Town of Greenport, NY
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenport 5-4-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994; amended in its entirety 6-1-1994 by L.L. No. 3-1994. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building Inspector — See Ch. 9.
Mobile homes, mobile units and trailers — See Ch. 85.
Site plan review — See Ch. 101.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 107.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BANNER
A temporary sign composed of cardboard, cloth, canvas, fabric or similar lightweight flexible material and securely attached at four corners to a fixed or rigid surface or other structure.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
BILLBOARD
Any sign, other than an exempt sign, which advertises or otherwise directs attention to a business, commodity, service, industry or other activity which is not, or is only incidentally, sold, offered or conducted at the real property at which such sign is located.
BUILDING
Any structure intended for shelter, occupancy, housing or enclosure for persons, animals or chattel. When separated by dividing walls without openings (e.g., subdivided for tenants), the entire structure shall be considered one building. This term does not include an accessory building, which is subordinate to the main building and is used for purposes accessory and incidental to the main use (e.g., for storage).
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
ERECT
To build, construct, attach, hang, place, suspend, or affix, and shall also include the painting of signs.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
FACADE
Any separate face of a building which encloses or covers usable space.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
GROUND SIGN
A sign, other than a billboard, which rests upon the ground or is mounted on or supported by at least one upright, brace or structure, other than a building, which is situate in or upon the ground.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign illuminated in any manner by an artificial light source of any kind, either detached from the sign or a part thereof. Signs that are only incidentally and indirectly illuminated as a result of a lighting plan primarily designed as security lighting or landscape lighting are not illuminated signs.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
INTERIOR SIGN
A sign which is situate entirely within a building, regardless of the extent to which it is visible from outside the building.
LOT
A parcel of land which is the following:
A. 
Shown as a separate lot on a subdivision plat which has been approved by the Town Planning Board and duly filed with the County Clerk;
B. 
Does not adjoin any other lands the title to which is held by the holder of title of the subject parcel; or
C. 
Separately assessed for tax purposes, has a developed access directly onto a public road and such access is not used for any other parcel, and the parcel is devoted to a use which is independent and distinct from any uses occurring on adjoining parcels.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign designed or constructed in such a manner that it can be moved or relocated without any structural or support changes, including signs supported or mounted on a motor vehicle as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
PREEXISTING SIGN
A sign legally established prior to the effective date of this chapter, or a sign established after the effective date of this chapter if such sign was approved prior to the effective date of this chapter by the Town Planning Board in connection with a site plan approval under Chapter 101 of the Code of the Town of Greenport. Any preexisting sign which, as of the effective date of this chapter, does not conform to the regulations contained herein shall be referred to as a "preexisting nonconforming sign."
ROOF SIGN
A sign, other than a billboard, which is affixed to a building, any portion of which sign is situated more than four feet above the upper edge of the wall of such building to which such sign is affixed, or erected, supported or painted on a roof over any portion of a building.
