Douglas County District Attorney
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Title 1 General Provisions
Title 2 Administration and Personnel
Title 3 Revenue and Finance
Title 5 Business Licenses and Regulations
Title 6 Animals
Title 8 Health and Safety
Title 9 Criminal Code
Title 10 Vehicles and Traffic
Title 12 Streets and Other Public Places
Title 13 Parks
Title 14 Airports
Title 18 Town Annexation and Service Districts
Title 19 Initiative Ordinances
Title 20 Consolidated Development Code
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D (Sewer Facilities and Non-Residential Wastewater Discharge Ordinance)
Appendix E (Backflow and Cross-Connection Control Ordiance)
Appendix F (Water Facilities)
20.01 General Provisions; Consistency with Master Plan; Right to Farm
20.02 Development Permits
20.04 Application Process and Official Filing Date
20.06 Decision by the Director
20.08 Review by Advisory Body
20.10 Review and Decision by Planning Commission
20.100 Public Facilities and Improvement Standards
20.12 Review and Decision by Board of County Commissioners
20.14 Conditional Approval
20.20 Notice Provisions
20.200 Surveys
20.220 Installing Utilities Underground
20.24 Public Hearing Procedures
20.28 Post Decision Proceedings
20.30 Expiration of Approval of Development Permit
20.300 Impact Fees
20.32 Revocation of Permit
20.34 Enforcement
20.38 Board of Adjustment
20.40 Fees
20.400 Development Agreements
20.44 Rounding of Quantities
20.440 Density Bonus Agreements
20.460 Reimbursement Agreements
20.470 Maintenance Districts
20.471 Maintenance District 1 - Monterra
20.50 Floodplain Management
20.500 Transfer Development Rights
20.550 Growth Management
20.560 Building Permit Allocation and Growth Management
20.600 General Provisions
20.602 Pre-application Conference
20.604 Special use permits
20.606 Variances
20.608 Amendment to Master Plan
20.610 Zoning Administration
20.612 Specific Plan
20.614 Design Review
20.618 Sign Permit
20.620 Temporary Use Permit
20.650 Zoning Districts and Standards
20.654 Agriculture and Forestry and Range Districts
20.656 Residential Districts
20.658 Non-Residential Districts
20.660 Use Regulations
20.662 Agricultural, Forest and Range, and Residential Land Use District Specific Standards (Table)
20.664 Agricultural, Forest and Range, and Residential Land Use Specific Standards
20.666 Non-Residential Specific Standards for Permitted, Development Permitted and Special use permit Uses (Table)
20.668 Non-Residential Uses Specific Standards
20.672 Livestock Overlay (LO) Zoning District
20.674 Manufactures Housing (MH) District
20.675 Mixed-use Commercial (MUC) Overlay District
20.676 Planned Development (PD) Overlay District
20.678 Residential Office (RO) Overlay District
20.680 Genoa Historic (GH) Overlay District
20.682 Clustered Residential Subdivision (CR) Overlay
20.685 Gaming District (GD) Overlay
20.690 Property Standards
20.691 Property Maintenance
20.692 Off-Street Parking and Loading
20.694 Landscape Standards
20.696 Sign and Advertising Control
20.698 Nonconforming Uses and Structures
20.700 Applicability and Procedures
20.702 Zoning Districts and Standards
20.703 Tahoe Area Plan Regulations
20.704 General Provisions
20.708 Subdivision Application Procedure and Approval Process
20.712 Parcel Maps
20.714 Division of Agricultural Land for Conservation Purposes
20.716 Division of Land into Large Parcels
20.718 Division of Land for Agricultural Purposes
20.720 Assurance for Completion and Maintenance of Improvements
20.768 Land Readjustment
20.770 Boundary Line Adjustment
20.800 General Provisions
20.810 Administration
20.820 Building Permits
20.830 Site Improvement Permits
20.840 Encroachment Permits
20.900 Numbering Structures and Naming Streets
Effective Date
Table of Ordinances
Index



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County Codes
Title 20 Consolidated Development Code
20.696 Sign and Advertising Control
20.696.010 Title
20.696.030 Definitions
20.696.100 Signs exempt from regulation
20.696.110 Official signs and safety signs
20.696.120 Directory signs
20.696.130 On-premise signs in agricultural areas
20.696.140 Trade construction signs
20.696.150 Real property sales signs
20.696.160 Subdivisions sales signs
20.696.170 Open house
20.696.180 Pre-lease signs
20.696.200 Prohibited signs
20.696.210 Abandoned signs
20.696.220 Advertising on vehicles
20.696.230 Traffic hazards
20.696.240 Utility lines
20.696.250 Removal of political signs
20.696.260 Owners consent required
20.696.295 Number of free standing signs
20.696.300 Freestanding sign area tables, maximum area
20.696.302 Height and setback of free standing signs
20.696.305 Highway-oriented freestanding sign area tables, maximum area
20.696.310 Wall, window and projecting signs
20.696.312 Commercial or industrial center sign
20.696.315 On-premise signs
20.696.320 Temporary sign permits
20.696.325 Area identification signs, residential institutional uses
20.696.330 Area identification signs, non-residential uses
20.696.345 Roof-mounted sign
20.696.350 Changeable copy (reader board) signs
20.696.355 Effect of exempt signs
20.696.360 Construction and maintenance
20.696.365 Projection limits
20.696.370 Variance to sign area
20.696.375 Master sign plan required
20.696.380 Nonconforming signs
20.696.385 Off premise public community facility signs
20.696.390 Points of interest and community entry signs

