Village of Clyman, WI
Dodge County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 440-47 Purpose of regulations.

The purpose of this article is to establish minimum standards to safeguard life and property and promote public welfare and community aesthetics by regulating the appearance, construction, location and maintenance of all signs, awnings, canopies and billboards. The provisions herein contained shall be binding alike upon every owner of a building, every lessee and every person in charge or responsible for or who causes the construction, repair, relocation or alteration of any outdoor sign and other advertising structures in the Village of Clyman; painting, posting and general maintenance are excepted.

§ 440-48 Definitions.

The following definitions are used in this article:
AREA OF SIGN
The area is the perimeter which forms the outside shape, but excluding the necessary supports or uprights on which the sign may be placed unless they are designed as part of the sign. If the sign consists of more than one section or module, all areas will be totaled. The area of an irregularly shaped sign shall be computed using the actual sign face surface. The area of the irregularly shaped sign shall be the entire area within a single continuous rectilinear perimeter of not more than eight straight lines.
AWNING
A temporary hood or cover which projects from the wall of the building, which can be retracted, folded or collapsed against the face of a supporting structure.
BILLBOARD
A sign which advertises goods, products or facilities, or services not necessarily on the premises where the sign is located or directs persons to a different location from where the sign is located.
BLANKETING
The unreasonable obstruction of view of a sign caused by the placement of another sign.
CANOPY
A canopy is a shelter, with or without a sign, attached to or connected with a building and extending into a setback or over the public sidewalk.
DAY
A day shall be designated as a period of time in terms of calendar days.
DIRECTLY ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign designed to give any artificial light directly through any transparent or translucent material from a source of light originating within or on such sign.
DIRECTORY SIGN
Any sign on which the names and locations of occupants or the use of a building is given. This shall include offices and church directories. Directory signs shall be encouraged for use with advertising of multiple-occupancy commercial and industrial buildings.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE UNIT SIGN
Any sign whose message may be changed by electronic process, including such messages as copy, art, graphics, time, date, temperature, weather or information concerning civic, charitable or other noncommercial activities, or the advertising of products or services for sale on the premises. This also includes traveling or segmented message displays.
FLASHING SIGN
Any directly or indirectly illuminated sign on which artificial light is not maintained stationary and constant in intensity and color at all times when in use.
FREESTANDING (GROUND and/or POLE SIGN)
Any sign which is supported by structures or supports in or upon the ground and independent of support from any building.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN
Any sign which carries only the name of the firm, major enterprise, institution or principal products offered for sale on the premises or combination of these.
INDIRECTLY ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign that is illuminated from a source outside of the actual sign.
MARQUEE
A permanent roof-like structure projecting beyond a building wall at an entrance to a building or extending along and projecting beyond the building's wall and generally designed and constructed to provide protection against weather.
MARQUEE SIGN
Any sign attached to and made part of a marquee.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
Any sign which does not conform to the regulations of this chapter.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN
Any sign, device or display which advertises goods other than that commonly available or services other than that commonly performed on the premises on which the sign is located.
POLITICAL SIGN
Any sign displaying a candidate for an election or a current election's subject matter.
PORTABLE SIGN/MESSAGE BOARDS
Any sign not permanently attached to the ground which is designed to be easily moved from one location to another.
PROJECTING SIGN
Any sign extending more than 18 inches, but less than four feet, from the face of a wall or building; such sign may not extend more than three feet into the right-of-way.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
Any sign which is used to offer for sale, lease or rent the property upon which the sign is placed.
ROOF SIGN
Any sign erected upon or over the roof or parapet of any building.
SIGN
A sign shall include anything that promotes, calls attention or invites patronage (or anything similar to the aforementioned) to a business, location or product.
TEMPORARY SIGN
Any sign which is erected or displayed for a limited period of time not to exceed 28 consecutive days or which is displayed only during regular business hours and removed for storage at other times. A temporary sign shall not exceed eight square feet in area. Examples of temporary signs include banners and decorative-type displays. For purposes of this chapter, a portable sign is not a temporary sign.
WALL SIGN
Any sign attached to, erected on or painted on the wall of a building or structure and projecting not more than 16 inches from such wall.
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign located completely within an enclosed building and visible from a public way. For purposes of this chapter, a window sign shall not include any sign permanently attached in the window or directly painted on the glass.

§ 440-49 Required permits.

