Chesterfield Charter Township, MI
Macomb County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 129, § 1.00, 8-21-2006]
The intent of this chapter is to create a comprehensive, balanced system of regulating signs and, thereby, to facilitate an easy and pleasant communication between people and their environment, to enhance the physical appearance of the township, to make the township a more enjoyable and pleasing community, and to create a more attractive economic and business climate. It is intended by the provisions of this chapter to reduce signage and advertising distractions, to eliminate hazards caused by signs being too close to the public rights-of-way, to avoid the confusion of conflicting adjacent signs, to protect property values, and to eliminate obsolete, irrelevant, nonconforming and deteriorated signs. With these purposes in mind, it is the intention of this chapter to authorize the use of signs which are:
(1) 
Compatible with their surroundings.
(2) 
Appropriate to the type of activity to which they pertain.
(3) 
Expressive of the identity of individual proprietors or of the development as a whole.
(4) 
Legible in the circumstances in which they are seen.
[Ord. No. 129, § 2.00, 8-21-2006]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Charter Township of Chesterfield Sign Ordinance.
[Ord. No. 129, § 3.00, 8-21-2006; Ord. No. 129-01, § 2, 7-16-2007]
(a) 
Permit required. No person shall alter, relocate, erect, re-erect or construct any sign, except those which are exempted in section 52-6(1), unless a permit for same has been issued by the township pursuant to this chapter. Signs which are approved as part of a site plan do require a separate application and sign fees for planning commission review. This does not include building permit fees.
(b) 
Application for permit.
(1) 
Written application shall be made on forms provided therefor by the township.
(2) 
Such application shall be accompanied by a site plan, sign drawing and sign data presented in accordance with the following requirements and showing the information hereinafter required:
a. 
The site plan shall be drawn to a scale not less than 50 feet to the inch. Applications for a wall sign or the resurfacing of an existing sign shall not require a site plan.
b. 
The site plan shall show the location of all existing and proposed sign(s) on the site.
c. 
The site plan shall show the location of existing and proposed streets, roadways, parking areas, entrances and exits within 50 feet of the proposed sign(s).
d. 
Drawings of the proposed sign(s) to be erected or installed on the site shall be submitted with the site plan and shall include all of the following detailed information:
1. 
Height of the sign above the ground.
2. 
Surface of the sign (material, color and dimensions).
3. 
Area of sign surface.
4. 
Lettering of sign drawn as it will appear on the erected sign. It need not be in the style of the finished sign, but must be neatly printed in the size and of a weight approximating that of the final constructed sign.
5. 
Method and color of illumination, if any.
6. 
Logos, emblems or additional features.
7. 
Such additional information as the planning commission deems necessary and/or pertinent to the application.
8. 
A drawing of the total building wall upon whose face the sign is to be displayed at a reasonable scale, preferably one-quarter inch equals one foot.
9. 
All monument and pylon signs shall display the address of the site upon which it is located. The address shall be displayed in six-inch numerals. Addresses shall not be calculated as part of the maximum allowable sign area. Please see section 52-6(1)a. for additional address requirements.
(3) 
Copies of the application and all plans and supplemental statements of information required therewith shall be filed with the planning department, together with the fee therefore as shall be established by resolution of the township board and which shall be sufficient to cover the cost of administration and the reasonable expenses incurred by and for inspection and review by the township and its consultants.
(c) 
Granting and issuance of permit.
(1) 
All new signs, which are not exempt, shall be reviewed by the planning commission. Signs may be, and are encouraged to be, reviewed and approved by the planning commission as part of the site plan review process. The planning and zoning administrator or the building official, at his/her discretion, may order any sign to be reviewed by the planning commission.
(2) 
Upon receipt of all necessary submissions required by this chapter, the planning and zoning administrator shall forward the application to the planning commission. The planning commission shall either approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable time. Approval may be conditioned upon compliance with reasonable regulations or limitations having regard to the character of the sign, the surroundings in which it is to be displayed, and the intent of this chapter. If the application is approved by the planning commission and conforms to building code requirements, the building official shall issue a permit.
(3) 
A letter shall be forwarded from the planning commission to the building department indicating that the new sign has been approved. The letter shall also contain all stipulations/conditions that have been included in the motion to approve.
[Ord. No. 129, § 4.00, 8-21-2006]
For the purposes of this chapter, the term site shall be defined as all land in a development which is necessary or indicated as part of the development proposal to meet parking requirements, setback requirements, landscape requirements, drainage requirements (i.e., retention or detention basin), and lot coverage requirements.
(1) 
Residential zoning districts (all residential zoning districts).
a. 
