Planning Department - Regulations
Sign Regulations

Index

  1. Scope
  2. Definitions
  3. Exempt Signs
  4. Prohibited Signs
  5. Sign Aesthetic Guidelines
  6. Residential Zones
  7. Commercial and Industrial Zones
  8. Abatement of Non-Conforming Signs
  9. Political Signs
  10. Portable Signs

Map, Freeway-Oriented Sign Areas
Adoption/Revision History


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Scope

NOTE: PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT FOR DESIGN REVIEW AND SIGN PERMIT REQUIREMENTS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Title.

This resolution shall be known and cited as the Sign Regulations of the City of Red Bluff.

Section 1: Scope

It is unlawful for any person to construct, maintain, display or alter a sign within the City, except in conformance with this resolution and the Uniform Sign Code.

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Section 2:

Definitions

 

AREA
means display surface.
BILLBOARD
means a sign structure which is made available for lease or rent advertising products distributed on a regional or national basis and not sold or incidentally sold on the premises where the sign is located.
BUILDING FACE
means the vertical projection of the building.
BULLETIN BOARD
means a sign which accommodates changeable copy and which displays information on activities and events on the premises or in the community.
CITY PROPERTY
means public buildings, public parks, city streets, alleys, and all other property which is owned by the city or under control and jurisdiction of the City.
DIRECTORY SIGN
means a sign identifying the location of occupants of a building or group of buildings which are divided into rooms or suites used as separate offices or studios.
DISPLAY SURFACES
means as defined in the Uniform Sign Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
FREE-STANDING SIGN
means a sign not attached to any building and having its own support structure.
FREEWAY-ORIENTED SIGN
means a Free-Standing Sign or Shopping Center sign complying with Section 7-F of these regulations and located within the area designated as Freeway-Oriented Sign Area on the map titled FREEWAY-ORIENTED SIGN AREAS, CITY OF RED BLUFF.

All Freeway-Oriented Signs must be located on the portion of a parcel located closest to the freeway as described in Section 7-F.

FRONTAGE:
see "Street Frontage"
GROUP QUARTERS
means a residential facility in which residents do not occupy individual dwelling units.
HEIGHT OF SIGN
means the vertical distance from average adjacent ground level, within five feet of the sign, to the top of the sign including the support structure and any design elements.

Also, the height of a Freeway-Oriented Sign may be determined by measuring the distance in elevations of the surface of the closest northbound or southbound lanes of the freeway and the top of the sign. The as-built height of a Freeway-Oriented Sign shall be certified by a California registered Civil Engineer or Land Surveyor. This written certification shall be submitted to the City within 14 days after the sign is erected or before the City permit authorizing erection of the sign expires, whichever occurs first.

IDENTIFICATION SIGN
means a sign identifying only the name and trademark of the shopping center and/or the occupants of the parcel, but not advertising specific products or services.
INTERIOR-ILLUMINATED SIGN
means a sign any part of which has characters, letters, figures or any portion of the sign face or outline thereof illuminated from an interior light source.
MARQUEE SIGN
means a sign with a single display surface placed on the face of a marquee.
NON-ILLUMINATED SIGN
means any sign with no internal or external artificial light source and only incidentally illuminated by ambient light conditions.
OFF-PREMISE SIGN
means any sign which directs attention to a business, service, product or entertainment not sold or offered or only incidentally sold or offered on the premises on which the sign is located.
PAINTED SIGN
means a sign painted or stained on the surface of a building or similar structure.
PERSON
means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, responsible party, government or any other legal entity.
POLITICAL SIGN
means a sign intended to draw attention to any issue, candidate or measure in any national, state or local election.
PREMISES
is a building or unified complex of buildings on one lot or on two or more contiguous lots under common ownership.
PRICE SIGN
means a sign on the premises of a service station which contains information on the cost and type or grade of motor fuel only.
PROJECTING SIGN
as defined in the Uniform Sign Code as adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
PUBLIC ENTRANCE
is a place of entry at a premises which is accessible to the general public.
RESPONSIBLE PARTY(IES)
shall mean those persons listed as the record owner(s) of the premises upon which the sign or sign structure is located, person or persons occupying said premises, persons carrying on a business within said premises, or persons who own the sign.
ROOF SIGN
is a sign erected upon a roof or parapet.
SECOND STORY
means as defined in the Uniform Building Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
SHOPPING CENTER
means five or more potential stores with a total floor area of at least 30,000 square feet with common off-street parking and all the criteria in this definition noted on a City approved master plan.
SIGN
as defined in the Uniform Sign Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
SIGN STRUCTURE
as defined in the Uniform Sign Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
STREET FRONTAGE OR FRONTAGE
means the horizontal distance along a lot line adjacent to a public street.
SUSPENDED SIGN
means a sign attached to and located below any permanent eaves, roof, marquee or canopy.
TEMPORARY SIGN
as defined in the Uniform Sign Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
WALL SIGN
as defined in Uniform Sign Code adopted by the City of Red Bluff.
WINDOW SIGN
means a sign displayed within a building or attached to the interior of a window but visible through a window or similar opening for the primary purpose of exterior visibility.

