Signs - Downtown District

Sec. 6-116. – Permanent signs on Old U.S. 41 from Bonita Beach Road to Rosemary Street.

In order to provide fair, equal and adequate exposure to the public and to prevent a single property owner from visually dominating neighboring properties with signs, and to promote the purpose and intent of the Old U.S. 41 Redevelopment District Overlay and adjacent area, all nonresidential uses fronting on Old U.S. 41 from Bonita Beach Road to Rosemary Street (hereinafter referred to as Old U.S. 41) is limited to a total permissible sign area in accordance with the provisions of this section. Signs permitted in the Old 41 Redevelopment Overlay, except sandwich signs, must be reviewed by the design reviewer consistent with the Old 41 Redevelopment Overlay provisions in chapter 4.

  1. Address numbers. Address numbers shall be no less than six inches in vertical dimension.
  2. Sign band. A single external sign band or zone may be applied to the facade of each building, provided that it shall not exceed two feet in vertical dimension by any length. The band should be located between ten feet and 14 feet above the floor. The sign band or zone may contain multiple individual signs but all must refer to a tenant of the building. The sign shall consist of letters applied directly on the facade of the building and shall not be on a board unless a sign plan is approved for the building. A maximum of two sign bands may be placed on the facade of each building.
  3. Additional pedestrian signs. Additional pedestrian signs or shingles may be attached to a building perpendicular to the facade extending up to four feet from the facade or may be placed underneath an awning, gallery or arcade structure and attached to that structure. These signs shall not exceed 1½ feet by four feet. There may be one individual pedestrian sign for each business located on the first floor.
  4. Lettering on awnings: In addition, the vertical drip of an awning may be stenciled with letters no more than (eight) inches in vertical dimension by any length.
  5. Illumination of signs .
    1. External signs shall not be translucent and may only be externally lit.
    2. Signs on the interior of a window shall be limited to no more than 20 percent of a window up to a maximum of 12 square feet in area.
    3. No sign, display, merchandise or window tinting shall be placed on or adjacent to any window that would interfere with a clear and unobstructed view of the interior of the establishment from the outside and in particular of the cash register or registers from the street.
    4. Neon signs are permitted as interior window signs, provided they do not exceed 20 percent of a window up to a maximum of four square feet in area and shall be counted towards the maximum of 12 square feet permitted for interior window signs.
    5. Internal illumination of signs. The illumination of signs by projecting light on a panel from a light source located inside of an enclosed sign cabinet is prohibited, unless permitted as a marquee sign.
    6. External illumination of signs. External illumination of a sign by projecting light directly onto the face of the sign from a light source located outside of the sign, such as “gooseneck” lamps or by projecting light behind an opaque lettering or emblem which results in a ring of light around the un-illuminated letter or emblem, is permitted (“halo” lighting).
  6. Freestanding signs. Freestanding (ground-mounted) signs for individuals businesses are prohibited within the Urban Core District and any residential sub-area.
  7. Materials. Except for awnings, materials must be wood (pressure treated and insect resistant), ceramic, metal or paint. The use of cabinet signs (metal frame signs with plexiglas fronts that are internally lit) are prohibited.
  8. Pole and pylon signs. Pole and pylon style signs are prohibited within the Old U.S. 41.
  9. Sandwich signs. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, on-site sandwich signs are permitted in the overlay during business hours, one per business limited to six square feet per side, provided they are not placed on the sidewalks or hydrant and do not interfere with the public right-of-way or within the visibility triangle. Sandwich signs will not count against the permitted sign area. Any sandwich sign which violates these conditions may be summarily removed in accordance with section 6-8(1).
  10. Directory signs. The city manager or designee may approve a directory sign identifying the building name and tenants within a building, subject to the following conditions:
    1. Only one sign for each street or major pedestrian way upon which a building faces shall be allowed.
    2. The sign must be installed on private property with no setback required.
    3. The maximum total dimensions shall be five feet in height and three feet in width.
  11. Individual occupants within multiple-occupancy complexes or shopping centers. Individual offices, institutions or business establishments located within multiple-occupancy complexes or shopping centers will not be permitted individual ground-mounted identification signs but may display wall-mounted, marquee or under-canopy signs.
