Town of Penfield, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 250-10.1 Purpose and scope.

A. 
The purpose of this article is to provide standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by controlling the number, location, construction, installation, illumination and maintenance of all signs and sign structures in the Town of Penfield.
B. 
It is further the purpose of this article to regulate all signs by controlling the quality and quantity of signs so as to provide for the identification of the various business and professional enterprises in the Town, while at the same time maintaining and improving the visual quality of the community.

§ 250-10.2 Sign permits.

After the effective date of this article and except as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect, enlarge or structurally alter any sign without first obtaining a permit therefor from the authorized official. Application for the permit shall be made according to the following regulations:
A. 
Applications for sign permits shall be made in writing to the authorized official by the owner, lessee or erector and be accompanied by materials the authorized official may deem necessary, such as, but not limited to: a scale drawing showing dimensions, proposed design, the legend, colors, materials, structural details and a tape or plot location map delineating the location of buildings, parking areas, other signs on the same property, frontage of each unit, and/or any fences or other obstructions in relation to the designated location of the proposed sign. Applicants shall show written approval from the owner of the property for such sign permits.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the authorized official, upon filing of an application for a permit to erect, enlarge or structurally alter a sign, to examine such plans, specifications and, if necessary, the building or premises upon which the sign is proposed to be erected. If it shall appear that the proposed sign is in compliance with all the requirements of this article and all other regulations of the Town of Penfield, the authorized official shall issue a permit for the proposed sign.

§ 250-10.3 Special use permits.

A. 
Applications for signs which are not permitted under this article shall be made in writing to the authorized official. The authorized official may issue a permit for such a sign only after the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Town Board, in the case of the Four Corners and LaSalle's Landing Districts, approves a special use permit for such a sign. Upon referral of such an application to the applicable board, a public hearing shall be held, with notice of such hearing published in accordance with Article XV, § 250-15.4. The Zoning Board of Appeals or the Town Board, in the case of the Four Corners and LaSalle's Landing Districts, may, after holding such public hearing, direct the authorized official to issue such permit.
B. 
Before directing the authorized official to issue a sign permit, the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Town Board, as the case may be, shall find that the applicant has demonstrated the following facts to be true:
(1) 
The proposed sign is in harmony with the standards for permitted signs and within the spirit of this article.
(2) 
The proposed sign shall be compatible with and not be detrimental to neighborhood properties.
(3) 
The proposed sign does not, by reason of its location, create a hazard of any nature to the public in general or to any owner or occupant of neighborhood properties.
(4) 
The proposed sign does not in any way interfere with the lawful and aesthetic enjoyment of the public highway or neighborhood properties.
(5) 
Where applicable, the proposed sign is necessary to adequately identify the business(es).
C. 
The existence of corporate or franchise standards for the design, size or color scheme of signs shall not be deemed a material reason for granting a special use permit.

§ 250-10.4 Sign fees.

Prior to the issuance of any permit by the Town Clerk for the erection, enlargement or structural alteration of a sign, a fee shall be paid in accordance with the schedule of fees established by resolution by the Town Board.

§ 250-10.5 Sign measurement.

The area of double-faced signs shall be calculated as the total area of both sides for the purpose of assessing fees. The area of irregularly shaped signs or panel signs of individual letters shall be calculated by using the total rectangular area encompassed by the outline.

§ 250-10.6 Permit not transferable.

No permit issued under the terms of this article shall be transferable to any person without the consent of the authorized official.

§ 250-10.7 Permit term.

A sign permit shall become null and void if the work for which the permit was issued has not been started within a period of six months after the date of issuance of the permit.

§ 250-10.8 Change in advertising copy.

When a property is sold or changes tenancy, a permit shall be required to change the ad, copy or message on an existing sign. All such changes shall be reviewed and approved by the authorized official.

§ 250-10.9 Sign maintenance requirements.

The authorized official shall require the proper maintenance of all signs. Such signs, together with their supports, shall be kept in good repair. The display surfaces shall be kept neatly painted at all times. The authorized official may order the removal of any sign and its support structures that are not maintained by those parties being identified in accordance with the provisions of this article. Painting, repainting, cleaning or repair maintenance shall not be considered an erection or alteration which requires a permit unless a structural change is made.

