanying changes in use or new use which must receive approval of a zoning permit, and all proposed signs which would require approval of a comprehensive signage plan for a site or sites which will have more than one sign viewed together as part of a group of signs. This may be required with a zoning permit for change of use or a sign permit. All signs which require approval of a sign permit by the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission shall be reviewed according to the following evaluation factors:
(a) 
Conformance to the zoning and sign code.
(b) 
Minimization of conflict with vehicular or pedestrian circulation.
(c) 
Compatibility with the building characteristics, adjacent uses, and adjacent signs.
(d) 
Compatibility with the specific physical site conditions which warrant approval of the proposed sign.
(e) 
Materials and maintenance aspects.
(f) 
Legibility and visual clarity.
(2) 
The Plan Commission may grant special exception to this article upon demonstration of due cause. Every applicant for a special exception to the sign district requirements shall submit a written statement to the Plan Commission which explains the reason for the request and how it meets the evaluation factors.
C. 
Sign permit application. Each sign permit application shall include:
(1) 
The name, address, phone number, and email address of the applicant.
(2) 
The name of the business or land use the proposed sign will serve.
(3) 
The name, address, phone number, email address, and signature of the property owner.
(4) 
The name, address, phone number, and email address of the sign contractor.
(5) 
The property's zoning designation.
(6) 
The property's current land use or uses for the entire subject property, including all indoor and outdoor areas.
(7) 
An aerial photograph or approved site plan for the subject property. If a site plan was not previously required or approved, a site plan for the subject property with requirements as determined by the Zoning Administrator shall be provided. At a minimum, the site plan shall include the following:
(a) 
Location, type, height, width, and area of the proposed sign.
(b) 
Location, type, height, width, and area of all existing signs on the property and indication of whether existing sign(s) will remain or be removed/replaced.
(c) 
For all freestanding and institutional information signs, the location and type of landscaping coordinated with site landscaping.
(d) 
All property lines and buildings on the property and within 50 feet of the proposed sign.
(e) 
All parking areas, driveways, and public roads.
(f) 
Method of attachment, structural support, method of illumination, and sign materials.
(g) 
The total area of all signs on the subject property both before and after installation of the proposed sign.
(8) 
Payment of the sign permit fee, as established from time to time by the Common Council.
(9) 
A written statement that all temporary signs will be removed per the limits.
(10) 
Any other information that may reasonably be requested by the Zoning Administrator for the purpose of application evaluation.
(11) 
Any existing or proposed sign on property abutting a state highway, United States highway, or interstate highway shall comply with all required approval from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
D. 
Granting and issuance.
(1) 
The Zoning Administrator shall review the application to ensure it is complete per the requirements of Subsection B, above.
(2) 
In cases where no other review or approvals are required under this article, the Zoning Administrator shall review said application for compliance with Subsection D, below, and shall, in writing, either approve or deny said sign permit.
(3) 
When a proposed sign is associated with any development that requires a site plan, a sign permit shall not be granted prior to the approval of a site plan. In such cases, the Zoning Administrator shall review said application for compliance with Subsection D, below, and shall schedule the item on the appropriate meeting agenda(s) 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.
(5) 
A granted sign permit shall expire, and shall be null and void, if the sign is not attached or erected within 180 days after the issuance of the sign permit.
E. 
Basis for granting a 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 article. 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 Monona Municipal Code and Building Code, including those related to traffic safety, traffic visibility, sign setbacks, and structural integrity.
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 article or any conditions that may have accompanied the permit at the time of issuance. Revocation requires written notice by either the Zoning Administrator for Zoning Ordinance violations or the Building Inspector for Building Code or other construction code violations.
(2) 
In the event that construction, installation, or manufacture of a sign for which a permit has been issued has not commenced within 180 days 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 90 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 45 days of such revocation.
(4) 
Revocation shall not result in total or partial reimbursement of permit fees paid.
G. 
Appeals. Any person affected by a decision of the Zoning Administrator may petition for a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals. The filing of such petition automatically stays removal of any sign involved and already legally erected until the Zoning Board of Appeals decides whether to sustain, modify, or withdraw the notice.
H. 
Removal of signs in violation of this article.
(1) 
If the Zoning Administrator determines that any sign exists in violation of this article, the Zoning Administrator shall notify the sign permit holder or the owner of the property on which the sign is located. Said notification shall indicate that such violation shall be corrected within 60 days of receipt of said notice on penalty of automatic revocation of any sign permit, and that removal of the sign by the City may occur at the expense of the owner of the property.
