City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 264-59 Purpose.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02; 11-9-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-11; 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this article is to establish standards for the fabrication, erection and use of signs, symbols, markings and advertising devices within the City. These standards are designed to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed outdoor advertising signs and outdoor signs of all types.
B. 
Intent. The article is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical and historic appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty, enhance the pedestrian environment, and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community. The article is further intended hereto to reduce sign or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more visual open space and improve the community’s appearance. These standards are also intended to be consistent with the standards of the Historic District Commission and the design guidelines adopted by the Upper Union Street Business Improvement District and the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation. In the event that the District Guidelines differ from this section, the District Standards will prevail.

§ 264-60 Definitions.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated. Illustrations, which present typical examples of signs, are provided for in this section to document the intent of the chapter.
AREA OF THE SIGN
The area of all lettering, wording, and accompanying designs, logos, and symbols, together with the background on which they are displayed, whether open or enclosed Where the sign consists of individual letters, designs or symbols attached to a building, awning, wall, or window, the area shall be that of the smallest rectangle which encompasses all of the letters, designs, and symbols. The structure supporting a sign shall be excluded unless the structure is designed in a way to form an integral background for the display. Only one face of a double-faced sign shall be counted as surface or area of such a sign.
BUILDING FACE OR WALL
All window and wall area of a building in one plane or elevation.
BUILDING FRONT
The portion of the building that corresponds to the legal property address.
COPY
The wording on a sign surface.
FRONTAGE
All the property on one side of a street or place between two intersecting streets or places measured along the line of the street or place, or if the street or place is terminated without intersecting another street or place, then all of the property abutting on one side between an intersecting street or place and the terminus of the street or place.
HEIGHT
Distance from average grade below a sign to highest sign component.
LIGHTING DEVICE
Any light or group of lights located or arranged so as to cast illumination on a sign from the exterior or to illuminate a sign from its reverse side.
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
LOT
A parcel of land occupied or proposed for occupancy by one main building, together with the accessory buildings and uses customarily incidental to it, and including such open spaces as are required under this article, which parcel of land has its principal frontage on a public street of record.
SHOPPING CENTER
A group of three or more retail and commercial units on a single site, constructed and managed as a total entity, sharing a common on-site parking area.
SIGN
Any material, structure or device, symbol, emblem or part thereof composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is placed when used or located out of doors or outside or on the exterior of any building, including window display areas (inside or posted outside), for display of an advertisement, announcement, notice, directional matter or name, and includes sign frames, billboards, signboards, painted wall signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, projecting signs or ground signs and shall also include any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business when the same is placed in view of the general public. For the purposes of this article, the term "sign" as hereinabove stated does not include signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in furtherance of any governmental function or required by any law, ordinance, rule or regulation or as a necessary traffic control sign. Signs include:
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
