Town of Greenwich, NY
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 5-12-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009; 7-13-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010; 9-6-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
A. 
Findings. The Greenwich Town Board finds that signs are an important component of the Town's commercial sector. The Town Board further finds that attractive, reasonably scaled signs contribute to the positive appearance of the Town. However, excessive, poorly designed and out-of-scale signs may have a negative impact upon the scenic resources and physical beauty of the Town, which may in turn have a negative impact upon the commercial, environmental and agricultural resources of the Town.
B. 
It is the purpose of this article to prevent and avoid serious detrimental environmental planning and economic concerns for the Town by regulating signs. This article is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate and preserve the scenic and natural beauty of the Town of Greenwich. It is further intended hereby to reduce distractions and obstructions.
C. 
Unless otherwise provided for in this section, no sign will have more than two sides, and any reference to the total square footage of allowable signage shall mean the amount that will be allowed on each of the two sides of the sign.
D. 
All signs and other advertising devices or structures, together with all their supports, braces, guys and anchors, shall be of substantial and sturdy construction, shall be kept in good repair, and shall be painted or cleaned as often as necessary to maintain clean, neat, safe and orderly appearances. All signs must be firmly affixed to the building or structure and shall not be suspended solely by means of wires. Any supporting devices must be equipped with rustproof hardware.
E. 
Signs attached to a structure shall not extend more than three feet from the structure. No sign shall extend over a public right-of-way or public sidewalk, and no sign shall obstruct views from any public right-of-way to another public or private right-of-way.
F. 
Exempt signs. The following types of signs may be erected and maintained without permits or fees, provided that such signs comply with the general requirements of this section and other conditions specifically imposed herein.
(1) 
Historical markers, tablets, statues, memorial signs and plaques and emblems installed by governmental, religious or nonprofit organizations not exceeding six square feet.
(2) 
Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion.
(3) 
On-premises directional signs identifying public parking areas, fire zones, entrances and exits and similar signs, internally illuminated or nonilluminated, not exceeding four square feet per face and four feet tall. No directional signs shall extend more than six feet in height above finished grade.
(4) 
Off-premises directional signs not exceeding four square feet in area.
(5) 
Nonilluminated warning, private drive, posted or no-trespassing signs.
(6) 
Nonilluminated message signs not exceeding four square feet in area.
(7) 
One on-premises sign, in connection with any residential building, for permitted professional offices or home occupations, not exceeding 16 square feet.
(8) 
House/building numbers.
(9) 
Lawn signs identifying residences or farms.
(10) 
Private owner merchandise sale signs for garage sales and auctions not exceeding four square feet for a period not exceeding 10 consecutive days, nor a total of 40 days in a calendar year.
(11) 
Temporary, nonilluminated "for sale" or "for rent," real estate signs and signs of a similar nature, concerning the premises upon which the sign is located:
(a) 
In residential and hamlet zoning districts, one sign not exceeding four square feet. In a commercial zoning district, one sign not exceeding 20 square feet. In an industrial zoning district, one sign not exceeding 40 square feet. All such signs shall be removed within 30 days after the sale, lease or rental of the premises.
(b) 
Temporary nonilluminated directional signs for real estate sales shall be permitted within the public right-of-way only on Saturdays and Sundays. Such signs shall not exceed four square feet.
(12) 
Holiday decorations, including lighting.
(13) 
At gasoline stations, a sign attached to gasoline pumps displaying the price of fuel not exceeding two square feet.
(14) 
Menu boards or similar informational signs at drive-through uses.
(15) 
One sign, not exceeding 32 square feet, listing the architect, engineer, contractor, owner or other professional where construction, renovation, or repair is in progress.
(16) 
Political posters, banners and signs.
(17) 
Murals, provided that the mural contains no advertising message thereon.
(18) 
Time and temperature signs.
(19) 
Signs for temporary events such as parties and garage sales. Such signs may not be displayed for more than seven consecutive days, nor may a garage sale sign be displayed for more than one seven-day period during a calendar month.
