Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
A. 
Purpose: These zoning regulations are designed to prevent the overconcentration, improper placement, and excessive height, bulk, and area of signs in order to promote an optimum level of signage consistent with the needs and character of different areas; to permit legible and effective signage of individual sites for the convenience of the public and in the interest of the full enjoyment of property rights, and to prevent the obstruction by sign clutter of traffic visibility, traffic signs and signals, neighboring uses and signs, and scenic views.
B. 
To accomplish these purposes, it is the intent of this article to encourage and authorize the use of signs which will:
(1) 
Be compatible with and an enhancement of the character of the surrounding district and adjacent architecture when considered in terms of scale, color, materials, light levels, adjoining uses and historic character.
(2) 
Be of high quality, durable materials.
(3) 
Comply with the standards enumerated herein.
C. 
No sign, as hereinbefore defined, shall be erected, hung, placed or painted in any district except as hereinafter provided.
All signs, except as hereinafter provided, shall require a permit. Applications for permits shall be submitted in triplicate to the Construction Code Official. Each application shall be accompanied by a description of the sign and/or a sketch or plan showing the size, location and other pertinent data required by the Construction Code Official.
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
Whenever a freestanding, overhanging or attached sign becomes unsafe or unkempt, the Construction Code Official shall order that such sign be repaired, replaced, made safe or removed. Such order shall be complied with within 10 days of receipt thereof by the person, corporation or other body owning the sign or owning the business, building or structure to which it is attached.
Any sign erected, hung or otherwise displayed prior to the adoption of this article which does not conform to these provisions shall not be altered by changing the overall dimensions. If deteriorated or damaged to the extent of 1/2 of its replacement value, such sign shall not be rebuilt and shall be removed within 60 days following notice to do so by the Construction Code Official; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall prevent maintenance, repainting or posting of such signs.
A. 
In all cases where illumination of signs is necessary and is permitted under the terms of this article, such sign shall not be illuminated by other than a shielded or otherwise indirect, nonflashing light, preferably a white light, or a light from the interior of a sign with a translucent face.
B. 
In no event will red or green illumination be permitted, whether flashing or not, on any sign located in the same line of vision as a traffic control signal. The Township shall have the authority to compel the removal or correction of such sign within 60 days of notification of its decision, whether or not such sign existed at the time of enactment of this Part 3.
C. 
In no event will any illumination of any sign be so arranged as to produce undue glare or offensive light annoying to residents in the surrounding area. The Township shall have the authority to compel the removal or correction of such sign within 60 days of notification of its decision, whether or not such sign existed at the time of enactment of this Part 3.
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
Temporary signs shall be allowed without permit in all districts subject to the following:
A. 
The total area of all signs/graphics temporary or otherwise shall not exceed 30% of the aggregate area of building window.
B. 
Unless otherwise noted herein, such signs shall not remain longer than 30 days. The date of installation shall be noted on the sign in the lower right-hand corner.
C. 
Information on such signs shall be limited to advertisements for special promotions, temporary sales and other such nonpermanent sales promotions and seasonal decorations.
D. 
Signs shall be maintained in neat and orderly manner and shall not contain content of an obscene or offensive nature.
E. 
This section shall not be interpreted as to limit or prohibit a business from displaying merchandise in a window display area.
F. 
Signs may be freestanding or attached to building. Freestanding signs shall not exceed four square feet without obtaining sign permit.
G. 
Temporary signs shall not be illuminated.
H. 
Signs shall not be permitted on telephone poles or trees.
A. 
For a sign, either freestanding or attached, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background, whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed, but not including any supporting framework and bracing which are incidental to the display itself.
B. 
For a sign painted upon or applied to a building, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs or symbols, together with any backing of a different color than the finished material of the building face.
C. 
Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted on a surface, building, wall or window, the area shall be considered to be that of the smallest quadrangle which encompasses all of the letters and symbols.
D. 
Permanent window graphics shall not be included in the calculation of the maximum aggregate sign area for the site but shall require a permit. Window graphics may be utilized, provided they conform to area and sign classification limitations.
[Added 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
E. 
Graphics on awnings which are free of text shall not be included in the maximum aggregate sign area. Awning graphics may be utilized, provided they conform to area and sign classification limitations.
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08]
F. 
Any drive-through restaurant use approved by the Township may include up to two ground-mounted signs to provide menu information to the public. The first sign shall be a maximum of 30 square feet in area. The second sign shall be 50% of the area of the first sign.
[Added 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08]
A. 
