Township of Shrewsbury, PA
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
Signs constitute a separate and distinct use of the premises upon which they are placed. They affect the use of adjacent roads, streets, walkways and other properties. The provisions of this Part are made to establish reasonable and objective regulations for certain signs in Shrewsbury Township in an effort to minimize the distraction and obstruction of view to promote pedestrian and traffic safety, minimize the adverse effects of signage on nearby properties, to provide an effective guide for communicating identification through signage, and to enable fair and consistent enforcement.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
All signs shall be constructed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Act ("UCC"), if applicable, and: a) shall be maintained in good condition, b) shall be kept free of defects or hazards, including, but not limited to, faulty wiring, loose fastenings, being in an unsafe condition or detrimental to public health, safety or general welfare, and c) shall not be allowed to become dilapidated or deteriorated. In the event that the UCC is applicable to a sign, it is the intent of this Part that as between this Part and the UCC, the more stringent requirement shall apply.
2. 
Advertisements painted upon or displayed upon a barn or other building or structure shall be regarded as an advertising billboard, and the regulations pertaining thereto shall apply.
[Amended by Ord. 2015-01, 1/5/2015]
3. 
Illumination. Signs shall be illuminated only in accordance with the following regulations as authorized in an appropriate sign permit:
A. 
Light sources shall not be of such intensity as to cause glare that may be hazardous to pedestrians or motorists; and light sources shall comply with the Shrewsbury Township Zoning Ordinance requirements for glare.
B. 
Individual, solid letters with internal lighting tubes which backlight a wall in a halo effect are permitted.
C. 
Signs in the Agricultural, Residential, and Residential Receiving Zones shall not be illuminated between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
4. 
Nuisance. No sign shall create a public nuisance by emitting smoke, sound, vapor, beams or rays, particle emissions or odors, or by creating a safety or traffic hazard.
5. 
Signs shall not be erected within or extend into the road right-of-way, which for the purpose of this Part shall be construed to extend to and include the sidewalks on both sides of every street. Unless the Township has given prior written approval, the Township has the right to remove and dispose of any sign located in the Township or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania right-of-way, with all costs of removal becoming the responsibility of the property owner, if placed there by the property owner, or of the sign owner. Except as noted below, signs placed upon public property or public rights-of-way shall be forfeited and subject to removal. The following signs shall be erected with the permission of the Township:
A. 
Permanent signs erected by or on behalf of a governmental body to post legal notices, identify public property, convey public information and events, and direct or regulate pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
B. 
Bus stop signs, bus route signs and other such signs erected by a public transit company.
C. 
Information signs of a public utility regarding its poles, lines, pipes or facilities.
D. 
Temporary signs erected by or on behalf of a governmental body to post legal notices, convey public information and events, and direct or regulate pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
E. 
Emergency warning signs erected by a governmental agency, a public utility company or a contractor doing authorized or permitted work within the public right-of-way.
6. 
No signs shall obstruct any fire escape or door leading thereto, or window, nor shall any sign be attached to a fire escape.
7. 
No sign may be placed or erected in such a fashion as to create a safety or traffic hazard.
8. 
The bottommost part of a projecting sign shall be at least 10 feet above the ground or pavement.
9. 
Mobile signs, including persons in costumes used to attract public attention, are not permitted within any public right-of-way.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
Signs may be erected and maintained only when in compliance with the provisions of this Part and any and all other laws, ordinances, codes and regulations relating to the erection, alteration, or maintenance of signs and similar devices. A sign permit shall be required for the erection and modification of all signs requiring permits.
2. 
The administrator of this Part shall be the Codes Enforcement Officer or as designated by the Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisors. The Codes Enforcement Officer shall have the responsibility and authority to administer and enforce all provisions of this Part.
3. 
No sign requiring a permit shall be erected, displayed, altered, relocated, or replaced until the Zoning Officer issues a sign permit.
4. 
Applications for sign permits shall be submitted on forms approved by the Township, along with a sketch plan, and shall contain the following information:
A. 
Location of the proposed sign on the premises in relation to lot lines, buildings, sidewalks, streets and public rights-of-way. If the proposed sign is within 300 feet of any street intersection, the distance between the intersection and the proposed sign must be included.
