Town of Dartmouth, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dartmouth as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-7-1970, approved 8-26-1970 (Art. 88 of the 2011 General By-Laws)]
[Added 1-15-1991, approved 3-22-1991; amended 6-7-2011, approved 9-15-2011]
No person shall in any manner affix any bill, placard or poster nor paint, draw or write any words, figures or devices upon any property in the town bordering on the highway on land not his own without the permission of the owner or the person in lawful control of the property, nor upon any town property without consent of the Selectpersons who may issue consent pursuant to rules and regulations they may reasonably formulate.
[Amended 6-2-2009, approved 9-4-2009]
No person, other than a duly authorized agent of the Town of Dartmouth, shall remove, deface or otherwise obstruct any sign, barricade, or other warning device which has been placed by an agent of the Town to function as a precaution in the interest of public safety. Whoever is in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of $150 for each offense.
[Added 10-22-2015 ATM by Art 15, approved 1-21-2016]
Any Window Accent Lighting that meets the definition in Subsection A may be illuminated only in accordance with the provisions of this section, which provisions are complementary and in addition to, and do not supersede or otherwise replace, any restrictions, limitations or requirements regarding any lighting that are found in the Zoning By-Laws, or in any condition of an approved permit, special permit, variance, site plan or license.
A. 
Definition of window accent lighting. The provisions of this section apply to Window Accent Lighting which is defined as any single, or assembly of, incandescent, fluorescent or LED lighting element or elements that are located at or on any window or door, whether inside or outside, such that said lighting is orientated to be viewed from the exterior of the building at which the lighting is located.
B. 
Scope of applicability. The provisions of this section apply to any Window Accent Lighting:
(1) 
Used by, or located at any place of business; or
(2) 
Used by any owner, or representative thereof, or located at, any residential property for the purpose of soliciting employees or tenants.
C. 
Changes in brightness. While in operation, the illumination may not increase or decrease in brightness.
D. 
Brightness. As measured by an incident light meter, the brightness of any Window Accent Lighting shall not be greater than 150 foot candles at the source of the lighting, and shall not be greater than one foot candles at the boundary with any abutting property or way, including any sidewalk, that is available for use by the public.
E. 
Hours of operation. Window Accent Lighting for any business may be illuminated only during the normal hours of operation of said business during which it is open and available to customers.
F. 
Enforcement. Every violation of this § 298-3 shall result in a fine of $300; provided, that each day of a continuing violation of said section shall be a separate violation. Each violation of this section shall be enforced by the Director of Inspectional Services and any authorized agents, assistants and subordinates of the same, and shall be subject to the non-criminal disposition procedures as provided in Chapter 60, Article I, of these General By-Laws and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 21D. For the purposes of enforcing this section, the Director of Inspectional Services and any authorized agents, assistants and subordinates of the same, may at any reasonable time enter onto any property with Window Accent Lighting and inspect the same.
G. 
Severability. The provisions of this section are severable. If any court of competent jurisdiction determines that any such provision is in violation of the laws, constitutions or regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the United States of America, the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect.
[Adopted 5-17-1991, approved 7-2-1991 (§ 68.1 of the 2011 General By-Laws)]
[Amended 10-24-1995, approved 12-14-1995]
A. 
Except as otherwise provided herein and in the Zoning By-Laws of the Town no signs or other advertising devices which do not indicate the person occupying the premises on which it is located or advertise the property or any portion thereof, as "for sale" or "to-let", to the extent as they may be lawfully exempt, shall be erected or maintained within public view from any public or private way or public park, except by permit issued by the Building Commissioner.
B. 
This By-Law shall not be construed to affect the use of signs for business advertising in windows of commercial and business premises as such use of signs is otherwise allowed and permitted by existing laws, including General and Zoning By-Laws.
[Added 10-29-1996, approved 2-13-1997]
A. 
Political signs and signs expressing an opinion or sentiment in the exercise of free speech are allowed to be displayed without a building permit from the Building Commissioner on property by the owner or person in control of the property, or with their permission provided that the sign:
(1) 
Is for the purpose of advertising a specific candidate or cause for a scheduled public election or referendum, or to express an opinion or sentiment that would be protected in the exercise of free speech as that right is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
(2) 
Is of a durable material and sufficiently attached and placed as to be safe and not a hazard to the public. Signs shall not be illuminated either internally or externally. Signs shall not have moving parts or flashing lights. Signs shall not be of a type that call undue attention from, or confuse drivers of motor vehicles by the use of color or shape to imitate traffic signs or signals, light or other features.
(3) 
Shall be attached in a durable manner, and placed at least five feet from the property line on private property.
(4) 
Is not placed within 150 feet of a polling place, pursuant to the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 54, Section 65.
B. 
This By-Law shall not apply to billboards, signs and other advertising devices that are otherwise authorized or permitted under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, Sections 29 to 34, inclusive,[1] and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 34 of Ch. 93 was repealed by St. 2014, c. 482.
C. 
The Building Commissioner is designated as the authority charged with the responsibility for enforcement of political signs.