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abandoned signs

ROBERT

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
what constitutes an abandoned sign? when a business closes and the sign structure remains, is it abandoned if it can be reused by a new business? Or does the property owner have to demonstrate that they do not intend to reuse the sign or sign pole in order to be considered abandoned. A local activist wants the enforcement personell to consider abandonment when a business location is closed and require removal of sign faces and structures after 30 days.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
ROBERT said:
what constitutes an abandoned sign? when a business closes and the sign structure remains, is it abandoned if it can be reused by a new business? Or does the property owner have to demonstrate that they do not intend to reuse the sign or sign pole in order to be considered abandoned. A local activist wants the enforcement personell to consider abandonment when a business location is closed and require removal of sign faces and structures after 30 days.

Our regs don't speak to that issue at all so I can't speak from experience but I think 30 days is very short notice. Property owners will find it impossible to find new tenants in that time. Would this only apply to non-conforming, grandfathered signs? It would be pretty severe to force a building owner to take down a sign which met all aspects of the zoning ordinance just because they can't find a tenant in a certain timeframe.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
Seabishop said:
Our regs don't speak to that issue at all so I can't speak from experience but I think 30 days is very short notice. Property owners will find it impossible to find new tenants in that time. Would this only apply to non-conforming, grandfathered signs? It would be pretty severe to force a building owner to take down a sign which met all aspects of the zoning ordinance just because they can't find a tenant in a certain timeframe.


in the past, I've offered the landlord or business substantial warning of the obsolete sign ordinance. I usually followed up with a phone call to remind them after the deadline had expired and the sign is usually removed promptly.

30 days seems very resonable to me. Most companies are tending to get customized sign cabinets for freestanding/ground signs now and channel letters for wall signs. Re-use isn't common.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
ROBERT said:
what constitutes an abandoned sign? when a business closes and the sign structure remains, is it abandoned if it can be reused by a new business? Or does the property owner have to demonstrate that they do not intend to reuse the sign or sign pole in order to be considered abandoned?

Ultimately, all these questions should be addressed by your local sign code. If they aren't, I would definately recommend a revision - pronto!
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
We give them 30 days from the date the business closes to remove the sign...however if the sign is not terrible, we usually will allow a real eatste sign to be placed on the face to help them sell or lease the space.
 

GeoTech

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
Get some teeth

Our Town allows for thirty (30) days from a written notice to remove the sign. If it is not removed within thirty days, the sign can be yanked by us and charged against the property. We've only had to threaten that once in seven years, but its some nice teeth to have.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,765
Points
69
The code I wrote. Chapter/section numbers deleted.

(Text from Administration section section)
Nonconforming signs

Signs near Federal Aid Highways

[font=&quot]*[/font]Nonconforming signs ≤660’ (200 m) of a Federal Aid highway must be altered to conform with Land Development Code sign size, dimensional and placement requirements within five years of its effective date, or within 90 days of change or expansion of use or building enlargement. Legally erected off-premises signs must be reduced to ≤72’2 (6.5 m2) in display area and ≤15’ (4.5 m) in height.

Signs elsewhere

[font=&quot]*[/font]Nonconforming signs >660’ (200 m) of a Federal Aid Highway must be removed or brought into conformance with the Land Development Code within five years of its effective date, or within 90 days of a change or expansion of use or building enlargement.

[font=&quot]*[/font]The Town Planner may recommend removal of nonconforming signs as a condition of approval for a development or land use request.

Signs in the right-of-way and clear vision area

Signs in the public right-of-way or clear vision area must be moved or altered to conform to location requirements within 180 days of the Land Development Code’s effective date.

Alteration

[font=&quot]*[/font]Nonconforming signs may only be altered, changed in dimensions, moved, raised or replaced if it is brought into conformance with all provisions of the Land Development Code.

[font=&quot]*[/font]A nonconforming sign must not be altered to increase its lifespan (for instance, the replacement of wood poles with steel poles).

Ownership and use change

Nonconforming signs on a lot must be removed or modified to conform to all sign requirements within 90 days of a change in business, use or property ownership on the lot

Abandoned signs

Nonconforming signs must be removed after 30 days of disuse.





(Text from Site Design Standards section below)
Nonconforming signs

Requirements for nonconforming and abandoned signs are in Land Development Code §207.4 (Nonconforming Uses and Structures).

Abandoned signs

Signs are considered abandoned if they:

[font=&quot]*[/font]advertise or identify an object, person, institution, business, product, service, event or location that no longer exists or is no longer relevant.

[font=&quot]*[/font]contain no message, are blank, or are partially or wholly illegible.

[font=&quot]*[/font]contain a “rent me” type of message for more than 90 days.

Abandoned signs must be removed by the sign owner, property owner or Town. Abandoned signs must not be reused.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,831
Points
71
I have worked in/with a number of communities in Michigan....30 days is not an uncommon standard for removal of an obsolete sign. The community I currently work for has such a 30 day standard and defines obsolete sign as "a sign that no longer advertises a bona fide business, owner, product, person, or activity".
I do, however, strongly encourage you consult with your municipal attorney on this point. In all likelihood, there have been a number of cases in your state's courts (Kentucky?) that address the issue of what constitutes 'abandonment of use' (i.e. obsolescense) which require certain elements to be met - the term may even be defined under state statute. It would not do to have an ordinance that conflicts with your state statutes....
 
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