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Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

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  1. Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

    Resources: http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10637&sid=10

    ARTICLE III. REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

    Sec. 21-9. Exemptions.
    (a) Signs erected by a public officer in the performance of his/her duties, including but not limited to: public notices, safety signs, danger signs, official traffic control devices, memorial plaques, and historical markers shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
    (b) The following signs shall be exempt from the permit requirements of section 21-3 above; provided, however, that such signs shall be subject to all other provisions of this chapter:
    (1) Window signs;
    (2) Signs located on lots used solely for residential purposes;
    (3) One (1) suspended sign per tenant of a multi-tenant building when the area of the sign is less than six (6) square feet per side;
    (4) Signs for the sole purpose of displaying street numbers as may be required by other ordinances and other signs required by law;
    (5) Flags and banners as provided in sections 21-28 and 21-29; and
    (6) Non-governmental traffic control devices in or adjacent to parking areas and driveways and signs located at railroad crossings.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-10. Fees.
    The cost of a sign permit shall be established by the board of commissioners and collected by the director.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-11. Prohibited signs.
    The following types of signs are prohibited throughout the unincorporated county:
    (1) Signs on public rights-of-way other than publicly owned or maintained signs and signs pertaining to railroad crossings;
    (2) Window signs which exceed thirty (30) percent of the window area;
    (3) Signs that contain words, pictures, or statements which are obscene, as defined by O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80, as amended;
    (4) Signs that simulate an official traffic control device, warning sign, or regulatory sign or which hide from view any traffic control device, signal or public service sign, except as allowed by section 21-9(b)(5) above;
    (5) Signs that emit or utilize in any manner any sound capable of being detected on any traveled road or highway by a person with normal hearing abilities;
    (6) Signs that interfere with road or highway visibility or obstruct or otherwise interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic or which otherwise pose a hazard to traffic due to structural deficiencies in the structure of such signs;
    (7) Signs erected by nailing, fastening or affixing the sign in any manner to any tree, curb, utility pole, natural feature, or other structure except as may be set forth herein;
    (8 ) Animated signs, including rotating or revolving signs (except for time and weather informational signs, official warning and regulatory signs);
    (9) Signs that obstruct any fire escape, any means of egress or ventilation or shall prevent free passage from one part of a roof to any other part thereof, as well as signs attached to any fire escape;
    (10) Signs that do not conform to county building and electrical codes;
    (11) Signs for which a permit is required that do not display the sign permit number and the name and address of the person responsible for erecting and maintaining the sign;
    (12) Roof signs;
    (13) Tri-faced signs;
    (14) Signs that are in violation of the rules and regulations of any zoning overlay district presently existing or as may later be enacted;
    (15) Any sign constructed of non-durable material including, but not limited to, paper, cardboard or flexible plastic that has been displayed for more than sixty (60) days. Nothing herein shall prohibit such a sign from being replaced. This provision does not apply to flags or banners which are governed by sections 21-28 and 21-29;
    (16) Portable signs;
    (17) Signs located on any substandard lot created after the enactment of this chapter, unless the substandard lot is created as the result of governmental action;
    (18 ) Abandoned commercial signs. Commercial signs (including sign structures) shall be deemed abandoned if the business, service or commercial transaction to which it relates has been discontinued for six (6) months;
    (19) Any sign that is structurally unsound, or is a hazard to traffic or pedestrians;
    (20) Dilapidated or neglected signs. A sign (including sign structure) will be dilapidated or neglected if it does not present a neat and orderly appearance, which may be manifested by the following; rust or holes on or in the sign or sign structure, or broken, missing, loose or bent parts, faded or flaking paint, non-operative or partially non-operative illuminating or mechanical devices or missing letters in sign copy; and
    (21) Illegal signs.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-12. Owner's consent required.
    No sign may be permitted or posted on property without the consent of the property's owner or authorized agent. Should it be determined that a sign was erected on a lot pursuant to an alleged agent's incorrect representation that the record owner of the lot in fact gave permission for the erection of a sign, the permit for such sign shall be revoked as provided in section 21-6 herein.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-13. Restrictions in residential zoning districts.
    The following regulations shall pertain to lots located in single family residential zoning districts and R-DT, TND, RA5, RA8, RCH, MHP, NCD and RM zoning districts:
    (1) Lots used for residential purposes other than for apartments, condominium, mobile home, or townhouse developments shall not have an aggregate sign area greater than twenty-four (24) square feet per lot. Flags and banners shall not be included in the calculation of aggregate sign area. Subdivision and entrance signs shall not be included in the calculation of aggregate sign area;
    (2) Lots used for apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, or townhouse developments shall not have an aggregate sign area exceeding six (6) square feet per unit, not to exceed an aggregate of one hundred (100) square feet for the development;
    (3) There shall be a maximum of two (2) subdivision/entrance signs per entrance into any residential subdivision or real estate development in a residential district;
    (4) Ground signs having a height of greater than four (4) feet above the grade level of the adjacent street to which the lot on which the sign is located as measured from the top of the sign, pole or support included, or three (3) feet above ground level, as measured from the top of the sign, pole, or support structure to ground level, whichever is greater, are prohibited, with the exception of subdivision signs and entrance signs;
    (5) No sign in any residentially zoned district may be illuminated, except for subdivision and entrance signs, subject to the provisions of section 21-24 hereof. No subdivision or entrance sign may be internally illuminated;
    (6) No single sign in a residential zoning district governed by this section, except for flags, banners, subdivision signs and entrance signs, may exceed six (6) square feet in size;
    (7) Subdivision and entrance signs shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet of sign area, excluding the base, and shall not exceed eight (8 ) feet in height;
    (8 ) Any commercial message on a sign located on any lot in any residential district must be related to the physical premises on that lot. Such a message may be deemed related to the lot physical premises if it indicates the provider of services to or regarding the premises. The board of commissioners having previously considered extensive findings, studies and evidence in connection with the April 13, 1999 zoning ordinance, as amended, to the extent that section 27-751 of the zoning ordinance conflicts with this chapter, section 27-751 of the zoning ordinance shall control; and
    (9) Should any new zoning district be created that incorporates any residential use, this section shall apply to such new district unless otherwise stated in the ordinance creating the new zoning district.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-14. Height and setback requirements.