SIGN
Any identification, description, illustration or device, illuminated or nonilluminated, which is visible from any public place or is located on private property and exposed to the public and which directs attention to a product, service, place, activity, person, institution, business or solicitation or any logo, painting, or placard or temporary sign designed to advertise, identify or convey information that pertains to a product, service, place, activity, person, institution, business or solicitation principally located or primarily manufactured or sold on the premises on which the sign is located. "Sign" includes any structures and supports by which the sign is affixed to a building or the ground.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN AREA
The largest area of the sign visible at any one time from any one point enclosed by a single continuous perimeter including any framing or trim enclosing a message, but not including any structural parts lying outside the limits of such sign which do not form an integral part of the message display. The sign area shall be measured on only one side of a double-faced sign provided that the two faces are parallel to each other and provided that the faces are the same size and share a common structural support.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN HEIGHT
The vertical distance between the base of the sign at the nearest natural or finished grade to the highest part of the sign or any attached component.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN, PORTABLE
Any sign, including a banner, that is easily moved from place to place on a stand or A-type frame having no permanent attachment to the ground, building or structure. A portable sign is not a temporary sign.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN, PROJECTING
Any sign which is attached to a building or other structure and extends beyond the line of said building or structure or beyond the surface of that portion of the building or structure to which it is attached.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN SETBACK
The sign setback is measured as the perpendicular distance between the property line and the outer (leading) edge of any portion of a sign.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN, TEMPORARY
Any sign that is used temporarily, is not permanently mounted, and/or is constructed of cardboard, cloth, canvas, fabric, plywood, or similar lightweight material. A portable sign is not a temporary sign.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
SIGN, WALL
All flat signs of solid-face construction which are placed against a building or other structure and attached to the exterior front, rear or side wall of any building or other structure so that the display surface is parallel to the plane of the wall. They shall advertise only the permitted use, products or services on the premises on which they are displayed. A wall sign shall include canopy signage associated with gasoline service stations and shall be limited to name and company identification and/or logo. Awning signage as well as a fence sign shall be considered a wall sign. A wall sign shall not include a billboard.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
Exempt signs. The following ground signs are exempt and allowed without a permit, provided that no such sign shall violate any general requirement set forth in § 102-9:
(1) 
Historical tablets, markers and statues, memorial signs and plaques.
(2) 
Flags and insignia of any nation, government or school.
(3) 
On-premises directional signs for the convenience of the general public, identifying public parking areas, fire zones, entrances and exits and similar signs, not to exceed four square feet or six feet in height.
(4) 
Nonilluminated warning, private drive, posted or no-trespassing signs, not to exceed two square feet.
(5) 
Name and number plates, identifying a residence, not exceeding two square feet in area.
(6) 
Temporary merchandise sale signs for garage sales and auctions, not to exceed five square feet, and for a period not to exceed seven days, except that "Going Out of Business" signs shall require a temporary permit obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer for a maximum duration of two months, which may be renewed by application to the Code Enforcement Officer for one additional two-month period. Temporary merchandise sale signs and "Going Out of Business" signs shall not include banners.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(7) 
Temporary nonilluminated for sale, for rent or real estate signs of a similar nature concerning the premises upon which the sign is located; for a property used or to be used for residential purposes, one sign not exceeding five square feet; and for a property used or to be used for a business or a commercial or industrial purpose, one sign not exceeding 32 square feet and set back at least 20 feet from the edge of any public street or other traveled way. All such signs shall be removed within three days after the sale, lease or rental of the premises.
(8) 
Temporary directional signs for meetings, conventions and other assemblies, not exceeding 12 square feet, for a period not to exceed seven days, and set back at least 10 feet from the edge of any public street or other traveled way.
(9) 
One temporary sign not exceeding 32 square feet, listing the architect, engineer, contractor and/or owner or a sign drawing attention to the opening of a new business, such as a "Grand Opening" sign, on the premises where construction, renovation or repair is in progress, and set back at least 20 feet from the edge of any public street or other traveled way, provided that such sign is removed not later than seven days after the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or compliance for any such project, or the opening of the new business, whichever shall occur later. In the event that a certificate of occupancy or compliance is not required, such sign shall be removed no later than seven days after completion of any minor renovation or repair not requiring a building permit, or the opening of the new business, whichever shall occur later.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(10) 
Signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in the discharge of any government function or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation, including New York State Department of Transportation commerce signs.
(11) 
Signs which are an integral part of and advertise only the contents of vending machines and which are located within the profile of such vending machines, such as gasoline pumps and soft drink machines.
(12) 
Temporary election signs to promote a candidate or agenda so long as such signs are not erected more than 35 days prior to the date set for such election or primary and are removed within seven days after such election or primary. The Code Enforcement Officer and/or Town Superintendent of Highways or their authorized agent or representative is authorized to remove and dispose of all election signs not removed within the seven-day period following an election. The Town of Greenport shall bear no liability to the owner or proprietor of any sign not removed after the seven-day period following an election or primary for the removal of such sign in accordance with this section.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
B. 
