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Township of Shaler, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
All signs not expressly authorized under this article or exempt from regulation hereunder in accordance with the subsequent sections are prohibited in the Township. Prohibited signs shall include, but are not limited to:
A. 
All illegal signs and all signs not in compliance with this chapter or any other ordinance or regulation of the Township.
B. 
Signs not in good repair.
C. 
Signs interfering with or impeding drivers' vision, including line of sight or vehicular traffic or safety signs.
D. 
Any sign erected closer than five feet to any underground utility line.
E. 
Obsolete signs and abandoned signs. Each sign shall be promptly removed when the circumstances leading to its erection no longer apply.
F. 
Beacons.
G. 
Flashing signs.
H. 
Roof signs.
I. 
Pennants.
J. 
Banners.
K. 
Vehicular signs.
L. 
Portable signs.
The following types of signs are permitted in all districts:
A. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs as hereinafter specially regulated in each district.
B. 
Political posters and placards, which shall be removed by the person erecting such sign, the person responsible for the land on which it is erected or the candidate or party upon whose behalf the posters and placards are erected, within seven days after the election.
C. 
Public service signs of such size and type and in such locations as required to satisfy the public need in any district, including:
(1) 
Convenience signs identifying location of rest rooms, freight entrances and parking areas.
(2) 
Government signs for the control of traffic and other regulatory purposes.
(3) 
Public transit service signs.
(4) 
Public utility information signs and community special event signs.
(5) 
Safety signs.
(6) 
Signs erected by a public agency in the performance of a public duty.
(7) 
Signs indicating scenic or historic points of interest.
(8) 
Street signs.
(9) 
"No trespassing" signs and "no hunting" signs.
(10) 
Directional signs without advertising, as may be deemed necessary for the reservation of the public health or safety.
(11) 
Directional signs with advertising and having a maximum size of no more than three square feet per entrance or exit.
The following types of signs are permitted in residential districts.
A. 
Residential identification signs on residential structures:
(1) 
Maximum number of signs per building is one sign, or two if building is on a corner lot.
(2) 
Maximum size per sign is 1 1/2 square feet.
B. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs.
(1) 
Maximum number of signs per building is one sign, or two if building is on a corner lot.
(2) 
Maximum size per sign is 10 square feet.
(3) 
Minimum distance of the sign from another lot is 15 feet.
C. 
Institutional identification signs on institutional or public buildings:
(1) 
Maximum number of identification signs per building is two signs.
(2) 
Maximum total area of signs is 32 square feet.
D. 
Institutional directional and informational signs on institutional or public buildings:
(1) 
Unlimited number of signs.
(2) 
Maximum size of each sign is three square feet.
E. 
There shall be not more than two identification signs erected by churches, schools or other similar institutions, each of which shall be located on the premises and shall not exceed 32 square feet in area. Additional directional and informational signs may be erected on such premises as necessary, each of which shall not exceed three square feet in area.
A. 
For all uses within nonresidential districts along these corridors, each business establishment is permitted to have one of the following combinations of signage:
(1) 
One ground sign and one projecting sign with a total area of 100 square feet.
(2) 
One ground sign and one awning sign with a total area of 100 square feet.
(3) 
One wall sign and one projecting sign with a total area of 100 square feet.
(4) 
One wall sign and one awning sign with a total area of 100 square feet.
(5) 
One wall sign and one ground sign with a total area of 80 square feet.
(6) 
If granted a special exception for an electronic sign, one electronic sign and one wall sign with a total maximum area of 80 square feet for all sign faces.
B. 
The maximum size of each sign is 50 square feet.
C. 
Including additional signs and electronic signs, but excluding supplemental signs, the maximum total signage area of all signs for each business establishment along these corridors is 100 square feet for all sign faces.
D. 
Ground signs must comply with all bufferyard requirements.
E. 
The maximum height of any sign attached to a building is one foot above the roofline of the building to which it is attached.
F. 
The maximum height of any permitted sign not attached to a building is 25 feet above the level of the ground.
G. 
Supplemental wall signs with a maximum size of six square feet are permitted.
H. 
Electronic signs are not permitted except by special exception.
I. 
For a contiguous group of more than five business establishments, one additional ground sign is permitted for the group:
(1) 
The maximum size of the additional ground sign is 50 square feet.
(2) 
The maximum height of the sign is 25 feet from the level of the ground.
J. 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
The maximum number of temporary signs permitted per business establishment is one temporary sign within a calendar year.
(2) 
The maximum size of any temporary sign erected within any calendar year is 12 square feet.
(3) 
The maximum length of time a temporary sign may be displayed per business establishment is 30 days within any calendar year, and the temporary sign shall be removed within two days following the last day of the event.