§ 250-10.10 Sign location.

The location of all signs shall be subject to the approval of the authorized official unless otherwise specified by the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Town Board, as the case may be.

§ 250-10.11 General provisions.

The following provisions shall apply to all signs erected, enlarged or maintained within the Town:
A. 
Illuminated signs or lighting devices may be permitted, provided that such signs employ only lights emitting a light of constant intensity, and no sign shall be illuminated by, or contain flashing or moving light or lights.
B. 
All illuminated signs or lighting devices shall be placed or directed so as to be localized and unobtrusive. An electrical certificate shall be submitted for every electrically illuminated sign from a Town of Penfield authorized electrical inspection agency in accordance with Chapter 94, Article II, Electrical Code, of the Town Code.
C. 
Except as may be permitted by this article, or any other provisions of this chapter, the use of pennants, banners, spinners, streamers, moving signs, or flashing, glittering or reflective, animated or rotating signs or similar eye-catching devices shall not be permitted. Preexisting signs in the above category shall conform to this revised regulation immediately upon the adoption of this article.
D. 
No attached sign shall extend above the roofline of the building to which it is attached.
E. 
Graphics, trademarks, and logos shall not exceed 50% of the face area of any sign. In the case of a double-faced sign, the above shall not exceed 50% per face.
F. 
No billboards shall be permitted.
G. 
No sign shall be erected or maintained so as to prevent ingress to or egress from any door, window, or fire escape, or so as to prevent free access from one part of a roof to any other part.
H. 
No sign, other than safety-related signs, shall be attached to a fire escape.
I. 
No sign shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view of any traffic sign, signal or device.
J. 
No sign of any size or description, except traffic signs placed by public agencies, or mailbox signs, may be erected, placed or maintained within the highway limits of any public right-of-way within the Town of Penfield, except as otherwise approved by the Town Board and any applicable state or county agency.
K. 
No permanent sign which is suspended over any portion of a public right-of-way or a public sidewalk in the easement in which the sidewalk is located shall be permitted or may remain unless the owner delivers to the Town of Penfield an indemnification agreement, in a form and substance acceptable to the Town Attorney, which holds harmless the Town of Penfield for liability or damage suffered by all persons by reason of the construction or maintenance of such sign; said agreement shall be submitted prior to the issuance of a sign permit.
L. 
Attached signs shall be securely attached to the building or to structurally sound standards.
M. 
In addition to signs permitted in §§ 250-10.12 and 250-10.13, each separate business shall be permitted to display one portable temporary on-site sign. Businesses shall be permitted to advertise their name, hours of operation and "OPEN" on one portable temporary on-site sign, subject to the following:
(1) 
Every sign must be placed on the property where business is conducted and not within the right-of-way;
(2) 
The purpose of such signs is intended to only advertise the business and its hours of operation. No product or pricing information shall be permitted on such signs; and
(3) 
Such signs shall be displayed only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
N. 
The discontinuance of business for a period of 60 consecutive days at any given location shall require the immediate removal of all signs relating to said business.
O. 
Any sign found posted or erected within the Town of Penfield contrary to the provisions of this chapter may be removed by the Town's authorized official in the manner prescribed by law. The property owner and/or the person responsible for any such illegal posting shall be cited and liable for the cost incurred in the inspection and/or removal thereof, and the Town's authorized official is authorized to effect the collection of said cost.
P. 
No person shall operate, stand, or park a vehicle on any property or cause such vehicle to be so operated, stood, or parked for the purpose of advertising, except that advertising notices may be put on a motor vehicle when such vehicle is in use for normal delivery or passenger service and not merely or mainly for the purpose of advertising.

§ 250-10.12 Freestanding signs for business and industry.