One announcement sign is permitted for each approved special land use located within a residential zoning district. The planning commission may also permit one wall sign as part of the special land use approval.
b. 
Two identical single-faced subdivision entrance signs placed perpendicular or within 45° of the entrance road shall be required for each major entrance to a residential subdivision, mobile home park and multiple-family development, as approved in the site plan or subdivision approval. Where the layout of the entrance will not physically accommodate two signs, the planning commission may modify the requirement while protecting the intent of this paragraph.
c. 
One temporary unlit sign not to exceed 35 square feet may be permitted on farm property to advertise farm produce or agricultural products grown on the site.
(2) 
Office zoning districts (O-1 and O-2 zoning districts).
a. 
One identification sign or nameplate is permitted for each office unit within a multi-tenant office development.
b. 
For professional or general office, institutional, educational or religious uses in O-1 or O-2 districts, one wall sign and one monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(3) 
Commercial zoning districts (C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, P and WF zoning districts).
a. 
One freestanding sign (pylon or monument sign) shall be permitted for each site.
b. 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant having an individual public entrance to a building. In those cases where multiple tenants share an entrance, one wall sign shall be permitted to include all tenants.
c. 
When a structure or planned group of structures has frontage on more than one major, secondary or collector street, as designated in the master plan, one additional wall sign shall be permitted facing such street. The size of the such sign shall be the same as the maximum permitted in this section, however, this chapter shall require a reduction of the size of the sign for buildings not meeting the required setbacks. The reduction shall be directly proportional to the percentage of the required setback being met (e.g., building setback = 20 feet, required building setback = 100 feet, then sign area = 20% of maximum permitted sign area).
d. 
The C-4 and P zoning districts shall allow signs as defined herein. The planning commission, however, may vary the requirements upon the submission of an acceptable sign package. Such sign package shall remain consistent with the intent, size, and number of signs as typically permitted within this chapter.
(4) 
Industrial zoning districts (R-T, M-1 and M-2 zoning districts).
a. 
One monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
b. 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each business.
c. 
One double-faced subdivision entrance sign placed parallel to the entrance road or two identical single-faced subdivision entrance signs placed perpendicular or within 45° of the entrance road shall be permitted for each major entrance to an industrial subdivision, as approved in the site plan or subdivision approval.
[Ord. No. 129, § 5.00, 8-21-2006; Ord. No. 129-01, § 2, 7-16-2007; Ord. No. 129-02, 10-1-2007; Ord. No. 129-03, 12-6-2010]
(a) 
Announcement signs or bulletin boards.
(1) 
Shall not exceed 24 square feet in area, including both permanent signage area and changeable letter area. Changeable letter area shall not exceed 50% of the total sign area.
(2) 
Shall not exceed eight feet in height from grade.
(b) 
Awning or canopy signs.
(1) 
One opaque awning or canopy sign may be used to display the name of the firm, the address, or type of business, and shall be placed only on the principal front of the building.
(2) 
An awning or canopy sign shall be permitted in lieu of a permitted wall sign. For example, a building facade with an awning sign shall not be permitted a wall sign.
(3) 
An awning or canopy sign shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage on which the sign is to be placed, or 20 square feet, whichever is greater. In no case shall an awning or canopy sign exceed 64 square feet.
(4) 
A minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet shall be provided beneath any awning or canopy sign which projects over a parking area or driveway. In all other areas, a minimum vertical clearance of eight feet shall be provided beneath an awning or canopy.
(c) 
Construction signs.
(1) 
One construction sign shall be permitted for each non-residential site with a building or structure under construction. Construction signs on non-residential sites shall be promptly removed upon completion of a construction project.
(2) 
One construction sign shall be permitted for each township-approved model within a residential development. Each construction sign may be accompanied by two flags. Flags may not exceed six square feet in size.
(3) 
Construction signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in display area and shall not exceed six feet in height.
(d) 
Directional signs.
(1) 
Directional signs shall not exceed two square feet in area, and shall not exceed three feet in height. No more than one such sign shall be located at each location. Directional signs shall not be used for advertising purposes. However, the directional signs that indicate entrance and exit of the site shall be permitted to bear the name of that business occupying the site. The name/logo shall not exceed 25% of the directional sign area on which it is displayed.
(2) 
At-grade directional signs painted on or adhered to the surface of paved areas are exempt from these standards.
(3) 
All directional signs required for the purpose of orientation, when established by the township, county, state or federal government, shall be permitted.
(e) 
Identification signs. Identification signs shall be wall-mounted and shall be limited to:
(1) 
One unlit wall-mounted sign for a permitted home occupation.
