Section 21-11-1. Definitions.


Unless otherwise specifically provided, or unless otherwise clearly required by the context, the words and phrases defined in this Sign Code shall have the meanings indicated when used in this Sign Code.


Abandoned -- any sign and/or its supporting sign structure which remains without a message or whose display surface remains blank for a period of ninety (90) days or more, or any sign which pertains to a time, event or purpose which no longer applies, shall be deemed to have been abandoned. Signs applicable to a business temporarily suspended because of a change in ownership or management of such business shall not be deemed abandoned unless the property remains vacant for a period of ninety (90) days or more. Any sign remaining after demolition of a principal structure shall be deemed to be abandoned.


Abandonment -- see abandoned.


Animated sign -- any sign or part of a sign which changes physical position by any movement or which gives the illusion of such change of physical position.


Architectural feature -- any construction attendant to, but not an integral part of, the sign, which may consist of landscape, building or structural forms on the site in general; also, graphic stripes and other architectural painting techniques applied to a structure, when the stripes or other painting techniques are applied to a building, provided that such treatment does not include lettering, logos or pictures.


Area of sign -- see sign area.


Awning -- a roof-like cover, often of fabric, plastic, metal or glass designed and intended for protection from the weather or as a decorative embellishment, and which projects from a wall or roof of a structure primarily over a window, walk, or the like.


Awning sign -- a sign or graphic printed on or in some fashion attached directly to the awning material.


Banner -- any sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a pole or structure.


Board of Adjustment -- the City's board assigned to the judgment or granting of variances. The Board's duties are defined by Article 42 of Chapter 11 of the City's Municipal Code.


Building directory sign -- a sign established to communicate to tenants their location within a building.


Building façade -- the total area of the horizontal and vertical dimensions of that side of a building which is adjacent to a dedicated street and architecturally finished to match the principal building façade, or which has a public entrance to the building and abuts a street, parking area, or other circulation area open to the general public. In shopping centers, any outside architecturally finished wall of a first-floor use shall be considered building facade.


Building marker -- any sign cut into a masonry surface or made of bronze or other permanent material and which relates to its construction.


Canopy -- a roof-like cover, often of fabric, plastic, metal, or glass on a support, which provides shelter.


Canopy sign -- any sign, which is a part of or attached to an awning or canopy; or any other entrance, window, or outdoor service area. A canopy sign is not a marquee and is different from service area canopy signs.


Changeable copy sign -- a sign or portion thereof with characters, letters, or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged, by physical means, without altering the face or the surface of the sign.


Commercial -- means predominantly related to economic interests or commerce.


Commercial message -- any sign wording, logo, or other representation directly or indirectly, which advertises or directs attention to a business, product, service or other commercial activity.


Comprehensive Sign Plan (CSP) -- provides a means for the flexible application of sign regulations for developments that require multiple signs due to multiple tenants or lots; CSPs are used to provide incentive for latitude in the design and display of multiple signs.


Directional sign -- any sign used to primarily communicate navigational information.


Display area -- means the area or display surface used for the graphic message.


Duration -- the time during which something exists or lasts.


Edge of curb -- stone or concrete edging to a street defining the furthest extent of the improved roadway surface.


Election season -- means sixty (60) days prior to and five (5) days after any City regular or special election, any county or special district election or any state or federal primary or general election.


Electronic message center (EMC) -- a sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures, or images that can be periodically changed by manual, electronic, remote or automatic means.


Entrance or exit sign -- means a sign located at the driveway entrance or exit and intended to provide for safe ingress and egress.


Erect -- the activity of constructing, building, raising, assembling, placing, affixing, attaching, creating, painting, drawing or any other way of bringing into being or establishing.


Exemptions -- signs do not require a sign permit, but still subject to regulations and maintenance requirements of the Sign Code.


Flag -- any fabric or similar lightweight material attached at one end of the material, usually to a staff or pole, so as to allow movement of the material by atmospheric changes and which contains distinctive colors, patterns, symbols, emblems, insignia, or other symbolic devices.


