Town of Parma, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The purpose of this article is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed signs of all types. It is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, and preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas. It is further intended to reduce sign or advertising distraction that may contribute to traffic accidents, and to reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, to prevent one sign from obstructing the view of another sign and to curb the deterioration of natural beauty.
B. 
No sign or outdoor advertising of any character shall be permitted in any zone district of the Town of Parma except in conformity with the regulations of this chapter.
Refer to Article III, § 165-17, for definitions pertinent to signs and outdoor advertising.
A. 
Nonconforming signs. All signs legally established prior to the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the regulations contained herein shall be considered nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Miscellaneous. A sign established prior to the effective date of this chapter pursuant to a special permitted use, variance, exception or other sign permit, license, waiver or consent shall be considered a nonconforming sign.
(2) 
Off-premises advertising sign. An off-premises advertising sign not situated within a district wherein such a sign may be allowed as specified in this chapter, and such signs situated in any other zone district for which a sign permit is denied, shall be considered nonconforming.
(3) 
Abatement. All nonconforming signs shall be terminated or brought into compliance within the time periods set forth in the sign depreciation schedule (see § 165-110), except as otherwise provided for by a sign variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
B. 
Off-premises advertising signs. Off-premises advertising signs situated in districts wherein a sign permit is authorized shall be terminated within the time periods set forth in the sign depreciation schedule, except as otherwise provided for by a valid sign permit. No sign permit waiver may be granted for an off-premises advertising sign except for an extension of the continuance period as provided in § 165-10.
C. 
Abandoned signs. The Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) shall order the removal of any sign which has become abandoned. In making such determination, the CEO shall consider, but need not be limited to, the following elements:
(1) 
Period of nonuse of the activity, product, service or other item relative to the message content of the sign, provided that where a business activity has been discontinued for a period of 90 days, the sign shall be presumed to have become abandoned unless the owner, beneficial user or other party in interest files a written certification with the CEO that said sign (including its appurtenances) is to be utilized within 30 days following such ninety-day period.
(2) 
The sign is situated upon or incidental to a site which has been scheduled for demolition and it appears that the activity, product, service or other item relative to the message content is no longer viable irrespective of the lapse of time.
(3) 
The sign permit time period applicable has expired.
(4) 
The sign is otherwise nonconforming or illegal and the owner or beneficial user cannot with reasonable diligence be located.
Any nonconforming, abandoned or illegal sign existing on or after the effective date of this chapter shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after written notice as provided herein. Upon removal of any wall sign (including signs painted on walls) the surface area of the facade shall, within 30 days of removal, be restored to a condition substantially equivalent in appearance to the remaining portion of the facade. The CEO, upon determination of the expiration of the continuance period, of any such sign or such other time limit which may be provided for, shall direct the owner or beneficial user of such sign, in writing, to remove the said sign within 30 days from the date of such notice. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the CEO shall remove or cause removal of such sign, and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in the said removal against the property on which such sign is located.
Any nonconforming sign lawfully existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter may be continued, provided that it is maintained in good condition. If the ownership of the property on which the sign is located changes hands, the nonconforming sign shall be removed within 60 days of the change in possession. The replaced sign, if any, shall comply with all of the requirements of this chapter.
A. 
Property address sign numbering. All principal structures located within any residential, commercial or industrial zone district shall have or display at least one set of street numbers assigned to it. Numbers must be prominently displayed on the front of each structure. All stores and businesses shall have the numbers displayed at the main entrance.
(1) 
In the case where the principal structure is not clearly visible from the street or more than 100 feet from the edge of the road right-of-way, a post with the property numbers displayed upon it, not to exceed five feet in height, shall be installed in close proximity to the property access, no less than five feet nor more than 25 feet from the edge of the road right-of-way. All numbers shall be visible from the street and shall not be blocked from view by shrubs, fences and trees or other obstruction.
(2) 
All numbers shall only be arabic in design, a minimum of five inches in height, and shall sharply contrast in color from the structure.
(3) 
Address numbers on mail boxes that are clear of any obstruction, including other mail or paper boxes, etc., visible from both directions of travel, at least three inches in height, and which meet all of the other regulations of this section shall be acceptable in lieu of a separate post.
(4) 
In the case of new construction, no temporary or final certificates of occupancy will be issued until the CEO verifies that such street numbers have been properly installed. Furthermore, no inspection for new construction will be provided until the developer installs the lot number in a prominent location on the site, prior to construction.
(5) 
The absence of address numbers, or the insecure fastenings or absence of any whole number thereof, or the use of any number not properly assigned by the Town, or its failure to meet the visibility requirements, shall be considered to be in violation of this chapter.
(6) 
Any structure having street numbers that are arabic in design, logical in sequence, within the distance required, a minimum of four inches in height and of contrasting colors as of the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section.