    (a) All signs shall be set back as follows:
    (1) Ten (10) feet from the curb line of each street adjacent to the lot upon which the sign is situated where an authorized curb cut exists; (applicable to all zoning districts);
    (2) If the right-of-way is more than ten (10) feet from the curb line as described in (1) above, the sign, including its footing or foundations, shall be setback at least one (1) foot from the right-of-way (applicable to all zoning districts);
    (3) In a residential zoning district, if the distance between the right of way to the front of the principal structure is less than fifteen (15) feet, signs shall be setback two-thirds ( 2/3) of the distance between the curbline and the front of the principal structure on the lot on which the sign is located;
    (4) Along all lot lines which are not adjacent to a road with an authorized curb cut, any and all signs shall be within the buildable area of the lot. All signs shall be so located and shall provide such vertical clearance as to provide for safe, convenient and unobstructed passage for pedestrians and vehicles.
    (b) No sign or sign structure above a height of three (3) feet shall be maintained within fifteen (15) feet of the intersection of the right-of-way lines extended of two (2) streets, or of a street intersection with a railroad right-of-way. However, a sign support structure not more than ten (10) inches in diameter may be located within the required comer visibility area if all other requirements of this chapter are met and the lowest elevation of the sign surface is at least twelve (12) feet above the ground level.
    (c) Window signs are only allowed on the ground floor of a building.
    (d) Also see regulations in section 21-18 below.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-15. Convenience stores and service stations with pump islands.
    In addition to the signs otherwise allowed in this chapter, convenience stores and service stations with pump islands may have signage subject to the following limitations:
    (1) Within the limits of the canopy covering the pump islands, one (1) sign per canopy face per public street frontage with a maximum of six (6) square feet.
    (2) Within the limits of the canopy covering the pump islands, pump-island signs shall be limited to no more than two (2) signs per island, not to exceed four (4) square feet per sign. However, total square footage of all pump island signs shall not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet.
    (3) Accessory car wash, if a separate drive-through car wash building is on site, one (1) additional wall sign per face of car wash, not to exceed five (5) square feet, may be permitted.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-16. Non-commercial messages.
    Any sign provided for in any zoning district may contain non-commercial messages.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-17. Wall or projecting signs.

