City of Rensselaer, NY
Rensselaer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The intent of these provisions is to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare by providing comprehensive time, place, and manner restrictions on signage which shall include controls on size, height, quantity, location, spacing, shape, scale, lighting, motion, design, maintenance and appearance. Regulations apply to the physical aspects of the sign, and not the content. More specifically, the provisions of this article are intended to ensure that all signs and advertising features:
A. 
Are functional and compatible with the aesthetic appearance of the building they are located on, the surrounding neighborhoods and the long term vision of the City as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan;
B. 
Serve to protect and enhance community appearance;
C. 
Protect the safety of motorists and pedestrians by reducing the frequency and magnitude of hazards caused by obstructions and distractions;
D. 
Preserve and create more attractive business and residential environments; and
E. 
Are harmonious in color, material and lighting with the building to which it relates, thereby preserving the existing neighborhood character.
A. 
Upon the adoption of this chapter, any sign or advertising device which does not conform to the provisions of this chapter in terms of location, area, illumination, type, or height shall be considered a nonconforming sign. In addition, no nonconforming sign may be relocated, enlarged, replaced, redesigned, or altered in any way that increases its nonconformity.
B. 
Upon the adoption of this chapter, all nonconforming signs, except those granted a variance, shall cease and desist at the time when there is any one or more of the following:
(1) 
A change in ownership of the home or business to which the sign applies; such change must involve a change in the actual persons owning the home or business, rather than a mere change in their corporate status.
(2) 
A change in use.
(3) 
Destruction, damage, or disrepair of said sign to the extent that 51% of its replacement cost must be expended in its repair.
(4) 
Creation of a hazard or disturbance to the health, safety and welfare of the general public as determined by the Building and Zoning Administrator.
C. 
For the purpose of these regulations, the term "sign" does not include:
(1) 
Memorial tablets or signs and locally designated historic markers not exceeding two square feet in area.
(2) 
Signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function, including state or federal historic markers, traffic control devices, or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation.
(3) 
Flags, emblems or insignias of the United States, or organizations of which this nation is a member.
(4) 
Posters, flyers, displays or other materials, intended to be temporary, that are on the interior of windows of commercial establishments.
(5) 
A design, image, or expression on the exterior of a building, generally for the purpose of decoration or artistic expression, including, but not limited to paintings, markings, and etchings and does not include any on or off-site advertisement (i.e., mural).
Signs are important community features that either serve to contribute to or diminish the character or appearances of existing structures. The goal of these general regulations is to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, and enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community. As such, the regulations serve to promote the visual cohesiveness of the streetscape and encourage signs to be harmonious with the architecture of each building and the character of the surrounding area.
A. 
No sign shall be permitted in any zoning district except in compliance with these regulations. All new signs, unless otherwise noted, will require a permit and are subject to the requirements of § 179-68.
B. 
Any sign or other advertising device with visible moving or movable parts or with flashing, animated or intermittent illumination (except signs indicating the time, date or weather conditions), and any sign that contains any fluorescent paint or device, including mirrors, which has the effect of intensifying reflected light are prohibited in all parts of the City.
C. 
The Building and Zoning Administrator, as part of a sign permit application, sign site plan, or site plan review, shall consider the compatibility of the sign's location, color(s), lettering, size and overall design with onsite and adjacent architecture and community character.
D. 
LCD, LED, or other digital signs, except those displaying the time of day or current temperature, are prohibited.
E. 
Signs featuring dual media, vertical louvered blinds, or mechanically changing or movable materials are prohibited.
F. 
Pictorial designs, logos and trademarks shall be permitted, provided that they are incorporated in and made a part of a permitted sign face, and the area thereof is included in calculating the total permitted sign face area allowed under these regulations.
G. 
No sign shall project across or over a property line or lease lien, nor be in a public right-of-way, except where expressly permitted in § 179-66A and § 179-67A. No projecting sign shall be erected or maintained from the front or face of a building a distance of more than three feet.
H. 
All signs shall comply with applicable provisions of the State of New York Code, Rules and Regulations.
I. 
All signs and all components thereof, including supports, braces and anchors, shall be kept in a good state of repair.
J. 
Every principal building or structure shall have street identification numbers subject to § 505 of the Fire Code of New York State.
K. 
Portable signs, as defined in § 179-4, are prohibited.
L. 
