City of El Paso, IL
Woodford County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of El Paso 1-21-2019 by Ord. No. 1016[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was adopted as Ch. 120 but was renumbered in order the maintain the alphabetical organization of the Code.
There is a significant relationship between the manner in which signs are displayed and public safety, and the stability of the economic value of adjoining property. The reasonable display of signs is necessary as a public service and to the conduct of competitive commerce and industry. The regulations in this chapter establish minimum standards for the display of signs in direct relationship to the functional use of property as permitted within the zoning districts which are provided in this chapter. It is at the City's discretion as to whether any application for a permit will be approved.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
AREA OF SIGN
Includes the background material on which the sign is painted or mounted. If the sign is of individual letters attached to a building, the area shall be considered as within the perimeter of a line drawn around all the letters. If a projected or freestanding sign has two sides, its area shall be based on only one side.
AWNING OR CANOPY SIGN
A sign painted, stamped, stitched or otherwise applied on the valance of an awning.
BANNER
A long, narrow sign made from canvas, paper or other lightweight material secured or mounted on a wall on at least two sides or attached to a permanent existing structure. Said structure shall include, but shall not be limited to, fences, buildings, light poles and sign poles.
BILLBOARD
A sign which advertises goods, products, or services not sold on the premises on which the sign is located.
COPY
Any display or message on a sign surface containing wording, numbers, symbols, or graphics and intended for visual communication.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD
Any sign or portion of a sign whose display information can be systematically changed or altered on a panel composed of electrically illuminated segments. An electronic message board shall not be considered a flashing sign.
FLAG
A sign made from canvas, paper or other lightweight material secured or mounted on one side as to allow movement by the wind.
FLASHING SIGN
Any sign directly or indirectly illuminated where the source of illumination flashes on or off, winks or blinks with varying light intensity or color, shows motion or creates the illusion of motion or revolves in a manner to create the illusion of being on or off.
"FOR SALE" OR "FOR RENT" SIGNS
"For sale" or "for rent" signs stating that the property on which the sign is displayed is for sale or rent and may include the name of the owner or agent with address and telephone number.
FREESTANDING OR GROUND SIGN
Any sign supported by one or more upright poles, columns or braces placed in or on the ground and not attached to any building or structure.
FRONTAGE
All sides of a lot abutting a street right-of-way shall be considered frontage.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN(S)
Includes the street address and the name of the owner or occupant or the name of the building if it has several occupations if any are conducted on the premises.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign which has characters, letters, figures, designs or outline illuminated by electric lights, tubes or other means of illumination.
INFLATABLE SIGN
Any inflated balloon or lighter than air object greater than 64 cubic feet in volume and displayed more than six feet above the ground.
MONUMENT SIGN
Any freestanding sign supported primarily by an internal structural framework or integrated into landscaping or other solid structural features where the base of the sign structure is on the ground or a maximum of 12 inches above ground.
MOVING SIGN
Any sign or portion of a sign which structurally rotates, revolves, extends, retracts or otherwise is in motion in any manner.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
Any sign which was lawfully erected and maintained prior to such time as it came within the purview of this chapter and any amendments thereto, and which fails to conform to all applicable regulations and restrictions of this chapter; provided, however, such term shall not include any sign or other advertising structure which was erected or maintained in violation of any law or this chapter.
OBSOLETE SIGN or OFF-PREMISES SIGN
Any sign which advertises a business which is not being conducted on or immediately adjacent to the premises on which the sign is located.
PERMANENT SIGN
Any wall sign, freestanding or ground sign, roof sign, awning or canopy sign designed and constructed to be a fixed-in-place sign for the specific purpose intended. Temporary sign(s) shall not be converted to permanent signs.
POLITICAL SIGN
Signs or posters announcing candidates seeking public political office in any local, state, or national election.
PORTABLE SIGN
Any sign not permanently affixed to the ground or a building, including but not limited to sandwich board signs, chalkboard signs, message boards and any sign attached to or displayed on a vehicle that is used for the express purpose of advertising a business establishment, product, service or entertainment, when the vehicle is so parked as to attract the attention of the motoring or pedestrian traffic.
PROJECTING SIGN
Any sign attached to a building that projects from the wall or face of the building more than 15 inches.
PROMOTIONAL SIGNS
Promotional signs are for the purpose of bringing to the attention of the public the goods or services offered on the premises. This includes but is not limited to wall signs, projecting signs and freestanding signs.
ROOF SIGN
Any sign erected upon, against, or directly above a roof, or on top or above the parapet or on a functional architectural appendage above the roof.
