|During the past year, the Planning Commission (Commission) has held numerous workshops and meetings to update the City’s Sign Code, and in March of 2017, the City Council (Council) approved a comprehensive update to the Sign Code, with one exception. That exception involves temporary signs in the public right-of-way (ROW) including realtor open house signs.
The challenge to this last portion of the Sign Code has been meeting the content neutral requirement of the U.S. Supreme Court 2015 ruling Reed v. Town of Gilbert. To meet this requirement, the Commission has received and considered input from staff, testimony from local realtor groups and residents, AND approaches used in other jurisdictions.
At its September 12, 2017 meeting, the Council provided the Commission direction to allow for temporary signs located in the public ROW subject to the following:
Following Council’s direction, the Commission with input from staff and the local realtor community, has recommended this ordinance that contains the following provisions:
- Limit the locations and times when temporary signs can be displayed in the public ROW.
- Consider the content neutrality requirements of Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
- Limit the number of signs per entity or business per street corner.
- Prohibit signs on street medians.
- Set a minimum separation/distance between the same signs.
Staff would prepare handouts explaining the permit process including illustrative examples of permitted sign size, where to place the permit tag on the sign, and locations in the public ROW where signs can be displayed. For the City, advantages of the self-permitting process include:
- Add a new Sign Code section “Temporary Signs Placed in Connection with a Single Exhibition Event." A single exhibition event means a specific time when members of the public are invited to a private residential property within the City of Chino Hills for the purpose of socializing, viewing and/or engaging in sale or lease transactions, including, without limitation, events such as a real estate open house, holiday open house or similar activity.
- Prohibit temporary signs in public street medians and within 50 feet of the City’s busiest intersections.
- Establish a no-fee self-permitting process for temporary signs placed in the public ROW that would allow a person or entity to access the permit process through the City’s website or at the City Community Development Department public counter. The permit would be a small 2”x 2” tag that must be adhered to the face of the sign, and would include the name and phone number of the permittee, and the address and date of the single exhibition event.
The Commission recommendations are incorporated into Municipal Code Amendment No. 18MCA01. Added sections are indicated below in underline:
- City has a record of which signs are permitted, who is placing the signs, where the signs are located and for how long.
- Code Enforcement can readily identify a temporary sign associated with a single exhibition event that has completed the City permit process and those that have not. For the person or entity wishing to place the sign in the public ROW, advantages include:
- An easy process that can be done completely on-line.
- No fee.
- The ability to use the permits on multiple signs and for recurring single exhibition events.
MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENT NO. 18MCA01
Chapter 12.28 - Banners and Attachments in Public Rights-of-Way.
12.28.010 - Banners and Signs on City property.
Chapter 16.38 - SIGNS -
- No banner or sign may be placed on any City property or public right-of-way, nor on any structure (including trees and utility poles) owned or operated by the City, nor upon any structure (including trees and utility poles) installed on any City property or public right-of-way.
- The following signs are exempt from this requirement:
- Signs, flags, banners, emblems or notices issued or endorsed by a constituted governmental body, public agency, court, person or officer in performance of a public duty, including traffic or highway signs or similar regulatory or warning devices and legal notices.
- Utility company signs identifying conduits, cables, any dangerous condition or providing other such similar notice if a permit is obtained pursuant to Chapter 12.12.
- Temporary signs as permitted in the public right-of-way pursuant to Chapter 16.38.043 Temporary Signs Placed in Connection with a Single Exhibition Event.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, subsection B.3. does not regulate the content (copy) of signs in any way (except the display of the permit required in Chapter 16.38.043).
16.38.025 - Sign placement.
16.38.043 Temporary Signs Placed in Connection with a Single Exhibition Event.
- Signs may be placed on private property only, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter 16.38.043.H of this Code. No sign may be placed on any property without the property owner’s consent, including any underlying fee title owner, even if a permit is obtained pursuant to Chapter 16.38.043.I.
- No sign, or any portion thereof, may extend over the public right-of-way (except as otherwise provided in this Chapter 16.38.043.H of this Code) or over a property line onto an adjacent property unless consent is obtained from the adjacent property owner.
- No portion of a sign may be located closer than one foot from the existing public right-of-way line, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter 16.38.043.I of this Code.
- A single exhibition event means a specific time when members of the public are invited to a private residential property within the City of Chino Hills for the purpose of socializing, viewing and/or engaging in sale or lease transactions, including, without limitation, events such as a real estate open house, holiday open house or similar activity. (For yard sales and additional signs that are permitted in conjunction with yard sales, reference Chino Hills Municipal Code Section 5.04.330.)
- Temporary single exhibition event signs shall only be displayed during the day of the event and only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, observed Memorial Day and observed Veterans Day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Only one temporary single exhibition event sign is permitted on the property holding the single exhibition event, except that one additional sign of the same size is permitted if the property borders a second street and the copy on each sign is not visible simultaneously from either street.