A. 
Application. Except those specified in § 440-50, no signs, billboards, awnings or canopies shall hereafter be located, erected, moved, reconstructed, extended, enlarged, converted or structurally altered without a sign permit and without being in conformity with the provisions of this article. The sign shall also meet all other structural requirements of other applicable codes and ordinances of the Village of Clyman. If the sign will affect the structural strength of a building, is large enough to require structural supports and bracing, or is to have electrical wiring, a building permit from the Building Inspector shall also be required. Signs shall not be erected or altered until a permit has been issued by the Zoning Administrator. "Altered" shall be defined as any modification in the size, height, dimensions, location or mounting of a sign other than routine maintenance.
B. 
Required information. Application for a sign permit shall be made, in writing, upon forms furnished by the Village which contain the following information about the sign: dimensions, including display surface; materials; illumination; wiring; height above grade; distance from lot lines; and the person, firm or corporation erecting or altering the sign. A permit is not required for a copy change when no change in business name is involved.
C. 
Permit fees. Required permit fees shall be paid to the Village Clerk-Treasurer for each sign permit issued under this article; provided, however, that a fee shall not be charged for putting an existing sign in conformity with this article or for a copy change when no change in business name is involved.
D. 
Insurance. Any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of erecting, repairing, maintaining or relocating any sign shall maintain in effect at all times a policy of liability insurance with limits of $100,000 for bodily injury, $200,000, aggregate, and $100,000 property damage. Proof of insurance shall be presented to the Zoning Administrator before the sign permit is granted.
E. 
Inspection. The applicant shall, upon completion of the installation, relocation or alteration of the sign, notify the Zoning Administrator who will assure the sign complies with the regulations of this article. If a building permit was also required, the applicant shall also notify the Building Inspector.
F. 
Appeals. The Zoning Administrator may, at any time for a violation of this article, revoke a permit or require changes so the sign conforms with this article. The holder of a revoked permit shall be entitled to an appeal before the Village Board. Any person, firm or corporation aggrieved by any permit denial or decision by the Zoning Administrator relative to the provisions of these sign regulations may appeal and seek review of such decision to the Village Board.

§ 440-50 Signs not requiring permit.

All signs are prohibited in all residential, agricultural, public and semipublic, and natural preservation districts except the following:
A. 
Warning signs not to exceed four square feet located on the premises.
B. 
Memorial signs, tablets, names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of metal and affixed flat against the structure.
C. 
Official signs, such as traffic control, parking restriction, information and notices.
D. 
Rummage or garage sale signs not to exceed eight square feet in area, but use of this type of sign shall be limited to 72 hours per sale.
E. 
Signs designating entrances, exits, service areas, parking areas, rest rooms and other such signs relating to functional operation of the building or premises shall be permitted without limitation other than reasonable size and necessity.
F. 
Signs not exceeding two square feet in area and bearing only property numbers, post box numbers or names of occupants of premises.
G. 
Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion.
H. 
Legal notices, identification information or directional signs erected by governmental bodies.
I. 
Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights.
J. 
Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter.
K. 
Political message signs during an election campaign, as defined in § 12.04(1), Wis. Stats., limited to one per premises, and subject to the Village Board's authority to regulate size, shape and placement for the public safety. Political signs may be posted 60 days before an election and must be removed within 10 days after said election. Said sign shall be a maximum of 32 square feet.
L. 
Window (interior) signs are allowed with no permits.
M. 
Signs over show windows or doors of a nonconforming business establishment announcing without display or elaboration only the name and occupation of the proprietor and not to exceed two feet in height and 10 feet in length.
N. 
House numbers or signs identifying parks or country clubs or official bulletin boards.
O. 
Real estate signs not to exceed eight square feet in area which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which such signs are temporarily located.
P. 
Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions not to exceed 16 square feet in area located on the premises.
Q. 
Agricultural signs pertaining to the products at the agricultural premises not to exceed 30 square feet in area for any one farm.

§ 440-51 Permitted commercial and industrial signs.