A. 
No building to be served by a freestanding sign shall be set back less than 35 feet from the property line.
B. 
A freestanding sign identifying a property with:
(1) 
One to three separate businesses shall not exceed 20 square feet per face.
(2) 
Four to six separate businesses shall not exceed 35 square feet per face.
(3) 
More than six separate businesses shall not exceed 50 square feet per face.
C. 
No property shall be permitted to have more than one freestanding sign.
D. 
Freestanding signs shall be set back not less than 20 feet from the front property line, 25 feet from any adjacent commercial or industrial property and 50 feet from any adjacent residential property.
E. 
Freestanding signs shall not exceed a height of 20 feet.
F. 
Informational signage. In addition to the signage requirements specified in this chapter, in cases where commercial development is serviced by an internal access road, said development may be identified by freestanding signs located where the access roads intersect existing roads. Such information signs shall be subject to the following criteria:
(1) 
Such sign(s) shall be of a freestanding directory nature and only contain the names and addresses of the businesses sharing the access road.
(2) 
The sign(s) shall be no larger than 40 square feet in size per side of a double-faced sign.
(3) 
Such sign(s) shall be located in such a manner that it is placed within the property on which the access road is located and set back a minimum of 10 feet off the macadam surface of said access road and 20 feet from the state right-of-way and not closer than 50 feet to any adjacent residential property.
(4) 
Illumination of such sign(s) shall only be from an external source.
(5) 
Such sign(s) shall not be more than 10 feet in height and shall not obstruct vision for ingress/egress.
(6) 
Such sign(s) shall be consistent in design and architectural treatment to other signage in said development, subject to review by the authorized official, the Zoning Board of Appeals, or the Town Board, as the case may be.
G. 
Waterfront signage. Signage for any development with frontage on Irondequoit Bay shall be subject to the following restrictions:
(1) 
In addition to the freestanding sign permitted to identify the business at the right-of-way, one additional freestanding sign may be placed no closer than 20 feet to the water's edge to further identify the business from the Irondequoit Bay. Such signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area.
(2) 
An illuminated freestanding sign shall be externally lit and no "back-lit" illumination shall be permitted.

§ 250-10.13 Building-mounted signs permitted for business and industry.

A. 
Permanent signs for business, industrial and professional uses attached to buildings or structures shall be located on the same premises as the business, industry or profession to which they refer.
B. 
The total area of all permanent business signs attached to buildings or structures (excluding freestanding signs) shall not exceed two square feet in area for each linear foot of building adjacent to the space being used for business purposes. The area of freestanding signage shall be in addition to and not included in calculating the total area of other permanent business signs. The total area of all permanent industrial signs attached to buildings or structures (excluding freestanding signs) shall not exceed 400 square feet. The area of freestanding signage shall be in addition to and not included in calculating the total area of other permanent industrial signs. The property owner shall be responsible for submitting a sign package for his/her property, identifying all proposed sizes, colors, and designs for the signs to be installed, to the authorized official or appropriate board for approval.
C. 
Each individual business establishment, shopping center or industrial use shall be permitted to have one identification sign attached to a building on the premises. The area requirements for such signage shall be consistent with the requirements of Subsection B.

§ 250-10.14 Gasoline service station signs.

The following signs shall be permitted for gasoline service stations:
A. 
Building-mounted and freestanding signs identifying gasoline service stations shall comply with the requirements of §§ 250-10.12 and 250-10.13 of this article.
B. 
One two-by-three-foot four-sided sign providing information regarding the safe operation of self-service gasoline pumps shall be provided for each island where pumps are to be operated by customers.
C. 
Price signs shall be provided on all gasoline pumps as required by state law but shall not require a permit. In no case shall pricing signs be incorporated in any wall-mounted or freestanding business identification sign.

§ 250-10.15 Other signs.

A. 
Signage permitted for farm market operations shall be consistent with the requirements for permanent signs as set forth in §§ 250-10.12 and 250-10.13 of this article; except in the case of farm markets where produce is offered on site, two additional temporary, double-faced, freestanding signs may be placed on the premises identifying the types of produce offered on site; such portable signs shall not be located closer than 10 feet to any property line. In situations where "U-Pick" operations are not clearly visible from the right-of-way, the operator may request a permit from the authorized official to install portable temporary off-site signage, on private property at the nearest intersection, during the growing season to be advertised. No extension to said time frame shall be permitted without approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Such U-Pick signs shall be removed within seven days after the end of the growing season to which they relate.
B. 
Time-and-temperature devices may be permitted for business and industry, subject to the requirements of this article regulating wall, freestanding and/or projecting signs.

§ 250-10.16 Residential signs.

