Village of Cottage Grove, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 1-17-2005 by Ord. No. 01-2005; 2-21-2005 by Ord. No. 03-2005; 10-16-2006 by Ord. No. 04-2006; 10-16-2006 by Ord. No. 08-2006]
A. 
The purpose of this article is to establish standards for the fabrication, erection, and use of signs and signage for all properties within the Village of Cottage Grove. This article regulates the location, type, size, and height of signage in order to protect and promote the public welfare, health, and safety of persons within the community; to aid in the development and promotion of business and industry; and to ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of the Village of Cottage Grove within the Village's zoning districts. The adoption of this article reflects the formal finding of fact on the part of the Village of Cottage Grove Plan Commission and the Cottage Grove Village Board that regulation of signage furthers four compelling governmental interests:
(1) 
To promote the public welfare, health, and safety of all persons using the public thoroughfares and rights-of-way within the Village of Cottage Grove as to the signage displayed thereon, or overhanging, or projecting into such public spaces;
(2) 
To advance the aesthetic goals of the Village throughout the community, and to ensure the effectiveness and flexibility in the design of, and the creativity of, the use of such devices without creating detriment to the general public;
(3) 
To reduce the visual clutter caused by advertising signage which the Village has determined is a significant cause of unsafe traffic and visibility conditions; and
(4) 
To limit the spread of unattractive strip commercial development, of which signs are a primary contributor, so as to be respectful of the reasonable rights of other advertisers and business entities whose messages are also displayed in such areas.
B. 
Furthermore, the Village of Cottage Grove advocates that this regulation leaves ample and adequate alternative channels of commercial speech communication for the messages portrayed on such advertising signage, namely, print media, broadcast media, web-based advertising, direct mail and point-of-purchase display, and is narrowly defined so as to limit any prohibitions on commercial speech on exterior signage.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B below, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, move, or convert any sign in the Village, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a sign permit for each sign as required under this article. This section shall apply and be construed to require a permit for a change of copy on any sign or for any conversions or changes in the sign structure for which a permit has been previously issued. This section shall not apply for a sign which remains in the same location and size but is being repainted, or receives other normal maintenance on the sign or its structure.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
B. 
The following sign uses and purposes are permitted in all zoning districts and do not require a sign permit:
(1) 
Memorial signs, tablets, name of building and date of erection when cut into masonry surface or when constructed of metal and affixed flat against a structure.
(2) 
Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions not to exceed eight square feet and located on the premises; must be located a minimum of seven feet from any street right-of-way or any easement.
(3) 
On-premises directional signs which bear no advertising if under four square feet and four feet or less in height. Permission to erect such signs must be obtained from the Plan Commission.
(4) 
Official signs, such as traffic control, parking restrictions, information and notices.
(5) 
Warning signs not to exceed two square feet and located on the premises.
(6) 
Real estate signs not to exceed eight square feet in area which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which said signs are temporarily located.
(7) 
Political signs as permitted by § 325-107D.
(8) 
Temporary signs or banners when authorized by the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission.
C. 
Permit requirements.
(1) 
The sign permit fee shall be required for all new signs and any modifications of any existing sign structure that would change the size or location of the existing sign. (See § 325-18.) Replacement of an individual business name panel within an otherwise unmodified, previously permitted multi-tenant sign does not require a permit.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(2) 
Any sign permit granted hereunder may not be assigned or transferred to any other sign or modified sign face or sign structure.
(3) 
Only those permanent or temporary signs which have been granted a permit from the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission in accordance with the provisions of this section may be erected, installed, constructed or maintained.
(4) 
For all other signs (excluding freestanding signs) the owner or tenant may include all such signs at one premise under one permit if provisions of § 325-102D are complied with.
(5) 
All signs which are located over a public right-of-way shall require the property owner or tenant to procure public liability insurance in a company licensed to transact business in Wisconsin for the principal sum of not less than $25,000 liability to any one person or $50,000 liability on account of any one accident. Such policy shall further have an endorsement protecting the Village of Cottage Grove or its interest as the result of any accident or injury for which the Village might become liable.
D. 
Application procedure. Each initial application for a sign permit shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator on forms to be provided by that office, prior to installation of a new sign or modification of an existing sign face or sign structure. Application shall include:
(1) 
The name and address of the permit applicant.
(2) 
The name and address of the business owner (if different than sign applicant).
(3) 
A legible scaled drawing with description and dimensions of the sign(s) to be erected or maintained under that permit and the sign's proposed location on the building or site. Color samples shall be provided.
(4) 
Written proof of consent from the property owner upon which the sign(s) are to be erected and maintained.
(5) 
Evidence of liability, insurance policy, or bond as required herein for signs located over a public right-of-way per Subsection C, above.
(6) 
Proof of payment of the appropriate sign permit fee, when required.
(7) 
Any other item of information that may be reasonably required by the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission for the purpose of application evaluation.
E. 
Granting and issuance.
(1) 
All sign permit applications shall be reviewed by the Village staff. The Zoning Administrator shall deny or grant such applications, and within 30 business days of receipt of the complete application and payment of fee per Subsection A, above, the Zoning Administrator shall issue the sign permit.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(2) 
No permit for a sign issued hereunder shall be deemed to constitute permission or authorization to maintain an unlawful sign nor shall any permit issued hereunder constitute a defense in an action to abate an unlawful sign.