 

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Section 3:

Exempt Signs

The following signs shall be allowed and shall not be included in the determination of type, number or area of signs allowed in each zone district. (Under certain circumstances, temporary signs and other exempt signs may require a building, plumbing or electrical permit or design review.)

City staff shall determine if any of the signs noted below are subject to design review. Whenever a sign is exempted from design review in this matter, the Planning Commission shall be advised of staff's decision at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

 

  1. Official federal, state or local government flags, emblems and historical markers.
  2. Official federal, state or local government traffic, directional and information signs and notices issued by any court, person or officer in performance of a public duty or any other sign that is required to be posted by any government agency.
  3. Temporary signs warning of construction, excavation or similar hazards so long as the hazard exists.
  4. One temporary sign per street frontage with a display surface of each sign not exceeding 40 square feet per side used to indicate owner, builder, architect and pertinent data regarding building construction on the building site during construction only.
  5. Signs indicating that the property on which the sign is located is for sale, rent or lease. Only one sign with a single display surface not exceeding 16 square feet or a double display surface not exceeding 32 square feet is permitted along each street frontage.
  6. Identification signs for home occupation limited to not more than 4 square feet of display surface for each residence.
  7. Parking lot and other private traffic directional signs.
  8. Miscellaneous permanent information signs in C-2, C-3, ML, M-1, M-2, AV, CL & PI zones indicating address, hours and days of operation, menus, whether a business is open or closed, credit information and emergency address and telephone numbers.
  9. For each service station, not more that 2 price signs for each frontage, with a single display area not exceeding 20 square feet each, or a double display area not exceeding 40 square feet each, located on the premises but not within the public right of way.
  10. Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions.
  11. Temporary window signs.
  12. Signs showing the location of public telephone and signs placed by utilities to show the location of underground facilities.
  13. Clustered service club signs.
  14. Painted signs which do not exceed the square footage or height that would be allowed for any other type of sign.

 

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Section 4:

Prohibited Signs

In addition to any sign not specifically in accordance with this chapter, the following signs are prohibited:

 

  1. Any sign which simulates or imitates in size, color, lettering or design any traffic sign or signal or which makes use of words, symbols, or characters in such a manner to interfere with, mislead, or confuse pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
  2. Signs attached or placed adjacent to any utility pole, parking meter, traffic sign post, traffic signal or any other official traffic control device in accordance with Section 21464 of the California Vehicle Code.
  3. Signs made wholly or partially of highly reflective material.
  4. Off premises permanent signs, including billboards, except where expressly permitted and except off-premise signs complying with Sections 7-F and 7-G.
  5. Signs on City property except as otherwise provided in these regulations.

 

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Section 5:

Sign Aesthetic Guidelines

Unless a sign is exempted in these regulations, it shall be submitted for design review to determine compliance with the aesthetic criteria noted below:

 

  1. The material, size, color, lettering, location and arrangement of signs must be an integral part of the site and building design.
  2. Signing should be consistent in location and design throughout a project.
  3. Signing should be simple and restrained. Wall signs and low profile free-standing signs are encouraged.

