Borough of Pottstown, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
All illustrations of the following sign definitions are on file at the Borough Office.

§ 700 Intent.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 700]
1. 
The Borough recognizes that signs perform an important function in identifying properties, businesses, services, residences, events, and other matters of public interest. It is the intent of this Part to:
A. 
Set standards and provide controls that permit reasonable use of signs and enhance the character of the Borough.
B. 
Encourage sign design that builds on the traditional town image and visual environment the Borough seeks to promote.
C. 
Avoid excessive competition for large or multiple signs, so that permitted signs provide identification and direction while minimizing clutter, unsightliness, confusion, and hazardous distractions to motorists.

§ 701 Conformance Required.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 701]
From the effective date of this Chapter, any sign erected shall conform to the provisions of this Part and any other ordinance or regulations of the Borough of Pottstown that relate to it.

§ 702 Definitions.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 702]
Words and phrases used in this Part shall have the meanings defined in this Part. Words and phrases not defined in this Part but defined elsewhere in this Chapter shall be given the meanings set forth in the Definitions Section.
ABANDONED SIGN
A sign which no longer identifies or advertises an existing business, leased, service, owner, product, or activity, and/or for which no legal owner can be found. Prohibited
ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL
Decorative elements of a building facade such as cornices, lintels, brackets, fish scale shingles, columns, fluting, and quoins that give the building its character.
EAVE LINE
The lower border of the roof where it joins with the facade.
ERECT
To build, construct, attach, hang, place or suspend, which shall also include the painting of wall signs or other graphics.
FACADE
The exterior surface of a building up to the eave line.
FOOTCANDLE
A unit of measurement of light, where one footcandle equals approximately the amount of light produced by a candle at a distance of one foot. It is equivalent to one lumen per square foot. A footcandle is measurable with an illuminance meter a/k/a light meter.
[Added by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
PREMISES
A parcel of real property with a separate and distinct identifying number shown on a recorded plat, record of survey, parcel map, subdivision map, or a parcel legally created or established in accordance with zoning.
DOUBLE-FACED SIGN
A sign with two identical faces of equal sign area which are back to back.
INCIDENTAL OFF-PREMISES SIGN
A sign less than three square feet used in conjunction with a municipal or civic accessory use/structure advertising sponsorship of the municipal or civic accessory use.
[Added by Ord. No. 2067, 12/14/2009, § 2]
LEGALLY NONCONFORMING SIGN
Any existing sign:
1. 
Located on a premises in the Borough with a permitted use, and
2. 
Legally erected prior to the adoption of this Part, and
3. 
Does not meet the provisions of the current ordinance.
SIGN
A name, identification, image, description, display, or illustration that:
Is affixed to, painted, or represented directly or indirectly upon a building, structure, or piece of land.
Directs attention to an object, product, place, activity, facility, service, event, attraction, person, institution, organization, or business.
Is visible from any street, right-of-way, sidewalk, alley, park, or other public property.
SIGN AREA
The area of all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background on which they are displayed. "Sign area" excludes any supporting framework and bracing, provided that it does not contain any lettering, wording, designs or symbols. For the purpose of this Part, "sign area" shall be computed as a square or rectangle drawn at the outer limits of the sign face (defined hereafter).
1. 
Where the sign consists of a double face, only one side shall be considered for the purpose of calculating total sign area. Where both sides are not identical or where the interior angle formed by the faces of a sign is greater than 45°, all faces shall be considered in calculating total sign area.
2. 
Any spacing between signs designating different or separate occupants or uses of a building shall not be counted as sign area.
In the case of cylindrical signs, signs in the shape of cubes, or other signs which are essentially three-dimensional with respect to their display surfaces, the entire display surface or surfaces is included in the computation of area.
SIGN FACE
The part of a sign that is or can be used to identify, advertise and communicate information for visual representation, which attracts the attention of the public for any purpose. This definition shall include any background material, panel, trim and color used that differentiates the sign from the building or structure on which it is placed. The sign structure shall not be included, provided that no message, display or symbol is designed and included as part of the structure.
SIGN HEIGHT
The distance from the highest portion of the sign, including all structural elements, to mean grade.
SIGN STRUCTURE
A supporting structure erected and used for the purpose of physically supporting a sign, situated on any premises where a sign may be located. This definition shall not include a building, fence, wall or earthen berm.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign which advertises community or civic projects, construction projects, real estate for sale or lease, or other special events on a temporary basis.