(3) 
Applicants seeking a variation from the regulations of this chapter may appeal to the Plan Commission for approval of the proposed variation. In addition to the required application materials listed above, the applicant shall provide a written description of the proposed variation and shall state why the variation is needed. Application materials must be submitted to the Village no later than two weeks prior to the Plan Commission meeting, and the applicant shall attend the Plan Commission meeting.
[Added 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
F. 
Basis for granting. In reviewing a sign permit application, the Village staff shall consider the following factors in deciding whether or not to grant the issuance of a sign permit.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(1) 
Whether the sign is compatible with the surroundings, pursuant to the objectives of proper design and zoning criteria.
(2) 
Whether the sign is designed, installed, and maintained to meet the sign user's needs while at the same time promoting the surrounding environment desired by the general public.
(3) 
Whether the sign is designed, constructed, installed, or maintained in such a manner that it does not endanger public safety or traffic safety. No sign or advertising structure shall be erected at any location where it may, by reason of its position, shape, color, or other characteristics, interfere with, obstruct the view of or be confused with an authorized traffic sign, traffic signal or other traffic device nor shall any sign make use of the words "DANGER," "DRIVE-IN," "DRIVE-THRU," "LOOK," "STOP," "YIELD" or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic.
(4) 
Whether the sign is legible, readable, and visible in the circumstances in which it is to be used.
(5) 
Whether the sign, including size, colors, height, illumination, materials used in construction and location, is respectful of reasonable rights of other advertisers whose messages are displayed in the area.
(6) 
Whether the sign is in compliance with the provisions of this article.
(7) 
Whether the sign is in compliance with the provisions of the Village of Cottage Grove General Ordinances relating to traffic safety, traffic visibility, setbacks and the Zoning Ordinance.
G. 
Revocation.
(1) 
Upon Class I notice and after a public hearing conducted by the Plan Commission, any permit may be revoked by the Plan Commission in the event that the applicant has failed to comply with the provisions of these regulations or any conditions that may have accompanied the permit at the time of granting.
(2) 
Any sign permit issued by the Zoning Administrator shall be null and void and automatically revoked in the event that construction, installation, or manufacture of the sign has not been commenced within 180 days from the date of the issuance of such permit. If work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 45 days any time after the work is commenced, the original permit shall become null and void. A new permit shall first be obtained to complete or restart the work, and a new permit fee shall be required.
(3) 
Upon any revocation, the sign(s) subject to such revoked permits, whether freestanding, overhanging, or projecting, shall be removed by the licensee within 45 days of such revocation.
(4) 
Upon expiration of a sign permit the partial or incomplete sign shall be removed within 45 days unless a new sign permit is granted in the forty-five-day period.
(5) 
Revocation shall not give cause to a right of total or partial reimbursement of license fees paid.
H. 
Appeals. Any permit application reviewed by the Village staff, which is denied, or any revocation, under Subsection G above, shall be subject to appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals per the requirements of the conditional use process. Charges for said appeal shall be returned if said appeal is successful.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
I. 
Enforcement. Upon written notice to the sign owner, if known, or the owner of the property upon which the sign is located or affixed, the Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to order the repair or removal of any sign which is defective, which is an illegal nonconforming sign, or which has been erected, installed, constructed, or maintained in violation of this article so as to be dangerous to the public health and safety. In the event the person so notified should fail to comply with such an order within 30 days of the date of such notice, that person will be subject to the issuance of a citation under this subsection.
(1) 
Penalty. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any provision of this article shall be subject to a penalty, upon conviction thereof, by forfeiture under § 325-26, together with the costs of prosecution. Each separate offense and each day a violation continues or occurs, shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
Other remedies in law or equity. Nothing under this subsection shall prevent the Village of Cottage Grove from exercising any other remedies, in law or equity, and the penalties outlined herein are cumulative and in addition to any other such remedies.
(3) 
Removal of defective or dangerous signs by the Village. The Zoning Administrator shall cause to be removed any sign that endangers the public safety or health and extends or projects into any public thoroughfare or right-of-way within the Village, such as abandoned, dangerous, or materially defective signs or signs for which no permit has been issued. Said removal shall only be accomplished after at least a five-day written notice has been given stating the reasons for said emergency violation or removal. Said notice shall state that if the sign is not removed or the violation is not corrected within said emergency five-day time period, that the sign shall be removed in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. All notices mailed by the Zoning Administrator shall be mailed to the owner of the property on which the sign is located, to the owner of the sign, and to the occupant of the property, if the identity and whereabouts of such persons can be determined. Otherwise, notice should be mailed to such persons at the last known address and posted on the sign or on the premises.
The following definitions shall be used by this article to assist in the establishment of clear-cut signage regulations. In general, sign purposes refers to where or how a sign is used. Sign types refers to the style of the sign, and sign measurement explains how the dimensions of a sign are determined.
