Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
City of Muskego, WI
Waukesha County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The purpose of this article is to provide for and regulate the design, location, and safe construction of signs in a manner to ensure that all signs are compatible with surrounding land uses, are well maintained, and express the identity of individual proprietors and the City as a whole. All sign permits, unless otherwise specified, shall be applied for on forms provided by the Public Works and Development Department and approved by Planning Division staff and/or the Plan Commission.
B. 
In considering a sign application, staff shall consider requirements of the City's General Design Guide and the following:
(1) 
The proposed content;
(2) 
The appearance, material for construction, location, lighting, height and size of the sign;
(3) 
Safety of operators of vehicles upon the adjoining streets and highways;
(4) 
The effect of the sign on property values within the immediate area;
(5) 
The effect of such sign with respect to the scenic beauty of the vicinity in which the sign is proposed to be located;
(6) 
The effect of such sign and its content with respect to enforcing state laws and county and City ordinances;
(7) 
The effect of the sign with respect to the danger to human life because of falling or combustibility;
(8) 
The effect of the sign and content with respect to the prevention of crime; and
(9) 
The effect of such sign and display with respect to the general welfare, morals, and the conserving of the taxable value of lands and buildings located within the City and in the immediate area adjacent to the proposed location of the sign.
A. 
In any district no sign shall be permitted except as is hereinafter specified by the regulations for that district, or as otherwise regulated in this article. All signs shall also meet all applicable structural and electrical requirements of local and state building and electrical codes.
B. 
Signs for conditional uses. Subject to the regulations set forth in Article XIV, signs appropriate to be a permitted conditional use or uses may be permitted as determined by the Plan Commission notwithstanding limitations in the basic district to the contrary. In establishing the size and locational requirements, the Plan Commission shall be guided by the requirements imposed for similar uses in any of the basic districts.
The following modifications shall not require a sign permit. These exceptions shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility for its erection and maintenance and its compliance with the provisions of this chapter or any other law or code regulating the same.
A. 
The changing of the advertising copy or message on a painted, printed, or changeable copy sign.
B. 
Painting, repainting, or cleaning of an advertising structure or the changing of the advertising copy or message thereon shall not be considered an erection or alteration which requires a sign permit unless a structural change is made.
C. 
All residential signs permitted by right in this chapter.
The following signs may be erected and maintained without permits, provided that they do not constitute a hazard or nuisance:
A. 
Political signs. Political signs may be erected in any district provided they are not a danger to life or property, are located on property with the permission of the property owner, and shall be limited to 32 square feet in size. All political signs, wherever located, must be removed within 10 days after the election for which they were erected.
B. 
On-site informational signs. On-site informational signs of reasonable size and necessity shall be permitted and shall be determined by the Plan Commission with the exception of signs addressed by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 4:30.
C. 
On-premises real estate sale and rental signs. In residential districts, said signs are limited to 12 square feet and one sign per street frontage, and in all other districts said signs are limited to 32 square feet. All real estate signs shall be removed upon sale of the property. Permanent on-site rental signs shall be limited to four square feet. No such sign shall be placed within the ultimate right-of-way of any street or highway.
D. 
Off-premises real estate sale and rental signs. Off-premises real estate directional signs are limited to no more than three off-premises directional signs per residential, agricultural or business property offered for sale. Such signs shall be displayed in accordance with all applicable regulations, and written permission of the property owner on whose property the sign is located shall be obtained prior to display. No such sign shall be placed within the ultimate right-of-way of any street or highway. Such signs shall be limited to a maximum of six square feet in size.
E. 
Public agency signs. Signs conveying governmental readings that are erected by national, state, county or municipal governmental agencies, including traffic and informational signs.
F. 
Residential nameplates. Residential nameplates identifying owners or occupants, provided that no more than two are erected, each being less than two square feet in area. Home occupation/residential business signs shall be counted in this numerical and size limitation.
G. 
Agricultural produce sale signs. Agricultural produce sale signs are allowed as part of an agricultural road sale use and are limited to 64 square feet in area.
H. 