    (a) Wall or projecting signs shall be securely fastened to the building surface.
    (b) No wall sign greater than one hundred eighty (180) square feet shall be placed below the twelfth story of a building.
    (c) Projecting signs may project from the building up to two (2) feet; provided that no projecting sign shall be maintained less than ten (10) feet above the ground level when erected over pedestrian walkways or driveways and no less than fourteen (14) feet above vehicle access.
    (d) No wall or projecting sign shall extend above the parapet wall.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-18. Ground signs.

    (a) The height of all ground signs at their highest point above the level of the ground shall not exceed twenty (20) feet in non-residentially zoned districts; however, when the ground level is lower than the level of the adjoining street pavement, then a sign may be raised so as to be no more than twenty (20) feet above the level of the pavement. Residentially zoned districts shall be governed by section 21-13 above. The level of the ground shall not be altered in such a way to provide additional sign height.The height of monopole sign structures shall be measured from the base of the pole at ground level to the top of the pole or top of the highest sign face, whichever is higher. The height of any multi-pole sign structure shall be measured the same as a monopole structure, except that the measurement shall be made using the shortest pole. Ground signs shall be measured from the ground level base of the sign structure (deemed to include any skirting) to the highest point of the sign.
    (b) The height of any directional sign shall not be more than three (3) feet above the ground.
    (c) All ground signs allowed for primary facades shall place between the primary facade and the street the primary facade faces.
    (d) All ground signs allowed for secondary facades shall place between the secondary facade and the street the secondary facade faces.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)
  2. Re: Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

    Sec. 21-19. Canopy signs.
    Canopy signs shall be no less than eight (8 ) feet above the ground when erected over pedestrian walkways and fourteen (14) feet above areas of vehicle service access at the lowest extremity of the sign. No canopy sign shall extend above the parapet wall.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-20. Non-residential zoning district regulations.
    (a) In addition to all other applicable regulations in this chapter, all lots that are located in non-residential districts not developed as a planned commercial center are limited to the following signs:
    TABLE INSET:

    PLEASE REFER TO TABLE AT:
    http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10637&sid=10

    (b) In lieu of the sign regulations of Table (a) above, a lot located in a non-residential district and developed as a planned commercial center shall be allowed the following:
    TABLE INSET:

    PLEASE REFER TO TABLE AT:
    http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10637&sid=10

    (c) No property zoned for non-residential use may have more than one (1) ground sign that is oriented towards travelers along the same street.
    (d) In addition to those regulations set forth in subsection (a) and (b) above, no person may maintain a lot zoned for commercial use where the aggregate signable area exceeds four hundred fifty (450) square feet, or two (2) square feet of signage for each one hundred (100) square feet of floor area, which ever is greater, regardless of the construction, placement or type of sign or signs.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-21. Special event signs.
    A site containing an authorized use and located in a non-residential zoning district is allowed special event signs for a special use or event, such as, but not limited to, grand openings, seasonal sales, liquidations, going-out-of business sales, fire sales, display of a noncommercial message, and giveaway or free promotions, only under the following conditions and subject to the following requirements:
    (1) Prior to the special event or use, and the erection and placement of the sign or device, an application for permit shall be filed with the director;
    (2) The signs and devices shall be constructed of, or shall be described as, poster board, banners, metal, wood, pennants, flags, balloons, twirlers, streamers, portable displays and air- or gas-filled figures;
    (3) The maximum size allowance for all the devices and signs shall not exceed two hundred (200) square feet;
    (4) The signs may be attached to the exterior wall or walls of a building, no higher than the top of the parapet or roof and shall not be placed, located or connected nearer than fifty (50) feet from the center of the street or roadway, or twenty (20) feet from the curb or edge of the pavement, whichever is further from the center of the street or roadway; and
    (5) The maximum number of special event sign permits to be issued to a single site or location shall be two (2) per year for a period of time not to exceed sixteen (16) days for each issuance.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-22. Electronic signs.