TYPES OF SIGNS
Signs are defined by form and by purpose. Purpose refers to the type of message contained in the sign. Form refers to the physical sign itself.
SIGNS AS DEFINED BY PURPOSE
The type of message contained in the sign
ADDRESS SIGN — A sign or individual lettering/numbering that designates the street number and/or street name for identification purposes, as designated by the United States Postal Service.
ARTISAN SIGN — Any sign giving the name or names of principal contractors, architects, and lending institutions responsible for painting or construction on the site where the sign is placed.
CIVIC EVENT SIGN (ON PREMISES) — A noncommercial temporary sign, posted to promote and advertise an activity sponsored by the Borough, school district, church, public agency, civic or charitable association or other similar noncommercial organization on the premises where the event is to be held.
CIVIC EVENT SIGN (OFF PREMISES) — A noncommercial temporary sign posted off premises to promote and advertise an activity sponsored by the Borough, school district, church, public agency, civic or charitable association or other similar noncommercial organization.
DEVELOPMENT SIGN — A temporary sign indicating that the premises is in the process of subdivision or development.
DIRECTORY SIGN — A sign which identifies multiple uses in a planned development on a single sign; may be used for shopping centers, shopping streets or business campuses, and similar large complexes which have a variety of tenants and/or uses.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN — An on-premises sign designed to guide vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic by using such words as "Entrance", "Exit", "Parking", "One-Way", or similar direction or instruction, but not including any advertising message. The name or logo of the business or use to which the sign is giving direction may also be included on the sign.
ELECTRONIC DISPLAY SCREEN — A sign, or a portion of a sign, that displays an electronic image or video, which may or may not include text. "Electronic display screens" include television screens, plasma screens, digital screens, flat screens, LED screens, video boards, holographic displays, or other technologies of a similar nature.[1]
[Added by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009, § 1]
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE CENTER — Any sign, or a portion of a sign, that uses changing lights to form a sign message or messages in text form wherein the sequence of messages and the rate of change is electronically programmed and can be modified by electronic processes.[2]
[Added by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009, § 1]
GENERAL PURPOSE SIGN — A sign that directs attention to a business, to a product sold, manufactured, or assembled, or to services or entertainment offered on the premises where the sign is displayed.
GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY SIGN — Any sign to control traffic or for identification, including street signs, warning signs, railroad-crossing signs and signs of public service companies indicating danger or construction, which are erected by or at the order of a public officer, employee or agent thereof in the discharge of his official duties.
HOME OCCUPATION SIGN — A sign which designates home occupations as permitted in this Chapter.
INCIDENTAL SIGN — A sign used in conjunction with equipment or other functional elements of a use or operation. These shall include, but not be limited to, drive-through window menu boards; signs on automatic teller machines, gas pumps, vending machines; or newspaper delivery boxes.
INSTRUCTIONAL SIGN — A sign located within the interior of a lot, generally not visible from the street or adjoining properties, which provides information as to the location, interior operation and/or use of buildings or facilities.
MEMORIAL SIGN — A memorial plaque or tablet, to include grave markers or other remembrances of persons or events, which is not for commercial or advertising purposes.
PERSONAL EXPRESSION SIGN — Any sign that expresses an opinion, interest, or position (not including political signs).
POLITICAL SIGN — A temporary sign relating to the election of a person to a public office or a political party or a matter to be voted upon at an election by the public.
PUBLIC INTEREST SIGN — A sign on private property that displays information pertinent to the safety or legal responsibilities of the public such as warning and "no trespassing" signs.
REAL ESTATE SIGN — A temporary sign indicating the sale, rental or lease of the premises on which the sign is placed.
TIME/TEMPERATURE SIGN — A display containing illuminated numerals flashing alternately to show the time and the temperature. May be a wall sign, projecting sign, or freestanding sign.
YARD SALE SIGN — A temporary sign advertising a yard or garage sale.
SIGNS AS DEFINED BY FORM
The physical structure of the sign.
[Amended by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009, §  2]
AWNING SIGN — Any sign painted on or applied to a structure made of cloth, canvas, metal or similar material which is affixed to a building and projects from it
BANNER — A sign consisting of lightweight, flexible material, which is supported by frame, rope, wires or other anchoring devices, which may or may not include copy, logo or graphic symbols.
