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(a) Off-premises signs shall meet the standards for billboards in subsection (b) of this section except for freestanding signs meeting all of the following criteria:

(1) The business, industry, or other activity the sign is intended to serve does not have arterial or collector street frontage but has an access road or drive directly taken from the arterial or collector street where the sign will be located;

(2) The property owner of the property where the sign will be located provides written consent to the Planning and Development Director;

(3) The sign does not exceed 10 square feet and four feet in height;

(4) The sign is located no closer than 25 feet from any other freestanding sign;

(5) The zoning district where the sign is located has the same zoning or a less restrictive zoning designation than the business the sign will serve.

(b) Billboards.

(1) Purpose. The purpose of the billboard regulations is to eliminate potential hazards to motorists and pedestrians; to encourage signs which by their size and location are harmonious to the locations which they occupy and which eliminate excessive and confusing sign displays; to achieve a reasonable balance between the need of sign and outdoor advertising industries and the visual qualities of the community; and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the City of Topeka.

(2) Defined. The term “billboard” or “panel poster” as used in this section means any board or panel erected, constructed or maintained for the purpose of displaying outdoor advertising by means of painted letters, posters, pictures and pictorial or reading matter, either illuminated or nonilluminated, when the sign is supported by uprights or braces placed upon the ground. Any billboard erected above or over the roof or parapet of a building is classified as a roof sign for the purpose of this section.

(3) Standards for Materials, Construction, Location.

(i) No new billboard shall be erected or installed unless a billboard has been removed from the same parcel or another parcel. Any application to install a new billboard shall be accompanied by evidence of demolition or removal of a billboard and shall comply with the following standards and other applicable standards of this section:

(A) Any new billboard not exceeding 300 square feet per single face area and not exceeding a height of 55 feet is allowed in C-3, C-4, I-1, and I-2 zoning districts; may be permitted by conditional use permit in D-1, D-3, and RR-1 districts; and is prohibited in all other zoning districts.

(B) Any new billboard not exceeding 750 square feet per single face area and not exceeding a height of 35 feet is allowed in I-1 and I-2 zoning districts, and is prohibited in all other zoning districts.

(C) The relocation, remodeling, or rebuilding of a legal nonconforming billboard not meeting the standards of this section may be permitted by conditional use permit on property zoned C-4.

(D) The structural members of all billboards and panel posters relocated, rebuilt or remodeled pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be constructed entirely of noncombustible materials excepting only the sign face, ornamental molding and platform. All such relocated, rebuilt or remodeled billboards and panel posters shall be installed only on single pole structures.

(ii) No billboard or panel poster relocated pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be erected within the radius of 1,320 feet of another billboard or panel poster; provided, that this provision shall not apply to rebuilt or remodeled billboards or panel posters remaining on the same parcel of land.

(4) Open Space and Latticework. Every billboard or panel poster less than 15 feet from a public sidewalk shall have an open space of not less than three feet between the lower edge of such signboard and the ground level, which space may be filled in with decorative latticework of light wooden construction.

(5) Electronic Message Center Signs. Each EMC sign located on a billboard or panel poster shall meet all of the following requirements:

(i) The sign does not contain or display flashing, intermittent or moving lights, including animated or scrolling advertising.

(ii) Messages shall have a minimum dwell time of eight seconds and a transition time between messages of two seconds or less.

(iii) The sign shall not be placed within 1,320 feet of another billboard or panel poster EMC sign on the same side of the highway, with the distance being measured along the nearest edge of the pavement and between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway.

(iv) If a billboard or panel poster is a legal conforming structure it may be changed to an EMC sign. However, a billboard or panel poster that is a nonconforming structure shall not be changed to an EMC sign.

(v) The sign shall comply with the EMC standards in TMC 18.10.160, but the 50 percent sign area limitation in TMC 18.10.160 shall not apply.

(6) Responsibility of Owner to Maintain Premises. Any person occupying any vacant lot or premises with a billboard or panel poster thereon shall be subject to the same duties and responsibilities as the owner of the lot or premises with respect to keeping such lot or premises clean, sanitary, and clear of all noxious substances in the vicinity of such billboard or panel poster, and with respect to the removal of snow from the sidewalk in front thereof. (Ord. 20207 § 19, 9-10-19.)