SHOPPING CENTER SIGN
An integrated shopping center freestanding sign with the name and street address of the shopping center.
SIGHT TRIANGLE
The imaginary triangular area formed by the intersecting lot lines nearest the street intersection, and a straight line joining said lot lines at points which are 20 feet from the point of intersecting lot lines.
SIGN
Any structure or device or visual communication that is used for the purpose of bringing the subject thereof to the attention of the public, but not including any flag, badge or ensign of any governmental agency of any state or of any civic, charitable, religious, or patriotic, fraternal or similar organization.
SIGN
Any structure or device located outside a building designed for visual communication intended to convey information to the public in written or pictorial form.
TEMPORARY SIGN
Any sign constructed of cardboard, cloth, canvas, fabric, wood or other temporary material, with or without a structural frame, and intended for a limited period of display, including but not limited to flags, balloons, banners, pennants, and portable signs.
TRAFFIC SIGNS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
Signs for traffic directions, parking restrictions or notices of hazards are permitted on private property in any zoning district.
WALL SIGN
Any sign painted or attached to the outside of a building, erected parallel to the wall to which it is attached.
No sign may be constructed, erected, remodeled, relocated, or expanded until a sign permit is obtained in accordance with the following sections in this chapter. No sign permit shall be issued for any sign unless the sign is accessory to a permitted use and the sign is permitted by and complies with the regulations of this chapter. However, the following types of signs are exempt from the permit requirements and from the regulations of this chapter:
A. 
Flags or emblems of a government or of a political, civic, philanthropic, educational, or religious organization, displayed on private property;
B. 
Signs of a duly constituted governmental body, including traffic or similar regulatory devices, legal notices, and warnings at railroad crossings;
C. 
Address numerals and other signs required to be maintained by law or governmental order, rule, or regulation; provided that the content and size of the sign do not exceed the requirements of such law, order, rule, or regulation;
D. 
Small signs, not exceeding two square feet in area, displayed on private property for the convenience of the public, including signs to identify restrooms, freight entrances, and the like;
E. 
Flags, streamers, placards, pennants not exceeding six square feet in area, and small balloons not exceeding five cubic feet in volume;
F. 
Temporary signs, banners, and displays for special church, school, institutional, civic, or community events that are erected outside the public right-of-way for a period no more than 60 days prior and three days after the scheduled event;
G. 
Welcome signs erected outside the public right-of-way near major community entrances that contain no advertising other than participating groups or organizations. Such signs shall be subject to the review and approval of the City Council prior to construction.
Application for a sign permit shall be filed by the owner of the sign or his agent with the Zoning Officer. The application shall contain the following information:
A. 
Name, address, and telephone number of the owner of the sign, and agent, if any;
B. 
Location of building, structure, or lot to which or upon which the sign is to be attached or erected;
C. 
Position of the sign in relation to nearby buildings or structures;
D. 
Two prints or drawings of the plans and specifications indicating the method of construction and attachment to the buildings or in the ground except for banner, inflatable, and temporary sign permits. These drawings or prints must be certified by a structural engineer licensed in the State of Illinois;
E. 
Name of person, firm, corporation, or association erecting sign;
F. 
Evidence of written consent of the owner of the building, structure, or land to which or on which the sign is to be erected; and
G. 
Such other information as the Zoning Officer shall require showing full compliance with this and all other laws and ordinances of the City.
A permit shall be issued for each sign by the Zoning Officer relative to the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Sign permits granted under the terms of this chapter are not transferable.
B. 
If the work authorized under a sign permit to build has not been substantially completed within six months after the date of issuance, the permit shall become void, and a new permit is required.
C. 
The changing of the advertising copy or message on an approved painted sign or on changeable letter panels or bulletin boards specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy and painting, repainting, cleaning and other normal maintenance and repair of a sign structure shall not be considered as creating a sign and shall not require a sign permit.
D. 
The Zoning Officer is authorized and empowered to revoke any permit issued by him if the holder of the permit fails to comply with any provision of this chapter.
For each sign requiring a permit under this chapter, a fee shall be paid at the time of the issuance of a permit. The fee charged for all types of signs shall be as follows:
A. 
The fee charged for all signs requiring a permit excepting billboards shall be $25 and then an additional $2.50 per $1,000 or fraction thereof for the actual cost of the sign and installation.
B. 
The fee charged for all billboard signs requiring a permit shall be $250 and then an additional $150 per $1,000 or fraction thereof for the actual cost of the sign and installation.