(2) 
If notification is sent and the violation is not corrected within 60 days, the Zoning Administrator shall revoke the permit for any sign which is in violation of this article. It shall be the duty of the Zoning Administrator to cause removal of such sign.
(3) 
The expense of removing such sign shall be charged to the owner of the property on which the sign is located. If the owner fails to pay such expense within one month of being billed therefore, or has not made arrangement for payment satisfactory to the City Attorney, then such expense shall be charged against the property as a special charge pursuant to § 66.0627 of the Wisconsin Statutes, as may be amended from time to time.
(4) 
Any sign illegally placed in a public right-of-way shall be subject to immediate removal and confiscation without notice by the Zoning Administrator.
The regulations contained in this section apply to signs in all zoning districts.
A. 
Sign prohibitions.
(1) 
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.
(2) 
No fluttering, undulating, swinging, rotating, or otherwise moving signs such as windsocks, motorized signs, pennants, and streamers shall be permitted. This shall not apply to banner signs as defined in § 480-64B(2).
(3) 
No signs shall project above the building parapet or eave, or be mounted on or extend above the roof, if attached to the building.
(4) 
No flashing, scrolling, or animated signs shall be permitted. Flashing is defined as changing more than once within a ten-second time interval.
(5) 
No signs shall be mounted to an unlicensed trailer or other unlicensed vehicle.
(6) 
No beacons or search beacons shall be permitted.
(7) 
No billboards or off-premise advertising signs shall be permitted.
(8) 
No abandoned signs shall be permitted. See § 480-64E(1).
(9) 
No illuminated sign shall be permitted unless the illumination of the sign is so designed that the lighting element is not visible from any property within a single-family, two-family, or multifamily Zoning District.
B. 
Sign limitations.
(1) 
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.
(2) 
No sign shall be placed in a manner that would impede vehicular or pedestrian safety, or impede access or visibility. Signs shall meet the requirements of § 480-9.
(3) 
No private sign shall be attached to or painted on any natural feature (e.g., tree or rock), fence, fire hydrant, public utility pole, public light pole, or traffic regulatory structure, unless otherwise authorized by the Director of Public Works.
(4) 
Signs must be placed on-premises which includes location on-site or within the right-of-way adjacent to the site's street frontage (outside of the vision triangle). They must be in a location approved by staff through a revocable occupancy permit granted by the City.
(5) 
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. The only exception to these restrictions is that painting may be allowed on curbs when approved by the Common Council.
A. 
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. Signs shall also comply with the applicable provisions of the Electrical Code as adopted by the City.
B. 
The base or support(s) of all pylon or marquee signs shall be securely anchored to a concrete base or footing. All signs shall meet minimum wind load capabilities of 30 pounds per square foot when covered with 1/2 inch of ice.
C. 
The footing and related supporting structure of a permanent freestanding sign or institutional information sign, including bolts, flanges, and brackets, shall be concealed by landscaping as approved by the Plan Commission. Said landscaping shall be diverse and colorful, and shall be continuously maintained to comply with the approved landscaping plan.
D. 
All pylon signs 20 feet in height or taller shall be required to submit sign construction plans stamped by a licensed engineer for approval by the Building Inspector.
E. 
Signs shall be mounted so that the method of installation is concealed. Signs applied to masonry surfaces shall be mechanically fastened to mortar joints only and not directly into brick or stone. Drilling to provide electrical service shall follow the same rule.
F. 
No sign shall be suspended in a way that will allow the sign to swing due to wind action, except for arm and post signs. Signs shall be anchored to minimize any lateral movement that would cause wear on the sign face or supporting members or connections.
G. 
All permanent signs and their supporting members shall be constructed of standardized, durable, all-weather sign materials.
H. 
Sign materials shall be compatible with the design of the face of the facade where they are placed and shall contribute to the legibility of the sign.
I. 
No combustible materials other than approved plastics shall be used in the construction of electric signs.
J. 
All signage within the jurisdiction of this article 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.
K. 
Every sign requiring either Plan Commission or Zoning Administrator approval hereafter erected shall have marked in a conspicuous place thereon the date of erection, the manufacturer's name, the permit number, and the voltage of any electrical apparatus used in connection therewith.
L. 
The repainting, changing of parts, and preventive maintenance of signs which completely conform to the requirements of this article, and result in absolutely no change in the appearance of the sign from that originally approved, shall not be deemed alterations requiring a sign permit.
M. 
Any signs which may be, or may hereafter become, rotted, unsafe, or in a state which is not properly maintained shall be subject to the provisions of § 1-4.