20.696.010 Title
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Douglas County Sign and Advertising Control.” (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386. 1981)
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20.696.030 Definitions
For definition of terms under this chapter, see Appendix A of this title. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.100 Signs exempt from regulation
A permit is not required for any of the following signs provided the signs are erected and maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter: 
    A.  Professional occupation signs denoting only the name or firm name and profession of an occupant in a commercial building, public institutional building or dwelling house when the area of the sign does not exceed two square feet for each professional occupant and is placed on or against a building; 
    B.  Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and dates of erection, when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible material and permanently affixed to the building or structure; 
    C.  Identification nameplates or signs on apartment houses, rooming-houses and trailer parks, public telephones and similar uses not exceeding four square feet in area. The signs may be illuminated only by indirect light and only if the use is in a commercial zone; 
    D.  Bulletin boards not over fifteen square feet in area for public, charitable and religious institutions when the bulletin boards are located on the premises of the institutions and not visible from the public right-of-way; 
    E.  Composite structures for community directory signs subject to the following: 
        1.  Before the installation of any structure, the location, size, height, width and general design must be approved by the director as being in conformance with the general purpose of this chapter through the design review process; 
        2.  A maximum of two composite structures are permitted on each main entrance into Douglas County; 
        3.  Additions or alterations of individual sections of the sign may be made without the approval of the director, provided that the additions or alterations do not exceed the total area and dimensions of the sign as approved under the design review;
    F.  Off-premises directional signs advertising places of public worship and assembly, hospitals, schools and charitable institutions subject to the following: 
        1.  The signs must be in the form of a standard traffic regulation sign; 
        2.  There must not be more than two signs advertising any one use unless authorized by the director;
    G.  The changing of advertising copy or message on a painted or printed sign and theater marquee and similar signs specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy; 
    H.  On-premises “For Rent,” “For Lease,” “Open House,” or “For Sale” signs conforming to the provisions of this chapter; 
    I.  On-premises “Open” or “Closed” signs, two square feet or less in area; 
    J.  Political signs, signs designed for the purpose of advertising support of or opposition to a candidate or proposition at public election; 
    K.  Traffic regulation signs on privately owned property, such as “Enter,” “Exit,” “Private Property,” “Parking Reserved,” provided they do not exceed two square feet in size and do not contain advertisement for the establishment; 
    L.  Vacancy,” “No Vacancy,” or for gas stations, “Full Serve,” “Self Serve” signs provided that they do not exceed two square feet in size; 
    M.  One address sign for each street frontage not to exceed two square feet in size, or conforming to provisions of this chapter; 
    N.  Historical marker signs, not to exceed four square feet in size; 
    O.  Any temporary “Open House” sign. Only one sign is allowed on each street frontage of the property. The sign may be a single or double-faced and is limited to three square feet or less. The sign must not exceed four feet in height. A maximum of three off-site signs are allowed. A sign may be erected only while the building being shown is open to the public; 
    P.  Any temporary sign warning of construction, excavation or similar hazards so long as the hazard exists; 
    Q.  Any temporary sign located on a kiosk; 
    R.  One identification sign for a residence of no more than one square foot. One identification sign for a ranch in an agricultural, forest and range, or rural residential zoning district, as defined in this title, of no more than ten square feet and located at the main entrance to the ranch house; 
    S.  Holiday decorations; 
    T.  Any sign that is part of the main structure of a coin-operated vending machine, gasoline pump or telephone booth, provided the sign identifies only the product contained or displays operating instructions. This exemption does not include changeable-copy signs or signs that are added on to the main structure; 
    U.  Any sign that is part of a coin-operated news rack, provided the sign is within the main structure of the news rack; 
    V.  Freestanding signs announcing the opening of a new business which in the aggregate, do not exceed 32 square feet in size. The signs may not be erected more than 30 days prior to the scheduled opening of the business and must be removed no later than 30 days after the opening of the business. The business owner or manager must provide proof of opening date upon request; 
    W.  Signs specifically required by federal, state or county law; 
    X.  Temporary window signs or indoor posters not exceeding 15 square feet or ten percent of the window area of each facade, whichever is greater, and which only provides information about a specific product, price, event or activity. An individual temporary window sign shall not be displayed for more than 90 consecutive calendar days; 
    Y.  A sign, such as a menu, which is on display to the public and, 1) shows prices of goods or services, 2) does not exceed 24 inches by 18 inches, and 3) is located on a wall or in a window; 
    Z.  Temporary “Garage Sale” or other similar signs located only on the premises upon which the sale is occurring and during the time which the sale is occurring; 
    AA.  “No Trespassing,” “Warning,” “Posted against Hunting or Fishing” and similar signs, not to exceed 16 square feet in size; 
    AB.  Official flags, not exceeding 60 square feet in area, when flown on a flagpole, subject to the following: Each unit of operation is permitted a maximum of three flags, or one flag per 50 feet of linear primary building frontage, whichever is greater. 
        1. Freestanding flagpoles shall not exceed 20 feet within the required front, side and rear yard setback areas; freestanding flagpoles that meet the required setbacks of the applicable zoning district shall not exceed the maximum height permitted within the applicable zoning district. 
        2.  A single flag of equal or smaller size with a business logo for the unit of operation may be used when flown with an official flag, provided that the total number of flags displayed does not exceed the total number permitted for the unit of operation. 
        3.  An official flag must not be attached to a sign or sign structure.
    AC.  Community identification signs, placed by Douglas County, an unincorporated town or general improvement district formed pursuant to NRS Chapter 318 along or within public rights-of-way at the jurisdictional boundary, subject to the following: 