(20) 
One sandwich board sign per business, not to exceed 12 square feet in size, except that agricultural businesses may have a sandwich board not to exceed 18 square feet in size.
(21) 
Banners, pennants, ribbons, streamers, balloons, spinners or other similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices, provided that they do not contain a commercial message.
G. 
Prohibited signs. It shall be unlawful to erect or maintain the following types of signs at any location in the Town unless otherwise noted herein:
(1) 
Any sign for which a sign permit has not been obtained as required under the provisions of this chapter, unless the sign is listed as exempt above.
(2) 
Any sign with flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving lights.
(3) 
Any animated sign, including any sign with electronically displayed media or message.
(4) 
Any sign other than warning, posted, no-trespassing or private drive sign placed, painted or drawn upon trees, grass, man-made or natural features, excluding buildings, or on utility poles, bridges, towers, culverts or similar structures.
(5) 
Off-site commercial signs with a sign face greater than six square feet or greater than 10 feet high measured from the ground to the top of the sign.
(6) 
Signs mounted on a trailer or other portable device.
H. 
Signs permitted with permit. The following regulations shall govern the erection, alteration or relocation of signs within the Town. No sign listed below shall be erected, altered or relocated until a sign permit is obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer. Application for such permits shall be on forms provided by the Town of Greenwich. Nothing herein prohibits an applicant from obtaining a permit for any or all of the following signs described in Subsection H(1) through (4) so long as they meet the square footage requirement.
(1) 
One off-site commercial sign not to exceed six square feet.
(2) 
Commercial wall-mounted sign(s) which, in total, have a minimum area of 40 square feet (or less, if desired by the applicant) and a maximum area not to exceed two square feet for each linear foot of building frontage attributable to the particular business or businesses which the sign(s) will identify, or 7 1/2% of the total area of the building facade of the business or businesses upon which the sign(s) is/are placed, or 250 square feet, whichever is less. A single wall sign may be used to identify more than one on-premises establishment.
(3) 
A commercial freestanding or monument sign, except that a permit shall not be granted for more than one such freestanding or monument sign, not to exceed 65 square feet in size per side, at any one location, with a maximum height of 10 feet. A single freestanding sign may be used to identify more than one on-premises establishment. Additionally, each business in a shopping center may be permitted one sign suspended from under the freestanding or monument sign, which suspended sign shall not exceed eight square feet. All such signs shall conform to each other and shall be of the same size and composition, advertising only the name of the business.
(4) 
One awning sign shall be permitted for each window or door of the facade covered by the awning. Any sign, logo or lettering on an awning shall not exceed 25% of the exterior surface of the awning or 100 square feet per building facade, whichever is less. An establishment may have both wall signage and awning signage.
I. 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
Unless otherwise exempt, temporary signs promoting or advertising an event sponsored by a not-for-profit organization are permitted. Only advertising for the event shall be permitted on the sign. The sign may be displayed for no more than 45 days at a time.
(2) 
Businesses may display or erect temporary signs not to exceed an aggregate amount of 45 days in any calendar year. The forty-five-day limitation applies to the display of all temporary signs related to a business rather than to each individual sign. Temporary signs are in addition to the signage allowed by this chapter. A temporary business sign may only be erected upon issuance of a permit by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(3) 
Temporary signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area.
J. 
Nonconforming signs. A nonconforming sign is a sign which is in conflict with the provisions of this article. Except for any sign for which a variance was previously granted and except for any off-site commercial sign with a sign face greater than 65 square feet, any sign in existence on the effective date of this article and made nonconforming by the provisions of this article shall be brought into conformity in all respects with the provisions of this article or shall be removed within 10 years of its effective date. No alterations to any off-site commercial sign in excess of 65 square feet shall be allowed other than normal maintenance, and should such sign be removed then no sign prohibited by this article shall be permitted at that site.