§ 31.5-5. Definitions.  


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  • The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

    A-frame sign shall mean a portable sign not secured or attached to the ground or surface upon which it is located, typically constructed in such a manner as to form an "A" or tent-like shape, and primarily or exclusively intended to advertise to pedestrian traffic.

    Animated sign shall mean a sign which uses movement or change of lighting to depict action or to create a special effect or scene.

    Awning shall mean a cover or screen, usually consisting of canvas fabric, supported and stiffened by a rigid frame, extending over or before windows, doors, outside walks, or the like, and providing shelter or protection against the elements.

    Awning sign shall mean a sign consisting of information painted on, sewn on, imprinted on or attached to the surface of an awning.

    Banner sign shall mean a sign which consists of a sign face composed of nonrigid material that is secured or mounted at both ends.

    Bench sign shall mean a sign affixed to a bench or seat.

    Billboard shall mean a sign whose copy is not directly related to or associated with the site or parcel on which the sign is located. Billboards may be any of the following types:

    (1)

    Single-faced billboard, which is a billboard with one (1) face which faces one (1) direction only.

    (2)

    Double-faced billboard, which is a billboard with two (2) faces which face two (2) different directions. For purposes of this chapter, the following billboards shall be considered double-faced billboards:

    a.

    A structure having two (2) faces placed back to back; and

    b.

    A structure constructed in the form of a "V" (when viewed from above).

    (3)

    Tri-faced billboard, which is a billboard with three (3) faces forming a triangle (when viewed from above) which face three (3) different directions.

    Building shall mean any structure designed or built for the support, enclosure, shelter or protection of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.

    Building face shall mean the area determined by multiplying the building frontage by the building height.

    Building frontage shall mean the length of that portion of a building occupied by a single office, business, or enterprise with the primary entrance that is measured to determine the allowable copy area for wall signs.

    Building height shall mean the vertical distance of a building from the finished grade level to the highest point of the roof, excluding chimneys, spires, and similar appurtenances.

    Bulletin board shall mean a permanent sign with removable letters, words, or numerals, indicating the names of persons associated with, or events or activities conducted upon the site or parcel upon which the sign is erected.

    Changeable copy sign shall mean a sign whose copy may be changed or rearranged electronically, mechanically or manually without altering the sign structure.

    Cold air inflatable sign shall mean an inflated balloon-type device composed primarily or wholly of nonrigid material which advertises an event, a product, or an establishment.

    Community identification sign shall mean a sign which identifies an established and generally recognized community or neighborhood.

    Construction sign shall mean a sign identifying the contractor, architect, engineer, consultant and/or owner, lending institution, or sponsor responsible for construction or development on the parcel where the sign is erected, and/or identifying the structure or project being constructed on the parcel. The definitions of "construction sign" and "real estate sign" are mutually exclusive.

    Copy shall mean the linguistic or graphic content or message of a sign.

    Copy area shall mean the advertising display surface area encompassed within any sign.

    Corner lot sign shall mean a sign located within the triangular area formed by the apex of two (2) right-of-way lines and a line connecting them at points a designated distance from the apex of the right-of-way lines.

    Digital billboard shall mean an off-site changeable copy sign capable of displaying multiple static images controlled by electronic communications.

    Directional sign shall mean a sign which only provides directional instructions or information for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as "parking," "one way," "exit," or "entrance."

    Electronic message center or EMC shall mean an on-site changeable copy sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures, or images that can be electronically changed by remote or automatic means.

    Embellishment shall mean an extension of the perimeter of a sign face, which is irregular in shape, and which is added solely for the purpose of accomplishing a creative design. Any portion of an embellishment which contains copy shall be deemed copy area.

    Enforcement officer shall mean an employee of the county zoning department, traffic department, or building department who is authorized to regulate signs or to enforce this chapter.

    Erect shall mean to build, construct, assemble, attach, hang, place, suspend, affix, create, paint, draw or in any other way bring into being or establish a sign.