Interior and inside window signs. Signs installed inside a building whether intended for viewing from inside or outside the building are permitted without limitation as to size or number.
I. 
Memorial signs and tablets. Memorial signs, tablets, names of buildings and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of metal and affixed flat against the building.
J. 
Construction signs. One construction sign per commercial or industrial construction project not exceeding 64 square feet in sign area, provided that such sign may be erected upon issuance of a valid building permit, shall be confined to the site of construction, and shall be removed upon issuance of a valid occupancy permit.
K. 
Flags. The flags, emblems or insignia of any nation or subdivision or single corporate flag. Pennants, banners and streamers shall not qualify as flags and require temporary sign approval.
L. 
Holiday decorations. Signs of a primarily decorative nature, clearly incidental and customary and commonly associated with any national, local or religious holiday; shall not be displayed for a period of more than 120 consecutive days.
M. 
Inflatable advertising. One such display, per property, shall be permitted for a period of time approved by the Plan Commission and/or the Public Works and Development Department, but not to exceed eight consecutive weeks, provided that the display is located outside all vision triangles and does not constitute a public nuisance.
N. 
Price and temporary item signs. Price and temporary item signs are permitted up to 12 square feet in area for each sign, provided that the signs are not illuminated and no more than two signs per street frontage are erected on the property and the signs are no closer than five feet to the property lines. The square footage of the signs may not be combined to create one message totaling 24 square feet per street frontage. A twelve-square-foot sandwich board sign is an example of a price and temporary item sign. Said signs shall be removed at the close of business each day.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 16.04(15), Agricultural produce signs, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). See Subsection G of this section.
O. 
Signs not visible from a public right-of-way.
[Amended 2-4-2010 by Ord. No. 1311]
No sign shall be placed within the ultimate right-of-way of any street or highway. The only exemptions to this are City gateway/directional signage and community event signs that are approved by the Public Works and Development Department in advance, are determined not to hamper safety, and are erected for a specific temporary period of time. The prohibition hereunder extends to trees, utility poles, fence posts, stakes, and all other structures on which signs might be posted or placed, except political signs installed or placed on motor vehicles. Any sign violating this section may be summarily removed by the Public Works and Development Director or his designee.
A. 
Hazards and nuisances. No sign which creates a hazard or dangerous distraction to vehicular traffic or a nuisance to adjoining property in the following ways shall be permitted in any district:
(1) 
No sign shall be placed so as to obstruct or interfere with traffic visibility nor in such a way as to cause glare or impair driver visibility upon public ways.
(2) 
No sign shall be lighted or flashing in such a way as to cause glare or impair driver visibility upon public ways or adjacent properties. Signs shall be internally illuminated wherever possible. If external illumination is approved, the fixture shall be mounted on a permanent unmovable base and the neck soldered so as to prevent the fixtures from being tampered with or redirected.
(3) 
No sign shall rotate or have or be illuminated by moving or flashing lights, except electronically controlled intermittent lights that are permitted subject to approval by the Plan Commission under § 400-181C, subject to their size not exceeding 25% of the area of the combined square footage for both the electronic sign and main identification sign.
[Amended 4-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1371]
(4) 
No sign shall resemble, imitate or approximate the shape, size, form or color of railroad or traffic signs, signals, or devices or obstruct or interfere with the effectiveness so as to prevent free ingress to and egress from any door, window, or fire escape.
(5) 
No sign or any part thereof or sign anchors, braces, or guide rods shall be attached, fastened, or anchored to any fire escape, fire ladder, or standpipe, and no such sign or any part of any such sign or any anchor, brace, or guide rod shall be erected, put up, relocated, or maintained so as to hinder or prevent free ingress or egress through any door, doorway, window, or fire escape or so as to hinder or prevent the raising or placing of ladders against such building by the Fire Department of the City, as necessity therefor may require.
(6) 
No person shall display upon any sign or other sign structure any obscene, indecent, or immoral matter.
B. 
Nonaccessory signs. No sign not directly related to the use of the premises in which it is located, except directional signs as herein provided, shall be permitted in any district. Signs showing time, temperature and similar information not related to the premises are permitted but must be counted as part of the allowable sign area.