The applicant who has been issued a permit for construction, installation, erection, relocation, or alteration of a sign shall, upon completion of the work, notify the City administrative office, who shall notify the Zoning Officer to inspect the condition of the sign with respect to its safety and location.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Zoning Officer relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
All signs hereafter painted, constructed, erected, remodeled, relocated, or expanded shall comply with the following standards:
A. 
No sign shall be constructed on or project into the public right-of-way except signs installed by public governmental agencies and those signs specifically permitted in this chapter;
B. 
All signs and their supporting structures must be properly maintained and must be kept in good repair, and must, where applicable, be easily readable from the nearest public right-of-way;
C. 
Illuminated signs. Illuminated signs shall be shaded wherever necessary to avoid casting bright light upon property located in any residential district or upon any public street or park. Illuminated signs shall not be lighted in an obtrusive manner or create a nuisance. All illuminated signs shall first be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals;
D. 
Flashing or moving signs. No flashing or moving signs shall be permitted unless specifically allowed in this chapter. No sign shall flash or move in an obtrusive manner or create a nuisance. No rotating beam, beacon, strobe, or similar types of illumination devices shall be allowed;
E. 
Sidewalk signs. Sandwich board signs, A-frame signs, easel signs, and similar sidewalk signs may be temporarily placed near the public right-of-way without a permit. Where a storefront meets the sidewalk, such signs may be placed on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to the main entrance. All sidewalk signs must satisfy the following requirements:
(1) 
The sign is accessory to an existing business, commercial, or industrial use;
(2) 
The sign shall not exceed six square feet in size and four feet above ground level;
(3) 
The sign is displayed during business hours only;
(4) 
The sign does not impede pedestrian movement or vehicular visibility;
F. 
Signs in accessways. No sign shall block any required accessway;
G. 
Signs on vacant property. No sign shall be located on vacant property except a sign advertising the premises for sale or lease which meets the standards of this chapter;
H. 
Signs on trees or utility poles. No sign shall be attached to a tree, traffic sign or utility pole whether on public or private property;
I. 
Building and electrical codes applicable. All signs must conform to the regulations and design standards of the applicable building codes. Wiring of all electrical signs must also conform to the applicable electrical codes;
J. 
Traffic safety. No sign shall be maintained at any location where by reason of its position, size, shape, or color it may obstruct, impair, obscure, interfere with the view of traffic, or be confused with any traffic control sign, signal, or device, or where it may interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic. Signs erected or constructed on a corner must observe the sight triangle requirements;
K. 
Obsolete and off-premises signs. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no sign shall be permitted which advertises a business which is not being conducted on or immediately adjacent to premises on which the sign is located;
L. 
Portable signs. Portable signs except banners and flags will only be permitted or allowed if such portable sign satisfies all of the following requirements:
(1) 
The business must have a permanent sign in order to permit or allow a portable sign;
(2) 
The area of a portable sign may not exceed 18 square feet;
(3) 
No flashing lights will be permitted or allowed on or in connection with the portable sign but said portable sign may be backlit;
(4) 
There must be a message displayed on the portable sign;
(5) 
No more than one portable sign may be displayed on a single lot or parcel with a frontage of 500 feet or less. Lots or parcels with frontage over 500 feet that have multiple businesses on the same lot or parcel may have a total of two portable signs;
M. 
Banners. Banners will only be permitted or allowed if such banners satisfy all of the following requirements:
(1) 
Banners displayed on the ground are not permitted;
(2) 
Banners attached to poles, fences, buildings, light poles, sign poles, or any combination thereof, shall meet the following requirements:
(a) 
The business or shopping center maintains a permanent sign that complies with the provisions of the City's Sign Ordinance;
(b) 
No more than one banner may be displayed on a single lot or parcel with a frontage of 500 feet or less. Lots or parcels with frontage over 500 feet that have multiple businesses on the same lot or parcel may have a total of two banners; and
(c) 
The area of the banner may not exceed 40 square feet;
(3) 
Banners displayed on the walls or roof of the business or shopping center are not permitted unless all of the following requirements are met:
(a) 
The business or shopping center has a permanent sign that complies with all of the provisions of the Sign Ordinance of the City;
(b) 
The area of the banners may not exceed 16% of the wall or roof surface to which such banners are attached, and the total combined area of the banners and all other permanent signs on that wall or roof surface may not exceed 25% of the area of the wall or roof surface to which the banners are attached;
(c) 
Where a single building is devoted to two or more businesses, commercial, or industrial uses, the operator of each such use may install such a banner; provided, however, the maximum area of each such banner shall be determined by determining the proportionate share of the building face (including doors and windows) of the principal building occupied by each such use and applying such proportion to the total sign area permitted on the wall of the building according to Subsection M(3)(b) of this section;
(4) 
With regard to all permissible banners, each banner may be temporarily removed or replaced with a banner with a new message thereon from time to time without the necessity of obtaining a new sign permit therefor, provided that the area of the banner may not exceed the area of the banner for which the original sign permit was obtained and issued;
N. 