        1.  Before the installation of any structure, the location, size, height, width and general design must be approved by the director as being in conformance with the general purpose of this chapter. Where applicable, an encroachment permit shall be obtained; 
        2.  No more than one single or double face sign shall be erected at a jurisdictional boundary; 
        3.  Total sign structure height not to exceed five-feet measured from the closest edge of right-of-way; 
        4.  Maximum sign area of 25 square feet for each sign face;
    AD.  Hanging signs, not exceeding two square feet in area, provided such signs are located within covered walkways and are oriented to pedestrian users. 
    AE.  Public hearing notice signs and other signs required by federal, state or local governmental agencies. 
    AF.  One non-official flag per unit of operation per street frontage, placed on or hung from the main structure of the operation, not to exceed 12 square feet in total area. (Ord. 919, 2000; Ord. 801, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.110 Official signs and safety signs
Nothing contained in this chapter prevents the erection, construction and maintenance of official traffic, safety, fire and police signs, signals, devices and markings of the state highway department, the board, or other competent public authorities, nor the posting of notices required by law. Similarly, on-premise traffic regulation signs and signs necessary for the safety and convenience of those members of the public using the premises, whether the signs are officially or privately erected, are not subject to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.120 Directory signs
A single-faced directory sign may be permitted as a ground sign at the major entrance to residential, commercial, or industrial complexes or as a wall sign within a public mall area to identify occupants or addresses for the convenience of visitors and to facilitate emergency services. Directory signs are only permitted as an element of a master sign plan, must be located no less than 40-feet inside the property line, and must not be visible from the public right-of-way. Directory signs may not be used as advertising for land uses on the site and are not included in allowable sign area limit computations or when calculating the number of signs on a site. The name and address of the primary complex may be included as part of the directory sign not to exceed 20 percent of the total sign area. The maximum size of a directory sign is limited to 32 square feet and not more than four square feet for any single unit of operation or any single occupant. No more than eight units of operation may be displayed on the directory sign. (Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.130 On-premise signs in agricultural areas
In agricultural, forest and range, and rural residential zoning districts as defined in this title, the following types of freestanding and wall signs are permitted for either agricultural or non-agricultural related commercial uses with the exception of those signs listed under section 20.696.100: 
    A.  One commercial sign is allowed for a business on an agricultural parcel. The total area for all signs identifying a business shall not exceed ten square feet for parcels of less than ten acres, 16 square feet for parcels of ten acres up to 40 acres and 32 square feet for parcels 40 acres or larger. All signs shall be located within the subject property and located at the entrance to the business site. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.140 Trade construction signs
    A.  In nonresidential zoning districts, one sign advertising the various construction trades on any construction site is permitted. The sign must not exceed 32 square feet in area, must not be installed prior to the start of construction, and shall be removed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. 
    B.  In agricultural and residential zones, as defined by this title, one sign is allowed advertising the various construction trades on any construction site. The sign must not exceed six square feet in area, and must not be installed prior to the start of construction and must be removed before a certificate of occupancy is issued. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.150 Real property sales signs
Real property sales signs are exempt from the permit process if they comply with the following provisions: 
    A.  Placement. Real property signs may be placed upon the property with the following restrictions: 
        1.  The signs must not be affixed to trees or shrubs on the property; 
        2.  The signs must not be placed closer than five feet to any property line; 
        3.  The signs must not be placed so that any portion of it is more than seven feet above the average ground level; 
        4.  The sign may not be placed in a site that interferes with the traffic safety site area.
    B.  Size and number. Real property sales signs must not exceed the following sign area and number: 
        1.  For residential parcels of less than one acre, one real property sales sign not exceeding four square feet; 
        2.  For residential parcels greater than one acre, but less than ten acres, one real property sign not exceeding six square feet; 
        3.  For commercial and industrial parcels, one sign not exceeding 16 square feet on each street frontage; 
        4.  For all parcels greater than ten acres, one real property sign not to exceed 16 square feet in size may be placed on each street frontage.
    C.  Construction, illumination, erection, and maintenance. Real property signs must conform to the following for type and style of construction: 
        1.  The signs must be constructed of a permanent material which will not deteriorate from weather; 
        2.  The signs must not be illuminated; 
        3.  A real property sign may be placed upon the property either by the owner or by a person having the authority of the owner to do so; 
        4.  All the signs shall be maintained in a state of good order and repair and be removed upon close of escrow or removal from the market. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 641, Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.160 Subdivisions sales signs
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, signs and flags may be erected for each subdivision of land, subject to the following: 
    A.  A single or double faced non-illuminated sign may be placed at each entry to the subdivision, subject to the following: 
        1.  Each sign face shall not exceed 32 square feet in area, nor shall the sign and structure exceed 8 feet in total height; 
        2.  Each sign shall be located outside the public right-of-way and traffic safety site area; 
        3.  A maximum of three sign structures are permitted per subdivision, which shall be reduced by the number of signs erected on tribal lands within the county; 
        4.  Each sign may contain the name of the subdivision and or graphic representation, name of seller or sellers, seller or sellers phone number, indicate that model homes are on-site, and provide directions to model homes. No other riders, flags, or other additions may be included on the sign; 
