Chapter 11.36 : Signs


11.36.010 Title
11.36.020 Intent
11.36.030 Definitions
11.36.040 Hazardous Signs and Sign Maintenance
11.36.050 Permitted Signs
11.36.060 Applicable Sign Code
11.36.070 Signs in Commercial Districts
11.36.080 Signs in Residential Districts
11.36.090 Billboards
11.36.100 Procedure for Signs Exceeding Requirements

11.36.010 Title. These regulations shall be known as the Belgrade Area Sign Overlay District Regulations and may be cited as the Belgrade Sign Code.

11.36.020 Intent. The intent of this section is to coordinate the physical dimensions of signs to different land uses in Belgrade's Zoning Jurisdiction; to recognize commercial communication requirements of all sectors of the business community; to encourage the innovative use of design; to promote both renovation and proper maintenance; to mitigate the impacts of commercial signs on Belgrade's surrounding natural scenic beauty; to allow for special circumstances; to insure that signs are constructed and installed properly; and to protect the public's health, safety, and general welfare.

11.36.030 Definitions. (see also Chapter 11.02.040)

1). Billboard. A sign larger than 200 square feet in area which is designed to advertise products, services, or businesses not located on the premises on which the sign is located. A sign shall not be considered a "billboard" unless the sign is designed with a surface on which temporary poster panels or painted bulletin panels are mounted for the purpose of conveying a visual advertising message.

2). Construction Sign. A sign identifying a project and/or the developer, realtor, architect, engineer, contractor(s), suppliers, etc. involved in the construction on the property on which the sign is located.

3). Freestanding Sign. A sign supported by one or more poles, posts, or other structures or supports that are permanently affixed to, or anchored in the ground and that are independent from any building or other form of structural support.

4). Height of Sign. The vertical distance measured from the finish ground level grade to the highest point of the sign. Exaggerated or artificial berming to increase height of sign shall not be permitted.

5). Nonconforming Sign. A sign which was lawfully erected and maintained prior to the adoption of this Chapter and all amendments, which now fails to conform to all applicable regulations and restrictions of this Chapter.

6). Parcel. A tract of record, irrespective of ownership, that can be identified by legal description, independent of any other parcel of land, using documents on file in the records of the Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

7). Reader Board. A sign containing a message for public display that is manually altered periodically.

8). Roof Sign. A sign which is erected upon or above any portion of a roof or parapet wall of a building and which is wholly or partially supported by the building.

9). Sign Area: The area of a sign shall only have the largest face counted in calculating its area. The largest portion of the sign that can be seen from a direction at any one time shall constitute a sign face. For example, cube signs shall have two sides counted as one face in calculating area. Pole covers and other embellishments shall not be included in the area of measurement provided that there is not written advertising copy on such embellishments.

10). Temporary/Portable Sign. An outdoor sign not affixed to a building nor permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including but not limited to: banners; signs attached to a chassis designed to be transported by means of wheels (whether or not the wheels are removed is immaterial); A- or T-frame signs; inflatable signs; and signs attached or painted on vehicles (including trailers) parked and visible from the public right-of-way, unless the vehicle is used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business occurring on the premises.

11.36.040 Hazardous Signs and Sign Maintenance. No sign permitted by this section shall, due to its location, lighting, size, intensity or color, create a hazard to the safe, efficient movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. All signs as permitted by this section shall be maintained by the owner and kept in good condition. In addition, all parts and supports shall be routinely painted and repaired when in an unsafe, deteriorated, or rotted condition. The surface of the ground under and about any free standing sign shall be kept free of weeds, rubbish, or flammable waste material. Any sign determined to be hazardous by the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, or Building Inspector shall be removed by the owner of the sign or be repaired or modified so that the hazardous condition no longer exists within 30 days of written notification of the hazard unless otherwise specified (see Chapter 11.28 for appeal procedure).

11.36.050 Permitted Signs.

1). Political signs are permitted on private property in any zoning district with the expressed consent of the owner or occupant of such property. Such signs may not be posted more than sixty days prior to the election and must be removed by those responsible for the erection of the sign or the property owner within seven days following the election. Such sign shall not exceed six feet in height.

