City of Vinita Park, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 520.010 Definitions.

[CC 2000 §8-6-1; CC 1974 §16-1; Ord. No. 693, 8-18-1986]
The following definitions shall apply throughout this Chapter:
BILLBOARD
Any sign advertising a product or service of a business that is placed or located elsewhere than on the premises of the business to which it applies.
DEVICE
Any banner, pennant, ribbon, streamer, wind-operated mechanism, flashing lights and other type of fluttering or flashing instrumentality used to advertise, promote or draw attention to the location, building, products, qualifications, goods or services of any business or person and which is placed outside or in a window in view of the general public, but "device" shall not include signs which are defined under this Section.
FLASHING OR MOVING SIGNS
Any electrical sign on which the artificial light is not constant in intensity and color at all times. For the purpose of this Chapter, any revolving, rotating, moving, animated signs with moving lights or signs which create the illusion of movement are included in this definition.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign which has characters, letters, figures, designs or an outline illuminated by electric lights or illuminous tubes or neon lights as a part of the sign proper.
PORTABLE DISPLAY SURFACE
A portable display surface temporarily fixed to a standardized advertising surface which can be moved from one location to another at periodic intervals.
PORTABLE SIGN
Any sign which is not permanently anchored. In addition, a "portable sign" shall include any sign that is not permanently affixed to the building which has changeable lettering or numbering.
SIGN
Includes any word, letter, model, announcement, declaration, information, display or illustration used to advertise, promote or draw attention to the location, building, products, qualifications, goods or services of any business or person and which is placed outside or in a window in view of the general public.
SIGN AREA
The total area of the space used to convey the message of the sign, including the spaces between open-type letters and figures, the background structure and other decoration, addition, border or trim which is an integral part of the sign. Sign supports shall be excluded in determining the area of the sign so long as they are not an integral part of the sign message.
TEMPORARY SIGN
Includes any sign, banner, pennant, valance or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard, wallboard or other light materials, with or without frames, intended to be displayed for a limited period of time only.

Section 520.020 Conditions for Sign Approval.

[CC 2000 §8-6-2; CC 1974 §16-2]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any business or person owning, managing, occupying or using any lot or premises to erect, display or allow the erection or display of any sign or device:
1. 
Without first having obtained a permit from the Director of Minimum Housing or a variance from the zoning Board of Adjustment.
2. 
Without first having made full payment of all application fees due for such permit based on the schedule established in this Chapter.
3. 
Which is beyond the scope of or varies from the permit issued or variance granted for said sign or device.
4. 
Which violates any Section in this Chapter governing standards or prohibitions of signs or devices.
5. 
Which is unsafe or insecure and liable to injure any person or property.

Section 520.030 Sign Permit Requirements.