B. 
Type of sign and general description of structural design and construction materials, which must be in compliance of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Act, if applicable.
C. 
Drawings of the proposed sign shall contain specifications indicating height, perimeter, area, dimensions, type of lettering proposed, means of support, method of illumination and any other significant characteristics, which shall be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Act, if applicable.
D. 
The required sign permit fee, as established by resolution from time to time by the Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisors, shall be submitted with the application.
5. 
Permit Application Process. The Zoning Officer shall review the sign permit application and issue a permit, or deny the application, in conformance with the following standards.
A. 
Official Date. The official date of submission shall be the day the Zoning Officer determines that the completed application, with all required and necessary data, has been properly prepared and submitted, including fees.
B. 
Compliance. The Zoning Officer shall determine whether the proposed sign will or will not be in compliance with the requirements of this Part, and/or the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code Act, if applicable, and shall within 15 days of the official date of submission issue a permit or deny the sign application.
C. 
Inspections. The Zoning Officer shall perform a final inspection after installation of a sign requiring a permit.
D. 
Discrepancies. Any discrepancies between a permitted sign, as approved, and the sign constructed shall be documented in writing by the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer shall notify the property owner/applicant, in writing, of the discrepancy and issue a stop-work order until the discrepancy has been resolved. If the permitted sign is not in compliance within 20 days after written notice of the violation, the Zoning Officer shall revoke the sign permit and pursue any other legal action to enforce compliance.
E. 
Modification. Any modification to this Part shall be approved or denied by the Board of Supervisors upon application by the property owner or occupant, pursuant to the following:
(1) 
An applicant shall file with the Township an application for a modification on a form approved and provided by the Township, together with a filing fee established by resolution from time to time by the Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
Notice of a public hearing shall follow the same notice requirements as those for zoning appeals, as set forth in the Township's Zoning Ordinance.
(3) 
The standard of review to be used by the Board of Supervisors shall be the standard of review for variances as set forth in Section 910.2 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., as amended.
(4) 
The property owner or occupant has the right to request the presence of a stenographer at the public hearing before the Board of Supervisors. Arrangements and costs for a stenographer are the responsibility of the applicant. Hearings shall follow the procedures set forth in the Local Agency Law.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
All permitted signs shall be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the following standards:
A. 
All signs shall comply with applicable provisions of any building and electrical codes as adopted by the Township.
B. 
Except for banners, flags, temporary signs and window signs conforming in all respects with the requirements of this section, all signs shall be constructed of permanent materials and shall be permanently attached to the ground, a building, or another structure by direct attachment to a rigid wall, frame or structure. No signs shall be painted on, attached to, or supported by a street sign or street light standard.
C. 
Signs must be constructed of durable material and maintained in good condition.
D. 
Signs may be interior-lighted with nonglaring lights or may be illuminated by lights shielded to prevent direct light transmission to other properties or public rights-of-way. Such lighting must comply with Section 1515 of the Township Zoning Ordinance. Any lighted sign that becomes damaged so as to cause an electrical hazard shall be turned off and electrically isolated until timely repairs are made.
E. 
Except in the case of billboards, all signs must relate to a use that is located and/or conducted within Shrewsbury Township.
F. 
All permanent freestanding signs (Table 1, Permanent Signs) shall meet the landscape requirements of Article 700 (Landscaping) of the Shrewsbury Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, specifically, sign types:
[Added by Ord. 2017-04, 5/3/2017]
(1) 
P-2: Signs identifying public and semipublic uses;
(2) 
P-10: Residential development/neighborhood signs;
(3) 
P-12A: Freestanding business sign;
(4) 
P-13A: Freestanding business sign for complex; and
(5) 
P-13B: Freestanding business sign for individual businesses.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
Computation of Gross Sign Area. The area of a sign shall include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols together with the background, whether open or enclosed, including any supporting framework.
A. 
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 single smallest rectangle or other regular geometric shape which encompasses all of the letters and symbols, including the sign background and frame.
B. 