(2) 
One unlit wall-mounted identification sign shall be permitted for each approved professional office.
(3) 
An identification sign shall not exceed four square feet in sign area. Such wall-mounted signs shall not extend outward more than two inches from the surface of a wall on the subject structure.
(f) 
Monument signs.
(1) 
Monument or ground signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in sign area in the C-2, C-3 and C-4 zoning districts; 40 square feet in the O-1, O-2 or C-1, WF zoning districts; and, 24 square feet in the R-T, M-1 or M-2 zoning districts. Retail establishments with over 80,000 square feet of gross floor area and over 300 feet of road frontage on a single thoroughfare shall be permitted two ground signs. The signs shall be evenly spaced along the frontage of the site and shall not in any case abut each other. If the planning commission determines that architectural features of the sign, such as wood, rock or brick framing, are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
Monument signs, including the architectural features, shall not exceed eight feet in height. Monument signs shall not have more than two feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade. Such signs exceeding three feet eight inches in height shall be located in a manner which in no way impedes or obstructs clear vision of motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrian traffic.
(g) 
Outdoor advertising signs.
(1) 
Sign illumination shall be employed in such manner so as to prevent intense or brilliant beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the main traveled way of the highway or adjacent properties.
(2) 
No sign shall have any movement in any of its parts and shall not contain changing illumination.
(3) 
No such sign shall exceed 25 feet in height from the ground.
(4) 
No sign shall exceed 300 square feet in area. In the case of back-to-back signs or double-front panels, each side shall not exceed 300 square feet in area.
(5) 
No sign shall be within 1,500 feet of another such sign structure. Such sign structure shall not be adjacent or within 500 feet of an interchange, an intersecting street, road or highway crossing on the same side of the highway; nor shall such sign be located within 500 feet of a zoning district boundary.
(6) 
Official and on-premise signs, as defined in Section 131(c) of Title 23 of the United States Code, shall not be counted, nor shall measurements be made from them for purposes of determining compliance with the spacing requirements provided in this section.
(7) 
No sign shall be located within 50 feet of the freeway right-of-way line.
(8) 
The spacing requirements apply separately to each side of the freeway.
(9) 
The spacing requirements shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement of the freeway between points directly opposite each sign.
(10) 
Outdoor advertising signs are prohibited in all zoning districts except for the M-2 zoning district (as designated in the township zoning ordinance) when such district abuts an interstate highway. Outdoor advertising signs may be approved in industrial districts by the zoning board of appeals under the provisions of section 52-9 and a review and recommendation by the planning commission.
(h) 
Political signs.
(1) 
Political signs may be located in any district, provided that permission has been obtained from the property owner.
(2) 
One non-illuminated political sign per candidate and per issue is allowed for each lot frontage; those located along a major thoroughfare or collector road shall not exceed 32 square feet per sign; and, if located along a local residential street, shall not exceed six square feet per sign.
(3) 
Political signs shall be erected no earlier than 45 days prior to the election and shall be removed within 10 days after the election or primary. All candidates for political office and property owners shall be responsible to remove their political signs within the time frame cited herein.
(i) 
Portable signs. Portable signs are hereby prohibited, regardless of form, size, character or placement, unless otherwise specifically permitted within this chapter.
(j) 
Projecting signs. Projecting signs, as defined in section 52-8 herein, are hereby prohibited, regardless of form, size, character or placement, unless otherwise specifically permitted within this chapter.
(k) 
Pylon signs.
(1) 
Pylon (pole) signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in sign area in the C-2, C-3 and C-4 zoning districts; 40 square feet in the C-1 and WF zoning districts. Retail establishments with over 80,000 square feet of gross floor area and over 300 feet of road frontage on a single thoroughfare shall be permitted two pylon signs. The signs shall be evenly spaced along the frontage of the site and shall not in any case abut each other. If the planning commission determines that architectural features of the sign, such as wood, rock or brick framing, are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
Pylon signs, including the architectural features, shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Pylon signs shall not have more than four feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade. Such signs exceeding three feet eight inches in height shall be located in a manner which in no way impedes or obstructs clear vision of motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrian traffic.
(3) 
Shopping centers and retail establishments with over 300 feet of building facade (measured as demonstrated below) may be permitted an additional one square foot of sign area on a pylon sign for each additional 1.5 linear feet of building facade above the 300 feet noted above. In no case shall a pylon sign be larger than 125 square feet, regardless of building facade length.
52-3.tif
(l) 
Real estate signs.
(1) 
One unlit real estate sign shall be permitted which advertises the sale, rental, or lease of the premises or property upon which said sign is located.