(4) 
Window signs affixed to the inside of windows are not considered temporary signs.
K. 
The minimum distance of any sign from a paved portion of the public right-of-way, except for a wall sign, is 15 feet.
L. 
The minimum distance of any sign from a residential lot is 40 feet.
M. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs:
(1) 
Maximum number of signs per lot is one sign, or two signs on a corner lot.
(2) 
Maximum size is 50 square feet.
(3) 
Minimum distance from the paved portion of a public right-of-way is 15 feet.
(4) 
The signs may not be illuminated.
(5) 
The sign shall be erected only upon the property for sale or being rented.
A. 
For all uses within nonresidential districts along these corridors, each business establishment is permitted to have one of the following combinations of signage:
(1) 
One ground sign and one projecting sign with a maximum total signage area of 125 square feet for all sign faces.
(2) 
One ground sign and one awning sign with a maximum total signage area of 125 square feet for all sign faces.
(3) 
One wall sign and one projecting sign with a maximum total signage area of 125 square feet for all sign faces.
(4) 
One wall sign and one ground sign with a maximum total signage area of 125 square feet for all sign faces.
(5) 
One wall sign and one electronic sign with a maximum total signage area of 125 square feet for all sign faces.
(6) 
The maximum size of each sign is 100 square feet.
B. 
Ground signs must comply with all bufferyard requirements.
C. 
The maximum height of any sign attached to a building is one foot above the roofline of the building to which it is attached.
D. 
The maximum height of any permitted sign not attached to a building, excluding billboards, is 25 feet above the level of the ground.
E. 
Additional sign. For a contiguous group of more than five business establishments, one additional ground sign is permitted for the group:
(1) 
The maximum size of the additional ground sign is 50 square feet.
(2) 
The maximum height of the sign is 25 feet from the level of the ground.
F. 
Including additional signs and electronic signs but excluding supplemental signs, the maximum total signage area of all signs for each business establishment along these corridors is 125 square feet for all sign faces.
G. 
Supplemental wall signs with a maximum size of six square feet are permitted.
H. 
Electronic signs complying with this chapter are permitted.
I. 
Temporary signs:
(1) 
The maximum number of temporary signs permitted per business establishment is one temporary sign within a calendar year.
(2) 
The maximum size of any temporary sign erected within any calendar year is 12 square feet.
(3) 
The maximum length of time a temporary sign may be displayed per business establishment is 30 days within any calendar year, and the temporary sign shall be removed within two days following the last day of the event.
(4) 
Window signs affixed to the inside of windows are not considered temporary signs.
J. 
The minimum distance of any sign from a paved portion of the public right-of-way, except for a wall sign, is 15 feet.
K. 
The minimum distance of any sign from a residential lot is 40 feet.
L. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs:
(1) 
Maximum number of signs per lot is one sign, or two signs on a corner lot.
(2) 
Maximum size is 50 square feet.
(3) 
Minimum distance from the paved portion of a public right-of-way is 15 feet.
(4) 
The signs may not be illuminated.
(5) 
The sign shall be erected only upon the property for sale or being rented.
A. 
For all uses within nonresidential districts along this corridor, each business establishment is permitted to have one of the following combinations of signage:
(1) 
Wall signs.
(a) 
Maximum number of wall signs is two.
(b) 
Maximum distance a wall sign projects from the wall to which it is attached is one foot.
(c) 
A wall sign may not exceed the width of the occupied premises or building in length.
(2) 
Supplemental wall signs with a maximum size of six square feet are permitted.
(3) 
One ground sign and one projecting sign with a total maximum signage area of 150 square feet for all sign faces.
(4) 
One ground sign and one awning sign with a total maximum signage area of 150 square feet for all sign faces.
(5) 
One wall sign and one projecting sign with a total maximum signage area of 150 square feet for all sign faces.
(6) 
One wall sign and one ground sign with a total maximum signage area of 150 square feet for all sign faces.
(7) 
One wall sign and one electronic sign with a maximum total area of 150 square feet for all sign faces.
(8) 
The maximum size of each sign is 100 square feet.
(9) 
For a building on a corner lot, either frontage may be used for calculation, but the frontage selected will be the front where the sign is erected.
B. 
Ground signs must comply with all bufferyard requirements.
C. 
The maximum height of any sign attached to a building is one foot above the roofline of the building to which it is attached.
D. 
The maximum height of any permitted sign not attached to a building, excluding billboards, is 25 feet above the level of the ground.
E. 
Additional sign. For a contiguous group of more than five business establishments, one additional ground sign is permitted for the group:
(1) 
The maximum size of the additional ground sign is 50 square feet.