BEACON LIGHT — Any source of electric light, whether portable or fixed, the primary purpose of which is to cast a concentrated beam of light generally skyward as a means of attracting attention to its location rather than to illuminate any particular sign, structure or other object. Prohibited
CANOPY (FREESTANDING) — A rigid multi sided structure covered with fabric, metal or other material and supported by columns or posts embedded in the ground. May be illuminated by means of internal or external sources.
ELECTRONIC SIGN — A sign capable of displaying text, graphics, video, symbols, or images that can be electronically or mechanically changed by remote or automatic means, and which directs attention to a business, activity, product, commodity, service, entertainment, or communication, which may or may not contain an electronic display screen or an electronic message center. The following shall not be considered to be electronic display screen or an electronic message center. The following shall not be considered to be electronic signs:
1.
Signs utilized by the Police Department, other law enforcement personnel and/or emergency service providers.
2.
Signs that indicate only the date, time and/or temperature, provided that the remainder of the sign remains static at all times.
3.
Scoreboards for athletic events (indoor and outdoor), provided the use of the scoreboard is limited to only the time the athletic event is occurring.
FREESTANDING SIGN — A sign and supporting structure that is secured in the ground and independent of any building, fence or other support. For the purpose of this definition, "freestanding signs" may consist of the following:
1.
GROUND SIGN — A sign designed to be viewed at eye level. The bottom of the sign is no more than three feet from the ground.
2.
POLE SIGN — A sign which is detached from a building and supported by no more than two poles or other structural supports which are architecturally dissimilar to the design of the sign.
ILLUMINATED SIGN — A nonflashing or nontwinkling sign which has letters, figures, designs or outlines illuminated by an internal or external lighting source as a part of the sign.
INTERIOR SIGN — Any sign located fully within the interior of any building or stadium that is intended solely for information relating to the operation of such building or stadium.
MARQUEE SIGN — Any sign attached to a marquee for the purpose of identifying a movie theater or similar place of entertainment. Permitted as a Conditional Use.
MOVABLE SIGN — Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to, signs designed to be transported by means of wheels; signs converted to A- or T-frames. This definition does not include sandwich board signs. Prohibited.
MURAL — Artwork applied to the wall of a building, which covers all or most of the wall and depicts a scene or event of natural, social, cultural, or historic significance. Permitted as a Conditional Use.
NEON SIGN — Any sign composed of glass tubing containing a large proportion of neon gas. A neon sign may be a wall sign, a projecting sign, or a window sign.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN — Any sign, including billboards, that advertises or otherwise directs attention to an activity not on the same lot where the sign is located.
ON-PREMISES SIGN — A sign, which advertises or otherwise directs attention to an activity on the same lot where the sign is located.
PENNANTS — Any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in a series, designed to move in the wind.
PROJECTING SIGN — A sign which is attached directly to any building wall and which extends more than 12 inches from the face of the wall. A projecting sign may not extend more than four feet from a wall and must clear the sidewalk by at least 10 feet.
REVOLVING SIGN — A sign which revolves in a circular motion rather than remaining stationary on its supporting structure. Prohibited
ROOF SIGN — Any sign erected and constructed wholly on and over the roof of a building, supported by the roof structure, and extending vertically above the highest portion of the roof. Prohibited
SANDWICH BOARD — A movable sign consisting of two faces, connected and hinged at the top.
VEHICULAR SIGN — Any vehicle used as a sign or vehicle to which a sign is affixed in such a manner that the carrying of the sign is used primarily as stationary advertisement for the business on which the vehicle sits, or is otherwise not incidental to the vehicle's primary purpose. Prohibited
WALL SIGN — Any sign erected against the wall of a building or displayed on doors or fences that does not protrude more than 12 inches from the wall, window, or door. A wall sign may not extend beyond the eave line or parapet of the roof line.
WINDOW SIGN — Any sign placed upon the outside or inside of a window, not extending beyond 12 inches of the surface of the window, facing the outside.
Customary displays of merchandise or objects and material without lettering placed behind a store window are not considered signs or parts of signs.
A.
PERMANENT — Any sign painted or pasted on a window.
B.
TEMPORARY — Any paper or cardboard sign that is taped or pressed against a window. Any sign attached to the inside of a window that is suspended from a string, hook, or wire.
[1]
Editor's Note: A graphic depiction of "electronic display screen" and "electronic message center" is attached to Ord. 2059 and on file in the office of the Borough Secretary.
[2]
Editor's Note: A graphic depiction of "electronic display screen" and "electronic message center" is attached to Ord. 2059 and on file in the office of the Borough Secretary.