    The Technical Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission can require photographs of "flagging" to document the need for a sign of a particular height.

    (Flagging is the process of installing a marker, such as a balloon, at particular elevations where a sign will be located. The "flag" is then photographed from a particular vantage point on an adjacent street or highway to determine the visibility of the proposed sign at various heights.)

  4. Lighting for signs should be subdued and shielded from view.

 

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Section 6:

Residential Zones

The following signs are permitted within multiple residential zones:

  1. Two identification signs not exceeding 64 square feet on each frontage of a planned development, apartment, condominium, group quarters, institutional use, or uses requiring a use permit. Said sign shall not exceed 8 feet in height above grade.

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Section 7:

Commercial and Industrial Zones

 

  1. Signs for residential uses are permitted as provided in Section 6.
  2. The following signs are permitted within the Neighborhood Business (C-1) zone district.
    1. Wall/window Signs:
      1. The maximum area of all display surfaces on a building shall not exceed 20% of the building face area and shall not exceed 75 square feet.
      2. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story.
    2. Suspended signs or marquee signs:
      1. One suspended sign is allowed for each street frontage. One marquee sign is allowed per street frontage. More than one marquee sign is allowed when approved by the Planning Commission.
      2. The maximum area of any single display surface of a suspended sign shall not exceed 6 square feet.
      3. The maximum area of all display surfaces of a suspended sign shall not exceed 12 square feet.
      4. The maximum area of all display surfaces of all marquee signs shall not exceed 18 square feet minus the area of the display surfaces of all suspended signs.
    3. Projecting Signs:
      1. No single display surface shall exceed 32 square feet.
      2. The sum of the areas of all display surfaces shall not exceed 64 square feet.
      3. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story.
      4. The projection of the sign shall not exceed 60 inches.
    4. Directory Signs: One directory sign at each premises, not interior illuminated, and not exceeding 2 square feet for each individual business or profession.
    5. Free Standing Signs:
      1. One sign per parcel.
      2. The sign shall not exceed 4 feet in height.
      3. No single display surface shall exceed 24 square feet.
      4. The total of all display surfaces shall not exceed 48 square feet.
  3. The following signs are permitted in the Central Business (C-2) and Historic Commercial (H-C) zoning districts.
    1. Wall/window Signs:
      1. The maximum area of all display surfaces on a building shall not exceed 25% of the building face area.
      2. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story.
    2. Suspended signs or marquee signs:
      1. One suspended sign is allowed for each street frontage. One marquee sign is allowed for each street frontage. More than one marquee sign is allowed when approved by the Planning Commission.
      2. The maximum area of any single display surface of a suspended sign shall not exceed 9 square feet.
      3. The maximum area of all display surfaces of a suspended sign shall not exceed 18 square feet.
      4. The maximum area of all display surfaces of all marquee signs shall not exceed 27 square feet minus the area of the display surfaces of all suspended signs.
    3. Projecting Signs:
      1. No single display surface shall not exceed 72 square feet.
      2. The sum of the areas of all display surfaces shall not exceed 144 square feet.
      3. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story or more than 12 feet above the roof line of a one-story building.
      4. The projection of the sign shall not exceed 60 inches.
    4. Free-Standing Signs:
      1. One sign per parcel frontage. Two signs on a single parcel frontage are allowed when approved by the Planning Commission.
      2. The sign shall not exceed 25' in height.
      3. No single display surface shall exceed 96 square feet.
      4. The total of all display surfaces shall not exceed 192 square feet.
    5. Roof Signs:
      1. May be denied by the Fire Department for safety reasons.
  4. The following signs are permitted within the General Commercial (C-3), Freeway-Oriented Commercial (F-C), Light Industrial (M-1), General Industrial (M-2), Airport District (AV) and Planned Industrial (P-I) zoning districts.
    1. Wall/window Signs:
      1. The maximum area of all display surfaces on a building shall not exceed 25% of the building face area.
      2. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story.
    2. Suspended signs or marquee signs:
      1. One suspended sign is allowed for each street frontage. One marquee sign is allowed for each street frontage. More than one marquee sign is allowed when approved by the Planning Commission.
