Township of North Fayette, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1000]
1. 
The regulations contained in this Part shall apply to all signs in all zoning districts.
A. 
Purpose. The sign regulations, controls and provisions set forth in this Part are made in accordance with an overall plan and program related to residential and nonresidential uses. The regulations, controls and provisions are intended to guide public safety, area development, preservation of lot values and the general welfare of North Fayette Township. The regulations, controls and provisions are also intended to aid in traffic control and traffic safety; lessen congestion of land and air space; guard against concentrations of signs which distract and endanger traffic safety and traffic flow; establish reasonable standards for nonresidential and other advertising through the use of signs in order to maintain and encourage business activity and economic development; avoid uncontrolled proliferation of signs; recognize the rights of the public in roads, streets, highways and the areas adjacent to those roads, streets, and highways; preserve the wholesome and attractive character of the Township; and to recognize that the general welfare includes a community plan that shall be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, and well balanced in its growth and development.
B. 
Illegal Signs. The Zoning Officer shall deem illegal any sign erected in the Township that is not a permitted sign as defined by this section or is erected without a necessary permit.
C. 
Exempt Signs. The following signs shall be exempt from the regulations of this Part:
[Added by Ord. 438, 2/14/2017]
(1) 
Signs erected by a governmental agency, including street signs, official traffic signs, welcome signage, and official notices.
(2) 
Signs authorized by the Township to be located on Township facilities and in public rights-of-way.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1001]
1. 
Signs, in all zoning districts shall be categorized according to the types and classes described below and shall comply with the requirements for those types and classes described in this section.
A. 
Types. Permanent signs are categorized by use, function or purpose into the following types:
(1) 
Development/residential plan identification.
(2) 
Business/occupation identification.
(3) 
Building identification.
(4) 
Directional (on-premises).
(5) 
Display sign.
B. 
Classes. Permanent signs that are permitted within North Fayette Township are classified by physical attributes into the following categories:
(1) 
Freestanding.
(a) 
Ground sign.
(b) 
Pole sign.
1) 
Pole signs shall only be permitted as a conditional use subject to the regulations noted in Part 7.
(2) 
Wall sign.
(3) 
Arcade sign.
(4) 
Bulletin.
(5) 
Changeable copy.
(a) 
A sign with changeable copy shall be permanently affixed to the ground or principal structure of a lot. Signs, if lighted, shall be lit from the top or from a ground source. Backlighting shall not be an acceptable form of lighting.
(b) 
No electronic scrolling images or metallic movement shall be incorporated into a changeable copy sign.
(6) 
Window.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1002]
1. 
The following types of signs are considered minor and are permitted for all land uses and within all zoning districts of the Township:
A. 
Notification.
(1) 
Signs bearing legal and/or lot notices such as: no trespassing, private property, no turnaround, safety zone, no hunting and similar messages and signs posted by a governmental agency for traffic control or the safety of the general public.
(2) 
In all zoning districts, the number, location and size of legal notification signs erected by public agencies shall be in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth. In all zoning districts, legal notification signs posted on private lot by landowner and/or developers such as "no trespassing," "no hunting" and the like shall be limited to a surface area not exceeding two square feet. The placement and maximum notification signs permitted along road frontages shall be one sign for every 100 feet of road frontage.
B. 
Memorial/Historical Plaques. Commemorative plaques placed by a recognized agency of the Township, county, state or federal government.
C. 
Governmental Signs. Signs erected by a governmental agency, including street signs and official traffic signs.
D. 
Secondary Signs. In all zoning districts, the number, location and size of secondary signs shall be in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
A secondary sign shall be permitted to be posted on the lot's principal structure so long its placement is secondary to the function of the structure on which it is located.
(2) 
The maximum area of secondary signage on any given structure shall be not exceed 10% or 10 square feet, whichever is lesser, of the surface of the structure on which the sign is located.
(3) 
Secondary signs, if lighted, shall be lit from the top or from a ground source. Backlighting shall not be an acceptable form of lighting.
(4) 
A maximum of one secondary sign shall be permitted on a single lot. To protect the general safety of the public and to minimize motorist distractions, secondary signs shall be spaced a minimum of 300 feet from one another.