(2) 
One unlit sign indicating a building is "open" for inspection shall be permitted for the duration of the open hours. Such sign shall not exceed six square feet in display area and shall be located on the premises or property which is open to the public.
(3) 
In residential districts, no such sign shall exceed six square feet in display area.
(4) 
In non-residential zoning districts, such signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in display area.
(5) 
All such signs shall be removed within seven days after the property has been rented, leased or sold, or the title is otherwise transferred.
(m) 
Real estate development signs.
(1) 
One real estate development sign shall be permitted for each development in which lots are still available. Such sign shall only be located on the site of the development. No such sign shall exceed 32 square feet in sign area and eight feet in height. Such sign shall also include the date and permit number of the permit being issued, written in indelible ink.
(2) 
Such sign shall be removed within seven days after all of the units or lots on that site have been sold or leased.
(3) 
A real estate development sign shall not be allowed to occupy the property for more than two years, except when an extension is granted. One-year extensions may be granted by the planning commission.
(4) 
Two flags may be permitted and shall be attached to a real estate development sign. Each flag shall not exceed six square feet.
(n) 
Subdivision or apartment entrance signs.
(1) 
A subdivision or apartment entrance sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in sign display area. If the planning commission determines that architectural features of the sign are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
A subdivision entrance sign, including its architectural features, shall not exceed eight feet in height.
(3) 
A subdivision entrance sign may be located in a traffic island at the entrance of a subdivision, if the planning commission determines that the sign will not obstruct motorist vision.
(o) 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
A business or organization shall be permitted one temporary banner or A-frame sign, not exceeding 20 square feet in display area or six feet in height. A maximum of two temporary sign permits shall be permitted for any one business or organization during a calender year, with a combined permitted display time not exceeding 30 days. Only one such sign shall be permitted at the same time on a site. Signs shall include the permit number and date of issue, written in indelible ink on the face of the sign. Political signs shall not be subject to the requirements of this paragraph.
(2) 
The building official may issue a permit, upon his/her own authority, to businesses, organizations or groups to display a banner or A-frame sign for a specific cause, function or activity, not to exceed the time frame and requirements of subsection (o)(1) herein.
(3) 
Temporary signs are subject to the general regulations (section 52-6).
(p) 
Wall signs.
(1) 
A wall sign shall not project more than 12 inches horizontally beyond the wall of a building.
(2) 
A wall sign shall be used to display the name of the firm, the address or a symbol, or type of business.
(3) 
Wall signs shall not project above the roof line (eave) of a building or structure.
(4) 
Wall signs shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage to which the sign is to be placed, or 20 square feet, whichever is greater. Store fronts which are set back from the road a distance greater than 200 feet may increase the sign area allowance (as determined above) by 250%. In no case shall a wall sign exceed 64 square feet [except as permitted below in subsection 52-5(p)(5)].
(5) 
Large, multi-department stores and big box uses with over 100,000 square feet of floor area may be permitted a wall sign area equal to one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage up to a maximum of 300 square feet. Single-user buildings with more than 40,000 square feet but less than 100,000 square feet of floor area may be permitted 80 square feet of signage, or one-half square foot for every linear foot of store frontage, whichever is greater.
(q) 
Window signs. Window signs shall not occupy more than 15% of the total window area for the facade on which they are visible.
(r) 
Changeable copy signs. Changeable copy signs may only be permitted as part of a ground or pylon sign provided the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The area of the changeable copy sign does not exceed one-third of the entire size of the ground or pylon sign.
(2) 
The information or advertising communicated by the changeable copy sign shall be limited to events, goods and/or services provided or sold on the site.
(3) 
The image or message on the electronic bulletin board does not change more frequently than once every 60 seconds.
(4) 
The sign does not contain moving images (i.e. television type screens).
(5) 
The image or message of the sign does not flash or scroll (vertically or horizontally).
(6) 
The electronic message board can operate only when the business is open or between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., whichever time period is shorter.
(7) 
The LED of the electronic message board is not illuminated beyond the default settings of the sign manufacturer's brightness/dimming controls.
(8) 
The owner of an electronic message board shall allow the township to use the electronic message board to communicate emergency public service information approved by the township supervisor relating to a national disaster or emergency that has been declared by the President of the United States. The operational restrictions on electronic message boards set forth above shall not apply during any time that the electronic message board is used to communicate authorized emergency public service information for the township.
(9) 
The owner agrees to update an approved emergency public service information communication, or discontinue the emergency public service message as soon as possible after receiving a request from the township supervisor. The owner shall file and keep current at all times with the township supervisor's office the name, email address, phone number, cell phone number, pager and other available emergency contact information of the employee(s) or representative(s) of the owner who has been authorized and designated by the owner to communicate the approved emergency public service message using the electronic message board.