Flags. Flags do not require a permit, however, will only be permitted or allowed if such flags satisfy all of the following requirements:
(1) 
Flags are not permitted, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The business or shopping center maintains a permanent sign that complies with the provisions of the City's Sign Ordinance;
(b) 
No more than two such flags may be displayed on a single lot or parcel with a frontage of 200 feet or less. Lots or parcels with frontage between 201 and 500 feet may have a total of four flags. Lots or parcels with frontage between 501 and 1,000 feet may have a total of six flags. Lots or parcels with frontage over 1,000 feet may have a total of eight flags; and
(c) 
The area of each flag may not exceed 30 square feet;
(2) 
With regard to all permissible flags, each flag may be temporarily removed or replaced with a flag with a new message thereon from time to time, provided that the flags meet the above requirements;
O. 
Inflatable. An inflatable sign shall only be allowed to remain on the site for no more than 30 calendar days per year;
P. 
Political signs. Temporary political signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in residential districts and 50 square feet in agricultural, commercial and industrial districts. Political signs may be placed only on private property with permission of the landowner or person in control of said property and do not require a permit. All political signs must be removed within five days after the election.
Each sign accessory to residential uses shall be set back from the street right of way line a distance at least half of the required minimum setback specified in the district regulations, except for street number identification sign: and signs permitted under Sections (B) and (C) of this section. No sign accessory to any residential use shall be permitted except in compliance with the following regulations:
A. 
Name plate and identification signs shall be permitted subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
For each single-family dwelling there shall be permitted one name plate not exceeding one square foot in area (excluding the area of the house number) indicating the name or address of the occupant and, where applicable, a professional status, but not to indicate a product or business;
(2) 
For each multiple-family dwelling there shall be permitted one nonilluminated identification sign not exceeding five square feet in area located near the main entrance to the building and indicating only the name and address of the building and name of the owner or manager thereof; and
(3) 
In connection with the construction or remodeling of a building there shall be permitted no more than two nonilluminated signs, each such sign not exceeding 32 square feet in area, indicating the names of any or all of the architects, engineers, and contractors engaged in the construction thereof; on corner lots four such signs, two facing each street, shall be permitted. No such sign may be placed or located within five feet of the lot line or property line of the lot, block, or parcel of property upon which such sign is located. Any signs permitted under this Subsection (A)(3) shall be removed by the person erecting the same within 14 days after the completion of the structure indicated.
B. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs shall be permitted subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
For the sale or rental of real property, there may be no more than one "for sale" or "for rent" sign per lot, except that on a corner lot two such signs will be permitted, one facing each street. No such "for sale" or "for rent" sign may exceed 12 square feet in area, and no such sign shall be illuminated. Each such sign must be devoted solely to the sale or rental of the property being offered and must be removed immediately following the sale or rental of the property.
(2) 
In addition to one "for sale" or "for rent" sign, there may be no more than one "open house" sign per lot, except that on a corner lot, two such signs will be permitted, one facing each street. Each such "open house" sign may not exceed 12 square feet in area, and no such sign may be illuminated. Each such "open house" sign must be devoted solely to the property being offered for sale and must be removed immediately upon the conclusion of the open house for that property.
(3) 
In addition to one "open house" sign being permitted per lot, additional "open house" signs may be placed at intersections leading to the subject house for up to four days prior to the open house. All such "open house" signs shall be placed on private property after the consent and permission of the owner thereof has been obtained. Such sign shall be removed immediately upon the conclusion of the open house.
(4) 
Where more than six dwelling units (or lots for dwelling purposes) are offered for sale or rental by the same party there shall be permitted one sign facing each public street providing access to the property being offered. Each such sign shall not exceed 100 square feet in area and must be devoted solely to the sale or rental of the property being offered and must be removed within seven days following the sale or rental of the last property offered at that location.
C. 
