Township of Montgomery, PA
Montgomery County
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[Added 4-14-2003 by Ord. No. 02-161Z]

§ 230-243 Establishment of overlay district.

The BLI Overlay District shall be an overlay to the LI Limited Industrial District as shown on the Zoning Map. All of the following criteria shall apply to the BLI Overlay District:
A. 
The provisions of the BLI Overlay District shall serve as a supplement to the underlying district provisions and, as such, shall apply only to BLI uses.
B. 
The provisions of this district apply only to the LI Limited Industrial Zone properties which meet all of the following criteria and are specifically identified and located on the Township Zoning Map:
[Amended 3-26-2012 by Ord. No. 11-251Z]
(1) 
The property upon which the proposed billboard is to be situated must have frontage on Pennsylvania Route 309. The BLI Billboard Limited Industrial District shall be measured to a depth of 150 feet from and parallel to the center line of Route 309 (Bethlehem Pike).
(2) 
(Reserved)
(3) 
The property must have a minimum lot size of one acre.
C. 
The district shall not apply to any other LI zoned properties, or any other zoned properties.
D. 
Eligible properties within the BLI boundaries may be developed as LI Limited Industrial uses, in compliance with the requirements of Article XVII, and/or as BLI use in compliance with the requirements of the BLI Overlay District.

§ 230-244 Permitted uses.

In addition to uses permitted in the LI Limited Industrial District, the BLI Billboard Overlay District shall permit off-premises commercial signage/structures. Said off-premises commercial signage being a sign which directs attention to a business, person, profession, product, home occupation or activities not conducted on the same premises (hereafter "billboard facilities").

§ 230-245 Dimensional standards.

The dimensional standards for all billboard facilities in the BLI Billboard Limited Industrial Overlay District shall be as follows:
A. 
Area. Only elevated, freestanding billboard sign structures shall be permitted. Such billboard facilities shall be permitted to have a sign face not exceeding a maximum area of 672 square feet per face. A sign having two parallel faces with a separation between faces not to exceed five feet or a "V-shaped" sign with a horizontal angle not greater than 45º shall be permitted with a maximum of 672 square feet per face.
B. 
Height. No billboard sign face shall exceed 20 feet in height. The maximum height of an elevated sign shall be 40 feet measured from the elevation of the paved surface grade of the public street or highway to the top of the sign.
C. 
Yard setbacks.
(1) 
Right-of-way. No billboard sign or structure, or any part thereof, shall be erected or maintained within 15 feet of any ultimate right-of-way of a public street or road.
(2) 
Front yard setback. The front yard setback for any building or structure shall be calculated as running from the billboard sign face (i.e., not the right-of-way), for the entire length of the front yard.
D. 
Side or rear yards. No billboard sign or structure, or any part thereof, shall be erected or maintained within 15 feet of any side or rear property line.
E. 
No billboard sign shall be erected within 1,500 feet of any other billboard sign on the same side of the public street or road.
F. 
There shall be a minimum distance of 20 feet between a proposed billboard and any building or structure.
G. 
When the applicant for a billboard facility is other than the legal or equitable owner of the property in question, the application shall be accompanied by a lease agreement between the applicant and owner or some other writing signed by the legal or equitable owner indicating that the applicant has authority and permission to make the subject application in its own name.

§ 230-246 Compliance with code requirements.