In computing square-foot area of a double-faced sign, only one side shall be considered, provided both faces are identical in size; otherwise, the larger side shall be considered. If the interior angle formed by the faces of the multifaced sign is greater than 45°, then all sides of the sign shall be considered in calculating the sign area.
2. 
Computation of Sign Height. The height of sign shall be computed as the distance from the base of the sign or its supporting structure(s) at finished grade to the top of the highest attached component of the sign. Finished grade shall be construed to be the grade after construction, exclusive of any filling, berming, mounding or excavating solely for the purpose of locating the sign.
3. 
Computation of Sign Setbacks. Sign setbacks shall be calculated from the outermost edge of the sign and its supporting structure.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
Billboards shall be permitted in the Industrial Zone subject to the provisions of this Part and the following criteria:
A. 
No billboard shall be located within 1,000 radial feet of another billboard. Billboards shall be set back at least 100 feet from any land zoned Agricultural, Rural Residential, or Suburban Residential districts, or from any residential use.
B. 
All billboards shall be a minimum of 50 feet from all side and rear property lines.
C. 
All billboards shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from any street right-of-way line.
D. 
No billboard shall obstruct the vision of motorists or adjoining commercial or industrial uses that depend upon visibility for identification.
E. 
All properties upon which a billboard is erected shall be regularly maintained so as not to create a nuisance by means of weeds, litter or critter habitation.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
Messages on any electronic sign shall remain static as follows:
Table 19.107.A - Display Cycles
Required Minimum Message Display Cycles
(seconds)
Speed Limit
(mph)
Total Sign Area Less than 65 Square Feet
Total Sign Area 65 Square Feet or Greater
25
16 seconds
32 seconds
30
15 seconds
30 seconds
35
14 seconds
28 seconds
40
13 seconds
26 seconds
45
12 seconds
24 seconds
50
11 seconds
22 seconds
55+
10 seconds
20 seconds
2. 
The display shall change from one complete message to the next complete message within one second.
3. 
Messages shall not visually dissolve or fade, in which any part of one electronic message/display appears simultaneously with any part of a second electronic message/display.
4. 
Flashes, bursts of light, streaming, zooming or animated effects are prohibited on electronic signs with multicolor displays. Electronic signs with a monochromatic display are permitted to have animated effects.
5. 
All electronic signs shall have ambient light monitors which automatically adjust the brightness level of the electronic sign based on ambient light conditions.
6. 
Electronic signs shall not be located within 300 feet of a residential use if the sign area is greater than 65 square feet.
7. 
Electronic signs may include community service messages, i.e., time and temperature, school closings, nonprofit announcements, weather alerts, etc.
8. 
Except for billboards, an electronic sign shall not advertise for any off-site business.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
Signs that are nonconforming as of the effective date of this Part may continue to be displayed.
2. 
Modifications. Nonconforming signs shall not be enlarged, extended, structurally reconstructed or altered in any manner, except that the sign face (gross surface area portion of the sign) may be changed as long as the new sign face is equal to or reduced in height, sign area, and/or projection.
3. 
Removal.
A. 
A nonconforming sign, including the supporting structure, that is damaged or destroyed to the extent of 50% or more of fair market value shall not be altered, replaced or reinstalled unless it is in conformance with this Part. If the damage or destruction is less than 50% of fair market value, the sign must be under repair within 60 days, and all repairs must be completed within six months; otherwise, the nonconforming sign shall be deemed to be abandoned.
B. 
A nonconforming sign, including the supporting structure, shall be removed within 30 days if the sign is damaged or destroyed to the extent of 50% or more of the fair market value of the sign.
C. 
Any nonconforming sign that remains unused for a continuous period of one year shall be deemed to be abandoned and may only be used thereafter in conformance with this Part.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
1. 
Whenever a sign becomes structurally unsafe or endangers the safety of the building or premises, or endangers the public safety, the Zoning Officer shall give written notice to the landowner that such sign be made safe or removed within five days. Should the sign remain after said five-day period, the Zoning Officer may proceed with enforcement and may have such sign(s) removed at the expense of the landowner.
2. 