      2. The maximum area of any display surface shall not exceed 9 square feet.
      3. The maximum area of any single display surface of a suspended sign shall not exceed 9 square feet.
      4. The maximum area of all display surfaces of all marquee signs shall not exceed 27 square feet minus the area of the display surfaces of all suspended signs.
    3. Projecting Signs:
      1. No single display surface shall exceed 72 square feet.
      2. The sum of the areas of all display surfaces shall not exceed 144 square feet.
      3. No portion of the sign shall extend above the second story or 12 feet above the roof line of a one-story building.
    4. Directory Signs: One directory sign at each premises, and not exceeding 2 square feet for each individual business or profession.
    5. Free-Standing Signs:
      1. One sign per parcel frontage. Two signs on a single parcel frontage are allowed when approved by the Planning Commission
      2. The sign shall not exceed 40' in height. In an AV District, the height shall not exceed 20'.
      3. No display surface to exceed 240 square feet.
      4. The total of all display surfaces shall not exceed 480 square feet.
      5. Reader board signs not to exceed 150 square feet for a single display surface or 300 feet for a double display surface. Square footage of reader boards shall not be included in the computation of total square footage limits for free-standing signs.
      6. Signs in a P-I district shall comply with the following:
        1. No sign or signs, advertising displays or devices, shall be displayed to public view on any lot until plans showing the size, style, nature, design and location of such signs or advertising displays or devices have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Planning Commission.
        2. No sign shall be permitted or displayed to public view other than the following: Those identifying the name, business or products of the person or firm occupying the premises, and those offering the premises for sale or lease. Free-standing signs shall not exceed 8' in height.
        3. No sign shall be permitted, constructed, placed, painted and maintained on the roof or any portion of the roof. Attached advertising signs shall not project above the topmost point of the building wall on which it is installed, placed, constructed or permitted.
    6. Roof Signs:
      1. In C-3, M-1 and M-2 zones only.
      2. Not to extend beyond the face of the building.
      3. Not to extend 20 feet above the roof line.
      4. The signs may be denied by the Fire Department for safety reasons.
  5. Shopping center identification signs in Commercial and Industrial zones.
    1. Each sign must be reviewed by the Planning Commission for compliance with these regulations.
    2. A master plan and/or master sign plan of the shopping center must be submitted.
    3. The height of the sign shall not exceed 40 feet.
    4. The total display surface of a sign structure shall not exceed 1,200 square feet.
    5. At least 50% of the display surface must be used to identify the name of the shopping center. No more than 50% of the display surface may be used to identify tenants.
  6. Freeway Oriented Signs
    1. If only one business places its message on a sign structure, no display surface area shall exceed 240 square feet, and the total area of all display surfaces shall not exceed 480 square feet. If more than one business places its message on a sign structure, no display surface area shall exceed 360 square feet, and the total area of all display surfaces shall not exceed the product of 480 square feet times the number of businesses placing their messages on the sign structure.
    2. Freeway-Oriented Signs are allowed up to a maximum height of 65 feet. See also the definition of HEIGHT OF SIGN in Section 2 and Sign Aesthetic Guidelines in Section 5 of these regulations.
    3. Each Freeway Oriented Sign must be located at least 200 feet from all other types of Freeway Oriented Signs except:
      1. Freeway Oriented Shopping Center Signs, or
      2. Upon approval of the Planning Commission when it can be found that the 200 foot separation from an existing Freeway Oriented Sign completely envelopes the area available for placement of one Freeway Oriented Sign on a separate parcel and that granting the separation exception would not otherwise defeat the purposes of the Sign Regulations. Freeway Oriented Signs are allowed only on a parcel between two parallel lines described as follows:
      3. One of the parallel lines must extend through the point on the parcel that is nearest the State's Freeway right of way.
      4. The two parallel lines are parallel to the centerline (or the tangent of the centerline) of the portion of the freeway travel lane that is closest to the parcel.
      5. The parallel lines are separated by a distance of 100 feet. (The purpose of this section is to establish a limit on the number of Freeway Oriented Signs on a parcel or parcels by requiring both the 200 foot separation as well as limiting the area where such signs can be placed to a 100 foot wide strip of land on the portion of the parcel located closest to the freeway)

