BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 24.44 Outdoor General Advertising Devices*

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Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.

Chapter 24.44
Outdoor General Advertising Devices*


24.44.010 Definition.
24.44.020 Devices prohibited.
24.44.030 Non-conforming devices.
24.44.040 Exemptions.
24.44.050 Kiel Center Arena--Special provisions.
24.44.060 Penalty for violation.
* Editor's' Note: Chapter 24.44, formerly Ch. 24.18, was renumbered by the codifier during Supplement No. 11.

24.44.010 Definition.

For the purpose of this chapter and notwithstanding the provisions of any other ordinance an outdoor general advertising device is a device maintained by advertising agencies which advertise products of their customers or clients, and all business signs individually or privately owned which are not on the premises of the owner or place of business to which they apply, including wall signs and those otherwise attached to buildings and structures, as well as those not attached to buildings and supported by uprights or braces on the ground. All other words and phrases shall have the meaning given to them in Ordinance 59979, or any amendments thereto.
(Ord. 60704 2, 1988.)

24.44.020 Devices prohibited.

Notwithstanding the provision of any other ordinances, the erection and maintenance of outdoor general advertising devices (device) are non-conforming and prohibited except as may be allowed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. 60704 3, 1988.)


Ordinance prohibiting construction of any new off-premises commercial signs was preempted by Missouri Billboards Act which permitted such signs. National Advertising v. Hwy. & Tr. Com'n, 862 S.W. 2d 953 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993).

24.44.030 Non-conforming devices.

Any device lawfully existing prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, but which could not be erected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed non-conforming and unlawful but may continue in accordance with the following conditions.

A. By Destruction, Damage or Obsolescence. The right to maintain any non-conforming device shall terminate and shall cease to exist whenever the device is damaged over 60% of its value or destroyed, from any cause whatsoever, or became obsolete or substandard under any ordinance regulating such devices to the extent that the device becomes a hazard or a danger.

B. Changes. The message of the device may be changed or modified provided the area of the device is not enlarged or the height of the sign increased. If enlarged, increased in height or altered structurally, other than pursuant to subsection A above, the device is deemed to be unlawful and must be immediately removed.

C. Ownership. There may be a change in tenancy, ownership or management of a non-conforming device provided there is no change in the area or height of such device.

D. By Discontinuation. Discontinuation of a device shall mean the absence of any commercial advertisement for public information message and the discontinuation of any device for a period of sixty days or more regardless of any intent to resume or not to abandon such use or device shall be considered abandonment of use and that device for rent is not considered a continued use under this subsection.

E. By Relocation. Should any device be moved or relocated for any reason for any distance whatever, it shall become an unlawful device and must be removed immediately.

F. By Violation of Law. Any violation of ordinance, state or federal statute shall terminate immediately the right to maintain such device.

G. Replacement. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the processing of applications for permits for the erection and/or placement of replacement outdoor general advertising devices on a specific geographic location on which there existed on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter and on the date of application for the replacement device and outdoor general advertising device erected under permit which device is removed after the effective date and during the term of the ordinance codified in this chapter; provided, however, that any replacement device erected under this provision can be of no greater area, height or contain more faces than the device removed. This provision shall not apply to devices that have been discontinued and those discontinued devices must be removed and shall not be replaced. Replacement devices erected pursuant to this subsection are exempt from review by the Commission on Heritage and Urban Design for minimum exterior standards, except if the replacement device is in a historic district or landmark site or is within three hundred (300) feet of and when visible from a public park, plaza, Union Station, post office on Eighteenth and Market Streets, the Civil Courts Building, the City Hall, the Municipal Courts Building, the Old Courthouse, the Main Public Library or the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

H. Removal. Any device that loses its non-conforming status must be removed within seven (7) days of such loss of non-conforming status by the owner of the device or the owner of the property on which the device is located. If the device is not removed within said seven (7) days, the Building Commission may remove said device and charge the owner of the device for said removal and the City of St. Louis may also place a lien on the property on which the device is located.
(Ord. 60704 4, 1988.)

24.44.040 Exemptions.

The following devices are hereby exempted from the provisions of this chapter:

A. All on-premises signs;

B. All non-commercial signs, flags, emblems, or insignia of any national, state or political subdivision;

C. Governmental signs of any type;

D. Notice of any judicial or public proceeding posted by public officers or employees in the performance of their duties pursuant to laws, ordinances, orders of the court, regulations, policies and procedures;

E. Political signs are permitted as regulated by Chapter 26.68 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis;

F. Signs required or specifically authorized for a public purpose by a law, statute, regulation or ordinance;

G. Signs of government, public utility, public service, railroad companies, or their contractors which aid safety, indicate installations or repairs, or which show the location of underground facilities;

H. Devices that encroach the public right-of-way that have been lawfully erected;

I. Any device designated as a city landmark pursuant to Title 24 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis;