Permitted signs. One or more ground signs per lot shall be allowed upon the following conditions:
(1) 
The maximum number of ground signs permitted to be installed on a lot shall be equal to the number of public streets along which such lot has at least 100 feet of frontage and from which such lot has a developed access.
(2) 
Every lot, notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in Subsection B(1), shall be entitled to one ground sign. For purposes of this subsection, a sign structure which has attached to it multiple sign faces shall be considered to be a single sign.
(3) 
If a lot is permitted to have more than one ground sign under Subsection B(1), then the following shall apply:
(a) 
All signs must be located within 50 feet of the public streets from which the lot has developed access.
(b) 
Not more than one sign shall be located along each public street from which the lot has developed access.
(c) 
No two signs shall be within 150 feet of each other, even if such restriction prevents the erection of the maximum number of signs that would otherwise be permitted.
(4) 
The maximum height of any point of any ground sign above the average ground level at the base of such sign shall not exceed 25 feet.
(5) 
Maximum area.
(a) 
The maximum area of any ground sign shall not exceed the lesser of the following:
[1] 
Three hundred square feet;
[2] 
Two percent of the ground floor area of all buildings on the lot; or
[3] 
Two percent of the number obtained by multiplying the minimum distance between any point on the sign to the closest property line with frontage on a public street and the amount of frontage (measured in feet) which said closest property line has on such street.
(b) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the maximum permitted area of any ground sign shall not be less than 32 square feet. If a ground sign has between two and four faces having interior angles between adjoining faces of less than 90º (that is, the faces are back to back or the faces form a triangle or square when viewed from above), then the above-prescribed maximum area shall apply to each face.
(6) 
No ground sign or any part thereof on a lot shall be within a setback area of 20 feet from any property line.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(a) 
By application for a practical hardship, this setback limitation may be modified by resolution of the Planning Board, if the following conditions are demonstrated by the applicant:
[1] 
The proposed variation will not merely serve as a convenience to the applicant, but will alleviate some demonstrable and unusual hardship which will result if the regulations are enforced strictly and which is not generally applicable to other properties within the Town of Greenport.
[2] 
The strict interpretation of the provisions of this sign chapter would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties on the same state or local highway.
[3] 
The alleged hardship has not been directly created by any person having a proprietary interest in the premises.
[4] 
Granting the variance will meet the objectives of this sign chapter and not be injurious to other properties in the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
[5] 
The request will be the minimum variance necessary to alleviate the special hardship or practical difficulty faced by the applicant in meeting the requirements of this chapter.
(b) 
Any variance granted by the Planning Board pursuant to this subsection shall not be less than 10 feet from the front property line and five feet from the closest side property line. The distance from the sign to the respective property line shall be measured from the leading edge of the sign to the leading edge of the property.
(c) 
If, after a variance is granted pursuant to this subsection, ownership of the property is transferred, such variance shall remain in effect and shall be transferable to subsequent owner(s) so long as no portion of the structure of the sign is altered following the transfer. Neither a change in the words or images appearing on the sign nor the repainting, cleaning or normal maintenance and repair of the sign shall be deemed to constitute an alteration of the sign. Where any portion of the sign is subsequently altered, the provisions of § 102-10A of this chapter shall apply and the variance shall no longer be applicable.
(d) 
Where an application for a variance is submitted, the Clerk of the Planning Board shall mail written notice of such application to the owners of land whose property lines are adjacent to the proposed location of the sign. The applicant shall identify such property owners when submitting the variance application to the Planning Board. The cost of mailing said notice shall be borne by the applicant.
(e) 
The cost of an application for a variance pursuant to this subsection submitted together with an application for site plan approval or site plan modification shall be included in the applicable site plan approval/modification application fee. The Town Board reserves the right to set independent fees for such variance applications from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
(f) 
Any future modifications of the setback requirement set forth in § 102-2B(6) of the Town Code of the Town of Greenport may be effected by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Greenport.
