St. Charles County, MO
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 99-99 §1, 7-12-1999; Ord. No. 01-111 §3, 9-26-2001; Ord. No. 07-040 §1, 3-13-2007; Ord. No. 07-051 §1, 3-27-2007]
A. 
No sign shall be erected in unincorporated St. Charles County without having obtained a sign permit from the County Division of Planning and Zoning, unless otherwise provided in this Article or in the St. Charles County Directional and Way-Finding Signage Program.
B. 
Applications for the alteration or erection of on-premise and off-premise signs are provided by the St. Charles County Division of Building and Code Enforcement. An application for a sign permit must be executed and approved by the St. Charles County Divisions of Planning and Zoning and Building and Code Enforcement prior to the erection of any sign requiring a sign permit. Failure to do so may result in denial of the permit, an established fine, or both.
[Ord. No. 16-054 §11, 7-25-2016]
C. 
Incomplete applications for a sign permit will not be accepted.
D. 
If work authorized under a sign permit is not completed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the date of issuance of the permit, the sign permit shall become null and void. Upon a written request, one (1) sixty (60) day extension of time for any sign permit may be authorized by the Director of the Division of Planning and Zoning.
E. 
Sign permits must be signed by the owner of the property or an agent for the owner, or by someone who has an interest in the property. Any agent for the owner must show proof of agency and proof of interest in the property. All others must show proof of interest in the property at the time of signing.
F. 
An application fee as set by ordinance shall accompany an application for the alteration or erection of an on-premise or off-premise sign.
G. 
Sign permits for temporary introductory off-premise, entrance monuments, and "PUD" Overlay Districts may be applied for after approval of the preliminary plat by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
H. 
Any applicant for a sign permit who has been cited for a violation of these regulations, and who has failed to correct said violation, will not be issued any additional permits until the violation is corrected.
I. 
Application for any sign permit must be accompanied by a site plan drawn to scale containing the following information:
1. 
A representation of the proposed sign, to scale, including the height of the sign, width, and length of sign faces and wording.
2. 
The proposed location of the sign on the property or on the building.
3. 
For off-premise, informational, and subdivision signs not on the development site, the following information is also required:
a. 
The distance from the proposed sign location to any structure upon the property and adjoining street right-of-way lines, property lines, and driveway entrances.
b. 
The distance from the proposed sign location to the nearest off-premise sign.
c. 
The distance from the proposed sign location to the nearest street intersection in either direction.
J. 
All independently supported (not face-mounted on a building wall, for example) signs that are larger than sixty-four (64) square feet or more than ten (10) feet high from final grade to top of sign require that the construction plans be sealed by a Missouri professional registered engineer and that sealed structural load calculations also accompany them when submitted for a building permit.
[1]
Cross Reference— As to specific fees, see ch. 425 of this code
Editor's Note—Reference to planning department was changed to division of planning in accordance with Ord. No. 02-204, adopted 12-23-2002, set out in ch. 132 of this code. For designation of the division of planning and zoning, see Ord. No. 03-195 adopted 12-31-2003.
[Ord. No. 99-99 §1, 7-12-1999; Ord. No. 01-054 §1, 4-25-2001; Ord. No. 03-142 §1(71), 10-1-2003; Ord. No. 03-195, 12-31-2003; Ord. No. 04-053 §1, 4-13-2004; Ord. No. 07-040 §1, 3-13-2007; Ord. No. 10-041 §44, 6-2-2010; Ord. No. 12-090 §5, 11-27-2012]
All pole and monument signs including their supports shall be set back from any property line as shown on the approved site plan or revision thereof.
A. 
On-premise signs are permitted as provided herein:
1. 
Agricultural and Residential Districts ("A", "AT", "R1A", "R1B", "R1C", "R1D", "R1E", "R2", "R3A", "R3B", "PR", "RF", and "RM" Districts).
a. 
In all agricultural and residential districts, all signs shall not exceed the maximum height of twelve (12) feet from the highest point of the sign to the natural grade, which is the grade unaffected by construction techniques such as fill, landscaping, or berming.
b. 