        5.  For the purposes of advertising subdivisions, a sign is considered on-site if the sign is located on contiguous property under the same ownership as the subdivision, exclusive of easements; 
        6.  All signs shall be removed upon the close of escrow of the final lot or house being offered for sale by the subdivider or developer.
    B.  A single faced non-illuminated sign may be placed on the site of the subdivision sales office, provided: 
        1.  The sign face shall not exceed 16 square feet nor shall the sign and structure exceed a height of 6 feet; 
        2.  The sign shall be a minimum of 5 feet from the property line; 
        3.  The sign may contain the name of the subdivision and/or model complex, name of seller, phone number of seller, and hours of operation. No other riders, flags, or other additions may be included on the sign; 
        4.  All signs shall be removed upon the closure of the model home sales complex or the close of escrow of the final lot or house being offered for sale by the subdivider or developer, whichever is earlier.
    C.  Single faced directional kiosk signs may be placed within the subdivision to direct potential buyers to model home sales complexes, provided: 
        1.  Each directional kiosk sign structure shall be a maximum eight feet in height and maximum four feet in width and indicate the name of the subdivision. Kiosk directional signs are to be uniform in structure, dimension and color throughout the subdivision; 
        2.  Each builder shall be provided a total of eight square feet of sign area which may include only the name of the builder, model home complex name and directional arrow; 
        3.  A maximum of ten directional signs may be constructed within the boundaries of the subdivision; 
        4.  All directional kiosk signs shall be removed upon the closure of the model home sale complexes within the subdivision or the close of escrow of the final lot or house being offered for sale by the subdivider or developer, whichever is earlier.
    D.  Flags may be used to advertise a subdivision, subject to the following: 
        1.  The flags may be located at the entry to the subdivision or at the model home complex and are to be located outside of the public right-of-way and commonly owned property; 
        2.  All flags shall be affixed to a metal pole, not to exceed twenty-feet in height. No more than one, 3-foot by 5-foot maximum flag shall be affixed to a flag pole. All flags shall be maintained in good repair and be replaced or removed when torn or tattered; 
        3.  A total of one flag per subdivision, plus one flag for every 20 lots may be erected; 
        4.  All flags and poles shall be removed upon the close of escrow of the final lot or house being offered for sale by the subdivider or developer. (Ord. 777, 1997; Ord 763, 1996; Ord. 641, 1994; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.170 Open house
A real estate sign designating an open house is allowed for an individual home for sale or lease, other than first-time sales of homes within new subdivisions; provided the signs: 
    A.  Do not exceed an overall height of 36 inches from the ground and the face of the sign must not exceed a horizontal dimension of 24 inches and a vertical dimension of 18 inches; 
    B.  Have no riders, with the exception of the agent’s name; no additions, tags, signs, streamers, balloons or other appurtenances may be added to the standard real estate open house sign. Arrows may be incorporated into the design of the face of the sign but may not be added appurtenant to the sign; 
    C.  Are displayed daily, provided the house is open to the public during the time of display; 
    D.  Must not exceed one on-site open house sign and four off-site open house signs with an aggregate total of five signs per open house. The standard real estate for sale sign posted at the site is not included as part of the aggregate total of signs allowable per open house; 
    E.  Must not be placed, used or maintained in any location upon public property, including rights-of-way; 
    F.  Must not be placed within a five foot radius of a hydrant, fire call box or mail box; 
    G.  Must not be placed on or within the median strip or center divider of a roadway or on or within any other roadway island or traffic safety site area. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.180 Pre-lease signs
Pre-lease signs must comply with the following provisions: 
    A. Placement. Pre-lease signs may be placed upon the property with the following restrictions: 
        1.  The signs must not be affixed to trees or shrubs on the property; 
        2.  The signs must not be placed closer than five feet to any property line; 
        3.  The signs must not be placed so that any portion of it is more than seven feet above the average ground level. 
        4.  The sign may not be placed in a site that interferes with the traffic safety site area.
    B.  Size and number. Pre-lease signs must not exceed the following sign area and number: 
        1.  One pre-lease sign per street frontage not to exceed two signs total on any development site; 
        2.  No sign shall exceed 16 square feet in size.
    C.  Construction, illumination, erection, and maintenance. Pre-lease signs must conform to the following for type and style of construction: 
        1.  The signs must be constructed of a permanent material which will not deteriorate from weather; 
        2.  The signs must not be illuminated; 
        3.  A pre-lease sign may be placed upon the property either by the owner or by a person having the authority of the owner to do so; 
        4.  All the signs shall be maintained in a state of good order and repair and be removed within one year of the date of issue of permit. (Ord. 1176, 2006; Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.200 Prohibited signs
In addition to any sign not conforming to the provisions of this chapter, the following signs are prohibited: 
    A.  Any sign which, by color, shape, working, or location, resembles or conflicts with any traffic control sign or device; 
    B.  Signs attached or placed adjacent to any utility pole, traffic sign post, traffic signal, historical marker or any other official traffic control device; 
    C.  Signs on trees or shrubs; 
    D.  Signs erected on public or private property without the permission of the owner; 
    E.  Off premise signs, including billboards and directional signs, with the exception of open house signs, placed in accordance with section 20.696.100.H, and community identification and directional signs approved by the board as part of an integrated community program, and public community facility signs, points of interest, and community entry signs approved by the board as part of an integrated community facility signage plan per section 20.696.385 and 20.696.390, below; 
    F.  Signs on awnings or canopies except when placed on the valance; 
    G.  Signs that create a hazard by obstructing clear views of pedestrians and vehicular traffic; 
    H.  Pole signs; 
    I.  Temporary signs, except as provided in section 20.696.320; 
    J.  Portable freestanding sandwich or “A” type signs; with the exception of signs advertising “civic events” displayed during the time of the event, or as provided in section 20.696.320; 