      1. Allowable size for multiple occupancy buildings will be calculated as follows:
      2. Two tenants or less: Consistent with the zoning district.
      3. Three to six tenants: Consistent with the zoning district plus 15 percent.
      4. Six tenants or more: Consistent with the zoning district plus 20 percent.
      5. For the purpose of this subsection, a tenant equals one unit that can be leased or sold.
  12. Marquee signs. Marquee signs are permitted on marquees or canopies, but cannot extend greater than five feet above the height of the building or include more than 15 percent of that sign’s total area, or extend beyond the height of the zoning district, whichever is more restrictive. Marquee signs may not extend horizontally beyond the edges of the canopy or marquee to which they are attached or from which they are suspended. For signs extending above the roofline, the standards of the Florida Building Code will be reviewed as part of the permit process.
  13. Perpendicular signs. Perpendicular signs (signs that project at a right angle more than 12 inches from the outside wall of the building to which they are attached) may be allowed subject to the following conditions:
    1. Only ground floor businesses shall be permitted a projecting sign within the designated sign band area.
    2. Signs shall extend a maximum of four feet from the building or closer than two feet to the edge of the sidewalk, whichever is less, provided a minimum clearance of eight feet is maintained over pedestrian walkways.
    3. One sign per leasable space per street frontage. Leasable space on corners may have two signs.
    4. Signs shall not exceed six square feet per side, for a total area of 12 square feet for a double-faced sign.
    5. Must have a minimum of eight feet clearance.
    6. Projecting signs shall not be internally illuminated.
  14. Portable valet parking signs.
    1. There shall be only one sign per valet operation.
    2. The total sign area shall not exceed six square feet per side for a total area of 12 square feet for a double-faced sign.
    3. The sign shall be displayed only during hours of operation of valet service.
    4. The sign may be displayed on private property or within the right-of-way in such a manner as not to interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  15. Under-canopy signs. Signs attached to the underside of a canopy may have a copy area no greater than four square feet, with a maximum letter height of six inches, subject to a minimum clearance height of eight feet from the sidewalk, and must be mounted as nearly as possible at a right angle to the building face, and must be rigidly attached.
  16. Sign content. No sign permitted by this section may contain any advertising message concerning any business, goods, products, services or facilities which are not manufactured, produced, sold, provided or located on the premises upon which the sign is erected or maintained.
  17. Sign color. No sign permitted by this section may contain primary colors. Colors of the sign shall be related to the fullest extent possible to that of the building colors and must be of uniform facade and trim color with the building or canopy. One additional color may be permitted. Black, white or bronze may be used for lettering (bronze is encouraged).
  18. Sign location. Signs must be located in a manner which will not adversely obstruct safe visibility between moving vehicles or vehicles and pedestrians.
  19. Nonconforming buildings . The reviewer may recommend approval to the community development for a sign plan or a new sign that does not conform strictly to those regulations if the following conditions are met:
    1. The building is an existing building.
    2. The building does not have a sign band.
    3. The building facade is such that meeting the requirements of this division is not possible or is impractical.
    4. If the sign is on an awning, the lettering shall consist of individual letters painted on the background of the awning and not on a panel or within a border. The sloped surface of an awning shall not be used for a new sign.
    5. The design is in context with the signage and facade of the building.
    6. The sign plan or sign achieves the requirements of this division as closely as possible and is consistent with the intent of this division.
    7. Finding that these criteria are met, the reviewer may recommend approval of a sign plan or new sign.
    8. When the reviewer recommends approval of a new sign based on the criteria in this subsection, and following community development approval, that sign would establish the sign plan for that particular building.
  20. Other changes in signage. Any other change in signage may be approved by city council on a case-by-case basis.

(Ord. No. 12-07, § 2(6-156), 7-18-2012; Ord. No. 13-09, § 2(6-156), 8-7-2013; Ord. No. 15-03 , § 2, 1-7-2015)