[CC 2000 §8-6-3; CC 1974 §§16-3, 16-5 — 16-8]
A. 
Application For Permit — Issuance.
1. 
No sign permit shall be granted until an application has been submitted for the sign and there is approval by the Director of Minimum Housing. The application shall be on an approved form and any information about the applicant, property owner and proposed sign that is deemed pertinent by the Director of Minimum Housing may be requested. The application shall include a drawing illustrating the proposed sign and shall show the plans and specifications, including dimensions, materials and details of construction, of the proposed sign and sign structure. If the applicant is not the owner of the lot or premises on which the sign is being constructed, he/she shall identify the owner and any manager of the property by name and address and obtain their written consent to the construction of the proposed sign.
2. 
The Director of Minimum Housing shall not approve any application until all permit fees have been paid, he/she is satisfied that all of the provisions of this Chapter relating to the sign and the sign structure have been complied with and, further, that he/she is satisfied that all provisions of the Building, Electrical and Fire Prevention Codes of the City relating to the sign and the sign structure have been complied with.
B. 
Permit Fees.
1. 
The following schedule of fees shall be established for the erection and display of any sign for which a permit is required by this Chapter:
Basic application fee
$20.00
An additional square footage fee shall be charged as follows:
Up to 25 square feet
$5.00
25 to 50 square feet
$6.00
51 to 75 square feet
$7.00
76 to 100 square feet
$8.00
In excess of 100 square feet
$8.00 plus $0.25 per each additional sq. ft.
2. 
If a single sign shall have more than one (1) message-bearing face, the square footage for each sign face shall be separately determined and assessed.
C. 
Appeals Upon Permit Denial. Anyone applying for a permit for a sign under the provisions of this Chapter, whose application has been denied by the Director of Minimum Housing, may appeal to the zoning Board of Adjustment for the issuance of such permit on such conditions as it may set.
D. 
Exemptions. The following signs shall be exempted from permit and application fees otherwise required by this Chapter so long as they are not illuminated signs and that they comply with all other standards and prohibitions required by this Chapter:
1. 
Temporary real estate signs not exceeding six (6) square feet in sign area which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which said sign is located and not to number more than one (1) sign per lot.
2. 
Changeable copy bulletin boards not over twenty-five (25) square feet in sign area displayed in public, charitable or religious institutions and which are located on the premises of said institution.
3. 
Temporary signs denoting the architect, engineer or contractor when placed upon premises where work is under construction, which do not exceed sixteen (16) square feet in sign area and which are limited to one (1) sign per project.
4. 
Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible materials.
5. 
Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, railroad crossing signs, danger signs and such temporary, emergency or other non-advertising signs as may be approved by the Director of Minimum Housing.
6. 
Temporary political signs, not in excess of six (6) square feet, displayed within sixty (60) days prior to the election to which the sign pertains. Said signs shall be removed within two (2) days after the election.
7. 
Except in the "A" Residential District and in the "C" Multiple-Dwelling District, a sign or nameplate listing the profession and the name of the person engaged in the practice of his/her profession as an attorney, physician, surgeon, dentist, professional engineer, notary public, accountant or architect at the premises on which the sign is located so long as there is only one (1) sign per lot and said sign does not exceed three (3) square feet in sign area.
8. 
Temporary signs placed in windows pricing perishable goods or merchandise on sale which does not exceed more than one (1) square foot in sign area and which is removed within ten (10) days.
9. 
There shall be a limit of three (3) advertising signs allowed for the sales enumerated herein, which signs shall be no larger than two (2) square feet in area and posted no more than five (5) days prior to the date of the sale. Said signs must be removed no later than 6:00 P.M. the day following the sale. All signs shall have the permit number affixed thereto.
10. 
Signs conveying warnings to passersby (such as "no trespassing", "private property", "beware of dog", etc.) which do not exceed one (1) square foot in sign area and which are limited to two (2) signs per lot; providing, that residential lots fronting on two (2) streets may have two (2) additional signs.
11. 
Churches and non-profit organizations.
E. 
Permits Non-Transferable. Permits shall be issued only in the name of the applicant and to the location for which the application is made. Permits shall not be transferable from the applicant to another person nor shall they be transferable from the approved location to another location.

Section 520.040 General Standards.

[CC 2000 §8-6-4; CC 1974 §16-8]
A. 
The following general standards shall apply to all signs, including exempted signs, where applicable:
1. 
Location. All signs and devices must be located on the property of the business, building or residence that they advertise, describe or pertain to.
2. 
Maintenance and repair. All signs and devices must be kept in good repair and supporting structures must be kept in an upright condition. Painting shall be required a minimum of every two (2) years, except when the sign or device is galvanized or otherwise treated to prevent rust or unless made of non-corroding material.
3. 
Identification. Every sign or device erected or displayed shall be plainly marked with the name of the person or business erecting and displaying such sign, the permit number, the date of erection and the voltage of any electrical apparatus.
4. 
Illuminated signs. Illuminated signs are allowed to operate only during such hours that the business is actually opened to the public or attended in person by the owner or an employee.
5. 
Removal of signs. It shall be the duty of any property owner, property manager and permit holder to remove any sign or device, including its supports, within thirty (30) days after vacating any premises.
6. 
Construction specifications. All signs shall be constructed of metal, weatherproof pressed particle board, molded plastic or other non-combustible material designed to withstand a horizontal wind pressure of not less than thirty (30) pounds for every square foot of exposed sign area.
7. 
Number of signs. Each building occupied by one (1) person or business shall be allowed a maximum of two (2) signs requiring a permit.
8. 
Business signs. Each business located in a building or store having more than one (1) business tenant shall be allowed more signs as follows:
a. 
Each business located on the street level of the building shall be allowed one (1) window sign and one (1) building sign;
b. 
Each business located on the second (2nd) or higher levels of said building shall be allowed only one (1) window sign.
Providing it has sufficient foot frontage, the building shall be allowed one (1) post sign for the use of all businesses within the building. No business shall be allowed more than one (1) illuminated sign or device on the premises.
9. 
Special events. A device may be displayed only for a period of no more than seven (7) days, which seven (7) days immediately precede or are concurrent with the special event or occasion to which they pertain and may be erected only after a special permit has been obtained from the Director of Minimum Housing.

Section 520.050 Prohibited Signs.

