Village of Footville, WI
Rock County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Footville 2-6-1975 by Ord. No. 90 (Ch. 27, §§ 27.01 to 27.22, of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The provisions of this chapter shall govern the construction, alteration, repair and maintenance of all signs and outdoor structures, together with their appurtenant and auxiliary devices in respect to structural and fire safety.
Where more restrictive in respect to location, use, size, or height of signs and outdoor structures, the limitations of Chapter 370, Zoning, shall take precedence over the restrictions of Chapter 111, Building Construction.
Terms used in this chapter mean as follows:
BILLBOARD (POSTER PANEL)
A board, panel, or tablet used for the display of printed or painted advertising matter.
CLOSED SIGN
A display sign in which the entire area is solid or tightly enclosed or covered.
COMBUSTIBLE PLASTIC
A plastic material more than 1/20 inch in thickness which burns at a rate of not more than 2 1/2 inches per minute when subjected to the ASTM standard test for flammability of plastics in sheets of six-hundredths-inch thickness.
DISPLAY SIGN
A structure arranged, intended designed, or used as an advertising announcement or direction, and includes a sign, sign screen, billboard, poster panel and advertising device of any kind.
GROUND SIGN
A display sign supported by uprights or braces in or upon ground surface.
MARQUEE SIGN
A display sign attached to, or hung from, a marquee canopy or other covered structure projecting from and supported by the building and extending beyond the building wall, building line, or street line.
NONCOMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL
Shall have definition as set forth in Wisconsin Administrative Code § NFPA 220 4.1.5.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III)]
OPEN SIGN
A display sign in which at least 50% of the enclosed area is uncovered or open to the transmission of wind.
POSTER PANEL
See "billboard."
PROJECTING SIGN
A display sign attached directly to the building wall and which extends more than 15 inches from the face of the wall.
ROOF SIGN
A display sign erected, constructed and maintained above the roof of the building.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A display sign, or other advertising device constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric or other temporary material, with or without structural frame, intended for a limited period of display, including decorative displays for holidays or public demonstrations.
WALL SIGN
A display sign painted or attached directly to the building wall and which extends not more than 15 inches from the face of the wall.
A. 
Application. Before any permit is granted for the erection of a sign or outdoor display structure, plans and specifications shall be filed with the Building Inspector showing dimensions, materials, location on the lot and required details of construction, including loads, stresses and anchorage.
B. 
Owners consent. Applications shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is to be erected.
C. 
Alterations. No sign shall be enlarged or relocated except in conformity with the provisions of this section and in conformity with the provisions of Chapter 370, Zoning. The changing of movable parts of an approved sign that is designed for such changes, or the repainting or reposting of display matter shall not be deemed an alteration provided the conditions of the original approval and the requirements of this section are not violated.
D. 
Special exceptions. The Village Board may authorize signs to be erected which incorporate a design at variance with the technical requirements of this chapter, provided that such approval is found by the Village Board to be reasonably necessary to accommodate a demonstrated and substantial need on the part of the applicant for a permit and the design of the sign is determined by the Board to be in fundamental harmony with the overall intent of this chapter. An applicant seeking such authorization from the Village Board shall include in the permit application a request therefor, along with a description of the manner in which the requested design is at variance with the technical requirements of this chapter. After review of the application, the Building Inspector shall provide a written recommendation with respect to the requested authorization which recommendation shall be reviewed by the Village Board prior to its taking action upon the request.
[Added 5-1-2008 by Ord. No. 5-1-08]
No permit shall be required for signs or outdoor display structures as specified below. Such exceptions, however, shall not be construed to relieve the owner of the sign from responsibility for its erection and maintenance in a safe manner.
A. 
Any unlighted wall sign, independent of other signs, erected on a building or structure, which is not more than one square foot in area;
B. 
Letters, number or symbols painted or attached to walls or windows, intended to give the location or street address of the building;
C. 