    K.  Banners and pennants or pinwheels are prohibited, except as provided for in sections 20.620.040 and 20.620.050; 
    L.  Balloons and other inflatable devices except as provided for in sections 20.620.045 and 20.620.050 
    M.  Bench signs; 
    N.  Mobile signs or portable signs unless carried by a natural person or by a motor vehicle as provided in section 20.696.220 or for advertising a “civic event;” 
    O.  Signs located within any stream, drainage facility or channel; 
    P.  Signs that rotate, move, flash, blink or appear to do so are prohibited unless required by law or utilized by a proper governmental agency. 
    Q.  The provisions of this chapter do not prohibit the following types of signs: 
        1.  A sign changing to show time or temperature; 
        2.  An on-premises barber pole of a height not to exceed 48 inches of traditional design, which is permitted to revolve during the time that a barbershop is open for business; 
        3.  Signs otherwise permitted by this chapter. (Ord. 1137, 2005; Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 956, 2001; Ord. 801, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 641, 1994; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.210 Abandoned signs
Within 30 days after the discontinuance of a business in any zoning district, or before a new business occupies the premises, whichever occurs first, all abandoned signs must be removed by the owner of the property on which the sign is located. Permanent signs or sign structures applicable to a business temporarily suspended by reason of change of ownership or management of the business are not considered abandoned unless the property remains vacant for a period of three months. A sign structure that conforms with the provisions of this title in terms of size and type is not required to be removed. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.220 Advertising on vehicles
No person shall park any vehicle on the street or in a location on private property which is visible from a street which has attached to or suspended from the vehicle any advertising sign except a sign painted directly upon or permanently affixed to the body, including a magnetic decoration, or other integral part of the vehicle for permanent decoration, identification or display indicating the name of the business, address, phone number, applicable trade license number and business logo. The provisions of this section are not applicable to signs affixed to vehicles of public carriers operating within the county. (Ord. 1137, 2005; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.230 Traffic hazards
A sign may not be erected or located to cause a hazard to the movement of vehicles or pedestrians upon public rights-of-way or obstruct or interfere with the traffic safety site area, signal or other safety device located upon a public right-of-way. The minimum height clearance for any sign is not less than eight feet above the ground where pedestrian traffic may travel beneath the sign or less than 13 feet-six inches above any driveway, alleyway or other way designed for vehicular traffic. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.240 Utility lines
No permit for any sign shall be issued and no sign shall be constructed or maintained which has less horizontal or vertical clearance from communication or energized electrical power lines than that prescribed by the laws of the state or rules and regulations of the appropriate agencies. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981).
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20.696.250 Removal of political signs
    A.  Every political sign, which has been erected, must be removed by the person, organization, candidate or sponsor responsible for the erection of the sign within seven calendar days after any election; provided, that any candidate successful in any primary election who is opposed in the general election is not required to remove his or her political signs until seven calendar days after the date of the general election. 
    B.  Any person, organization, candidate or sponsor whose name appears on any political sign shall be presumed to be responsible for the removal of the sign under this chapter. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.260 Owners consent required
It is unlawful for any person, except public officers or employees in the performance of a public duty, or a private person in giving legal notice, to paste, post, paint, print, nail, tack or otherwise fasten any card, banner, handbill, sign, poster, advertisement or notice of any kind upon any property without the consent of the owner, holder, lessee, or agent of trustee of the property. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.295 Number of free standing signs
    A.  Except as provided in section 20.696.305, a person may not erect or maintain more than one freestanding accessory, on-premises sign on each parcel of property or legal access easement in a land use district in which a freestanding sign is permitted, provided that no signs are located within the traffic safety sight area of any intersection or within 75 feet from another freestanding sign located within the site or an abutting property and with the following exceptions: 
    B.  Parcels with a frontage of 50 feet or more are allowed one freestanding double-faced sign per frontage. Where a parcel of property abuts two or more public streets, a freestanding sign is permitted on each frontage of the property. 
    C.  Parcels with a legal access easement to a public road of 30 feet or more in width are allowed one freestanding double-faced sign in the easement frontage. 
    D.  Parcels of record within a commercial or industrial subdivision without a frontage on a public street are allowed a single monument sign placed along the frontage of the parcel abutting an internal drive aisle, provided the total structure height does not exceed 5 feet and the sign area does not exceed the maximum provided under table 20.696.1. 
    E.  A parcel within an approved commercial complex which is designated to contain a commercial complex sign, is allowed a single monument sign placed along the frontage of the parcel, provided the total structure height does not exceed 5 feet and the sign area does not exceed the maximum provided under table 20.696.1. (Ord. 1041, 2003; Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 879, 1998; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.300 Freestanding sign area tables, maximum area
Except as otherwise provided in sections 20.696.305 and 20.696.315, in commercial, industrial, and other zone districts allowing a freestanding sign, the maximum total sign area permitted each parcel for use in freestanding signs is the total sign area obtained by adding the amounts from tables 20.696.1 and 20.696.2 below. 
    A.  The content of the sign shall be limited to the address, center name or major anchor and may contain a list of tenants. 
    B.  The complex, center, or major anchor name and address are not included in allowable sign area computations provided their combined sign area does not exceed 10 square feet in area. (Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 870, 1998; Ord. 777, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)

