Township of Morris, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of these regulations to provide for attractive, coordinated, informative and efficient signing for uses in the Township. The following signs shall be permitted only in compliance with the following provisions.
Only the following types of signs shall be permitted in residential zones:
A. 
Nameplate and identification signs for single-family dwellings. A sign indicating the name or address of the occupant may be permitted, provided that the sign shall be no larger than two square feet. A permitted in-home professional or in-home business office may be included with the name of the occupant. Only one sign per dwelling unit is permitted in addition to a mailbox identification sign.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Sales or rental signs. A sign advertising the sale or rental of a dwelling or lot shall be permitted, provided that:
(1) 
The size of any curb sale or rental sign shall not exceed six square feet.
(2) 
Not more than one sign is placed upon any property.
(3) 
Such signs shall be removed within five days after execution of contract for sale or lease.
(4) 
Developments with four or more homes or lots for sale may be advertised on a sign not to exceed 32 square feet. One such sign shall be permitted on each frontage if the development fronts on more than one street. The sign shall be removed when all the homes or lots have been initially sold or rented.
(5) 
"For sale" or "for lease" signs up to 32 square feet for land with five acres or more and 500 feet of frontage shall be permitted.
C. 
Institutional signs. Signs of schools, colleges, churches and other institutions of a similar public or semipublic nature may be erected and maintained, provided that:
(1) 
The size of any freestanding sign shall not exceed 32 square feet and not more than one such sign is placed on a property, unless such property fronts upon more than one street, in which instance a sign may be erected on each frontage.
(2) 
Signs may be affixed to a maximum of two walls of a structure, and the total sign area on each wall shall not exceed 5% of the area of that wall measured from ground level to the bottom of the roof eaves and from the side of the building to the other side.
D. 
Signs accessory to parking areas. Signs designating entrances or exits to or from a parking area shall be limited to one sign for each such exit or entrance, with a maximum size of four square feet for each sign. One sign per parking area designating the conditions of use or identity of such parking area and limited to a maximum size of six square feet shall be permitted.
E. 
Artisans signs. Signs of mechanics, painters and other artisans may be erected and maintained during the period that such persons are performing work on the premises on which such signs are erected, provided that:
(1) 
The size thereof is not in excess of six square feet.
(2) 
Such signs are removed within 48 hours of completion of the work.
(3) 
One such sign per artisan shall be permitted.
F. 
Other requirements.
(1) 
Private driveways. Signs indicating the private nature of a driveway shall be permitted, provided that the size of any such signs shall not exceed two square feet.
(2) 
Height and projection of signs. No sign in a residential zone shall project into the public way nor project higher than six feet.
One sign at the entrance of each development shall be permitted in the RG-5 Zone, provided that no such sign shall exceed 20 square feet. Conveniently located building identification and directory signs shall be permitted within such developments.
No sign shall be permitted in the B-11 Zone which is not accessory to the business conducted on the property. Such signs may be erected on an exterior wall in accordance with the following requirements:
A. 
Number and size of signs. No business establishment shall be permitted a total of more than two signs; provided, however, that no single exterior wall of any one establishment shall contain more than one of the two permitted signs. The total sign area for the sign permitted on the face of any wall shall not exceed 5% of the face of the wall area.
B. 
Rear wall and side wall signs. No signs will be permitted on rear walls or side walls when said wall abuts a residential use or zone or any public or institutional use.
C. 
Freestanding signs. There shall be permitted a maximum of one freestanding sign advertising the business establishments and/or services located on the lot therein, provided that:
(1) 
The maximum height of the freestanding sign shall not exceed 20 feet.
(2) 
The area of said sign shall not exceed 30 square feet on each side or surface.
(3) 
The location of said sign shall not be nearer than 1/2 the setback to any abutting road right-of-way line or property line.
(4) 
The base of said sign shall be an improved area in harmony with the overall internal road system and off-street parking layout and shall be appropriately landscaped.
D. 
"For sale" or "for rent" signs and artisan signs. These shall be permitted under the same terms and conditions as set forth in residential zones, except that the area of "for sale" or "for rent" signs for developed business properties may be 20 square feet.
In all industrial and office-laboratory zones, no sign shall be permitted which is not accessory to the business conducted on the property. The following requirements shall apply:
A. 
Attached signs. Signs attached to the wall of the principal building are permitted as specified in § 95-44C and E.
B. 
Freestanding signs. Each industrial and office-laboratory single-tenanted building shall be permitted one freestanding sign, provided that said sign is placed not closer than 40 feet or 1/2 the required setback to any road right-of-way line, whichever is greater, and meets the following requirements:
(1) 
Said sign complies with the side yard requirements for the principal building.
(2) 
The length of the permitted sign does not exceed 10% of the width of the building that the sign will be set in front of; however, in no case shall the length of the sign exceed 30 feet.
(3) 
The height of said sign shall not exceed 1/2 the length as permitted above, but in no case shall the height of the sign exceed 10 feet.
(4) 
The maximum area of the freestanding sign shall not be greater than 100 square feet.
(5) 
The top of any sign shall not exceed 12 feet from the ground level.
C. 
Retail uses in Industrial and OL Zones. Retail uses in the Industrial and OL Zones shall meet the sign requirements of the B-11 Zone.
D. 
"For sale" or "for lease" signs and artisan signs. These shall be permitted under the same terms and conditions as set forth in residential zones, except the maximum size of "for sale" or "for lease" signs may be increased to 32 square feet for property in excess of five acres and 500 feet of frontage. One additional such sign shall be permitted if the property has more than one street frontage over 500 feet.
