ARTICLE 10: Signs
CONTENTS:
Article 10.1 - Purpose
Article 10.2 - Applicability
Article 10.3 - General Provisions
Article 10.4 - District Classification
Article 10.5 - Sign Types
Article 10.6 - Sign Measurement
Article 10.7 - Permanent Signs Requiring a Permit
Article 10.8 - Temporary Signs Requiring a Permit
Article 10.9 - Temporary Off-Premise Signs Requiring Approval
Article 10.10 - Signs Permitted Without a Permit
Article 10.11 - Master Signage Programs
Article 10.12 - Prohibited Signs
Article 10.13 - Application and Issuance of Sign Permits
Article 10.14 - Enforcement


10.1 Purpose

The purpose of this section is:

.1 To maintain public safety and traffic safety by ensuring that signs are properly designed, constructed, installed, and maintained;

.2 To minimize the distractions and obstruction of view that contribute to traffic hazards and endanger public safety;

.3 To protect existing development and promote high standards of quality in new development by encouraging appropriately designed, placed, and sized signage.

.4 To provide an effective guide for communicating identification through signage while preventing signs from dominating the visual appearance of the areas in which they are located.

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10.2 Applicability

Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance, it shall be unlawful to construct, enlarge, move or replace any sign or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a sign permit for such sign from the Mecklenburg County Building Standards Department or designated permitting agency. In addition, a certificate of occupancy for the change in the use of property shall require compliance with ARTICLE 10, Signs.

Not withstanding the above, changing or replacing the permanent copy on an existing lawful sign shall not require a permit, provided the copy change does not change the nature of the sign so as to render it in violation of this ordinance.  A legal non-conforming off-premise advertising sign that changes from utilizing external illumination to internal illumination or self luminous or from a static copy to changeable message copy shall be considered a change of nature and is in violation of this ordinance.

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10.3 General Provisions

The following provisions shall apply to all signs.

.1 Construction Standards. All signs shall be constructed and installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the North Carolina State Building Code.

.2 Electrical Standards. All illuminated signs shall be installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the North Carolina State Electrical Code and all detached signs shall be powered by an underground electrical source.
a. Sign lighting must comply with Article 8.26.3 (e-g).

.3 Maintenance of Signs. All signs shall be maintained in good structural and aesthetic condition. Deficiencies such as chipped paint, broken plastic, missing letters and exposed light bulbs shall be evidence of a lack of maintenance.

.4 Content. Content of message, commercial or non commercial, is not regulated by this ordinance.

.5 No sign shall be placed so as to obstruct the clear sight triangle at a street intersection (Section 8.9).

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10.4 District Classification

For purposes of this Article, zoning districts are classified as follows:

Rural District (R) -Residential
Transitional Residential (TR) -Residential
General Residential (GR) -Residential
Neighborhood Residential (NR) -Residential
Manufactured Home Overlay (MH-O) -Residential
Rural Traditional Neighborhood Development District (TND-R) -Mixed Use
Urban Traditional Neighborhood Development District (TND-U) -Mixed Use
Neighborhood Center (NC) -Mixed Use
Town Center (TC) -Mixed Use
Campus Institutional (CI) -Mixed Use
Highway Commercial (HC) -Commercial
Vehicle Sales (VS) -Commercial
Corporate Business (CB) -Commercial
Special Purpose (SP) -Commercial

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10.5 Sign Types

Sign types are defined as follows:

.1 Attached Wall Mounted Signs

One or a combination of the wall sign types below may be used on a building. Wall sign area is the total of the square footage of all wall signs associated with a business or structure. All attached wall mounted signs in all districts must be located below the parapet, and in no instance may a sign extend above the parapet. Any attached wall mounted signs that project more than 18” shall have a ground clearance of 8’.

