Town of Barton, WI
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The language set forth in the text of this chapter shall be interpreted in accordance with the following rules of construction:
A. 
Singular and plural. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
B. 
Tense. The present tense includes the past and future tenses, and the future the present.
C. 
Shall and may. The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive.
D. 
Gender. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter genders.
E. 
Defined words and terms. Whenever a word or term defined hereinafter appears in the text of this chapter, its meaning shall be construed as set forth in the definition thereof, and any word appearing in parentheses between a word and its definition herein shall be construed in the same sense as that word.
F. 
Words not defined herein. Any words not defined in this article shall be presumed to have their customary dictionary definitions.
G. 
The words "this chapter" shall mean this Sign Ordinance of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AWNING
A structure overhang made of canvas, metal, wood, plastic, or other like material extended before a window, door, portico, or entrance to a building.
BANNER
A sign having characters, letters, symbols or illustrations, which is typically nonilluminated, elongated, made of or applied to cloth, paper, or fabric of any kind, with or without a frame, and usually used as a temporary display for the special announcement of a coming event.
BILLBOARD
See definition for "sign, off-site or off-premises."
BUFFER YARD
An area of land within the boundaries of a lot or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of natural existing vegetation or using trees, shrubs, fences, and/or berms, designed to limit continuously the view and/or sound from the lot or site to adjacent lots or sites. Buffer yards are typically defined by a delineated easement graphically indicated on the face of a site plan, landscape plan, certified survey map, subdivision plat, or condominium plat. Buffer yards may be required between zoning districts and/or land uses to eliminate or minimize conflicts between them as set forth in Chapter 500, Zoning, as amended.
CANOPY
See definition of "awning."
COPY
The wording on a sign surface in either permanent or removable letter form.
COPY, CHANGEABLE
A sign message such as a manual, electronic, or electric-controlled time and temperature message, message center or reader board, whether electronic, electric or manual, where copy changes.
ERECT
In terms of signage, to build, construct, attach, hang, place, suspend, or affix, and shall also include the painting of wall signs.
FACADE
The elevational surface of a building.
FASCIA
A band located at the top edge of a building but below the actual roofline and above the building wall. Fascia material is typically of a different type than either the actual roof or the building wall.
FENCE
A barrier of posts, wire, rails, boards, metal sheets, trees, shrub hedge, or other material which is used as a boundary or means of protection or confinement.
FLAGS
Devices generally made of flexible materials, such as cloth, paper, or plastic, and displayed on strings or wires.
GRADE
For the purposes of determining sign height, the elevation or level of the public street closest to the sign as measured at the street center line.
HEIGHT, SIGN
The vertical distance as measured from the grade of the edge of pavement of the closest street right-of-way from which the sign is located to the highest point of such sign.
HEIGHT, STRUCTURE
The vertical distance measured from the average ground elevation to the highest point on such structure.
LOT OF RECORD
An area of land designated as a lot on a plat of subdivision or certified survey map recorded or registered pursuant to statute.
MAINTENANCE, SIGN
The cleaning, painting, repair, or replacement of defective parts of a sign in a manner that does not change or alter the basic copy, design, or structure of the sign.
MURAL
A picture or photograph painted or applied directly on a wall and which in no way identifies a product.
PENNANTS
See definition of "flags."
ROOFLINE
The top or bottom edge of a roof or building parapet, whichever, excluding any cupolas, pylons, chimneys, or other minor projections.
SIGN
Any object, device, display, structure, supporting structure, or part thereof, situated outdoors or indoors, which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct, or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, religious group, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, figures, designs, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination, or projected images. Signs do not include the flag or emblem of any nation, organization of nations, state, county, city, town, or religious, fraternal, or civic organization; also merchandise and pictures or models of products or services incorporated in a window display, works of art which in no way identify a product, or scoreboards located on athletic fields.
SIGN, ABANDONED
A sign which no longer correctly advertises a bona fide business, lessor, owner, product, or activity conducted or product available on the premises where the sign is displayed or elsewhere.
SIGN, AREA OF
The total surface of a sign, including its background and frame, but not structural supporting elements outside its frame. Where a sign is composed of letters, characters, or symbols applied to a frame or to a background which provides no border or frame, the area of the sign shall be the smallest rectangle, triangle, or circle which will include the sign display.
SIGN, AUXILIARY
A sign which provides special information such as direction, price, sales information, hours of operation or warning and which does not include names, brand names, or information regarding product lines or services. Examples of such signs include directories of tenants in buildings, "no trespassing" signs, and signs which list prices of gasoline.
SIGN, AWNING/CANOPY
A sign which is fastened to an awning or canopy, including signs which are attached by metal screws, or metal bands that are hung from, or attached to, the underside of a parapet wall or roof eave and made of any material.
SIGN, BALLOON
A sign supported by wind, air, or other gas and attached to the ground, a building, structure, or other sign.
SIGN, CONSTRUCTION
A temporary sign identifying an architect, contractor, subcontractor, and/or material supplier participating in construction on the property on which the sign is located.
SIGN, DEVELOPMENT
Any sign whose purpose is exclusively limited to the identification of a platted subdivision, condominium, or development and which names such subdivision, condominium, or development without further elaboration, display, or advertisement.
SIGN, DIRECTORY
A sign used to identify the tenants of a shopping center, business park, office park, or industrial parks.
SIGN, ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Signs which support a candidate for public office or measures on an election ballot.
SIGN, FASCIA
A sign that is located on the fascia of a building.