Garage sale and yard sale signs shall be permitted subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
For temporary sales of merchandise on private property, there may be no more than one "garage sale" or "yard sale" sign per lot or household, except that on a corner lot two such signs will be permitted, one facing each street. No such sign may exceed three square feet in area, and no such sign may be illuminated. All such "garage sale" signs shall be placed on private property after the consent and permission of the owner thereof has been obtained.
(2) 
A maximum of two additional "garage sale" or "yard sale" signs may be placed at street intersections leading to the subject house.
(3) 
All such "garage sale" or "yard sale" signs may be displayed no more than one day prior to the scheduled sale and must be removed immediately upon the conclusion of the sale.
D. 
Subdivision or development identification signs shall be permitted subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
For developing subdivisions, there may be no more than one off-premises sign directing vehicles to the subdivision from a major arterial road or street within the City. Such sign must not exceed 12 square feet in area, and no such sign may be illuminated. Signs shall be placed on private property after the consent and permission of the owner thereof has been obtained. Each such sign must be devoted solely to directing persons and traffic to the subdivision being developed.
(2) 
For subdivisions where a preliminary plat has been approved for 10 or more residential lots or dwelling units, there may be no more than one permanent subdivision or development identification sign on each corner of each entry street not exceeding 50 square feet in size each. Said sign must be placed on private property outside the public right-of-way and must comply with all other standards contained in this chapter.
(3) 
Signs must be removed within 14 days after the last residential lot is sold.
No sign accessory to any business, commercial, or industrial use shall be permitted, except in compliance with the following:
A. 
Wall signs. Wall signs shall be permitted subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Front wall signs are permitted on the front wall of any principal building. The total area of such sign or signs shall not exceed 25% of the area of the front face (including doors and windows) of the principal building;
(2) 
Side wall signs shall not exceed more than 10% of the side of the principal building, including doors and windows and shall not be painted directly on the side of any building;
(3) 
Rear wall signs shall be permitted on the rear wall of any principal building. The total area of such sign or signs shall not exceed 25% of the area of the rear face (including doors and windows) of the principal building;
(4) 
Where a single principal building is devoted to two or more business, commercial, or industrial uses, the operator of each such use may install a wall sign. The maximum area of each sign shall be determined by determining the proportionate share of the front face (including doors and windows) of the principal building occupied by each such use and applying such proportion to the total sign area, permitted for the front wall of the building;
(5) 
Wall signs shall not be projecting signs;
(6) 
Signs constructed of metal and illuminated by any means requiring internal wiring or electrically wired accessory fixtures attached to a metal sign shall maintain a free clearance to grade of nine feet. Accessory lighting fixtures attached to a nonmetal frame sign shall maintain a clearance of nine feet to the ground. In the event that a metal sign structure or accessory fixture herein described as grounded by the use of a grounding conductor run with the circuit conductors and said structure of fixture is also grounded by being bonded to a grounding electrode at the sign site, no clearance to grade shall be mandatory;
(7) 
Wall signs may be gaseous type or may be illuminated by interior means of lighting of an intensity to prevent excessive glare, or by indirect lighting designed to flood only the area of the sign with light and to prevent light from being directed on surrounding property; and
(8) 
Illuminated wall signs shall have shielded silhouette lighting or shielded spot lighting but shall not have any lighting where the light source itself is visible or exposed on the face or sides of the characters.
B. 
Ground signs. No more than one ground sign may be displayed on a single lot or parcel with a frontage up to 200 feet. Lots or parcels with frontage between 201 and 500 feet may have a total of two ground signs. Lots or parcels with frontage between 501 and 1,000 feet may have a total of three ground signs. Lots or parcels with frontage over 1,000 feet may have a total of four ground signs. All ground signs are subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
All ground signs permitted by this section shall not project into the public right-of-way;
(2) 
The total area of all ground signs shall not exceed one square foot per foot of frontage; however, the area of any ground sign shall not exceed 160 square feet on either side;
(3) 
No metal ground sign shall be located within eight feet vertically and four feet horizontally of electric wires or conductors in free air carrying more than 48 volts, whether or not these wires or conductors are insulated or otherwise protected;
(4) 
The maximum height of the main body of any ground sign measured from the curbline or pavement edge shall not exceed the following limitations as applicable:
(a) 
Twenty feet in any C-1 District or when located within 50 feet of any residential lot;
(b) 
Twenty-five feet in any C-2 and Industrial District.
(c) 
Thirty feet in any industrial district when adjacent to a four-lane divided roadway with a traffic speed limit posted at 45 miles per hour or greater.