All signage (wall, hanging/blade, awning/canopy, and/or marquee signs) and each of the sign faces that is directed or oriented towards a single elevation will be accumulated and counted towards that elevation (i.e. if the text of the signs are seen and directed towards the front of the building, then that signage will be counted towards the total amount allowed (per district) for that individual front). In no instance shall the accumulated amount of signage exceed the maximum allowable square footage per that district as indicated in Section 10.7.1, except as permitted in Section 10.11.
a) A flush wall sign is mounted or applied directly to the building wall, generally on the fascia. A flush wall sign may project no more than 3 feet from the building wall and over a sidewalk in a town maintained right-of-way.



b) A hanging sign or blade sign is a wall sign. A hanging sign is suspended from a simple bracket attached to a building wall and requires 8 or more feet of vertical clearance from the ground. It is most appropriately used along pedestrian-oriented streets to identify attached or closely spaced shops, restaurants, and service businesses. Only one hanging or blade sign is permitted per building or business bay (in a multi-tenant building). The sign face area does not include the area of the bracket. A hanging or blade sign may project no more than 4 feet from the building wall. It may project up to 3 feet over a sidewalk in a town maintained right-of-way. The overall area of a hanging or blade sign can be no more than 8 square feet.



c) A marquee sign is a wall sign. A marquee sign is only allowed in the commercial districts and the minimum building size is 15,000 square feet. The marquee sign may project no more than 4 feet from the building wall. It may project up to 3 feet over a sidewalk in a town maintained right-of-way. Only one hanging/blade or marquee sign is permitted per street front. A marquee sign must be located a minimum 20’ from any corner of a building, and requires 8 or more feet of vertical clearance from the ground and/or sidewalk. The overall area of a marquee sign can be no more than 32 square feet.


d) A canopy or awning sign is a wall sign. A canopy or awning sign is sign copy applied directly onto a canopy or awning and shall comply with Section 8.26. All canopy or awning area that is internally lit shall be counted as sign face area. External wall packs and floodlights shall not be used to light canopies or awnings.



.2 Detached Ground Mounted Signs

Ground mounted signs are defined as follows:
a) A monument sign is mounted generally flush with the ground plane. It may not be mounted on a pole or pylon, nor raised by mounting on a man-made berm, wall, or similar structure. Supporting elements (including bases) may not exceed three feet in height and are included in measurement of sign height. Supporting elements (including bases) shall be constructed with materials that are architecturally compatible with the principle structure.



b) A raised sign may hang from a pole and beam frame as illustrated below, or be placed within a frame mounted on up to two supporting poles.

c) All ground-mounted signs shall be a minimum of 5’ behind the existing and future public right of way and meet any additional setback required to maintain a clear sight triangle at street or driveway intersections. Extreme site conditions may be considered by the administrator in determining setbacks for future right-of-ways.

.3 Sidewalk Signs:

Sidewalk signs are double-sided, portable signs, that are not secured to the ground, used as a temporary marketing tool for attracting passersby to a commercial establishment.




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10.6 Sign Measurement

.1 Sign Face Area: the area within a single, continuous perimeter enclosing the characters, lettering, logos, illustrations, and ornamentation, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the background against which it is placed.

.2 Sign Height: the distance from the ground plane beneath the sign to the highest point of the sign’s frame. Ornamentation atop signs, such as small caps and spires, are not included in the height measurement.

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10.7 Permanent Signs Requiring a Permit

10.7.1 On-Premise Signs are allowed, as indicated in the chart below

 CIVIC BUILDINGS IN ANY DISTRICT



Wall Mounted Sign
10% of any wall face area fronting a street, up to a maximum of 128 square feet

Ground Mounted Sign
Maximum Number: 1 per street front
Maximum Area: 32 square feet

Maximum Height: 8 feet


Not permitted for zero setback buildings

Changeable copy1 shall not exceed 50% of the allowable sign face area for either wall or ground mounted signs
ANY BUILDING TYPE IN A MIXED USE DISTRICT EXCEPT A DETACHED HOUSE
(NC, TC, CI, TND-U, TND-R)

Wall Mounted Sign
10% of any wall face area fronting a street, up to a maximum of 128 square feet

Ground Mounted Sign
Maximum Number: 1 per street front
Maximum Area: 32 square feet

Maximum Height: 8 feet


Not permitted for zero setback buildings

Changeable copy1 shall not exceed 25% of the allowable sign face area for either wall or ground mounted signs
 ANY BUILDING TYPE IN A
COMMERCIAL DISTRICT EXCEPT DETACHED HOUSE (HC, CB, SP, VS)

Wall Mounted Sign
10% of any wall face area fronting a street, up to a maximum of 128 square feet. In addition, one Secondary Business Identification Sign (defined in Article 12) is permitted for each secondary business, up to a maximum combined area of 64 square feet for all secondary business identification signs. Notwithstanding the above, the total area of all wall-mounted signs shall not exceed 10% of the applicable wall face area.

