Paulding Sign Ordinance

Ordinance No. 1362-07       







WHEREAS, the Council of the Village of Paulding has determined that it would be in the public interest to establish regulations relating to the placement of signs within the Village of Paulding, Ohio and the same being done in the interest of safety. 






(a) The purpose of this chapter is to promote public health, safety and welfare by establishing reasonable regulations governing the size, character, location and structural integrity of signs and other advertising structures. This chapter is enacted to promote:  


  (1) Vehicular and pedestrian safety by prohibiting signage that obstructs the view of or distracts attention from traffic control devices; 


  (2)Vehicular and pedestrian safety by eliminating visual obstructions resulting from signage located adjacent to or over public rights-of-way; 


  (3) Public safety by establishing design and maintenance standards for advertising structures that reduce the risk of fire, collapse and fragmentation and by providing for the inspection and removal of advertising structures that have become unsafe;  


  (4) Public safety by prohibiting signs that interfere with fire fighting and rescue efforts;  


  (5) Economic well-being by permitting commercial enterprises to use advertising structures of sufficient size to fulfill communicative needs while prohibiting excessively large structures and sign competition that tends to depreciate the value of adjacent properties; and, 


(b) All Ordinances are to be construed in favor of promoting vigorous political debate and accommodation of the rights of residents and visitors to speak freely. The provisions of this chapter shall be uniformly enforced without regard to the content of any advertising message or the identity of the proponent of that message.  





The provisions of this chapter supplement building standards established by the Ohio Building Code and Ordinances pertaining to zoning and the regulation of business enterprises. In the event of a conflict, the more restrictive standard shall apply.  




(a) As used in this chapter, the terms: “Sign”, “Closed Sign”, “Ground Sign”, “Marquee Sign”, “Open Sign”, “Portable Sign”, “Projecting Sign”, “Roof Sign”, “Temporary Sign” and “Wall Sign” shall be accorded the meaning attributed to them by the Ohio Building Code. 


(b) “Abandoned Sign” means a sign that no longer carries a readable message or that directs the public to a location where goods or services advertised are no longer available. 


(c) “Area” means the area encompassed by the smallest circle, ellipse, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon or octagon that completely contains a sign, including any perimeter frame, but excluding all supports or uprights on which the sign may be placed. Where a sign consists of individual letters, words or symbols, the area of each component shall be computed and total sign area shall be computed as the sum of the areas encompassed by the individual components.  


(d) “Billboard” means any sign advertising, identifying, or directing attention to any product, service, entertainment, or commercial activity that is not offered on the lot on which the sign is located.  


(e) “Building Frontage” means the length of any exterior wall of a building facing a public right of way. In a building that is subdivided by a party wall or walls into spaces with separate exterior entrances, “Building Frontage” means the length of the exterior wall or walls of the building facing the public right-of-way measured to the center of the party wall or walls. In the event a building or building unit fronts more than one public right-of-way, the “Building Frontage” shall be separately calculated for each facade.  


(f) A “Dilapidated Sign” and/or a “Neglected Sign” means a sign that does not present a neat and orderly appearance, which may be manifested by any of the following characteristics: rust or holes on or in the sign or sign structure; broken, missing, loose or bent parts; faded or flaking paint; non-operative or partially non-operative illuminating or mechanically devices; and missing letters in sign copy.  


(f) “Erect” means to construct, assemble, install, alter or relocate a sign and includes the acts of attaching, affixing, hanging, suspending, painting and placement of signs, but does not include repair or replacement of changeable copy, repainting, cleaning or other maintenance that does not involve the repair or replacement of foundation elements, structural members or electrical components.  


(i) “Illuminated Sign” means any sign that is illuminated by any internal or external light source other than non-reflected natural daylight or ambient public street lighting.  


(j) “Obscene Sign” means a sign that depicts or otherwise communicates matter deemed “obscene” or “harmful to juveniles” under standards established by the Ohio Revised Code.  


(k) “Person” means any individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability corporation or other legal entity.  


(l) “Political Sign” means a sign promoting a candidate for elective office, a political party or a ballot measure. 


(m) “Real Estate Sign” means a sign advertising the sale, rental, lease of the premises or part of the premises on which the sign is displayed. 


(n) “Vehicular Sign” means any sign attached or applied to or painted on a vehicle for the primary purpose of advertising or directing attention to a product, service, entertainment, or commercial activity but does not include words, graphics or other communication that serves to identify the vehicle as one ordinarily and routinely used and operated in the course of the business advertised.  