(5) 
No metallic streamers, flashing illumination, changeable copy or similar visual components shall be utilized as part of secondary signs.
(6) 
Any business posting a secondary sign shall demonstrate in writing to the Township that the property owner, Township and/or PennDOT on which the structure is located has granted permission for the posting of said secondary sign.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1003]
1. 
The following classes of temporary signs are permitted for all land uses and within all zoning districts of North Fayette Township.
A. 
Classes of Temporary Signs.
(1) 
Real estate.
(2) 
Development.
(3) 
Construction.
(4) 
Political sign.
(5) 
Temporary event or temporary display.
B. 
Conditions for Use of Temporary Signs.
(1) 
Real Estate Sign. One nonilluminated temporary real estate sign shall be permitted on each lot provided the surface area of the sign shall not exceed six feet square feet. The real estate sign shall not exceed 12 square feet in surface area when located in on a lot with any residential use and shall not exceed 32 square feet on any other lot. Such sign shall be removed within 30 days of the sale or rental of the lot on which it is located.
(2) 
Development Sign. One nonilluminated temporary development sign shall be permitted on each lot provided the surface area of the sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in surface area. The development sign shall not exceed six feet in height when located on a lot with any residential use and shall not exceed 10 feet in height on any other lot. Such sign shall be removed within 30 days of the sale or rental of the last lot or completion of the proposed construction in the development.
(3) 
Construction Sign. Two nonilluminated temporary construction signs announcing the names of contractors, mechanics or artisans engaged in performing work on the premises shall be permitted on a lot, provided that:
(a) 
Each sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in area.
(b) 
The signs shall be removed within 30 days of the completion of the work.
(c) 
The establishment wishing to display such signs shall contact the office of the Zoning Officer prior to displaying, to give notice of the intent and the period during which the sign will be displayed.
(4) 
Political Signs. Nonilluminated temporary political signs erected during a political campaign shall be permitted in public rights-of-way, provided that they are not of a type restricted by this chapter. A political sign shall not be erected more than 45 days prior to the election in which the candidate is pursuing office and shall be removed within five days after the election for which it was erected.
(5) 
Temporary Event Sign.
(a) 
One nonilluminated temporary event sign, as defined by this chapter, shall be permitted to be erected on the face of the lot's principal structure; provided, that the area of the signs shall not exceed 40 square feet; and, provided, the sign is displayed for a period no longer than 30 days and is removed within five days following the event that it is erected to promote.
(b) 
Portable signs shall not be permitted as temporary event signs.
(c) 
Temporary event signs shall be nonilluminated.
(d) 
If the landowner and/or developer fail(s) to remove the temporary sign by beginning of the thirty-sixth day from which the permit had been issued, the landowner and/or developer shall be subject to the provisions of § 27-1305, Subsection 1B(2)(a).
(e) 
Landowners and/or developers found violating the provisions set forth within this section will forfeit their right to be issued a temporary sign permit for a period of one year commencing from the date said violation is found to have occurred.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1004]
1. 
The following signs shall not be permitted within North Fayette Township:
A. 
"A-frame" or sandwich board signs.
B. 
Portable or wheeled signs.
C. 
Banners and pennants, other than temporary event or displays authorized by this chapter.
D. 
Moving or flashing signs otherwise not authorized by this chapter.
E. 
Signs on trees, utility poles or official traffic control devices or signs.
F. 
Signs that imitate traffic control devices.
G. 
Signs painted on walls or chimneys of a building or on fences or walls.
H. 
Signs on or affixed to vehicles and/or trailers which are parked on a public right-of-way, public lot or private lot, other than temporarily for overnight storage on the sight of a business or for maintenance, repair, loading, unloading or rendering a service at any location, which are visible from the public right-of-way and where the apparent purpose is to advertise a product or direct people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby lot.
I. 
Signs that by reason of size, location, content, coloring or manner of illumination, obstruct the vision of drivers or obstruct or detract from the visibility or effectiveness of any traffic sign or control device on public streets and roads.
J. 
Any sign that obstructs free ingress to or egress from a fire escape, door, window or other required exit way.
K. 