C. 
Pole signs. New pole signs are prohibited as signage type and sizes allowed by this code are sufficient for all developments.
D. 
Roof signs. Signs whose lowest point is visually separate from and above the highest point of the roof are prohibited. Signs on the face of mansard or gable end shall be considered wall signs. No sign, or any portion thereof, shall be installed on or above the parapet of a flat roof.
E. 
Abandoned signs. Abandoned signs are prohibited and shall be removed as follows. The Zoning Administrator shall give notice to the subject property owner requiring that the sign be removed. The notice shall advise the property owner that the sign must be removed within 20 days from the date of the notice, unless the property owner files a request for an extension with the Plan Commission within that twenty-day period. Thereafter, the sign must be removed prior to expiration of the twenty-day-notice period or, if a request for extension is timely filed with the Plan Commission and the Plan Commission denies the request, the sign must be removed within 20 days of the denial, or if a request for extension is timely filed with the Plan Commission and the Plan Commission grants the request, the sign must be removed prior to expiration of any extension granted. Failure to remove an abandoned sign as required herein shall be subject to all of the penalties and remedies described in this chapter.
F. 
Parking of advertising vehicles prohibited. No person shall park any vehicle or trailer on a public right-of-way or public property or on private property so as to be visible from a public right-of-way which has attached thereto or located thereon any sign or advertising device for the sole purpose of providing advertisement of products or directing people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property or any premises. This subsection is not intended to prohibit any form of vehicular signage, such as a sign attached to a bus or lettered on a motor vehicle, nor is this subsection intended to prohibit the advertising of personally owned vehicles offered for sale from the private property of the vehicle owner or owner's immediate family.
No sign shall hereafter be erected, re-erected at a new location, constructed, altered or maintained except as provided by this chapter (see § 400-176 for exceptions) and an approval and a permit for the same have been issued by the Public Works and Development Director or designee and/or the Plan Commission (when applicable), City Engineer, or their designee, unless otherwise specified in § 400-180 of this code.
A. 
A separate permit shall be required for a sign or signs for each business entity and/or a separate permit for each group of signs on a single supporting sign structure.
B. 
Electrical permits shall be obtained from the Building Inspection Division for illuminated signs.
C. 
Application for sign approvals and permits will be made in writing upon forms furnished by the Public Works and Development Department (for approvals) and the Building Inspection Division (for permits). Such applications shall contain, but not be limited to:
(1) 
Name, address, and telephone number of the applicant and the property owner and location of the building, structure, or lot upon which the sign is to be attached or erected.
(2) 
Name of person, firm, corporation, or association erecting the sign.
(3) 
Written consent of the owner or lessee of the building, structure, or land to which or upon which the sign is to be affixed.
(4) 
A scaled drawing of such sign indicating the dimensions, the materials to be used, the type of illumination, if any, and the method of construction and attachment.
(5) 
A scaled colored copy of the proposed sign showing the exact color scheme is required. Staff may require that a superimposed rendering of the site with the proposed sign(s) be submitted on a disk (PDF file, JPEG, TIF, GIF format).
(6) 
A scaled site plan indicating the location and position of such sign in relation to nearby buildings or structures or public streets and rights-of-way.
(7) 
A landscape plan for the sign base (freestanding and ground signs) that meets the requirements as outlined in Article IV.
(8) 
The City Engineer may require the filing of plans or other pertinent information where in his opinion such information is necessary to ensure compliance with building and electrical requirements as specified in Chapter 164, Construction Standards, of the City Code. Standard plans may be filed with the Building Inspection Division.
(9) 
Fees. The applicant shall pay all applicable fees. The fee schedule is on file with the Public Works and Development Department. If a sign is erected before a permit is issued, the violator may be assessed a double fee for the sign permit.
(10) 
Additional information as required by the Public Works and Development Department or City Plan Commission.
A. 
Sign size. The size of a sign shall be in proportion and coordinate with the building and site on which it is located; however, in no case shall the sign exceed the maximum size allowed by this article.