[Ord. No. 129, § 6.00, 8-21-2006; Ord. No. 129-01, § 1, 7-16-2007; Ord. No. 129-02, 10-1-2007]
No sign may be erected, displayed or substantially altered or reconstructed, except in conformance with the regulations specified in this chapter. The following conditions shall apply to all signs regardless of use district, unless otherwise specified in this chapter:
(1) 
Exemptions.
a. 
The following signs, as defined herein, are exempt from the site plan and building permit requirements. The signs shall, however, conform to all applicable regulations specified within this chapter.
1. 
Addresses, as permitted in Ordinance 46 and Fire Prevention Division Regulation #5.
2. 
Handicap signs.
3. 
Historical marker signs.
4. 
Political signs.
5. 
Real estate signs.
6. 
Wall signs of three inches in height or less. No more than three per building.
7. 
Warning signs and other non-advertising signs.
8. 
Window signs.
b. 
Township, county, state or federal road or traffic control signs shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
c. 
Signs not visible beyond the boundaries of the lot or parcel upon which they are situated, or from any public thoroughfare or right-of-way, shall not be counted toward the maximum number of signs permitted on the subject lot or parcel. These signs shall remain subject to planning commission approval, permit requirements, inspections, and height and setback requirements.
d. 
In all zoning districts, flags of the United States, the State of Michigan, any political subdivision of the State of Michigan, or other flags specifically approved by the township board for general display, are permitted as long as the size or number of such flag or flags are not of such nature that it would be commonly understood that their display was primarily intended to be a commercial advertisement to attract the attention of the general public.
(2) 
Prohibited signs. Unless otherwise specifically permitted under this chapter, the following signs and/or sign parts shall not be permitted or erected in the township:
a. 
Cloth signs, pylon signs, balloon signs or displays, streamers, windblown devices, spinners, banners and pennants.
b. 
No flashing, animated, moving or bare bulb-type signs or displays.
c. 
Signs affixed to or painted on street furniture.
d. 
Any other sign not specifically authorized hereunder.
e. 
Changeable copy signs, except as part of a permanent freestanding sign. Unless otherwise permitted, no more than 30% of a permanent freestanding sign shall be utilized for changeable copy.
f. 
Signs painted directly onto wall surfaces.
g. 
Vehicle business signs and trailer signs.
h. 
Any sign with a width-to-length or length-to-width ratio exceeding 4:1, except that wall signs shall be permitted to have a maximum width-to-length or length-to-width ratio of 8:1.
(3) 
Locational requirements.
a. 
No sign, except as otherwise permitted herein, shall be located in, project into, or overhang a public right-of-way or dedicated public easement or be attached to a utility pole. Signs which are located in, project into, or overhang a public right-of-way or dedicated public easement or which are attached to a utility pole in violation of this section shall be removed by the township without notice.
1. 
Before any sign which has been removed by the township is returned to the owner, a fee in the amount of $50 shall be paid to the township treasurer for removal and storage of the sign.
2. 
Any sign which has been removed by the township shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of if the owner does not claim the sign within 48 hours from the date of removal.
b. 
No sign, except those established and maintained by the township, county, state or federal governments, shall be located within the triangle formed by the intersection of any road rights-of-way and/or access drive at points 25 feet distant from the point of their intersection.
 vision triangle.tif
Vision Triangle
c. 
No signs shall be located so as to impede pedestrian or automobile traffic.
d. 
In no case shall a sign be closer than 10 feet to any property line. All signs shall meet the following minimum setbacks as measured in feet from the centerline of each road right-of-way (ROW) in accordance with the township's master plan:
Road Type (See Master Plan)
Distance in Feet
Regional (204-foot ROW)
112
Regional (150-foot ROW)
85
Major (120-foot ROW)
70
Secondary (120-foot ROW)
70
Collector (86-foot ROW)
53
Local (70-foot ROW)
45
Local (60-foot ROW)
40
Cul-de-sac
70
Freeway1
50
Private Roads2
20
NOTES:
1Freeways shall be measured from the established right-of-way lines.
2Measured from the road easement or common usage line.
(4) 
Illumination.
a. 
Illumination of signs shall be positioned and/or shielded so that the light shines away from adjoining properties and the eyes of motorists or pedestrians. The light source of such illumination shall be shielded from public view.
b. 