    (a) Electronic signs shall be allowed only in C-1, C-2, M and M-2 zoning districts.
    (b) No message may be displayed for less than one (1) second.
    (c) No message may be repeated at intervals of less than two (2) seconds.
    (d) No segmented message may last longer than ten (10) seconds.
    (e) No traveling message may travel at a rate slower than sixteen (16) light columns per second or faster than thirty-two (32) light columns per second.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-23. Nonconforming signs.
    (a) The county finds that nonconforming signs may adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare. Such signs may adversely affect the aesthetic characteristics of the county and may adversely affect public safety due to the visual impact of said signs on motorist and the structural characteristics of said signs.
    (b) Any nonconforming sign that is not used or leased for a continuous period of one (1) year shall not be reused for sign purposes unless and until it fully conforms with the terms and requirement of this chapter.
    (c) Illegal signs must be removed within thirty (30) days of notice from the county.
    (d) No structural repairs, or changes in shape, size or design, to any nonconforming sign shall be permitted except to make a nonconforming sign comply with all requirements of this chapter. Routine maintenance and changing of copy shall be permitted as long as such maintenance or changing of copy does not result in or change the shape, size, or design. Signs which are structurally unsound or present a hazard to persons or property must be removed within two (2) days upon notification by the county.
    (e) A nonconforming sign structure may not be replaced by another nonconforming sign structure, except that a non-conforming sign may be rebuilt where the original sign structure has been damaged or destroyed by nature or an act of god. No such replacement structure may have a sign area or height greater than the original structure.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-24. Illumination.
    No sign shall give off light that glares, blinds or has any other such adverse effect on traffic or adjacent properties. The light from an illuminated sign shall be established in such a way that adjacent properties and roadways are not adversely affected and that no direct light is cast upon adjacent properties and roadways. No illuminated sign shall be constructed or maintained within seventy-five (75) feet of any single-family lot property line.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-25. Building code.
    To the extent that it is not inconsistent with this chapter, the present edition of the Standard Building Code and other building and construction codes as adopted and modified by the county and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs are incorporated as a part of this chapter as if fully restated herein for the same purposes stated in section 21-1 hereof and for the same purposes for which the Standard Building Code was promulgated and enacted, which purposes are expressly incorporated herein.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-26. Zoning ordinance.

    Except as provided elsewhere in this section, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with this chapter, the county zoning ordinance, as amended including, but not limited to definitions of terms contained therein is incorporated as a part of this chapter as if fully restated herein for the same purposes stated in section 21-1 hereof and for the same purposes for which the zoning ordinance and any amendments thereto, were adopted, which purposes are expressly incorporated herein. However, to the extent that any regulations governing any zoning overlay district now existing or later enacted conflict with this article, the rules of the zoning overlay district shall control.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-27. Variances.

    (a) Where a literal application of this article, due to special circumstances, would result in an unusual hardship in an individual case, a variance may be granted by the zoning board of appeals after receiving evidence that the applicant meets all of the following criteria:
    (1) Exceptional conditions pertaining to the property where the sign is to be located as a result of its size, shape, or topography, which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the area;
    (2) Granting the variance would not confer on the applicant any significant privileges which are denied to others similarly situated;
    (3) The exceptional circumstances are not the result of action by the applicant;
    (4) The requested variance is the minimum variance necessary to allow the applicant to enjoy the rights commonly enjoyed by others similarly situated;
    (5) Granting of the variance would not violate more than one (1) standard of this article; and
    (6) Granting the variance would not result in allowing a sign that interferes with road or highway visibility or obstruct or otherwise interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic.
    (b) No variance shall be granted to the height of a sign or the aggregate area of signs permitted on a lot.
    (c) No variance shall be granted which increases the size of a sign more than twenty (20) percent of that allowed by this chapter.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-28. Flags.