Table 20.696.1

Parcel area
(square feet)

Sign area
(square feet)

Parcel area
(square feet)

Sign area
(square feet)

5,000 or less

20

40000

31

6000

23

50000

32

7000

24

70000

33

8000

25

90000

34

9000

26

110000

35

10000

27

140000

36

15000

28

170000

37

20000

29

200,000 or more

38

30000

30

 

 



Table 20.696.2

Parcel frontage
(feet)

Sign area
 (square feet)

Parcel frontage
 (feet)

Sign area
(square feet)

50

10

160

18

60

11

180

19

70

12

200

20

80

13

240

21

90

14

280

22

100

15

320

23

120

16

400

24

140

17

500 or more

25


To calculate the maximum permissible sign area for a parcel, add the sign areas obtained from Tables 20.696.1 and 20.696.2. If the length of the footages falls between numerical categories, the smaller figures to be used. (Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 777, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1987, Ord. 167, 1968)

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20.696.302 Height and setback of free standing signs
Except as otherwise provided in sections 20.696.305, the maximum height of any freestanding sign is 20 feet. Freestanding signs must be monument type. A minimum five-foot setback from the property line is required for all signs constructed after the date of adoption of this chapter. Freestanding signs are not allowed in the traffic safety sight area. (Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 870, 1998; Ord. 801, 1997; Ord 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.305 Highway-oriented freestanding sign area tables, maximum area

    A.  One additional double faced freestanding sign may be allowed for a parcel within a commercial or industrial complex or subdivision in addition to those freestanding signs permitted under 20.696.295, provided that no other highway-oriented sign is located within 300 feet, and the parcel can meet all of the following: 
        1.  The parcel has frontage on U.S. Highways 50 or 395; 
        2.  The parcel is part of a commercial or industrial complex and the sign serves the complex; 
        3.  The property is zoned commercial; 
        4.  The property or complex is a minimum of 5 acres in area, or part of an approved commercial or industrial subdivision having a total area of 5 acres or greater; 
        5.  The posted speed limit on the major highway fronting the parcel is 45 mph or higher. 
    B.  Except as modified by subsection C, the maximum height is 25 feet and the maximum total sign area permitted each parcel for use in highway-oriented freestanding signs is the amount obtained from table 20.696.3. 
        1.  The complex, center name, or major anchor and the address are not included in the allowable sign area computation, provided their combined sign area does not exceed 20 square feet in the area. The sign must include a listing of at least three tenants; 
        2.  The sign is monument style and consistent with the architecture, color, and materials of the center; and 
        3.  Placement of the sign is consistent with the provisions in sections 20.696.295 and 20.696.302.
    C.  The maximum sign height and sign area may be increased by the amount obtained from table 20.696.4, below, provided the corresponding posted speed limit exists.

Table 20.696.3

Parcel frontage
(feet)

Sign area
(square feet)*

200

55

250

60

300

65

350

70

400

75

450

80

500 to 999

85

1000 or more

95

* If the length of the parcel frontage falls between numerical categories, the smaller figure is to be used.