(5) 
Signs constructed of metal and illuminated by any means requiring internal wiring or electrically wired accessory fixtures attached to a metal sign shall maintain a free clearance to grade of 10 feet. Accessory lighting fixtures attached to a nonmetal frame sign shall maintain a clearance of 10 feet to the ground. In the event that metal sign or structure or accessory fixture herein described is grounded by the use of a grounding conductor run with the circuit conductors and this structure or fixture is also grounded by being bonded to a grounding electrode at the sign site, no clearance to grade shall be mandatory.
(6) 
Business parks, retail plazas, or shopping centers may consolidate individual ground signs and erect an enlarged commercial center sign, subject to the following regulations. The sign must prominently display a common name for the entire shopping center, plaza, or business park. No individual tenant, lot, or business shall have a panel or portion of the sign exceeding 50 square feet on either side.
(a) 
The sign may be placed on-premises or off-premises but shall be located no more than 400 feet from the advertised business park, retail plaza, or shopping center.
(b) 
The business park, retail plaza, or shopping center must contain four or more individual businesses or lots that share one or more common entrances and are located on a site no smaller than 10 acres in total land area.
(c) 
The sign must be located in a C-1 and Industrial District.
(d) 
The sign shall not exceed 34 feet in height and 260 square feet in sign area on either side. The sign must also comply with any and all sign standards in this chapter, unless inconsistent with this section.
(e) 
The sign must be placed no less than 10 feet from any public right-of-way line, no less than 300 feet from any residential property, and no less than 500 feet from any other commercial center sign or billboard.
(f) 
Each individual lot within a business park shall have or erect monument signs only. Sign size and quantity per lot shall be as permitted by this chapter; however, no monument sign shall exceed eight feet in height and 60 square feet in area on either side.
C. 
Roof signs. Signs must be located wholly within the roof area of the structure and are permitted subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
No roof sign shall be placed on the roof of any building in such manner as to prevent the free passage from one part of the roof to any other part thereof;
(2) 
Every roof sign, including the upright supports and braces, shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials. However, combustible structural trim may be used thereon;
(3) 
No roof sign shall have a surface exceeding 25% of the roof surface, nor have its highest point extended more than eight feet above the roof level;
(4) 
No sign shall be painted directly upon the roof of any building; and
(5) 
Every roof sign shall be thoroughly secured to the building by iron or other metal anchors or supports.
D. 
Awning or canopy signs. Letters may be painted or otherwise affixed to any permissible awning or canopy subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Lettering or letters shall not project above, below, or beyond the physical dimensions of the awning or canopy; and
(2) 
Lettering or letters shall not denote other than the name and address of the business conducted therein, or a product or products produced or sold, or service rendered therein.
E. 
Commercial or industrial district. Nameplates indicating the name and corporate insignia of the building owner or occupant, address or product may be located on gates, gate posts, or gate houses; provided, that in the case of multiple occupancy, one name be utilized for identification purposes.
F. 
Signs accessory to automobile service stations. The following signs accessory to automobile service stations are permitted, in addition to the signs permitted under this section:
(1) 
Gasoline service stations shall be permitted one exterior rate or price sign for each street frontage. The area of each such sign shall not exceed eight square feet. Such signs shall not contain any advertising;
(2) 
Each gasoline service station shall be permitted to display a maximum of seven signs or items of information; and
(3) 
Signs accessory to service stations must conform to all other provisions in this section.
G. 
"For sale" signs. Temporary "for sale" signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area for lots or parcels less than five acres in size. Temporary "for sale" signs shall not exceed 50 square feet in area for lots or parcels greater than five acres in size.
H. 
Off-premises ground signs for funeral homes, nursing homes and governmental facilities. A funeral home, nursing home or facility of any unit of government may erect one off-premises ground sign on another parcel located within 400 feet of its premises, provided that such sign does not exceed 50 square feet in size on either side or a maximum height of 25 feet. Such off-premises ground sign shall count toward the total number, and the maximum square foot area, of ground sign(s) permitted on the parcel on which such off-premises sign is located.
I. 
Projecting signs. No more than one projecting sign per storefront may be constructed, provided, however, that such sign:
(1) 
Is a minimum of 10 feet above ground level and does not extend above the parapet wall or roof line; and
(2) 
Is one square foot in area per linear foot of store frontage not to exceed 24 square feet, and is not more than six feet from the face of the building; and
(3) 
Does not extend into the public right-of-way except where a storefront meets the sidewalk. In such instance, the sign shall not extend past the curbline or into any vehicular area.
J. 