J. Pursuant to Sections 226.500 to 226.600, RSMo, Cum. Supp. 1993, any lawfully erected or proposed device located within six hundred sixty feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any interstate or primary highway in areas zoned commercial or industrial subject to the following regulations which are consistent with said Missouri statutes and customary use in the City of St. Louis:

1. No permit to allow a device to be newly erected shall be issued without a permit issued by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission,

2. Lighting.

a. No revolving or rotating beam or beacon of light that simulates an emergency light or device shall be permitted as part of any sign. No flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights will be permitted except scoreboards and other illuminated signs designating public service information, such as time, date, or temperature, or similar information, will be allowed,

b. External lighting, such as floodlights, thin line and gooseneck reflectors are permitted, provided the light source is directed upon the face of the sign and is effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed into any portion of the main traveled way of the interstate or federal-aid primary highway and the lights are not of such intensity so as to cause glare, impair the vision of the driver of a motor vehicle, or otherwise interfere with a driver's operation of a motor vehicle; provided the light source is effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from shining onto any lot which is used or zoned residential,

c. No sign shall be so illuminated that it interferes with the effectiveness of, or obscures, an official traffic sign, device, or signal,

3. Size of Signs.

a. The maximum area per face for any one sign shall be one thousand two hundred square feet, inclusive of border and trim but excluding the base of apron, supports, and other structural members,

b. The maximum size limitations shall apply to each side of a sign structure, and signs may be placed back to back, or in V-type construction with not more than one display to each facing,

c. The maximum height of any sign shall be no more than thirty-five feet from the highest point on the device to the grade of the highway from which the sign is intended to be read,

4. Spacing and Location of Signs.

a. No sign structure shall be erected within five hundred feet of an existing sign on the same side of the highway,

b. No sign structure shall be erected within three hundred feet of any lot which is used or zoned residential, nor shall any sign structure be located:

i. Within fifty feet of any property line of the lot on which the sign structure is located,

ii. Within thirty feet from the nearest building,

iii. Within one hundred feet of any on-premise sign,

iv. In or within 300 feet of any park, playground, school, library, hospital, church, historic district, landmark, an area on the National Register of Historic Places or the Jefferson Memorial District,

c. The spacing between structure provisions of subsection (J)(4)(a) of this section do not apply to signs which are separated by buildings, natural surroundings, or other obstructions in such manner that only one sign facing located within such distance is visible at any one time. Directional or other official signs or those advertising the sale or lease of the property on which they are located, or those which advertise activities on the property on which they are located, including products sold, shall not be counted, nor shall measurements be made from them for the purpose of compliance with spacing provisions,

d. No sign shall be located in such manner as to obstruct or otherwise physically interfere with effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device or obstruct or physically interfere with a motor vehicle operator's view of approaching, merging or intersecting traffic,

e. The measurements in this section shall be the minimum distances between outdoor advertising sign structures measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway and shall apply only to outdoor advertising sign structures located on the same side of the highway involved,

f. No sign shall be located adjacent to or within five hundred feet of an interchange, intersection at grade, or safety rest area. Such distances shall be measured from beginning or ending of the pavement widening at the exit from or entrance to the main traveled way,

g. No sign shall be located on the roof of a building or non-sign structure.
(Ord. 63227 2, 1994: prior: Ord. 60704 5, 1988.)


City cannot prohibit billboards along interstate highways-state legislation pre-empted local control. National Advertising v. MSHTC, 862 SW. 2d 953 (Mo. App. 1993)

24.44.045 Kiel Center Arena--Special provisions.

Notwithstanding the provision of Ordinance 60704, approved March 11, 1988, Ordinance 60364, approved June 18, 1987, Ordinance 62121, approved December 17, 1990, the zoning code of the City of St. Louis, a building sign including off-premise outdoor advertising may be erected, maintained and operated on the new Kiel Center Arena located in City Blocks 209 and 210 south subject to the following conditions:

A. Said device shall display no more than five logo signs; and

B. Said device may contain any information or advertising and an electronic message board; and

C. Said device may be either a wall or window type; and

D. Said device may be installed no less than two hundred feet from any other off-premise outdoor general advertising device on the same side of the highway existing at the time of the erection; and

E. Said device may not exceed (a) two hundred feet in length, (b) ten feet in height, and (c) sixty-five feet above grade on Clark Avenue as measured to the bottom of the device.

Except as herein provided, the device shall be subject to all other provisions of the ordinances of the City of St. Louis.
(Ord. 62701 1, 2, 1992.)

24.44.050 Penalty for violation.

Any person who violates or fails to comply with, or who permits or causes any person in his or its employ to violate or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, shall upon conviction thereof be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment for each and every day that such violation continues.
(Ord. 60704 7, 1988.)

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