Architectural enhancing lighting, mounted on the exterior of a building, such as neon accent lighting or exposed neon tubing, may be permitted by the planning commission upon a finding that the proposal is in character with the use and area. This regulation does not apply to lighted window signs which display "open/closed" or similar messages, as determined by the planning commission. Neon window lighting and accents shall be prohibited.
c. 
A lighted display of time, temperature, stock market information, or similar non-advertising public information shall be permitted as part of a sign subject to planning commission review and approval. The sign information must be accessory to the use on site and shall not include any off-site advertising.
d. 
No colored light shall be permitted in residential, office or C-1 zoning districts or within 200 feet of such district, except as permitted above. Holiday lighting excepted in season.
(5) 
Maintenance of signs. If, upon inspection by the building official, a sign is found to be unsafe, insecure, corroded, subject to corrosion, or otherwise poorly maintained, then the owner shall make the sign safe and secure by completing any necessary reconstruction, repairs, painting or other improvements in accordance with the following timetable, unless the sign is required to be removed by the nonconforming sign regulations herein:
a. 
If the building official determines that the sign is an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property nearby, all required action to correct the defect shall be taken within 48 hours (two working days) from the time of notification in writing from the township, provided that the sign can be cordoned off or adequately secured during the intervening time so as to remove any immediate threat to safety. If such sign cannot be cordoned off or secured so as to eliminate any immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, then all required action to correct the defect shall be made forthwith.
b. 
If the building official determines that the sign is not an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, all required action to correct the defect shall be made within 30 days after notification in writing from the township. The building official may extend the thirty-day timetable if temperatures below 25° F. prevent painting, or if the defects involved are minor, not generally noticeable to the public, and not a hazard to public safety (such as replacement of burned out light bulbs).
(6) 
Nonconforming signs. Any sign already established by the effective date of this chapter which is rendered nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter, and any sign which is rendered nonconforming as a result of subsequent amendments hereto, shall be subject to the regulations concerning nonconforming signs as follows:
a. 
Any sign in a residential district which is a nonconforming sign shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent, or person within 48 hours after written notice from the township.
b. 
Any sign which advertises a business or industry no longer being conducted, or a product no longer being manufactured or sold on the property, shall be considered nonconforming. Such signs shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land within one month from the date of written notice from the township.
However, where such a sign structure and frame are typically reused by the current occupant or business in leased or rented buildings, the building owner shall not be required to remove the sign structure and frame in the interim periods when the building is not occupied, provided that the sign structure and frame are maintained in accordance with this chapter and other relevant township ordinances and codes, and provided, further, that the time period of non-use does not exceed 90 days.
c. 
Any sign in office, business and industrial districts which is nonconforming as to size, projection, location, number of signs, position, material or construction shall be taken down, removed, repaired, rebuilt or replaced in such a manner as to bring the sign into compliance by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land by August 21, 2017.
[Amended 8-1-2016 by Ord. No. 161]
(7) 
Removal of signs. Whenever a sign is removed or is required to be removed by this chapter or by order of the building official, the entire sign structure, including fastenings and anchorages, shall be removed.
[Ord. No. 129, § 7.00, 8-21-2006]
Sign area, unless otherwise noted herein, shall include the total area within any circle, triangle, rectangle, or other geometric shape or envelope enclosing the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, or any similar figure or element of the sign, together with any frame or other material forming an integral part of the display, if any, or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed.
(1) 
In the case of a wall sign in which there is no frame or other material forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed, the envelope shall be around the letters, logos, emblems, figures, pictures, etc.
(2) 
In the case of an awning or canopy sign, where there is no design or envelope forming an integral part of the display which differentiates the sign from the background of the awning material or color, the envelope shall be around the letters, logos, emblems, figures, stripes, etc. In the case of transparent or translucent awnings or canopies which have internal lighting, the entire surface of the awning or canopy shall be considered as the sign.
(3) 
For a single-faced sign, the area shall be computed as the total exposed exterior surface in square feet.
(4) 
The area of a double-faced freestanding sign shall be computed using only one face of the sign, provided that the outline and dimensions of both faces are identical and that the faces are back-to-back so that only one face is visible at any given location.
(5) 
In the case of double-faced or multi-faced signs that are arranged so that the faces are greater than 24 inches from one another, or signs with any two faces that form a "V" in plan, where the angle of the "V" is greater than 15°, the area shall be computed by totaling the sign area of all faces of the sign. The area of a cylindrical sign shall be computed by measuring the total area of all signs located on the cylinder.
[Ord. No. 129, § 8.00, 8-21-2006; Ord. No. 129-01, § 1, 7-16-2007]
The meanings of the terms in this chapter shall be defined as follows:
ACCESSORY SIGN
A sign which is accessory to the principal use of the premises. A sign which directly relates to the business activity or service conducted on the premises upon which the sign is placed.