Signs advertising the sale of agricultural produce on the property where it is grown are permitted as follows: one (1) non-illuminated sign for each street or road facing, not to exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area, to be placed on the ground.
c. 
Signs advertising golf courses and clubhouses, ferry landings and boat docks, sod farms, commercial greenhouses, nurseries, truck gardens, and public and semi-public uses are permitted as follows: one (1) sign for each street or road facing, not to exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area, to be placed on the ground or upon a structure.
d. 
Signs advertising conditionally permitted uses on the property where the signs are to be located are permitted as follows: one (1) sign for each street or road facing, not to exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area, to be placed on the ground or upon a structure.
e. 
Church, public, charitable, institutional, or semi-public bulletin boards or signs are permitted as follows: one (1) sign for each street or road facing, not exceeding sixty-four (64) square feet in area and located on the premises of said institution.
f. 
Temporary signs advertising the sale or lease of the property where the signs are to be located are permitted as follows: one (1) non-illuminated sign, not to exceed sixty-four (64) square feet in area.
2. 
Commercial and Industrial Districts ("CO", "C1", "C2", "I1", and "I2" Districts).
a. 
In all commercial and industrial Districts, all signs shall not exceed the maximum height of forty-five (45) feet from the highest point of the sign to the natural grade, which is the grade unaffected by construction techniques such as fill, landscaping, or berming.
b. 
Any sign permitted in the "A" and "R" Districts is permitted under commercial and industrial districts.
c. 
There shall not be more than one (1) wall or projecting sign for any permitted business per street facing. The total area of each sign shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the building facade area facing the street. If a business has facades facing on two (2) or more streets, a sign will be allowed for each street facing.
d. 
One (1) ground sign shall be permitted for a structure occupied by a single business per street facing. The total area of a ground sign for a structure occupied by a single business shall not exceed one hundred fifty (150) square feet. Where a group of structures or a single building containing more than one (1) business exists on a property, ground signs shall be grouped and placed on the same set of sign supports. Ground signs advertising more than one (1) business shall not exceed three hundred (300) square feet. Changeable copy types and electronic display signs are allowed only if they are permanently mounted to the same set of sign supports. The bottom of pole signs shall be no less than ten (10) feet above grade.
e. 
A sign permit is required for on-premise signs placed on buildings as individual, separate letters. For purposes of calculating the total square footage of such signs, only the space occupied by each letter will be counted, not the space between letters. All decorative elements, including neon trim, placed within five (5) feet of any sign letters shall be considered part of the sign, and will cause the entire area within the neon trim to be calculated. A new permit is not required to change the letters on such a sign, provided a permit was issued for the original letters and the square footage of the new letters does not exceed the maximum allowed for on-premise signs.
f. 
Directional signs at entrances and exits not exceeding two (2) square feet in size and three (3) feet in height from grade are permitted. Such signs must be located a minimum of five (5) feet from the edge of the curb or street pavement.
g. 
Electronic display on-premise signs. Electronic display techniques are permitted as on-premise signs when meeting criteria found herein and include any portion of said sign which contains alphanumeric characters, graphics or symbols defined by a small number of matrix elements using different combinations of light emitting diodes (LED's), fiber optics, light bulbs or other illumination devices within the display area, including computer programmable, microprocessor controlled electronic displays and projected images or messages with these characteristics onto the sign face. Any on-premise sign constructed meeting these criteria shall meet the following operational standards:
(1) 
Duration. The full on-premise sign image or any portion thereof must have a minimum duration of ten (10) seconds and must be a static display. No portion of the image may flash, scroll, twirl, change color or in any matter imitate movement.
(2) 
Video display. No portion of any sign may change its message or background in a manner or by a method of display characterized by motion or pictorial imagery or depict action or a special effect to imitate movement or the presentation of pictorials or graphics displayed in a progression of frames that give the illusion of motion or the illusion of moving objects, moving patterns or bands of light or expanding or contracting shapes.