Signs used to advertise public demonstrations or promote civic welfare or charitable enterprises, when such activities have been approved by the Village Board;
D. 
Legal notices required to be posted by the ordinances of the Village, state or federal law;
E. 
Political signs portraying bona fide candidates or issues. Such signs shall be limited in area to 32 square feet, may not be placed sooner than 60 days prior to election day and must be removed within 10 days following the day of election;
F. 
Signs erected on a municipal state, county or federal building which announce the name, location, nature of occupancy and information as to the use of or admission to the premises;
G. 
Signs erected to announce the sale or rent of the property upon which they are located provided such signs are not in excess of limitations imposed according to the zoning district in which they are located according to the following provisions:
(1) 
Such signs in the R-1 through R-3 districts shall not exceed three feet in height and nine square feet in area.
(2) 
Such signs in the C-1 and C-2 districts shall not exceed four feet in height and 32 square feet in area.
(3) 
Such signs in the I-1 through I-2 districts shall not exceed six feet in height and 60 square feet in area.
H. 
Construction signs, engineer's and architect's signs, authorized by the Building Inspector, in connection with construction operations provided such signs do not exceed six feet in height or 60 square feet in area.
A. 
When any sign becomes insecure, in danger of falling or otherwise unsafe, or if any sign shall be unlawfully installed, erected or maintained in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the owner thereof or the person or firm maintaining same, shall upon written notice of the Building Inspector, forthwith in the case of immediate danger and in any case within not more than 10 days, make such sign conform to the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 370, Zoning, or shall remove it. If within 10 days the order is not complied with, the Building Inspector may remove such sign at the expense of the owner, lessee or the owner of the land upon which the sign is located and the costs of such removal shall become a lien upon the property and shall be assessed and collected as a special tax.
B. 
A projecting display sign erected at other than right angle to the wall of a building or structure outside of the building line, which extends above the roof cornice or parapet wall, (or above the roof level when there is no cornice or parapet wall, and which obstructs access to the roof) is hereby deemed unlawful. Such signs shall be removed as provided in this section.
C. 
No sign shall be permitted to project beyond public alley lot lines.
D. 
No swinging sign shall be erected or maintained over any sidewalk.
A. 
The Building Inspector may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Such removal and the costs thereof shall be in accordance with the provisions for removal in § 252-6.
B. 
All signs, together with all their supports, braces, guys and anchors shall be kept in repair in accordance with the code and when not constructed of corrosion-resistive noncombustible materials, shall be painted when necessary to prevent corrosion.
C. 
It shall be the responsibility of the owner or lessee of every sign to maintain the immediate premises occupied by the sign in a clean, sanitary and healthful condition.
D. 
Every sign for which a permit is required shall be subject to periodic inspection.
A. 
No sign heretofore approved and erected will be repaired, altered or moved nor shall any sign or any substantial part thereof which is blown down, destroyed or removed, be reerected, reconstructed, rebuilt or relocated, unless it is made to comply with all provisions of this chapter.
B. 
This section shall not be construed to prevent the repair or restoration to a safe condition as directed by the Building Inspector of any part of an existing sign when damaged by storm or other accidental emergency.
C. 
Any sign that is moved to another location either on the same premises or to other premises shall be considered a new sign and a permit shall be secured for any work performed in connection therewith.
A. 
Every sign shall be registered with the Building Inspector by the person maintaining the same.
B. 
Every sign for which a permit has been issued and hereafter erected, constructed or maintained, shall be plainly marked with the name of the person owning, erecting, maintaining or operating such sign.
Signs shall be designed in accordance with good engineering practice and constructed to the provisions for materials, loads and stresses of this section.
A. 
Wind loads. The effect of wind pressure shall be thoroughly considered in design; but in no case shall the wind load be assumed less than 30 pounds per square foot of net exposed area for roof signs or 20 pounds per square foot for ground signs.
B. 