[Amended 7-23-2007 by Ord. No. 07-219Z]
A. 
Any billboard sign/facility hereafter erected or used shall conform to the provisions of this article and the provisions of the Township.
B. 
Electrical services and wiring shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the National Electric Code and shall be certified by one of the approved electrical inspection agencies of the Township. Indirect sign illumination shall be in compliance with § 230-123A of the Montgomery Township Zoning Ordinance. All sign components, connections, and installations shall conform to all electrical specifications of the Pa Act 45 of 1999,[1] National Electric Code, as amended, and Underwriters Laboratories and bear a UL seal. In no case shall any open spark or flame be used for display purposes. In no case shall flashing lights be used for display purposes. External illumination shall only be directed at the billboard itself and shall be directed and designed so as not to create a nuisance or hazard to motorists. In no case shall a billboard in total or part consist of a beacon light, festoon lighting, flashing sign, animated sign, or nonstationary sign as these terms are defined in § 230-123A in Article XVIII herein.
[Amended 3-26-2012 by Ord. No. 11-251Z]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 P.S. § 7210.101 et seq.
C. 
Applicants for a building permit for a billboard must submit to the Township a building and electrical permit application and sealed plans prepared by a licensed professional structural engineer certifying that the billboard meets or exceeds industry standards for wind load standards as a requirement for the permit.
[Amended 3-26-2012 by Ord. No. 11-251Z]
D. 
Regulations for internal illumination and changeable copy.
[Added 3-26-2012 by Ord. No. 11-251Z]
(1) 
The image, copy, or message of a billboard shall be static and not change more frequently than once per 30 seconds. The change of an image, message, copy, color or brilliance of a billboard shall be instantaneous without any audio or visual effects. All changeable copy on a billboard shall change uniformly and completely. Once changed, the copy of any part of the billboard shall not change again in less than 30 seconds.
(a) 
No image shall be transferred by any means beyond the perimeter of the billboard sign face.
(b) 
Billboards having internal luminance shall have a pixel pitch or equivalent resolution of not greater than 20 millimeters. The light source shall be equipped to automatically adjust brilliance levels based on ambient light conditions. White or light color backgrounds shall not exceed 50% of the surface area of the sign face of the billboard.
[Amended 7-23-2012 by Ord. No. 12-257Z]
(c) 
No image shall be interactive, display interactive messages or three-dimensional images; nor shall any sign or any part of a billboard structure produce sound of any kind.
(d) 
No billboard sign shall flash, scroll, fade, revolve, move, or have intermittent lighting or movable characters or animated parts.
(2) 
Brightness.
(a) 
No billboard may be brighter than is necessary for clear and adequate visibility and it shall not exceed a maximum of 700 nits during nighttime hours. For the purpose of this regulation, nighttime shall be between one hour after sunset and sunrise.
(b) 
No billboard may display light of such intensity or brilliance to cause glare or otherwise impair the vision of the driver or result in a nuisance to a driver.
(c) 
No billboard may be of such intensity or brilliance that it interferes with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, device, or signal.
(d) 
All digital billboards must be equipped with both a dimmer control and a photocell that automatically adjusts the display's intensity according to natural ambient light conditions.
(e) 
Prior to issuance of a sign permit, the applicant shall provide written certification from the sign manufacturer that the light intensity has been factory pre-set not to exceed 10,000 nits daytime maximum and adheres to the nighttime hours maximum brilliance of 700 nits and that the intensity level is protected from end-user manipulation by password-protected software or other method determined appropriate by the Township. Annual recertification shall be required from the manufacturer and delivered to the Township on the anniversary date of the issuance of the original permits to erect an electronic changeable copy billboard.
(3) 
Default display. All billboards shall be designed and equipped to freeze in one position or immediately discontinue the display if a malfunction occurs.

§ 230-247 Maintenance.

A. 
Every billboard sign permitted by this article must be constructed of durable materials and kept in good condition and repair at all times.
B. 
Weeds shall be kept out from in front of, underneath of, and around the base of all freestanding, elevated billboard signs and facilities.
C. 
No rubbish or debris shall be permitted near any freestanding billboard signs/facilities, especially when such rubbish or debris might constitute a fire hazard.
D. 
All billboard signs shall be kept clean and neatly painted.
E. 
All billboard signs shall be kept free from all hazards such as, but not limited to, faulty wiring or loose fastenings.
F. 
All billboard signs shall be maintained at all times in such safe condition that they shall not be a danger to the public health and safety.