    Externally lit sign , also known as a face lit sign, shall mean a sign that is illuminated solely from an external light source that shines onto the face of the sign. No light sources are present behind any portion of such a sign.

    Facia sign. See the definition of "wall sign".

    Finished grade level shall mean the completed or settled level of the ground, asphalt, or pavement on which a sign is erected, except that if the sign is erected on an artificial mound or similar artificial rise, the term "finished grade level" shall mean the completed or settled level of the ground, asphalt, or pavement which surrounds all or the majority of the building on the parcel or site on which the sign is erected.

    Flag shall mean a usually rectangular piece of fabric of distinctive design that is used as a symbol (as of a nation) or as a signaling device.

    Flashing sign shall mean a sign displaying a pattern of changing light illumination where the sign illumination alternates between illuminated and various levels of illumination for the purpose of drawing attention to the sign.

    Freestanding sign shall mean a sign which is not attached to a building or the ground and is readily movable. Such a sign is typically on display during business hours and is stored when the business is not open.

    Gasoline means a flammable and combustible liquid commonly used as a motor fuel.

    Gasoline station or gas station means a place of business offering gasoline for retail sale.

    Glare shall mean the effect produced by brightness sufficient to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility.

    Government sign shall mean a sign erected, owned, leased or maintained by any city or county, the state (including any of its agencies or political subdivisions), or the federal government, for the purpose of discharging any governmental function.

    Ground sign , including a monument-style ground sign, shall mean a sign commonly supported by uprights or braces that is placed on, near or at ground level, that is not attached to any building. The definitions of ground sign and pole sign are mutually exclusive.

    Halo lit sign shall mean a sign where the entire face and returns (sides) of individual halo sign letters, numbers, and graphics are opaque (but may be colored). Individual letters, number, and graphics are free-standing (typically, not connected at their faces) and mounted, with stand-offs, a short distance (generally, three (3) to five (5) inches) from the supporting wall or other mounting surface. The face and returns of individual letters, numbers, and graphics are opaque and constructed of sheet metal, aluminum, or other opaque/heat resistant material. Lighting sources (LED or other) are mounted on the rear of individual letters, numbers, or graphic faces, and pointed backward toward the mounted wall (or other) surface. The backward-pointed lighting sources flood the supporting wall surface behind the individual letters, numbers, or graphics, allowing reflected illumination to spill sideways, around the edges of the individual letters, numbers, or graphics, and onto the surface of the supporting wall or surface. A "halo" visual effect results around the edges of the individual letters, numbers, or graphics.

    Home occupation sign shall mean a sign which only advertises or identifies a use conducted entirely within a dwelling or accessory building and engaged in by an occupant thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes and does not change the character thereof.

    Ideological sign shall mean a sign advertising a political, social, or ideological issue not to be voted upon in an election or referendum.

    Illuminated sign shall mean a sign which is lighted by an artificial light source, either internal or external to the sign, for the purpose of illuminating the sign.

    Incidental sign shall mean a small sign, emblem, or decal informing the public of goods, facilities or services available on the premises, such as a sign indicating which credit cards are accepted or a sign indicating hours of business.

    Integral sign shall mean a memorial sign or tablet, identifying the name of the building and/or its date of erection, cut into any masonry surface, or constructed of a permanent or incombustible material mounted on the face of a building.

    Internally lit sign, also known as a back lit sign, rear lit sign, or cabinet lit sign, shall mean a sign (either pole-mounted, ground-mounted, wall-mounted, or projected style) of which any portion of the sign face (e.g., individual letters, numbers, or graphics, or a portion of the surrounding cabinet background or sides) utilizes a transparent or translucent (e.g., polycarbonate, acrylic, or other) surface through which an internal or rear light source travels.

    Limited access highway shall mean a street, road or highway especially designed for through traffic (including an expressway or an interstate highway), and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons have no right or easement, or only a limited right or easement, of access, light, air, or view, by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access highway or for any other reason.

    Marquee shall mean a structure, including a hood, canopy, or awning, normally composed of rigid material projecting from a building, which fully or partially covers an entrance, sidewalk, or other pedestrian way.