Signage is prohibited on motor vehicles that:
(1) 
Are inoperable; or
(2) 
Do not display a current vehicle inspection sticker or license plate; or
(3) 
Are not principally used as a mode of transportation for business purposes; or
(4) 
Are conspicuously parked or located on a lot or public right-of-way for 24 hours.
M. 
Directional signs. Any sign limited to directional messages, principally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as "one-way," "entrance" and "exit" are prohibited. At the discretion of the Planning Commission, exceptions may be made for public parking lots intended to service a general commercial area rather than an individual business or shopping plaza, as well as cases where the NYS DOT requires such signs in the interest of mitigating potential traffic hazards. In the case of the latter, the content of directional signs shall be limited to traffic management and shall not contain advertising materials or logos.
N. 
No application for approval of signs or for a sign permit shall be processed or permitted unless permission is granted from the property owner.
O. 
The Building and Zoning Administrator shall require the proper maintenance of all signs, and such signs, together with their supports, shall be kept in good repair. The display surfaces shall be kept neatly painted at all times. The Building and Zoning Administrator may order the removal of any sign that is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Painting, repainting, cleaning or repair maintenance will not be considered an erection or alteration which requires a permit unless a structural change is made.
P. 
Billboards are prohibited in all zoning districts.
Q. 
Any sign displayed which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted upon the premises shall, upon notification by the Building and Zoning Administrator, be taken down or removed within 10 days after such notification, and failure to so comply on the part of the owner, occupant, agent or person having the beneficial use of any building or premises upon which such sign may be found shall subject such person to the penalty provided in § 179-87. In such cases where the Planning Commission or Building and Zoning Administrator deems appropriate, a sign may be removed in a manner approved by the Building and Zoning Administrator. Building and Zoning Administrator may allow the retention of signs that are an original part of the architectural fabric of the structure, such as a date or name of building, without reduction in the number of signs or square footage of signs under § 179-66 through § 179-67, depending on the district.
R. 
No sign shall be erected or allowed to exist so as to constitute a traffic hazard. No sign or other advertising structure as regulated by any of the provisions of this article shall be erected at the intersection of any streets in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision; or at any location where, by reason of position shape or color, it may interfere with, obstruct the view or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device or makes use of words, phrases, symbols or characters in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
S. 
Signs must conform to character of the district. In addition to the regulations contained in this section, approval of the display of a sign in these districts shall be granted only with consideration given to the appearance, color, size, position, method of attachment, texture of materials and design. In addition, the sign must conform to the distinctive character of the district or not injuriously affect it or impair the value to the community of those buildings having architectural or historic worth.
T. 
Illuminated signs.
(1) 
In the case of illuminated signs, all light sources shall be a steady light (indication of time and temperature that change lighting patterns are excluded) and:
(a) 
Shall be concealed behind standard opal glass or other substance of equal or smaller light transmission factor;
(b) 
Shall be concealed by hoods; or
(c) 
Shall be concealed by any method of indirect lighting approved by the Planning Commission; or
(d) 
Shall be shielded so as not to cause direct light onto the street or any adjacent property.
(2) 
To avoid concentration of illumination, signs may have no more than 50 candlepower of lighting per square foot of sign.
(3) 
The method of illumination must evenly distribute light over the surface of the sign.
A. 
Off-premises signs are not permitted in any district with the following exceptions:
(1) 
Temporary signs directing persons to temporary exhibits, shows, or events may be erected subject to the requirements in § 179-64D or § 179-64l.
(2) 
Political signs shall be permitted to be displayed off-premises, provided that permission is granted by the owner of the property on which it is displayed and subject to the requirements in § 179-64F.
(3) 
Signs necessary for the direction, regulation and control of traffic, street name signs, legal notices, warnings at railroad crossings and other official signs which are similarly authorized or erected by a duly constituted governmental body.
B. 
No sign shall be placed upon a balcony, porch, canopy, shed, roof, parapets (or similar appurtenance), or placed in any manner whatsoever so as to disfigure or conceal any architectural feature or detail of any building.
C. 
No sign shall be attached to a fence, public light standard, utility pole, rock, tree, or similar appurtenance.
D. 
No sign shall be erected at any street intersection in a manner which will obstruct free vision or at any place where the position, shape or color of the sign may interfere with any traffic sign or signal. No sign shall be erected that purports to be, is an imitation of, or bears resemblance to a traffic sign or signal or which makes use of the words "stop," "caution," "go slow," etc.