Signs that make use of words as "Stop," "Look," "One Way," "Danger," "Yield," or any similar words, phrases, symbols, lights or characters in such a manner as to interfere with, mislead, or confuse traffic.
L. 
Misleading Information. No sign shall be created which states or implies that a lot may be used for any purpose not permitted under the provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1005]
1. 
Lots with Multiple Street Frontage. In all zoning districts, lots fronting on more than one street shall be permitted to have one sign of authorized sign types as defined by Table 27-12, Table 27-13 or Table 27-14 for each street frontage.
2. 
Visibility. No sign shall be located in such a position that it will cause a hazard by obstructing visibility for traffic on a street or obscuring a traffic signal or other traffic control device. No sign, other than official traffic signs, shall hang over or be erected within the right-of-way of any street.
3. 
Illumination. Illumination, when authorized by this chapter, shall be directed upon the sign face and not towards adjoining lots or streets. Flashing or oscillating signs shall not be permitted. Lighting shall be stationary and constant in intensity and color at all times. The intensity of any source of illumination of any sign, whether indirect or internal, shall be controlled so as to not create glare and to be compatible with the intensity of ambient light and illumination on surrounding lots.
4. 
Maintenance and Inspection. All signs must be constructed of a durable material, maintained in good condition and otherwise comply with the Township Property Maintenance Code [Chapter 5, Part 2].
5. 
Removal of Signs.
A. 
Whenever any business, activity or product on a lot is discontinued, vacated or no longer sold, all signs relating to the discontinued or vacated business shall be removed within 30 days of the vacation or discontinuance of the business or activity.
B. 
If the landowner and/or developer fails to remove the sign by the end of the thirty-sixth day, the landowner and/or developer shall be subject to the provisions of § 27-1305, Subsection 1B(2)(a). If the landowner and/or developer fail(s) to remove the temporary sign by beginning of the forty-sixth day from which the permit had been issued, the Township shall be permitted to remove the sign at the owner's expense.
6. 
Permits. No permit shall be required for the following types of signs as described above: Notification, Real Estate, Political and Construction Signs erected by a governmental agency. Permits shall be required for all other signs authorized by § 27-1002 through § 27-1004. The Zoning Officer shall issue the required permits upon submission of an application that complies with all applicable provisions of this chapter and payment of the required fee established from time to time by Resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors.
7. 
Expiration of Permits. Any permit issued by the Zoning Officer for erection, alteration, replacement or relocation of any sign shall expire automatically within six months of the date of issuance if work authorized by the permit has not been initiated and diligently pursued.
8. 
Sign Location. Except for billboards and political signs, as defined herein, where authorized by this chapter, all signs shall be located on the premises which they are intended to serve.
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1007; as amended by Ord. 438, 2/14/2017]
1. 
Use Categories. Land uses defined in Table 27-1, "Permitted Uses, Conditional Uses and Uses by Special Exception," shall be classified within one of the following use categories. A complete listing of authorized land uses per use category is included within the Appendix 27-C of this chapter. Use categories include:
A. 
Commercial/office/industrial. See Table 27-11.
B. 
Residential. See Table 27-12.
C. 
Miscellaneous. See Table 27-13.
Table 27-11
Commercial/Office/Industrial Sign Regulations
Commercial/Office/Industrial
Sign Type
Number of Signs
(Maximum)
Maximum Size
Maximum Height
Restrictions
Development Plan Identification
Ground
1 (per development)
60 s.f.
12 ft.
Ground or Wall sign (not both), Wall sign may be affixed to decorative wall, Internally illuminated signs prohibited
Wall
24 s.f.
N/A
Pole
Not Permitted
Business/Occupation Identification
Ground
1 ground or 1 pole (per lot)
1 s.f./linear ft. of front wall building width (120 s.f. maximum)
6 ft.