      (The purpose of this section is to establish a limit on the number of Freeway Oriented Signs on a parcel or parcels by requiring both the 200 foot separation as well as limiting the area where such signs can be placed to a 100 foot wide strip of land on the portion of the parcel located closest to the freeway.)

    4. Off-premises freeway oriented signs must comply with Section 7-G of these regulations, except as follows:
      1. With Planning Commission approval such signs can be used for advertising purposes.
      2. With Planning Commission approval such signs can be illuminated.
      3. With Planning Commission approval such signs can be located closer than 1,000 feet from other off-premises signs.
  7. Off-Premise Signs
    1. Off-premise signs for directional purposes only, not for advertising.
    2. Must be removed no later than 12 months after the sign permit issuance date. The 12 month limit can be increased or decreased by the Planning Commission. Extensions can be granted by the Planning Commission.
    3. Not more than two signs are allowed per business.
    4. Off-premise signs can be illuminated only when approved by the Planning Commission.
    5. Written approval of property owner is required as a condition of issuing the sign permit. This agreement must include owner's authorization to install sign and note who assumes responsibility for removing the sign at end of approved term.
    6. Must comply with local and state regulations.
    7. Must be approved by the Planning Commission.
    8. Maximum height: 14'. Maximum area of all display surfaces: 32 sq. ft. Planning Commission may allow signs of greater or lesser height and area.
    9. Minimum spacing between signs 1,000 feet.
    10. Off-premise freeway oriented signs must comply with this section except as noted in Section 7-F of these regulations.

 

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Section 8:

Abatement of Non-Conforming Signs

 

  1. Ceasing to do business.
    1. Sign structures which have not supported a sign for 90 or more days and signs advertising a business which has for 90 or more days ceased to do business shall be removed.
    2. All signs or sign structures that do not conform to the sign code of the City of Red Bluff shall, upon the vacancy of the premises upon which the non-conforming sign or sign structure is located, be removed, within 90 days of the commencement of the vacancy period, by the responsible party(ies).
    3. Such signs and sign structures are declared a public nuisance. The facts constituting such signs and sign structures a nuisance are that they do not give correct information to the general public. They deteriorate and may be a danger to the public health and safety, and they serve no useful purpose.
  2. Sign Maintenance
    1. All signs and sign structures shall be maintained in good condition. A sign or sign structure damaged by deterioration or any cause is declared a public nuisance. The facts constituting such signs or sign structures as a nuisance are that they may be a danger to the public health and safety.
  3. Signs and sign structures shall be removed or made to conform within 60 days after written notice by the Community Development Department upon the following:
    1. Should a sign fail to comply with all City sign regulations; and should such sign continue in existence following 60 days (plus all granted written extensions) written notice of the responsible party(ies), notifying them of such signs failure to comply, then the City may require that said non-complying signs be removed; further, the City may revoke any existing permit for said non-complying sign and sign structure, and may thereafter deny any permit application by the responsible party(ies) seeking to place a sign at the same location.
    2. Should the responsible party(ies) fail to have said sign or sign structure removed within the 60 days (plus all granted written extensions) following written notice from the City to do so, the City may remove or have said sign removed at the responsible party's(ies') expense, and the responsible party(ies) shall reimburse the City for said expense within 30 days of a billing for said expense being sent be certified mail to the responsible party(ies) by the City.
    3. If requested in writing by the responsible party(ies), staff may grant in writing an extension, not to exceed 120 days, to the 60 day period noted in Section 8 (C) 1 & 2 above. Further, the Planning Commission may grant such additional extensions as it deems proper upon written application of the responsible party(ies).