(3) 
Transition. Where the full sign image or any portion thereof changes, the change sequence must be accomplished by means of instantaneous re-pixalization.
(4) 
Brightness. The sign must not exceed a maximum illumination of 5,000 nits (candelas per square meter) during daylight hours and a maximum illumination of 500 nits (candelas per square meter) between dusk and dawn as measured from the sign's face at maximum brightness.
(5) 
Fluctuating or flashing illumination. No portion of any sign may fluctuate in light intensity or use intermittent, strobe or moving light or light that changes in intensity in sudden transitory bursts, streams, zooms, twinkles, sparkles or that in any manner creates the illusion of movement.
(6) 
Dimmer control. Electronic graphic display signs must have an automatic dimmer control to produce a distinct illumination change from a higher illumination level to a lower level for the time period between dusk and dawn.
(7) 
Audio. Audio speakers are prohibited in association with a sign.
h. 
Temporary signs are permitted. (The sign can either be an on-premise ground sign or attached to a structure.)
(1) 
On-premise window, sidewalk, and business sale signs or banners not exceeding thirty-two (32) square feet. Maximum usage—two (2) per calendar year for no more than fifteen (15) days per time. Such signs or banners must be removed after the close of the business day in which the sales event ended.
(2) 
On-premise cold-air inflatable aids not exceeding thirty-two (32) feet in height. A permit shall be issued for fifteen (15) days, and no more than two (2) permits shall be issued for a calendar year. All air inflatable aids are required to adhere to all building line setbacks and height restrictions of the applicable zoning district. All air inflatable aids are only permitted upon review and approval of the Division of Planning and Zoning. All inflatable aids are prohibited from being installed on the roof of a structure.
3. 
Entrance monuments are permitted as provided herein (all districts).
a. 
Subdivision monuments at the entrance of a subdivision shall be installed on common ground or an easement on private property. Subdivision monuments may be installed on public right-of-way, with County Highway Department approval, only if common ground or a private easement is not available. Entrance monuments approved on public right-of-way shall meet the requirements of Section 40.50 of St. Charles County's "Design Criteria for the Preparation of Improvement Plans," as issued by the St. Charles County Highway Department in February, 2002 or as amended thereafter, and shall require the issuance of a special-use permit from the Highway Department. The County Highway Department assumes no responsibility towards the cost of maintenance, removal or relocation of monuments placed within County right-of-way due to vandalism, damage or future roadway widening. Such signs shall contain only the name and related information to the development and no other advertising (a fence or wall would be considered a monument).
b. 
The total area, height, and location for each monument shall be reviewed by the staffs of the Division of Planning and Zoning and the County Highway Department.
c. 
A maximum of two (2) monuments may be installed at every entrance to the subdivision.
d. 
Exterior lighting of the monuments shall be arranged to ensure that no light interferes with a motor vehicle operator's view.
4. 
Planned Unit Development (PUD) Overlay Districts. All signs erected in a "PUD" Overlay District shall conform to the land use as depicted on the preliminary plat.
B. 
Off-premise signs are permitted as provided herein.
[Ord. No. 14-112§1, 12-15-2014]
1. 
Off-premise signs are permitted only in the following zoning districts:
a. 
"C2" General Commercial District;
b. 
"I1" Light Industrial District; and
c. 
"I2" Heavy Industrial District.
2. 
Construction of the sign and materials shall comply with Section 903 of the Missouri Standard Specification for Highway Construction, as applicable, and must meet the current adopted Building Code of St. Charles County, Missouri.
3. 
All off-premise signs must be erected within the first (1st) one hundred (100) feet of depth from the adjoining street frontage of the property upon which the sign is to be located.
4. 
All off-premise signs shall not exceed the maximum height of forty-five (45) feet from the highest point of the sign to the natural grade, which is the grade unaffected by construction techniques such as fill, landscaping, or berming.
5. 
The maximum area for an off-premise sign shall not exceed six hundred seventy-two (672) square feet in size per facing, with a maximum width of twenty (20) feet and a maximum length of fifty (50) feet, inclusive of border and trim, but excluding the base, apron, supports, and other structural members.