(7) 
A permit is obtained and in force with respect to said sign, as provided in § 102-10 below.
C. 
Illegal signs. Any sign which is not exempt, which is not a preexisting sign or which does not have a current, valid permit shall be deemed an illegal sign.
A. 
Permitted signs. One or more roof signs per building shall be allowed upon the following conditions:
(1) 
Each roof sign must be contained entirely within the space defined by the vertical extension of the walls of the building upon which it is located.
(2) 
No roof sign shall exceed 12 feet in height.
(3) 
The roof sign may be used only to direct attention to a business, commodity, service, industry or other activity which is sold, offered or conducted, other than incidentally, within the building upon which such sign is located.
(4) 
A permit is obtained and in force with respect to said sign, as provided in § 102-10 below.
(5) 
Supports and attachment. All roof signs shall be safely and securely attached to the building roof structure in accordance with accepted engineering standards, as determined by the Town of Greenport Code Enforcement Officer. In no case shall any roof sign be secured with wire, strips of wood or nails. In accordance with § 102-10B of this chapter, together with an application for the sign permit, the qualified professional responsible for the design of the roof sign shall provide a statement to the Building Department that the proposed sign, when installed, is structurally sound and will comply with the requirements of the latest edition of the Building Codes of New York State. Roof sign plans shall bear the stamp and signature of the design professional.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
B. 
Illegal signs. Any roof sign which is not a preexisting sign or which does not have a current, valid permit shall be deemed an illegal sign.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
Exempt signs. Wall signs composed only of paint or other similar medium directly applied to a wall are exempt and allowed without a permit.
B. 
Permitted signs. One or more wall signs per building shall be allowed upon the following conditions:
(1) 
Limitation on placement and area.
(a) 
The wall sign is affixed to the wall and the face of such sign is parallel, or substantially so, to the wall to which the sign is affixed; or the faces of such sign are perpendicular, or substantially so, to the wall to which the sign is affixed.
(b) 
No wall sign shall cover wholly or partially any wall opening nor project beyond the ends or top of the wall to which it is attached. It shall be displayed on the building as follows:
[1] 
On the front facade which directly abuts and faces a public street.
[2] 
On the facade of a building directly abutting a lawfully established public parking lot, private parking area, mall or arcade.
[3] 
If a building shall face more than one street, an additional sign shall be permitted on the side street facade.
(c) 
Projection above sidewalk and setback line. No wall sign shall be permitted to be attached to a wall at a height of less than eight feet above the sidewalk or ground.
(d) 
Obstruction to exits, doors, windows or fire escapes. No wall sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any exit, door, window or fire escape.
(2) 
Materials required. All wall signs shall have a surface or facing of noncombustible material or be of approved combustible structural material.
(3) 
Supports and attachment. All wall signs shall be safely and securely attached to the building wall in accordance with accepted engineering standards, as determined by the Town of Greenport Code Enforcement Officer. In no case shall any wall sign be secured with wire, strips of wood or nails. In accordance with § 102-10B of this chapter, together with an application for the sign permit, the qualified professional responsible for the design of the sign shall provide a statement to the Building Department that the proposed sign, when installed, is structurally sound and will comply with the requirements of the latest edition of the Building Codes of New York State. Sign plans shall bear the stamp and signature of the design professional.
(4) 
A permit is obtained and in force with respect to said sign, as provided in § 102-10 of this chapter.
C. 
Illegal signs. Any wall sign which is not exempt, which is not a preexisting sign or which does not have a current, valid permit shall be deemed an illegal sign.
D. 
Projecting signs. One projecting sign may be permitted related solely to each business conducted on the premises, provided that the area of each sign shall not exceed 12 square feet and the sign is located at a height of not less than eight feet above the sidewalk or ground.
A. 