10 ft. from property line or ROW, requirements for vehicular visibility: 500 ft/30 ft. (arterial/collector) 250 ft/25 ft. (local) 200 ft/25 ft. (service), if Ground sign, no Pole sign
Pole
60 s.f. (1 business) 80 s.f. (>1 business)
25 ft. at top, 12 ft. minimum at bottom
10 ft. from property line or ROW, no portion of sign over ROW, 5 ft. minimum for any sign dimension, if Pole sign, then no Ground sign
Wall
1 per building or business in building
2 s.f./linear ft. of front wall building width (300 s.f. maximum)
Below roofline
6 inch maximum projection from wall
Projecting or Arcade
1 (per business)
8 s.f.
N/A
For shopping centers/office complexes with roofed pedestrian accessway, marquee or exterior arcade
Building Identification
Ground or Wall
1
20 s.f.
Below roofline
Multi-Tenant Building only
Directional (On-Premises)
Ground
4 (per lot if lot <1 acre); 6 (per first acre if lot >1 acre) and 2 additional (per each additional lot acre or portion of an acre)
4 s.f. (per sign)
3 ft.
Display
Changeable Copy
Ground
1 (lot)
32 s.f.
6 ft.
Permanently affixed to authorized Ground/Pole sign on the lot
Bulletin
Not Permitted
Window
<50 ft. frontage=3 50-100 ft. frontage = 5 >100 ft. frontage = 7
15 s.f. each
N/A
For commercial buildings only
Table 27-12
Residential Signage
Residential
Sign Type
Number of Signs
(maximum)
Maximum Size
Restrictions
Development Plan Identification
Ground
1 (per development)
24 s.f.
Ground or Wall sign (not both), Wall sign may be affixed to decorative wall, Internally illuminated signs prohibited
Wall
Pole
Not Permitted
24 s.f.
Business/Occupation Identification
Ground
1 (per lot)
12 s.f.
For businesses other than home occupations and no-impact home-based businesses, maximum height of 4 ft.
Pole
Not Permitted
Wall
1 (per dwelling unit)
1 s.f.
For home occupation
Projecting or Arcade
Not Permitted
Building Identification
Ground or Wall
Not Permitted
Directional (On-Premises)
Ground
4 (per lot if lot <1 acre); 6 (per first acre if lot >1 acre) and 2 additional (per each additional lot acre or portion of an acre)
4 s.f. (per sign)
For lots with 2 or more multi-family buildings and/or 100 or more parking spaces
Display
Changeable Copy
Ground
Not Permitted
Bulletin
Not Permitted
Window
Not Permitted
Table 27-13
Miscellaneous Sign Size Regulations
Other
Sign Type
Number of Signs
(maximum)
Maximum Size
Restrictions
Development Plan Identification
Ground
1 (per lot)
40 s.f.
12 ft. height
Wall
Below roofline
Business/Occupation Identification
Ground
Not Permitted
Wall
1 (per dwelling unit)
12 s.f.
Below roofline
Projecting or Arcade
Not Permitted
Building Identification
Ground or Wall
Not Permitted
Directional (On-Premises)
Ground
4 (per lot if lot <1 acre); 6 (per first acre if lot >1 acre) and 2 additional (per each additional lot acre or portion of an acre)
4 s.f. (per sign)
For lots with 2 or more nonresidential buildings and/or 100 or more parking spaces
Display
Changeable Copy
Ground
Not Permitted
Bulletin
1
24 s.f.
For public/semi-public building
Window
Not Permitted
[Ord. 360, 11/23/2004, § 1007; as amended by Ord. 418, 1/29/2014]
1. 
All proposed development shall be required to submit a sign package to the Township for its approval prior to any sign permits being issued to businesses. This provision shall apply to new construction after the effective date of this chapter and to the proposal of new or changes in signs of an existing use. Sign package shall mean a detailed description including, but not limited to, type, size, and location of all signs for each unit within the complex/center, as well as the ground sign. The Township Land Use Administrator shall review all sign packages for completeness. Any application determined to be incomplete shall be returned to the applicant with a description of missing and/or incomplete items.
2. 
A sign permit shall be required in order to erect, install, relocate, modify or change any sign within the Township unless otherwise indicated in this section. "Modify," as it is used herein, shall mean a cabinet or face replacement because of a change in the nature of the business or a change in the name and ownership of a business; or replacement of supporting structures.
3. 