A. 
For single-family homes, one nameplate sign not exceeding two square feet per face in area indicating the name and address of the occupant shall be permitted. Nameplate signs may either be building- or ground-mounted. Ground-mounted signs shall be placed on private property and shall not be located closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Said signs shall not require a permit.
B. 
Each residential subdivision shall be permitted to install two freestanding signs, at the entrance of each street as it intersects an existing Town dedicated street, to permanently identify the name of the subdivision. Said signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area and any decorative supporting system shall not exceed 40 square feet in area, inclusive. All such signs shall be located on private property, shall comply with all setback requirements in § 250-10.12 of this article, and their maintenance shall be the responsibility of the owner on whose property said sign(s) is located. A deed restriction in a form and substance acceptable to the Town Attorney shall be submitted prior to the issuance of a sign permit.

§ 250-10.17 Traffic control signs.

Signs accessory to parking areas, designating entrances and exits to and from a parking area, are limited to one sign for each such exit and entrance, and a maximum size of two square feet each (two square feet per face) shall be permitted. No permit shall be required. Said signage shall be utilized for traffic control purposes only and not identification of a use(s) on the property on which it is located.

§ 250-10.18 Parking area signs.

One sign per parking area designating the conditions of use or identity of such parking areas, and limited to a maximum size of six square feet, shall be permitted, provided that on a corner lot two such signs shall be permitted, one facing each street. No parking area sign shall be placed on private property, and such signs shall not be located closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Said sign shall not require a permit.

§ 250-10.19 Home occupation signs.

Where a home occupation is permitted by § 250-5.1D(3), one nameplate sign may be used to identify the home occupation. Such signs shall not exceed two square feet per face in area and shall be located on private property and not less than 10 feet from any side or rear property line. Said sign shall require a permit and may be building-mounted or ground-mounted. No portable temporary signage shall be permitted in association with such home occupation.

§ 250-10.20 Portable temporary signs.

A. 
Portable temporary signs shall not be permitted within any state, county or Town right-of-way, attached to fences, trees, utility poles, bridges, traffic signs, and shall in no way obstruct or impair vision or traffic in any manner or create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public. Such signs shall be located on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line.
B. 
Portable temporary on-site and/or off-site signs shall be permitted to be used in connection with publicizing any charitable or civic event or issue. Such signs shall be erected only on private property with the consent of the owner or occupant of the property on which such signs are located. Such signs shall be installed no more than 14 calendar days prior to and must be removed within two days after the event to which they relate or decision on the issue to which they relate, as the case may be.
C. 
The use of one portable temporary on-site sign used in conjunction with contractors, e.g., siding, roofing, painting, chimney sweeps, lawn maintenance, snow plowing, etc., pertaining to properties in the Town of Penfield is permitted from commencement to completion of work. Such sign shall be placed on private property and not be located closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Said sign shall not require a permit.
D. 
The aggregate area of all temporary signs shall not exceed 60 square feet on a single lot or premises.

§ 250-10.21 Real estate signs.

Signs advertising the prospective sale or rental of residential, commercial and industrial properties shall comply with the following standards:
A. 
Such signs shall not be permitted within any state, county or Town right-of-way, attached to fences, trees, utility poles, bridges, traffic signs, and shall in no way obstruct or impair vision or traffic in any manner or create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public. Such signs shall be placed on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Said signs shall not require a permit.
B. 
Undeveloped lots not exceeding one acre in area that are being offered for sale or lease shall be permitted to display one portable temporary sign. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Said signs shall not require a permit.
C. 
Sites greater than one acre in area that are being offered for sale or lease shall be permitted to display one thirty-two-square-foot single- or double-faced freestanding sign placed on such site to identify its sale, lease or proposed development, which sign shall be no more than eight feet in height from adjacent grade. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Such signs shall require a permit and shall be removed within two days of completion of the sale, lease or development of the subject site.
D. 
Single-family residences for sale or lease are permitted to display one portable temporary on-site sign on site. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not be located closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. In addition to the portable temporary on-site sign, portable temporary off-site signs may be displayed on off-site private property on Saturdays and Sundays only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. directing prospective buyers to the residence being offered for sale or rent. Said signs shall be removed by 6:00 p.m. on each day. Said signs shall not require a permit.
E. 
On developed commercial and industrial sites where the advertising of lease space is necessary, the owner shall be permitted to display one thirty-two-square-foot single- or double-faced sign advertising the sale or lease of the structure(s) or individual tenant spaces within the structure, which sign shall be no more than eight feet in height from adjacent grade. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. Such signs shall require a permit and shall be permitted for a period of one year. All such signs shall be removed within two days of completion of the sale, lease or development of the subject site. In addition, the property owner shall be permitted to place signage inside of the window of the space to be leased identifying lease space available. No permit shall be required for such signs. All such signs addressed in this section must be removed once the vacancy has been leased.