N. 
If any sign is suspended or projects above a public right-of-way, the issuance and continuation of a sign permit shall be conditioned on the sign owner agreeing to hold the City harmless, and obtaining and maintaining in force liability insurance for such a sign in such form and such amount as the City may reasonably from time to time determine, provided that the amount of such liability insurance shall be at least $1,000,000 per occurrence per sign.
A. 
Nonconforming signs. Permanent signs existing as of the effective date of this article, which do not conform to the provisions of this article, such as brightness, scrolling, size, height, and location provisions, shall be nonconforming signs.
B. 
Continuation of a nonconforming sign.
(1) 
Legal nonconforming signs may be maintained. Legal nonconforming signs include signs that were erected under the authority of proper sign permits prior to the adoption date of this article or if no sign permit was required by applicable law at the time the sign was originally constructed.
(2) 
Nonconforming signs shall not be altered or moved to a new location without being brought into compliance with the requirements of this article. See Subsection C(1), below, for what would constitute an alteration of a sign.
(3) 
When the principal structure located on the site undergoes a change that requires a conditional use permit, Planned Community Development, or building permit exceeding $100,000, all nonconforming signs shall be brought into conformance with the provisions of this article or shall be removed.
(a) 
The new sign user, sign owner, or owner of the property on which the change has occurred shall forthwith notify the Zoning Administrator of the change.
C. 
Alteration of nonconforming signs.
(1) 
For the purpose of this section, alteration of a sign is considered to be any change to the sign's frame, supporting structure, lighting, material, height, location, or any other alterations as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
Altering a sign does not include maintaining the existing appearance of the sign; changing the appearance of the sign face; replacing the sign face or the supporting structure with identical materials, colors, and messages; or changing the message of a marquee.
(3) 
A tenant sign which comprises part of multiple businesses 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 article.
A. 
A building, portion of a building, or site shall be determined to be vacated based on one or more of the following criteria: 1) vacancy; 2) cessation of some or all utilities; or 3) lapse or termination of occupational license. Vacation of a building, structure or site shall have the following effect:
(1) 
After 60 days, nonconforming signs shall lose their legal nonconforming status.
(2) 
After 60 days, the owner of the property shall take the following action regarding any permanent or temporary business signs and/or sign structures associated with the vacant building, portion of a building, or site located on the property. At the property owner's option, the property owner shall do one of the following: remove all such signs and structures, or replace the face of such signs with a blank sign face. If the property owner is granted an extension under Subsection A(3) below, the requirement shall not apply during the extension period.
(3) 
An extension allowing signs and/or sign structures associated with vacant buildings, portions of buildings, or sites to remain on the property for an additional six-month time period after the original 60 days have lapsed may be granted under the following conditions:
(a) 
The property owner shall submit an application with the appropriate fee and allow staff to inspect the signs and/or sign structures on the vacated building, portion of a building, or site.
(b) 
Staff shall review the application and sign to determine that the sign will not be a hazard, safety concern, or blight for the duration of the extended time period.
(c) 
Signs shall be properly blanked out.
(d) 
If the sign has been damaged to the point it becomes a safety hazard or blight on the property, the sign shall be removed.
(e) 
After the original six-month extension, one additional six-month extension may be approved by staff for up to one year upon submittal of a new application and fee. Any additional applications for an extension, beyond the first year, shall be approved by the Plan Commission.
(f) 
Owners of nonconforming signs may also apply for an extension; however, the sign shall not thereafter be reestablished except in full compliance with this article.
B. 
Sign structures that have been left without a sign face, or where the permit holder no longer has any interest in the site as owner or tenant, any of which for a continuous period of 90 days, shall be deemed abandoned and shall be removed by the owner of the sign structure. Should the owner fail to do so the City may proceed to remove such sign structure pursuant to the terms of this article if the owner has not been granted an extension.
C. 
If the sign and/or sign structure(s) have not been removed, the City shall send written notification to the property owner of record and/or last known occupant, via certified mail, indicating that said property owner or occupant remove the sign and/or sign structure or apply for and be granted an extension. If the sign and/or sign structure has not been removed within 60 days after the City sends notice, and an extension has not been granted, the City may have the sign and/or sign structure removed.
D. 
Any and all costs incurred by the City in the removal of a sign or sign structure pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be charged against the property as a special charge pursuant to § 66.0627 of the Wisconsin Statutes, as may be amended from time to time.
Fees related to signage shall be determined based on the then current Fee, Forfeiture and Deposit Schedule.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said schedule is on file in the office of the City Clerk.