In the case of a sign attached flat against the face of a building or other structure, such signs shall not extend or project beyond the face of such building or other structure located in any residential district a distance of more than six inches, and in no event shall such projection be any greater than 18 inches in any other district where signs are permitted.
B. 
No freestanding sign shall be located within five feet of any lot line.
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
A. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to affect in any way any directional, informational, or street name signs erected by any municipal, county, state or federal government agency or utility in connection with street identifications, public buildings, railroad crossings, electric utility lines and installations and other like uses, buildings or activities or any nonilluminated nameplate or plaque of less than two square feet in area or any directional signs on premises less than three square feet in area indicating traffic movements, exits and entrances.
[Amended 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08]
B. 
Nothing herein shall be interpreted as to prevent the use of seasonal decorations by a property or business owner.
C. 
Menus posted by restaurant uses shall be exempt from signage requirements, provided same is posted in the window or a display case and does not exceed 1.5 square feet.
No sign shall be located so as to obstruct any door, fire escape, stairway or opening intended to provide light, air, ingress or egress for any building or structure. No sign shall be permitted where such sign would obstruct vision at a street intersection or at any curve in any street. Such signs where they exist are subject to action by the Township and must be corrected or removed within 60 days of the notification to do so.
Unless otherwise provided, no more than one sign on any street frontage shall be permitted on any premises in a residential, commercial or industrial district. This section shall not apply to signs indicating the entrance to or exit from a premises, or any such similar permitted signs. For properties on corner lots, one sign may be permitted on each street frontage, providing that the aggregate area of signs is not greater than 1 1/2 times the area of a single sign as hereinafter specified.
[Amended 7-18-2005 by Ord. No. 05-14]
A. 
Residential districts.
(1) 
One unlighted real estate sign advertising a premises for sale or rent, provided that such sign shall not exceed six square feet in area and shall be set back at least 1/2 the required front yard depth.
(2) 
One temporary sign, not exceeding 40 square feet, identifying a project, building, owner, architect, contractor or engineer during construction, provided such sign shall be removed promptly after completion of the building and shall be set back at least 1/2 the required front yard depth.
(3) 
One sign or bulletin board for a permitted nonresidential use, provided that such sign shall not exceed 16 square feet and shall be set back at least 1/2 the required front yard depth.
(4) 
One sign identifying a permitted accessory professional office or home occupation, provided that such sign shall not exceed two square feet and shall be attached to the dwelling.
B. 
DVT, CN, CO and COH Districts.
(1) 
Any sign permitted in residential districts.
(2) 
One sign advertising services offered or goods sold or produced on the premises. Such sign shall not exceed 10% of the area of the facade of the building on which the sign is located.
(3) 
No roof signs shall be permitted.
(4) 
Freestanding signs shall only be permitted for the purpose of identifying automobile filling stations or integrated shopping units consisting of four or more individual shops or offices. Such signs shall not have an area of more than 24 square feet; for automobile filling stations, a height in excess of 20 feet; and for integrated units, a height of greater than 10 feet.
C. 
CG and I Districts.
(1) 
Any sign permitted in an R District, where applicable.
(2) 
Signs advertising the service offered or goods sold or produced on the premises, the aggregate area of which shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each lineal foot of building frontage which is identified or one square foot for each 300 square feet of lot area, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of 200 square feet.
(3) 
No roof signs are permitted.
(4) 
Freestanding signs shall not exceed a height of 25 feet.
D. 
CP District.
(1) 
Signs within the CP Planned Commercial District shall adhere to the sign regulations and standards as specified in the district regulations of the CP Zone District.
(2) 
One temporary construction sign is permitted, not exceeding 40 square feet, identifying a project, building, owner, architect, contractor, or engineer during construction, provided such sign shall be promptly removed after completion of the building, and further provided that the sign shall be set back at least 20 feet from a property line.
E. 
LCI Zone.
[Added 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
(1) 
Notwithstanding the provisions contained herein, a shopping center or a mixed-use development shall be permitted one freestanding sign, not exceeding 250 square feet in area on each side and 25 feet in height, along each abutting street frontage except those abutting a residential zone. In addition, monument-style entrance and exit signs near access driveways shall be permitted, as well as monument and directional signs within the shopping center.
(a) 
A major driveway monument sign of 100 square feet is permitted, and a minor driveway monument sign of 50 square feet is permitted. Monument signs shall not exceed eight feet in height, nor shall they violate the required sight triangle. Directional signs shall not exceed four square feet in area.
[1] 
Major driveway: a driveway on a street fronting the development which offers unrestricted turn movements or is signalized. Only one driveway per each street fronting the development may be designated as major.
[2] 
Minor driveway: any driveway that is not a major driveway.