§ 250-10.22 Driveway signs.

Signs indicating the private nature of driveways or "no trespassing" signs shall be permitted on the site, provided that the size of any such sign shall not exceed one square foot per face. Such signs shall not be less than 10 feet from any side or rear property line. Such signs shall not require a permit.

§ 250-10.23 Existing signs.

Any sign existing and erected before the adoption of this article, which is nonconforming and for which a permit was issued, shall be removed within three years from June 1, 2011, except that in no event shall such an existing sign be required to be removed less than 10 years from the date of issuance of the permit. Such nonconforming signs shall not be altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended, or relocated, unless such action changes a nonconforming sign into a conforming sign as provided herein.

§ 250-10.24 Exemptions.

The following signs shall be exempt from permit requirements:
A. 
Public signs: signs of a noncommercial nature and in the public interest, erected by or on the order of a public officer in the performance of his/her public duty, such as safety signs, danger signs, trespassing signs, traffic control signs, memorial plaques, signs of historical interest and the like.
B. 
Integral signs. Names of buildings, dates of erection, monumental citations, commemorative tablets and the like, when carved into stone, concrete or similar material, or made of bronze, aluminum, or other permanent types of construction are considered an integral part of the structure.
C. 
Garage sale signs. Each property owner conducting a garage sale shall be permitted to erect portable temporary on-site and/or off-site signs in conjunction with said sale on private property only. Said signs shall be erected by the individual conducting the sale no sooner than 24 hours prior to the sale and must be removed on the last day of said sale. Such signs shall not be permitted within any state, county or Town right-of-way, attached to fences, trees, utility poles, bridges, traffic signs, and shall in no way obstruct nor impair vision or traffic in any manner or create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not be located closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line.
D. 
Ideological signs shall be exempted from the permit requirements, but shall comply with dimensional and setback requirements set forth in Article II of this chapter.

§ 250-10.25 Political signs.

Each property owner, resident or tenant of any lot or premises may display portable temporary on-site political signs subject to the following standards:
A. 
Such signs shall not require a permit.
B. 
Such signs must be removed within two days after the election to which they relate. In cases where signs have been installed prior to a primary election, said signs may remain in place until after a subsequent general election, in which case they must be removed consistent with this section.
C. 
The owner or occupant of the property on which such signs are posted must consent to the erection of such signs.
D. 
The political Town party leader, or in the absence of a political Town party leader the candidate, shall designate a sign coordinator responsible for compliance with this section with respect to placement, size, location and maintenance during a campaign. The sign coordinator shall provide the authorized official with his/her name and appropriate means of contact, such as telephone number and/or e-mail address.
E. 
Such signs shall not be permitted within any state, county or Town right-of-way, attached to fences, trees, utility poles, bridges, traffic signs, and shall in no way obstruct or impair vision or traffic in any manner or create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public. Such sign shall be erected on private property and not closer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line.
F. 
Such signs shall be displayed on private property only and shall not be displayed on any publicly owned lands and shall comply with all other requirements of the law.
G. 
The aggregate area of all such signs shall not exceed 60 square feet on a single lot or premises.

§ 250-10.26 Four Corners signage.

Businesses operating within the Four Corners District shall be subject to the requirements of this article, with the exception of the following:
A. 
Freestanding signs shall not be located closer than 15 feet to the front property line nor closer than 50 feet to any adjacent residential property.
B. 
Freestanding signs shall be no greater than eight feet in height.
C. 
Illumination of wall-mounted or freestanding signs shall only be from an external source.
D. 
Such sign shall be consistent in design, architectural treatment and the use of materials with the buildings and uses it is intended to serve.
E. 
Businesses shall be permitted to display one portable temporary on-site sign. Portable temporary on-site signs are permitted, subject to the requirements of § 250-10.11M of this article.