Village of New Haven, MI
Macomb County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of New Haven 4-28-2010 by Ord. No. 303. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 160.
Buildings and structures — See Ch. 168.
Zoning — See Ch. 515.

§ 425-1 Intent.

The intent of this chapter is to create a comprehensive, balanced system of regulating signs and, thereby, to facilitate an easy and pleasant communication between people and their environment, to enhance the physical appearance of the Village, to make the Village a more enjoyable and pleasing community, and to create a more attractive economic and business climate. It is intended by the provisions of this chapter to reduce signage and advertising distractions, to eliminate hazards caused by signs being too close to the public rights-of-way, to avoid the confusion of conflicting adjacent signs, to protect property values, and to eliminate obsolete, irrelevant, nonconforming and deteriorated signs. With these purposes in mind, it is the intention of this chapter to authorize the use of signs which are:
A. 
Compatible with surrounding uses and activities.
B. 
Appropriate to the type of activity to which they pertain.
C. 
Expressive of the identity of Individual proprietors or of the development as a whole.
D. 
Legible in the circumstances in which they are seen.
E. 
That signs within districts are consistent in size and aesthetic character.

§ 425-2 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Village of New Haven Sign Ordinance."

§ 425-3 Submission and permit requirements.

A. 
Permit required. No person shall alter, relocate, erect, re-erect or construct any sign, except those which are exempted in § 425-6A, unless a permit for same has been issued by the Village pursuant to this chapter. Signs which are approved as part of a site plan do not require a separate application and sign fees for Planning Commission review. This does not include building permit fees.
B. 
Application for permit.
(1) 
Written application shall be made on forms provided by the Village.
(2) 
Such application shall be accompanied by a site plan, sign drawing and sign data presented in accordance with the following requirements. Wall sign applications and applications for resurfacing a sign shall not require a site plan; however, shall include all other data listed below.
(a) 
The site plan shall be drawn to a scale not less than 50 feet to the inch.
(b) 
The site plan shall show the location of all existing and proposed sign(s) on the site.
(c) 
The site plan shall show the location of existing and proposed streets, roadways, parking areas, entrances and exits within 50 feet of the proposed sign(s). Clearly indicate the setback and clear vision triangle [refer to § 425-6C(2)].
(d) 
Drawings of the proposed sign(s) to be erected or installed on the site shall be submitted with the site plan and shall include all of the following detailed information:
[1] 
Height of the sign above the ground.
[2] 
Surface of the sign (material, color and dimensions).
[3] 
Area of sign surface. Clearly outline the areas computed as sign area on an illustration.
[4] 
Lettering of sign drawn as it will appear on the erected sign. It need not be in the style of the finished sign, but must be neatly printed in the size and weight approximating that of the final constructed sign.
[5] 
Method and color of illumination, if any.
[6] 
Logos, emblems or additional features.
[7] 
Such additional Information as the Planning Commission deems necessary and/or pertinent to the application.
[8] 
A drawing of the total building wall upon whose face the sign is to be displayed at a reasonable scale, preferably three inches equals one foot zero inch.
(3) 
Copies of the application and all plans and supplemental statements of information required therewith shall be filed with the Building Department, together with the fee therefor as shall be established by resolution of the Village Council and which shall be sufficient to cover the cost of administration and the reasonable expenses incurred by and for inspection and review by the Village and its consultants.
C. 
Granting and issuance of permit.
(1) 
All new signs, which are not exempt, shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission. Signs may be, and are encouraged to be, reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission as part of the site plan review process. The Building Director, at his/her discretion, may order any sign to be reviewed by the Planning Commission to determine compliance with this chapter.
(2) 
Upon receipt of all necessary submissions required by this chapter, the Building Director shall forward the application to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall either approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable time based upon the standards set forth in this chapter. If the application is approved by the Planning Commission and conforms to Building Code requirements, the Building Inspector shall issue a permit.