(2) 
The maximum height of the sign is 25 feet from the level of the ground.
F. 
Including additional signs and electronic signs but excluding supplemental signs, the maximum total signage area of all signs for each business establishment along these corridors is 150 square feet for all sign faces.
G. 
Lots without buildings are permitted one ground sign with a maximum size of 50 square feet.
H. 
Ground signs must comply with all bufferyard requirements.
I. 
Temporary signs:
(1) 
The maximum number of temporary signs permitted per business establishment is one temporary sign within a calendar year.
(2) 
The maximum size of any temporary sign erected within any calendar year is 12 square feet.
(3) 
The maximum length of time a temporary sign may be displayed per business establishment is 30 days within any calendar year, and the temporary sign shall be removed within two days following the last day of the event.
(4) 
Window signs affixed to the inside of windows are not considered temporary signs.
J. 
Electronic signs complying with this chapter are permitted.
K. 
Billboards complying with this chapter are permitted.
(1) 
All billboards must be:
(a) 
The principal use on a lot.
(b) 
Mounted on a permanent structure but not on a motor vehicle, fence or a retaining wall.
(2) 
The face of the sign shall not be visible within a ground-level sight distance of 350 feet of property zoned residential, cemetery or professional, a public park or playground of 1/4 acre or more, or a cultural and/or recreation center.
(3) 
The billboard must be within the lot where the base is erected.
(4) 
Minimum distance from a public right-of-way is 15 feet.
(5) 
Maximum height of a billboard sign is 40 feet.
(6) 
Only one billboard is permitted per lot, but one sign may have a maximum of two faces arranged back to back or deck style.
(7) 
Maximum size: 240 square feet.
L. 
Location requirements:
(1) 
Minimum distance from a ground sign to the paved area of a public right-of-way is 15 feet.
(2) 
Projecting signs must be attached directly to the structural framework of the building.
(3) 
Minimum distance from any sign to a residential lot is 100 feet.
M. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs:
(1) 
Maximum number of signs per lot is one sign, or two signs on a corner lot.
(2) 
Maximum size is 50 square feet.
(3) 
Minimum distance from the paved portion of a public right-of-way is 15 feet.
(4) 
The signs may not be illuminated.
(5) 
The sign shall be erected only upon the property for sale or being rented.
A. 
Uses within a Professional District outside of a signage corridor will use the signage standards for nonresidential uses in the most restrictive directly adjacent district or corridor.
B. 
All other nonresidential uses outside of a signage corridor, shall use the standards for the Babcock Boulevard/Evergreen Road Corridors.
A. 
Illuminated signs complying with this chapter are permitted in each nonresidential zoning district.
B. 
All signs may be illuminated with back, internal or external lighting. Each sign that is lit entirely by backlighting or external lighting is permitted to increase the total permitted signage area by 5%. Backlighting does not include internal lighting.
C. 
All illumination must be cutoff lighting. All lighting must be limited to a maximum candlepower of 2 1/2% of the total lamp lumens at an angle of 90° above horizontal and a maximum candlepower of 10% at an angle of 80° above horizontal for any lateral angle around the light.
D. 
No illuminated off-premises advertising sign shall be illuminated between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m., prevailing time.
A. 
Electronic signs complying with the requirements of this chapter may be approved by the Code Enforcement Officer in the Route 8 and East Ohio Street Corridors and the Babcock Boulevard and Evergreen Road Corridors in the Township.
B. 
Electronic signs complying with the requirements of this chapter are permitted as a special exception in the Mount Royal Boulevard and Seavey Road Corridors of the Township.
C. 
All electronic signs in the Township are subject to the following criteria:
(1) 
No electronic off-premises advertising sign shall be illuminated between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m., prevailing time.
(2) 
Electronic signs with large video display are permitted in the Route 8 and East Ohio Street Corridors and the Babcock Boulevard and Evergreen Road Corridors in the Township.
(3) 
Dwell time. The text, image or display on an electronic sign may not change more than once every 10 seconds. Twirl time between subsequent text, images or display shall not exceed 0.25 of a second.
(4) 
Brightness. During daylight hours between sunrise and sunset, luminance shall be no greater than 5,000 nits. At all other times, luminance shall be no greater than 500 nits.
(5) 
Location. No electronic sign may be erected except as authorized herein.
(6) 
Interference. No electronic sign shall be erected or maintained in such a manner as to obscure or otherwise physically interfere with an official traffic sign, signal or device, or to obstruct or physically interfere with the driver's view of approaching, merging or intersecting traffic.
(7) 
Controls/testing/annual certification.
(a) 
All electronic signs shall be equipped with an automatic dimmer control or other mechanism that automatically controls the sign's brightness as provided above.