B. 
Number of signs. Any number of signs may be permitted as long as the signs proposed are in proportion and coordinate with the building on the site they are located upon. The only exception is that a business must only have one form of wall signage. (A business must choose between having a wall sign or a projecting sign on an individual facade to avoid disorder.) Further, all signs proposed must meet the locational and size requirements of this code. Businesses on corners may utilize their multiple frontages to combine square footage for one sign. Businesses may otherwise have one sign per frontage as long as each sign meets the square footage requirements for each frontage.
C. 
Setbacks and offsets. All signs shall conform to the setback and offset requirements outlined in the Table of Dimensional Requirements, per Subsection F(3).
(1) 
Ground signs may be installed at the base setback line with a height not to exceed seven feet as measured from grade.
(2) 
Existing pole signs in the base setback area may be altered subject to the approval of the Plan Commission.
(3) 
No sign shall be located within a vision corner triangle unless it is determined that the sign will not affect safety.
(4) 
All overhanging sign parts and the sign base shall be located on the property and behind the right-of-way.
(5) 
All signs shall be constructed/erected on the business property.
D. 
Construction standards. All signs or similar advertising structures shall be governed in their erection and maintenance by the Building Code of the City. No sign or similar advertising media shall be erected without a permit as required in this chapter and the Building Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 164, Construction Standards.
E. 
Height. No freestanding or wall sign shall exceed the height as measured from grade and as hereinafter specified by the regulations of the district in which it is located and as summarized in the Table of Dimensional Requirements, per Subsection F(3). In no case shall the highest point of any sign extend above the highest point of the eave line of the building which houses the business for which the subject sign advertises unless otherwise approved by the Plan Commission.
F. 
Area. No freestanding or wall sign shall exceed the height as hereinafter specified by the regulations of the district in which it is located and as summarized in the Table of Dimensional Requirements, per Subsection F(3).
[Amended 4-19-2013 by Ord. No. 1371]
(1) 
Basic sign (how calculated). The area of a sign is the area encompassing the smallest rectangle that comprises the sign face. Further, the area of a sign shall include any artwork and insignia within a single continuous perimeter, including any spacing between letters, figures, designs, and structure of the sign other than the sign base, together with any frame or other material, color, or condition which forms an integral part of the display and is used to differentiate such sign from the wall or background against which it is placed.
(a) 
For a freestanding sign, the definition of sign area does not include the perimeter architectural embellishments, base structure, and details such as decorative columns and caps, although other ornamental attachments are to be included in determining sign area.
400 Sign Area.tif
(b) 
When the sign only consists of letters, designs, or figures engraved, painted, projected, or fixed on a building or perimeter wall, the total area of the sign shall be the area of the smallest rectangle within which the entire fixed lettering and/or artwork is inscribed.
400 Sign Area Letters.tif
(c) 
All sides of a sign visible from any one location shall be measured in determining the area of the sign, except that only one side of a sign shall be measured if the two sides are back to back or separated by an angle of 45° or less. If the two sides are not of equal size, the larger side shall be measured. A back-to-back sign shall have parallel faces, separated by not more than two feet.
(d) 
This area does not include the main supporting sign structure, but other ornamental attachments are to be included in determining sign area.
(2) 
Reader board sign (how calculated).
(a) 
Reader board sign (including electronically controlled signs) shall not exceed 25% of the area of the main identification sign and is to be part of the main identification sign face, a separate face mounted on the same structure as the main identification sign, or mounted on the building. In any case, such a sign is in the total allowable square footage calculation for all signage at a specific location as it applies to wall, projecting and freestanding signage. The height of the letters installed on said signs shall conform to the values outlined in the table below. Size specifications as herein described shall not apply to signs associated with theaters, churches, schools, government and other nonprofit related services, clubs, and organizations except to the extent as allowed by the Plan Commission and as regulated by the specific zoning district in which they are located.