Exempt signs. Interior signs are exempt and allowed without a permit, provided that no interior sign shall violate any general requirement set forth in § 102-9A.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
All nonconforming preexisting signs existing on the effective date of this chapter shall be allowed to continue provided that they have a valid permit pursuant to § 102-10 of this chapter on file with the office of the Town of Greenport Building Department. Such nonconforming preexisting signs shall be maintained in good condition and shall only be replaced in-kind when replacement is warranted due to a maintenance issue or an act of God. A permit shall be required to reconstruct a damaged or deteriorated nonconforming preexisting sign.
B. 
All nonconforming preexisting signs that do not have a valid permit on file with the Building Department upon the effective date of this chapter, unless exempt under the generally applicable provisions of this chapter, must conform to the setback requirements of § 102-2B(6) or receive a variance pursuant to § 102-2B(6)(a). The owners of the property supporting such signs shall have 90 days from the effective date of this chapter to commence the application process for a sign permit; otherwise such signs shall be deemed illegal.
C. 
Unless otherwise exempt under the generally applicable provisions of this chapter, all nonconforming preexisting signs not otherwise addressed in this section that are without a valid permit on file with the Greenport Building Department on the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed illegal signs on and after the effective date of this chapter unless a permit has been issued for such signs.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
Billboards are prohibited in the Town of Greenport. Any billboard existing in the Town of Greenport on the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed a preexisting sign and shall be allowed to remain as such, provided that a billboard permit and annual renewal permit is obtained in accordance with this section.
B. 
Any billboard which is a preexisting sign shall become an illegal sign unless a permit is obtained for such billboard within six months from the effective date of this chapter. An application for the permit must be made in writing upon forms prescribed and provided by the Building Department.
C. 
In addition to the permit requirements set forth in § 102-10 of this chapter, each application for a permit for a preexisting billboard shall be accompanied with the following:
(1) 
A detailed set of structural plans bearing the seal of a licensed engineer or architect registered to practice in the State of New York.
(2) 
A drawing showing a description of the construction details of the billboard position of lighting or other extraneous devices; a location plan showing the position of the billboard on the site; its position in relation to nearby buildings or structures and to any private or public street or highway; and its height.
(3) 
Written consent of the owner of the land on which the billboard is to be erected and a copy of the lease agreement, if any, in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
(4) 
If the billboard is illuminated, a final electrical inspection certification performed evidencing that an electrical inspection was conducted by a third-party certification agency as approved by the Building Department.
(5) 
The current fee established for the same by resolution of the Town Board.
(6) 
Other such information as reasonably required by the Building Department.
D. 
All permits obtained for preexisting billboards shall be renewed by the property owner on an annual basis in accordance with the following regulations:
(1) 
Application for an annual permit shall be made within 14 calendar days after the first day of January.
(2) 
The applicant shall submit any changes in ownership of the billboard or property and an affidavit stating that the same has been changed on the billboard itself in accordance with Subsection E of this section.
(3) 
All preexisting billboards shall be annually inspected at the time application for renewal is made. Inspection shall be conducted by an individual, firm or corporation that meets the standards and requirements promulgated by the Code Enforcement Officer. The applicant shall provide all necessary documents proving structural stability.
(4) 
The fee for an annual renewal permit shall be in accordance with the fee schedule adopted by the Town Board.
E. 
Every preexisting billboard shall bear the permit number and name of the permit holder and/or owner of the land upon which the billboard is erected, prominently and permanently affixed on the face thereof. A proper space shall be reserved in the lower left-hand corner of the permit plaque where the annual permit inspection tag shall be affixed. This annual permit tag shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Greenport or his/her designee. This annual permit tag shall be affixed to the billboard by the owner and/or applicant.
F. 
All preexisting billboards and their structures shall be maintained, including the changes of the advertising message, the repairing and replacing parts and the performance of other acts as incident to the upkeep of the billboard. Such billboards which have excessively weathered or faded or those upon which the paint has, or fabricated skin panels have, excessively peeled, cracked or torn shall with their supporting members be removed forthwith, or put into a good state of repair. All nonoperative or broken electrical signs, or components/parts thereof, shall be repaired and upon completion, a final electrical inspection shall be performed by a third-party electrical inspection agency as approved by the Building Department and a final electrical inspection certification provided to the Building Department, or shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith. No preexisting billboard shall be reconstructed or structurally altered except as provided for in this chapter.
