Township of West Manheim, PA
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 270-185 Intent.

This Part 8 is intended to promote and maintain overall community aesthetic quality, establish time, place and manner of regulations for the exercise of free speech, without regulating content, promote traffic safety by avoiding distractions and sight distance obstructions, and protect property values and ensure compatibility with the character of neighboring uses.

§ 270-186 General regulations for all signs.

Signs must be constructed of durable material and maintained in good condition.
A. 
No sign shall be maintained within the Township in such a state of disrepair as to have the appearance of complete neglect, which is rotting or falling down, which is illegible, or has loose parts separated from original fastenings.
B. 
Whenever a sign becomes structurally unsafe or endangers the safety of the building or premises, or endangers the public safety, the Zoning Officer shall give written notice to the owner of the premises on which the sign is located that such sign must be made safe or removed within five days.
C. 
Advertising painted upon or displayed upon a barn or other building or structure shall be regarded as a flat wall sign, and the regulations pertaining thereto shall apply.
D. 
Each sign shall be removed when the circumstances leading to its erection no longer apply.
E. 
Signs may be interior lighted with nonglaring lights, or may be illuminated by floodlights or spotlights in accordance with Article XXVI, Lighting, of this chapter.
F. 
Directly illuminated signs, designed to give forth artificial light directly or through transparent or translucent material from a source of light within such sign, including, but not limited to neon, will be permitted within the BC and C/I Zoning Districts, provided that all such lighting is in accordance with the standards in Article XXVI, Lighting, of this chapter.
G. 
Internally lighted signs with the capability of changeable messages or displays shall not be permitted to change messages more than once per every 45 seconds. The intensity and glare from such signs shall be minimized in order not to present a visibility obstruction to drivers.
H. 
No sign located within 300 feet of any traffic light shall be illuminated with red, green, or yellow lights, light bulbs or neon tubing.
I. 
All electrically illuminated signs shall be constructed to the standards of the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
J. 
Signs must be positioned so that they do not interfere with any clear sight triangle.
K. 
No loud, vulgar, indecent, or obscene advertising matter shall be displayed in any manner, including, but not limited to:
(1) 
Any graphic illustration pertaining to specified sexual activities and/or specified anatomical areas.
(2) 
Scenes wherein artificial devices are employed to depict or drawings are employed to portray any of the prohibited signs, photographs or graphic representations described above.
(3) 
Any sign which sends a message of hate or discrimination, or which violates any other law.
L. 
No sign shall be erected or located as to prevent free ingress or egress from any window, door or fire escape.
M. 
No sign shall be placed in such a position that it will obscure light or air from a building or which would create a traffic danger.
N. 
No sign shall be permitted which is permanently attached to public utility poles, trees or living matter, traffic sign post, traffic signal control devices, street sign or historical monument which are within the right-of-way of any street.
O. 
No sign located within the Floodplain Protection Overlay shall exceed six square feet of area per side.
P. 
In the event that a symbol, trademark or other such figure is used as a sign post or standard which could be construed to indicate or identify a particular use or business, that symbol, trademark or figure is to be computed as part of the total allowable sign area.
Q. 
Except in the case of billboards and directional signs, only those signs referring directly to services, materials or products made, sold, or displayed on the premises shall be permitted.
R. 
No point of any sign, including trim, border and supports, shall be located within 10 feet of any property or street right-of-way line.
S. 
Any sign attached to a building shall not be placed on the roof or be higher than the wall to which it is attached;
T. 
No point of a wall-projecting sign shall be located less than 8 1/2 feet above the grade directly below the sign.
U. 
Nothing in these regulations shall be construed as prohibiting signs intended for viewing principally from within a building or signs temporarily attached to the inside face of a display window, announcing a sale or similar feature, provided that the latter shall not occupy more than 33 1/3% of the total display window area for a period not to exceed 10 days.
V. 
Determination of size of sign area:
(1) 
The area of a sign shall be construed to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background, whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed, including any border framing or decorative attachments, but not including any supporting framework or bracing incidental to the display itself. Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to a building, wall or window, the area of the sign shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or other regular geometric shape which encompasses all of the letters and symbols.
(2) 
Where a sign has two or more faces, the area of all faces shall be included in determining the area of the sign; provided, however, for a double-face sign, if the interior angle formed by the two faces of the double-face sign is less than 45° and the two faces are at no point more than three feet from one another, the area of only the larger face shall be included.
W. 
Determination of sign height. The height of a sign shall be computed as the distance from the base of the sign at normal grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign. Normal grade shall be construed to be the lower of existing grade prior to construction or the newly established grade after construction, exclusive of any filling, berming, mounding or excavating solely for the purpose of locating the sign. In cases in which the normal grade cannot reasonably be determined, sign height shall be computed on the assumption that the elevation of the normal grade at the base of the sign is equal to the elevation of the nearest point of the crown of a public street or the grade of the land at the principal entrance to the principal structure on the lot, whichever is lower.
X. 
Regulation of legally nonconforming signs:
(1) 
Signs on the premises of legally nonconforming uses may remain until the existing use of the premises is discontinued.
(a) 
Nothing in this article shall relieve the owners or users of legally nonconforming signs, or the owners of the property on which legally nonconforming signs are located, from any provisions of this article regarding the safety, maintenance, and repair of signs.
(b) 
Any business that has closed shall remove any signs associated with the business within 60 days after it closes. The owner of the premises shall have the responsibility to ensure such signs are removed within the sixty-day period.
(c) 
The existence of a legally nonconforming sign on a single- or multiple-occupancy premises shall not prevent the erection or placement of another sign or the premises, if the new sign meets the requirements of this article. However, the total number of signs and the size and area of the signs shall not exceed the requirements of this article.
(2) 
Nonconforming signs may be maintained until such time as they are damaged, destroyed, removed, or in need of repair to a degree of 50% or more of value of the sign. At such time, the sign may only be repaired or replaced in strict conformance with this chapter. A nonconforming sign, shall not be expanded, enlarged, or structurally changed. Changes to the facing of the sign only, with no change to the physical structure of the sign, are permissible.