§ 703 General Regulations.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 703]
The following restrictions and regulations shall be applicable to all signs unless otherwise specified:
1. 
Materials. All signs, excluding awning and window signs, shall be constructed only from wood, metal, stone or other material as determined by the Borough which has the general appearance of structures composed primarily of wood, metal or stone with painted, engraved or raised messages. Sign materials should compliment the original construction materials and architectural style of the building facade on which they are to be displayed. If plywood is used, medium density overlay shall be used as a minimum grade. Bare plywood is prohibited.
2. 
Color. In selecting the principal colors for a sign, colors that compliment the color of the building should be used.
3. 
Illumination. Internally illuminated signs are not permitted in Historic Districts. See Section 711. Where permitted, signs shall be illuminated only in accordance with the following regulations as authorized in an appropriate sign permit:
A. 
Light sources shall be shielded from all adjacent properties and streets and shall not be of such intensity as to cause glare hazardous to pedestrians or motorists.
B. 
With the exception of marquee signs, signs using internal illumination shall be designed so that when illuminated at night, only the letters and logos of the sign are visible. Individual, solid letters with internal lighting tubes which backlight a wall in a halo effect are permitted.
C. 
Permits for illuminated signs will not be issued without an approved electrical permit. All work shall be completed in full compliance with the Electrical Code as set forth in the most recently published BOCA Electrical Code.
4. 
Electrical Connections. The electrical supply to all exterior signs, whether to the sign itself or to lighting fixtures positioned to illuminate the sign, shall be provided by means of concealed electrical cables. Electrical supply to freestanding signs shall be provided by means of underground cables. Applications for electrical permits shall be filed at the time of the sign permit application.
5. 
Nuisance. No sign shall create a public nuisance by emitting smoke, sound, vapor, beams or rays, particle emission or odors.
6. 
Sign Removal. Any business that has closed shall remove any signs associated with the business within 60 days after it closes. The owner of the premises shall have the responsibility to ensure such signs are removed within the sixty-day period.
7. 
No sign or sign structure shall be erected unless it complies with all applicable requirements of the Pottstown building code.
8. 
Electronic Signs.
[Added by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009, § 3]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this subsection is to regulate the use of electronic signs within the Borough to minimize the impact of such signs that may distract drivers and be detrimental to neighboring properties, and to limit the aesthetic impact that a proliferation of electronic signs could have on Borough properties.
B. 
Where permitted, all electronic signs shall comply with the following requirements:
[Amended by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
(1) 
Message display.
(a) 
Each message displayed on an electronic sign must be static or depicted for a minimum of 30 seconds.
(b) 
Where text is displayed on a background, the text shall be brighter than the background, i.e., dark text shall not be displayed on a bright background.
(c) 
Each complete message must fit onto one screen, i.e., no scrolling or incomplete messages permitted.
(d) 
Electronic signs may not contain animation or any flashing, scrolling, or moving lights, text or graphics, or any type of video.
(e) 
The display of an electronic sign must transition by changing instantly, with no transition graphics (i.e., no fade-out or fade-in).
(f) 
One message/display may be brighter than another, but each individual message/display must be static in intensity.
(g) 
The electronic sign shall contain a default design which shall freeze the sign message in one position if a malfunction should occur.
(2) 
Illumination.
(a) 
Lighting from the sign must not exceed an intensity of 0.5 footcandle of light at the property line, as measured with a portable hand-held light sensor.
(b) 
Each electronic sign shall be equipped with automatic day/night dimming software (using photocell technology), to reduce the illumination intensity of the sign as ambient lighting conditions change.
(c) 
The sign may not display light of such intensity or brilliance to cause glare, impair the vision of an ordinary driver, or constitute a nuisance.
(3) 
Hours of Operation. Electronic signs shall not be illuminated more than one-half hour before which the premises is open to the public or more than one-half hour after which the premises is closed to the public, or 10:00 p.m., whichever is later, with the exception of public service announcements.
(4) 
Content. The display of electronic signs may only be used to advertise good and services sold on the premises, time and temperature, and public service announcements. The owner of the sign must register with Amber Alert, and shall be required to display all Amber Alert messages.
(5) 
The addition of any electronic sign to any nonconforming sign is prohibited.
(6) 
No more than one electronic sign is permitted per premises, regardless of number of signs permitted or the number of uses.
(7) 
Electronic signs shall comply with other applicable sign regulations.
(8) 
Sign Spacing. No electronic sign shall be closer than 500 feet from any other electronic sign.
9. 
All signs and sign structures shall be kept in good repair and in a presentable condition, so that all sign information is clearly legible. Any sign found by the Zoning Officer to show deterioration, including rust, faded colors, discoloration, holes and missing parts or informational items, shall constitute a violation of this Part.
10. 
No sign or structure shall be placed in the public right-of-way except for permitted sandwich boards, projecting signs, and civic event signs as provided for in this Part.
11. 
Sign Maintenance.
[Added by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
A. 
All signs and sign structures shall be kept in good repair and in a presentable condition, so that all sign information is clearly legible. Any sign found by the Zoning Officer to show deterioration, including rust, faded colors, discoloration, holes and missing parts or informational items, shall constitute a violation of this Part.
B. 
All existing signs may be repainted, resurfaced or repaired, provided that they are not substantially destroyed or abandoned per Section 702 of this Part, and provided such does not change the sign message, sign form, sign area, or overall dimensions of the existing sign.