Shopping centers, industrial parks, planned developments, multi-tenanted structures or multistructure uses shall be governed by the following regulations:
A. 
Each such development shall submit a signing plan to the Planning Board for approval. Such signing plan shall include details on:
(1) 
Letter style.
(2) 
Lighting.
(3) 
Color.
(4) 
Construction and materials.
(5) 
Height of sign.
(6) 
Height above grade or below roofline.
(7) 
Location.
(8) 
Standards.
B. 
The signing plan shall be based on an integrated design theme to include all of the elements in Subsection A(1) through (8) above. All of the above elements shall be designed to be in harmony and consistent with each other, the architecture and materials of principal structure and the landscaping plan. The Planning Board, in its sole discretion, shall determine if a proposed signing plan meets the goals and objectives of this section.
C. 
The total area of all signs affixed to a structure shall not exceed 5% of the building facade of the structure. The Planning Board may permit in total sign area up to 7% of the building facade if, in the Planning Board's judgment, such additional area shall assist in developing a harmonious and integrated sign plan in accordance with the goals and objectives of this section.
D. 
Freestanding signs to be located on poles, kiosks, stanchions or similar supports shall not project above 12 feet. Such signs shall have an area not in excess of 5% of the building face fronting on the street but in no event greater than 100 square feet. The Planning Board may permit a total sign area of up to 150 square feet if, in the Planning Board's judgment, such additional area shall assist in achieving the goals and objectives of this section.
E. 
Only one such freestanding sign shall be permitted on any single property, regardless of the number of establishments on the property, except that the Planning Board may authorize an additional freestanding sign if the property has access from more than one public street. The freestanding sign shall be located a minimum of 40 feet from the right-of-way line or 1/2 the required minimum front or rear yard setbacks and shall comply with the side yard requirements of the zone.
The following regulations shall apply to all permitted and preexisting nonconforming signs:
A. 
Only those signs identifying the name, business, occupant, service, address or product offered or sold on the premises shall be permitted to be erected. Coming events, community bulletin boards and time-and-temperature signs shall also be permitted.
B. 
Signs within the interior of a structure designed to be seen and read from the exterior shall be considered as part of any maximum sign area.
C. 
Signs attached to a principal structure shall not extend above the roofline or bottom of the parapet.
D. 
No flashing, moving or apparent moving signs, flags, pennants and streamers shall be permitted except for time and temperature.
E. 
Projection of signs.
(1) 
No attached sign shall extend further than 15 inches from the face of the building upon which it is attached; provided, however, that where a sign extends more than three inches from the face of said wall, the bottom of said sign shall not be closer than 10 feet to the ground level below said sign, and provided further that no sign shall project into the public right-of-way.
(2) 
Where a building has a canopy or marquee constructed as an integral part of said building, for the purpose of administering this section, the front line of said canopy or marquee shall be construed as being the face of the building.
F. 
Signs, whether portable, permanent or temporary, other than Township, county or state signs, shall not be erected within the right-of-way of any street or approved sight easements, nor shall any sign be located so as to constitute a traffic hazard.
G. 
A zoning permit shall be required for the erection, alteration or reconstruction of any sign, except as noted in Subsection H below.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
H. 
All temporary signs erected for a special event such as an election, sale, bazaar or similar event shall be removed by the sponsor within five days after the event shall have taken place. The Construction Official shall approve such temporary signs, provided that they do not exceed 32 square feet, and provided that all temporary signs, other than election signs, shall not remain in place more than four weeks.
I. 
Advertising signs shall not be permitted in any zone district in the Township.
J. 
Whenever a sign shall become structurally unsafe or endanger the safety of the building or the public, the Construction Official shall order such sign be made safe or removed. Such order shall be complied with within 10 days of the receipt thereof by the person owning or using the sign, or the owner of the building or premises on which such unsafe sign is affixed or erected.
K. 
Location.
(1) 
Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, signs shall not be located closer than the following distances to street rights-of-way:
Area of Sign
(square feet)
Minimum Distance
(feet)
Less than 25
20
26 to 75
25
76 or more
30
(2) 
The Planning Board shall be authorized to waive the strict application of Subsection K(1) of this section if, because of local site conditions, strict adherence would cause inconvenience to the public or constitute a hazard. Unless otherwise specified in this chapter or indicated on an approved site plan, the Construction Official shall approve the location of all signs.
L. 
The area surrounding ground signs shall be kept neat, clean and landscaped. The tenant, owner or occupant to which the sign applies shall be responsible for maintaining the condition of the area.
M. 
Directional signs having areas of less than three square feet are exempt from area and location regulations but shall be shown on an approved site plan and further provided that they do not constitute a hazard to the traveling public.
N. 
All signs shall be kept in good repair, which shall include replacement or repair of broken structural elements, casings or faces; maintenance of legibility; and all lighting elements working.
O. 
Any location where business goods are no longer sold or produced or where services are no longer provided shall have 90 days to remove any remaining or derelict on-premises signs following notification by the Township and at the expense of the owner of such property. When the written notification has been given by the Township and compliance has not been made within the required ninety-day period, the Township may cause removal of such sign, with the cost for such removal to be attached to the property.
P. 
The applicant shall also comply with all applicable county, state and federal sign regulations.
Q. 
Should a nonconforming sign be destroyed, it cannot be replaced except in a conforming manner.
R. 
Where a sign for a nonresidential use is directly adjacent to or across from a residential zone, the Planning Board may in its discretion reduce the area of the sign by not more than 10%, and the Planning Board may further require additional screening, light control and buffering so as to minimize any adverse impacts such sign will have on the adjacent or abutting residential zone.