    (a) All flags shall be displayed on flagpoles, which may be vertical or mast arm flagpoles. In non-residential districts, flagpoles shall not exceed the height allowed in the applicable zoning district, or sixty (60) feet, whichever is less. Flagpoles in residential districts shall not exceed twenty-five (25) feet in height or the height of the primary structure on the lot, whichever is less.
    (b) The maximum dimensions of any flag shall be proportional to the flagpole height. The hoist side of the flag shall not exceed twenty (20) percent of the vertical height of the flagpole. In addition, flags are subject to the following limitations:
    TABLE INSET:

    PLEASE REFER TO TABLE AT:
    http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10637&sid=10

    (c) Each lot shall be allowed a maximum of three (3) flagpoles.
    (d) A maximum of two (2) flags shall be allowed per flagpole.
    (e) A vertical flagpole must be set back from all property boundaries a distance which is at least equal to the height of the flagpole.
    (f) Flags and flagpoles shall be maintained in good repair, and to the extent applicable shall be in compliance with the building code. Flagpoles with broken halyards shall not be used and flags which are torn or frayed shall not be displayed.
    (g) On officially designated county, state, or federal holidays, there shall be no maximum flag size or number or other limitations on display.
    (h) This section shall not be construed to restrict the right to display eligible flags as banners or non-commercial signage as provided elsewhere in this article.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-29. Banners.

    (a) Banners shall conform to the following standards:
    (1) Each banner shall not exceed fifteen (15) square feet;
    (2) Each banner must be individually attached to poles, mast arms, or other structures;
    (3) No more than two (2) banners shall be displayed on any lot at one (1) time; and
    (4) All banners must be maintained in good condition as provided for flags in section 21-28 above.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)

    Sec. 21-30. Severability.
    In the event any section, subsection, sentence, or word of this chapter is declared and adjudged to be invalidated or unconstitutional, such declaration or adjudication shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect as if such portion so declared or adjudged unconstitutional were not originally part of this chapter, even if the surviving parts of the chapter result in greater restrictions after any unconstitutional provisions are stricken. The board of commissioners declares that it would have enacted the remaining parts of this chapter if it had known that such portion thereof would be declared or adjudged invalid or unconstitutional. The board of commissioners declares its intent that should this chapter be declared in part or in whole, signs are to be subject to regulations applicable to "structures" contained in other ordinances, including the zoning ordinance.
    (Ord. No. 13-03, Pt. I, 6-10-03)
  3. Re: Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This does not constitute legal advice of any kind whatsoever. Please seek qualified legal counsel for your situation.

    There is also Chapter 21, ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL, which you may want to post, since it contains the basic legal definitions for signs.

    In the ordinance (and I could be wrong about this), all sign types explicitly mentioned seemed affixed to a particular structure, inductively speaking. Furthermore, the definition of a sign says:

    But what I think the most disturbing sign ordinance is found in APPENDIX B LOCAL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, ARTICLE XIII. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS AND OFFENSES:

    It seems the mere possession, transport, or even printing of political posters, signs or advertisements within Dekalb County is itself a ordinance violation, unless there is a disclaimer printed on them.

    There is a permit department mentioned for the signs. Maybe someone may want to call them up for clarification on all this stuff.
  4. Legione Member

    Re: Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

    Wait... its illegal for you to create political signs?

    That seems like an amazing breach of free speech rights, i highly doubt thats a law that is enforced :confused:
  5. SamuelAdams Member

    Re: Sign Regulations for Dekalb Co. GA (Atlanta)

    These type of 'sign' regulations are for signs fixed or planted in the ground. It doesn't apply to what you are carrying.
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