ABANDONED SIGN — A sign which carries no message for more than 90 days or which advertises a business, product or activity no longer available past the time or date of event or that is determined by the Building Inspector, Zoning Officer or their duly appointed assistants to be structurally deteriorated or which no longer supports the sign for which it was designed.
AWNING SIGN — Any visual message incorporated into or affixed to any awning, marquee, fabric canopy or sunscreen attached to a building.
BANNER — A sign made of paper, vinyl, canvas or other lightweight flexible material, either enclosed or not enclosed in a rigid frame, which advertises a product or event.
BILLBOARD — A freestanding sign which is an off-premises sign exceeding 50 square feet in area.
BOX SIGN — A sign illuminated by artificial light from the interior of a sign.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN — A sign limited to providing information on the location of any activity, business or event.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD — An electronic sign or display which uses changing lights to form a sign message or messages wherein the sequence of messages and the rate of change is electronically programmed and can be modified by electronic processes for the purpose of conveying a variety of messages and/or advertisements by means of moving text or image.
FREESTANDING SIGN — A self-supporting sign standing alone on its own foundation.
ILLUMINATED SIGN — Any sign illuminated by artificial light, either from the interior or exterior of a sign, and includes reflective and phosphorescent light.
MONUMENT SIGN — A freestanding sign attached to a brick, stone, or masonry wall or structure that forms a supporting base for the sign display.
MURAL — A work of decorative art applied on or attached to an exterior wall within public view that does not include graphics or text that can be interpreted as commercial advertising.
NONELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD — A sign or display which uses changeable copy to form a sign message or messages, and which may or may not contain internal or external illumination, for the purpose of conveying a variety of messages and or advertisements by means of changing text or image.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN — A sign advertising a business or profession conducted or a commodity or service sold or offered not upon the lot where such sign is located.
[Amended 11-26-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-12]
ON-PREMISES SIGN — A sign advertising a business or profession conducted or to a commodity or service sold or offered upon the lot where such sign is located.
POLE SIGN — Any freestanding sign supported at its center by a single pole or other support.
264 Pole Sign.tif
PORTABLE SIGN — A sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure or a sign designed to be transported, including but not limited to signs designed to be transported by means of wheels or on its own trailer or otherwise. Examples of portable signs include, but are not limited to, sandwich boards, menu boards, attached to A-frames or T-frames, balloons used as signs, signs attached or painted on vehicles parked in the public right-of-way, or on private property and visible from the public right-of-way, unless said vehicle is used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business.
POST SIGN — Any freestanding sign mounted at its end(s) to a single or double post system.
264 Post Sign.tif
PROJECTING SIGN — A sign that projects more than 12 inches perpendicular to the building face.
PYLON SIGN — A sign that has a base that is a minimum of three feet wide and a maximum of five feet wide. At no time can the message portion exceed eight feet wide.
ROOF SIGN — Any sign erected and constructed wholly on and over the upper roof of a building, supported by the roof structure.
SUSPENDED SIGN — A sign that is suspended from the underside of a horizontal plane surface and is supported by such surface.
TEMPORARY SIGN — A sign advertising a particular event and having a duration of not more than 30 days per year.
WALL SIGN — A sign which is painted on or attached to the outside wall of a building with the face of the sign in the plane parallel to such wall.
WINDOW SIGN — Any sign, posted picture, symbol, or combination thereof, designed to communicate information about an activity, business, commodity, event, sale or service that is placed inside a window or upon the window or upon the window panes or glass and is visible from the exterior of the window.
SIGN STRUCTURE
The supports, uprights, bracing and framework for the sign.