A. 
Permitted signs. The following signs shall require a permit to be issued by the Village of Clyman. Signs may be permitted in all commercial, planned unit development (commercial/industrial) and industrial districts, subject to the following restrictions:
(1) 
Wall signs. Wall signs placed against the exterior walls of buildings shall not extend more than six inches outside of the wall surface; shall not exceed 500 square feet of area for any one premises and shall not exceed 20 feet in height above the mean center-line street grade.
(2) 
Projecting signs; collapsible awnings. Projecting signs and collapsible awnings fastened to, suspended from or supported by structures shall not exceed 100 square feet in area for any one premises; extend more than six feet into the required yard; shall not extend more than three feet into any public right-of-way; shall not be less than five feet from all side lot lines except awnings; shall not exceed a height of 23 feet above the mean center-line street grade; shall not be less than 10 feet above the sidewalk, except eight feet for awning, nor 18 feet above a driveway or an alley.
(3) 
Ground signs. Ground signs shall not exceed 20 feet in height above the mean center-line street grade; shall meet all yard requirements for the district in which it is located and only one sign for each street frontage shall be permitted.
(4) 
Roof signs. Roof signs shall not exceed 10 feet in height above the roof; shall meet all the yard requirements for the district in which it is located; and shall not exceed 300 square feet in area on any one premises.
(5) 
Window signs. Window signs shall be placed only on the inside of commercial buildings and shall not exceed 25% of the glass area of the pane upon which the sign is displayed.
(6) 
Combinations of signs. Combinations of any of the above signs shall meet all the requirements for the individual signs.
B. 
Facing. No sign except those permitted in Subsection A shall be permitted to face a residence district within 100 feet.
C. 
Lighting. Business and industrial signs may be internally lighted or illuminated by a hooded reflector; provided, however, that such lighting shall be arranged to prevent glare and no sign shall be lighted by a light of intermittent or varying intensity. Animated signs, or signs having moving parts, or signs which may be mistaken for traffic signal devices, or which diminish the visibility or effectiveness of such traffic signal devices are prohibited.
D. 
Signs causing obstruction prohibited. Any sign so erected, constructed or maintained as to obstruct or be attached to any fire escape, window, door or opening used as means of ingress or egress, or for firefighting purposes, or placed so as to interfere with any opening required for legal ventilation is prohibited.
E. 
Signs at intersection prohibited. No sign or advertising device shall be erected or maintained at the intersection of streets in such a manner as to obstruct clear vision of the intersection.
F. 
Temporary signs accessory to subdivision developments or other permitted improvements in residential districts. Subject to the following:
(1) 
Content. The signs shall be only for the purpose of identification of homes for sale or rent in the subdivision under construction, or for the identification of other nonresidential uses under construction.
(2) 
Area, number and setback. Such signs shall not exceed two in number for each subdivision or 50 square feet each in area. They shall observe the front yard requirement of the principal use and shall be located at least 50 feet from all other boundaries of the site.
(3) 
Height. No sign shall project higher than eight feet above curb level.
(4) 
Time limitations. The sign or signs shall be removed by the applicant or property owner within two years of the date of the issuance of a sign permit.
G. 
Subdivision identification signs. Subject to the following:
(1) 
Content. The signs shall bear only the name of the subdivision or development.
(2) 
Area and number. There shall be not more than two signs located at each entrance to a subdivision. No sign shall exceed 32 square feet in area. Such identification signs shall only be erected after review and approved by the Zoning Administrator.
(3) 
Height. No sign shall project higher than 12 feet above curb level; the Village Board may, however, temporarily authorize a larger sign for a period not to exceed two years.
(4) 
Permit. A sign permit is required for this type of sign. Drawings showing the specific design, appearance and location of the sign shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator for approval. The location of any such sign shall be at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator based upon the character of the area, the type and purpose of the sign and the length of time permitted.
H. 
Nonflashing, illuminated church bulletins. Subject to the following:
(1) 
Area and number. There shall be not more than one sign per lot; on corner lots two signs (one facing each street) shall be permitted. No sign shall exceed 16 square feet in area or be closer than eight feet from any other zoning lot.
(2) 
Projection. No sign shall project beyond the property line into the public way.
(3) 
Height. No sign shall project higher than one story or 15 feet above the curb level, whichever is lower.

§ 440-52 Landscape features.

Landscape features, such as plant materials, berms, boulders, fencing and similar design elements incorporated or in conjunction with the freestanding signs are encouraged and shall not be counted as allowable sign area.

§ 440-53 Prohibited signs.

A. 
Traffic interference. Signs shall not resemble, imitate or approximate the shape, size, form or color of railroad or traffic signs or devices. Signs, canopies and awnings shall not obstruct or interfere with the effectiveness of railroad or traffic signs, signals or devices or the safe flow of traffic. No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window or fire escape. No sign, awning or canopy shall be placed so as to obstruct or interfere with traffic visibility.
B. 
Moving or flashing signs. No sign shall be erected which has any flashing, rotating or brilliant intermittent parts or lights or bare reflecting-type bulbs, except those giving public service information, such as time, date, temperature, weather or similar information, or where allowed by conditional use permit. No signs, billboards or other advertising media which creates a hazard or dangerous distraction to vehicular traffic or a nuisance to adjoining residential property shall be permitted in any district.
C. 
Signs on public rights-of-way. Signs shall not be permitted on public rights-of-way, except for municipal traffic control, parking and directional signs and as otherwise specified in this chapter, or be located within five feet of a property line.