The following signs are permitted in any approved district without a permit. All other signs require a permit, subject to the requirements of § 179-68.
A. 
A nameplate, which shall not exceed two square feet in area on each side, and must be attached to the building in some manner.
B. 
Signs denoting the name and address of the occupants of the premises or the building date of the premises. Such signs shall not exceed two square feet in area on each side.
C. 
Signs for permitted nonresidential uses, such as bed-and-breakfasts. No exterior evidence of the establishment shall be allowed, except for parking and either one attached sign no larger than eight square feet or one freestanding sign in the yard no larger than 12 square feet. No additional advertising of any kind is allowed on site. The Planning Commission shall have discretion regarding the location of the attached or freestanding sign.
D. 
Temporary commercial signs, which shall not exceed six square feet in area, provided that such sign is erected or displayed not less than five feet from the property line. One sign is permitted per lot, except that on a corner lot two signs, one facing each street, shall be permitted. Such signs shall not be posted more than two weeks prior to the event and no longer than one week after the event. In addition to temporary signs, signs authorized below are permitted within the City of Rensselaer, and are authorized only under the circumstances and limitations described.
(1) 
Special events. Signs announcing special events, garage or rummage sales, auctions or births may be displayed on the premises not more than two times a year for each of the types of events described above. For each particular special event, one sign not to exceed 12 square feet on either side may be displayed on the premises for a period not to exceed seven days. In addition, a maximum of six directional signs may be displayed during the hours of the event. All such signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way.
(2) 
Realty sales or rental. When a residence is for sale or rent, one sign per realtor announcing the sale or rental is permitted at that residence, except in the case of corner lots where one sign per street frontage will be allowed. The sign may not exceed nine square feet on either side. All realty sale or rental signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and must be removed within seven days of completion of transaction. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way and no directional signs are authorized.
(3) 
Contractors' signs. One temporary sign per contractor performing services may be displayed on the premises where such services are being performed and only during the performance of such services. The sign shall not exceed nine square feet on either side and shall be removed within two days of completion or cessation of the work. The sign must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and may not be placed on City property or in the public right-of-way.
E. 
Signs incidental to places of worship, libraries, museums, schools, private clubs or societies, and other public or semipublic uses which shall not exceed 16 square feet in area, and shall be located on the premises of such institution provided that signs are located not closer than 10 feet to any property line. One sign permitted per lot.
F. 
Election signs shall be permitted to be displayed, provided that permission is granted by the owner of the property on which it is displayed. Such sign shall not project more than four feet in height above the natural grade on which the sign is located.
G. 
Signs announcing no trespassing, signs indicating the private nature of a road, driveway or premises, and signs controlling the fishing or hunting on the premises, provided that the area of any one side of any such sign shall not exceed one square foot.
H. 
Window signs are permitted in all districts, provided that they conform to the definition listed in § 179-4 and that the following standards are complied with:
(1) 
See-through lettered window signs and opaque window signs that are intended to be permanent in nature may not cover more than 25% of the total window area.
(2) 
In the case of a door, a window sign that is intended to be permanent in nature may not cover more than 10% of the window space in which it is located.
I. 
Temporary window signs are permitted in all districts, provided that they conform to the definition listed in § 179-4, and are limited to a maximum use of 120 days.
J. 
Memorials/interpretive markers. Nonilluminated memorial, interpretive, signs or historical signs or tablets displayed by a public or educational nonprofit agency strictly for the purpose of informing or educating the public provided the area of any such sign shall not exceed four square feet.
K. 
One temporary sandwich board or A-frame sign is permitted per business, only during business hours of that business, in which said sign shall not exceed six square feet on each side. Such signs are subject to the requirements provided in this article. No such sign shall be located in the street right-of-way, except on public sidewalks, and shall not create an unsafe hazard for pedestrians.
L. 
One home occupation sign shall be permitted for an approved home occupation, wherever such uses are permitted. Such sign shall be no larger than two square feet in area; shall not be closer than 10 feet from any property line; and, if a ground sign, shall not exceed four feet in height above the natural grade on which the sign is located.
Signs permitted in the MU-1 and MU-2 districts are subject to the permitting requirements of § 179-68.
A. 
Business identification signs.