§ 264-61 Permitted signs and specifications; Schedule I, Sign Regulations.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02; 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
A. 
Signs in residential districts shall comply with Schedule I. Signs in nonresidential districts shall comply with the following regulations and in accordance with Schedule I:
(1) 
Maximum signage shall not exceed one square foot per linear foot of lot frontage, except as provided hereinafter. A lot having more than one side facing a street will apply 150% of the provisions of this section. The total combined signage per parcel shall not exceed 150 square feet.
(2) 
Number of signs. Each lot may have one freestanding and one attached sign notwithstanding Subsection A(3). Corner and through lots may have two attached signs.
(3) 
Awnings, fabric canopies, marquees, sunscreens and window signs are exempt from the maximum number of signs allowed and the maximum allowable sign area.
(4) 
Gas station canopies are limited to one sign per side of canopy facing a street, not to exceed two canopy signs per property.
B. 
Common signage plan.
(1) 
Common signage plans may be established by the following:
(a) 
Owners of two or more contiguous lots.
(b) 
Owner of a single lot with more than one principal building.
(c) 
Owner of a single lot with one building with multiple storefronts (including but not limited to shopping centers).
(2) 
A common signage plan conforming to the provisions of this section shall be allowed a twenty-five-percent increase in the maximum total sign area for each included lot, based on the City's review of the following:
(a) 
An accurate plot plan of the lot, to scale.
(b) 
Location of buildings, parking lots, and driveways.
(c) 
Computation of the maximum total sign area for the individual signs, the height of signs and the number of freestanding signs.
(d) 
An accurate indication of each present and proposed sign.
(e) 
Specifications for all signs on the lots with regard to color scheme, lettering or graphic style, lighting, materials and sign proportions.
C. 
Freestanding signs.
(1) 
Only one freestanding sign shall be permitted on a lot.
(2) 
Freestanding signs shall have only two faces, and they must be back to back, not perpendicular.
(3) 
Setbacks shall be at least three feet from the sidewalk or lot line, at least seven feet from any driveway, and in compliance with corner lot obstruction requirements (§ 264-34).
(4) 
Multiple signs on a freestanding sign shall be permitted and counted as a single sign.
(5) 
Changeable text message boards are allowed as a component of, but not independent of, a freestanding sign subject to all requirements.
D. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
Shall not project more than one foot from the surface to which they are mounted.
(2) 
Shall not project vertically past the roof eaves or parapet.
(3) 
Shall not project horizontally further than the extent of the wall to which they are attached.
(4) 
Shall not exceed the borders of any existing signband limitations of the building.
(5) 
Shall not extend across multiple storefronts on buildings and must fit within the frame of the building to which they are attached.
(6) 
The bottom of any sign that extends more than three inches from the building face must be at least eight feet above grade.
E. 
Projecting signs.
(1) 
Shall not extend further than five feet from the building face and no closer than two feet from the curb.
(2) 
Any sign that hangs into the City right-of-way requires a revocable permit (see Chapter 228).
F. 
Awnings: shall not project above the top of the building facade or roof ridge.
G. 
Window signs: may not cover more than 20% of the glass area of the pane to which the sign is affixed or displayed.
H. 
Murals: subject to issuance of a special use permit, are restricted to the side or rear of the building and are exempt from size limitations. Murals are not allowed in residential districts.
I. 
Electronic message boards.
(1) 
Electronic message boards may be permitted in the City upon approval by the City Planning Commission.
(2) 
A special use permit must be approved upon a showing by the applicant at a public hearing of the City Planning Commission that the proposed electronic message board shall not substantially impact upon the nature and character of the surrounding neighborhood, upon traffic conditions and any other matters affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
(3) 
In no case shall the message change at a rate greater than one per minute.
J. 
Illuminated signs: located on lots in, adjacent to, or abutting a zoning district designated as R-1, RH-1, R-2, RH-2 or R-3, may not be illuminated between 12:00 midnight and 7:00 a.m., if the business is closed.
K. 
Schedule of sign regulations.
Schedule I Sign Regulations
Sign Type Number of Signs Maximum Sign Area (square feet) Sign Height (feet) Illumination
Residential Districts: R-1, RH-1, R-2, RH-2, and R-3 Districts
Residential uses 1 1 Maximum: 6 None
Commercial uses 1 6 Maximum: 6 External
Nonresidential Districts: C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5, I, M-1, and M-2 Districts
Total aggregate sign area of 100 square feet; 150 square feet for multiple street frontage
Freestanding
C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, M-1, and M-2 Districts 1 25; 75 in shopping centers Maximum: 7 External/ internal (no internal in the C-4 District)
I District 1 per driveway 25, and exempt from total Maximum: 7 External/ internal
C-5 District 1 40; 75 in shopping centers Maximum: 10 External/ internal
Wall 1 wall or projecting sign per building side facing street, up to 2 signs 1 per each linear foot of frontage; shopping center: 1 per each linear foot of frontage, 75 per business, and maximum signage equal to the total length of the shopping center store frontage Minimum: 8 External/ internal (no internal in the C-4 District)
Projecting 1 projecting or wall sign per building side facing street, up to 2 signs None Minimum: 8 External/ internal (no internal in the C-4 District)
Window 20% of the glass area of the pane to which the sign is affixed
Awning, marque, canopy and sunscreen 1 per building side facing street, up to 2 signs None Minimum: 8 External/ internal
Billboards See § 264-64.