The application for a permit shall be signed by the landowner and/or developer of the lot. The tenant of the lot, if not the landowner and/or developer, shall be permitted to sign the permit application if he can present notarized evidence that the tenant has permission to act on the landowner and/or developer behalf.
4. 
Failure to conform to the conditions of a sign permit, including any conditions and/or stipulations attached thereto shall render such permit void.
5. 
Fees for sign permits shall be required and payable in such sums as the North Fayette Township Board of Supervisors may from time to time establish by resolution.
6. 
No sign permit shall be valid or effective after six months from the date of issuance thereof and shall thereafter be void unless the sign is in place as of the expiration date.
7. 
To obtain a sign permit, a sign permit application must be completed and include the following information:
A. 
A drawing prepared to scale, of the proposed sign showing: all sign dimensions, including the height of the sign and grade level of base of sign; sign materials and colors.
B. 
Lot plan showing proposed locations of sign.
C. 
Any building elevations showing proposed location of sign.
D. 
The sources of sign illumination and applicable details of the fixture and screening.
8. 
Sign installation. All signs shall be installed in accordance with good engineering practice which shall be the responsibility of the sign owner.
9. 
Sign Maintenance.
A. 
Every permitted sign must be constructed of durable material and kept in good condition and repair and otherwise comply with the Township Property Maintenance Code [Chapter 5, Part 2]. If the durability and/or condition of said sign is not improved within the time period defined by the Zoning Officer, the sign shall be removed by the Township at the expense of the owner or person in possession of the lot on which the sign is located. The Zoning Officer will notify the responsible party with a certified letter prior to any removal action being taken by the Township.
B. 
Any damaged sign shall be repaired within 60 days.
C. 
Any sign which has been damaged to such extent that it may pose an imminent hazard to passers by, as determined by the Zoning Officer, shall be repaired or removed immediately.
D. 
Any internally illuminated sign cabinets or sign panels which have been damaged shall remain nonilluminated until repaired.
E. 
Nonconforming signs shall only be repaired in accordance with § 27-1103, Subsection 1D.
F. 
Failure to comply with these sign maintenance requirements shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
10. 
Size.
A. 
The square footage of the sign shall refer to the area of the sign facing; including, any border or framing or decorative attachments but not including some architectural or landscaping element which otherwise meets zoning regulations and is clearly incidental to the sign itself. Size of individually mounted letters or logos shall be measured as the area enclosed by the smallest single rectangle or square which will enclose all sign copy and logos. Ground signs mounted as individual letters and/or graphics against a wall or fence incorporated in the landscaping of a building shall be measured from the outermost length and height dimensions of the sign.
B. 
The height of any decorative base or architectural or landscape feature erected to support or ornament the sign shall be measured at average grade as part of the sign height. Maximum sign height shall be measured from the existing or proposed average ground level to the top of the sign structure provided the ground level is not deliberately elevated to increase the height of the sign.
C. 
Ground signs installed perpendicular to a street may be double faced with the allowable square footage on each face. Double-faced signs that are erected at an angle to each other will be subject to the interpretation of the Zoning Officer as to whether they are intended as two signs or for all intents and purposes only constitute one sign for N/S, E/W orientation on the serving street.
D. 
Wall signs shall not exceed the width of the front of the building on which it is located and shall not protrude more than 12 inches from the facade on which the sign is mounted.
E. 
In no case shall a wall, projecting or awning sign exceed the height of building allowed in the zoning district.
F. 
Gasoline service stations shall be allotted 10 additional square feet to display price per gallon figures divided as they select between logo and prices on the one ground sign permitted on the lot.
G. 
Existing multi-tenant developments shall be permitted one permanent message board or an electronic variable message sign of 36 square feet in lieu of any temporary signs permitted by said land use. The additional sign area shall be either incorporated below the existing pole sign or installed as a ground-based sign subject to the regulations of minor permanent signs. A lot that has been granted a variance on sign size will not be eligible for this additional sign. New multi-tenant developments shall be required to incorporate this type of sign into their maximum ground sign allotment or concede all future use of temporary signs.
H. 
Automobile dealers are permitted one "used car" ground sign not to exceed 12 feet in height and 10 square feet in area; or, the 10 additional square feet can be incorporated into the existing sign to advertise used cars divided as the sign owner selects.