SIGN
Any object, device, display, structure, or part thereof, situated outdoors and in view of the general public, which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, colors, figures, logos, symbols, fixtures, or projected images. Signs do not include the flag or emblem of any nation, organization of nations, state, city, religious, fraternal, or civic organization; also merchandise and pictures or models of products or services incorporated in a window display, works of art which in no way identify a product, or scoreboards located on athletic fields. Building colors and outline lighting which do not convey a company identification, logo or message specific to the use (as determined by the Zoning Administrator) are not considered signs. Definitions of particular functional, locational, and structural types of signs are listed in this Section. (Traffic control and other public agency signs located within a right-of-way are not included within this definition and are not regulated by the provisions of this article.) Flags which display a corporate name, logo, color or product produced on-site shall count as regulated signs. Signs identifying the business or its products displayed in store windows and facing out for exterior viewing shall also be considered signs.
A. 
Sign purposes.
(1) 
A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment conducted, sold, or offered elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is displayed. Advertising signs include billboards. No new off-premises advertising signs shall be permitted within the Village.
(2) 
A sign which provides special information, such as price, hours of operation, or warning and which does not include brand names, or information regarding product lines or services. It may contain a business logo if the logo is under one square foot in area. Examples of such signs include "no trespassing" signs and signs which list prices of gasoline, up to one price listing sign per type of fuel, which must be displayed on a single structure.
(3) 
BUSINESS SIGN:
(a) 
A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, or entertainment conducted, sold, offered, or manufactured upon the premises where the sign is located. Refer to § 325-106.
(b) 
A wall or monument sign located on a host property which provides direction to a subject business at an off-site location. Off-premises business signs are not permitted in the Village.
[Added 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(4) 
A permanent sign approved with a conditional use permit which may have changeable copy and which is limited to the display of information of interest to the general community regarding scheduled public events and public activities. Refer to § 325-104D.
(5) 
A sign which indicates only the name, direction, and/or distance of a governmental facility. This definition does not pertain to off-premises advertising signs. Refer to § 325-103A, the definition of "advertising sign."
(6) 
A sign which indicates only the name, logo (if under one square foot), and or direction of a pedestrian or traffic facility, or a particular building within a complex of structures, on the property on which said facility or building is located; limited to four feet or less in height. Refer to § 325-102B(3).
(7) 
A sign displaying the collective name of a group of uses, such as the title of a shopping center, office park, or industrial park and its tenants. No sales or price information shall be permitted. Portions of the sign containing names of individual tenants shall be considered as part of the area of a group sign. Group signs shall only be permitted within developments serving two or more nonresidential tenants, and are permitted on any form of permitted business or identification signage. Refer to § 325-106C(1).
(8) 
A sign indicating the name and/or address of the project, property owner, tenant and/or manager of the property, address, and name and phone number of the property manager. Refer to § 325-105B(1).
(9) 
A sign or advertising display (including festoons, pennants, banners, pinwheels, inflatable, and similar devices) intended to be displayed for a certain period of time (as permitted by § 325-107). Included in the definition of "temporary signs" are retailers' signs temporarily displayed for the purpose of informing the public of a sale or special offer. If a sign display area is permanent but the message displayed is subject to periodic changes, that sign shall not be considered as temporary. A mobile or portable sign shall not be considered a temporary sign or used for such a purpose. Refer to § 325-107.
B. 
Sign types.
(1) 
A type of projecting, on-building sign (See definition of "projecting sign" below.) consisting of a fabric or fabric-like sheathing material.
(2) 
A self-supporting sign resting on or supported by means of poles, standards, or any other type of base on the ground. This type of sign includes monument signs and pylon signs. (Refer to definitions of "monument sign" and "pylon sign" below.) The base and support(s) of any and all freestanding signs shall be concealed and shall comply with the State Building Code. The height of a freestanding sign shall be measured per Subsection C(1). Refer to § 325-104C(1).
(3) 
A type of projecting, on-building sign (See definition of "projecting sign" below.) sheltering the entrance and/or entrance approaches of a theater, auditorium, fairground, museum or other use, which advertises present and scheduled events.
(4) 
A sign mounted on a frame or chassis designed to be easily relocated, including vehicles and/or trailers whose principal commercial use is for signage. Refer to § 325-104C(2).
(5) 
A type of freestanding sign (See definition of "freestanding sign" above.) whose bottom edge is located within one foot of a ground-mounted pedestal and whose top edge is located no more than 10 feet high. Refer to § 325-104A(9) and B(1).
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(6) 
A temporary sign which is limited to 32 square feet, and which is limited to a noncommercial, personal greeting or message used to announce, congratulate, or greet members of a family or work staff.
(7) 
A type of on-building sign, other than a wall sign which is attached to and projects more than one foot, generally perpendicular from a structure or building face. Refer to Subsection 325-104C(2).
(8) 
A type of freestanding sign (See definition of "freestanding sign" above.) whose bottom edge is located more than one foot above a ground-mounted pedestal or whose top edge is located more than six feet high. (See "monument sign.")
(9) 
A type of on-building sign mounted parallel to a building facade or other vertical building surface. Refer to § 325-104C(1).
C. 
Sign measurement.
(1) 
The average elevation of the ground upon which the sign supports are placed, except when the sign supports rest upon a berm or other area elevated above the surrounding ground. In such cases, the average elevation of the base of such berm or other area shall be considered as the ground level. The berm shall have side slopes no greater than 5%.