§ 704 Prohibited Signs.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 704; as amended by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009; and by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect any sign in the Borough unless it is specifically permitted in this Part. Unlawful signs include, but are not limited to:
1. 
Any sign which by color, shape or location conflicts with or resembles a traffic signal device.
2. 
Signs attached to rocks, utility poles, parking meters, traffic signposts, traffic signals or control devices, street signs, or historical markers.
3. 
Signs attached to trees, shrubs or any living vegetative matter.
4. 
Any sign, outside of the heavy manufacturing district, which advertises or publicizes an activity or business not conducted on the premises, except civic event signs.
5. 
Signs erected without the permission of the property owner or authorized agent.
6. 
Signs that create a hazard by obstructing the clear view of vehicles and pedestrian traffic.
7. 
Any sign that obstructs free ingress to or egress from a required door, window, fire escape or other required exit.
8. 
Vehicular signs.
9. 
Abandoned signs.
10. 
Signs that exhibit statements, words or picture of obscene or pornographic subject.
11. 
Beacon lights.
12. 
Flashing signs, video, animation, and scrolling messages.

§ 705 Permits Required.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 705]
Unless otherwise provided by this Part, all signs shall require permits and payment of fees as described in Section 710. No permit is required for the maintenance of a sign or for a change of copy on a legally conforming painted, printed, or changeable copy sign. For the purposes of this Section, "maintenance" shall include any repainting of a sign that does not otherwise change its message or appearance.

§ 706 Exempt Signs.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 706]
The following signs shall be allowed without a sign permit and shall not be included in the determination of the number or sign area of other signs allowed within a zoning district, subject to the restrictions in Section 712.
1. 
Government/Regulatory signs.
2. 
Real estate signs.
3. 
Political signs.
4. 
Public interest signs.
5. 
Memorial signs.
6. 
Yard sale signs.
7. 
Address signs.
8. 
Interior signs.
9. 
Incidental signs.
10. 
Civic Event signs on premises.
11. 
Personal expression signs.
12. 
Pennants as permitted in this Article. Pennants may only be used on a nonresidential premises.
13. 
Artisan signs.
14. 
Home occupation signs smaller than two square feet.
15. 
Incidental off-premises signs.
[Added by Ord. 2067, 12/14/2009, § 3]