§ 264-62 Prohibited signs.

The following are prohibited:
A. 
Pole signs.
B. 
Internally illuminated signs in any residential district and in the C-4 Downtown Commercial District.
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
C. 
Signs illuminated by or containing flashing, rotating or strings of lights.
[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
D. 
Pennants, flags, streamers, tinsel, balloons, strings of lights on commercial properties or fluttering devices except as part of a grand opening, not to exceed 30 days.
E. 
Roof signs.
F. 
Messages displayed on structural components.
G. 
Off-premises signs.
H. 
Signs erected on trees, utility poles or painted or otherwise affixed to any rock, ledge or other natural feature.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
I. 
L-shaped signs.
[Added 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]

§ 264-63 Exceptions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following signs may be erected and maintained without a permit or fee, unless otherwise noted, provided that such signs comply with the general requirements of this chapter:
A. 
Historical markers, tablets and statutes, memorial signs and plaques; names of buildings and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze, stainless steel or similar material; and emblems installed by governmental agencies, religious or nonprofit organizations.
B. 
Flags and insignias of any nation, government or school, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion, maximum of one per property.
C. 
On-premises directional signs (requires permit) for the convenience of the general public, identifying fire zones, entrances and exits, and similar signs, not exceeding two square feet per face and with a height not exceeding four feet. Business names, logos, and advertisements shall not be allowed. Directional signs identifying parking may include a business name.
D. 
Nonilluminated warning, private drive, posted or no trespassing signs, not exceeding two square feet per face (maximum of one sign per lot line or driveway).
E. 
Temporary signs/banners: one per business or commercial establishment promoting grand openings or events sponsored by the organization may be displayed for 30 days and must be removed upon conclusion of the event.
(1) 
Size not to exceed 32 square feet.
(2) 
Must be attached to the face of the building below the eaves or parapet wall.
(3) 
If the banner becomes torn, frayed, ripped or soiled, it must be removed within 24 hours of notification or observation of the condition.
(4) 
Special coordinated events require revocable permits from the City Council to hang banners across the street.
F. 
Nameplates, legal home occupations, nonilluminated, denoting the names and/or addresses of the occupants of the premises, not exceeding one square foot.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
G. 
Bulletin boards incidental to places of worship, libraries, and museums; bulletin boards shall not exceed 10 square feet in area and shall be located on the premises of such institutions.
H. 
Privately owned merchandise sale signs for garage sales and auctions, not to exceed six square feet in area, and shall not be posted for more than three days.
I. 
Nonilluminated "for sale," "for rent" real estate signs, and signs of a similar nature, concerning the premises upon which the sign is located. In a residential zoning district, such signs shall not exceed six square feet in area. In a business or industrial zoning district, such signs shall not exceed 25 square feet in area. All such signs shall be removed within seven days after the sale, lease or rental of the premises. (These signs may be portable or attached.)
J. 
Holiday or seasonal decorations, including lighting, are exempt from the provisions of this article and may be displayed in any district without a permit during the recognized holiday season.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
K. 
One sign, not exceeding six square feet in residential districts or 25 square feet in nonresidential districts, listing the architect, engineer, contractor and/or owner on premises where construction, renovation or repair is in progress. Signs shall be removed immediately upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy or completion of the project, whichever first occurs, but may not exceed 60 days in residential districts.
L. 
Political posters and signs, displayed 45 days prior to election or primary day. External signs shall be removed by the sponsors or their designee and window signs shall be removed by the property owner within seven days upon completion of the election. Placing signs on property without the consent of the property owner is prohibited and subject to immediate removal by the property owner without notification or remuneration.
M. 
Portable signs must conform to the following:
(1) 
May not exceed 30 inches wide by 48 inches tall.
(2) 
One sign per business or commercial establishment.
(3) 
Placement must be set back at least two feet from the curb and maintain a five-foot-wide sidewalk area clear for pedestrian travel.
(4) 
Must be removed daily at close of business hours.
(5) 
Must be insured in compliance with § 228-8 of the City Code if placed in City right-of-way.
(6) 
On corner parcels must be a minimum of 20 feet from intersection of the corner curb.
(7) 
May not obstruct lines-of-sight from vehicular accessways to streets.
(8) 
May not contain any electrical components.
N. 
Window signs which are temporary and are affixed to the inside of the window or posted inside the building are permitted, provided that they do not cover more than 20% of the glass area of the pane to which the sign is affixed.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
O. 
Open, closed, hours of operation, and method of payment, not to exceed two square feet per business.
P. 
Two menu board signs, for each drive-through facility, that does not exceed 24 square feet, provided no business names or logos are visible from off-premises. Signs shall not be more than six feet in height.

§ 264-64 Billboards.