    Marquee sign shall mean a sign attached to and made a part of a marquee, including an awning sign.

    Mesh fence construction banner shall mean a fence banner, fence wrap or other such mesh fence banner that is installed or affixed to a fence surrounding a construction site for the purpose of displaying construction-related signage, and is limited in size to the fence area.

    Multitenant parcel shall mean a parcel of property, or parcels of contiguous property, existing as a unified or coordinated project, with a multi-tenant structure. Ground leased out-parcels shall be deemed as part of a multitenant parcel.

    Multitenant structure shall mean a building used, designed or constructed for occupation by more than one (1) tenant.

    Multitenant sign shall mean a sign which pertains to the uses of a parcel of property, or parcels of contiguous property, where two (2) or more separate establishments exist on the parcel of property.

    Neon/fiber optic sign shall mean a sign that uses neon or fiber optic tubing to spell out words, state a graphic message, outline a sign, or is otherwise used in conjunction with a sign (within six (6) inches of the edge of the sign).

    Off-site directional sign shall mean a sign which is used solely for the purpose of indicating the direction or physical location of any sale, object, place, use, business, event, service or area which is not located on the same parcel as the sign. A sign that does not include the physical location or street address of a sale, object, place, etcetera, such as a sign with the name of a sale, business, event, or service and only a corresponding telephone number, website, and/or an email address, or a sign with the name of a sale, business, event, or service and only a corresponding telephone number and directional arrow, does not fall within the meaning of this definition.

    Off-site sign shall mean a sign which advertises or identifies a use, establishment, development, project, commodity, service, activity or identity which is not directly related to or associated with the property on which the sign is located.

    On-site sign shall mean a sign which advertises or identifies a use, establishment, development, project, commodity, service, activity or identity which is directly related to or associated with the property on which the sign is located.

    Owner shall mean a person who, alone, jointly, or severally, or in a representative capacity (including an authorized agent, attorney, executor, or trustee), has legal or equitable title to property, or a vendee under a contract or agreement for deed, or a lessee under a written lease whose remaining term at the time of application for hearing is more than ten (10) years.

    Parapet shall mean the extension of a false front or wall above a roof line.

    Parcel shall mean a part or portion of a development which may be synonymous with a lot.

    Park shall mean a tract of land within the county which is kept for purposes of pleasure, exercise, amusement, enjoyment, ornament and/or recreation and which is maintained as public property.

    Permanent sign shall mean a sign located on a parcel of property which is not a temporary sign.

    Point of sale purchase display shall mean advertising of a retail item accompanying its display, e.g., an advertisement on a product dispenser.

    Pole sign or pylon sign shall mean a sign supported by at least one (1) upright pole, pylon, or post which is secured to the ground and the bottom of the sign face of which is at least six (6) feet above the finished grade level. It is sometimes referred to in this article as a "pole sign." The definitions of pole sign and ground sign are mutually exclusive. Also, the definitions of pole sign and billboard are mutually exclusive.

    Political sign shall mean a sign advertising a candidate, political party, ballot issue, or political issue to be voted upon in a local, state, or national election or referendum.

    Portable sign shall mean a sign, excluding an A-frame sign, which is not permanently secured or attached to the ground or to a structure.

    Projecting sign shall mean a sign affixed to a building which projects in such a manner that both sides of the sign are visible.

    Property frontage shall mean the length of the property line along the public right-of-way on which the property borders. "Right-of-way" shall not include right-of-way of a limited access highway, unopened right-of-way, vacated right-of-way, easements, and retention ponds.

    Public service message sign shall mean an electronically or electrically controlled sign which only conveys public service information such as time, date, temperature or atmospheric conditions.

    Pylon sign. See the definition of "pole sign."

    Real estate sign shall mean a sign which advertises for sale or lease the property or building located on the parcel upon which the sign is erected.

    Right-of-way frontage. See the definition of "property frontage."

    Roof sign shall mean a sign which is erected on the roof of a building.

    Rotating sign shall mean a pole sign which has a revolving sign face.