[Amended 4-19-2013 by Ord. No. 1371]
(b) 
Table of Reader Board Copy Size Height Requirements. The height of the letters installed on signs shall conform to the minimum values outlined below:
Posted Roadway Speed Limit
Distance From Center Line to Ultimate Right-of-Way
30 mph
35 mph
40 mph
45 mph
50 mph
40'
4"
4"
4"
6"
6"
50'
4"
6"
6"
6"
6"
60'
6"
6"
6"
9"
9"
100'
9"
9"
9"
9"
9"
(3) 
Table of Sign Dimensional Requirements.
[Amended 2-4-2010 by Ord. No. 1311[2]]
Zoning District
Wall Signs
(% of wall area)
Projecting Signs
(maximum square footage)
Freestanding Signs
(base square footage amount shown)*
Offset (side yard)
(feet)
Required Setback
Maximum Monument Sign Height
(feet)
B-1, BL-1 and BL-2
3%
35
10
3
See Note 4
20
B-2 and B-3
5%
55
30
3
See Note 4
20
B-4
5%
55
30
3
See Note 4
20 to 30 (See Note 5)
HC-1 and DR-1
5%
55
30
3
See Note 4
20
BP-1, BP-2 and BP-3
3%
55
30
3
See Note 4
20
M-1, M-2 and M-3
5%
35
30
3
See Note 4
20
I-1
3%
35
10
3
See Note 4
20
*
See Notes 1, 2 and 3 for additional allowed square footage.
NOTES:
1.
Square footage may be increased at a rate of one square foot for each additional 10 feet of lot frontage, after the first 50 feet of frontage, up to 300 feet of frontage. In addition, square footage may be increased by one square foot for every two feet additional setback up from the required setback to a maximum of a forty-foot setback from the base setback line.
2.
Square footage may be increased from the value found in Note 1 above a maximum of 20% for all freestanding signs located on properties abutting major rural arterial streets, and if said streets become urban arterials, said signs shall be deemed to be legal nonconforming pursuant to Article VI.
3.
The total area of freestanding signs may be increased from the value found in Notes 1 and 2 above by the percent listed here if applicable:
Distance of Property from Center Line to Ultimate Right-of-Way
(feet)
Sign Area Adjustment
40 or less
0%
50
+10%
60
+15%
100 or more
+20%
4.
Freestanding signs may be located with zero foot setback from the setback line if seven feet in height or less.
5.
Height may be increased to the second number at the rate of one foot for every two feet additional setback from the required setback.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
G. 
All new or replaced freestanding signs must contain a landscaped area at the base of the sign. The landscape bed must be equal in area to the size of the freestanding sign.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
A. 
Existing signs. Signs lawfully existing at the time of the adoption or amendment of this chapter may be continued even if the use, size or location does not conform to the provisions of this chapter. However, it shall be deemed a nonconforming use or structure, and the provisions of Article VI of this chapter shall apply to specific nonconforming rights. Any legal nonconforming sign hereafter relocated, moved, damaged, reconstructed, extended, enlarged, changed (including changing the sign face), altered, or modified shall be made to comply with the provisions of this chapter, except as provided in § 400-34 of this chapter. By maintaining a sign in the established right-of-way of an adjoining street or highway, the owner does so at his own risk, and no damages will be awarded if removal is required for public use or safety or right-of-way acquisition.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Marquee and canopy signs. Marquee and canopy signs affixed flat to the surface of a marquee or canopy are permitted in lieu of a wall sign, provided that the sign does not extend vertically or horizontally beyond the limits of such marquee, awning, or canopy. A marquee or canopy may extend up to 12 feet beyond the building to which it is affixed but shall not extend into a required front yard, side yard, or rear yard, nor shall it extend closer than one foot to the vertical plane formed by the curbline in a shopping center. A name sign not exceeding two square feet in area located immediately in front of the entrance to an establishment may be suspended from a marquee or canopy, provided that the name sign is at least eight feet above the sidewalk.
C. 
Time/temperature and LED devices. Time and temperature and LED devices may be erected as wall signs or part of ground and monument signs and shall meet the requirements attendant to those sign types. Time and temperature and LED devices may display the time, the temperature, activities occurring on the premises, and public events. The signs may change messages or time/temperature every three seconds. Continual scrolling of messages is not allowed. The requirements of § 400-178 also apply. Colors and intensity of LED signage are under the sole discretion of the Plan Commission. LED specifications must be included as part of submittal if intended to be used.
