§ 5.14.010. Sign contractor license


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  • A. Licenses.

    1. License required.

    a. Except as provided herein, no person shall engage in the business of erecting, installing, servicing or maintaining signs for sale, rental or leasing purposes, and no permit shall be issued for the erection, construction or demolition of a sign, until such person shall have paid the established fee for that particular sign classification and received from the permit official a license to conduct such work.

    2. Exemptions. Compliance with this section shall not be required in the following instances:

    a. If the type of sign installed is exempt from the applicable provisions of Title 20 (Zoning) and does not require a permit prior to installation;

    b. Electrical sign contractor licensed by the state and the sign installed requires electricity as a source of energy or in the operation of the sign; provided, that all electrical work shall be in compliance with Title 18 (Building and Construction) of the El Paso City Code. A copy of the state license shall be provided to the city.

    3. Term. All license issued pursuant to this chapter shall continue in full force for one year from the date of issuance, and may be renewed annually thereafter upon payment of the established renewal fee unless the license has been suspended or revoked.

    4. Renewal date. A person licensed under this chapter must renew his license within thirty days prior to the expiration of their license or the license shall automatically expire and a new license shall be required prior to completing any work to which this chapter is applicable.

    5. License fees. There shall also be established fees for businesses engaged in painting signs and for the issuance of a duplicate license for one lost, destroyed or mutilated.

    6. License numbers. Each recipient of a license shall have painted, or placed, using a permanent type decal, within forty-eight hours after receipt of the license, the license number in a prominent position on all company vehicles used on job sites, as well as on all signs installed, erected or serviced by the licensee.

    7. Suspension or revocation of license.

    a. The permit official may suspend or revoke the license and permit privileges of a person, or request the suspension of a state licensed electrical sign contractor after determining that the person is guilty of:

    i. Fraud or deceit in obtaining a license under this chapter;

    ii. Allowing a person other than the licensee who obtained the sign permit, or an employee acting under the direct supervision of that person, to perform work for which that permit is required;

    iii. Gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the performance of sign work;

    iv. Intentionally making a false or misleading material statement on the application for a sign installation permit, sign license application or to support the zoning administrator's determination that a particular sign is a nonconforming sign;

    v. Installing, moving, or structurally altering or repairing a sign in violation of this chapter; or

    vi. Failing to maintain the insurance required by this chapter.

    b. A licensee may appeal the permit official's decision to revoke or suspend the licensee's license to the city manager pursuant to Section 5.01.090 of this Code.

    c. A person whose license is revoked may not apply for a license for a period of one year after the revocation.

    d. Operating while suspended or revoked. It is unlawful for any person whose license has been suspended or revoked by the permit official to engage in, construct, install or otherwise attempt any work regarding signs for which a permit is required under Title 20 (Zoning) of this Code.

    8. Insurance and indemnification requirements.

    a. Prior to the issuance of a license all persons applying for a license shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the city, its members, agents, officers and employees, their successors and assigns, individually or collectively, from and against all liability for any fines, claims, suits, demands, action or causes of action of any kind and nature including, but not limited to, personal injury or death, and property damage, in any way arising out of or resulting from any activity or operation of the licensee. The licensee shall pay all expenses incurred in defending against any such claims made against the city; however, the license holder shall not be liable for any injury, damage, or loss caused by the sole negligence or willful misconduct of the city, its agents or employees. The licensee and the city shall give prompt and timely notice of any claim made, or suit initiated which in any way affects or might affect either party.

    b. The licensee shall procure and maintain at his own expense, the following types and amounts of insurance:

    Minimum limits of liability and coverage shall be the required statutory amount for worker's compensation; two hundred fifty thousand dollars for bodily injury liability, including death, for each person; and five hundred thousand dollars in the aggregate; and one hundred thousand dollars for property damage for each occurrence; and one hundred thousand dollars in the aggregate. Permit and license applicants that are governmental entities may comply with the insurance requirements of this section by providing certification that they are self-insured.

    c. In addition, the insurance policy shall state that the city shall:

    i. Be named as additional insured/or insured, as its interest may appear;

    ii. Be provided with a waiver of subrogation;

    iii. Be provided with thirty days advance notice, in writing, of cancellation or material change;

    iv. Be provided with certificates of insurance evidencing the required insurance types and amounts, prior to the commencement of the city's fiscal year. Notices and certificates of insurance shall be provided to the permit official.

    d. Should a person holding a license sever employment connections with a firm which is jointly covered by the same insurance, a new certificate showing proper coverage will be required of both parties prior to either party receiving a new or renewal license.

    e. If the insurance is canceled or renewed at periods other than the annual license renewal date, new evidence to show that the licensee is maintaining proper coverage shall be furnished to the city.

    9. Bond required.

    a. No person shall erect, install or maintain any sign within the city, for which a permit is required, until such person has filed with the building official a bond in the sum of twenty five thousand dollars. The licensee shall provide the bond annually to the city no later than thirty days prior to the expiration of the bond currently in force. Such bond shall ensure the full and faithful compliance by the licensee of all the covenants, terms, and conditions of the construction codes of the city and the laws of the state; and provide for the indemnification of the city for any and all damages or liabilities that may accrue to or against the city by reason of erection, maintenance, demolition, repair, removal or defects in or collapse of any sign erected by or under the direction of such person; and further provide for the indemnification of any person who shall, upon public property of the city, incur damages for which the person erecting such sign is liable by reason of the erection, maintenance, demolition, repair, removal or defects in or collapse of any such sign. Persons, who erect, install or maintain and small businesses engaged only in sign painting shall be exempt from bonding provisions.

    b. Bond recovery and disposition. The building official shall report each violation of this chapter to the city attorney who shall immediately make demand on the compliance bond holder and his sureties for the amount of liability for each offense. Should the compliance bond holder default, the city attorney may file suit upon the bond or seek any other lawful remedy for recovery of any amount due the city.

    10. Enforcement—Penalty.

    a. Civil and criminal penalties. The city manager and designees, including but not limited to the code enforcement division shall have the power to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter as may be required by governing law. Any person violating any provision of this ordinance is subject to suit for injunctive relief as well as prosecution for criminal violations. Any violation of this chapter is declared to be a nuisance.

    b. Criminal prosecution. Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars. Each day that a provision of this chapter is violated shall constitute a separate offense.

    c. Civil remedies. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as a waiver of the city's right to bring a civil action to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to seek remedies as allowed by law, including, but not limited to the following:

    i. Injunctive relief to prevent specific conduct that violates the ordinance or to require specific conduct that is necessary for compliance with the ordinance;

    ii. A civil penalty up to five hundred dollars a day when it is shown that the defendant was notified of the provisions of the ordinance and after receiving notice committed acts in violation of the ordinance or failed to take action necessary for compliance with the ordinance; and

    iii. Any other remedy available by law.

    11. Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 17691, § 1, 12-6-2011, eff. 2-29-2012)