6. 
Signs may be placed back-to-back, double faced, or in V-type construction, with not more than two (2) sides of facings and two (2) side-by-side displays to each facing, but such sign structures shall be considered as one (1) sign.
7. 
No such signs shall be erected within two thousand (2,000) feet of an existing off-premise sign.
a. 
For rights-of-way identified in Subsection (B)(9) below, the measurements in this Section shall be the minimum distances between off-premise signs measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway and shall apply only to off-premise signs located on the same side of the highway involved.
b. 
For rights-of-way identified in Subsection (B)(10) below, the measurements in this Section shall be made along a straight line between the proposed off-premise sign and the nearest existing off-premise sign on either side of the highway involved.
8. 
No such sign shall be erected within five hundred (500) feet of a residence and fifty (50) feet of a non-residential structure, regardless of the zoning district.
9. 
Except as provided below, off-premise signs shall be erected only along the following rights-of-way in unincorporated St. Charles County:
a. 
Interstate Highway 64; and
b. 
Interstate Highway 70; and
c. 
U.S. Route 40; and
d. 
U.S. Route 61; and
e. 
Missouri Route 94 from Missouri Route B to Interstate Highway 64; and
f. 
Missouri Route 364 (Page Avenue Extension), excepting between Mid Rivers Mall Drive and Interstate Highway 64; and
g. 
Missouri Route 370.
10. 
Off-premise signs not exceeding sixty-four (64) square feet in size shall be allowed along all State routes designated by letters.
11. 
Electronic display off-premise signs. Electronic display techniques are permitted as off-premise signs when meeting criteria found herein and include any portion of said sign which contains alphanumeric characters, graphics or symbols defined by a small number of matrix elements using different combinations of light emitting diodes (LED's), fiber optics, light bulbs or other illumination devices within the display area, including computer programmable, microprocessor controlled electronic displays and projected images or messages with these characteristics onto the sign face. Any off-premise sign constructed meeting these criteria shall meet the following operational standards:
a. 
Duration. The full off-premise sign image or any portion thereof must have a minimum duration of ten (10) seconds and must be a static display. No portion of the image may flash, scroll, twirl, change color or in any matter imitate movement.
b. 
Video display. No portion of any billboard may change its message or background in a manner or by a method of display characterized by motion or pictorial imagery or depicts action or a special effect to imitate movement or the presentation of pictorials or graphics displayed in a progression of frames that give the illusion of motion or the illusion of moving objects, moving patterns or bands of light or expanding or contracting shapes.
c. 
Transition. Where the full billboard image or any portion thereof changes, the change sequence must be accomplished by means of instantaneous re-pixalization.
d. 
Brightness. The sign must not exceed a maximum illumination of 5,000 nits (candelas per square meter) during daylight hours and a maximum illumination of 500 nits (candelas per square meter) between dusk and dawn as measured from the sign's face at maximum brightness.
e. 
Fluctuating or flashing illumination. No portion of any billboard may fluctuate in light intensity or use intermittent, strobe or moving light or light that changes in intensity in sudden transitory bursts, streams, zooms, twinkles, sparkles or that in any manner creates the illusion of movement.
f. 
Dimmer control. Electronic graphic display signs must have an automatic dimmer control to produce a distinct illumination change from a higher illumination level to a lower level for the time period between dusk and dawn.
g. 
Audio. Audio speakers are prohibited in association with a billboard.
C. 
Temporary off-premises subdivision signs are permitted as provided herein:
1. 
Temporary off-premises subdivision signs are defined as directional signs displaying the name or logo of a subdivision, directing the general public to that subdivision and advertising the development or sale of lots or parcels within that subdivision for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes.
2. 
An application for a permit for a temporary off-premises subdivision sign shall be a form provided by the Division of Building and Code Enforcement and shall be accompanied by: two (2) sets of construction plans, including a site location map, drawn to scale, addressing all requirements of this Section; and a letter from the owner(s) of the site at which the temporary off-premises subdivision sign is to be erected permitting the sign's erection at that site.