G. 
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the replacement or restoration of an existing billboard or its supporting structure which has been destroyed or which has been deemed by the applicant to be in need of replacement. Such replacement or restoration shall be permitted, provided that the billboard following the replacement or restoration is to the identical specifications, size, location and appearance as existed prior to said replacement or restoration. The applicant and/or owner shall be required to obtain a permit for the replacement or restoration of the preexisting billboard prior to commencing work.
H. 
Once a preexisting billboard has been removed, an applicant has a period of up to six months to apply for a restoration permit and reestablish the billboard, provided that the billboard is to the identical specifications, size, location and appearance as existed prior and on record with the Building Department. If such a permit is not applied for within six months after the billboard is removed, then abandonment or relinquishment of such preexisting billboard shall be presumed, and such preexisting billboard shall be deemed abandoned and shall not thereafter be reestablished.
I. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke a preexisting billboard permit issued pursuant to this chapter on 14 days' written notice given to the owner on record of said billboard for any one of the following conditions, provided that said condition has not been corrected within the fourteen-day period:
(1) 
Failure to obtain the annual renewal permit within the first 14 calendar days of the New Year.
(2) 
Failure to submit proper information in regard to changes in ownership of billboards.
(3) 
Failure to affix the permit number and necessary information as required by Subsection E of this section.
(4) 
Failure to obtain a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer to replace or restore the billboard.
(5) 
If illuminated, failure to provide a final electrical inspection certification evidencing that an inspection had been performed by a third-party certification agency as approved by the Building Department as required by § 102-7C(4) of this chapter.
(6) 
Failure to maintain any billboard in good condition. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) 
That the structure be free from all hazards, such as faulty wiring, loose fastening or supports, etc.
(b) 
That the structure remain safe, secure and in no way a menace to the public.
(c) 
That the structure be maintained in a clean and neat condition.
(d) 
That the structure is not excessively weathered and/or deteriorated.
J. 
Any existing billboard not licensed or for which the permit has been revoked under the provisions of this chapter must be removed within 14 days after written notification to the billboard owner and/or landowner.
(1) 
To remove a licensed billboard one must first obtain a demolition permit for such removal from the Town of Greenport Building Department.
(2) 
In the event that said billboard is not removed within the specified time limit, the Code Enforcement Officer shall commence an enforcement action by the issuance of an appearance ticket to the owner of the property upon which the billboard is situated and/or to the last known permit holder or billboard owner.
(a) 
Upon conviction of the violation of this section, the reviewing court may authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to demolish/remove the billboard and assess all costs and expenses incurred in said demolition/removal against the billboard owner and/or the owner of the land on which said billboard is located. Such costs shall be added to the tax bill of the property owner and shall become a lien on the property. Such lien shall be prior to and superior to any other lien or claim except a lien of an existing tax assessment or other lawful Town charge.
(b) 
Where necessary, the Town Board is authorized to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer may cause any billboard which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be demolished/removed summarily and without notice and may access all expenses thereof against the billboard owner and/or property owner of the land on which the billboard is located. Such costs shall be added to the tax bill of the property owner and shall become a lien on the property. Such lien shall be prior to and superior to any other lien or claim except a lien of an existing tax assessment or other lawful Town charge. The Town Board may institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
K. 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Code Enforcement Officer relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Planning Board and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Planning Board.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
The following signs, including billboards, are prohibited in the Town of Greenport. It is unlawful to erect, construct, relocate, expand or structurally alter the following signs in the Town.
A. 
Signs without permits. No sign or other advertising structure shall be erected or maintained in violation of the permit requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Poorly maintained signs. No sign or other advertising structure shall be inadequately maintained so as to show evidence of deterioration, including, but not limited to, rotting supports, peeling, rust, dirt, fading, discoloration or holes.