I. 
Sign copy mounted or painted on an illuminated surface (including awnings) or illuminated architectural element of a building shall be measured as the entire illuminated surface or architectural element which contains sign copy. A nonilluminated sign placed on an awning shall be measured as if placed on any other architectural element.
11. 
Lighting and Movement.
A. 
Signs which incorporate in any manner any flashing or moving illumination, or illumination which varies in intensity and signs which have visible movement achieved by electric pulsations or by actions of normal wind currents shall comply within the regulations of the subsection unless otherwise noted. This regulation shall also apply to waving banners, fluttering appurtenances and balloons or other special devices. Banners used as temporary signs are permitted as long as they are secured and not waving or fluttering and comply with maximum size permitted. National, state or municipal flags shall not be considered a banner.
(1) 
Externally illuminated, building mounted signs may be illuminated by either ground-mounted lights or building-mounted light bars. In either situation the light source shall be totally screened from view.
(2) 
Externally illuminated freestanding signs shall be illuminated by ground-mounted lights, with the light source being totally screened from view.
(3) 
Electronic variable message signs, meaning an electrically activated sign whose message content, either in whole or in part, may be changed by means of electronic programming are permitted provided:
(a) 
Informational content shall be alphabetic or numeric only.
(b) 
Messages shall not change at a frequency of more than 12 times per hour; except for time and temperature signs.
12. 
Signage placement.
A. 
No sign shall be placed, erected or located so that:
(1) 
It is pasted, stapled or otherwise attached to public utility poles or trees within the street right-of-way line.
(2) 
It is on a public lot or public rights-of-way, unless erected by a governmental body, or unless required to be so located by order of a governmental body.
(3) 
It is painted on, attached to, or supported by a tree, stone, cliff or other natural objects.
(4) 
It is displayed on a vehicle parked and visible from a public right-of-way unless the vehicle is used for the normal day-to-day operation of a business on the premises. The intent of this provision is to prohibit the use of a sign on a vehicle to circumvent sign limits on a lot.
B. 
Signage for ground signs shall be set back 16 feet from the paved cartway of any street in the B-2 Districts and in all other zoning districts shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the paved cartway of any street.
C. 
Sign font and logos shall not be legible from the rear of the sign.
D. 
Signage shall not be lettered or painted directly upon the wall or any other part of the building except for windows.
E. 
Building signs in nonresidential districts shall be placed on the front face of the building only, except in instances where the entrance door to the business is on the side or the rear of the building. However, no signs in nonresidential districts may face an immediately adjacent residential zoning district.
F. 
Illuminated window signs shall include lit signs placed inside a window facing the exterior of the building. A permit shall be required only for illuminated window signs.
(1) 
Illuminated window signs shall not be placed above the ground floor of the building and/or more than 10 feet above grade level of the building.
(2) 
Illuminated window signs shall not exceed a size of 16 square feet. Anything exceeding this size shall be deemed the building sign to which the business is entitled. Any combination of illuminated window signs grouped in an area not to exceed 16 square feet will be permitted.
13. 
Sign Landscaping.
A. 
Ground Sign. For each visible sign face, the landowner and/or developer shall provide landscaping equivalent to one and 1.5 square feet for each square foot of sign area. Landscaping shall consist of a combination of deciduous and evergreen ornamental grasses, ground cover and/or small shrubs. Turf grass shall not be considered as landscaping for ground signs.
B. 
Pole Sign. See § 27-703, Subsection 1OO.
14. 
Liability. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as relieving or limiting in any way the responsibility or liability of any person, firm or corporation, erecting or owning any sign, or resulting from the negligence or willful acts of such person, firm or corporation, its agents, employees or workmen, in the construction, maintenance, repair or removal of any sign erected in accordance with a permit issued hereunder. Nor shall issuance of such permit be construed as imposing on the Township or its offices or employees, any responsibility or liability by reasons of approval of any sign's structural integrity, construction methods, materials, electrical or mechanical devices or other components which shall be the sole responsibility of the person, firm or corporation erecting, owning, repairing or removing such sign.