[Ord. No. 16-054 §11, 7-25-2016]
3. 
An application for a permit for a temporary off-premises subdivision sign shall be approved if the proposed sign conforms to the requirements of this Article (Section 405.470, Sign Permit Applications) and to the following standards for the location, the quantity and duration for the area, and for the height and illumination of temporary off-premises subdivision signs.
a. 
Temporary off-premises subdivision signs may be erected at intersections of public or private rights-of-way (excepting rights-of-way enumerated in this Section 405.475, Subsection (B)(4)(e), subject to the following restrictions:[2]
(1) 
Such signs must be within one (1) mile of the subdivision development advertised.
(2) 
Such signs must be located on vacant properties.
(3) 
No such sign shall be erected within the public right-of-way or sight of a triangle area of a street - intersections as defined in Part 3, Article I, Section 405.415 (Additional Yard Requirements (K)).
(4) 
All such signs must be erected within the triangle defined by the right-of-way lines of intersecting streets and a line connecting those right-of-way lines at points three hundred (300) feet from their intersection.
(5) 
No such sign and its support shall be located within any public or private rights-of-way.
(6) 
No such sign and its support shall be located in such a manner as to obstruct or otherwise physically interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device, or obstruct or physically interfere with a motor vehicle operator's view of approaching, merging, or intersecting traffic.
[2]
Editor's Note—In Ord. No. 10-041 §44, "405.475(2)(d)(5)" was changed to "405.475(B)(d)(e)", the above reference was editorially corrected.
b. 
Quantity and duration.
(1) 
No more than two (2) temporary off-premises subdivision signs shall be allowed for any subdivision development.
(2) 
Temporary off-premises subdivision signs shall be removed thirty (30) days following the sale or development of eighty percent (80%) of the property or two (2) years after the date of permit approval, whichever is earlier.
c. 
Area.
(1) 
A temporary, off-premises subdivision sign shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area for each subdivision. This maximum area shall apply to each side of a sign structure.
(2) 
If an applicant proposes to advertise more than one (1) subdivision development at an intersection, those signs shall be grouped and placed on the same set of sign supports. Ground signs advertising more than one (1) subdivision under development shall not exceed one hundred sixty (160) square feet in area. This maximum area shall apply to each side of a sign structure.
d. 
Height and illumination.
(1) 
The maximum height of a temporary off-premises subdivision sign shall not exceed ten (10) feet from the highest point of the sign to the natural grade, which is the grade unaffected by construction techniques such as fill, landscaping, or berming.
(2) 
No temporary off-premises subdivision sign may be illuminated.
[1]
Editor's Note—Reference to planning department was changed to division of planning in accordance with Ord. No. 02-204, adopted 12-23-2002, set out in ch. 132 of this code. For designation of the division of planning and zoning, see Ord. No. 03-195 adopted 12-31-2003.
[Ord. No. 99-99 §1, 7-12-1999; Ord. No. 07-040 §1, 3-13-2007; Ord. No. 09-081 §1, 8-11-2009]
A. 
Permanent (the sign must be attached to a structure).
1. 
A nameplate not exceeding two (2) square feet in an area lighted with only non-intermittent light identifying a private residence.
2. 
Non-illuminated signs for home occupations indicating only the name of the persons and their occupation or their business name, not to exceed two (2) square feet.
3. 
Signs indicating privacy, including "No Trespassing" signs, not exceeding two (2) square feet.
B. 
Permanent (Detached Signs).
1. 
On-premise directional signs not exceeding four (4) square feet for uses other than single-family residential.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection (B)(2), regarding on-premise non-illuminated signs for home occupations, which immediately followed, was repealed 9-28-2015 by §5 of Ord. No. 15-097.
C. 
Temporary signs are permitted (the sign can be either an on-premise ground sign or attached to a structure).
1. 
Signs advertising the sale, rent or lease of real estate. The maximum area shall not exceed four (4) square feet in single-family residential districts and thirty-two (32) square feet in districts other than single-family residential. Such signs shall be removed ten (10) days following the sale, rent or lease of the entire property.