2). One construction sign is allowed per construction project. The sign shall be removed not more than five days after completion of construction.

3). Temporary/portable signs as defined in 11.36.030(10), including, but not limited to, banners, pennants, or portable signs may be used as temporary supplemental signage by an organization or licensed business in connection with a special event, or specific major commercial sales event such as, but not limited to, grand opening, close-out sales, going out of business sales or truckload sales. The use of said signs shall not exceed a maximum of 30 days at any one time nor occur on more than four (4) separate occasions within any calendar year.

4). Nonconforming signs are permitted to remain subject to Chapter 11.26. Nonconforming signs are also subject to all requirements of this code regarding safety, maintenance, and repair. A change in copy on a nonconforming sign shall not be construed as changing a sign's nonconforming status and requiring the sign to be in full compliance with this chapter. Temporary/portable signs in use prior to adoption of this chapter are not considered nonconforming uses and must be removed within 30 days of the date this chapter takes effect.

5). Garage sale signs, real estate signs, open house signs, construction signs, special event signs, and otherwise permitted temporary or portable signage shall not be located in public right-of-ways, including alleys and street and highway right-of-ways for a period in excess of seventy-two (72) hours. Signs located in public right-of-ways may be required to be relocated at any time if determined to cause a traffic or pedestrian hazard or obstruction as per Chapter 11.36.040.

6). Signs permanently attached to a building in B-1, B-2, B-3, M-1, M-2, BP, and BP-10 Zoning Districts, other than roof signs, that are a customary accessory use of a building are permitted.

11.36.060 Applicable Sign Code. All signs within the City of Belgrade Zoning Jurisdiction shall be constructed in accordance with the Uniform Sign Code, 1997 edition and all subsequent editions and amendments thereto.

11.36.070 Signs in Commercial Districts. Free standing signs or roof signs in B-1, B-2, B-3, M-1, M-2, BP, and BP-10 Zoning Districts shall not exceed 35 feet in height and 100 square feet in area except per the following provisions and Chapter 11.36.100:

1). Freestanding signs or roof signs not to exceed 65 feet in height and 300 square feet in area are permitted within three quarters of a mile of the median of I-90 where it intersects with Jackrabbit Lane and south of Northern Pacific Avenue in B-2, M-1, and M-2 Districts.

2). Each parcel is permitted a maximum of two freestanding signs or roof signs. Only one free standing sign per parcel is allowed to exceed 15 feet in height or 50 square feet in area. Signs less than 6 feet in height do not count towards the maximum number of freestanding signs.

3). Freestanding signs are permitted one changeable copy reader board below the main sign and/or electronic time and temperature sign. The square footage of the reader board and/or time and temperature sign does not count toward the maximum square footage of the sign.

11.36.080 Signs in Residential Districts.

1). Major home occupations are allowed one nameplate or sign attached to the main door or suspended in a window that shall not exceed two square feet in area. Signs are prohibited for minor home occupations (also see Chapter 11.21.070 and 11.21.080).

2). Family Day Care Homes, Private and Public Child Care Facilities, and Private and Public Day Care Homes are allowed one sign. The sign must be attached to the building and shall not exceed 8 square feet in area.

3). Other businesses listed as permitted conditional uses in residential zones (i.e. medical or professional offices), churches and other organizations, institutions, and apartment complexes are allowed one free standing sign or sign attached to the building. The sign shall not exceed eight feet in height or 12 square feet in area.

11.36.090 Billboards. Billboards shall not be allowed within the Zoning District.

11.36.100 Procedure for Signs Exceeding Requirements. Signs that are proposed to exceed the requirements (height, area, number per parcel, etc.) set forth in this Chapter may be allowed as permitted conditional uses in all zoning districts. An applicant must request a Conditional Use Permit from the City to allow a sign(s) to exceed the requirements of this Chapter (see Chapter 11.21 for the CUP procedure). If the City Council determines that a sign(s) exceeding the requirements of this Chapter is appropriate in a specific case, the Council may require landscaping, architectural features, or other aesthetic or mitigating features as a condition(s) of allowing the sign(s).