Ground Mounted Sign
Maximum Number: 1 per street front

Maximum Area: 32 square feet

Maximum Height: 8 feet

Not permitted for zero setback buildings

Changeable copy1 shall not exceed 25% of the allowable sign face area for either wall or ground mounted signs
 MIXED USE AND COMMERCIAL USE BUILDINGS WHERE PERMITTED IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (NR)

Wall Mounted Sign
1 sign per business bay2, up to a maximum of 12 square feet per bay; the sign area for any mixed use structure shall not exceed 5% of any wall face area fronting a street

Ground Mounted Sign
Maximum Number: 1 per building street front

Maximum Area: 12 square feet

Maximum Height: 6 feet

Type permitted: pole and beam or framed only, as identified in 10.5.2 b).

Illumination permitted: down lighting or indirect lighting (no internal illumination)

Changeable copy shall not exceed 25% of the allowable sign face area for either wall or ground mounted signs

 DIRECTORY SIGN

Maximum Number: 1 per street front; maximum 3 signs; 1000-foot separation.

Maximum Area: 96 square feet per sign

Maximum Height of ground mounted signs: 12'

(includes shopping centers, office complexes, schools, large-scale religious institutions, institutional or business campuses, and similar large complexes which have a variety of tenants or uses)

No individual tenant ground mounted signs are permitted
PLANNED DEVELOPMENT ENTRANCE SIGN

Maximum Number: 1 per street front;

2 sign faces may be used with a wall, fence, or other architectural entrance feature

Total Maximum Area: 24 square feet

Maximum Height: 8 feet

(permitted for all-residential, mixed use, and non-residential projects of 10 acres or more)

Limited to name and/or logo























































































For buildings in all-residential, mixed use and non-residential projects 25% of the allowable wall mounted signage of one street fronting wall face per individually constructed tenant space (up to a maximum of 32 sq. ft.) may be transferred to one wall face that does not front a public street, but which fronts a parking area and contains pedestrian entry.

¹ Changeable copy that is internally illuminated or self luminous shall meet the following standards:
(a) Maximum brightness shall be 5000 nits during daylight hours (dawn to dusk) and 150 nits during nighttime hours. The applicant or sign manufacturer must provide either written certification from the manufacturer that the light intensity has been factory-programmed not to exceed above listed light levels or provide an isolux lighting plan certified by an electrical engineer.
(b) Message shall change a maximum of one (1) time per 24 hour period.

2 A business bay in a mixed use building is the width of the first floor which is used for any single business, extended from the front of the building to the back of the building.


10.7.2 Permanent Off-Premise Signs Limited to Non-Commercial Public Service Directional Signs

For the purpose of directing the public-at-large to non-commercial community facilities of general interest, permanent off-premise directional signs may be erected in addition to signs otherwise permitted in these regulations.

.1 Non-Commercial Public Service Directional Signs are permitted subject to the following standards:
a) The community facility is open to the general public and operated by a non-commercial civic, charitable, religious, community, or similar organization.

b) No more than 2 directional signs shall be erected for each facility.

c) Signs may not exceed 4 square feet in area or 5 feet in height. However, signs for public parks without access on a major or minor thoroughfare are permitted a sign up to 32 square feet with up to 50% changeable copy.

d) Signs may be place no more than one mile from the subject property.

e) Along state roads, such signs shall be located outside of the right-of-way or farther than 11 feet from the edge of any public street, whichever distance from edge of pavement is greater; signs shall not violate the sight distance triangle requirements of this ordinance.

f) Along town maintained roads, such signs shall be located at least 11 feet from the edge of pavement and respect the sight distance triangle.

g) No sign shall be placed on private property without the written consent of the property owner on the permit application.

h) Every Non-Commercial Public Service Directional Sign shall be separated by a distance of 400 feet from any other such sign on the same side of the street, and by a distance of 200 feet from any other such sign on the opposite side of a street.