SIGN, FENCE
A sign that is located, placed upon, or attached to a fence.
SIGN, FREESTANDING
A self-supporting sign resting on or supported by means of poles, standards, or any other type of base on the ground and not supported by or attached to a building.
SIGN, GOVERNMENTAL
Any sign used for posting legal notices, identification of streets, traffic regulation, notice of danger, or other emergencies by a governmental authority.
SIGN, GROUND
See definition of "sign, freestanding."
SIGN, ILLUMINATED
A sign which has characters, letters, figures, designs or outlines illuminated by electric lights or luminous tubes designed and provided for such illumination.
SIGN, INFLATABLE
See definition of "sign, balloon."
SIGN, MARQUEE
A permanent sign containing changeable copy which is used to announce special events or information. A portable sign or a temporary sign shall not be considered a marquee.
SIGN, MEMORIAL AND PLAQUE
Any sign or tablet used for the purpose of identifying the names of buildings and the date of erection and which are cut into any masonry surface or inlaid so as to be part of the building or structure or which are attached to a building or structure and which are constructed of bronze or other noncombustible material.
SIGN, MESSENGER
A sign displaying the time, date, temperature, or other information.
SIGN, NONCONFORMING
A sign which does not meet the requirements of this chapter.
SIGN, NONCONFORMING (ILLEGAL)
A sign that did not meet Town regulations, codes, and ordinances when it was originally installed and/or does not meet the regulations of this chapter if constructed or erected subsequent to the adoption of this chapter.
SIGN, NONCONFORMING (LEGAL)
A sign that did meet Town regulations, codes, and ordinances when it was originally installed but does not meet the regulations of this chapter.
SIGN, NONILLUMINATED
A sign which is not illuminated by lights designed and provided for the purpose, either external or internal.
SIGN, OFF-SITE DIRECTIONAL
A sign that provides off-site directional information following a standard format for important municipal, emergency, or educational uses or identifies general commercial areas or places.
SIGN, OFF-SITE OR OFF-PREMISES
A sign which is not located on the same property as the establishment which the sign's message pertains to or where the product, service, or activity is not present or where the message does not pertain to the use of the site.
SIGN, ON-SITE DIRECTIONAL
A sign indicating the direction or location of some on-site facility or service incidental to a use and not advertising the use in any way. Such signs shall include vehicular entrance and exit signs, vehicular flow signs, and instructional signs.
SIGN, ON-SITE OR ON-PREMISES
A sign which is located on the same property as the establishment which the sign's message pertains to or where the product, service, or activity is present or where the message pertains to the use of the site upon which the sign is located.
SIGN, PAINTED WALL
Any sign which is applied with paint or similar substance on the face of a building wall.
SIGN, PERMANENT
A sign displayed for more than 30 consecutive days, made of materials intended for more than short-term use, and which is not a temporary sign as defined in this chapter.
SIGN PERMIT
The permit required by this chapter prior to a sign being located, erected, moved, reconstructed, enlarged, expanded, altered, converted, operated, placed, or relocated where such sign complies with all provisions of this chapter.
SIGN, PORTABLE
A permanent sign mounted on a frame and/or chassis which is designed for easy and repeated relocation.
SIGN, REAL ESTATE
A temporary sign advertising the real estate upon which the sign is located as being for rent, lease, or sale.
SIGN, ROOF
Any sign erected upon, against, or above the lowest roofline of any building or structure.
SIGN, SANDWICH
A sign which is movable and not secured or attached directly or indirectly to the ground, structure, or building.
SIGN, SNIPE
A temporary sign or poster affixed to a pole, tree, structure, building, fence, etc.
SIGN STRUCTURE
Any device or material which supports, has supported, or is capable of supporting a sign in a stationary position, including decorative covers or sign roofs.
SIGN, TEMPORARY
A sign or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric, paper, plywood, or other light material and intended to be displayed for a short period of time (30 or less consecutive days) not more than three times per calendar year. Included in this category are retailers' signs temporarily displayed for the purpose of informing the public of a sale or special offer.
SIGN, TRESPASSING
A sign intended to warn off trespassers upon the property which the sign is located.
SIGN, UNDER-CANOPY
A sign suspended beneath a canopy.
SIGN, USE
The sign(s) permitted for each land use.
SIGN, WALL
A sign mounted parallel to a building facade or other vertical building or structure surface. Wall signs shall also include those signs which are placed below the outside edge of a building overhang and those which are placed below the lowest roofline.
SIGN, WINDOW
A sign painted or installed on a window surface for purposes of viewing from outside the premises.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected which requires location on the ground, including a fence or freestanding wall. A sign, billboard, or other advertising medium, detached or projecting, shall be construed to be a structure.
WALL
An upright surface of a building or structure (not including fences) serving to enclose, divide, support, or protect the building. Such upright surface shall be the furthest extension of the building's edges and include overhangs covering a boardwalk, false roofs, and unenclosed porches.
YARD, FRONT
A yard extending along the full length of the front lot line between the side lot lines.
YARD, REAR
A yard extending along the full length of the rear lot line between the side lot lines. On a corner lot, the rear yard shall be that yard directly opposite the front yard.
YARD, SIDE
A yard extending along a side lot line from the front yard to the rear yard.
ZONING ADMINISTRATOR
The Zoning Administrator of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin.
ZONING LOT
A single tract of land located within a single block which (at the time of filing for a sign permit) is designated by its owner or developer as a tract to be used, developed, or built upon as a unit, under single ownership or control. Therefore, a zoning lot may or may not coincide with a lot of record.