A. 
No billboard may be erected unless the Building Inspector grants a relocation permit to an applicant upon a showing by the applicant that the new construction is a relocation of two billboards existing prior to the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
Any request for a new billboard will require documentation of square footage and location of previously sited billboards to be substituted and submitted by the sign business requesting the new billboard. The replacement billboard shall not exceed 50% of the total square footage of the two billboards it is to replace and shall comply with other provisions herein.
C. 
A relocation permit shall be issued upon verification from the applicant that the new billboard shall comply with all provisions herein, that all billboards scheduled for replacement as part of the application are legally erected billboards and that the following conditions exist:
(1) 
A site plan is submitted by the applicant that identifies the property where the new billboard will be erected by Tax Map parcel number, shows the location of the billboard and the dimension of the nearest distance to a property line, shows property lines and dimensions, shows all existing structures and uses of the property, shows an arrow depicting the direction in which the nearest adjacent billboard is located and its distance therefrom and identifies all uses within 100 feet of the proposed billboard.
(2) 
Two existing legally erected billboards scheduled to be replaced by one new billboard as part of the relocation permit shall be approved for removal by the City Zoning Officer, identified by Tax Map parcel number on the site plan submitted with the relocation application and shall be removed a minimum of 30 days prior to commencing erection of the new billboard. (NOTE: Billboards are prohibited under Federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act/Scenic Byway System, signed into law July 24, 1992, along the controlled Revolutionary Trail, which is State Route 5 as per the New York State Department of Transportation.)
D. 
Spacing.
(1) 
A billboard sign structure may not be located within 1,000 feet of another billboard sign structure.
(2) 
A billboard may not be erected within 100 feet of a library, religious institution, school, public park, playground, cemetery or residential dwelling unit located on the same street.
(3) 
Billboard signs shall be set back from side and front property lines as required by this Chapter 264, Zoning.
E. 
Permitted zones.
(1) 
Newly erected billboards shall be permitted within 100 feet of the right-of-way line of the Thruway Spur or the Schenectady Crosstown Arterial, provided that they are also situated within zoning districts designated as M-1 or M-2 in this chapter.
(2) 
In the zoning districts designated as M-1 and M-2, billboard signs may be erected or maintained according to the following standards:
(a) 
The maximum height of said sign shall not exceed 38 feet, except for signs adjacent to elevated roadways, which may have a maximum height of 25 feet above the grade of the roadway.
(b) 
The maximum area of said sign shall not exceed 325 square feet.

§ 264-65 Permits.

A. 
Application for permit. No sign as defined herein shall be hereinafter erected without first obtaining a permit from the Building Inspector. Application for a permit shall be made in writing, upon forms prescribed and provided by the Building Inspector prior to fabrication.
B. 
Expiration of permit. If the sign authorized under a permit has been installed within 30 days and completed within one year of the date of such permit, the permit shall expire.
C. 
Approvals. All signs erected in the Historic Districts must be approved by the Historic District Commission for design, materials and location.

§ 264-66 Abandoned signs.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
Whenever the Building Inspector and/or the Zoning Officer or their duly appointed representative determines that a sign is abandoned, the Building Inspector and/or Zoning Officer shall give written notice to the owner of the sign and the owner of the property at the address set forth in the City Assessor's records. Such notice shall order the responsible party(ies) to remove the sign, attachments and structure and remedy the condition rendering the use of the sign abandoned within 30 days of violation notice. If the sign is not removed or changed in accordance with the order, the Building Inspector and/or Zoning Officer shall order the sign removed. All costs and expenses incurred in said removal shall be assessed against the land upon which the sign was located.

§ 264-67 Unsafe or dangerous signs.

If the Building Inspector shall find that any sign is unsafe, he shall give written notice to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the lot upon which the sign is erected. Such sign shall be removed or repaired within the period of time stated in the notice. If sign is not removed or repaired, the Building Inspector shall cause sign to be removed and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the lot on which sign was located. The Building Inspector may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in removal against the lot upon which the sign was located.

§ 264-68 Nonconforming signs.

[Amended 9-12-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15]
Signs erected prior to the effective date of this chapter shall be considered legal nonconforming signs until a new business or tenant occupies the property and would like to change any portion of the existing sign. Signs on properties listed or proposed for listing on the New York State Register of Historic Places or the Federal Register of Historic Places shall be considered exempt legally nonconforming signs.

§ 264-69 Notice of violation.