(1) 
All businesses will be allowed to have two of the first three sign types identified below (wall sign, awning or canopy sign, perpendicular sign), with a maximum not to exceed 60 square feet in total area. If multiple businesses are present on the first floor of the same building, each business will be allowed to have two of the first three sign types identified below. In addition, businesses will be permitted the sign described in Subsection A(2)(a) below, not to exceed the maximum allowable signage area listed for each type. Other sign types, except those noted in § 179-64 and the remainder of this section, are expressly prohibited. Permanent window signs shall not count against the allowable square footage or the allowable number of signs.
(a) 
Wall sign. One wall sign not to exceed an area based on 1/2 square foot of sign area per linear foot of occupied building frontage but not exceeding 60 square feet. Wall signs shall be incorporated into the facade at the first floor level parallel to the front facade, and designed to communicate to pedestrians. No sign shall be located higher than 15 feet above the sidewalk level, except where a building is being rehabilitated and the original sign was designed to be higher than 15 feet; said sign may be reproduced upon permission of the Planning Commission. Where a building has frontage on more than one street or public right-of-way, one wall sign is permitted for each street frontage. In the case of multiple street or public right-of-way frontages, additional signs are subject the size restrictions in this section but shall not count against the total number of allowable signs. Signs flush to the facade shall not project out from the facade greater than six inches.
(b) 
Awning or canopy sign. Awning or canopy signs displaying the name of a shop, store or bona fide business are permitted upon approval of a sign permit. The area of the sign shall be deducted from calculated entitlement area for signs. The signs must be an integral part of the awning or canopy in that any letters or insignia must be flat and parallel to the surface of the awning or canopy and not project from the awning or canopy surface. The allowable area for an awning or canopy sign shall be 1/2 square foot for each foot of occupied building frontage, but not to exceed 60 square feet. The dimensions of the proposed awning or canopy shall not project more than five feet from the structure face to which it is attached. The height of the awning shall not be allowed to extend above the height allowed for structures in the respective zoning districts or be lower than eight feet above the ground elevation of the wall face of the structure to which it is attached.
(c) 
Perpendicular sign. One perpendicular sign no larger than 12 square feet per side in area shall be permitted. Signs shall project from the wall of a building no more than four feet from the building line and shall not be nearer than four feet to the curb line of the street. The proposed sign shall be at least eight feet from the bottom of the sign above the ground level immediately below and shall not in any way interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Also, perpendicular signs shall not be erected nearer to the adjacent property line than twice the number of feet that the sign projects from the building. Perpendicular signs shall be located above the primary entrance to the structure. Examples are on file in the Code Enforcement Office. The supporting structure of the sign shall not be included in the calculation of the sign area.
(2) 
In addition to permitting two of the three signs listed above, each business shall be allowed one of the following signs:
(a) 
Upper story business directory sign. In cases where there is occupancy of a building above the first floor by a separate and bona fide business or businesses different from the first floor occupant, one additional sign per business is permitted. Such a sign must be located at the point of street level public access to the second floor business and must be attached to the building parallel to the front or side facade, as with a wall sign. The sign material must be complementary to the building facade materials. The surface area of such a sign will be no larger than one square foot per business, or in the case of a directory sign displaying multiple businesses, not to exceed 12 square feet in total area. This sign shall not be counted in the square footage calculation for the signage entitlement for said building.
B. 
Temporary signs, including advertising and promotional banners.
(1) 
Only one such sign shall be displayed by any business at one time and no sign permit shall be required.
(2) 
Special events. A temporary banner promoting a special event at a commercial establishment may be erected for a period not to exceed 14 days. The size of the banner shall not exceed 30 square feet. Temporary sandwich boards or A-frame signs are allowed in accordance with § 179-64D. Registration with the Building and Zoning Administrator is required for each sign. No more than five registrations per commercial establishment may be issued in a particular calendar year. Such signs must be located on or adjacent to the commercial establishment's property, must not interfere with normal pedestrian traffic and must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. Directional signs are not permitted.
(3) 
Residential events. For residences within commercial or industrial districts, signs announcing special events, garage or rummage sales, auctions or births may be displayed on the premises not more than two times a year for each of the types of events described above. For each particular event, one sign not to exceed 12 square feet on either side may be displayed on the premises for a period not to exceed seven days. In addition, up to a maximum of six directional signs may be displayed during the hours of the event. All such signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way.