Table 20.696.4

Posted Speed Limit
(mph)

Additional Sign Height
 (feet)

Additional Sign Area
(square feet)

45

0

0

50

2.5

10

55

5

20

60

7.5

30

65 or higher

10

40


(Ord. 1041, 2003; Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 870, 1999)

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20.696.310 Wall, window and projecting signs
    A.  Except as otherwise provided in section 20.696.315, the maximum sign area permitted a business or a unit of operation for its primary wall, window or projecting signs is the total area obtained by multiplying the width of the building or suite frontage with primary public access or the frontage facing the street by 1.25 (the ratio of 1.25 square feet of signage for each linear foot of building frontage). 
    B.  If a business is located on two street frontages or a business with building or suite frontages facing a street, the secondary building frontage is permitted a single wall, window or projecting sign. The total sign area allowed is obtained by multiplying the width of the building or suite frontage facing the secondary street frontage by 0.75 (the ratio of 0.75 square feet of signage for each linear foot of building frontage). 
    C.  If a business, with building or suite frontage faces a driveway or drive-aisle, the building frontage facing the driveway or drive-aisle is permitted a single wall, window or projecting sign. The total sign area allowed is obtained by multiplying the width of the building or suite frontage facing the driveway or drive-aisle by 0.50 (the ratio of 0.50 square feet of signage for each linear foot of building frontage). 
    D.  A business, within an approved commercial complex and based on an approved master sign plan for the complex, may designate any building or suite frontage, as the primary, secondary, or an internal driveway frontage for purposes of determining where the allowed signs are placed.     
    E.  A business subtenant contained in another business, and whose public access is only provided through that other business, is allowed one wall sign, calculated as if the subtenant had frontage, with the maximum sign area obtained by multiplying the width of the tenant space by 0.75 (the ratio of 0.75 square feet of sign for each linear foot in width). The sign must be approved in the master sign plan. 
    F.  A business or a single unit of operation is limited to three signs for wall, window or projecting signs. 
    G.  A business or a single unit of operation within an approved commercial or industrial subdivision or complex is limited to four signs for wall, window, or projecting signs. (Ord. 1041, 2003; Ord. 1009, 2002; Ord. 801, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.312 Commercial or industrial center sign
    A.  A maximum of one (1) wall mounted sign only is permitted on the primary street frontage within a commercial or industrial zoning district. The maximum sign area permitted is the total obtained by multiplying the width of the building frontage facing the designated primary street frontage by 0.25 (the ratio of 0.25 of signage for each linear foot of building frontage facing the designated primary street frontage). In no event shall the wall sign exceed forty (40) square feet and must meet the following criteria: 
        1.  The center must contain four (4) or more tenants. 
        2.  The designated primary building frontage must be 100 feet or greater. 
        3.  All lettering must be consistent in style, design and coloring with any existing sign lettering, and must be approved as part of a Master Sign Plan. 
        4.  Content of the center sign shall be limited to the center identification name and the center address. 
        5.  The style, architecture, and placement of the center sign shall be compatible with the existing structure. (Ord. 1040; 2003)
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20.696.315 On-premise signs
    A.  In commercial, industrial and other zones, as defined by the zoning title, the following restrictions apply: 
        1.  In the RO (residential office) overlay district, signs are limited to a monument or wall sign of not more than six square feet to identify the building or business. 
        2.  In the TC (tourist commercial) district, exterior signs (wall mounted and freestanding) are limited to not more than 500 square feet of surface area. 
        3.  In the AP (airport) district, signs are limited to that contained within subsection 20.668.010.D. 
        4.  In the PF (public facility) district, signs are limited to one freestanding sign (single or double-faced) with a maximum 50 square feet of sign area or one wall sign not to exceed 25 square feet. 
    B.  In addition to the above requirements, on-premise signs for buildings two stories or greater in height are allowed subject to the following: 
        1.  Two wall signs above the first floor not to exceed 20 square feet each. 
        2.  Sign must be placed above the windows of the highest floor and below the eave line. 
        3.  Sign copy is limited to one company name per building arranged in a single line. 
        4.  Company logos may be used in combination with letters. 
        5.  Signs shall be designed to be compatible with the architecture of the building. (Ord. 801, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981; Ord. 167, 1968)
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20.696.320 Temporary sign permits
Temporary signs may be allowed if permitted pursuant to chapter 20.620, temporary use permit. (Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.325 Area identification signs, residential institutional uses
A maximum of two single face signs or one double faced sign may be permitted on-site at each entry point to a site containing an apartment house, rooming-house, trailer park, or residential development of more than five lots or for an institutional use in an agricultural or residential zone district. Size is computed on the basis of one-half (0.5) square foot for each living unit, lot or trailer space with a maximum of 25 square feet for each sign, or a maximum of 25 square feet for institutional uses. Illumination must be by indirect lighting only. The materials used for sign construction and sign support shall be relatively maintenance free. Signs may be freestanding or wall mounted. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.330 Area identification signs, non-residential uses
A maximum of two single faced signs or one double faced sign may be permitted on-site at each entry point to a site containing a non-residential development of 10 acres or greater.  Maximum sign area per sign face is 24 square feet.  Illumination must be by indirect lighting only.  Area identification signs for commercial or industrial areas must contain the name of the area and may contain a logo for up to three tenants, provided that the logo is no more than 20 percent of the total sign area.  No advertising copy is allowed.  Area identification signs for commercial or industrial areas are intended to assist patrons in locating businesses within the development.  The materials used for sign construction and sign support shall be relatively maintenance free.  (Ord. 1304, 2010; Ord. 870, 1998; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.345 Roof-mounted sign