[CC 2000 §8-6-5; CC 1974 §16-9; Ord. No. 693, 8-18-1986]
A. 
The following signs and devices are prohibited in the City:
1. 
Billboards.
2. 
Signs or devices which, by color, location or design, resemble or conflict with traffic control signs or devices.
3. 
Beacon-type lights.
4. 
Revolving or rotating signs or devices of any type.
5. 
Signs or devices which, when erected or displayed, prevent free ingress or egress from any door, window or fire escape.
6. 
Signs or devices which are attached to a standpipe or fire escape or any floating balloon-type sign attached by a cable and/or other devices in the City.
7. 
Signs or devices which make use of the words "stop", "look", "danger" or any other word, phrase, symbol or character that may tend to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
8. 
Signs or devices which obstruct free and clear vision of traffic on any street or intersection.
9. 
Paper posters and painted signs applied directly to the wall of a building, pole or other support.
10. 
Signs or devices which contain obscene, indecent or immoral words, language, illustrations or other matter which tend to be offensive to passers-by and constitute an affront to the community standard of decency in the City.
11. 
Signs, devices or portions thereof which extend or protrude over and to within fifteen (15) feet of any roadway or curb or which extend or protrude over and into any other street or railroad.
12. 
Signs attached to, painted on or placed on commercial or business vehicles, including a trailer that is parked in public view on private property. This provision is not to be construed as prohibiting the identification of a firm or its principal products on a vehicle operating during the normal course of business or parked after business hours, provided parking takes place in as inconspicuous a manner as possible and the duration of the parking does not exceed a period of sixteen (16) hours, except on weekends or holidays, with the exception of the industrialized area with proper zoning.
13. 
Flashing or moving signs.
14. 
Portable display surfaces.
15. 
Temporary signs.
16. 
Portable signs.

Section 520.060 Special Standards and Prohibitions.

[CC 2000 §8-6-6; CC 1974 §§16-10 — 16-14]
A. 
Signs In The "A" Residential District. The only signs which may be displayed on lots or premises in areas zoned "A" residential are those exempted under Section 520.030(D)(1,5 — 6, 9 — 10) of this Chapter. No lot or premises zoned "A" residential may display any sign or device requiring a permit under this Chapter nor may there be displayed any other type of sign not herein specified.
B. 
Directional Signs. Post signs indicating the direction to any business or place for the purpose of informing the public of entrances, exits and parking may be erected and displayed on the premises under the following conditions:
1. 
The Director of Minimum Housing shall investigate and make his/her finding that the sign will serve a public purpose and that a public necessity for such directional sign exists.
2. 
Each sign shall not exceed six (6) square feet in area, shall meet all construction requirements and be erected under the actual supervision of the Director of Minimum Housing or his/her deputy in a manner and at a height so as not to interfere with the ordinary and lawful use of the street and in no event at a height exceeding five (5) feet from ground level.
3. 
The Director of Minimum Housing shall issue a special permit for each such sign which may be summarily revoked if he/she determines the original reasons for issuance of the sign permit no longer exist.
C. 
Signs On Posts. In addition to meeting all other requirements set forth in this Chapter, all signs erected or displayed on a stationary post shall conform to the following standards:
1. 
They shall be limited in number to one (1) such sign for each full fifty (50) feet of frontage to the lot.
2. 
The total height (from ground level to the top of the sign) shall not exceed either twenty-four (24) feet or the actual height of the building plus ten (10) feet, whichever is less.
3. 
The sign area shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet on a lot or premises zoned "B" Commercial or "C" Multiple Dwelling and shall not exceed sixty (60) square feet on a lot or premises zoned "D" Industrial.
D. 
Building Signs. In addition to meeting all other requirements set forth in this Chapter, all signs erected or displayed by being wholly or partially attached or affixed to a building shall conform to the following standards:
1. 
They shall not extend in height more than five (5) feet above the actual height of the building.
2. 
The sign area, or the cumulative sign area if more than one (1) sign is displayed, shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the total area of the side of the building on which they are displayed.
3. 
They may be erected and displayed only on those sides of the building which front a named and designated street or roadway.
4. 
They shall not project more than twelve (12) inches from the face of the building.
E. 
Window Signs. In addition to meeting all other requirements set forth in this Chapter, all signs erected or displayed in a window shall conform to the following standards:
1. 
When a solid-backed or permanent painted sign is displayed, sign area shall not exceed thirty percent (30%) of the area of the windowpane and no other sign can be displayed in the remaining seventy percent (70%).
2. 
Any sign displayed in a window must be arranged such that a clear view into the interior of the building is available from the outside.

Section 520.070 Variances.

[CC 2000 §8-6-7; CC 1974 §16-7]
The zoning Board of Adjustment shall allow a variance only where it finds there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships involved for the applicant and/or where the public interest will be best served by allowing such variance.

Section 520.080 Penalty.

[CC 2000 §8-6-8; CC 1974 §16-4]
Any person or business violating this Chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalty provided in Section 100.220 of this Code. Each sign or device in violation of this Chapter shall constitute a separate offense and each day any violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.