 

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Section 9:

Political Signs

 

  1. City property. Unless otherwise provided for elsewhere in these regulations, signs are not permitted on City property.
  2. PRIVATE PROPERTY. The placement of political signs on private property, including the property of public utilities, shall be limited as follows:
    1. It shall be unlawful to place, erect or maintain any political sign on private property without the consent of the owner of said premises.
    2. It is unlawful to place, erect or maintain any political sign earlier than the last day of the nomination period for the election in which the candidate seeks office.
    3. It is unlawful to maintain any political sign more than ten days after the election; provided however, that in the event of a subsequent run-off election, the signs of the run-off candidates may be maintained until the tenth day after the run-off election. In the event such signs are not removed, City is authorized to remove and destroy said signs and to charge the candidate or campaign on whose behalf the signs were erected.
    4. It is unlawful to place, erect or maintain any political sign so as to pose a visibility hazard to pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic along streets, sidewalks, or at street corners.
    5. It is unlawful to place, erect or maintain any political sign that (1) is lighted or (2) is larger than 16 square feet.
    6. Each political sign shall be labeled with the name, address and telephone number of the sign owner. (added per Res. 2-2002-adopted Feb. 19, 2002

 

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Section 10:

Portable Signs

Non-Electric Portable signs may be placed, without a permit from the City, on private or public property during business hours provided such signs comply with the criteria listed below:

 

Display Period: The signs are removed and not displayed during non-business hours.
Number of signs: One (1) per business.
Spacing: Not closer than twenty (20) feet from any other portable sign.
Location: Are within six (6) inches of a curb or on private property to allow passage of pedestrian traffic adjacent to the building.

 

  • Do not obstruct vehicle sight distance by placing a sign too close to a street corner.

     

  • Must be located within the street frontage of the parcel where the business being advertised is located.

     

  • EXCEPTION: A sign may be located outside this street frontage provided:

    The owner or occupant of the parcel fronting the right-of-way where the sign will be located submits to the City a letter approving placement of the sign, and

    No other portable signs exist within this lot right-of-way frontage.

    (This exception allows a business operator to transfer his right to install a portable sign to another business operator. No more signs will exist throughout the City than will be allowed otherwise.)

     

NOTE:
  • Location on public property is subject to enforcement of Public Works Director (City Code Section 19.10).

     

  • Location on State highways (Highway 36) is subject to CALTRANS approval.

     

  • Location must not restrict pedestrian movement, vehicle parking, vehicle door opening, access to parking meters or view of regulatory signs and must comply with the State's Handicap access Regulations.

     

Height: Sixty (60) inches maximum
Width: Thirty-six (36) inches maximum.
Stabilizing: Must be stabilized to resist wind.
Multiple messages: The City encourages combining messages of more than one business on a single sign structure.
Zoning District: Allowed in commercial Industrial Zoning Districts.

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Map, Freeway-Oriented Sign Areas

scale: 1 inch = 3,125 feet


CSUC Chico Geography Department Oct 16, 1990

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ADOPTION HISTORY - SIGN REGULATIONS *

 

Ordinance 688 5/18/82 Repeal existing Sign Regulations
in Municipal Code
Ordinance 690 5/18/82 Authorizes adoption of Sign Regulations
by Resolution
RESOLUTION    
38-1982   Adopt Sign Regulations
65-1982   Amend Sign Regulations
93-1982   Amend Sign Regulations
78-1983   Amend Sign Regulations
35-1984   Amend Sign Regulations
19-1985   Amend Sign Regulations
3-1987   Amend Sign Regulations
42-1990   Amend Sign Regulations
21-1992   Amend Sign Regulations
12-1994   Amend Sign Regulations
2-1997   Amend Sign Regulations
12-1999   Amend Sign Regulations
50-2001   Amend Sign Regulations-add H-C & F-C zoning districts
2-2002   Amend Sign Regs.-Political Signs

* See also City Code Chapter Five Section 5.30 Sign Regulations promulgated by the City

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