(b) 
Prior to approval of any permit to operate an electronic sign, the applicant shall certify that the sign has been tested and complies with the motion, dwell time, brightness and other requirements herein.
(c) 
The owner and/or operator of an electronic sign shall submit an annual report to the Township certifying that the sign complies with the motion, dwell time, brightness and other requirements herein.
(8) 
Maintenance. Routine maintenance of electronic signs is permitted, including the replacement of solid state electronic components, subject to compliance with regulations set forth herein relating to motion, brightness and dwell time.
A. 
No sign shall be erected until the owner, occupier or applicant has received a permit for the erection of the sign and pays to the Township a fee in such amount as the Board of Commissioners may from time to time set by resolution.
B. 
A separate permit is required for the erection of each individual sign.
C. 
No permit is required for signs with an area of 12 square feet or less.
D. 
No permit is required for "for sale" or "for rent" signs.
All nonconforming signs in existence prior to the effective date of this chapter are permitted to continue, provided that no such sign shall be:
A. 
Changed, altered or expanded in any way which increases the sign's nonconformity or replaced by another nonconforming sign, except that copy may be changed on an existing sign.
B. 
Relocated, except in conformance with the requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Reestablished after it has been removed or is an abandoned sign.
Where a ground sign is permitted and the width of the sign at its base would extend beyond the bounds of an established or proposed bufferyard, the bufferyard must be expanded in a "cut out" so that the entire base of the sign is within a contiguous landscaped area with a minimum distance of two feet from the edge of the base of the sign to the edge of the landscaped bufferyard area. The "cut out" must be circular or semicircular in shape unless the lot shape and/or public right-of-way does not allow for this shape; in which case, the "cut out" should be rounded in shape.
The following signs shall be exempt from regulation under this chapter:
A. 
Any public notice or warning required by a valid and applicable federal, state or local law, regulation or ordinance.
B. 
Any sign inside a structure not attached to a window or door that is not legible from a distance of more than three feet beyond the lot line of the lot or site on which such sign is located.
C. 
Works of art that do not include a commercial message.
D. 
Holiday lights and decorations with no commercial message.
E. 
Memorial signs or tablets denoting the date of erection of a building.
F. 
Auctions, garage or yard sale signs, provided that they do not exceed five square feet and are removed as soon as the event or activity has occurred, and provided that they shall not be permitted to be erected more than seven days prior to the event and only permitted at the site at which the event will take place and removed within 48 hours of the conclusion of the event.
G. 
Signs and banners erected by a governmental body or under the direction of such body.
H. 
Community special event signs announcing a nonprofit event of a civic organization for noncommercial purposes, where such sign does not exceed four square feet in area and banners no more than 60 square feet in area, for a period not to exceed 30 days prior to the start of the event and removed within three days after the conclusion of the event.
Temporary political signs posted or erected on public property located within the Township are subject to the following general requirements:
A. 
Number of signs. No more than one temporary political sign shall be placed on public property on each leg of the intersection of roads or streets for any one candidate or issue.
B. 
Area. Temporary political signs on public property shall not exceed an aggregate gross surface area of 12 square feet per sign.
C. 
Height. Temporary political signs shall not project higher than four feet, as measured from the base of the sign or grade of the nearest adjacent roadway, whichever is higher.
D. 
Timing. Temporary political signs may be erected or maintained for a period not to exceed 30 days prior to the date of the election to which such signs are applicable and shall be removed within seven days following the termination of the election.
E. 
Illumination. No temporary political sign shall be illuminated in any manner.
F. 
Required consent. The Township reserves the right to deny a request to post any temporary political sign on public property and to require the removal of any temporary political sign at any time whatsoever whenever such temporary political sign poses a threat to the public's safety, health and welfare. Specific prohibitions include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Temporary political signs shall be prohibited within five feet of the edge of the paved surface of any road or street within the Township.
(2) 
Temporary political signs shall be prohibited along any road or street within the Township where it would obstruct the clear sight distance of traffic, and no temporary political sign shall be placed in such a position that it will cause danger to traffic on a street by obstructing the view.
(3) 
No temporary political sign or sticker shall be posted, nailed, wired, attached or affixed to any public property, including, but not limited to, traffic signs, structures or devices, traffic control boxes, guardrails, telephone poles, utility posts or Township street signs.
No temporary political sign shall be placed or erected on any private property without first obtaining permission from such property owner.
Every prohibited temporary political sign is declared to be a public nuisance, and the person or persons having authority over the public or private property may remove the same or cause it to be removed immediately at the reasonable expense of the person placing, maintaining or erecting the temporary political sign.