A-FRAME
A temporary sign with two panels attached at the top with hinges.
ANNOUNCEMENT SIGN OR BULLETIN BOARD
A monument sign, with permanent and/or changeable letters and logos, located on the property of a church, school or other public building, which provides information relevant to church services, religious activities or educational activities within a building. Such signs may also be utilized to identify non-residential uses located in a residential zoning district.
AWNING
A metal, wooden, fiberglass, canvas, or other fabric cover fastened to a building, which extends over a porch, patio, deck, balcony, window, door or open space.
AWNING SIGN
An accessory sign that is printed on, or otherwise affixed to, an awning.
BALLOON SIGN
One or more balloons, or any other air-filled or gas-filled object used as a sign or as a means of directing attention to any business or profession, or to a commodity or service sold, offered or manufactured, or to any entertainment.
BANNER SIGN
A sign or display constructed of paper, plastic or fabric of any kind, intended to be hung, either with or without frames.
BILLBOARD
See "outdoor advertising sign."
BUILDING OFFICIAL
The building and zoning enforcement administrator of the Charter Township of Chesterfield, or other deputies authorized by the township to enforce this chapter.
CANOPY
A roof-like structure providing shelter to a public access area, which is either freestanding or is projecting from a building and is supported by structural members. A canopy may be constructed of metal, wood, or any approved fire-retardant material, such as cloth, canvas, fabric, plastic, or any light flexible material which is attached to or constructed on a frame or building.
CANOPY SIGN
An accessory sign that is printed on or otherwise affixed to a canopy.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A portion of a pylon or monument sign that allows for manually interchangeable letter and messages or uses light emitting diodes (LED) to electronically change the image or message displayed on the message board no more frequently than once every 30 seconds.
CONSTRUCTION SIGN
A sign located on a construction site or residential model, which advertises the builder, architect, engineer or other development professionals involved in a construction project. The sign may also include a brief description of the project.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A sign not utilized for advertising purposes, but used to direct vehicular or pedestrian traffic to parking areas, loading areas, or to portions of a building.
FLAG
A rectangular piece of fabric fastened to a pole on one end and free on the other. A series of flags on a single pole or pole string, or similar type of mount, shall be considered a pennant.
FLASHING, ANIMATED OR MOVING SIGN
A sign that intermittently reflects lights from either an artificial source or from the sun; a sign which has movement of any illumination such as intermittent, flashing or varying intensity or a sign that has any visible portions in motion, either constantly or at intervals, which motion may be caused either by artificial or natural sources. An electronic changeable copy sign meeting the requirements of subsection 52-5(r) shall not be considered a flashing animated or moving sign.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign attached to the ground by poles or braces and not attached to any building.
GROUND SIGN
See "monument sign".
IDENTIFICATION SIGN OR NAMEPLATE
An accessory sign which displays only the name of a person or firm.
MONUMENT
A freestanding accessory sign, sometimes referred to as a "ground sign", which is permanently fastened to the ground by up-right(s), brace(s) or similar object(s), and which is not attached to a building or structure. Any on-site, accessory, permanent and freestanding sign with two feet or less of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade shall be a monument sign.
OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGN
A sign which is not accessory to the principal use of the premises. Any card, cloth, paper, metal, painted glass, wood, plastic, stone or other object of any kind or character whatsoever, placed for non-accessory outdoor advertising purposes on the ground or on any tree, wall, bush, rock, post, fence, building, structure or thing whatsoever. The term "placed" as used in this definition shall include erecting, constructing, posting, painting, printing, tacking, nailing, gluing, sticking, carving or other fastening, affixing, or making visible in any manner whatsoever to the public.
PENNANT SIGN
A sign or display consisting of long, narrow, usually triangular flags.
POLE SIGN
See "pylon sign".
POLITICAL SIGN
A sign relating to the election of a person or persons to public office, or relating to a political party or a political issue, or relating to a matter to be voted upon at an election.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign which is not permanently fastened to a building, structure, or ground.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign which is permanently fastened to the surface of a wall in such a way that the sign face is perpendicular to the surface of the wall. The sign face shall consist of two sides, mounted flush back-to-back.
PYLON SIGN
A freestanding accessory sign, sometimes referred to as a pole sign, which is permanently fastened to the ground by upright(s), brace(s) or similar object(s), and which is not attached to a building or structure. Any on-site, accessory, permanent and freestanding sign with more than two feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade shall be a pylon sign.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
An accessory sign which advertises the particular property upon which it is placed for sale, rent or lease.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT SIGN
A freestanding accessory sign informing when a subdivision or other real estate development will commence construction or when it will be available for sale, use or occupancy.
