Sec. 25-24-60. Nonconforming signs.

(a) Termination Date.
(1) All signs, billboards, and other sign structures which were erected and in existence prior to the effective date of this article, which were, at the time of such erection or establishment, in compliance with all then applicable statutes and ordinances, but which do not meet the requirements of this article, shall be permitted to remain in existence notwithstanding their nonconforming character, to and including June 30, 1982. Thereafter, all such signs, billboards, or other sign structures shall be in violation of this article, and subject to removal as in the case of any other illegal structure or use, subject to the exceptions herein set forth.
(2) Signs brought into conformance with the sign ordinance adopted March 4, 1974, for which building permits have been issued, shall be permitted to remain in existence, notwithstanding their conforming character, for exactly eight years after the date of issuance of the building permit for each sign.
(3) All existing signs on property annexed to the city after June 30, 1982, shall be permitted to continue as nonconforming signs, for a period of eight years from the date of annexation. Thereafter, all nonconforming signs shall be removed or made to conform to the provisions of this article. Any changes to the signs or their structures in terms of locations, orientation, size, or height will require that all signs and their structures on the property, business, and/or development be brought into conformance with this article.
(4) Zone Changes. Signs that are made nonconforming with the provisions of this sign article, due to a change in zoning affecting the premise on which the sign is located, shall be permitted to remain in existence, notwithstanding their nonconforming character, for exactly eight years after the effective date of the zone change.
(b) Procedure.
(1) In order to avoid an unreasonable burden to owners of preexisting nonconforming signs, billboards, and other sign structures, and further to avoid taking of private property without just compensation, the city council of the city of Woodland has afforded an eight-year period during which such nonconforming signs, billboards, and other sign structures will be permitted to continue in existence, the council having found, and hereby declaring its findings that eight years represents the maximum usable life for purposes of depreciation and amortization of such property. At least one year prior to the date of termination, the community development department of the city of Woodland shall cause written notice to be given to the owners of each premises on which there is maintained a nonconforming sign, billboard, or other sign structure of the type described in this section, advising such owner of the fact that the sign, billboard, or other sign structure must be removed prior to the applicable termination date. Such notice shall also inform the owner of his hearing rights as hereinafter provided.
(A) Within thirty days of the giving of notice as herein above provided, notice to be deemed to have been given upon its deposit in the U.S. mail, postage prepaid, addressed to owner at the address of owner appearing on the last equalized assessment roll, any owner who believes that the sign, billboard or other sign structure the subject of the notice is, because of some unusual circumstances, entitled to a longer period of time for purposes of depreciation or amortization, may appeal said notice, and apply for an extension of time for the nonconforming use. Such appeal and application for extension of nonconforming use shall be in writing and signed by the owner or his authorized agent, shall describe the premises and the nonconforming sign, billboard, or other sign structure, and shall be filed with the city clerk. Any owner failing to make such appeal and application within the thirty-day period waives any right which he otherwise might have for an extension of time for the nonconforming use.
(B) The appeal and application shall be heard by the city council at a public hearing, the hearing date to be set by minute order and notice given the appellant-applicant at least two weeks prior to said hearing. In hearing the appeal, the council may consider all evidence relevant to the value, depreciation, and obsolescence of the sign, billboard, or other structure in question, including such depreciation schedule as may have been allowed or approved by the Internal Revenue Service.
(C) At the conclusion of the hearing, the council may deny the appeal and application or grant such extension of time for the continuation of the nonconforming use as the council finds justified by the evidence.
(2) Prior to the termination date, any changes to a sign or its structure in terms of location, orientation, size, or height will require that all signs and their structures on the property, business and/or development be brought into conformance with this article. A permit may be obtained from the community development department to change the copy of a nonconforming sign, provided that the applicant and/or owner signs a waiver of the right of appeal provided for in subsection (b)(1) of this section and further specifies that the sign will be brought into conformance with the article on or before the termination date. No permit to change copy shall be issued in order for a new business to utilize an existing nonconforming sign. (Amended during the March 2009 supplement.)