Submission of Initial Sign Inventory. Within 60 days of the effective date of this Section, any general advertising sign company that owns a general advertising sign located in the City shall submit to the Department a current, accurate, and complete inventory of its general advertising signs together with the inventory processing fee required by subsection (f) below. Any general advertising company that commences ownership of one or more general advertising signs located in the City after the effective date of this Section shall submit an inventory together with the inventory processing fee within 60 days after its commences such ownership whether or not the signs on the inventory have previously been reviewed by the Department in its review of the inventory of a previous owner.
All Signs to be Included in the Inventory; Inclusion Not Evidence of Legality. The inventory shall identify all general advertising signs located within the City that the general advertising company owns and/or operates under a lease, license or other agreement whether or not those signs can be proved to be lawfully existing. Inclusion of a sign on the inventory shall not be considered evidence that a sign is lawfully existing.
For purposes of this Section, a “general advertising sign company” shall mean an entity that owns a general advertising sign structure, as distinguished from the person or entity that owns the property on which the sign is located.
The initial sign inventory required by subsection (a) above shall include a site map that shows the location of all signs identified in the inventory, and shall provide the following information for each sign:
The location of the sign by street address, by block and lot, and by nearest intersection;
A photograph of the sign in its existing location on the lot, specifically identifying the sign;
The date of original erection or installation of the sign, if known;
The permit number or in-lieu identifying number issued by the Department pursuant to Section 604.1(c) of this Code;
The approved and existing area, dimensions, height, and any other special features of the sign such as illumination or movement;
The type of sign, as defined in Section 602 of this Code;
Evidence that the sign has not been removed and still exists at the authorized location, and that the sign company is the owner of the sign structure;
Permit number and, in the case of subsequent modifications of the sign, including, but not limited to, illumination, permit application number or permit number;
Evidence that the sign still is in use for general advertising; and
Information, if known, whether the sign had a prior use as a non-general advertising sign, including, but not limited to, a business sign or exempt sign, and the duration of such prior use.
Affidavit. The general advertising sign company shall submit with the inventory an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury by a duly authorized officer or owner of the sign company stating that:
The sign inventory and site map are current, accurate, and complete to the best of his or her knowledge;
The officer or owner believes, after the exercise of reasonable and prudent inquiry, that all signs on the inventory have been erected or installed with an appropriate City permit or have an in-lieu identifying number granted by the Director of Planning;
The general advertising sign company is the owner of all sign structures listed on the inventory.
Inventory Update. Any general advertising sign company that has submitted an initial sign inventory pursuant to subsection (a) above shall be responsible for keeping its inventory updated by reporting in writing to the Department the sale or removal of any general advertising sign identified in the inventory, the purchase of a sign from another sign company or owner, or the relocation of a sign pursuant to a Relocation Agreement and conditional use authorization. Such reporting to the Department shall be made within 30 days of the actual sale, removal, purchase, or relocation of the sign. The fee charged to a sign company for an update to its initial sign inventory shall be the fee per sign structure set forth in Section 358 of this Code.
Inventory Processing Fee. With the submission of the initial sign inventory required by subsection (a) above, the general advertising sign company shall pay the inventory processing fee set forth in Section 358 of this Code. After payment of this initial inventory processing fee, the general advertising sign company shall annually pay an inventory maintenance fee as set forth in Section 358. The Department shall use the inventory processing fee solely for the following purposes:
To compensate the Department for its costs in verifying that the signs identified in the corresponding inventory are lawfully existing;
To obtain removal, through abatement actions or other Code enforcement activities, of any signs included on the inventory that the Department determines to be existing illegally.
Departmental Notification of Failure to Submit Complete Inventories. The Department shall notify in writing those sign companies that have not submitted or have submitted incomplete sign inventories, or have not timely submitted an inventory update.
Within 30 days of the date of notification provided under Subsection (g), the sign company shall submit a complete inventory with the inventory processing fee and a penalty of $580.00 per sign for those signs that were not identified or those improperly identified.
If the sign company fails to submit the complete inventory with the processing fee and full penalty amount provided in Subsection (g)(1), then, within 60 days of the date of notification provided under Subsection (g), the penalty will increase to $1,160.00 per sign for those signs that were not identified or those improperly identified.
Any penalties assessed pursuant to Subsections (g)(1) and (2) above, are appealable to the Board of Appeals.
The Board of Appeals, in reviewing the appeal of the penalty assessed may reduce the amount of the penalty if the Board of Appeals finds that the sign owner: (i) was not properly notified or (ii) had previously submitted a sign inventory that included the signs for which the penalty was assessed. The Board of Appeals also may reduce the amount of the penalty if it finds that any action on the part of the Department resulted an improper assessment of the penalty charge.
If the sign company fails to submit the full penalty amount assessed pursuant to Subsections (g)(1) and (2) or as modified by the Board of Appeals pursuant to Subsections (g)(3) and (4), the Planning Department shall request the City’s Treasurer/Tax Collector to pursue the outstanding penalties after 90 days of the date of notification provided under Subsection (g).
All penalty revenues received shall be deposited in the Code Enforcement Fund.
The Department shall submit to the Commission and the Board of Supervisors an annual report that includes: (i) annual revenues from the inventory processing fee, annual inventory maintenance fee, in-lieu application fee, and the relocation agreement application fee, (ii) annual expenditures for the sign inventory program, and (iii) a progress report on the number of general advertising signs verified in the sign inventory; in-lieu requests; and Code enforcement actions for general advertising signs processing, backlog, and abatement actions.
(Added by Ord. 140-06, File 052921, App. 6/22/2006; Ord. 200-06, File No. 060849, App. 7/21/2006)