(o) “Window Sign” means a non-illuminated sign painted on, applied to or installed inside a window for viewing from outside the premises but does not include window displays of merchandise.  




(a) With the exceptions set forth hereinafter no signs, including but not limited to permanent yard signs, shall be erected on public property or within any public right-of-way except by governmental authorities in the discharge of a governmental function or pursuant to a license to occupy the right-of-way granted in accordance with Ohio Revised Code §131.03. Any sign so located shall be deemed a public nuisance and subject to immediate removal. 


(b) No signs shall be erected by nailing, fastening or affixing the sign in any manner to any tree, rock, post, curb, utility pole, natural feature, official street sign or marker, traffic control sign or device or other structure except as may be set forth herein.  


(c) The erection of memorial crosses, signs or statues to commemorate the place of a traffic accident or other death shall be prohibited. 


(d) No sign shall be placed or erected on either public or private property without the permission of the owner. 


(e) Commercial signs, including sign structures, shall be deemed abandoned if the business, service or commercial site to which it relates has been discontinued/closed for ninety (90) days. 


(f) Dilapidated and/or neglected and/or abandoned signs, including the structure and supports for said signs, shall not be permitted.   


(g) No “Ground Sign” shall be erected within 10 feet of any public right-of-way or within 150 feet of any other Ground Sign located adjacent to the same side of the same public right-of-way;  


(h) No sign shall be erected in any place that interferes with the ventilation system of a building or impedes access to any fire hydrant or standpipe, fire extinguisher or fire alarm or to any door, window, fire escape or other means of egress from a building;  


(i) No sign exhibiting animated graphic illustrations, flashing or rotating lights or mirrors, banners, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or similar devices that move or change appearance shall be erected in any place that is visible from a public right-of-way or from publicly or privately owned lands customarily open to vehicular traffic. This paragraph does not prohibit the erection of public service devices that display the date, time, temperature or news information in a manner that does not imitate or distract attention from traffic control devices;  


(j) No illuminated sign shall be erected in any place that results in objectionable brightness or glare in any residential premises or on any public right of way.  


(k) Abandoned Signs, Obscene Signs, Portable Signs, Roof Signs and Vehicular Signs are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and are prohibited.  




(a) Political signs may only be displayed for sixty (60) days before the candidate or issues appears on the ballot and they must be removed no later than five (5) days after the election. Political signs may be placed in the right-of-way, however, they shall not interfere with road or highway visibility or obstruct or otherwise interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic or pose a hazard to pedestrians or traffic. Political signs shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square feet in area. 


(b) Garage, basement, porch or other casual sale signs may be erected in residential areas as long as they are not in violation of other sections of this ordinance. This type of sign may not be present for more than three (3) days after said sale. 


(c) Temporary banners or signs announcing educational, religious or public events shall be permitted on the premises where the event is to occur, however, they shall not be larger than twenty (20) feet square. 


(d) Street banners may only be placed on the right-of-way of non-limited access roadways and must vertically clear the pavement by at least eighteen (18) feet. Such banners must be placed a minimum of 1,000 feet apart. 


(e) Real estate signs may be placed in the right-of-way, however, they shall not interfere with road or highway visibility or obstruct or otherwise interfere with the safe and orderly movement of traffic or pose a hazard to pedestrians or traffic. 




A sign that was lawfully erected but fails to comply with one or more subsequently enacted regulations may be maintained and used but shall not be substantially improved, enlarged or otherwise altered. 




(a) No person shall place, maintain or display upon or in view of any street any unauthorized sign, signal, marking or device which purports to be, is an imitation of or resembles a traffic control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any traffic control device or any railroad sign or signal, and no person shall place or maintain, nor shall any public authority permit upon any street any traffic sign or signal bearing thereon any commercial advertising.  This section does not prohibit either the erection upon private property adjacent to streets of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for traffic control devices, or the erection upon private property of traffic control devices by the owner of real property in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4511.211 and 4511.432. 


Every such prohibited sign, signal, marking or device is a public nuisance, and the Police Chief is authorized to remove it or cause it to be removed.   




Whoever violates or fails to comply with any provision of this chapter is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues. 




This Ordinance shall be in force and effect from and after its earliest period allowed by law. 


PASSED: _________________  






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