(2) 
Sign area shall be measured in the following manner:
(a) 
In the case of a sign placed within a frame, a marquee sign, or other structure, sign area consists of the entire surface area of the sign on which copy could be placed. The supporting structure or bracing of a sign, including the supports of monument signs not used for copy, shall not be counted as a part of the sign face area unless such structure or bracing is made a part of the sign's message. Where a freestanding on-premises sign (monument or pylon) has two or more display faces, the total area of all of the display faces which can be viewed from any single location shall be considered the sign face area.
(b) 
In the case of a sign whose message is fabricated together with the background which borders or frames that message, sign face area shall be the total area of the entire background.
(c) 
In the case of a sign whose message is applied to a background which provides no border or frame (such as individual letters to a building face or awning), sign face area shall be the combined areas of the smallest rectangles which can encompass each word, letter, figure, emblem, and other element of the sign message per a scaled, fully dimensioned drawing approved by the Zoning Administrator. Where such drawing is not provided, said area shall be the smallest area enclosed in a single rectangle.
(d) 
Signs less than one square foot in area are not regulated by this article.
(e) 
The following illustration demonstrates how sign face area is measured.
Sign Measurement Standards
A. 
Sign prohibitions and limitations.
(1) 
No sign shall use any word, phrase, symbol, shape, form, or character in such manner as to interfere with moving traffic, including signs which incorporate typical street-type and/or traffic control-type signage designs and colors.
(2) 
Except for sequin-like eye catcher devices and temporary signs, no fluttering, undulating, swinging, rotating, inflatable, or otherwise moving signs or other decorations shall be permitted. No signs shall emit sounds, including music or speech.
(3) 
No sign or advertising structure shall be illuminated by intermittent, rotating or flashing lights.
(4) 
No illuminated sign shall be permitted unless the illumination of the sign is so designed as to prevent glare, and no sign shall be lighted by a lighting of intermittent or varying intensity. Animated signs or signs having moving parts, moving illuminated messages or signs which may be mistaken for traffic devices or which diminish the visibility or effectiveness of such traffic signal devices are prohibited.
(5) 
All future signs lit by an external light source fixture shall be illuminated from above.
(6) 
No mobile signs shall be permitted.
(7) 
Off-premises directional signs shall be permitted only for governmental uses.
(8) 
No inflatable signs shall be permitted.
(9) 
No advertising vehicle signs shall be permitted, except as temporary signs. Refer to Subsection C(4).
(10) 
No sign shall be placed so as to obstruct or interfere with traffic visibility.
(11) 
No off-premises advertising signs shall be permitted. Existing legal off-premises advertising signs made nonconforming by this article shall be permitted to continue as legal, nonconforming structures. These signs may not be relocated, structurally modified, or replaced if damaged over 50%.
(12) 
No pylon signs shall be permitted.
(13) 
Window obstruction by interior signs shall not exceed more than 15% for all combined window areas on the same facade of the structure. Area devoted to signage within windows shall not count toward the sign area maximum permitted for the use.
(14) 
No sign shall be attached to or painted on natural objects, such as trees or rocks.
(15) 
No sign shall be placed as to obstruct or be attached to any fire escape, window, door or opening used as a means of ingress or egress, for fire-fighting purposes, or placed so as to interfere with an opening required for legal ventilation.
(16) 
No sign shall be cluttered with colors or otherwise difficult to read as determined by the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission.
(17) 
No sign shall be mounted to canopies or roof structures or any pole used for utilities or lighting or any column or support used as part of any structure on the premises.
B. 
Sign location requirements.
(1) 
No sign shall be erected or maintained at any location where, by reason of its position, wording, illumination, size, shape, or color, it may obstruct, impair, obscure, interfere with the view of, or be confused with, any authorized traffic control sign, signal or device. Freestanding signs may not be located within vision triangles nor otherwise impede traffic or pedestrian visibility. Freestanding sign setbacks from right-of-way lines vary by zoning district; refer to §§ 325-105 and 325-106.
(2) 
No sign shall be located within a required buffer yard. Refer to the Village of Cottage Grove Zoning Code.
(3) 
No sign shall be mounted or displayed on the roof of a structure.
(4) 
No sign, temporary or otherwise, shall be displayed on private property without the owner's or renter's permission.
(5) 
Private signs shall not be allowed within road right-of-way lines or within Village easements.
(6) 
Projecting signs shall only be permitted if they exist as of the effective date of this chapter, and shall be a minimum of 10 feet over the elevation of a pedestrianway.
(7) 
Freestanding signs shall be located a minimum of 12 feet from side or rear property lines or equivalent to their maximum height, whichever is greater, except that on-premises directional signs less than 36 inches tall shall be located a minimum of one foot from a property line.
(8) 
Awnings and canopies made of cloth are permitted. Such awnings shall be free of backlighting be located a minimum of 10 feet over the elevation of a pedestrianway.
(9) 
No person shall erect, construct, or maintain any sign upon any property or building without the express consent of the owner or person entitled to possession of the property or building or his or her authorized representative.
C. 
Sign configuration requirements.
(1) 
Freestanding sign configuration. A freestanding sign shall not be erected so that it impedes visibility for safe pedestrian and/or vehicular circulation. The footing and related supporting structure of a freestanding sign including poles, pylons, bolts, flanges, brackets, etc., shall be concealed by the sign exterior, masonry covering, earth and permanent groundcover, or through the use of evergreen shrubs. Refer to § 325-103, the definition of "sign," Subsection B, freestanding sign.
