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Township of Lower Oxford, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
The following regulations shall be observed in all districts:
1. 
No sign shall be erected within the lines of a street right-of-way, except traffic signs and similar regulatory notices of a duly constituted governmental body.
2. 
No moving or flashing signs which may have the effect of distracting motorists on adjacent highways shall be permitted.
3. 
No artificial light or reflecting device shall be used as a part of a sign where such light or device interferes with, competes for attention with, or may be mistaken for a traffic signal.
4. 
Floodlighting shall be arranged so that the source of light is not visible from any point off the lot and that only the sign is directly illuminated thereby.
5. 
No sign shall be erected containing information on it which states or implies that a property may be used for any purpose not permitted under the provisions of Chapter 27 in the zoning district in which the property to which the sign relates is located.
6. 
No sign shall be erected on a premises except one advertising a business or articles or merchandise for sale on the same premises, unless provided for in this Part 18.
7. 
Every sign permitted shall be constructed of durable material and kept in good condition, repair and safe from collapse. Any sign which is allowed to become dilapidated shall be removed by the Township at the expense of the owner or lessee of the property on which it is located.
8. 
All distances provided for in this Part 18 shall be measured along straight lines between signs and from the near edge to near edge of the sign or sign structure. This Subsection 8 shall apply in all cases including locating new signs in relationship to currently existing nonconforming signs.
9. 
A permit shall be obtained before erecting any sign under these regulations, except as hereinafter provided.
10. 
No sign, other than official street signs, shall be erected or maintained nearer to a street line than a distance equaling the height of the sign, unless attached to the building.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
No permit shall be required before erecting any of the following signs. These signs, however, shall conform to all other regulations set forth in Part 18.
1. 
Directional, information or public service signs, such as those advertising availability of restrooms, telephone or similar public conveniences, and signs advertising meeting times and places of nonprofit service or charitable clubs and organizations may be erected or maintained, provided that such signs do not advertise any commercial establishment, activity, organization, product, goods, or services except those of public utilities. Directional and information signs provided for the guidance and convenience of the public within commercial establishments may also be erected. Such signs shall not exceed two square feet in area.
2. 
Trespassing signs, or signs indicating the private nature of a road, driveway, or premises, and signs prohibiting or otherwise controlling hunting or fishing upon particular premises may be erected and maintained, provided the sign area does not exceed two square feet in area.
3. 
Signs offering individual properties for sale or rent, or indicating that a property has been sold, provided that such signs shall be located entirely within the lot lines of the particular property to which they refer and shall not exceed six square feet in area.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
Temporary signs, including signs advertising special events or temporary sale of products or goods such as Christmas trees, shall be permitted, provided that:
1. 
Permits shall run for a period of up to 60 days.
2. 
Signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area.
3. 
Any freestanding sign shall be located at least 10 feet from any property line.
4. 
Signs shall be removed immediately upon expiration of the permit.
5. 
The site or building on which the sign was erected shall be restored to its original condition upon removal of the sign.
6. 
Only one permit is permitted per lot or tax parcel.
7. 
No sign shall be erected on a lot except one advertising products or goods for sale on the same lot.
8. 
A permit must be obtained before erecting a temporary sign. Permits may be reissued for one successive sixty-day period.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
Business signs accessory to permitted commercial uses shall be permitted, provided that:
1. 
Signs mounted on the front of a building shall not exceed 10 square feet in area for each five linear feet of front building wall and in no case shall exceed 30 feet in width or eight feet in height at the minimum allowable building setback. For each additional two feet of setback, the maximum height of the sign may be increased by one foot, provided that no sign shall exceed 20 feet in height and it shall not exceed 20% of the face of the building.
2. 
Signs mounted on a side wall exposed to public view from either a street or parking area shall not exceed 10 square feet of area for each linear foot of such side building wall and in no case shall exceed 30 feet in width.
3. 
Mounted signs shall be installed parallel to the supporting wall and project not more than 10 inches from the face of such wall.
4. 
Freestanding signs (not mounted on a building) shall not exceed 32 square feet in area and shall stand no higher than 30 feet from normal ground level. Signs larger than 32 square feet in area and heights of up to 45 feet may be allowed if the criteria generally considered in conditional use procedures are met. In the event that only one freestanding sign is utilized, then the sign shall not exceed 150 square feet in area and stand no higher than 30 feet from normal ground level.
5. 
Freestanding signs shall be erected only within the limits of the front yard of the property to which they pertain.
6. 
Freestanding signs shall not be spaced closer to each other than a distance equal to 10 times the largest dimension (height or width) of the sign having the largest dimension. For the purpose of this Subsection 6, the height of a sign shall be measured from ground level to the top of whichever is higher.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
Off-premises signs, related to commercial business, shall be permitted under the following conditions:
1. 
Each commercial business may have one off-premises sign located within the Township.
2. 
Off-premises signs shall be limited to Old Baltimore Pike and Routes 10 and 472.
