A. Administration. The sign regulations shall be administered by the Planning Director, who is authorized and directed to enforce all provisions of the regulations. The Planning Director is authorized to promulgate procedures consistent with the purpose of these regulations, and is further empowered to delegate the duties and powers granted to, and imposed upon, him under these regulations.
B. Construction. Construction of all signs, and their attachments, is governed by the regulations of the Uniform Building Code and these regulations, as adopted by the City of Sebastopol, and shall be inspected and approved by the Building Inspector.
C. Notice and Removal of Nonpermitted Signs.
1. The Planning Director shall cause to be removed any sign which has been erected without benefit of a permit required by the provisions of this chapter, or any sign which is materially, electrically or structurally defective, or any sign which has been abandoned, or any other sign prohibited by SMC 17.120.040.
2. The Planning Director shall prepare a notice which shall describe the sign and specify the violation involved, and which shall state that if the sign is not removed or the violation is not corrected within 10 days, said sign shall be removed in accordance with the provisions of these regulations. The recipient of such a violation notice may request a hearing on the matter within 10 days of receipt of the violation notice. Such a request shall be made in writing to the Planning Director.
3. All violation notices sent by the Planning Director shall be sent by certified mail to the owner of the subject property, as recorded by the Sonoma County Assessor’s Office, and to other such persons as deemed necessary by the Planning Director. Any time periods provided in this section shall commence on the date of the receipt of the certified mail.
4. Any person having an interest in the sign or the property may request an administrative hearing on the matter by filing a written request to the Planning Director within 10 days after the date of mailing the notice, or 10 days after receipt of the notice if the notice was not mailed. If such a request is made, the Planning Director shall cause a hearing to be held within 30 days of the receipt of the request.
5. The Planning Director may cause the removal of any sign which is located within the public right-of-way or which is affixed to public property, for which prior written approval has not been granted. The Planning Director shall not be required to give notice prior to such removal, and any notice, appeal, or other enforcement provisions of this chapter shall not apply. The Planning Director shall make a report of the cost of removal, and the origin of said sign or other matter, and shall forward a copy of that report to the City Attorney to initiate recovery of such costs.
D. Removal of Dangerous Signs. When it is determined by the Planning Director or other City agent that a sign poses an imminent danger to the public safety, and contact cannot readily be made with the property owner or the sign owner, no written notice shall be served. In this emergency situation, the Planning Director or other City agent may cause the immediate removal of a dangerous sign without notice.
E. Disposal of Removed Signs. Any sign removed by the Planning Director or other City agent pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall become the property of the City, and may be disposed of in any manner deemed appropriate by the City. The cost of removal of the sign by the City shall be considered a debt owed to the City by the owner of the sign and the owner of the property and may be recovered in an appropriate court action by the City or by assessment against the property as hereinafter provided. The cost of removal shall include any and all incidental expenses incurred by the City in connection with the sign’s removal. When it is determined by the Building Inspector that said sign would cause an imminent danger to the public safety, and contact cannot be made with a sign owner or building owner, no written notice shall have to be served. In this emergency situation, the Building Inspector may effect correction of the danger.
F. Penalties. Any person(s) violating any of the provisions of these regulations shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and any person violating the same section or portion of these regulations on a second or subsequent occasion shall thereafter be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of either an infraction or a misdemeanor, shall be punishable as provided by law. (Ord. 1111, 2018)