§ 270-187 Miscellaneous signs not requiring permits.

The tables included as attachments to this chapter tabulate requirements imposed upon permanent, temporary, and shopping center signs as permitted by the Township.

§ 270-188 Prohibited signs.

The following types of signs shall not be permitted in the Township:
A. 
Signs of such a design and location that they interfere with, compete for attention with, or may be mistaken for a traffic signal. This shall include any sign visible from the public right-of-way that uses an arrow device or the word "stop." It shall also include signs in which the colors red, yellow and green are used either in direct illumination or in high reflection by the use of special preparation, such as fluorescent paint or glass.
B. 
Any sign located in or extending into a public right-of-way, except those owned or operated by a duly constituted government.
C. 
Any freestanding or projecting sign within an area bounded by the intersection of two rights-of-way and 20 feet from such intersection along the rights-of-way, except permanent on-site directional signs less than three feet in height.
D. 
Any freestanding signs utilizing motor vehicles or trailers of any kind, except those trailers manufactured with a sign face permanently attached to it specifically for the purpose of being used as a portable sign.
E. 
Signs of the flashing or rotating type.
F. 
Freestanding signs on or over a public sidewalk area.
G. 
Freestanding signs for individual uses within an approved shopping center complex.
H. 
Signs with reflective backgrounds.
I. 
Beacon lights.

§ 270-189 Permits.

For signs requiring permits, the following requirements shall apply prior to the erection of said signs:
A. 
Permit applications.
(1) 
An application for a permit shall be made at the Township Office.
(2) 
Application shall be made on a form to be provided by the Township and shall contain the following information and documentation:
(a) 
The name(s) and address(es) of the applicant and the landowner.
(b) 
A statement from the landowner granting permission for the placement of the sign on the subject property.
(c) 
A drawing to scale, showing the location of the sign with reference to the abutting property lines and streets.
(d) 
A drawing to scale, showing all dimensions of the sign. For a directional sign or an on-premises sign advertising activities being conducted on the property, the drawing shall also contain an accurate representation of the advertising or informative contents of the sign.
(e) 
A description of the construction materials of the sign and its manner of installation.
(f) 
Any other relevant information requested from the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
Each application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee, as established by the Board of Supervisors.
(4) 
All applications shall be reviewed, and permits issued, by the Zoning Officer. No sign permit shall be issued, except in conformity with the regulations of this chapter, except upon order of the Zoning Hearing Board, granted pursuant to the procedures established for the issuance of a variance.
B. 
Permit issuance.
(1) 
Following permit application approval, a sign permit will be issued by the Zoning Officer upon receipt of all required fees.
(2) 
If there is any change in location or dimensions of any sign, or in advertising or informative contents of a sign, a new permit shall be required.
C. 
Revocation of permits.
(1) 
All permits shall be subject to revocation upon 15 days' written notice for violation of any provision or upon change of information provided in the application.
(2) 
Revocation of a permit shall not be cause for refund of the permit fee.

§ 270-190 Permanent sign requirements.

The Permanent Sign Requirements Table is included as an attachment to this chapter.

§ 270-191 Temporary sign requirements.

The Temporary Sign Requirements Table is included as an attachment to this chapter.