(7) 
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to grant exemptions from the number and size requirements of this section where public safety is not adversely impacted.
(8) 
Failure to comply with the property numbering regulations shall be a violation of this chapter.
B. 
Sign located on premises. All signs shall be located on the same site as the use they identify or advertise, unless otherwise provided for in these regulations. No signs shall extend or project beyond the property line or into the public right-of-way.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
C. 
Roof-mounted signs. No sign shall be placed or erected on the roof of a building.
D. 
Freestanding sign setback. All freestanding signs shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from all lot lines, unless otherwise provided for in these regulations.
[Amended 4-15-2003]
E. 
Traffic hazard. No permanent or temporary sign shall be erected or placed at or near the intersection of any street in such a manner as to cause a traffic hazard at the intersection; or at any location where, by reason of the placement, design or color of the sign, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device, or which makes use of the words "Stop," "Look," "Drive-In," "Danger," "Go Slow," "Caution," "Warning," "Right," "Left" or any other words, phrases, symbols or characters in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
F. 
Attention-getting device. No sign shall be animated or flashing or shall include the use of banners, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or similar moving, fluttering or revolving objects.
G. 
Sign illumination; glare. No sign shall, by its light, brilliance, type, design or character, create a public or private nuisance. The use of a par-spot, beacon light or moving light shall be prohibited. Illumination where permitted must be designed and shielded so that the light sources do not constitute a possible hazard to traffic and cannot be seen from any adjacent residential district. A certificate of approval from an electrical inspection agency that is recognized by the Town Board must be submitted for every electrically illuminated sign.
[Amended 4-15-2003]
H. 
Projecting signs. No projecting sign shall be erected to extend more than 30 inches from the face of the building to which it is attached, nor shall any such sign exceed three feet in height or provide less than seven feet of clearance between grade level and the bottom of the sign.
I. 
Mobile, portable or temporary signs. No mobile, portable or temporary signs shall be placed upon any premises or on any building except as provided by this chapter.
J. 
Awning/canopy signs. Any visual message incorporated into an awning/canopy attached to a building or one without a visual message but because of its color, shape, design or lighting, shall be considered a sign and not an environmental shield.
K. 
Sign area calculation. Area of irregularly shaped signs or pane signs of individual letters shall be calculated by using the total rectangular area encompassed by the outline.
L. 
Temporary signs.
[Added 4-15-2003]
(1) 
Businesses situated in the Town of Parma may, for a period not to exceed seven days, and not more than 10 times per year, display a temporary sign. The purpose of said sign shall be to advertise the business or its products.
(2) 
These temporary signs are to be a minimum of five feet from the right-of-way and shall not impair vision from the road where they are situated. Said signs are not to exceed 32 square feet and shall not exceed a maximum height of six feet above the existing grade.
(3) 
Illumination. Temporary signs may be illuminated either internally or externally, except that no flashing or moving arrow light may be used.
The following signs shall be allowed in any zone district of the Town of Parma without a permit, provided that such signs comply with the general requirements of this chapter:
A. 
Property address signs.
B. 
Safety signs, road signs, historical markers, service identifications or highway directional signs erected by or as required by municipal or public agencies.
C. 
Signs not exceeding four square feet in area and bearing only property numbers, post box numbers, names of occupants of premises, or other identification without commercial connotations for the premises. Such sign shall be located no closer than 15 feet to a side property line and may be placed up to the front property line.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
D. 
Signs regulating the use of a property, such as no hunting, no fishing, etc., provided that such signs do not exceed two square feet in area.
E. 
Signs not exceeding two square feet, directing and guiding traffic and parking but bearing no advertising matter. No more than two such signs shall be permitted per driveway.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
F. 
A nonilluminated sign, not exceeding two square feet in area, may be placed flat against the building or freestanding no closer than 15 feet to any lot line for each home business or for each office or suite of offices contained within a building and having a direct entrance from the outside.
[Amended 4-15-2003]
G. 
One nonilluminated temporary sign not to exceed six square feet in size which advertises the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which it is located. Such sign shall be no more than five feet in height above the ground, located no closer than 15 feet to a side property line and may be placed up to the front property line. "Sold" signs shall be removed within 10 days after the premises advertised has been sold, rented or leased.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
H. 
One nonilluminated temporary construction sign not to exceed six square feet in size for each project or development, except that where a project or development abuts two or more streets, one additional sign shall be permitted, oriented to each abutting street. Construction signs shall be removed from the premises on which they are located within two weeks of the completion of the work that was undertaken.
I. 
Noncommercial speech signs, also known as "free speech" signs, which express an opinion or a statement unrelated to a business venture, are allowed subject to the following conditions:
[Amended 4-15-2003]
(1) 
The maximum number of noncommercial speech signs per lot shall be two.