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10.8 Temporary Signs Requiring a Permit

The following temporary signs shall be allowed subject to the standards below, in lieu of on-site real estate or construction signs.

.1 Temporary Planned Development Signs, provided:
a) Only one primary sign and two secondary signs shall be allowed per street front of development.

b) The maximum sign face area of a primary sign shall not exceed 32 square feet; height of ground-mounted signs shall not exceed 6 feet.

c) The maximum sign face area of secondary signs shall not exceed 12 square feet; height of ground-mounted signs shall not exceed 6 feet.

d) Only one permit shall be required for all temporary planned development signs for each planned development. Permits shall be valid until a project is completed or two years, whichever comes first. Completion shall be evidenced by the issuance of all certificates of occupancy for a development by the Building Standards Department. If a project is not completed in two years, a new permit must be obtained. However, in no instance shall more than 5 permits be issued for a development. Additional permits shall not allow secondary signs. All secondary signs shall be removed when the first permit issued expires.

e) Temporary directional signs within a planned development, but not visible from the road(s) fronting the overall development, shall be permitted so long as such signs do not exceed 12 square feet in sign area, 6 feet in height, and are removed upon completion of the portion of the project to which the signs are giving direction.


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10.9 Temporary Off-Premise Signs Requiring Approval

The following temporary off-premise signs are permitted subject to the standards below.

.1 Temporary off-premise signs or banners for special community events, open to the general public and sponsored by non-commercial civic, charitable, community, or similar organizations, provided:
a) At least five working days before signs are to be posted, the designated representative of the sponsoring group shall provide a sign installation and removal plan for review by the Planning Director, who shall grant written permission for signs to be posted if the standards below are met.

b) Signs or banners shall be located outside of the public right-of-way or farther than 11 feet from the edge of any public street, whichever distance from edge of pavement is greater; signs shall respect the sight distance triangle.

c) Signs or banners may be posted up to 14 days before the event and must be removed within 7 days following the event.

d) Every temporary off-premise sign or banner shall be separated by a distance of 400 feet from any other such temporary off-premise sign on the same side of a street, and by a distance of 200 feet from any other sign on the opposite side of a street.

e) Nothing in this provision shall be construed to authorize the posting of such signs or banners upon trees, utility poles, traffic control signs, lights or devices in any place or manner prohibited by the provisions herein, nor on private property without written consent of the owner.

.2 Temporary cross-street banners for community events as may be approved by the Town Manager and installed by town personnel, according to policies established by the Town Board.

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10.10 Signs Permitted without a Permit

The following types of signs are exempt from permit requirements and allowed in all zones, but shall be in conformance with all other requirements of this ordinance.

.1 Memorial signs, plaques, or grave markers.

.2 Public interest signs.

.3 Public information kiosks on public or private property, subject to design approval by the Board of Commissioners and written permission of the owner of property upon which the kiosk is to be placed. The text shall not be visible from adjacent properties and/or public streets.

.4 On premise directional and instructional signs not exceeding 6 square feet in area, unless such sign is a monument sign, in which case it may not exceed 9 square feet. Maximum height: 4 feet.

.5 Identification signs not exceeding 1 1/2 square feet in area, which indicates the name and/or address of the occupant. Maximum height: 4 feet.

.6 Window signs with a total copy area not exceeding 50 percent of the window or glass door on which the sign(s) are located.

.7 Incidental signs.

.8 Flags.  A flag that meets the criteria of a sign shall mean a piece of durable fabric no greater than 24 feet in height and 20 square feet in area, and no more than one (1) per lot, on which is displayed the logo of a corporation, association or other entity.  corporate logo flags for large regional corporations or headquarters may be allowed additional height and area through a Master Signage Program.  (For non-commercial flags see Article 8.18).

.9 Campaign or Election signs provided that:
a) Individual signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in area or 6 feet in height if located on private property, and 6 square feet in area and 3 1/2 feet in height if located in a right of way.

b) No signs shall be permitted in the right-of-way of a fully controlled access highway.

c) Signs shall be no closer than 3 feet from the edge of pavement of the road, and shall not obscure motorists' visibility at an intersection.

d) Permission shall be obtained from any property owner fronting the right-of-way where a sign is erected.

e) Signs may be erected no earlier than 30 days prior to the beginning date of "one-stop" early voting (or third Thursday prior to the election date).

f) All signs shall be removed within 10 days after the election or primary for which they were made.

