1. Generally. Any permanent sign that exists on the effective date of this Article but does not conform to the provisions of Article is a “legal nonconforming” sign; provided, that it was originally approved by a sign permit, or, if no sign permit was required under applicable law, it was in all respects in conformity with the applicable law immediately prior to the effective date, or had legal nonconforming status at such time. Signs that were allowed to display off-premises commercial messages before the effective date are nonconforming, but may continue to display such messages until the signs are removed.
2. Repairs and alterations. Routine maintenance of nonconforming signs is permitted, including necessary nonstructural repairs, paint, and incidental alterations (e.g., changing the message of the sign by replacing or repainting the sign face). Structural alterations to nonconforming signs are permitted only if it is demonstrated that the alteration will eliminate the nonconformity.
3. Termination and removal.
a. A nonconforming sign which has been damaged by fire, wind or other cause in excess of fifty percent (50%) of its replacement cost shall not be restored except in conformance with this Article.
c. If a nonconforming sign structure becomes an abandoned sign, it shall be removed or brought into conformance with this Article. For the purposes of this standard, a temporary “sock sign” may be used to display a message while a new sign face is being created.
e. Nonconforming signs that are a danger to the public safety due to damage or wear shall be removed and shall not be replaced unless the replacement sign conforms to this Article. (Ord. 1216 §1 (Exh. A), 2016)