(2) 
Such signs shall not exceed a total of 20 square feet in area for all signs on a single lot.
(3) 
Freestanding noncommercial speech signs shall not exceed six feet in height above grade level.
(4) 
Noncommercial speech signs shall not be illuminated, except indirectly.
(5) 
A political sign is defined as a sign that by its content promotes and supports a candidate or candidates for any public office or which advocates a position on upcoming ballot propositions. This shall be a nonilluminated sign which shall not exceed six square feet in area and shall not be closer than 15 feet to a side property line and may be placed up to the front property line. Such sign shall not project more than six feet in height above grade. In order to prevent visual pollution concerns and to protect the desired aesthetics of the community, all such signs may be erected for a period not to exceed 60 days prior to the election to which they relate and shall be removed by the owner or occupant of the property no later than seven days after the election.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
J. 
One nonilluminated sign, not larger than 32 square feet in area, associated with a roadside stand may be displayed during the growing season to advertise the sale of locally grown edible farm products.
K. 
One nonilluminated sign, not larger than 32 square feet in area, may be displayed to advertise auctions and special events of charitable or public service groups, excluding garage sales. Such signs may be erected no more than 14 days prior to the event and shall be removed within 48 hours after the conclusion of the event. Signs meeting these requirements may be placed on additional properties by the owner of the property. Such sign shall be located no closer than 15 feet to a side property line and may be placed up to the front property line.
[Amended 1-15-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
L. 
Private-owner temporary merchandise sale signs for garage sales and auctions, not to exceed six square feet for a period not exceeding a total of 10 days and not less than 30 days since the previous display of a merchandise sale sign on the same parcel of land, building or premises. Such signs shall not be attached to fences, trees, utility poles or the like, nor shall they be placed in a position that will obstruct or impair vision, the flow of traffic, or in any manner create a hazard or nuisance to the health and welfare of the general public.
The following permitted signs in the Town of Parma require approval of an application submitted to the Town of Parma Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) according to § 165-114 of this chapter:
A. 
Residential and multiresidential districts.
(1) 
Entrance identification sign.
(a) 
Two permanent entrance identification signs for each subdivision or multiple-family dwelling development or bulletin board for a community center, church, fire department or other nonprofit organization, provided that:
[Amended 4-15-2003]
[1] 
The structure does not exceed four feet in height at any point above the median ground level.
[2] 
The area of the structure shall not exceed 40 square feet.
[3] 
The gross lettering or signage area does not exceed 50% of the total area of the structure.
[4] 
Setbacks shall be not less than 15 feet from any right-of-way line to any part of the structure.
[5] 
Appurtenances such as wing walls or planters shall not exceed 50% of the main structure's length on either end.
(b) 
Each proposal for such identification sign as specified in Subsection A(1)(a) above shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board, whether proposed along with site development plans or after development is completed. In reviewing the proposals, the Planning Board shall, in addition to the criteria outlined in Subsection A(1)(a) above, consider the following:
[1] 
The proposed location does not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic visibility.
[2] 
The design is of a permanent type of construction such as masonry or pressure treated wood with adequate foundation and horizontal support to withstand wind loads.
[3] 
Illumination, if provided, is situated such that there is no glare or undue spillover of light.
[4] 
There is assurance of perpetual maintenance by a homeowners' or tract association, the developer, or an individual lot owner where the sign is located and that such responsibilities are clearly spelled out in the deeds or association bylaws.
(2) 
One nonilluminated temporary construction sign not exceeding 16 square feet in area for each subdivision. Two such signs shall be permitted on sites in single ownership fronting on two or more streets. Such signs may be installed after approval of the Planning Board of the final subdivision plat or the issuance of a valid building permit. These signs shall be removed within three years after installation.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(3), regarding temporary event signs, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 4-15-2003. See § 165-112K.
B. 
Business, commercial and industrial districts.
(1) 
All signs allowed in residential and multiresidential districts.
(2) 
Each business enterprise shall be permitted one business sign placed flat against the building wall for each street on which the business fronts; such sign shall not exceed 11/2 square feet of sign area for each lineal foot of business frontage occupied, or 20% of the wall surface to which it is attached or applied. In no case, however, shall such wall sign exceed a total area of 150 square feet. A business on multibuilding levels may use the level with greatest frontage for calculations but more than one level shall not extend more than 12 inches from the flat surface and shall not have a sign-height dimension greater than four feet. No sign attached to the building shall extend above the top line of the wall to which it is attached; such sign may be illuminated.
(3) 
On those sides of a building not facing the street, signs as determined in size and location, in Subsection B(2), placed flat against the building, shall be further limited in size not to exceed 32 square feet total sign area.