.10 Real estate signs, other than the temporary signs described in Section 10.8.
a) Signs advertising a single family home or lot, a duplex, triplex, or quadraplex, or an individual unit within an attached housing development shall not exceed 6 square feet. Rider signs not exceeding a total of 2 square feet in sign face area shall be permitted in addition to the 6 square feet. Maximum height: 4 feet.

b) Signs advertising all other uses shall not exceed one square foot for every 5 linear feet of frontage of the advertised property, up to a maximum sign face area of 32 square feet and maximum height of 6 feet.

c) Only one sign per street front of the advertised property shall be erected.

d) Properties having a continuous frontage in excess of 850 linear feet may be allowed an additional sign so long as such sign is no closer than 850 feet from another real estate sign on the property.

e) Signs shall not be illuminated.

f) Signs shall be removed within 7 days after the sale is closed or rent or lease transaction is finalized.

.11 Holiday decorations without a commercial message provided:
a) Such displays do not extend into the public right-of-way.

b) Decorations shall be installed no more than thirty (30) days before the event, and removed no more than fourteen (14) days after the event.

.12 Construction signs, other than Temporary Planned Development Signs, Section 10.8, provided:
a) Signs located on single-family lots or duplex, triplex, or quadraplex lots shall not exceed 6 square feet in area. Rider signs not exceeding 2 square feet in area shall be permitted in addition to the 6 square feet. Maximum height: 4 feet.

b) Signs for all other uses shall not exceed one square foot for every 5 linear feet of frontage of property under construction, up to a maximum sign face area of 32 square feet and a maximum height of 6 feet.

c) Signs are confined to the site of construction.

d) Only one sign per street front of the property under construction shall be erected.

e) Signs shall not be illuminated.

f) Signs shall be removed within 7 days after the completion of a project.

.13 Temporary farm products signs provided:
a) Signs are located on the premises where the products are sold in conjunction with a bona fide farm use.

b) Signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area or 6 feet in height.

c) Only one sign shall be erected.

d) Signs shall be removed within 7 days of the termination of sale activities.

.14 Temporary special event signs or banners for religious, charitable, civic, fraternal, or similar organizations, provided:
a) No more than one sign per street front shall be permitted per event.

b) Signs shall be located on the property on which the event will occur.

c) Signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area or 6 feet in height.

d) Signs shall be erected no sooner than 14 days before and removed 7 days after the event.

.15 Temporary banners in commercial and mixed use districts, provided:
a) Only one banner per establishment shall be allowed at a time.

b) All banners shall be attached in total to a building wall or permanent canopy extending from a building.

c) No paper banners shall be allowed.

d) Banners shall be erected for a period not to exceed 2 weeks.

e) No more than 6 such signs per establishment shall be erected within a calendar year.

f) No banner shall extend above the second occupiable floor level of a building.


g) In addition to the banners above, Grand Openings and Going Out-of-Business banners are allowed provided that:

i. Banners shall be erected for a period not to exceed 30 calendar days.
ii. Total number of banners shall not exceed two (2) per property.

iii. Banners shall be subject to b, c & f above.

iv. One additional temporary ground-mounted sign shall be erected for a Grand-Opening for a period not to exceed 10 calendar days.

v. Temporary ground-mounted sign shall be a maximum 6 feet in height and 24 sq. ft. in area.

vi. Temporary ground-mounted sign shall be located outside of the right-of-way and sight triangle.

vii. Temporary ground-mounted sign shall be exempt from Article 10.12.3.

.16 Public service and advertising signs in association with athletic fields.

Signs may be attached to the interior face of any fence that encloses or partially encloses an athletic playing field upon the property of a school or public park subject to the following conditions:
a) No sign face area shall be visible from any public street nor from any abutting property in a residential or mixed-use district.

b) No sign shall extend above the top of the enclosing fence.

c) The property owner or an authorized representative shall provide the town with a signed statement granting permission for signs to be displayed and assuming responsibility for management of the signs as well as the appropriate removal and disposal of damaged or obsolete signs.