(4) 
Banners for charitable events. Upon registration with the Building and Zoning Administrator, a charitable, service, educational, religious or not-for-profit organization may be granted a permit to erect a street banner announcing a coming event at which at least 500 people may reasonably be expected to attend (documentation supporting such expected attendance is required for issuance of a permit). The banner may be placed at a site across a street, as designated by the Building and Zoning Administrator, and kept in place for a period not to exceed 14 days. The banner must be made of canvas or other material of equal or better durability and must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. It may not exceed 50 feet in width and three feet in height, may not include advertisements for commercial products or services and must be removed no later than two business days after the event terminates.
(5) 
Realty sales or rental property. When a property is for sale or rent, one sign per realtor announcing the sale or rental is permitted at that residence, except in the case of corner lots where one sign per street frontage will be allowed. The sign may not exceed nine square feet on either side. When a commercial property is for sale or rent, one sign per realtor announcing the sale or rental is permitted at that property. The sign may not exceed nine square feet. In the case of all realty sales or rental signs, signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and must be removed within seven days of completion of transaction. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way, and no directional signs are authorized.
(6) 
Contractors' signs. One temporary sign per contractor performing services may be displayed on the premises where such services are being performed and only during the performance of such services. The sign shall not exceed nine square feet on either side and shall be removed within two days of completion or cessation of the work. The sign must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and may not be placed on City property or on the public right-of-way.
C. 
Directional signs. Any sign limited to directional messages, principally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as "one-way," "entrance" and "exit" are prohibited. At the discretion of the Planning Commission, exceptions may be made for public parking lots intended to service a general commercial area rather than an individual business or shopping plaza, as well as cases where the NYS DOT requires such signs in the interest of mitigating potential traffic hazards. In the case of the latter, the content of directional signs shall be limited to traffic management and shall not contain advertising materials or logos.
Signs permitted in the C-1 and I-1 districts are subject to the permitting requirements of § 179-68.
A. 
Business identification signs.
(1) 
All businesses will be allowed to have two of the first three sign types identified below (wall sign, awning or canopy sign, perpendicular sign), with a maximum not to exceed 80 square feet in total area. If multiple businesses are present on the first floor of the same building, each business will be allowed to have two of the first three sign types identified below. In addition, businesses will be permitted the signs described in Subsection A(2)(a) through (6) below, not to exceed the maximum allowable signage area listed for each type. Other sign types, except those noted in § 179-64 and elsewhere in this section, are expressly prohibited. Permanent window signs shall not count against the allowable square footage or the allowable number of signs.
(a) 
Wall sign. One wall sign not to exceed an area based on 1/2 square foot of sign area per linear foot of occupied building frontage but not exceeding 80 square feet. Wall signs shall be incorporated into the facade at the first floor level parallel to the front facade, and designed to communicate to pedestrians. No sign shall be located higher than 15 feet above the sidewalk level, except where a building is being rehabilitated and the original sign was designed to be higher than 15 feet; said sign may be reproduced upon permission of the Planning Commission. Where a building has frontage on more than one street or public right-of-way, one wall sign is permitted for each street frontage. In the case of multiple street or public right-of-way frontages, additional signs are subject the size restrictions in this section but shall not count against the total number of allowable signs. Signs flush to the facade shall not project out from the facade greater than six inches.
(b) 
Awning or canopy sign. Awning or canopy signs displaying the name of a shop, store or bona fide business are permitted upon approval of a sign permit. The area of the sign shall be deducted from calculated entitlement area for signs. The signs must be an integral part of the awning or canopy in that any letters or insignia must be flat and parallel to the surface of the awning or canopy and not project from the awning or canopy surface. The allowable area for an awning or canopy sign shall be 1/2 square foot for each foot of occupied building frontage, but not to exceed 60 square feet. The dimensions of the proposed awning or canopy shall not project more than five feet from the structure face to which it is attached. The height of the awning shall not be allowed to extend above the height allowed for structures in the respective zoning districts or be lower than eight feet above the ground elevation of the wall face of the structure to which it is attached.