(2) 
Projecting sign configuration. No sign shall project over any part of any street except where a business structure is located on the front property line. Projecting signs shall be mounted directly to a building. In no instance shall such sign be projecting more than 12 inches into and over a public right-of-way or private street, drive, or parking area. Refer to § 325-103, the definition of "sign," Subsection B, projecting sign and wall sign.
(3) 
Wall sign configuration. A wall sign shall not extend beyond the edge of any wall or other surface to which it is mounted, nor shall it project more than 12 inches from its surface. The height of a wall sign shall be measured from the base of the building below the sign to the top of the sign face. The top of the sign shall be no higher than the nearest portion of the building to which it is mounted without a conditional use permit. Signs painted directly on a wall or other portion of a building are not permitted. Refer to § 325-103, the definition of "sign," Subsection B, wall sign.
(4) 
Advertising vehicle sign configuration. No persons shall park any vehicle or trailer on a public right-of-way or on private properties so as to be seen from a public right-of-way, which has attached thereto or located thereon any sign or advertising device for the basic purpose of providing advertisement of products or directing people to a business activity located on the same or nearby property or any other premise. Licensed business vehicles containing typical business signage and which are actively used on a daily basis for business purposes, are exempt from this prohibition. Refer to Subsection A(9).
D. 
Community information signs. Community information signs are permanent or temporary signs that are limited to the display of information of interest to the general community regarding scheduled public events and public activities. Community information signs may provide for changeable copy. Permanent community information signs are to be designed in a manner consistent with their purpose and location as determined by their review and approval as a conditional use. Temporary community information signs shall be limited to display between four weeks prior to the event and shall be removed within 48 hours after the event.
(1) 
Such sign shall only display information regarding events and information of general interest to the residents of Cottage Grove. Copy which may be considered as advertising a product, private or a restricted participation event, or activity for private profit as determined by the Plan Commission, shall be prohibited.
(2) 
Such sign may be located on private or public property.
(3) 
Such sign shall conform to the visibility requirements of Subsection A(10).
(4) 
Such sign shall not be counted as adding to the area of signage on the subject property for the purposes of regulating sign area per § 325-106.
A. 
Rules for all signs.
(1) 
Signs shall comply with all provisions of this article, including §§ 325-103 and 325-104 for general signage definitions and regulations.
(2) 
Signage on a lot shall be limited to the combined total of all signs listed under Subsection B, below, or as otherwise modified by conditional use, planned development, deed restriction or other site specific regulation, restriction or requirement. The owner of a property containing more than one tenant shall allocate signs to the tenants, up to the allowed maximum for the entire property. This provision will allow the property owner to allocate all of the allowed signage to one tenant and none to another tenant if he or she saw fit to do so.
(3) 
Vacant lots upon which advertising signs now exist or which are erected pursuant to this article shall be maintained in an orderly fashion by the frequent removal of rubbish and maintenance of landscaping.
(4) 
At the termination of business, commercial or industrial enterprise, all signs shall forthwith be removed from the public view. Responsibility for violation shall reside with the property owner, according to the latest official tax roll listing.
B. 
Rules for particular sign purposes.
(1) 
Identification sign.
(a) 
For one-family, two-family, three-family or four-family dwelling:
[1] 
Permitted sign type: wall sign.
[2] 
Maximum permitted number per lot: one.
[3] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: two square feet.
(b) 
For multifamily dwelling of five or more units, or institutional use:
[1] 
Permitted sign type: wall sign, canopy sign or monument sign.
[2] 
Maximum permitted number per lot: one monument, plus one wall or canopy.
[3] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: 24 square feet.
(c) 
For group development or subdivision:
[1] 
Permitted sign type: wall sign, canopy sign or monument sign.
[2] 
Maximum permitted number per development: per plat or conditional use.
[3] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: 32 square feet.
[4] 
Maximum combined permitted area of all signs: per plat or conditional use.
(2) 
Auxiliary sign (such as "Beware of Dog" or "No Trespassing" for all land uses):
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per lot: two.
(c) 
Maximum permitted area per sign: two square feet.
(3) 
On-premises directional sign (for multi-family, group development or institutional use).
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign or monument sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per lot: one sign for each vehicular entrance, one sign for each vehicular exit, one sign for each parking area conditions list. Institutional uses may use any additional number of signs as needed.
(c) 
Maximum permitted area per sign: four square feet.
(d) 
Maximum permitted sign height: four feet.
(4) 
Temporary sign (per § 325-107).
(5) 
On-premises business sign (for legal, nonconforming business only): shall comply with provisions of § 325-106.
(6) 
Off-premises directional sign (for governmental facility only):
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign or monument sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per development: per conditional use permit.
(c) 
Maximum permitted area per sign: four square feet.
(d) 
Maximum permitted area of all signs: per conditional use permit.
(7) 
Community information sign (per § 325-102C).
A. 
Rules for all signs.
(1) 
Signs shall comply with all provisions of this article, including §§ 325-103 and 325-104 for general signage definitions and regulations.