.17 Temporary Special Occasion Flag.

Flag of durable fabric, unrestricted as to size, on which is displayed the emblem of a nation, state, city, or fraternal, religious, or civic organization, provided:
a) Flag shall be displayed only on the property on which the event is held or the occasion is celebrated.

b) Flag shall be flown, mounted or displayed no sooner than 7 days prior to the event or occasion, and shall be removed within 7 days following the conclusion of the event or occasion.
.18  Sidewalk signs.

Sidewalk signs such as easel or A-frame signs located near the main entrance to a non-residential use are allowed subject to the following:

a. One sidewalk sign per tenant is allowed provided it is located within 5 feet of the public entry to the building.

b. The sign location shall not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular circulation or obstruct the clear sight triangle at a street intersection (Section 8.9). There shall be a minimum sidewalk clearance of 5 feet.

c. The sign shall not exceed 8 square feet in area and 4 feet in height.

d. The sign may have changeable copy such as chalkboard, whiteboard, and cork.


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10.11 Master Signage Programs

Master signage programs establish two alternatives in providing latitude to develop appropriate signage designs for new or existing areas with special unifying features. The alternatives are the Special Sign Districts and the Planned Development Flexibility option. Special Sign Districts require approval by the Board of Commissioners following review and recommendation by the Huntersville Planning Board.

10.11.1 Special Sign Districts

For the purpose of establishing, enhancing, preserving, and developing the character, quality, and property values of areas of unique character and special development potential, districts in which signs are regulated by special provisions may be established subject to the following conditions:

.1 As a prerequisite to the establishment of such a special sign district, it must be determined that the modified rules established for said district shall:
a) Preserve and enhance the special character of the particular area; and

b) Not contravene the intent of this ordinance; and

c) Cause no disturbance to neighboring property lying outside the proposed district.

.2 Without changing the basic structure of this ordinance, the modified rules for a special sign district may impose sign regulations which provide greater latitude or more stringent limitations than those provided elsewhere in this ordinance.

.3 The special sign district constitutes an overlay district and shall conform to the procedures of Article 11 for purposes of adoption and administration. Districts for which special sign regulations may be imposed include, but shall not be limited to the Town Center District, the Neighborhood Center District, the TND-U and TND-R districts, and any future Historic District Overlay(s).

10.11.2 Planned Development Flexibility Option

For the purpose of providing flexibility and incentives for coordinated, well-designed sign systems for large-scale development, special provisions varying the standards of this ordinance may be approved by the Zoning Administrator, subject to the following:

.1 The development is: a planned residential, nonresidential, or mixed-use development, 10 acres or greater in size; a hospital or other large-scale institutional complex; a large-scale cultural, civic or recreational facility; or a similar large-scale development.

.2 A Master Sign Program that includes the following information in booklet form is submitted:
a) Detailed designs of all proposed signs including the size, height, copy, materials, and colors of such signs.

b) Proposed number and location of signs.

c) Sign Illumination Plans.

d) Plans for landscaping or architectural features to be used in conjunction with such plans.

.3 The proposed signs meet the following criteria:
a) All signs are coordinated in terms of design features.

b) The maximum amount of allowable wall mounted signage per individually constructed tenant space of one non-street fronting wall shall not exceed 25% of the area of the street fronting sign, up to a maximum of 32 square feet. This 25% increase may only be used on one non-street fronting wall.

c) Marquee and Hanging/Blade Signs may be increased by 25%, however they may project no more than 4 feet from the building wall, and no more than 3 feet over a sidewalk in a town maintained right-of-way.

d) The maximum size of detached signs is not increased by more than 25%.

e) The number of detached signs along a street frontage does not exceed 3.

f) The maximum height of a detached sign does not exceed 12 feet.

g) Multi-information directional signs are no greater than 16 square feet and are located in the interior of a development.

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10.12 Prohibited Signs

The following signs are prohibited in all zoning districts:

.1 Signs extending into the public right-of-way other than those permanent signs approved by the Town Manager of Huntersville along town-maintained streets and the North Carolina Department of Transportation along State System Streets.

.2 Roof signs.

