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A. Purpose

1. The purpose of this chapter is to establish reasonable regulations for the design, construction, location, and maintenance of all exterior signs in the Town of Oro Valley in order to:

a. Preserve and protect the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience. Protect the general public from injury or damage which may be caused by faulty and uncontrolled construction or improper location of signs within the Town.

b. Provide for an effective form of communication while preserving the scenic beauty of the desert environment. Ensure that the signage is clear; compatible with the character of the adjacent architecture and neighborhoods; and provides the essential identity of, and direction to, facilities in the community.

c. Enhance the potential economic value and quality of development within the community, as well as promote and aid the tourism industry, an important part of the Town’s economy.

d. Promote the effectiveness of signs by preventing sign over-concentration, improper placement, excessive clutter, size, and number.

e. Safeguard and preserve the unique character of the Town and create an attractive and appealing community environment in which to live, work, and visit. Assure that the public benefits derived from the expenditure of public funds for the improvement and beautification of streets and other public structures and spaces shall be protected by exercising reasonable controls over the character and design of sign structures.

2. It is not the purpose of this chapter to repeal, abrogate, annul or in any way impair or interfere with existing provisions of other laws or ordinances, except those specifically repealed by this chapter.

B. Requirement for Conformity

If any sign and/or sign structure is located, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained in violation of this chapter, the Town or any owner or tenant of real property aggrieved by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies available at law, may institute appropriate injunction proceedings to correct the violation with the Oro Valley Magistrate Court.

C. Nonconforming and Discontinued Signs

1. Signs Rendered Nonconforming

a. If, at the time of the adoption of this chapter or amendment thereto, or of any extension of jurisdiction resulting from annexation, any permanent sign which is being used but does not conform to the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed legally nonconforming.

b. Any sign which becomes legally nonconforming shall be permitted to remain, provided the sign:

i. Is not increased in area or height;

ii. Remains structurally unchanged, except for reasonable repairs or minor alteration;

iii. If relocated, due to no fault of the owner, is placed in the same relative position on the remaining property that it occupied prior to the relocation;

iv. Is relocated in a manner so as to comply with applicable safety requirements; and

v. Is not discontinued per subsection C.2 of this section.

c. Alteration or Removal of Nonconforming Signs

i. A nonconforming sign shall not be re-erected, relocated (except as permitted above), or replaced unless it is brought into compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

ii. Any nonconforming sign shall be removed or rebuilt in full conformity to the terms of this chapter if it is damaged or allowed to deteriorate to such extent that the cost of repair or restoration is fifty percent (50%) or more of the costs and/or replacement of materials.

2. Signs Rendered Obsolete or Discontinued

a. With the exception of lease, rent, and for sale signs, any sign which is located on a property which becomes vacant and unoccupied for a period exceeding three (3) months shall be deemed to have been discontinued.

b. Sign structures which remain vacant, unoccupied, obsolete, devoid of any message or display a message pertaining to a time, event, or purpose that no longer applies for more than three (3) months shall be deemed discontinued.

c. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the premises to remove any sign deemed discontinued subject to penalty as set forth in Section 30.2.

3. Change in Business

a. When a business establishment closes, relocates, changes names, or abandons any sign or structure, the owner of the property shall remove the sign, or cause it to be removed, within thirty (30) days of the change of business. If the sign is to be immediately re-faced with a new business name, a new sign permit shall be required and applicable fees shall be paid. A permit shall be nontransferable from one (1) owner to another.

b. A nonconforming sign shall be brought into compliance with the requirements of this chapter when a business establishment closes, relocates, changes names, or abandons any sign. A permit and applicable fees for the sign modifications are required.

D. Liabilities for Insurance and Damages

1. The provisions of this code shall not be construed to relieve or to limit in any way the responsibility or liability of any person, firm, or corporation which erects or owns any sign from personal injury or property damages caused by, or attributed to, such sign. The provisions of this code shall not be construed to impose upon the Town of Oro Valley, its officers or its employees any responsibility or liability by reason of the approval of any sign under the provisions of this code.

E. Prevailing Code

In the event a provision established in this chapter is found to be in conflict with another provision in the Oro Valley Zoning Code Revised, or any other Town Code, the more restrictive shall prevail.

In the event that a commercial, industrial, or residential development and/or subdivision should fall under a Planned Area Development (PAD), the rules and regulations of that PAD shall apply.

If the Town-adopted sign regulations/guidelines for any development project, including Planned Area Developments, do not specifically address any such sign standard, the provisions of this chapter shall apply.

F. Signs Prohibited by Omission

In addition to those signs, or sign types, specifically prohibited by Section 28.10, any sign, or type of sign, not specifically permitted under provisions of this code shall be prohibited.