(2) 
A separate use under unrelated ownership not part of a shopping center or mixed-use development shall be permitted one freestanding sign along each abutting street frontage, not exceeding 80 square feet in area and 20 feet in height.
(3) 
Each permitted use on its own lot or each permitted use within a shopping center or mixed-use development is allowed signage on the front and side of the building, or portion thereof occupied by the individual use that faces a street or a parking area serving the use, provided that:
(a) 
The total of all signs on the front of the building does not exceed 1.5 square feet for each linear foot of building facade occupied by the individual use and upon which the sign is to be located, or 200 square feet, whichever is less; and
(b) 
The total of all signs on the side of the building does not exceed 50% of the size of the sign(s) on the front of the building.
(4) 
No signage or advertising identifying an occupant of the premises shall be permitted on the rear portion of any building or on any roof.
(5) 
Any sign permitted in an R District, where applicable, shall be permitted.
(6) 
A signage plan shall be required with the submission of any site plan for approval. The signage plan shall identify the location and type of all proposed business signs and visually represent their lettering, illumination, color, and height. The approving authority may apply such restrictions on color(s), size, location, sign types, letter height, illumination, or mounting height as it deems appropriate to the purpose of encouraging coordinated design to achieve a desirable visual environment.
(7) 
Any additional signs other than those permitted herein within a shopping center or mixed-use development comprising 100,000 square feet or more shall require site plan approval.
(8) 
Window graphics and window signs shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) 
Permanent window signs or window graphics shall not exceed 25% of the total aggregate window area. Signs and graphics on doors shall not exceed 10% of the door glass area for safety purposes.
(b) 
Window signs and window graphics should be artful in design and should generally be permanent. Permit application review shall include an evaluation of the quality of the sign and its aesthetic value.
[Added 9-16-2013 by Ord. No. 13-13]
A. 
As used herein, a "banner" shall be defined as a temporary sign of cloth, vinyl or similar material that celebrates an event, season, community, neighborhood, or district, and is sponsored by a recognized community agency or organization or local business.
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
B. 
Approvals.
(1) 
All banners shall require the approval of the Zoning Officer upon a formal application made not less than 72 hours prior to the desired time of placement, together with the payment of an application fee in the amount of $75.
(2) 
Banners shall only be permitted to be placed in nonresidential zones.
(3) 
Banners shall be erected and may remain in place for a period not to exceed 14 days and on not more than two occasions per year.
(4) 
Banners shall be no more than two feet wide and, in cases where the banner is affixed to a building, no longer than 3/4 of the width of the side of the building to which it is affixed. Stand alone banners shall not exceed eight feet in height.
(5) 
Multiple banners are allowed, provided that the sum total of the visible area of the banner does not exceed 50 square feet in area.
C. 
Prohibitions.
(1) 
The following types of banners shall not be permitted in any zone:
(a) 
Fluttering, moving or rotating banners.
(b) 
Any banner erected, constructed, or maintained which obstructs or interferes with a fire escape, window, door, or opening used as a means of egress or ingress or for firefighting purposes, or placed so as to interfere with any opening required for legal ventilation.
(c) 
Any banner which is of such form, character, or shape as to be likely to confuse or distract the attention of the operator of a motor vehicle including, but not limited to, banners visible from the street using the word "stop" or "danger" or any other word, phrase, symbol, or character with the effect of simulating a public safety warning or traffic sign.
(d) 
Any series of two or more banners placed in a line parallel to the roadway, or in a similar fashion, all carrying a single advertising message, part of which is contained on each banner or when the use of multiple banners exceeds 50 square feet in area.
(e) 
Banners which in any way simulate official, directional, or warning signs erected or maintained by the State of New Jersey, a county or municipality thereof, or by any railroad or public utility or similar agency concerned with the protection of the public health or safety.
(f) 
Banners not associated with a business on the same property.
(g) 
Roof banners and banners on the side of any structure extending above the edge of the roof.
(h) 
Banners on railroad or vehicular overpasses.
(i) 
Banners which obstruct driving vision, traffic signals, sight triangles, and traffic direction and identification signs.
(2) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit banners erected by the Township itself or authorized by the Mayor and Council.
A. 
Each application filed with the Construction Code Official for a sign permit shall be accompanied by a fee payable to the Township in accordance with the schedule of fees set forth in § 122-2.
B. 
There shall be no fee charged for permits for temporary signs advertising school board elections, municipal elections, charitable or eleemosynary functions or activities; provided, however, that such signs shall only be permitted to be posted for a period 15 days prior to and seven days after the date of the election, event or occurrence advertised thereon.