§ 707 Conditional uses.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 707]
The following signs shall be allowed as conditional uses:
1. 
Murals.
2. 
Marquee Signs.
[Amended by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
A. 
Marquee Sign Purpose. The primary purpose of a marquee sign is to identify a theater, movie house, or performing arts center. Additionally, a marquee sign will prominently display and promote the cultural events, activities and services provided in the D Downtown District that support and enhance the revitalization of the Borough of Pottstown.
B. 
Conditional Use Criteria. A marquee sign may contain changeable copy, including an electronic message center or electronic display screen, provided that it shall meet the following:
(1) 
Marquee sign shall be erected on a lot containing not less than 5,600 square feet and 40 feet of frontage.
(2) 
Sign area. The maximum sign area of a marquee sign shall not exceed 120 square feet. Double-faced marquee signs are permitted per Section 702 of this Chapter.
(3) 
Sign illumination. LED (light-emitting diodes) technology or similar energy efficient technology shall be utilized to produce the characters and graphics of the display.
(4) 
Hours of operation: 6:30 a.m. until 12:00 a.m.
(5) 
Marquee signs and their framework shall be constructed to provide at least 10 feet of vertical clearance above the sidewalk.
(6) 
A marquee sign and its framework shall not exceed the level of the roof line of the building to which it is attached.
(7) 
A marquee sign shall not project perpendicularly from the building to which it is attached more than 50% over the sidewalk width.
(8) 
A marquee sign shall be constructed and anchored so that it can withstand wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour or sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and shall be certified by a licensed engineer and approved by the Borough Engineer.
(9) 
Sign spacing. No marquee sign shall be less than 500 feet from any other marquee sign.
(10) 
Electronic message center and/or electronic display screen requirements.
(a) 
Sign area. The maximum sign area of the electronic message center or electronic display screen portion of the marquee sign is 50% of the total sign area up to a maximum of 60 square feet.
(b) 
Operational requirements: electronic message center.
[1] 
The duration of each message shall be a minimum of 30 seconds.
[2] 
Each complete message must fit onto one screen (i.e., no scrolling or incomplete messages permitted).
[3] 
The transition time between messages shall be less than one second.
[4] 
The sign shall contain a default design which shall freeze the sign message in one position if a malfunction should occur.
[5] 
Where text is displayed on a background, the text shall be brighter than the background (i.e., dark text shall not be displayed on bright background).
[6] 
The sign must be equipped with brightness controls so that the brightness of the sign has the ability to respond to changes in the outside light levels.
(c) 
Operational requirements: electronic display screen.
[1] 
The duration of each image shall be a minimum of 72 hours.
[2] 
The screen must contain a static image only. Video is not permitted.
[3] 
Each image must fit onto one screen (i.e., no scrolling or incomplete images permitted).
[4] 
The transition time between images shall be less than one second.
[5] 
The sign shall contain a default design which shall freeze the sign image in one position if a malfunction should occur.
[6] 
Where text is displayed on a background, the text shall be brighter than the background (i.e., dark text shall not be displayed on bright background).
[7] 
The sign must be equipped with brightness controls so that the brightness of the sign has the ability to respond to changes in the outside light levels.
3. 
Electronic Signs, Gateway District.
[Added by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
A. 
Purpose of Electronic Signs in Gateway East and Gateway West Districts. Gateways establish the initial impression of the Borough and electronic signs in these Districts should respect that important role.
B. 
Conditional Use Criteria. An electronic message sign may be located in the Gateway East or Gateway West Districts only, provided that it shall meet the following criteria:
(1) 
Electronic signs shall conform to the general regulations for electronic signs as stated in Section 703.8B, unless otherwise regulated herein.
(2) 
Sign Types. Electronic signs are permitted only as a freestanding sign (ground sign) or freestanding sign (pole sign).
(3) 
Sign Location. Electronic signs shall be located only on a lot containing nonresidential land use. Property must have at least 150 feet of frontage.
(4) 
Sign Illumination.
(a) 
LED (light-emitting diodes) technology or similar energy efficient technology shall be utilized to produce the characters and graphics of the display.
(b) 
No internal illumination is permitted for the conventional freestanding portion of the sign.
(5) 
Sign Area. Up to 25% or 15 square feet of the total sign area (whichever is less) of a new or conforming existing sign may be an electronic message center or an electronic display screen.
(6) 
A minimum setback of 15 feet from the right-of-way is required.
(7) 
Where an electronic message sign is established in these districts, the applicant may not establish on the same property without the approval of Borough Council:
(a) 
Any other freestanding sign, wall sign or projecting sign.
(b) 
Sandwich board sign.
(c) 
An additional sign or signs permitted by virtue of a building frontage on more than one street.

§ 708 Signs on the Premises of Legally Nonconforming Uses.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 708]
Signs on the premises of legally nonconforming uses, such as an office in a residential area, may remain until the existing use of the premises is discontinued. If a sign wears out or is damaged, or is changed for any other reason, the number, size and area of all signs relating to the premises shall not be increased beyond the size they were at the time this Part was adopted.