Flow line -- the transition between the gutter and the face of the curb within a public road right-of -way.  Where no curb exists, the flow line will be considered the edge of the pavement or roadway of the outside traveled lane.


Freestanding sign -- any sign which has supporting framework that is placed on, or anchored in, the ground and which is independent from any building or other structure.


Grade -- the average elevation of the ground at the base of the sign after construction. Earth mounding criteria for landscaping and screening is part of the final grade for sign height computation.


Good structural condition -- a qualification of the structural integrity of an existing sign. For this Ordinance, these definitions defer to the definition provided by the adopted International Building Code at the time of interpretation.


Height of sign -- the height of the sign shall be computed as the vertical distance measured from the base of the sign at grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign.


High wall sign -- sign allowed on multiple-tenant buildings of three (3) stories or greater and shall be located in the area between the bottom of the top floor and the top of the parapet wall.


Holiday lights and decorations -- displays, including lighting, which are a nonpermanent installation celebrating national, state, and local legal holidays or holiday seasons.


Illuminated sign -- any sign which contains an element designed to emanate artificial light internally or externally.


Illumination --


Direct: lighting by means of an unshielded light source which is effectively visible as a part of the sign. Neon lighting is considered direct lighting.


Indirect: lighting which illuminates the front of a sign or the entire building façade upon which the sign is displayed, the source of the light being shielded from public view and from surrounding properties. Indirect illumination does not include lighting which is primarily used for purposes other than sign illumination, such as parking lot light.


Internal: lighting by means of a light source which is within a sign having a translucent background and which silhouettes opaque letters or designs, or lighting within or behind letters or designs which are themselves made of translucent or opaque material.


Joint identification sign -- a sign which serves as a common or collective identification. A joint identification sign is required if two (2) or more businesses share a building.


Lot -- see parcel.


Maintenance -- the replacing, repairing, or repainting of a portion of a sign or sign structure, and watering, weeding, mowing, trimming and similar activities on any landscaped area in which the sign is located.


Marquee -- a rigid, roof-like structure attached to a wall or walls of a building or structure and supported entirely by the building or structure.


Marquee sign -- any sign attached to, in any manner, or made part of a marquee.


Monument sign -- a low-profile freestanding sign that is anchored to the ground, designed to generally complement the building on the premises, and which has a height not exceeding eight (8) feet.


Multi-faced sign -- any sign with more than one (1) display area visible from any point at the same time.


Multiple-tenant building -- any building which is intended to have more than one (1) tenant. A building which has multiple units, of one (1) or more of which are vacant, is still considered a multiple-tenant building.


Multiple tenant unit -- a unit within a multiple-tenant building.


Non-residential use -- any principal use other than dwelling, such as office buildings, shopping centers, industrial, institutional, or hotel.


Nonconforming sign -- any sign, the area, dimensions or location of which were lawful at the time the sign was erected, but which fails to conform to the current standards and regulations of this Ordinance due to adoption, revision or amendment.


Off-premise commercial advertising sign -- sign advertising a commercial establishment, merchandise, service, or entertainment, which is not sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished at the property on which the sign is located. These signs are commonly referred to as billboards.


Parcel -- means the area of land necessary for a use to be in compliance with the City of Northglenn Zoning Ordinance. The term lot may also be referring to a parcel.


Pennant -- any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, string or pole, usually in series, designed to move in the wind. See also wind blade.


Permanent sign -- any sign with a structure that is permanently placed or affixed to a structure or in the ground.


Permitted -- sign which has received an approved sign permit.


Portable sign -- a sign that is not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported on wheels, skids, a bench, runners, brackets, or has a frame to which wheels, skids, runners, brackets, or similar mechanical devices can be attached to or support the sign. A portable sign includes inflatable devices and mobile signs such as parked trailers, which include signs which are visible from the public right-of-way unless such vehicle is used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business. A portable sign also includes a sign displaying a commercial message held by, attached to, or affixed on an individual who is exhibiting such sign for the predominant purpose of conveying the commercial message on such sign. A portable sign shall not include a sign considered to be an A-frame or a sign displaying a noncommercial message held by, attached to, or affixed on an individual.