Roof mounted signs are permitted by special use permit approval when the sign is part of an historic structure and which retains the historic character of the structure. Roof-mounted signs do not include signs which are mounted flush with the mansard. (Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.350 Changeable copy (reader board) signs
Changeable copy signs are limited to gaming, service stations (gasoline price signs only), theater marquees, recreational and public uses (includes public community facility signs), and institutional uses.  Changeable copy signs include electronic message display signs which display words, symbols, figures, or images that can be electronically or mechanically changed by remote.  The message change sequence can be accomplished immediately or by means of fade or dissolve modes.  The maximum speed of a revolution, frame or motion of the electronic message display area may not exceed five cycles per minute.  The electronic message display area must have automatic photocell dimming capabilities based on ambient outside light set at seventy-five percent of full capacity for daytime (full sun) and forty percent for nighttime, or equivalent for other lighting technologies.  Certification from the sign contractor that the sign’s light intensity has been factory pre-set not to exceed the limits noted above is required.  (Ord. 1304, 2010; Ord. 1176, 2006; Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.355 Effect of exempt signs
Signs exempted from a permit are not included in determining size or number of signs permitted upon a parcel of property. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.360 Construction and maintenance
All signs erected within the county must: 
    A.  Be maintained in good repair and must be neat in appearance. Any sign which is determined by the director, his designated representative, or the code enforcement officer to be unsafe or unsightly because of bent, broken or missing parts or poor maintenance generally may be declared a public nuisance; 
    B.  Have all parts, portions, units and material comprising the same, together with the frame, background, supports or anchorage therefore, manufactured, fabricated, assembled, constructed and erected as specified for structures in the applicable building, electrical and fire prevention codes; 
    C.  Have the area surrounding the sign maintained by the owner in a clean, sanitary and inoffensive condition, and free and clear of all obnoxious substances, rubbish and weeds. (Ord. 763, 19967; Ord. 641, 1994; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.365 Projection limits
No projecting building sign, roof sign, or roof-mounted sign may project into a public right of way or easement without approval of an encroachment permit. However, in no event shall a sign be located closer than two feet from the curb line. (Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.370 Variance to sign area
    A.  A variance to the sign regulations relating to the size of the wall mounted signs is permitted, subject to the following requirements: 
        1.  The variance is necessary due to exceptional circumstances related to the type or location of the business, or in order to achieve a special design effect; 
        2.  The size entitlement of the sign shall not be increased by more than 25 percent; 
        3.  The sign will be integrated into the architecture of the building; 
        4.  The sign will not be detrimental to surrounding uses or properties or the community in general; 
        5.  The approval of such modification is consistent with the purposes of the master plan and this ordinance and the sign standards set forth in this title. (Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.375 Master sign plan required
A master sign plan is required for a commercial or industrial complex containing three or more units of operation. (Ord. 763, 1996)
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20.696.380 Nonconforming signs
    A.  Except as otherwise provided in this title, no later than seven years from the effective date of this title, nonconforming signs shall be brought into compliance with the requirements of this chapter. 
    B.  If the posted speed limit on a major highway fronting the parcel as required by section 20.696.305 is reduced and the sign was approved and constructed according to this title, the sign shall be considered nonconforming. (Ord. 870, 1999; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 641, 1994; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.385 Off premise public community facility signs
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, off-premises signs for public community facilities may be allowed subject to the following: 
    A.  The signs are limited to the identification of a public community facility owned or leased by Douglas County and the site must be identified in an integrated community facility signing plan, approved by the board: 
        1.  The sign shall be monument type and placed along or within a public right-of-way; 
        2.  Before the installation of any sign structure, the location, size, height, width and general design must be approved by the county as being in conformance with the general purpose of this chapter. Where applicable, an encroachment permit shall be obtained; 
        3.  No more than one single or double face monument sign shall be erected at an identification location; 
        4.  The total sign structure height must not exceed eight feet measured from the adjacent natural grade; 
        5.  The maximum sign area is 50 square feet for each sign face; 
        6.  The copy of the sign is limited to the name and logo of the public facility; 
        7.  The sign cannot be internally illuminated. (Ord. 956, 2001; Ord. 801, 1997; Ord. 763, 1996; Ord. 386, 1981)
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20.696.390 Points of interest and community entry signs
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, on and off-premise points of interest and community entry signs are subject to the following: 
    A.  Signs identifying special points of interest and community entry points that are not owned or leased by Douglas County may also be approved as identified in the integrated community facility sign plan, as proposed or amended by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and approved by the board. The Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for the placement and maintenance of all signs authorized by this section. The approval of the board is subject to the following: 
        1. Before the installation of any sign structure, the location, size, height, width and general design must be approved by the county as being in conformance with the general purpose of this chapter. Where applicable, an encroachment permit must be obtained. 
        2.  No more than one single or double-faced sign may be erected at an identification location. 
        3.  The maximum area for each community entry monument sign is 100 square feet for each sign face and the total sign structure height must not exceed 20 feet measured from the adjacent natural grade. 
        4.  The maximum area for each point of interest sign, which may be pole mounted, is 12 square feet. 
        5.  The signs must have proper access and maintenance easements. (Ord. 1009, 2002)
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