§ 440-54 Dangerous and abandoned signs.

A. 
Removal of dangerous signs. All signs shall be removed by the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is located if, in the judgment of the Zoning Administrator, such sign is so old, dilapidated or has become so out of repair as to be dangerous or unsafe, whichever occurs first. If the owner or lessee fails to remove it, the Zoning Administrator may remove the sign at cost of the owner, following adequate written notice. The owner may appeal the decision of the Zoning Administrator to the Village Board.
B. 
Abandoned signs. Except as otherwise herein provided, all sign messages shall be removed by the owner or lessee of the premises upon which an off-premises sign is located when the business it advertised is no longer conducted where advertised. If the owner or lessee fails to remove the sign, the Zoning Administrator shall give the owner 60 days' written notice to remove said sign, and thereafter, upon the owner's or lessee's failure to comply, may remove such sign, any costs for which shall be charged to the owner of the property or may be assessed as a special assessment against the property, and/or the Zoning Administrator may take any other appropriate legal action necessary to attain compliance.
C. 
Violations. All signs constructed or maintained in violation of any of the provisions of this article after the date of adoption are hereby declared public nuisances within the meaning of this Code. In addition to the penalty provisions for violations of this article, the Zoning Administrator or Village Board may bring an action to abate the nuisance in the manner set forth in the Wisconsin Statutes.

§ 440-55 Variances or exceptions.

Variances or exceptions to these sign regulations may be granted by the Board of Appeals following a recommendation from the Village Board and Zoning Administrator pursuant to the standards of this chapter.

§ 440-56 Construction and maintenance regulations for signs.

A. 
Installation. All signs shall be properly secured, supported and braced and shall be kept in reasonable structural condition and shall be kept clean and well painted at all times. Bolts or screws shall not be fastened to window frames. Every sign and its framework, braces, anchors and other supports shall be constructed of such material and with such workmanship as to be safe and satisfactory to the Zoning Administrator and/or Building Inspector.
B. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Construction standards. All signs, except flat signs and those signs weighing less than 10 pounds, shall be designed, fastened and constructed to withstand a wind pressure of not less than 30 pounds per square foot of area and shall be constructed, attached, fastened or anchored to adequately support the dead load and any anticipated live loads (i.e., ice, snow) of the sign.
(2) 
Illuminated signs. Any illuminated signs shall not interfere with surrounding properties or traffic.
(3) 
Roof signs. No sign shall be located so as to project above the parapet line unless approved by the Zoning Administrator.
(4) 
Projection. Signs, including supports, shall not interfere with surrounding properties or traffic.
(5) 
Prohibited mounting. No signs shall be painted on, attached to or affixed to any trees, rocks, or other similar organic or inorganic natural matter, including utility poles or apparatus.
(6) 
Blanketing. Blanketing of signs on buildings shall not be allowed.
(7) 
Maintenance. All signs, including supports and attachments, shall be properly maintained and have an appearance that is neat and clean. All signs shall be kept in good structural condition, well painted, and clean at all times and the immediate premises shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary and inoffensive condition and kept free and clear of all obnoxious substances, rubbish and weeds.
(8) 
Annexed areas. All signs in newly annexed areas shall comply with this article within five years of annexation.

§ 440-57 Special sign requirements.

A. 
Electronic message unit signs.
(1) 
Such signs may be used only to advertise activities conducted on the premises or to present public service information.
(2) 
Segmented messages must be displayed for not less than 1/2 second nor more than 10 seconds.
(3) 
Traveling messages may travel no slower than 16 light columns per second and no faster than 32 columns per second.
B. 
Portable signs/message boards. Such signs shall be limited in use to 15 days at a time following approval by the Zoning Administrator; provided, however, that the Zoning Administrator shall not give approval for placement of a portable sign/message board if it presents a vision obstruction; such signs shall not be displayed more frequently than four times per calendar year at any one location, and not more than 15 days each time. The maximum size of a portable sign/message board shall be 10 square feet on each face, back to back. Portable signs/message boards shall not be located in any public rights-of-way and shall be securely fastened to prevent any hazardous condition.
C. 
Search lights. The Zoning Administrator may permit the temporary use of a searchlight for advertising purposes in any district, provided that the searchlight will not be located in any public right-of-way, will not be located closer than 10 feet to an adjacent property and will not cause a hazard to traffic or adjoining properties. Searchlight permits shall not be granted for a period of more than five days in any six-month period.