Prohibited sign -- any sign not allowed by these standards and regulations.


Projecting sign -- any sign affixed to a structure or wall in such a manner so that its leading edge extends more than eighteen (18) inches beyond the surface of such structure or wall. Signs affixed to the structure that extend less than eighteen (18) inches beyond the surface are considered to be wall signs.


Residential use -- pertaining to an area that is primarily for family residences. A building used or suitable to be used as a dwelling, including ones that are being built or adapted to be used as a dwelling.


Right-of-way -- any public street, way, place, alley, sidewalk, trail, path, easement, park, square, median, parkway, boulevard or plaza that is dedicated to public use.


Roof sign -- any sign painted, erected, or constructed wholly on and over the roof of a structure, supported by the roof structure, or extending vertically above the highest portion of the roof.


Search light -- any light with one (1) or more beams directed into the atmosphere or directed at one (1) or more points not on the same lot as the light source; also, any light with one (1) or more beams that rotate, flash, or move.


Sequential messaging -- a selection technique in which messages are recorded in a preset order and played back individually upon each activation of the device.


Setback of sign -- the required minimum distance between placement of a sign and the right-of-way.


Sight distance -- the length of roadway ahead visible to the driver.


Sign -- an object or device or any part thereof situated outdoors or indoors which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct, or attract attention to an object, place, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, figures, designs, logos, fixtures, colors, motion, illumination, or projected images. If, for any reason, it cannot be readily determined whether or not an object is a sign, the Director of Planning and Development shall make such determination. Also known as an outdoor advertise sign device.


Sign area -- shall mean the entire sign face, including the advertise sign surface of any framing, trim, or molding, but not including the supporting structure. The sign area shall be measured using a regular geometric shape (rectangle, circle, trapezoid, triangle, etc.) or a combination of regular geometric shapes.


Sign structure -- any supports, uprights, braces, or framework of the sign, excluding the sign face.


Single-tenant building -- a building with one (1) unit and/or is intended for one (1) tenant without regard to vacancies.


Site -- a lot or combination of contiguous lots which are intended, designated, and/or approved to function as an integrated unit.


Street frontage -- the area of a property or site that includes building facades facing a public street, a primary parking area, or containing public entrances to the building or units.


Temporary display structure -- any structure used only for display of retail sales items and does not require a building permit.


Temporary sign -- any sign used only temporarily and is not permanently mounted.


Traffic sign -- an official sign erected, mounted, displayed, maintained or remodeled by the City, the State of the Federal Governments at the side of or above roads to provide information to road users.


Vehicle sign -- a sign that is mounted, placed, written or painted on a vehicle or trailer, whether motor driven or not.


Vision triangle -- the vision triangle is a triangle measured from the point of intersection of the flow lines, abutting the two (2) points of access, a certain distance along each based on travel speeds of the adjacent roadway.


Wall -- any structure which defines the exterior boundaries or courts of a building or structure and which has a slope of sixty (60) degrees or greater with the horizontal plane.


Wall sign -- any sign attached parallel to, but within eighteen (18) inches of a wall, painted on the wall surface of, or erected and confined within the limits of an outside wall of any structure, which is supported by such wall or structure, and which displays only one (1) sign surface.


Weekend sign -- small temporary signs allowed without a permit for a constrained period of time.


Wind blades -- a sign typically made from a piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at an edge to a staff or cord, and used as a means of conveying a message.


Window sign -- any sign, picture, symbol, or combination thereof, designed to communicate information about an activity, business, commodity, event, sale, or service, that is placed inside a window or upon the windowpane or glass and is visible from the exterior of the window.


Work of art -- a hand produced work of visual art that is tiled or painted by hand directly upon, or affixed directly to an exterior wall of a building with the permission of the property owner.

[Source: Ord. 1731, 2017]