C. 
Outdated/abandoned signs. No sign or other advertising structure shall continue to advertise a business or project which has been out of business in excess of 30 days. A sign which is abandoned shall be removed.
D. 
Obstructions to exits, doors, windows or fire escapes. No sign or other advertising structure shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any exit, door, window or fire escape. No sign of any kind shall be attached to a stand pipe or fire escape.
E. 
Traffic hazards. No sign or other advertising structure shall:
(1) 
Obstruct free and clear vision at any street intersection;
(2) 
Interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device because of its position, shape or color;
(3) 
Make use of the words "Stop," "Look," "Danger" or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in a manner that interferes with, misleads or confuses traffic; and/or
(4) 
Present a traffic hazard by using illumination resembling an emergency signal.
F. 
Unsafe signs. No sign or other advertising structure shall constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate design, construction, repair or maintenance and if so, may be declared a public nuisance and be forwarded to the Town for action.
G. 
Illuminated signs. No sign or other advertising structure shall be illuminated with lights that glare into or upon the surrounding area or any residential premises or distract operators of vehicles or pedestrians on the public right-of-way.
H. 
Vehicular signs. No sign or other advertising structure shall be painted on or be attached to a motor vehicle used primarily for the display of such sign, including, but not limited to, a billboard truck. This section shall not prohibit the identification of a business or its products or services on its registered vehicle(s) operated and parked in a manner appropriate to the normal course of business.
I. 
Portable signs. Portable signs are prohibited.
J. 
Bench signs. Bench signs are prohibited.
K. 
Banners. Banners, pennants, and fluttering devices are prohibited.
L. 
Signs of any kind attached or fastened to public or private utility poles, state, county, municipal, government or historic sign posts, or any other such structures, located on public or private property, or right-of-way, are prohibited.
A. 
All sign fabrication, erection, attachment and installation shall conform to the requirements of the latest edition of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other applicable codes and regulations.
B. 
No sign shall project into the air space above and within the boundaries of a right-of-way open to the public and intended for use by vehicles or other nonpedestrian modes of transportation.
C. 
No sign shall project into that portion of the air space above and within the boundaries of a right-of way open to the public and designed for pedestrians at an elevation less than 10 feet above grade.
D. 
No sign shall be constructed so that the sign, or any portion thereof, rotates or moves.
E. 
No sign, other than an exempt sign, shall consist of, in whole or in part, a painted message on plywood, particle board or similar material.
F. 
Discontinued business; sign removal.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
(1) 
Any single free-standing sign now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted or a product sold shall be removed together with the structure upon which it is affixed by the property owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building or structure upon which such sign may be found within 30 days after the permanent closing of a business to which the sign belonged, unless the succeeding property or business owner applies for and receives an interim permit not to exceed 90 days to maintain the sign during the transition of the property to a new property or business owner.
(2) 
Absent an interim permit, the thirty-day time period shall commence from the last day the business was open to the public.
(3) 
In the event of any neglect or refusal to comply with this section, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to issue a citation to the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building or structure demanding the removal of such sign within 10 days of the date of the written notification, and, upon failure to comply with such notice within the time specified in such notice, the Code Enforcement Officer or his/her agent or employee is authorized to commence an enforcement action against the individual by the issuance of an appearance ticket.
(4) 
Upon conviction of the violation of this section, the reviewing court may authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to provide for the demolition and removal of such sign and to access all expenses thereof against the land on which they are located. Such expenses shall be added to the tax bill of the property owner and shall become a lien on the property. Such lien shall be prior to and superior to any other lien or claim except a lien of an existing tax assessment or other lawful Town charge. Where necessary, the Town Board is authorized to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
(5) 
Pylon signs shall be excluded from the requirement of this section.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, enlarge, move or alter any proposed, established or preexisting sign in the Town, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a sign permit to allow such sign to be erected, constructed, enlarged, moved or altered. The repainting, cleaning or normal maintenance and repair of a sign by a sign permit holder shall not be deemed to constitute an alteration of a sign. Failure to obtain the required sign permit subjects the property owner/lessee to enforcement action under this chapter.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
B. 
