Section 28.3 General Sign Requirements
1. Building Code
All signs shall be designed and constructed in conformity with the current building codes of the Town of Oro Valley.
2. Electrical Code
All signs requiring an electrical permit per Section 28.2.A shall be in conformance with the current National Electrical Code adopted by the Town of Oro Valley.
3. Permanent Sign Materials
All permanent signs shall be constructed using structural members of materials subject to approval of the Building Official and/or Town Engineer. Nonstructural trim may be wood, metal, aluminum, approved plastics, and/or a combination thereof.
4. Temporary Sign Materials
Materials proposed to be used in constructing temporary signs shall be at the discretion of the fabricator but shall be stated in the application for the sign permit unless otherwise provided in this code. Adequacy of materials proposed from the standpoints of stability and safety and of composition and color shall be subject to approval by the Planning and Zoning Administrator and Building Official.
1. Illumination of signs, when permitted by this chapter, may be accomplished only by the following methods:
a. Halo or internal illumination, to the extent that only the sign characters and logos emit light, unless otherwise approved by the Planning and Zoning Administrator or the Planning and Zoning Commission.
b. Sign lighting may include neon, light emitting diodes (LED) and other light sources, except where expressly prohibited in this chapter, in accordance with the following standards:
i. Light sources shall be spaced the maximum distance to obtain uniformity on the face material.
ii. Color temperature shall not exceed four thousand four hundred (4,400) kelvins.
c. Area lighting provided such lighting is in accordance with the Town of Oro Valley Lighting Code.
d. Illuminated wall signs may be turned on no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and shall be turned off no later than 11:00 p.m. or when the business closes, whichever is later, or as specified in this chapter.
e. Electronic message boards such as LED, LCD, plasma screens and similar electronic message signs expressly permitted in this chapter shall meet the following standards:
i. Limited to two hundred (200) nits (candela per square meter), full white mode, from sunset to sunrise.
ii. Constant movement, blinking, flashing, high intensity, or animation caused by an LED or other electronic components of the sign is prohibited.
iii. Message shall not change more than once every twenty-four (24) hours or as State law requires the price of the product to change.
iv. Background of the electronic message board portion of the sign shall be black and no more than two (2) colors shall be allowed for words or numbers.
f. Sign plans submitted for permitting shall be sufficiently complete to enable the Planning and Zoning Administrator to readily ascertain code compliance. The Planning and Zoning Administrator may require additional evidence of compliance such as cut sheets, manufacturer specifications and documentation from the sign and/or sign lighting manufacturer, proving compliance with the lighting standards, which will be kept on file at the Town as evidence of code compliance for follow-up inspections and complaints.
g. A label must be attached to the exterior of sign indicating compliance with maximum kelvin or nit rating.
2. Prohibited Sign Lighting
The following types of light sources are prohibited as means to illuminate or attract attention to any sign:
a. Exposed light source other than as expressly permitted in window signs, Section 28.4.B.14, or as a component of an electronic message board.
b. LED illuminated window sign display areas per Section 28.4.B.14.
c. Blinking, flashing, rotating, constant movement and animated light sources.
e. An illuminated sign placed on the interior of a business which is visible from the exterior shall not be illuminated when the business is closed, except “closed for business” signs.
1. Various sign colors shall be permitted, except fluorescent or iridescent colors.
2. All developments, including those within a Planned Area Development (PAD) that have approved Sign Criteria or Master Sign Program, are required to utilize only approved colors.
D. Location and Measurement Standards
1. Location Standards
A sign shall not be installed to cause the following:
a. Obstruction of any door, window, or fire escape in any building.
b. Interference with or to confuse traffic, present any traffic hazard or obstruct the vision of motorists.
c. Projections over any public sidewalk, street, alley, or public place unless otherwise approved by the Town Engineer and/or Planning and Zoning Administrator or is allowed by any portion of this chapter.
d. Placement in a public right-of-way, except as permitted by Sections 28.7 and 28.8. The Planning and Zoning Administrator or Town Engineer may cause the removal of any unauthorized signs from public right-of-way.
e. Obstruction of another sign, as determined by the Planning and Zoning Administrator.
2. Measurement Standards
a. The area of a sign that consists of individual letters, words and symbols, which are placed upon a building wall or freestanding wall and are not encompassed by a frame or boundary, shall be measured by the overall height of the tallest letter by the overall length of the entire sign. The Planning and Zoning Administrator may approve the calculation of signs by measuring the sum of the smallest rectangular shape needed to enclose each letter or symbol if special circumstances arise that would warrant the need to calculate differently.
b. A sign that consists of multiple faces, such as a monument sign, shall be measured to encompass the overall height by overall length of the largest face.
c. The sign height shall be measured as the vertical distance from the average finished grade beneath the sign to the topmost feature of the sign. If the sign is located where the average finished grade is lower than the adjoining grade of the road, the sign height may be taken from the roadway surface nearest the sign to the topmost portion of the sign.
d. Clearance is measured as the shortest distance between the underside of the sign and the average finished grade beneath the sign.
e. Setbacks for freestanding signs shall be measured from the edge of the sign structure closest to the property line.
E. Inspections and Maintenance
The Building Official, Planning and Zoning Administrator, and/or Town Engineer, or any such person officially designated by them, is hereby empowered to perform inspections, as deemed appropriate, to assure compliance with this code.
a. Each sign shall be maintained in a new or like-new condition at all times so as not to constitute a danger or hazard to public safety or become an eyesore to the community.
b. Repainting/Resurfacing of Signs
Maintenance of signage, such as repainting or resurfacing, shall not require any permits as long as the sign is in no way altered, changed, or modified from its previous state.
1. The base for all permanent freestanding signs shall be integrated into a landscaped area.
2. The landscaped area shall conform to the Town’s landscape requirements and shall be maintained at all times.
3. The landscape design shall not permit plants that would obstruct the visibility of the sign face from the street.