Illumination. No sign shall be illuminated by other than electrical means and electrical devices and wiring shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the Electrical Code. In no case shall any open spark or flame be used for display purposes unless specifically approved by the Building Inspector for locations outside the fire limits.
C. 
Electrical connections. No electrical connections shall be made from any sign to an electrical service except by an electrician licensed with the State of Wisconsin.
D. 
Obstruction to exitways. No sign shall be erected so as to obstruct any fire escape, required exitway, window or door opening used as a means of egress, or to prevent free passage from one part of a roof to another part thereof or access thereto.
E. 
Obstruction to ventilation and light. No sign shall be attached in any form, shape or manner which will interfere with any opening required for light and ventilation provisions of the code.
A. 
Bottom clearance. The bottom capping of all ground signs shall be at least 30 inches above the ground, but the intervening space may be filled with open latticework or platform decorative trim.
B. 
Structural frame. The structural frame of ground signs shall not be erected of combustible materials to a height of more than 35 feet above the ground.
C. 
Facings. Sign facings may be constructed of approved plastic or wood products designed and protected to withstand the elements to a height not exceeding 35 feet above the ground, except as provided in the fire limits.
D. 
Setbacks. Signs within 15 feet of any property line shall not be less than 10 feet above sidewalk level.
A. 
Materials. All roof signs shall be constructed entirely of metal or other approved noncombustible materials. Provision shall be made for electrical ground of all metal parts; and where combustible materials are permitted, all wiring and tubing shall be kept free and insulated therefrom.
B. 
Bottom clearance. There shall be a clear space of not less than six feet between the lowest part of the sign and the roof level except for the necessary structural supports.
C. 
Supports. No roof sign shall be supported on or braced to wooden beams or other combustible materials.
A. 
Materials. Wall signs exceeding 40 square feet in area shall be constructed entirely of metal or other approved noncombustible materials.
B. 
Reflectors. Lighting reflectors may project not more than eight feet beyond the face of the wall provided such reflectors are at least 12 feet above the sidewalk level; but in no case shall such reflectors project beyond a vertical plane three feet inside the face of the curbline.
C. 
Extension. Wall signs shall not be erected to extend above the top of the wall, nor to extend beyond the ends of the wall to which they are attached.
A. 
Materials. Projecting signs shall be constructed entirely to metal or other approved noncombustible materials.
B. 
Maximum projection. No such sign shall project over a street or other public space more than 10 feet from the face of the building or structure, nor in any case beyond a vertical plane three feet inside the face of the curbline.
C. 
Clearances. No clear space of not less than 10 feet shall be provided below all parts of such signs.
A. 
Materials. Marquee signs shall be constructed entirely of metal or other approved noncombustible materials.
B. 
Height. Such signs shall not exceed seven feet in height nor shall they project below the facia of the marquee nor lower than 10 feet above the sidewalk level.
C. 
Length. Marquee signs may extend the full length but in no case shall they project beyond the ends of the marquee.
A. 
Pole signs. Pole signs shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials and shall conform to the requirements for ground signs or roof signs, as the case may be.
B. 
Banner and cloth signs. Temporary signs and banners attached to or suspended from a building, constructed of cloth or other combustible material, shall be strongly constructed and securely attached to their supports. They shall be removed as soon as torn or damaged and in no case later than 60 days after erection; except that permits for temporary signs suspended from or attached to a canopy or marquee shall be limited to a period of 10 days.
C. 
Maximum size. Temporary signs of combustible construction shall be not more than 10 feet in one dimension nor more than 100 square feet in area.
D. 
Special permits. All temporary banners suspended from buildings or hung from poles, which extend across streets or other public spaces shall be subject to special approval of the Village Board.
E. 
Signs in the public way. Permission may be granted, within the provisions of Chapter 370, Zoning, and this chapter, to erect a sign which extends or projects over public property provided that the owner or lessee of such sign, or his successors, agree to assume the cost of removing or altering the sign when so ordered by the Village in its exercise of its police power.