SIGN
Any use of words, numbers, figures, devices, designs, logos, trademarks, letters, characters, marks, points, planes, posters, pictorials, pictures, strokes, stripes, lines, reading matter, illuminating devices or paint visible to the general public and designed to inform or attract the attention of persons, including the structure upon which such words, numbers, figures, devices, designs, logos, trademarks, letters, characters, marks, points, planes, posters, pictorials, pictures, strokes, stripes, lines, reading matter, illuminating devices or paint are or may be printed or affixed.
SIGNABLE AREA
A continuous wall area on a building which is free from windows and doors and major architectural design. So-called mansard roofs may be used for signable area, provided they are within 20° of a vertical plane and wall signs on them are vertical, unless individual letters are used to make up the wall sign.
SIGN HEIGHT
The vertical distance from the uppermost portion of a sign or sign structure to the grade at the base of the sign.
SITE
All land in a development which is necessary or indicated as part of the development proposal to meet parking requirements, setback requirements, landscape requirements, drainage requirements (i.e., retention or detention basin), and lot coverage requirements.
SUBDIVISION ENTRANCE SIGN
A sign depicting the name of a residential, office/service, commercial, or industrial subdivision, and which sign is located at the entrance to said subdivision.
TEMPORARY SIGN
An accessory sign that is intended to be erected for only a few days or a few weeks, including portable signs, trailer signs, banners, pennants, or any other sign that is not permanently affixed to a building face or to a pole, pylon, or other support that is permanently anchored to the ground.
TRAILER SIGN
A temporary sign mounted on, or a part of, a trailer or wheeled vehicle.
VEHICLE BUSINESS SIGN
A vehicle upon which a sign is painted or attached and is parked upon a premises for the intent of advertising. Vehicle business signs shall not include licensed commercial vehicles regularly used to transport persons or property for the operation of the business.
WALL SIGN
An accessory sign permanently fastened to the wall of a building or structure, or a sign painted on, attached to, or placed flat against the exterior wall surface of any building, no portion of which projects more than 12 inches from the wall.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign which is affixed, attached, painted or otherwise placed on or adjacent to the interior of a window in such a manner as to be readily visible from the exterior of the building.
[Ord. No. 129, § 9.00, 8-21-2006]
(a) 
The planning commission may vary a provision of this chapter upon a finding of all of the following:
(1) 
The particular size, shape or topographical conditions of the property would render compliance with the provisions of this chapter difficult and would likely result in a particular hardship on the owner. Any variance shall be granted only to the extent of rendering equity with the rights granted by this chapter to others with similar uses in similar districts.
(2) 
Strict enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would serve no useful purpose.
(3) 
The type of sign structure and the location proposed would not pose a significant risk to the public health, safety and welfare.
(4) 
The benefit of the sign to the general public and/or applicant under the circumstances outweighs any risk to traffic safety and the township's desire to eliminate the accumulation of visual clutter in accordance with the stated purpose of this chapter.
(5) 
A variance would be in the interest of the township and not against the spirit and intent of this chapter.
(b) 
In issuing a variance from the strict letter of the provisions of this chapter, the planning commission may grant a variance of any sign requirement or place reasonable conditions or restrictions upon issuance of a permit to protect the health, safety and welfare of the township.
(c) 
Decisions of the planning commission shall be final. No appeal process is available through the township.
[Ord. No. 129, § 10.00, 8-21-2006]
(a) 
Any person, firm, corporation, partnership or other entity who violates any of the provisions of this chapter, shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction, subject to payment of a civil fine not less than $50, plus costs for each violation. Repeat offenders under this chapter shall be subject to increased fines as provided herein. As used in this section, "repeat offenses" means a second or any subsequent, violation of the same requirement or provision of this chapter committed by an offender within any two-year period and for which the offender admits responsibility or is determined to be responsible. The increased fine for a repeat offense under this chapter shall be as follows:
(1) 
The fine for any offense which is a first repeat offense shall not be less than $75, plus costs.
(2) 
The fine for any offense which is a second repeat offense shall not be less than $100, plus costs.
(3) 
The fine for any offense which is a third repeat offense, or any subsequent repeat offense, shall not be less than $250, plus costs.
(b) 
Each day on which any violation of this chapter occurs or continues, constitutes a separate offense subject to separate penalties.
[Ord. No. 129, § 14.00, 8-21-2006]
This chapter shall take effect on October 13, 2006.