§ 709 Regulation of Legally Nonconforming Signs.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 709]
1. 
If a legally nonconforming sign lists more than one business, new businesses may be added without affecting the nonconforming status of the sign. However, the sign may not be altered in any way that extends the sign's nonconformity in any manner.
2. 
Nothing in this Part shall relieve the owners or users of legally nonconforming signs, or the owners of the property on which legally nonconforming signs are located, from any provisions of this Part regarding the safety, maintenance, and repair of signs.
3. 
Should 50% or more of any legally nonconforming sign be damaged by any means, it shall be removed and not reconstructed except in conformity with the provisions of this Part.
4. 
Any business that has closed shall remove any signs associated with the business within 60 days after it closes. The owner of the premises shall have the responsibility to ensure such signs are removed within the sixty-day period.
5. 
The existence of a legally nonconforming sign on a single or multiple occupancy premises shall not prevent the erection or placement of another sign on the premises, if the new sign meets the requirements of this Part. However, the total number of signs and the size and area of the signs shall not exceed the requirements of this Part.
6. 
A legally nonconforming sign shall immediately lose its legally nonconforming designation if the sign is altered in any way. At that point, the sign shall be immediately brought into compliance with this Part and a new permit secured, or the sign shall be removed.

§ 710 Permits.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 710]
1. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, alter, repair or relocate any sign within the Borough of Pottstown without first obtaining a sign permit, unless the sign is specifically exempt from the permit requirements.
2. 
Applications for sign permits shall be made upon forms provided by the Zoning Officer and shall contain and/or have attached the following information where relevant:
A. 
Names, address, telephone number and signature of the owner or duly authorized agent for the property owner.
B. 
Name, address, telephone number and signature of the owner of the sign.
C. 
Name, address and telephone number of the sign contractor.
D. 
Property address and applicable zoning district.
E. 
If the sign is located in a Historic District, confirmation that an application has been submitted to the Historic Architectural Review Board.
F. 
Two copies of a plan drawn to scale depicting:
1. 
Lot dimensions, building frontage, and existing cartways, rights-of-way and driveways.
2. 
The design of each sign face and sign structure, including dimensions, total area, sign height, depth, color scheme, structural details, materials, lighting scheme and proposed location.
3. 
Sign Message.
4. 
Building elevations, existing and proposed facades, parapet walls, cornices and the location and size of all proposed and existing permanent signage.
5. 
Current photographs showing existing signs on the premises and certifying the date on which photographs were taken.
G. 
A permit fee, to be established from time to time by Resolution of Borough Council, shall be paid.
H. 
A $500 deposit shall be posted for off-premises Civic Event signs to ensure their removal within 72 hours after the event. A list of locations of the signs shall be provided with the deposit. The deposit will be returned after the Zoning Officer has certified the signs have been removed.
I. 
Such other information which may be required by the Zoning Officer to show full compliance with this and all other ordinances of the Borough.

§ 711 Special Regulations for Signs in Historic Districts.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 711]
In addition to all other requirements of this Part, the following regulations shall be applicable to any sign placed in a Historic District:
1. 
No sign shall be erected or altered until an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness has been reviewed and approved by the Pottstown Historic Architectural Review Board and after Borough Council has issued a Certificate of Appropriateness. The Review Board shall ensure the proposed sign is appropriate.
A. 
To the style, period, type, size and scale of the building for which it is proposed.
B. 
With other signs in the district.
2. 
In addition to all other applicable requirements of this Part, the following regulations shall apply to any sign placed in a Historic District: (Sample illustrations on file at Borough Office).
A. 
All applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness must contain the following information:
1. 
A current color photograph of the property.
2. 
An illustration of the building facade showing the proposed sign.
3. 
A scaled drawing showing the sign itself and including the size, materials, colors, lighting, lettering and method of attachment. Material samples may be required.
4. 
For ground signs, a site plan indicating the location of the sign.
5. 
The type of illumination.

§ 712 Sign Uses and Restrictions.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 712; as amended by Ord. 2059, 3/9/2009; and by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
The Sign Uses and Restrictions Charts are included at the end of this Chapter. See 27 Attachment A14.