2. 
One (1) on-premise, new-project construction sign shall be permitted not exceeding the following, provided such sign shall be removed ten (10) days after completion of the project:
a. 
Four (4) square feet on a lot or parcel within single-family residential districts.
b. 
Thirty-two (32) square feet for subdivisions or non-residential uses permitted within single-family residential districts.
c. 
Thirty-two (32) square feet in districts other than single-family residential.
3. 
On-premise signs advertising general sales of personal property operated by private individuals:
a. 
No sign shall be exhibited for more than one (1) day prior to the day such sale is to commence. Signs must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours of the close of such sale. The person(s) responsible for conducting such sale shall be responsible for removing such signs.
b. 
One (1) sign not more than four (4) square feet shall be permitted to be displayed on the property of the residence where the sale is being conducted.
4. 
On-premise fireworks signs and banners, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet. Approval for the fireworks sign or banner shall accompany the issuance of the fireworks conditional use permit before the sign or banner is erected. Such signs or banners must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours of the last day of sales.
5. 
On-premise church, school, charitable, institutional public or semi-public, signs, banners, changeable copy signs, or bulletin boards indicating upcoming or on-going special events not exceeding thirty-two (32) square feet. Such signs and banners shall be removed, or changeable copy and bulletin boards shall be cleared of notices, within twenty-four (24) hours after the last date of a temporary special event.
6. 
Political signs not to exceed four (4) square feet per sign and a total sign area of sixteen (16) square feet in single-family residential districts and thirty-two (32) square feet in districts other than single-family residential.
7. 
Public signs and notices posted by or at the direction of a unit of government.
8. 
Agricultural seed number signs posted during the growing season in fields under cultivation and identifying the crops under cultivation.
[Ord. No. 99-99 §1, 7-12-1999]
Any existing sign which was deemed a legal non-conforming use under a previous Zoning Order and any sign made non-conforming by the adoption of this Unified Development Ordinance, will retain its non-conforming status under the adoption of these regulations. Such a non-conforming sign, if removed, will lose its non-conformity status, and any replacement sign shall be erected in conformity with all sign requirements. Any non-conforming sign shall be brought into compliance when structural alterations, damage repairs, or routine maintenance exceed fifty percent (50%) of the current fair market value of the sign or when the sign is to be relocated on or off the premises.
[Ord. No. 99-99 §1, 7-12-1999; Ord. No. 10-041 §45, 6-2-2010]
A. 
Signs or devices which, by color, location, or design, resemble or conflict with traffic control signs. Determination of the possible conflict is at the discretion of the Director of the Division of Planning and Zoning.
B. 
No sign shall contain flashing lights, intermittent lights, inverse flashing lights, x-ray modes, animators, or mechanical movements of any kind, except clocks.
C. 
(Reserved)
D. 
Exterior lighting of signs shall be arranged to ensure that no light is cast upon any adjacent zoned property.
E. 
Signs of any type placed on poles erected and maintained by any utility or public entity, except those signs placed by the utility or public entity.
F. 
No sign shall be located in such a manner as to obstruct or otherwise physically interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device, or obstruct or physically interfere with a motor vehicle operator's view of approaching, merging, or intersecting traffic.
G. 
No sign or parts of signs thereof may extend, either in whole or in part, over any structure, property line, right-of-way line, or attached to roofs.
H. 
Signs not rigidly fixed.
I. 
Wheeled and/or "flashing arrow" signs.
J. 
Paper posters and signs painted directly on exterior walls of any structure.
K. 
Signs painted directly on or affixed to vehicles and/or trailers, other than those signs incidental to the primary use of the vehicle and/or trailer.
L. 
All obsolete signs shall be removed from public view no later than thirty (30) days after the termination of an existing business or product.
M. 
Portables, pennants, and stringers.
[1]
Editor's Note—For designation of the division of planning and zoning, see ord. no. 02-204 adopted 12-23-2002 set out in ch. 132 of this code and ord. no. 03-195 adopted 12-31-2003.