(c) 
Perpendicular sign. One perpendicular sign no larger than 16 square feet per side in area shall be permitted. Signs shall project from the wall of a building no more than four feet from the building line and shall not be nearer than four feet to the curb line of the street. The proposed sign shall be at least eight feet from the bottom of the sign above the ground level immediately below and shall not in any way interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Also, perpendicular signs shall not be erected nearer to the adjacent property line than twice the number of feet that the sign projects from the building. Perpendicular signs shall be located above the primary entrance to the structure. Examples are on file in the Code Enforcement Office. The supporting structure of the sign shall not be included in the calculation of the sign area.
(2) 
In addition to permitting two of the three signs listed above, each business shall be allowed one of each of the following signs:
(a) 
Upper story business directory sign. In cases where there is occupancy of a building above the first floor by a separate and bona fide business or businesses different from the first floor occupant, one additional sign per business is permitted. Such a sign must be located at the point of street level public access to the second floor business and must be attached to the building parallel to the front or side facade, as with a wall sign. The sign material must be complementary to the building facade materials. The surface area of such a sign will be no larger than three square feet per business, or in the case of a directory sign displaying multiple businesses, not to exceed 12 square feet in total area. This sign shall not be counted in the square footage calculation for the signage entitlement for said building.
(b) 
Freestanding sign. Freestanding signs are limited to one per property. If more than one business is present on the property, a freestanding directory sign shall not be permitted in addition to a freestanding sign. Such signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in size per side and shall not have more than two sides. The highest point of such signs shall not exceed six feet above grade. Such signs shall not contain advertising or other promotional matter except for gasoline stations, which are subject to the requirements of New York State law related to advertising gasoline prices. Such signs shall not be closer than five feet to any lot line and shall not obstruct vehicular or pedestrian visibility. Each sign and its base shall complement the existing architectural style of the building it shall serve. Sign illumination shall be guided by other pertinent sections of these regulations.
(c) 
Freestanding directory sign. One freestanding building directory sign indicating the name of the occupants of the building and the building number in order to direct persons to their proper destination shall be permitted. If more than one business is present on the property, a freestanding directory sign shall not be permitted in addition to a freestanding sign as described in Subsection A(2)(b) above. Signs are to be no larger than 20 square feet in area on each side, including the nameplates of all the tenants or uses, and shall project not more than six feet in height above the natural grade on which the sign is located. The proposed sign's construction shall complement the architectural style and materials of the building it will serve.
B. 
Temporary signs, including advertising and promotional banners.
(1) 
Only one such sign shall be displayed by any business at one time and no sign permit shall be required.
(2) 
Special events. A temporary banner promoting a special event at a commercial establishment may be erected for a period not to exceed 14 days. The size of the banner shall not exceed 30 square feet. Temporary sandwich boards or A-frame signs are allowed in accordance with § 179-64. Registration with the Building and Zoning Administrator is required for each sign. No more than five registrations per commercial establishment may be issued in a particular calendar year. Such signs must be located on or adjacent to the commercial establishment's property, must not interfere with normal pedestrian traffic and must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. Directional signs are not permitted.
(3) 
Residential events. For residences within commercial or industrial districts, signs announcing special events, garage or rummage sales, auctions or births may be displayed on the premises not more than two times a year for each of the types of events described above. For each particular event, one sign not to exceed 12 square feet on either side may be displayed on the premises for a period not to exceed seven days. In addition, up to a maximum of six directional signs may be displayed during the hours of the event. All such signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way.
(4) 
Realty sales or rental property. When a property is for sale or rent, one sign per realtor announcing the sale or rental is permitted at that residence, except in the case of corner lots where one sign per street frontage will be allowed. The sign may not exceed nine square feet on either side. When a commercial property is for sale or rent, one sign per realtor announcing the sale or rental is permitted at that property. The sign may not exceed nine square feet. In the case of all realty sales or rental signs, signs must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and must be removed within seven days of completion of transaction. No sign is authorized on City property or in the public right-of-way, and no directional signs are authorized.
(5) 
Contractors' signs. One temporary sign per contractor performing services may be displayed on the premises where such services are being performed and only during the performance of such services. The sign shall not exceed nine square feet on either side and shall be removed within two days of completion or cessation of the work. The sign must be kept in an attractive and safe condition and may not be placed on City property or on the public right-of-way.
C. 