Contents of application.
(1) 
Application for a sign permit shall be made, in writing, by the owner, lessee, occupant or agent for whom the sign is intended and shall be accompanied by two sets of plans of the sign, drawn to scale on sheets of a minimum of 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, showing all sign dimensions, materials, details of any illumination source, wiring and other electrical details and structural details, including fastening and joining methods and materials; and two plot plans of the parcel on which the sign is to be placed, delineating property lines, street lines and other traveled ways, building locations and dimensions, parking areas, location and dimensions of all other signs on the parcel, including the sign permit numbers for such signs, exact location of the proposed sign and setbacks from property lines.
(2) 
Sign plans shall include a statement that the proposed sign as shown on the plan is structurally sound and will withstand wind loads as prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Plans shall bear the signature of the owner, applicant or the person responsible for design of the sign.
(3) 
The application shall be made to the Building Department on forms prescribed and provided by the Building Department. At the time of filing the application, the applicant shall pay the required fee in accordance with the fee schedule then in effect, as established by resolution of the Town Board from time to time.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, an application for a permit for a preexisting sign need not comply with Subsection B(1), but such application shall include one or more photographs, of not less than five-by-seven-inch size, which show the sign in reasonable detail as then existing. However, if the preexisting sign is a billboard, then the application shall include a sworn statement of the age, dimensions and current value of the sign (replacement cost less depreciation).
C. 
Within the later of 10 days after receipt by the Building Department, of a complete application for a sign permit together with all submittals and the required application fee or an approved site plan, the Town of Greenport Building Department shall consider, evaluate, and approve or deny the application for a sign permit, provided that the proposed sign meets all requirements of this chapter; the sign is a preexisting sign; or the proposed sign is a replacement for a nonconforming preexisting sign and such replacement is in the same location as, is similar in shape and appearance to and is no larger in size than the nonconforming preexisting sign.
[Amended 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
D. 
Size, construction and placement of a sign shall not deviate from the plans approved for issuance of the permit.
E. 
After the issuance of any permit for a sign proposed to be erected, constructed, enlarged, moved or altered, and within 10 days after the installation of such sign, the applicant shall submit one or more photographs, of not less than five-by-seven-inch size, which show the sign in reasonable detail as completely installed, which shall be filed with the original application, along with written certification from the owner, applicant or designer whose name appears on the approved plans that the sign has been constructed according to the approved plans.
F. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, regarding the expiration of permits, was repealed 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011.
G. 
Revocation or suspension of permits. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that any permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter was issued in error because of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, the Code Enforcement Officer may revoke such permit or suspend such permit until such time as the permit holder demonstrates that he or she is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 4-6-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
Any person or persons, associations or corporations erecting, constructing, enlarging, moving or altering a sign without a permit therefor or having or maintaining on their property an illegal sign are guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both.
(2) 
Each day that an owner of property has or maintains an illegal sign on such property shall be a separate violation and subject to a separate fine, imprisonment or combination thereof.
(3) 
In lieu of, or in addition to, any fine or imprisonment, or both, imposed for a conviction of an offense of this chapter, each such offense may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250, to be recovered in an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction. Each day an offense continues shall be subject to a separate civil penalty.
(4) 
In lieu of, or in addition to, any penalty, fine and/or imprisonment imposed pursuant to Subsection A(1), (2) or (3) of this section, the Attorney for the Town, upon authorization from the Town Board, may maintain an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with this chapter, including injunctive relief enjoining violations of this chapter and/or compelling removal of any sign constructed, erected, installed, maintained, enlarged, altered, repaired or replaced in violation of this chapter.
B. 
The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall see to the enforcement of this chapter with the advice and assistance of the Attorney for the Town.