Electronic message boards. No more than one electronic message board per lot may be constructed; provided, however, that the message board:
(1) 
Is attached and subordinate to a permitted wall or ground sign;
(2) 
Does not exceed 60 square feet in area and does not exceed 40% of the total area of the sign;
(3) 
Displays a copy for a minimum duration of three seconds before any change in copy.
(4) 
Is not a flashing sign, does not display video or graphic animation, and does not utilize chasing, scintillating, or high-intensity lighting.
(5) 
Does not display any advertising other than references to the business conducted on the premises. Civic announcements, congratulatory remarks, personal salutations, and the time, date, and/or temperature shall also be allowed.
(6) 
Is not located within 100 feet of any residential zoning district.
Signs accessory to parking areas are permitted subject to the following regulations:
A. 
One sign may be erected to designate each entrance to or exit from a parking area. Each such sign shall be no more than two square feet in area; and
B. 
One sign designating the conditions of use shall be permitted for each parking area. Each such sign shall be limited to a maximum area of nine square feet. In parking areas where the parking spaces are reserved, each space may have a sign designating the parking restrictions limited to a maximum area of two square feet.
Signs accessory to churches, schools, or nonprofit institutions are permitted subject to the following regulations:
A. 
In A-1, A-2, C-1 and C-2 zoning districts, there shall be not more than one sign per lot, except that on a corner lot two signs, one facing each street, shall be permitted. No such sign shall exceed 32 square feet in area. Such signs shall be set back from the right-of-way line a distance at least 1/2 of the minimum setback specified in the district regulations.
B. 
Sign permit fees shall be waived for any tax-supported unit or district.
The following signs accessory to agricultural zoning districts are permitted subject to the following regulations:
A. 
Nameplates not exceeding one square foot in area on either side for each dwelling unit;
B. 
Bulletin boards for churches and identification signs for schools or other permitted uses, not exceeding 50 square feet in area when located on the premises of agricultural zoning districts;
C. 
Signs not exceeding 50 square feet in area offering for sale, land, lots, houses, or livestock; and
D. 
Home occupation signs in conformance with this chapter.
A. 
Billboards of the following three types shall be allowed under the conditions described in this chapter:
(1) 
Poster panels or bulletins normally mounted on a building wall, roof, or freestanding structure with advertising copy in the form of pasted paper;
(2) 
Multi-prism signs alternating advertising messages on one displayed area; and
(3) 
Painted bulletins, where the advertiser's message is painted directly on a wall-mounted, roof, or freestanding display area.
B. 
Billboards are prohibited in the City, except under the following conditions:
(1) 
No billboard will be permitted which advertises a business which is not located and presently being conducted on the premises on which the billboard is located, except as follows:
(a) 
As may be permitted by applicable state and federal law, rules, and regulations along state and federal highways, or roads under the jurisdiction of the state or federal departments of transportation, and where the maximum permissible speed for vehicles traveling upon such highway or road is not less than 50 miles per hour;
(b) 
The maximum height above grade of such billboard shall not exceed 12 feet;
(c) 
The maximum surface area of such billboard shall not exceed 122 square feet;
(d) 
The lot, block, or parcel of real estate upon which said billboard is located must have an area of no less than 20,000 square feet, and must be zoned for commercial or industrial use;
(e) 
The location of said billboard shall be no less than 20 feet from the property line of the lot upon which the billboard is located;
(f) 
Said billboard may not be located or placed within 500 feet from the nearest lot line of any residential-zoned lot, block or parcel, or any lot, block or parcel used for residential purposes;
(g) 
Said billboard may not be located any closer than 3,000 feet to another such billboard whether on the same side of the highway or road; and
(h) 
Said billboard may not be located in such a place or in such a manner so as to block the view of drivers of vehicles approaching an intersection.
A. 
Regulating the display of signs advertising or offering for sale any alcoholic liquor on their premises or at any other location within the corporate limits of the City of El Paso.
(1) 
Signs for the advertising or offering for sale are permitted in C-1 Central Business District and C-2 General Retail Business District.
(2) 
The total area of all signs on the property advertising or offering for sale of any alcoholic liquor shall not exceed 24 square feet.
(3) 
A wall sign shall not extend more than 15 inches from the building and shall not extend above the wall to which it is attached.
(4) 
Projecting signs are not allowed for advertising or offering for sale any alcoholic liquor.
(5) 
Freestanding signs are not allowed for advertising or offering for sale any alcoholic liquor.
(6) 
Signs advertising or offering for sale any alcoholic liquor are prohibited from being placed on any property except that of the legally licensed building.