    Setback shall mean the distance between a property line or right-of-way line and the edge of a sign which is nearest to the property line or right-of-way line.

    Sign shall mean any surface, fabric, device, name, identification, image description, message, display or illustration using graphics, symbols, words, letters, or numbers which is affixed to, painted on, or represented directly or indirectly upon a building, structure, or parcel of property, and which directs attention to an object, product, place, activity, facility, service, event, attraction, person, issue, idea, institution, organization, development, project or business for the purpose of advertising, identifying or conveying information to the public. The definition of sign shall not be construed to mean a sign located in the interior of any building or structure which sign is not visible from outside the structure. A sign may include the sign face and sign structure.

    Sign face shall mean the part of a sign, including trim, embellishments, and background, which contains the copy.

    Sign structure shall mean the parts of a sign, exclusive of the sign face, such as beams, buttresses, poles, cables, and stringers, which support the sign face.

    Site shall mean a plot of land suitable or set apart for some specific use.

    Snipe sign shall mean a sign which is attached to a utility pole, tree, or similar object.

    Special event sign shall mean a sign, including a window sign, grand opening display, cold air inflatable sign, searchlight and poster sign, which is used to advertise a promotional venture such as the opening of a business or a special sale.

    Structural alteration shall mean any physical change to any part of the sign structure, including the support poles or posts, the foundation, or the sign canister. Copy, mechanical or electrical changes within the existing sign or changes that do not change the physical structural characteristics of the sign shall not constitute a structural change.

    Structure shall mean all permanent or temporary, fixed or movable construction comprising buildings, stands, signs and billboards erected independently or affixed to exterior walls; provided, however, that utility lines and poles shall not be considered structures for the purpose of this chapter.

    Subdivision shall mean any division of land as defined in chapter 30, article III of this Code.

    Swinging sign shall mean a projecting sign which has a swinging sign face.

    Temporary sign shall mean a sign erected on a parcel of real property for a period of limited duration and for a specialized purpose.

    Tourist commercial shall mean public or private or commercial operations associated with the hospitality industry which are intended to provide services primarily to visitors to the central Florida area.

    Unsafe sign shall mean any sign that becomes insecure or is in danger of falling or is otherwise deemed unsafe by the building official.

    Visible sign shall mean a sign which, whether or not legible, is capable of being seen without visual aid by a person of normal visual acuity.

    Wall banner sign shall mean a sign that consists of a sign face composed of non-rigid material that is secured or mounted at both ends. It is a type of banner sign that is intended to be relatively large and serve the purpose of advertising for special events on tall buildings that would not benefit as much from regular size banner signs described under section 31.5-96.

    Wall sign or facia sign shall mean a sign erected on the wall, cupola, or parapet of a building or structure in such a manner that only one (1) side of the sign is visible, or a sign which is affixed to or painted on the wall, cupola, or parapet of a building or structure. A wall sign is sometimes referred to in this chapter as a facia sign. The definitions of wall sign and projecting sign are mutually exclusive.

    Window sign shall mean a sign that is attached to, affixed to, leaning against, or placed within three (3) feet of a window in a manner so as to present a message to or attract the attention of the public on adjoining streets, walkways, or parking lots open to public use.

    Work of art shall mean a tangible creation by an artist or artists, including but not limited to paintings, sculptures, stained glass, statues, bas reliefs, engravings, carvings, frescoes, mobiles, murals, collages, mosaics, tapestries, photographs, drawings, monuments and fountains; provided, however, that any work of art that either contains text or conveys information visually or to attract the public to any place, subject, person, firm, corporation, public performance, article, machine or merchandise shall be considered a "sign" and shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 90-10, § 1(d), 5-21-90; Ord. No. 94-14, § 2, 7-26-94; Ord. No. 2004-16 , § 1, 10-19-04; Ord. No. 2012-04 , § 2, 2-7-12; Ord. No. 2015-17 , § 2, 9-22-15)

Cross reference

Definitions and rules of construction generally, § 1-2.