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation desiring to erect any sign extending over a sidewalk or public alley and which is so located as to constitute a potential hazard to persons or property on such sidewalk or public alley, shall first procure public liability insurance thereon in a company duly licensed to do business in Wisconsin, for the principal sum of not less than $25,000 liability for injury to any person and not less than $10,000 for damage to property, with a maximum of $50,000 liability on account of personal injuries in any one accident, such policy to be approved by the Village Attorney and a copy of the policy or a certificate of such insurance deposited with the Building Inspector, which policy or certificate of insurance shall further carry an endorsement including the Village and protecting the Village as its interests may appear as the result of any accident or injury for which it might become in any way liable. In the event that such insurance should be terminated for any reason or that the holder of any permit shall fail to keep such insurance in force at any time, then the permit for the maintenance of such sign shall automatically terminate and such sign shall forthwith be removed, or if not removed by the holder of the permit, then such sign shall be removed or caused to be removed by the Building Inspector, and the expense thereof shall be recovered from the holder of the permit.
B. 
All liability insurance shall be renewable annually as of January 2, succeeding the granting of the permit and on each succeeding year.
Before receiving a permit to construct, erect, alter or remove a sign or outdoor display structure, the owner or his agent shall pay to the Village Clerk a fee as hereinafter set forth.
A. 
Signs.
(1) 
For each square foot, or fraction thereof, of surface area: $0.15.
(2) 
For double-faced signs, minimum fee (double fee): $5.
B. 
Individual letter and figure type signs.
(1) 
Per square foot of letter or figure area (based on outside dimensions of such letter or figure): $0.15.
(2) 
Minimum fee per letter of figure: $1.
C. 
Billboards.
(1) 
Per square foot of surface area: $0.05.
(2) 
Minimum fee: $2.50.
D. 
Signs having a common supporting system, that do not have a continuous framing system, shall be considered to be separate signs and subject to minimum fee.
E. 
Permit fees. A permit fee shall be paid to the Village Clerk for each sign permit issued under this chapter; provided, however, that a fee shall not be charged for putting an existing sign in conformity with this chapter, or for a copy change when no change in business name is involved.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III)]
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III)]
A. 
Signs eligible for characterization as legal nonconforming. Any sign located within the Village of Footville limits as of the date of adoption of this chapter hereafter which does not conform with the provisions of this chapter is eligible for characterization as a legal nonconforming sign and is permitted, providing it meets the following requirements:
(1) 
The sign was covered by a proper sign permit prior to the date of adoption of this chapter;
(2) 
If no permit was required under the applicable law for the sign in question and the sign was, in all respects, in compliance with applicable law on the date of adoption of this chapter.
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 chapter.
(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 chapter with a new permit secured therefor or shall be removed.
C. 
Legal nonconforming sign maintenance and repair. Nothing in this chapter 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 chapter regarding safety, maintenance and repair of signs.
[Amended 3-4-2010 by Ord. No. 030410]
Before issuance of a permit under this chapter, the Building Inspector may require the applicant to furnish a cash or surety performance bond inuring to the benefit of the Village in an amount determined by the Building Inspector not to exceed $1,000. The bond shall be conditioned upon the satisfactory removal of the sign within 10 days after issuance of an order by the Building Inspector requiring such removal for violation of any provision of this chapter or any condition or other requirement specified in the permit. The Building Inspector may waive the requirement for such bond if the Building Inspector determines, in the Building Inspector's discretion, that the nature of the sign is such that a bond is not warranted.
[Amended 3-4-2010 by Ord. No. 030410]
The Building Inspector shall have the power to remove any sign which is not properly maintained and to charge the cost of removal to the real estate on which sign is located, such charge to be entered on the next tax roll following 10 days' written notice of the amount of the charge to the owner of the property.
No more than three permits for signs for any one lot shall be granted by the Building Inspector. Additional permits may be issued by the Village Board upon a showing of need for the additional permit.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III)]
Violations of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 1-4, Penalties.