A. 
Whenever the Building Inspector, the Zoning Officer or their duly appointed assistants determine that there has been a violation of any provision of this article, they may give notice of such violation to the person or persons responsible for the violation. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be served upon the owner, agent, operator or occupant, as the case may require. This notice shall specify the alleged violation and shall provide a reasonable time for compliance. Such notice will be deemed to be properly served upon such owner, agent, operator or occupant if a copy is served upon such owner, agent operator or occupant personally; if a copy thereof is delivered, by certified mail, to the last known address of such person; or if a copy is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the building, lot or sign affected by the notice and if a copy is delivered by certified mail.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
B. 
Failure to abate violations. In case the owner, agent, operator or occupant cannot be found within the time limit set for the abatement of said violations or if such owner, agent, operator or occupant shall fail, neglect or refuse to abate such violation, the Corporation Counsel shall be advised of all facts in the case and shall institute appropriate action in the court to compel compliance.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
C. 
Emergency action. In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector and/or the Zoning Officer, require immediate attention to abate a direct hazard or imminent danger to the health, safety or welfare of the public or the occupants of a building or lot, the Building Inspector and/or the Zoning Officer shall promptly cause such action to be taken as is necessary to remove or abate the hazard or danger.

§ 264-70 Appearance tickets.

A. 
Appearance tickets may be issued as a means of commencing prosecution.
B. 
The City Council deems it necessary to provide, by law, specially authorized public servants who may issue appearance tickets pursuant to Subdivision 3 of § 150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law and Subdivision 4(a) of § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
C. 
The following public servants of the City of Schenectady are hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets in the performance of their respective duties when commencing prosecution pursuant to this chapter of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Schenectady: the Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officers, the Zoning Officer and the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
D. 
The power to use the appearance ticket shall not imply restraint upon the power of the aforementioned public servants to utilize any alternative methods of commencing prosecutions as may be provided by law.
E. 
For purposes of this section, the term "appearance ticket" shall have the same definition as provided in Article 150, § 150.10, of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York, and the procedure governing its use shall conform in all respects to the procedure as enumerated in Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York and other applicable articles of that law.

§ 264-71 Variances.

Any person aggrieved by the decision or action of the Building Inspector and/or Zoning Officer, or their duly appointed assistants, under this legislation or any person wishing to construct, install or erect a sign other than as permitted herein shall be entitled to make an application to the Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Schenectady for a variance of the provisions pursuant to Article XVI.

§ 264-72 Enforcement.

[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
A. 
The Building Inspector, the Zoning Officer or their duly appointed assistants of the City of Schenectady are authorized and empowered to enforce the requirements of this article.
B. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
For every violation of the provisions of this article, the owner of the premises, renter, lessee, its general agent, its contractor, its architect, its builder or any other person who commits, takes part in or assists in such violation or who maintains any building or premises in which such violation shall exist shall be guilty of a violation as defined by the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days for each day of violation, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by a penalty of not less than $150 nor more than $500 for each day of violation, to be recovered by the City of Schenectady, New York, in a civil action.
(2) 
A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation of the terms of this article occurs or continues unabated.
(3) 
Any person issued a notice of violation pursuant to any provision of this article, where the same has not been withdrawn by administrative appeal or dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be subject to an administrative fee of $50, and such administrative fee shall be charged against the land upon which the notice of violation was issued as a municipal lien, and if unpaid, such administrative fee shall be added to the tax rolls as an assessment or levied as a special tax against said property or recovered in a civil suit against the person to which the notice of violation was issued.
(4) 
Each violation of this article shall be a violation and shall be punishable under this section as follows:
(a) 
For a first offense, by a fine of not less than $350 nor more than $500.
(b) 
For a second offense within 18 months of a prior violation of this article regarding the same premises by the same person(s), firm(s) and/or corporation(s), a fine of not less than $350 nor more than $750.
(c) 
For a third offense and any subsequent offenses thereafter within 18 months of a prior violation of this article regarding the same premises by the same person(s), firm(s) and/or corporation(s), a fine of not less than $750 nor more than $1,500 or by a term of imprisonment of not less than five days nor more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(d) 
All fines collected pursuant to this section shall be placed in a dedicated account to offset the expense of at least one Code Enforcement Officer.