(2) 
Signage on a lot shall be limited to the combined total of all signs listed under Subsection C, below, or as otherwise modified by conditional use, planned development, deed restriction or other site specific regulation, restriction or requirement. The owner of a property containing more than one tenant shall allocate signs to the tenants, up to the allowed maximum for the entire property. This provision will allow the property owner to allocate all of the allowed signage to one tenant and none to another tenant if he or she saw fit to do so.
B. 
Rules for particular sign purposes (all residential land uses): shall comply with provisions of § 325-105.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
C. 
Rules for particular sign purposes (all office, commercial, institutional, and industrial land uses).
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
(1) 
On-premises business signs (also see Table 325-106).
(a) 
For RH, PO, PB, and PI, GI, and HI Zoning Districts:
[1] 
Permitted sign type: on-building (wall or awning) sign:
[a] 
Maximum permitted number per building: one on-building sign for each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property or agriculturally zoned lot designated for future residential use on the Land Use Plan Map, and one sign associated with each principal public doorway on each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property.
[b] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: Wall signs for any single business, or single business tenant in a group development, shall not be greater than 1.5 square feet for every linear foot of building frontage (or for every linear foot of business frontage in a multi-tenant building), not to exceed 200 square feet total. Wall signs must be proportionate to the building and wall size for the single business or for any single business tenant. On-building signage shall be placed so as not to substantially block view of on-building signage for adjacent buildings or businesses.
[2] 
Permitted sign type: freestanding sign (monument sign, pylon sign).
[a] 
Maximum permitted number per lot: Total number of freestanding signs per lot shall not exceed one.
[b] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: 100 square feet.
[c] 
Maximum permitted sign height: 10 feet for monument sign; 25 feet for pylon sign.
[d] 
Support structure shall be harmonious with building architecture. Metal elements shall be painted black or a color that is consistent with the building architecture. Use of stone, brick, split-faced CMU or some combination thereof in a base or as structure is encouraged.
[e] 
Minimum permitted sign front setback for freestanding sign: three feet. (No part of signage may extend past vertical plane located three feet from front property line.)
[f] 
Maximum permitted sign front setback for freestanding sign: 40 feet (No part of signage may extend past vertical plane located 40 feet from front property line.), unless approved as a conditional use.
[g] 
Minimum permitted sign side and rear setback for freestanding sign: shall match the building setback regulations of the zoning district in which the proposed signage is located, unless approved as a conditional use.
(b) 
Group development signs for shopping centers or industrial parks. For RH, PO, PB, PI, GI, and HI zoning:
[1] 
Permitted sign type: on-building (wall, projecting, or awning) sign:
[a] 
Maximum permitted number per building: one on-building sign for each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property and which contains one or more public doorways except that one projecting sign may be used in addition to wall or awning sign. All on-building signage for any business shall be located on the exterior of the wall directly adjacent to that business.
[b] 
On-building signs for any single business, or for any single business tenant in the group development, shall not be greater than 1.5 square feet for every linear foot of building frontage (or for every linear foot of business frontage in a multi-tenant building), not to exceed 200 square feet total. On-building signs must be proportionate to the building and wall size for the single business or for any single business tenant. Projecting signs shall not exceed 12 square feet unless used in lieu of other on-building signage. On-building signage shall be placed so as not to substantially block views of on-building signage of adjacent buildings or businesses.
[2] 
Permitted sign type: freestanding sign (monument, pylon).
[a] 
Maximum permitted number: one per lot showing the name of the group development, unless additional signs are approved by the Plan Commission. Signs may also display the names and/or logos of tenant businesses. Individual businesses within a group development may not have individual freestanding signs.
[b] 
Maximum permitted number per lot: Total number of freestanding signs per lot shall not exceed one.
[c] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: 150 square feet.
[d] 
Maximum permitted sign height: 10 feet for monument sign; 25 feet for pylon sign.
[e] 
Support structure shall be harmonious with building architecture. Metal elements shall be painted black or a color that is consistent with the building architecture. Use of stone, brick, split-faced CMU or some combination thereof in a base or as structure is encouraged.
[f] 
Minimum permitted sign front setback for freestanding sign: three feet. (No part of signage may extend past vertical plane located three feet from front property line.)
[g] 
Maximum permitted sign front setback for freestanding sign: 40 feet (No part of signage may extend past vertical plane located 40 feet from front property line.), unless approved as a conditional use.
[h] 
Minimum permitted sign side and rear setback for freestanding sign: shall match the building setback regulations of the zoning district in which the proposed signage is located, unless approved as a conditional use.
(c) 
On-premises business signs.
[1] 
For CB Zoning District. Permitted sign type: On-building (wall, projecting, awning, and marquee) sign.
[a] 
Maximum permitted number per building: one on-building sign for each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property or agriculturally zoned lot designated for future residential use on the Land Use Plan Map, and one sign associated with each principal entrance on each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property, except that one projecting sign may be used in addition to wall or awning sign.
[b] 
On-building signs for any single business, or for any single business tenant in the group development, shall not be greater than 1.5 square feet for every linear foot of building frontage (or for every linear foot of business frontage in a multi-tenant building), not to exceed 200 square feet total. On-building signs must be proportionate to the building and wall size for a single business or for any single business tenant. Projecting signs shall not exceed 12 square feet unless used in lieu of other on-building signage. On-building signage shall be placed so as not to substantially block views of on-building signage of adjacent buildings or businesses.