[Amended 4-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1371]
D. 
Directional signs.
(1) 
A sign not to exceed six square feet in area indicating direction to a church, hospital, school or other public service building may be permitted in any district upon approval by the Plan Commission. Further, said sign may be permitted in the public right-of-way subject to the approval of the Public Works and Safety Committee and Waukesha County (if applicable). Not more than four such signs may be erected within the City for any business or organization.
(2) 
A sign, not to exceed 12 square feet in area, for the purpose of directing patrons or attendants to an establishment off the main traveled highway for service clubs, churches, or other nonprofit organizations may be permitted in any district other than a residential district upon approval of the Plan Commission. Further, said sign may be permitted in the public right-of-way subject to the approval of the Public Works and Safety Committee and Waukesha County (if applicable).
(3) 
Signs not to exceed 30 square feet for service clubs, churches or other nonprofit organizations may be permitted in any district, upon approval of the Plan Commission, provided that the sign is designed with a substantial landscape base area as defined in Article XXII of this code and illumination on each side is limited to exterior lighting not exceeding 75 watts per 15 square feet of sign area. Further, said sign may be permitted in the public right-of-way subject to the approval of the Public Works and Safety Committee and Waukesha County (if applicable).
(4) 
A sign not exceeding two square feet in total nonilluminated copy area (two sides of copy permitted), only for the display of local religious and/or civic organization directional signage, may be permitted in the public right-of-way subject to the approval of the Public Works and Safety Committee and Waukesha County (if applicable). Four such signs per organization may be erected in the City at any intersection of an arterial and/or collector highway in any zoning district, and all signs must be located within a two-mile radius of the organization. Four such signs per intersection shall be permitted. An individual organization may have one such sign per intersection and shall be responsible for all costs of maintenance and removal of the structure. Such a sign shall not:
(a) 
Be located so as to block the traveling public's line of vision, impede safe traffic movements or interfere with the viewing and/or function of any traffic control devices.
(b) 
Be designed or positioned so as to be misconstrued as a traffic control device.
E. 
For existing off-premises directional signage associated with existing businesses located in excess of 1,000 feet from a collector or arterial, and when said signage is threatened with relocation or removal as a result of development or redevelopment pressures, such signage may be allowed to be relocated subject to approval by the Plan Commission. As criteria for approval, the Plan Commission considerations shall include but not be limited to:
(1) 
Site suitability as related to compatibility with proposed surroundings.
(2) 
Structural quality and durability.
(3) 
Conformance with current design standards, possibility of detriment to area property values, and public safety.
(4) 
Landscaping provided at the base of the sign.
(5) 
Size shall be limited to 24 square feet in area and nine feet in height above grade.
F. 
Institutional signs. A sign not exceeding 15 square feet in area giving the name and nature of occupancy and information as to the conditions of use or admission may be permitted at each entrance to the grounds or buildings of a private institution, provided that the approval of the Plan Commission is first obtained and that each such sign will not create a traffic hazard, is aesthetically in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and will not cause a depreciation of property values in the adjoining neighborhood.
G. 
Quasi-public informational signs.
(1) 
Noncommercial permanent signs of a general informational nature such as community welcome, safety warning, or other similar nature not to exceed 80 square feet in area may be erected by service clubs or other nonprofit organizations upon approval of the Plan Commission of the location, size and appearance of such sign. Any such sign may have direct constant illumination.
(2) 
No more than three noncommercial temporary signs or one temporary portable sign used for the sole purpose of advertising a special club or community event not to exceed 32 square feet (each) in area may be erected by service clubs or other nonprofit organizations for a single event. No such sign(s) shall be erected until a building permit is obtained from the Building Inspection Division. The permit applicant must be a Muskego resident. There will be no fee charged for said permit, and the conditions of the permit shall stipulate that no more than three signs are permitted for any single event, the maximum period a sign is to be located and that any such sign may have direct constant illumination. There shall be no limit to directional signs; however, no such sign shall exceed nine square feet.