- Temporary single exhibition event signs shall have a maximum sign area of four (4) square feet per legal parcel in any zoning district. For double-sided signs, only the area of one side shall be counted toward the maximum area allowed.
- The maximum height of temporary single exhibition event signs shall not exceed four (4) square feet.
- Temporary single exhibition event signs on private property must be attached to a wire, wood or similar post, or A-frame and placed securely in the ground on a landscaped or other permeable ground surface.
- Temporary single exhibition event signs may be placed on other private properties in addition to the property holding the single exhibition event provided the consent of the property owner is received prior to sign placement.
- Temporary single exhibition event signs may be placed on the public ROW subject to all the provisions of this section plus following provisions:
- Temporary single exhibition event signs shall be placed only in the landscaped portion of the public street parkway, and shall be prohibited in public ROW medians, tree wells, sidewalks or any other location where the City determines the sign may cause a safety hazard or interfere with vehicular or pedestrian movement. including, but not limited to, the movement and accessibility of persons with disabilities.
- No temporary single exhibition event signs shall be placed within fifty (50) feet of the corners at the following intersections:
- Grand Avenue & Boys Republic Drive
- Carbon Canyon Road & Canyon Hills
- Soquel Canyon Parkway & Pomona Rincon Road
- Chino Hills Parkway & Pipeline Avenue
- Carbon Canyon Road & Chino Hills Parkway
- Grand Avenue & Peyton Drive
- Soquel Canyon Parkway & Butterfield Ranch Road
- Peyton Drive & Eucalyptus Avenue
- Chino Hills Parkway & Peyton Drive
- Chino Avenue & Peyton Drive
- Chino Hills Parkway & Chino Hills Marketplace
- Grand Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway
- Chino Hills Parkway and Ramona
- Butterfield Ranch Road and Shady View/SR71 off ramp
- Attachment: Temporary single exhibition event signs must be attached to a wire, wood or similar post, or A-frame and placed securely in the ground on a landscaped or other permeable ground surface of the public street parkway. Placement by any other manner or on light poles, utility poles, fire hydrants, permanent signs or sign poles, or any other public equipment or facility is prohibited.
- Spacing of the Same Signs: The minimum distance between the same temporary single exhibition event signs placed in the public ROW shall be 100 feet.
- Permit Required: All temporary single exhibition event signs in the public ROW shall obtain a permit through the City of Chino Hills Community Development Department prior to placement. The applicant shall complete a City application for the permit which shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
- Name of person or entity displaying the temporary single exhibition event sign.
- Phone number of person or entity displaying the temporary single exhibition event sign in the public ROW.
- Date and location of the single exhibition event.
- Duration during which the temporary single exhibition event sign(s) will be displayed.
- Location(s) within the public ROW where the applicant proposes to place the temporary single exhibition event sign(s).
- Number of temporary single exhibition event signs.
- Duration: For an applicant holding multiple single exhibition events, the permit shall be valid for a maximum duration of one (1) year, provided the applicant provides notification to the City of the location of each single exhibition event at least one (1) week prior to the event’s occurrence. The process for notification to the City shall be as specified in the permit.
- For reoccurring single exhibition events, the temporary signs may be displayed for a maximum of six (6) months per event, but only during the event and as specified in this section.
- Maximum Number of Signs: The maximum number of temporary single exhibition event signs displayed in the public ROW is fifteen (15) per permit.
- Permit Displayed: The permit must be adhered to the face of each temporary single exhibition event sign displayed in the public ROW. The applicant shall be responsible for ensuring the permit is securely placed on the face of each sign. Alternately, the applicant may display his/her business card in place of the permit provided the business card contains the applicant’s name and contact phone number and the location of the special event for which the permit has been issued.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, this section does not regulate the content (copy) of signs in any way (except the display of the permit required in Chapter 16.38.043).
|Adoption of the proposed Ordinance is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (California Public Resources Code §§ 21000, et seq., “CEQA”) for the following reasons: (1) it will not result in a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment (14 Cal. Code Regs. § 15060(c)(2)), (2) there is no possibility that the Ordinance may have a significant effect on the environment (14 Cal. Code Regs. § 15061(b)(3)), and (3) the Ordinance does not constitute a “project” as defined in the CEQA Guidelines (14 Cal. Code Regs. § 15378), and the project is exempt from review under CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines §§ 15301 (Existing Facilities) which consists of the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination; and 15308 (Actions by Regulatory Agencies for Protection of the Environment) which consists of actions taken by regulatory agencies, as authorized by state or local Ordinance, to assure the maintenance, restoration, enhancement, or protection of the environment where the regulatory process involves procedures for protection of the environment.