[2] 
For NB and NO Zoning Districts.
[a] 
Permitted sign type: on-building (wall, projecting, awning, and marquee) sign.
[i] 
Maximum permitted number per building: one on-building sign for each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property or agriculturally zoned lot designated for future residential use on the Land Use Plan Map, and one sign associated with each principal public doorway on each exposed side of the principal use building not directly adjacent to a residentially zoned property except that one projecting sign may be used in addition to wall or awning sign.
[ii] 
Maximum permitted area per sign: wall signs for any single business, or for any single business tenant in the group development, shall not be greater than 1.5 square feet for every linear foot of building frontage (or for every linear foot of business frontage in a multi-tenant building), not to exceed 200 square feet. On-building signs must be proportionate to the building and wall size for a single business or for any single business tenant. Projecting signs shall not exceed 12 square feet unless used in lieu of other on-building signage.
[b] 
Permitted sign type: monument sign.
[i] 
Maximum permitted size: 100 square feet.
[ii] 
Maximum permitted sign height: 10 feet.
[iii] 
Minimum permitted sign setback: eight feet from right-of-way.
(2) 
Auxiliary sign (such as required gas price sign or "No Trespassing" sign).
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign or monument sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per lot: per approved site plan.
(c) 
Maximum permitted area per sign: combined area of all auxiliary signs shall not exceed an area equivalent to 50% of the permitted freestanding or on-building sign area, whichever is greater.
(3) 
On-premises directional sign.
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign or monument sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per lot: one sign for each vehicular entrance, one sign for each vehicular exit, one sign for each parking area conditions list.
(4) 
Temporary sign (per § 325-107).
(5) 
Off-premises directional sign (for governmental facility only).
(a) 
Permitted sign type: wall sign or monument sign.
(b) 
Maximum permitted number per development: per conditional use permit.
(c) 
Maximum permitted area per sign: four square feet.
(d) 
Maximum permitted area of all signs: per conditional use permit.
(6) 
Community information sign (per § 325-102C).
For all temporary signs, the owner or tenant must contact the Zoning Administrator and provide the name and address of the applicant, and the description and location of the sign to be erected prior to actual installation. Only one temporary sign may be displayed on a property at any one time. If a lot contains more than one business, each business can have up to 30 days to display temporary signs, but none concurrently. Except as provided by Subsections A through E below, any one lot is permitted to display a temporary sign for a maximum of 30 days within any twelve-month period. Furthermore, any one business is limited to a maximum of two temporary signs in any twelve-month period. (Political signs are exempt from this restriction.) A portable sign is not a temporary sign. Temporary signs shall be set back a minimum of three feet from all property lines.
A. 
For each lot: one "For Sale," "For Rent," "Now Hiring/Help Wanted," or "Garage Sale" sign, not more than six square feet in area.
B. 
For each lot: one "For Sale" or "For Rent" sign up to 32 square feet for vacant commercial and industrial properties, building or portions of buildings.
C. 
For construction on or development of a lot, one sign not more than 32 square feet in area, indicating the name of the contractors, engineers or architect, or products being used in the construction of a building but only during the time that construction or development is actively under way.
D. 
For a temporary event of public interest such as a neighborhood garage sale or church fair, one sign, not over 32 square feet in area located upon the property of the event or off-site location approved by the property owner and the Zoning Administrator or Plan Commission. Such sign shall not be erected more than 30 days before the event and shall be removed immediately after the event. No event shall use more than five such signs, regardless of the number of properties involved.
E. 
Political signs are permitted without restriction so long as they locate per the requirements of § 325-104B(4), do not impair vision, or do not otherwise create a public nuisance. Such sign shall not be erected more than 30 days before the election and shall be removed within 48 hours after the election. Political signs shall be limited to a maximum of 32 square feet, and shall be limited to one sign per candidate for any property. Such signs may not be located on public property.
F. 
For each real estate subdivision that has been approved in accordance with the Village of Cottage Grove Land Division Regulations, two temporary development project identification signs are permitted to be located on some portion of the subject subdivision. Each such sign shall be not more than 32 square feet in area. These signs shall comply with the visibility standards of § 325-104A(9). These signs shall be permitted to remain within the subject subdivision until a time at which building permits have been issued for 80% or more of the lots in the subdivision.
G. 
One personal greeting/congratulatory sign per premises shall be permitted for up to seven days, which is limited to eight feet in height and 32 square feet in dimension and which is not intended for commercial purposes.
H. 
For new businesses, one temporary "Now Open" sign, up to 32 square feet shall be permitted for the first 90 days of operation.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 03-2014]
A. 
Definition: Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, including but not limited to signs with an A-frame style with display on both sides, or flags or banners displaying commercial imagery or text and not mounted on a permanent foundation, and not including types of temporary signage specifically defined in § 325-107. Signs meeting the regulations of this section may be displayed without the need to obtain a permit.
B. 
No more than one sandwich board sign not to exceed 32 inches by 48 inches per customer entrance as long as the entrances are at least 20 feet apart shall be permitted. Flags or banners displaying commercial imagery or text shall not exceed 12 square feet. A business shall be allowed no more than a total of two sandwich boards or other movable signs per property.