H. 
Residential neighborhood signs. Signs limited to identifying the name of the neighborhood area such as a subdivision or housing development and limited to 12 square feet in area may be permitted at each entrance to the area, provided that the approval of the Plan Commission is first obtained and that each such sign will not create a traffic hazard, is aesthetically in keeping with the character of the neighborhood, and will not cause a depreciation of property values in the adjoining neighborhood. Such sign that is designed either as an integral part of the architecture of a building or as part of a landscape architectural feature such as a wall shall be permitted without limitation as to size if the Commission determines that the foregoing standards would be met.
I. 
Shopping center/project signs. A sign identifying a shopping center or grouping of stores in excess of 50,000 square feet in area may be permitted with the approval of the Plan Commission by the modification of the regulations of the district in which it is located applicable to the height, size and location of such sign consistent with the spirit and intent of the regulations in that district.
A. 
A sign for the purpose of designating a new building or development, for promotion of a subdivision, for announcement of a special event, or for similar special informational purpose may be permitted for a limited period of time in any district with the approval of the Public Works and Development Department (or the Plan Commission if proposal warrants, subject to Public Works and Development Department discretion) and subject to the following:
(1) 
Drawings or sketch drawn to scale showing the specific design, appearance and location of the sign shall be submitted to the Plan Commission for approval.
(2) 
The permitted size and location of any such sign shall be at the discretion of the Plan Commission based upon the character of the area, the type and purpose of the sign and the length of time permitted. However, in no case shall the size of the sign exceed 64 square feet.
(3) 
The sign is to be located on the premises involved and such sign may be permitted for a period up to one year and extension may be permitted for six-month intervals with Plan Commission approval until such time as 75% of development has occurred.
(4) 
Where the sign is not to be located on the premises involved, such sign may be permitted for a period up to nine months and extension may be permitted for six-month intervals with Plan Commission approval until such time as 75% of development has occurred.
B. 
Upon approval of the Public Works and Development Director or designee, a sign such as a banner, changeable copy sign, sandwich board over 12 square feet, etc., for the purpose of announcing a special event or sale, or for a similar special informational purpose, may be permitted for a maximum of 15 days at a time. All temporary signs require a sign permit through the Public Works and Development Department before they can be placed on a site. Temporary signs of this nature can only be approved on a single property up to five times a calendar year. If the property is occupied by only one business, then only one temporary sign is allowed at a time. If the property contains multiple tenants, then no more than two temporary signs can be allowed at one time. Each business/tenant is allowed its own fifteen-day duration up to five times a year. If a property has a permanent changeable copy sign on site, then an additional temporary changeable copy sign is not allowed at any time.
[Amended 4-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1371]
(1) 
Drawing and/or sketch drawn to scale showing the specific design, physical and electrical installation plan, appearance, and location of the sign shall be submitted to the Public Works and Development Director or designee for approval.
(2) 
The permitted size of any temporary sign shall not exceed 64 square feet.
(3) 
Where the sign is to contain electrical service, it shall contain a recognized testing laboratory label such as the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., and a ground fault interrupter device (GFI) and meet applicable provisions of the City Electrical Code, including the issuance of an electrical permit therefor. Installations exposed to potential wind damage shall be made secure with methods as enumerated in the City Building Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 164, Construction Standards.
A. 
All applications for sign permits shall be reviewed initially by the Public Works and Development Director, or his designee, who may issue permits for temporary or permanent signs and such other signs which, pursuant to this chapter, can be issued without review by the Plan Commission. The Public Works and Development Director or designee shall have the authority to deny such permits if the proposed signs do not comport with the requirements of this article.
B. 
Should the Public Works and Development Director or designee conclude, in his discretion, that the Plan Commission should review an application for a sign permit, or should this article require such review for a particular sign, the application will be forwarded to the Plan Commission for review at its next regularly scheduled meeting subject to receipt of a full submittal. The Plan Commission may vote to recommend approval or disapproval of the application based on the following factors:
(1) 
The exterior architectural presentation and functional plan of the proposed sign will be not so at variance with or so similar to the exterior architectural presentation and functional plan of signs already constructed or in the course of construction in the area, or so out of harmony with the area, as to potentially contribute to substantial depreciation in the property values of the area.