(4) 
In lieu of permitted signage area for signs placed flat against the building, as provided for in Subsection B(2) of this section, each business located on an individual lot may have one, but not both, of the following signs, provided that the total sign area does not exceed the requirements of Subsection B(2):
[Amended 4-15-2003]
(a) 
One permanent projecting sign not exceeding 16 square feet in area.
(b) 
One permanent freestanding sign not exceeding 32 square feet in area.
(5) 
In addition to permitted sign areas for individual businesses, one freestanding sign, identifying the name and/or address of a shopping center, office complex or industrial park, may be permitted. Such freestanding sign shall not exceed 100 square feet in area and 16 feet in height above the ground. Such sign shall not contain the names of the individual businesses within the shopping center. Said freestanding sign may be illuminated.
[Amended 4-15-2003]
(6) 
Signs shall be illuminated only at such times as said uses are open for business.
(7) 
Directional signs, not exceeding one foot square in area, indicating rest rooms or public telephones.
(8) 
Any permanent lettering or affixed window sign shall be included as part of the total signage allowed for said business.
(9) 
Temporary window signs advertising specials, sales and special events shall not exceed more than 75% of the total window area. Such signs may be displayed for a time period not to exceed 30 days.
(10) 
In a shopping center, office complex or industrial park, one directory sign at a single location therein shall be permitted. Such sign shall not exceed 12 square feet for each acre of land in such commercial area or industrial park provided that no such sign shall exceed 64 square feet in area. In addition, at each point of entrance and exit for vehicular traffic into such multiple commercial use facility or industrial park, one other directory sign shall be permitted which does not exceed two square feet for each acre of land in such shopping center, office complex or industrial park. Such signs shall not exceed a total area of 12 square feet. Directory signs shall contain identification of and direction to several business enterprises, but shall contain no promotional advertising.
[Added 4-15-2003]
(11) 
One illuminated temporary sign not to exceed 32 square feet in size which advertises the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which it is located. Such sign shall be no more than five feet in height above the ground. "Sold" signs shall be removed within 10 days after the premises advertised has been sold, rented or leased.
[Added 4-15-2003]
A. 
A permit to erect, enlarge or place any sign permitted by this chapter shall be obtained from the Town of Parma Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
Applications for a sign permit shall be made in writing by the owner, lessee or erector and be accompanied by a scale drawing showing dimensions, proposed design, the legend, colors, materials, structural details and a tape or plot locations map delineating the location of buildings, parking areas, other signs on the same property, frontage of each unit and/or any fences or other obstructions in relation to the designed location of the proposed sign. Lessee or erector applicants shall present evidence of the approval of the owner for such erections.
C. 
Any additions to an existing sign shall be by permit application, as prescribed above.
D. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D, regarding the transfer of sign permit fees, was repealed 4-15-2003.
E. 
No permit issued under the terms of this chapter shall be transferable to any person other than the original applicant.
F. 
A sign permit shall become null and void if the work for which the permit was issued has not been started within a period of six months after the date of issue of the permit.
G. 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, providing that a sign permit is null and void upon the discontinuance or change in ownership of a premises, was repealed 4-15-2003.
H. 
Application for a permit, which requests a sign not permitted under this chapter, must be presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Upon such application to the Board, a public hearing shall be held, with notices of such a public hearing, for granting a special permitted use permit as it shall be determined in accordance with the following facts:
[Amended 4-18-2000 by L.L. No. 1-2000]
(1) 
The proposed sign is in harmony with the standards for permitted signs and within the spirit of this chapter.
(2) 
The presence of the proposed sign shall not be detrimental to adjacent property.
(3) 
The proposed sign does not, by reason of its location, create a hazard of any nature to the public in general or to any adjacent owner or occupant.
(4) 
The proposed sign does not in any way interfere with the lawful enjoyment of the public highway or of adjacent property.
A. 
Sign appearance. All signs erected and maintained within the Town of Parma shall be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, such as but not limited to faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and at all times shall be maintained in a safe condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health or safety. Painting, cleaning or repair maintenance shall not be considered a sign erection or alteration, which requires a permit, unless a structural change is made.
B. 
Sign peril. The Code Enforcement Officer may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property or any such sign placed in a public right-of-way so as to cause a traffic hazard to be removed summarily and without notice.
A. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and subject to the penalties set forth in Article XVII.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to enforce the removal of any signs that are in violation of this chapter. Failure to comply with this written order within 10 days shall be considered a violation. If the violation is not corrected within 30 days from the date of such notice, the Town of Parma shall have the authority to remove such sign and to charge the owner for the cost of the removal by adding the costs to the Town tax bill on the property.
C. 
Prior to the Town's removal of any sign, the owner of the sign may request a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals. No action shall be taken by the Town until a decision has been rendered by the Zoning Board of Appeals.