Each sign, or section thereof, shall be removed when the circumstances leading to its erection no longer apply. Any sign, or section thereof, which advertises business, service or other goods or activities no longer in existence shall be removed within 60 days of the termination of or change in use of the business or service. Should the sign, or section thereof, remain after said sixty-day time period, the Zoning Officer shall notify the landowner, in writing, that the subject sign(s), or section(s) thereof, must be removed within 30 days after receipt of said notice. If such sign(s), or section(s) thereof, remain after the said thirty-day period, the Zoning Officer may proceed with enforcement and may have such sign(s), or section(s) thereof, removed at the expense of the landowner.
3. 
In addition to enforcement, the Township shall have the right to recover from the owner or person placing any prohibited sign the full costs of removal and storage/disposal of such sign.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
It is unlawful to erect or place any sign in the Township unless it is specifically permitted in this Part. Unlawful signs include but are not limited to:
A. 
Signs which interfere with, compete for attention with, or appear similar to a traffic signal, including any sign which uses an arrow device or the word "stop." This also includes signs in which the colors red, green, and amber are used either in direct illumination or in high reflection by the use of special preparation such as LED lighting, fluorescent paint, or fluorescent glass.
B. 
Signs attached to rocks, utility poles, traffic signposts, traffic signals or control devices, street signs, trees (except no-trespassing and no-hunting signs), shrubs, any living vegetative matter, or historical markers.
C. 
Signs erected without the permission of the property owner or authorized agents.
D. 
Abandoned signs.
E. 
Tethered balloons larger than 12 inches in diameter or attached by a tether longer than five feet, filled either by gas or heated air.
F. 
Signs with reflective backgrounds.
G. 
Open flames used to attract public attention.
H. 
Sexually-oriented Signs. This includes any sign which exhibits matter depicting, describing or relating to specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities and/or sexually oriented devices, or that are obscene as defined in Shrewsbury Township Zoning Ordinance.
I. 
Any vehicle or trailer with a sign or signs attached thereto placed or painted thereon, visible from any public right-of-way, shall be prohibited, except any vehicle or trailer which is actively engaged in making deliveries, pickups or otherwise actively in use, and the sign face does not protrude in excess of one inch from the vehicle.
J. 
Signs with flashing and rotating lights, excluding traffic control devices.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014, as amended by Ord. 2015-01, 1/5/2015]
Only the types of permanent signs listed in § 19-113 within this Part shall be permitted within the limits of Shrewsbury Township. Permanent signs must conform to the standards set forth in Table 1,[1] as well as satisfy the general regulations of this Part.
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Ord. 2015-01, 1/5/2015]
Only the types of temporary signs listed in § 19-113 within this Part shall be permitted within the limits of Shrewsbury Township. Temporary signs must conform to the standards set forth in Table 2,[1] as well as satisfy the general regulations of this Part.
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 2 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
[Ord. 2015-01, 1/5/2015]
1. 
Signs displayed beyond the permitted time period may be impounded by the Township. The Township may charge an impoundment fee set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors for the collection, storage and/or disposal of the signs.
2. 
The following tables present specific standards imposed on signs:[1]
A. 
Table 1 - Permitted Permanent Signs.
B. 
Table 2 - Permitted Temporary Signs.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said tables are included as attachments to this chapter.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
The Township Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to enforce a violation of the provisions of this Part by initiating a civil enforcement proceeding before a Magisterial District Justice. Upon being found liable therefor, a violator shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $600 per violation, plus additional daily penalties for continuing violations, court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township in the enforcement proceedings. In addition to or in lieu of civil actions before a Magisterial District Justice, the Township may enforce this Part by an action in equity. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
The interpretation and application of the provisions of this Part shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of health, safety, morals and the general welfare of Shrewsbury Township and its citizens. It is not intended by this Part to interfere with or abrogate or annul any rules or regulations previously adopted or permits previously issued by Shrewsbury Township which are not in conflict with any provisions of this Part. It is not intended by this Part to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easements, covenants, building restrictions or other agreements between parties.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
Should any section, subsection or provision of this Part be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of this Part as a whole or any other part thereof.
[Ord. 2014-04, 6/4/2014]
This Part shall take effect five days after adoption.