§ 425-4 Zoning district regulations.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term "site" shall be defined as all land in a development which is necessary or indicated as part of the development proposal to meet parking requirements, setback requirements, landscape requirements, drainage requirements (i.e., retention or detention basin), and lot coverage requirements.
A. 
Residential zoning districts (all residential zoning districts).
(1) 
One identification sign or nameplate is permitted for each dwelling unit with a permitted home occupation.
(2) 
One monument sign is permitted for each approved nonresidential (other than home occupation) building site.
(3) 
One double-faced subdivision entrance sign placed parallel to the entrance road or two single-faced subdivision entrance signs placed perpendicular or within 45° of the entrance road shall be permitted for each major entrance to a residential subdivision, manufactured housing community and multiple-family development, as approved in the site plan or subdivision approval.
(4) 
Other than as permitted above, no sign shall have a sign area exceeding six square feet in a residential zoning district.
B. 
Office Zoning District (RO Zoning District).
(1) 
One identification sign or nameplate is permitted for each office unit within a multi-tenant professional office development.
(2) 
For professional office uses in the RO District, one wall sign and one monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(3) 
For office uses and retail uses in the OS District, one wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant which has both a separate unit within a building and has an individual exterior public entrance to a building. In those cases where multiple tenants share an entrance, one wall sign shall be permitted to include all tenants. One additional wall sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade. In addition, one monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(4) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
C. 
General Business Zoning District (GB Zoning District).
(1) 
One monument or pylon sign shall be permitted for each site. Retail establishments with over 60,000 square feet of gross floor area and over 300 feet of road frontage on a single thoroughfare shall be permitted two ground signs. In such cases, the signs shall be evenly spaced along the frontage of the site and shall not in any case abut each other or if the site, as described above, has multiple road frontages, one sign may be placed on each road frontage.
(2) 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant having an individual public entrance to a building. In those cases where multiple tenants share an entrance, one wall sign shall be permitted to include all tenants.
(3) 
One additional wall sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade.
(4) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
D. 
General Business Downtown Zoning District (GBD Zoning District).
(1) 
Each site shall be permitted one monument sign which shall be constructed of brick, wood, metal or other similar durable and decorative materials.
(2) 
Each site or each business with an individual public entrance to a building shall be permitted one wall sign or one projecting sign. One additional wall sign or one projecting sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade.
(3) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
E. 
Industrial Zoning Districts (IO, LI and HI Zoning Districts).
(1) 
One monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(2) 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant having an individual public entrance to a building.
(3) 
One subdivision entrance sign shall be permitted for each major road entrance to identify an industrial or technical park.

§ 425-5 Specific regulations.

A. 
Awning or canopy signs.
(1) 
An awning or canopy sign may be used to display the name, address, logo, or type of business, and shall be placed only on the principal front of the building.
(2) 
An awning or canopy sign shall be permitted in lieu of a permitted wall sign.
(3) 
An awning or canopy sign shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage on which the sign is to be placed, or 15 square feet, whichever is greater. In no case shall an awning or canopy sign exceed 60 square feet.
(4) 
A minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet shall be provided beneath any awning or canopy sign which projects over a parking area or driveway. In all other areas, a minimum vertical clearance of eight feet shall be provided beneath an awning or canopy.
(5) 
Canopies shall be constructed of durable, opaque materials and shall not be translucent or transparent.
B. 
Changeable copy signs.
(1) 
Changeable copy signs may only be permitted as part of a ground or pylon sign or located on a canopy for gas stations.
(2) 
The area of the changeable copy sign shall not exceed 50% of the entire sign area.
(3) 
The information or advertising communicated by the changeable copy sign shall be limited to events, goods and/or services provided or sold on the site.
(4) 
The image or message on the electronic bulletin board shall not change more frequently than once every 30 seconds.
(5) 
The sign shall not contain moving text.
(6) 
The text of the sign shall not flash or scroll repeatedly or constantly (vertically or horizontally).
(7) 
The electronic message board shall operate only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.
(8) 
The LED of the electronic message board shall not be illuminated beyond the default settings of the sign manufacturer's brightness/dimming controls. All light emitted from such sign shall meet any Village lighting ordinance provisions and/or codes.
(9) 
The owner of an electronic message board shall allow the Village to use the electronic message board to communicate emergency public service information approved by the Village. The operational restrictions on electronic message boards set forth above shall not apply during any time that the electronic message board is used to communicate authorized emergency public service information for the Village.
(10) 
The owner agrees to update an approved emergency public service information communication, or discontinue the emergency public service message as soon as possible after receiving a request from the Village President. The owner shall file and keep current at all times with the Village President; the name, e-mail address, phone number, cell phone number, pager and other available emergency contact information of the employee(s) or representative(s) of the owner who has been authorized and designated by the owner to communicate the approved emergency public service message using the electronic message board.
C. 
Directional signs.
(1) 
Directional signs shall not exceed two square feet in area, and shall not exceed three feet in height. No more than one such sign shall be located at each drive location.
(2) 
At-grade directional signs painted on or adhered to the surface of paved areas are exempt from these standards.
(3) 
All directional signs required for the purpose of orientation, when established by the Village, county, state or federal government, shall be permitted.
D. 
Identification signs. Identification signs shall be limited to:
(1) 
One unlit wall-mounted sign for a permitted home occupation.
(2) 
One unlit wall-mounted identification sign shall be permitted for each approved professional office or each exterior entrance for a multiple-tenant office. Such sign shall be located at the entrance of the office to which it refers.
(3) 
An identification sign shall not exceed one square feet in sign area. Such wall-mounted signs shall not extend outward more than two inches from the surface of a wall on the subject structure.
E. 
Monument or ground signs.
(1) 
Monument or ground signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in sign area in the GB Zoning District; 40 square feet in the RO, IO, LI, or HI Zoning Districts; and 20 square feet in the GBD and Residential Zoning Districts. If the Planning Commission determines that architectural features of the sign, such as wood, rock or brick framing, are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
Monument signs, including the architectural features, shall not exceed eight feet in height. Monument signs shall not have more than two feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade. Such signs exceeding three feet eight inches in height shall be located in a manner which in no way impedes or obstructs clear vision of motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrian traffic.
F. 
Off-site signs, including billboards.
(1) 
Off-site signs, including billboard signs, may be permitted as a special land use in the Industrial Zoning Districts as regulated herein and in Chapter 515, Zoning.
(2) 
All billboards shall be confined to "adjacent areas," as defined in the Highway Advertising Act of 1972.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 252.301 et seq.
(3) 
No billboard shall be located within 1,000 feet of another billboard abutting either side of the same street or highway.
(4) 
No billboard shall be located within 300 feet from any adjoining residential zoning district or any adjoining residential use.
(5) 
Billboards shall not be located closer than 200 feet to any abutting public road right-of-way, or closer than 100 feet from any property line.
(6) 
The surface area of any billboard shall not exceed 300 square feet. Billboards with stacked or tandem faces shall be prohibited.
(7) 
The height of any billboard shall not exceed 24 feet above the grade of the ground on which the billboard sits or the grade of the abutting roadway, whichever is greater.
(8) 
No billboard shall be located on top of, cantilevered, or otherwise suspended above the roof of any building.
(9) 
A billboard shall not be illuminated.
(10) 
All billboards shall be constructed to withstand all wind and vibration forces that can normally be expected to occur in the vicinity. A billboard must be maintained so as to assure proper alignment of structure, continued structural soundness, and continued readability of message.
G. 
Political signs.
(1) 
No such sign shall be displayed no longer than 10 days after the election for which the sign was erected.
(2) 
No political sign shall be permitted in the public right-of-way.
H. 
Portable signs.
(1) 
Portable signs, as defined in § 425-8 herein, are hereby prohibited, regardless of form, size, character or placement, unless otherwise specifically permitted within this chapter.
I. 
Projecting signs.
(1) 
Projecting signs shall be permitted in lieu of permitted wall signs within the GBD Zoning District.
(2) 
The sign display area shall not exceed 20 square feet. A bracket or mount for a projecting sign shall not extend further than 60 inches from the wall. The face of such sign shall not project more than 60 inches from the wall upon which the sign is mounted and 48 inches in height. In no case shall any part of such sign project above the roof line.
(3) 
A minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet shall be provided beneath any projecting sign which projects over a parking area or driveway. In all other areas, an eight foot minimum vertical clearance, measured from the ground to the bottom of the sign, shall be provided.
(4) 
Projecting signs may be permitted to extend into the air space of Village-owned rights-of-way or county-owned rights-of-way (only with written permission from the county), provided that such extension does not interfere with the use of such rights-of-way or adversely impact upon the health, safety or welfare of the Village.
J. 
Pylon signs.
(1) 
Pylon signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in sign area in the GB Zoning District. If the Planning Commission determines that architectural features of the sign, such as wood, rock or brick framing, are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
Pylon signs, including the architectural features, shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Pylon signs shall not have more than four feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade. Such signs exceeding three feet eight inches in height shall be located in a manner which in no way impedes or obstructs clear vision of motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrian traffic.
K. 
Real estate signs.
(1) 
One unlit real estate sign shall be permitted which advertises the sale, rental, or lease of the premises or property upon which said sign is located.
(2) 
One unlit sign indicating a building is "open" for inspection shall be permitted for the duration of the open hours. Such sign shall not exceed six square feet in display area and shall be located on the premises or property which is open to the public.
(3) 
In residential districts, no such sign shall exceed six square feet in display area.
(4) 
In nonresidential zoning districts, such signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in display area. In no case shall a site contain both a real estate sign and a real estate development sign.
(5) 
All such signs shall be removed within seven days after the property has been rented, leased or sold, or the title is otherwise transferred. Approval shall be for a one-year period. A maximum of two one-year extensions may be granted by the Planning Commission.
L. 
Real estate development signs.
(1) 
One real estate development sign shall be permitted for each development in which lots/units are still available. Such sign shall only be located on the site of the development. No such sign shall exceed 20 square feet in sign area and six feet in height. Such sign shall also include the date and permit number of the permit being issued, written in indelible ink. Where a real estate development sign advertises a development, each lot/unit within the development shall not be permitted a real estate sign. Each lot/unit may include a four square foot sign indicating the lot number and model. Such sign shall not be mounted higher than four feet from grade.
(2) 
Such sign shall be removed within seven days after all of the units or lots on that site have been sold or leased. In the case of office, commercial and industrial units, the signs shall be removed upon the granting of an occupancy permit.
(3) 
A real estate development sign shall not be allowed to occupy the property for more than two years, except when an extension is granted. The Planning Commission may grant one extension of such approval for a period not exceeding one year.
M. 
Subdivision or apartment entrance signs.
(1) 
A subdivision or apartment entrance sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in sign display area. If the Planning Commission determines that architectural features of the sign are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
A subdivision entrance sign, including its architectural features, shall not exceed six feet in height.
(3) 
A subdivision entrance sign may be located in a traffic island at the entrance of a subdivision, if the Planning Commission determines that the sign will not obstruct motorist vision.
N. 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
A business or organization shall be permitted a maximum of one temporary sign, such as but not limited to: banner signs, A-frame signs, or signage attached to a person, including costumes worn for the purpose of advertising. The temporary sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in display area or six feet in height, as applicable. A maximum of two temporary sign permits shall be permitted for any one business or organization during a calendar year, with a combined permitted display time not exceeding 30 days. Only one such sign shall be permitted at the same time on a site. Temporary signs shall require a permit and a fee made payable to the Village of New Haven. The sign shall include the permit number and date of issue, written in indelible ink on the face of the sign. Political signs shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection.
(2) 
The Building Director may issue a permit for temporary signs consistent with Subsection N(1) to businesses, organizations or groups to display a banner, A-frame sign, or similar permitted temporary sign for a specific cause, function or activity.
(3) 
Temporary signs are subject to the general regulations (§ 425-6).
O. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
Wall signs shall not project more than 12 inches horizontally from the wall of a building.
(2) 
Wall signs shall not project above the roof line (eave) of a building or structure.
(3) 
Wall signs shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building facade (store front) on which the sign is to be placed. Store fronts located greater than 200 feet from the center line of the fronting road may double the allowable sign area. In no case shall a wall sign exceed 100 square feet (except as permitted below).
(4) 
Large, multi-department stores and big box uses with over 100,000 square feet of floor area may be permitted a wall sign area equal to one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage up to a maximum of 300 square feet.
(5) 
Wall signs for industrial buildings shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building facade on which the sign is to be placed. In no case shall a wail sign for industrial buildings exceed 150 square feet.
P. 
Window signs.
(1) 
Window signs shall not occupy more than 15% of the total window area for the facade on which they are visible.

§ 425-6 General regulations.

No sign may be erected, displayed or substantially altered or reconstructed, except in conformance with the regulations specified in this chapter. The following conditions shall apply to all signs regardless of use district, unless otherwise specified in this chapter:
A. 
Exemptions. The following signs, as defined herein, shall be exempt from procedural, review and approval requirements as specified in the following sections. The signs shall, however, conform to all applicable regulations specified within this chapter.
(1) 
The following signs shall not require Planning Commission approval and building permits:
(a) 
Address numbers consistent with this chapter (Subsection E of this section).
(b) 
Handicap signs.
(c) 
Historical marker signs (official).
(d) 
Identification signs or nameplates.
(e) 
"Open" and "Closed" signs (not exceeding two square feet in area).
(f) 
Political signs.
(g) 
Real estate signs for a single-family home or a single-family unit.
(h) 
Other real estate signs are exempt from Planning Commission approval, but a building permit must be obtained.
(i) 
Wall signs of three inches in height or less. No more than three per building.
(j) 
Warning signs and other non-advertising signs with lettering of three inches or less and deemed to be necessary by the Building Department for safety purposes.
(2) 
Village, county, state or federal road or traffic control signs shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Signs not visible beyond the boundaries of the lot or parcel upon which they are situated, or from any public thoroughfare or right-of-way, shall not be counted toward the maximum number of signs permitted on the subject lot or parcel. These signs shall remain subject to Planning Commission approval, permit requirements, Inspections, and height and setback requirements.
(4) 
In all zoning districts, flags of the United States, the State of Michigan, any political subdivision of the State of Michigan, or other flags or banners specifically approved by the Village Council for general display are permitted as long as the size or number of such flag or flags are not of such nature that it would be commonly understood that their display was primarily intended to be a commercial advertisement to attract the attention of the general public.
(5) 
Resurfacing an existing sign shall require application to and approval of the Planning Commission; however, such resurfacing shall not require that a sign be brought into compliance with the terms of this chapter with regard to size, shape and height.
B. 
Prohibited signs. Unless otherwise specifically permitted under this chapter, the following signs and/or sign parts shall not be permitted or erected in the Village:
(1) 
Cloth signs, balloon signs or displays, streamers, windblown devices, spinners, portable signs, trailer signs and pennants.
(2) 
No flashing, animated, moving or bare bulb-type signs or displays.
(3) 
Signs affixed to or painted on street furniture.
(4) 
Banner signs, window signs, A-frame signs, and any other sign not specifically authorized herein.
(5) 
Signs painted directly onto wall surfaces.
(6) 
Vehicle business signs and trailer signs.
(7) 
Signs advertising commercial activities shall not be permitted in any residential districts.
(8) 
Neon tubing and similar accent lighting shall not be permitted on, in, around, in front or behind windows in a manner visible to the general public.
C. 
Locational requirements.
(1) 
No sign, except as otherwise permitted herein, shall be located in, project into, or overhang a public right-of-way or dedicated public easement, or be attached to a utility pole.
(2) 
No sign, except those established and maintained by the Village, county, state or federal governments, shall be located within the triangle formed by the intersection of any road rights-of-way and/or access drive at points 15 feet distant from the point of their intersection.
(3) 
No signs shall be located so as to impede pedestrian or automobile traffic.
(4) 
In no case shall a sign be closer than 10 feet to any property line. All signs shall meet the following minimum setbacks as measured in feet from the center line of each road right-of-way (ROW) in accordance with the Village's Master Plan. An additional ten-foot setback from road center lines and property lines shall be required for all signs constructed in residential zoning districts. Political signs shall be exempt from this section.
Road Type (see Master Plan)
(see Master Plan)
Distance
(feet)
Regional (204-foot ROW)
112
Regional (150-foot ROW)
85
Major (120-foot ROW)
70
Secondary (120-foot ROW)
70
Collector (86-foot ROW)
53
Local (70-foot ROW)
45
Local (60-foot ROW)
40
Cul-de-sac
70
Freeway*
50
Private roads**
20
NOTES:
*
Freeways shall be measured from the established right-of-way lines.
**
Measured from the road easement or common usage line.
D. 
Illumination.
(1) 
Illumination of signs shall be positioned and shielded so that the light shines away from adjoining properties and the eyes of motorists or pedestrians. The light source of such illumination shall be shielded from public view and shall not exceed 1/2 footcandle of light at any property line or right-of-way line.
(2) 
Specialty lighting, such as neon accent lighting, may be permitted by the Planning Commission on a finding that the proposal is in character with the use and not detrimental to other uses in the vicinity. This regulation does not apply to lighted window signs.
(3) 
A lighted display of time, temperature, or similar nonadvertising public information shall be permitted as part of a sign subject to Planning Commission review and approval. The sign information must be accessory to the use on site and shall not include any off-site advertising.
E. 
Addresses.
(1) 
Addresses shall meet the following requirements and shall not be included in sign area computations:
(a) 
Numbers shall be six inches and shall be of a contrasting reflective color. Numbers shall be in numerical block format.
(b) 
Address numbers shall be located on all store doors at the front and rear of the facility.
(c) 
Addresses shall be integrated with the structure on all monument signs and shall be clearly distinguishable from the sign face. For signs advertising more than one address, the range of addresses shall be on the sign.
(d) 
All sites, including residential home sites, shall display an address which is clearly visible from the road.
F. 
Width-to-length ratio. In no case shall any sign exceed a maximum width-to-length or length-to-width ratio of eight to one (8:1), unless otherwise provided for within this chapter.
G. 
Landscape requirements. A monument sign shall be located within a landscaped area. Such landscaping shall include evergreen shrubs and other landscape amenities.
H. 
Maintenance of signs. If, upon inspection by the Building Inspector, a sign is found to be unsafe, insecure, corroded, subject to corrosion, or otherwise poorly maintained, then the owner shall make the sign safe and secure by completing any necessary reconstruction, repairs, painting or other improvements in accordance with the following timetable, unless the sign is required to be removed by the nonconforming sign regulations herein:
(1) 
If the Building Inspector determines that the sign is an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property nearby, all required action to correct the defect shall be taken within 48 hours (two working days) from the time of notification in writing from the Village, provided that the sign can be cordoned off or adequately secured during the intervening time so as to remove any immediate threat to safety. If such sign cannot be cordoned off or secured so as to eliminate any immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, then all required action to correct the defect shall be made forthwith.
(2) 
If the Building Inspector determines that the sign is not an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, all required action to correct the defect shall be made within 30 days after notification in writing from the Village. The Building Inspector may extend the thirty-day timetable (until the Building Inspector deems conditions are suitable for repair) if temperatures below 25° F. prevent painting, or if the defects involved are minor, not generally noticeable to the public, and not a hazard to public safety (such as replacement of burned-out light bulbs).
I. 
Nonconforming signs. Any sign already established by the effective date of this chapter which is rendered nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter, and any sign which is rendered nonconforming as a result of subsequent amendments hereto, shall be subject to the regulations concerning nonconforming signs as follows:
(1) 
Any sign which advertises a business or industry no longer being conducted, or a product no longer being manufactured or sold on the property, shall be considered nonconforming. Such signs shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land within one month from the date of written notice from the Village. However, where such a sign structure and frame are typically reused by the current occupant or business in leased or rented buildings, the building owner shall not be required to remove the sign structure and frame in the interim periods when the building is not occupied, provided that the sign structure and frame are maintained in accordance with this chapter and other relevant Village ordinances and codes, and provided, further, that the time period of nonuse does not exceed 90 days.
(2) 
Any sign in business and industrial districts which is a conforming sign as to use and advertises a bona fide business or industry being conducted or a product being manufactured or sold on the property, but is nonconforming as to size, projection, location, number of signs, position, material or construction, shall be taken down, removed, repaired, rebuilt or replaced, in such a manner as to bring the sign into compliance, by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land within 10 years from the adoption of this chapter.
J. 
Removal of signs. Whenever a sign is removed, or is required to be removed, by this chapter or by order of the Building Inspector, the entire sign structure, including fastenings and anchorages, shall be removed.

§ 425-7 Measurement of sign area.

A. 
Sign area, unless otherwise noted herein, shall include the total area within any circle, triangle, rectangle, or other geometric shape or envelope enclosing the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, logo, graphic or any similar figure or element of the sign, together with any frame or other material forming an integral part of the display, if any, or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed.
(1) 
In the case of a wall sign in which there is no frame or other material forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed, the envelope shall be around the full perimeter of any grouping of letters, logos, emblems, figures, pictures, etc.
(2) 
In the case of an awning or canopy sign, where there is no design or envelope forming an integral part of the display which differentiates the sign from the background of the awning material or color, the envelope shall be around the full perimeter of any grouping of letters, logos, emblems, figures, stripes, etc. For transparent or translucent awnings or canopies which have internal lighting, the entire surface of the awning or canopy shall be considered as the sign.
(3) 
For a single-faced sign, the area shall be computed as the total exposed exterior surface in square feet.
(4) 
The area of a double-faced freestanding sign shall be computed using only one face of the sign, provided that the outline and dimensions of both faces are identical and that the faces are back-to-back so that only one face is visible at any given location. In all other cases, the sum of both faces shall be computed for the sign area.

§ 425-8 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY SIGN
A sign which is accessory to the principal use of the premises. A sign which directly relates to the business activity or service conducted on the premises upon which the sign is placed.
A-FRAME
A temporary sign with two panels attached at the top with hinges.
ALTER
A change to the physical component of the sign, including but not limited to the structural size, height or width of the sign. Such definition shall not include resurfacing the face of an existing sign with a new sign face of equal size and shape.
AWNING
A metal, wooden, fiberglass, canvas, or other fabric cover fastened to a building, which extends over a porch, patio, deck, balcony, window, door or open space.
AWNING SIGN
An accessory sign that is printed on, or otherwise affixed to, an awning.
BALLOON SIGN
One or more balloons, or any other air-filled or gas-filled object used as a sign or as a means of directing attention to any business or profession, or to a commodity or service sold, offered or manufactured, or to any entertainment.
BANNER SIGN
A sign or display constructed of paper, plastic or fabric of any kind, intended to be hung, either with or without frames.
BILLBOARD SIGN
An off-site or non-accessory outdoor sign which advertises a business use or service not conducted on the premises upon which the sign is placed. Billboard structures are generally leased or rented and designed with changeable copy.
BUILDING DIRECTOR
The Building Official of Village of New Haven, or other deputies authorized by the Village to enforce this chapter.
CANOPY
A roof-like structure providing shelter to a public access area, which is either freestanding or is projecting from a building and is supported by structural members. A canopy may be constructed of metal, wood, or any approved fire-retardant material, such as cloth, canvas, fabric, plastic, or any light flexible material which is attached to or constructed on a frame or building.
CANOPY SIGN
An accessory sign that is printed on or otherwise affixed to a canopy.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A portion of a pylon or monument sign that allows for manually interchangeable letters/messages or uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to electronically change the image or message displayed on the message board no more frequently than once every 30 seconds.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A sign not utilized for advertising purposes, but used to direct vehicular or pedestrian traffic to parking areas, loading areas, or to portions of a building.
FLAG
A rectangular piece of fabric fastened to a pole on one end and free on the other. A series of flags on a single pole or pole string, or similar type of mount, shall be considered a pennant.
FLASHING, ANIMATED OR MOVING SIGN
A sign that intermittently reflects lights from either an artificial source or from the sun; a sign which has movement of any illumination such as intermittent, flashing or varying intensity or a sign that has any visible portions in motion, either constantly or at intervals; which motion may be caused either by artificial or natural sources. An electronic changeable copy sign meeting the requirements of this chapter shall not be considered a flashing, animated or moving sign.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign permanently attached to the ground by poles, foundations or braces and not attached to any building.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN OR NAMEPLATE
An accessory wall-mounted sign which displays only the name of a person or firm.
MONUMENT OR GROUND SIGN
A freestanding accessory sign which is permanently fastened to the ground by upright(s), brace(s) or similar object(s), and which is not attached to a building or structure. Any on-site, accessory, permanent and freestanding sign with two feet or less of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade shall be a monument sign.
OFF-SITE SIGNS
A sign which is not accessory to the principal use of the premises. Any card, cloth, paper, metal, painted glass, wood, plastic, stone, or other object of any kind or character whatsoever, placed for non-accessory advertising purposes on the ground or on any tree, wall, bush, rock, post, fence, building, structure or thing whatsoever. The term "placed" as used in this definition shall include erecting, constructing, posting, painting, printing, tacking, nailing, gluing, sticking, carving or other fastening, affixing, or making visible in any manner whatsoever to the public.
PENNANT SIGN
A sign or display consisting of long, narrow, usually triangular flags.
POLITICAL SIGN
A sign relating to the election of a person or persons to public office, or relating to a political party or a political issue, or relating to a matter to be voted upon at an election.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign which is not permanently fastened to a building, structure, or to the ground.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign which is permanently fastened to the surface of a wall in such a way that the sign face is perpendicular to the surface of the wall. The sign face shall consist of two sides, mounted flush back-to-back.
PYLON SIGN
A freestanding accessory sign which is permanently fastened to the ground by upright(s), brace(s) or similar object(s), and which is not attached to a building or structure. Any on-site, accessory, permanent and freestanding sign with more than two feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade shall be a pylon sign.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT SIGN
A freestanding accessory sign informing when a subdivision or other real estate development will commence construction or when it will be available for sale, use or occupancy.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
An accessory sign which advertises the particular property upon which it is placed for sale, rent or lease.
RESURFACE
The replacement or restoration of a previously approved sign which does not include alteration to the existing structure, framing or brackets.
SIGN
Any use of words, numbers, figures, devices, designs, logos, trademarks, letters, characters, marks, points, planes, posters, pictorials, pictures, strokes, stripes, lines, reading matter, illuminating devices or paint visible to the general public and designed to inform or attract the attention of persons, including the structure upon which such words, numbers, figures, devices, designs, logos, trademarks, letters, characters, marks, points, planes, posters, pictorials, pictures, strokes, stripes, lines, reading matter, illuminating devices or paint are or may be printed or affixed.
SIGN HEIGHT
The vertical distance from the uppermost portion of a sign or sign structure to the grade at the base of the sign.
SITE
All land in a development which is necessary or indicated as part of the development proposal to meet parking requirements, setback requirements, landscape requirements, drainage requirements (i.e., retention or detention basin), and lot coverage requirements.
SUBDIVISION ENTRANCE SIGN
A sign depicting the name of a residential, office/service, commercial, or industrial subdivision, and which sign is located at the entrance to said subdivision.
TEMPORARY SIGN
An accessory sign that is intended to be displayed for a short amount of time as regulated herein, including A-frame, banners, pennants, or any other sign that is not permanently affixed to a building face or to a pole, pylon, or other support that is permanently anchored to the ground.
TRAILER SIGN
A sign mounted on, or a part of, a trailer or wheeled vehicle.
VEHICLE BUSINESS SIGN
A vehicle upon which a sign is painted or attached and is parked upon a premises for the intent of advertising. Vehicle business signs shall not include licensed commercial vehicles regularly used to transport persons or property for the operation of the business.
WALL SIGN
An accessory sign permanently fastened to a building or structure, or a sign attached to, or placed flat against the exterior wall surface of any building, no portion of which projects more than 12 inches from the wall.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign which is affixed, attached, painted or otherwise placed on or adjacent to the interior of a window in such a manner as to be readily visible from the exterior of the building.

§ 425-9 Appeals procedure.

Any party who had a sign denied by the Planning Commission or a sign permit denied by the Building Department may seek a variance of the provision(s) of this chapter by filing an appeal application to the Village of New Haven Zoning Board of Appeals. Such a variance request must be applied for within 30 days of such denial.
A. 
At the hearing for a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance from the provisions of this chapter upon a finding of all of the following:
(1) 
The particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical conditions of the property would render compliance with the provisions of this chapter difficult and would likely result in a particular hardship on the owner, as distinguished from inconvenience of the chapter requirements or a desire to increase financial gain or avoid the financial expense of compliance.
(2) 
Strict enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would serve no useful purpose.
(3) 
The type of sign structure and the location proposed would not pose a significant risk to the public health, safety and welfare.
(4) 
The benefit of the sign to the general public and/or applicant under the circumstances outweighs any risk to traffic safety and the Villages desire to eliminate the accumulation of visual clutter in accordance with the stated purpose of this chapter.
(5) 
A variance would be in the interest of the Village and not against the spirit and intent of this chapter.
B. 
In issuing a variance from the strict letter of the provisions of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance of any sign requirement or place reasonable conditions or restrictions upon issuance of a permit.

§ 425-10 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 1-13-2015 by Ord. No. 333]
Any person, firm or corporation who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be punished as set forth in Chapter 59, Municipal Civil Infractions, of the Code of the Village of New Haven.