§ 440-58 Nonconforming signs.

A. 
Signs eligible for characterization as legal nonconforming. Any sign located within the Village of Clyman limits as of the date of adoption of this article hereafter which does not conform with the provisions of this article is eligible for characterization as a legal nonconforming sign and is permitted.
B. 
Loss of legal nonconforming status.
(1) 
A sign loses its nonconforming status if one or more of the following occurs:
(a) 
If said sign is damaged by fire, flood, explosion, earthquake, war, riot or Act of God, or structurally altered in any way, except for normal maintenance and repair, the sign may be reconstructed and used as before if it is reconstructed within three months after such calamity, unless the damage to the sign is 50% or more of its replacement value, in which case, the constructed sign shall comply with the provisions of this article;
(b) 
The sign is relocated;
(c) 
The sign fails to conform to the Village requirements regarding maintenance and repair, abandonment or dangerous or defective signs.
(2) 
On the date of occurrence of any of the above, the sign shall be immediately brought in compliance with this article with a new permit secured therefor or shall be removed.
C. 
Legal nonconforming sign maintenance and repair. Nothing in this article shall relieve the owner or user of a legal nonconforming sign or the owner of the property in which the sign is located from the provisions of this article regarding safety, maintenance and repair of signs.

§ 440-59 Awnings and canopies.

A. 
Permitted awnings. No awnings (noncollapsible tape) shall be erected or maintained, except such awnings as comply with the following requirements, and then only if the permit required hereunder is first obtained and the same conform to the regulations of the zoning district in which the same are to be located:
(1) 
Support. Awnings shall be securely attached to and supported by the building and shall be without posts or columns beyond the setback line.
(2) 
Height. All awnings shall be constructed and erected so that the lowest portion thereof shall be not less than seven feet above the level of the public sidewalk or public thoroughfare.
(3) 
Setback from curbline. No awning shall extend within one foot of the curbline.
B. 
Permitted canopies. No canopies shall be erected or maintained, except such canopies as comply with the following requirements, and then only if the permit required hereunder is first obtained and the same conform to the regulations of the zoning district in which the same are to be located:
(1) 
Support. The structural support of all canopies shall be approved by the Zoning Administrator as in compliance with the Building Code of the Village and shall meet state building codes. All frames and supports shall be of metal and designed to withstand a wind pressure as provided in § 440-56 of this article. All canopies shall be attached to a building, and no supports shall exist beyond the setback line between the canopy and the sidewalk or ground below.
(2) 
Height above sidewalk. All canopies shall be constructed and erected so that the lowest portion thereof shall not be less than eight feet above the level of the sidewalk or public thoroughfare.
(3) 
Setback from curb. No canopy shall extend beyond a point two feet from the curbline.

§ 440-60 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Construction without permit. Any person, firm or corporation who begins, erects or completes the erection or construction of any sign, awning or canopy controlled by this article prior to the granting of a sign permit shall pay a penalty double the amount of the permit otherwise required.
B. 
Compliance notice.
(1) 
If the Zoning Administrator finds any sign, awning or canopy regulated herein unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public, it shall give written notice to the sign owner and to the property owner.
(2) 
If such sign, awning or canopy owner fails to remove or alter the sign, awning or canopy so as to comply with the standards herein set forth within five days after such notice, the Zoning Administrator may cause such sign, awning or canopy to be removed or altered at the expense of the owner of the sign, awning or canopy or the owner of the property upon which it is located so as to comply with the provisions of this article.
C. 
Violations; penalties. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a penalty which shall be as follows:
(1) 
Any person found guilty of violating any part of this article who has previously been notified of being in violation or been convicted of violating the same article within one year shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a forfeiture as prescribed by § 1-3 for each such offense, together with costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such forfeiture and costs, shall be imprisoned in the county jail until such forfeiture and costs of prosecution are paid, but not exceeding six months.
(2) 
Each violation and each day a violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense. Nothing in this article shall preclude the Village from maintaining any appropriate action to prevent or remove a violation of any provision of this article.