Directional signs. Any sign limited to directional messages, principally for pedestrian or vehicular traffic, such as "one-way," "entrance" and "exit" are prohibited. At the discretion of the Planning Commission, exceptions may be made for public parking lots intended to service a general commercial area rather than an individual business or shopping plaza, as well as cases where the NYS DOT requires such signs in the interest of mitigating potential traffic hazards. In the case of the latter, the content of directional signs shall be limited to traffic management and shall not contain advertising materials or logos.
All signs erected in the Open Space and Conservation District shall be subject to the permitting process in § 179-68. The Building and Zoning Administrator shall carefully review the application for a sign permit for compliance with this article, the visual and environmental impacts on the site and adjacent properties, and either issue or deny a sign permit.
A. 
In cases where a single sign permit is required for any given property or structure, the following procedure shall be adhered to.
(1) 
Permit application. Application for the permit shall be made in writing to the Building and Zoning Administrator upon forms prescribed by and provided by the Building and Zoning Administrator and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(b) 
Location of buildings, structures or land to which, or upon which, the sign is to be attached or associated.
(c) 
A detailed drawing or blueprint showing a description of the construction details of the sign and showing the colors, lettering and/or pictorial matter composing the sign; position of lighting and other extraneous devices, and a location plan showing the position of the sign on any building or land and its positioning in relation to nearby buildings, structures or existing signs and to any private or public streets or highway.
(d) 
Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which or upon which the sign is to be erected in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
(e) 
A copy of any required or necessary electrical permit issued for said sign or a copy of the application thereof.
(2) 
Review of permit. The Building and Zoning Administrator shall carefully consider the application for compliance with this article and either issue or deny a sign permit. The Building and Zoning Administrator may defer the authority to approve or deny a sign site permit to the Planning Commission at his/her discretion.
(3) 
Appeals. Should an applicant choose to appeal a decision by the Building and Zoning Administrator to deny issuance of a sign permit, an application for an appeal shall be filled out and submitted along with supporting documents to the Zoning Board of Appeals for action.
B. 
Sign site plan. In cases where a single property or structure requires more than one sign permit, a sign site plan will be required. All applications for sign site plan approval are to be submitted to the Building and Zoning Administrator on forms provided. The Building and Zoning Administrator shall process all complete applications in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) 
All sign site plan approval applications to be heard by the Building and Zoning Administrator are hereby classified as "unlisted actions," under Part 617 of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) regulations. All applications for sign site plan approval must be accompanied by a completed short form environmental assessment for unlisted actions.
(2) 
Upon receipt of a complete application, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall, within 60 days, approve, modify or deny any application for a sign site plan. Any modification or denial of a sign site plan shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the reason for such modification or denial.
(3) 
The Building and Zoning Administrator may modify a sign site plan application, provided that such modification does not result in the need for any variances from these regulations. All sign site plan modifications must directly relate to the statements of purpose and intent set forth in this chapter.
(4) 
The Building and Zoning Administrator may defer the authority to approve or deny a sign site plan to the Planning Commission at its discretion.
(5) 
Issuance of sign permit. Once an application has been approved, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall issue a sign permit. Said permit shall be valid for a period of 120 days from the date of issuance. The permit may be extended one time, for a period of 60 days, upon approval of the Building and Zoning Administrator and upon payment of an additional fee, prior to the expiration of the initial one-hundred-twenty-day period. If a certificate of sign compliance is not issued within the one-hundred-twenty-day period, or if applicable, the renewal period for the sign permit, said sign permit shall expire.
(6) 
Certificate of sign compliance. Within seven business days after the placement of the approved sign, the applicant shall provide a photograph of the sign to the Building and Zoning Administrator. Upon presentation of the evidence of erection of the sign in compliance with this chapter and a sign permit, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall issue a certificate of sign compliance.
(7) 
Lack of compliance with sign permit. Should the Building and Zoning Administrator, upon inspection, find the sign not in compliance with the sign permit, the applicant shall be so notified by certified mail within 10 business days of the inspection. The applicant shall have up to 30 business days from the date of the receipt of the certified mail notification letter to correct the cited deficiencies and to notify the Building and Zoning Administrator of said change(s). In no event shall said additional thirty-day period extend the validation period for the sign permit.
C. 
Fees.
(1) 
The fees to be paid to the City of Rensselaer for the erection of each sign and for each of the conforming signs now erected are listed on the schedule in the City Clerk's office.
(2) 
The Building and Zoning Administrator or other designated local official shall issue a permit number for each sign, which shall be kept on file in the Code Enforcement Office.