Signs not covered by the above provisions must be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals on a case-by-case basis.
A. 
Signs which do not conform to the provisions of this chapter as of the date of adoption of this chapter by the El Paso City Council.
B. 
A nonconforming sign may not be:
(1) 
Changed to another nonconforming sign;
(2) 
Structurally altered so as to prolong the life of the sign;
(3) 
Expanded in size;
(4) 
Reestablished after its removal;
(5) 
Reestablished after damage or destruction if the estimated expenses of reconstruction exceed 50% of appraised replacement cost at the time of the damage or destruction;
(6) 
Routinely maintained where the costs of such repair or maintenance exceeds 15% of the current replacement costs for any period of 12 consecutive months. However, nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition of any size or part thereof declared to be unsafe by the Zoning Officer.
(7) 
Continued following a change of business for which the sign advertised.
Variances from the requirements described in this chapter may be permitted by the Board of Zoning Appeals in appropriate cases, subject to the legislative intent specified in the zoning code,[1] and the standards established by that code. In all cases the scope of authority which the Board of Zoning Appeals shall have to grant sign variances from the provisions of this chapter is limited to those as permitted by state statute. In addition to any power herein granted to the Board of Zoning Appeals the corporate authorities reserve and retain the power to determine and vary by ordinance the application to the sign regulations herein contained in harmony with their general purpose and intent in cases where there are practical difficulties or particular hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of any of those regulations. No such variance shall be made by the corporate authorities without a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 315, Zoning.
In the event any provision of the El Paso Municipal Code referring to signs is in conflict or appears to be in conflict with this chapter, this chapter shall control over any other provisions referring to signs or the placement of signs.
A. 
The City Administrator or Director of Public Service is authorized and directed to administer and enforce all the provisions of this chapter. Whenever necessary, the officials of other departments of the City shall give such assistance as is consistent with the usual duties of their respective departments;
B. 
Upon presentation of proper credentials, the Zoning Officer, City Administrator, Director of Public Service, or his duly authorized representative may enter at reasonable times any premises when necessary to perform any duty imposed upon him by this chapter.
C. 
Whenever it shall appear to the Zoning Officer that any sign has been constructed or erected, or is being maintained in violation of any of the terms of this chapter; or after a permit for a sign has been revoked or becomes void; or that a sign is unsafe or in such condition as to be a menace to the safety of the public, the City Administrator or Director of Public Service shall issue a notice in writing to the owner or lessee of the sign or owner of the premises upon which the sign is erected or maintained. The notice shall inform this person of the violation and shall direct him to make such alteration, repair, or removal as is necessary to secure compliance with this chapter, within a reasonable period of time, which reasonable period of time shall be as follows:
(1) 
If a sign is erected without first obtaining the necessary permit, then a reasonable period of time within which to apply for the necessary permit shall be 24 hours from and after the receipt of the notice;
(2) 
Where a sign has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of any of the terms of this chapter, then a reasonable period of time within which to abate the violation shall be 14 days from and after the receipt of the notice; and
(3) 
Where a sign is unsafe or in such a condition as to be a menace to the safety of the public, then a reasonable period of time within which to abate the violation shall be three business days from and after the receipt of the notice.
D. 
Upon failure of the sign owner to comply with the terms of the notice of violation, the City Administrator or Director of Public Service is authorized and empowered to have removed, alter, or repair the sign in question so as to make it conform with this chapter and charge the expenses for such work to the person named in the notice;
E. 
Except as otherwise provided, the Zoning Officer may remove or cause to be removed a sign immediately and without notice if, in his opinion, the condition of the sign is such as to present an immediate threat to the safety of the public;
F. 
A sign shall be removed by the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is located when the business which the sign advertises no longer is conducted on the premises. If the owner or lessee fails to remove the sign, the Zoning Officer shall notify the owner or lessee in writing and allow 30 days for removal of such sign. Upon failure of the owner or lessee to comply with the notice, the City Administrator, Director of Public Service or Zoning Officer may remove the sign at cost and expense to the owner or lessee;
G. 
Signs may be inspected periodically by the Zoning Officer for compliance with this chapter, and with other ordinances of the City. All signs and their component parts are to be kept in good repair, and in safe condition.
H. 
Any person, firm or corporation which violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined $50 for each offense; and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues; and
I. 
In addition to the other remedies and penalties provided in this chapter, the City Attorney is authorized to file appropriate civil actions for a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, permanent injunction, or for damages against any person, firm, or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter.