Part 1 SIGNS
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 1]
This part shall be known as the "New Hanover Township Sign Ordinance."
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 2]
In expansion of, and in addition to, Part 18 of Chapter 27, Zoning, it is the intent of this part to:
Recognize that signs perform an important function in identifying properties, businesses, services, residences, events, and other matters of interest to the public.
Set standards and provide controls that permit reasonable use of signs while restricting the potential adverse visual effects of signs on the character of the Township.
Control the size, number, location, and illumination of signs to reduce potential hazards caused by glare or obstruction of visibility, and to reduce visual clutter which results from competition among signs.
Encourage signs which are attractively designed in order to enhance the economic value as well as the visual character of the various parts of the community.
Establish criteria to encourage signs that are compatible with their surroundings, appropriate to the type of activity to which they pertain, complimentary to the architecture of the buildings involved, expressive of the identity of individual proprietors or an integrated development's identity, and which are easily readable in the circumstances in which they are seen.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 3]
Permit Required. Unless otherwise stated herein, prior to erecting, affixing, attaching, or installing any sign on or to any building, structure or property, an application for permit must be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer for review and approval.
Prohibition of Hazards. Signs shall be so designated and located that they shall not create a hazard to vehicular traffic by any of the following:
Confusion with official street and/or traffic signs.
Confusion with traffic control devices by reason of color, location, shape, or other means.
Creation of motion, glare or excessive brightness which may interfere with driver's vision or be unnecessarily distracting.
Public Right-of-Way. No sign, other than official street signs, shall be erected or maintained within the legal right-of-way of any public road in the Township. No sign projecting over a public walkway shall be less than 7 1/2 feet above the walk level at its lower edge.
Location of Signs. No freestanding sign may occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, cartways, driveways, or other areas required to be unobstructed.
Removal of Signs. A sign shall be found to be in violation of this part, and may be required to be ordered removed by the Code Enforcement Officer, under any of the following circumstances:
The sign has not been maintained in good condition and safe repair, and has deteriorated to the point of becoming a public safety hazard. The Code Enforcement Officer shall specify a period of time in which the owner of the sign may repair or rehabilitate the sign, thereby effecting correction of the safety hazard.
A sign is erected without an approved permit and does not comply with the requirements of this part.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 4]
Application for a sign permit shall be made in writing to the Code Enforcement Officer on a form specified for such purpose and shall contain and include the following:
A site plan showing the location of the sign in relation to buildings, structures, property lines, and public or private rights-of-way. The width of street frontage at the legal right-of-way line on the subject property shall be shown.
A drawing of the proposed sign showing the specific dimensions of all elements of the sign, the specific copy, lettering, words, symbols, and designs to be displayed, along with a written explanation of any illumination or unusual feature of the sign.
The signature of the applicant and, when the applicant is not the record owner(s) of the premises on which the sign will be erected, both the applicant and the record owner(s) of the premises shall sign the application.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall approve or deny the application in writing within 30 days from the date the application and fees are received.
Failure of the Code Enforcement Officer to act upon the application within 30 days shall be deemed to be a denial of the application.
Any person aggrieved by the Code Enforcement Officer's action in either denying or approving an application for a sign permit may appeal to the Board of Supervisors under the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 105 et seq.
Sign permits shall expire six months after the date of issue, unless the sign allowed by the permit is completed.
Exception. The following signs do not require a permit, provided that the applicable requirements of this part have been met:
Signs displaying the name and address of the occupancy of the premises, provided, that the area of any such sign shall not exceed 120 square inches and not more than one such sign shall be erected for each occupant of a premises, unless such property fronts on more than one street, in which case one such sign may be erected on each street frontage.
Governmental flags or insignias.
Crop identification signs.
Vending machine signs bearing the brand name of a product or the price of such product when displayed on a vending machine selling such product.
Memorial signs or historical signs or tablets.
Window signs giving store hours or the name or names of credit or charge institutions, provided the total area of any such sign or all signs together does not exceed two square feet.
Temporary window signs, including community special event signs, shall take up not more than 50% of the window area.
Signs which are a permanent architectural feature of a building or structure, such as a cornerstone, or identifying letters carved into or embossed on a building, provided the letters are not made of a reflective material nor contrast in color with the building.
Bunting, pennants and similar materials are permitted to announce the opening of a new business or industry and must be removed after seven days of the opening day or the first day of business. The owner/user of the business or industry shall inform the Township Zoning Officer in writing of the opening day or the first day of business. Such notice shall be submitted at least 14 days prior to the opening day or the first day of business.
Revolving barber shop pole sign, provided that it does not exceed 36 inches in height.
Temporary construction traffic control signs.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 5]
All applications for sign permits shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee established by the Board of Supervisors from time to time by resolution. Any application not accompanied by the required fee shall be considered incomplete and will not be accepted by the Code Enforcement Officer, and the thirty-day time within which action must be taken upon the application shall not commence until the application package is complete, including the application, required fees, and other information specified by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Any appeal to the Board of Supervisors from determination of the Code Enforcement Officer relating to an application for a sign permit shall be accompanied by a fee equal to the amount established by the Board of Supervisors for a request for variance to the Zoning Hearing Board.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 6]
If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that any activity regulated by this part is undertaken without a valid sign permit; or if an activity undertaken under a sign permit; or if an activity undertaken under a sign permit deviates from the approved application either during or after completion of the work; or a sign is located, erected, rebuilt, illuminated, altered, relocated, enlarged, repaired, maintained, or operated in a manner which is in violation of this part; or if required fees are not paid, the Zoning Officer shall issue a stop order. The procedures upon the issuance of a stop order shall be the same as the procedures set forth in Township of New Hanover Code of Ordinances, § 5-112, Stop-Work Order.
Any person, partnership, or corporation who shall continue in violation of a stop order shall be in violation of this part, and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in this part.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 7; as amended by Ord. 17-03, 3/27/2017]
The penalty provisions of this part may be imposed upon the record owner, equitable owner, contractor, agent, lessee, architect, or any person having an identifiable interest in the premises in question.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs plus attorney and witness fees, expenses and court costs actually incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this part, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this part continues or each section of this part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. 06-06, 8/28/2006, § 8]
In the event any provision of any ordinance shall be found to be inconsistent with the provisions of this part, the more stringent shall control.
If any portion of this part shall be held to be unenforceable for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, it being the intent of the Board of Supervisors in the adoption of this part that the provisions shall be separable.