(2) 
The proposed sign conforms to the location, size and style requirements set forth in this article.
(3) 
The proposed sign conforms to the City's long-range planning for the area as set forth in the City's Comprehensive Plan.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(4) 
The proposed sign shares similar architectural or building material features of the principal building.
(5) 
The proposed sign meets the design guidelines for the area erected.
C. 
The Plan Commission may establish guidelines which further define and interpret this article. Those guidelines, if any, shall be made available to all applicants.
D. 
Upon approval or disapproval of a sign application by the Plan Commission, the application shall be returned to the Public Works and Development Director or designee, who shall issue approved permits or notify applicants of disapproval of their application and the reasons therefor.
E. 
Whether a sign is approved administratively or by the Plan Commission, a building permit may also be required along with related fees. Building permits are required when the sign has structural implications. All signs with electrical wiring will also require an electrical permit and accompanying inspections.
A master coordinated sign plan shall be developed and submitted for any building that has two or more tenants. The intent of the overall coordinated sign plan is to set forth a theme for the placement, lettering style, color, construction, material and related design considerations of signs, while at the same time minimizing sign confusion and clutter. All multi-tenant buildings shall be required to submit an overall coordinated sign plan when applying for signage.
All signs for which an approval and permit are required shall be subject to inspection by the Zoning Administrator, the Administrator's designee, and/or City Engineer. Footing inspections may be required for all signs having footings. The City Engineer, or Zoning Administrator upon notification by the City Engineer, may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
A. 
No sign shall advertise a business that is in violation of this chapter or for which no zoning, occupancy and/or building permit has been issued. If the Director or his designee finds that any sign or other display structure regulated herein has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of this chapter, the sign will be removed by the Director or his designee. Any sign located in a City of Muskego right-of-way or advertising events not located within the City may be removed immediately without notice.
B. 
Unsafe or hazardous signs. Any sign which is hereinafter found to be unsafe or insecure, or is a menace to the public, or by reason of its location creates a traffic hazard, or is dangerous to persons and property, as determined by the Director, his designee, the City Police Department or the Public Works and Development Department, shall be removed, except for those on private property.
C. 
Abandoned signs. Any sign which does not advertise a bona fide business or product sold, or which is dilapidated or out of repair, shall be removed by the property owner.
D. 
Maintenance. If the sign owner violates the maintenance requirements of this chapter, the sign shall be removed by the property owner.
All signs, together with all of their supports, braces, guys, and anchors, shall be kept in repair and in proper state of preservation. The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or posted at all times. The owner of any sign shall keep it in good maintenance and repair, which includes restoring, repainting to the same color, or replacement of a worn or damaged legally existing sign to its original condition. The owner shall also maintain the premises on which the sign is erected in a clean, sanitary, and inoffensive condition, free and clear of all obnoxious substances, rubbish, weeds, and grass.
A business or property that has signage that does not meet the requirements of the current Sign Code shall be required to bring all signage into compliance when it applies for any signage on the property.
Any person feeling himself aggrieved by any order or ruling of the Plan Commission, Public Works and Development Director or designee, Zoning Administrator or City Engineer may appeal such ruling, conditioned on the case's ripeness, to the Zoning Board of Appeals within 20 days after written notice of such ruling shall have been delivered to him. Such appeal is to be filed in accordance with procedures as outlined in Article III of this chapter, in writing, setting forth the order appealed from and the respects in which said person feeling himself aggrieved claims that said order or filing is erroneous or illegal. Said notice of appeal shall be filed with the Public Works and Development Department, which shall thereupon notify the Public Works and Development Director or designee and/or City Engineer of said appeal, and the appeal shall be heard at the next available meeting upon submittal of a completed application. The Zoning Board of Appeals, after consideration thereof, shall affirm, reverse or modify said ruling as is just.