C. 
Sandwich board signs and other movable signage shall not impede pedestrian ways or traffic visibility.
D. 
Sandwich board signs and other movable signage shall be located on private property not more than 10 feet from the subject building or building parking area and not in public right-of-way unless removed daily.
E. 
Sandwich board signs may be placed in the following locations:
(1) 
On the subject building wall; any sandwich board signs placed on building walls shall not count toward the allowable number or area of permitted signage.
(2) 
In the street terrace areas only in a commercially zoned district. Signs placed in the street terrace area must not impede vision for traffic or pedestrians. These signs must also be removed daily.
A. 
All signage within the jurisdiction of this article shall remain in a state of proper maintenance. Refer to Subsection B, below.
B. 
Proper maintenance shall be the absence of loose materials (including peeling paint, paper or other material), the lack of excessive rust, the lack of excessive vibration or shaking, the lighting of the sign to be at original standards and provide even lighting and replacement of dim or defective lighting elements and the presence of the original structural integrity of the sign, its frame and other supports, its mounting, and all components thereof.
C. 
The repainting, changing of parts, and preventive maintenance of signs which completely conform to the requirements of this article, and result in absolutely no change in the appearance of the sign from that originally approved, shall not be deemed alterations requiring a sign permit.
D. 
The owner, lessee, or manager of a sign, and the owner of the land on which the same is located, shall keep grass or weeds and other growth cut and debris and rubbish cleaned up and removed from the lot on which the sign is located.
E. 
Any signs which may be, or may hereafter become rotted, unsafe, or in a state which is not properly maintained shall be repaired or removed by the licensee or owner of the sign, or owner of the property upon which the sign stands upon notice of the Zoning Administrator.
F. 
All signs shall be constructed and mounted so as to comply with State Building Codes. All signs, including existing signs, which are not in compliance with this article shall be brought into compliance or shall be removed immediately.
G. 
All signs shall be constructed and maintained to conform with State Electrical Codes. All signs, including existing signs, which are not in compliance with this article shall be brought into compliance or shall be removed immediately.
H. 
The base of signs shall be landscaped so as to conceal footings, mountings, brackets, and related structural elements.
I. 
All signs shall in no instance create a traffic visibility or other safety hazard.
J. 
Signage found to be in violation of the provisions of this article shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Village of Cottage Grove Building Code.
A. 
Nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Signs legally existing as of the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the provisions of this article, shall be nonconforming signs and shall be subject to the provisions of § 325-108.1B. Nonconforming signs may be maintained. No nonconforming on-premises sign shall be altered or moved to a new location without being brought into compliance with the requirements of this article. Refer to Subsection B(1), below.
(2) 
Business signs on the premises of a nonconforming use or building may be continued per Subsection B, but new signs for such uses shall not be allowed, nor shall expand in number, area, height, or illumination. New signs, not to exceed the maximum allowable aggregate sign area may be erected only upon the complete removal of all other signs existing at the time of adoption of this article.
(3) 
Nonconforming signs shall be removed when the principal structure located on the premises undergoes a change of use, or shall be removed per Subsection B. Closing businesses must remove their signs within 45 days of closing.
(4) 
Signage not in compliance with the provisions of this section shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection B.
(5) 
Whenever there is a change in the sign user (excluding off-premises signs), the owner, or owner of the property on which the sign is located, the new sign user, owner, or new property owner shall forthwith notify the Zoning Administrator of the change. No new sign permit is required unless there is modification of the sign face or sign structure.
B. 
Removal of nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Alteration of signs.
(a) 
For the purpose of this article, alteration of a sign is considered to be any change to the exterior appearance of any part of the sign, its frame, its supporting structure, or its lighting, including changing the message (except for marquee or off-premises advertising signs), symbols, color, material, height, location, or any other alterations as determined by the Zoning Administrator.
(b) 
Altering a sign does not include maintaining the existing appearance of the sign; replacing the sign face or the supporting structure with identical materials, colors, and messages; changing the message of a marquee sign; or changing the face of an off-premises advertising sign.
(c) 
For a period extending 10 years from the effective date of this article, a tenant sign which comprises part of a group development sign may be replaced to accommodate a new tenant sign without triggering the need to bring the entire group development sign, or any of its parts, into compliance with the provisions of this article.
(2) 
The penalties of the Village Cottage Grove Building Code shall be applicable to violations of the provisions of this article.
C. 
Exemptions for historic signs. The following historic signs shall be exempt from this Section and may be maintained with altered messages:
(1) 
Any signage for the Historic Fire Station located in Fireman's Park which fits the time period the building was originally constructed.
(2) 
The Historical Marker located in the road right-of-way in front of the Cottage Grove Cemetery.
(3) 
Signage on the property of the Gaston School House explaining its history or designating its founding families.
Applicants for a zoning permit for a sign or advertising structure may be required to execute a surety bond in a sum to be fixed by the Village Board; and it shall be of a form and type approved by the Village Board, indemnifying the municipality by reason of the erection, construction or maintenance of such sign or advertising structure. A liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Wisconsin, and conforming to the requirements of this section, may be permitted by the Village Board in lieu of a bond.