.3 Portable signs (with the exception of sidewalk signs in accordance with Article 10.10.18).

.4 Flashing, fluttering, swinging, or rotating signs other than time and/or temperature signs and electronic scrolling signs.

.5 Signs that are similar in color, design, and appearance to traffic control signs.

.6 Vehicular signs as defined in Article 12 of this ordinance.

.7 Off-premise signs, including Outdoor Advertising Signs. See Sections 10.7.2 and 10.9, special exceptions for certain non-commercial signs.  No internally illuminated or self luminous off-premise sign is permitted.

.8 Obsolete signs: signs that do not comply with the provisions of this ordinance and identify or advertise a use the operation of which has ceased for one year or more.

.9 Other signs not expressly allowed by this ordinance.

.10 Signs that are not effectively shielded as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled ways of controlled routes and which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or which otherwise interfere with the operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited.

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10.13 Application and Issuance of Sign Permits

10.13.1 Application.

Applications for permits shall contain or have attached the following information:

.1 The street name and street number of the building, structure or lot on which a sign is to be placed.

.2 Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the applicant, owner of the property on which the sign is to be erected or affixed, the owner of the sign, and the licensed contractor erecting or affixing the sign.

.3 If the applicant is not the owner or lessee of the lot on which the sign will be located, written permission from the property owner or a designated representative stating agreement that the sign may be erected on the parcel for which the permit has been applied shall be required.

.4 A site or plat plan of the property involved, showing accurate placement of the proposed sign, intended use(s) of the property, and zoning district designation.

.5 Two (2) blueprints or inked, scaled drawings of the plans and specifications of the sign to be erected or affixed as deemed necessary by the Zoning Administrator. Such plans may include but shall not be limited to details of dimensions, materials, copy, and size of the proposed sign. For wall signs, dimensions of the building wall on which the sign is to be affixed and the location and size of existing wall signs shall also be included.

.6 Locations of addresses. No permit for a sign shall be issued unless a street address has been assigned according to the requirements of the Town of Huntersville or the Mecklenburg County Street Address Ordinance, whichever is applicable.

.7 Other information as the Zoning Administrator may require to determine full compliance with this and other applicable codes.

10.13.2 Issuance of Permit.

Upon the filing of an application for a sign permit, the Zoning Administrator shall examine the plans and specifications, and, as deemed necessary, may inspect the premises upon which the sign is proposed to be erected or affixed. If the proposed sign is in compliance with all the requirements of this ordinance and other applicable codes, a permit will be issued. Any permit issued in accordance with this section shall automatically become null and void unless the work for which it was issued has visibly commenced within 6 months of the date of issue or if the work authorized by it is suspended or abandoned for one year.

10.13.3 Fees.

To obtain a sign permit, all fees, in accordance with the requirements of the permitting agency, shall be paid.

10.13.4 Construction Inspection.

The permit holder shall notify the Building Standards Department upon completion of construction and installation of any sign for which a permit is required.

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10.14 Enforcement

10.14.1 Inspections and Investigations

.1 The Zoning Administrator or other agents of the Town of Huntersville will periodically inspect signs in order to determine whether there are violations of this Ordinance.

.2 The Town of Huntersville or the Zoning Administrator, acting on behalf of the town, shall have the power to conduct such investigations as may reasonably be deemed necessary to carry out enforcement duties prescribed in this Ordinance, and for this purpose to enter at reasonable times upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of investigating and inspecting signs. No person shall refuse entry or access to any authorized representative of the town or of the Zoning Administrator who requests entry for purposes of inspection, and who presents appropriate credentials; nor shall any person obstruct, hamper, or interfere with any such representative while in the process of carrying out his official duties.

.3 The Zoning Administrator or other authorized agent of the town may require written statements, or the filing of reports with respect to pertinent questions relating to signs.

10.14.2 Enforcement Methods

A violation of this article is a violation of the Zoning Ordinance, and is subject to the enforcement procedures and penalties of Section 11.2 of these regulations.

10.14.3 Removal and Disposal of Signs in the Right-Of-Way

The Zoning Administrator or other agents of the Town of Huntersville may remove any illegal sign placed on public property or within any right-of-way of any public or private street.



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