3. 
The owner of the business shall notify the property owner of the application to the Township for a permit to erect an off-premises sign and provide written approval of the owner.
4. 
Said sign shall be outside the right-of-way of state or Township public streets.
5. 
Off-premises signs shall be permitted for the sole purpose of redirecting vehicles and/or pedestrians to a business located within the Township.
6. 
Off-premises signs shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the following specifications:
A. 
Joint Signboards. The off-premises sign design shall conform to Figure 1.[1] Figure 1 may be modified as necessary by resolution by the Board of Supervisors. The maximum height of the overall sign shall be 10 feet with the height of the individual panels not to exceed 18 inches. The individual panel width shall not exceed six feet.
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
B. 
Individual Signs. The off-premises sign shall be a maximum of 10 square feet in area with a height of 10 feet from the top of the sign to the ground.
7. 
General maintenance of off-premises signs shall be the responsibility of the individuals utilizing the sign. In the event an off-premises sign is in need of repair, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the individuals utilizing the sign in writing, giving them 30 days to make the necessary repairs. In the event the repairs are not made within the allotted time, the Township may remove the sign or have it repaired and bill the owner of the sign for any costs incurred.
8. 
No off-premises sign shall be erected without a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. Applications for off-premises signs shall be made on a form provided by the Township and shall include a plan showing the sign layout. The fee for an off-premises sign shall be established by a resolution by the Board of Supervisors.
9. 
Signs advertising or identifying home occupations shall not exceed four square feet in area. The sign may only include the name, occupation and logo or trademark, if applicable, of the practitioner.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
1. 
Applications for sign permits shall be filed in duplicate and on forms furnished by the Township and shall be accompanied by detailed plans and specifications and such other information deemed necessary by the Code Enforcement Officer to determine the location and details of construction of such sign.
2. 
Permit Fees. No permit to erect shall be issued until a fee, as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, has been paid.
3. 
Sign Calculations.
A. 
Distances. All distances provided for in this Part shall be measured to the nearest edge of the sign or sign structure. Distances shall apply in all cases, including locating new signs and in relationship to currently existing nonconforming signs.
B. 
Window Signs. Unless further restricted by district regulations, window signs shall not exceed 25% of the glass area of the window in which placed.
C. 
Projecting Signs. Projecting signs mounted to a wall or other vertical building surface by a post shall project no more than two feet. No part shall be less than eight feet nor more than 12 feet above the ground or walkway level.
D. 
Freestanding Signs. The height of freestanding signs shall be measured from the ground level to the topmost portions of the structure.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
The following provisions shall apply to the illumination of signs within the Township:
1. 
Unless otherwise specified within this Part of this chapter of the Code, signs may be illuminated by direct and nonglaring lights, provided that such lighting is shielded so that no direct light will shine on abutting properties or obstruct the vision of motorists or pedestrians within a street right-of-way.
2. 
The use of red, green or amber lights on any sign within 200 feet of a street intersection shall be prohibited.
3. 
The use of intermittent, flashing or animated lighting within 50 feet of a street right-of-way and 200 feet from the R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 Zoning Districts shall be prohibited.
4. 
The use of illuminated signs within the R-1, R-2, R-3, and R-4 Zoning Districts shall be prohibited unless the illuminated sign is specifically related to emergency management uses, medical facilities, municipal uses, institutional uses, and other similar uses considered appropriate by the Zoning Officer.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
1. 
No animated, mechanically or electrically moving, sequential, intermittent, flashing, rotating, or oscillating signs shall be permitted except for time-and-temperature signs. Signs may change their message from time to time, provided that each message is visible for a minimum of 10 seconds, except as follows:
A. 
Time-and-temperature signs may change more frequently than 10 seconds;
B. 
A sign with a sign area greater than 50 square feet shall not change its message more frequently than once every 30 seconds.
2. 
Flashing lights visible from a street shall not be used to attract attention to a business. This restriction specifically includes window signs but does not prohibit routine Christmas lighting.
3. 
No sign shall emit smoke, visible vapors, particles, sound or odor.
4. 
No open flames shall be permitted as part of a sign or in any other way to attract attention.
5. 
These restrictions shall not apply to signs that comply with the automatic changeable-copy sign face definition as defined herein.
[Added by Ord. 2-2015, 1/14/2015]
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
1. 
In any shopping center, the following signs shall be permitted:
A. 
Project Identification Signs. Project identification signs are permitted to be located within 600 feet of the intersection of an entrance drive and a public right-of-way or the intersection of two public rights-of-way, provided that the following regulations are met:
(1) 
The surface display area of a project identification sign shall not exceed 300 square feet.
(2) 
The height of a project identification sign shall not exceed 35 feet.
(3) 
There shall be no more than one project identification sign per principal entrance up to a maximum of two if entrances are more than 475 feet apart.
(4) 
Project identification signs shall be located at least five feet back from the street right-of-way line or access drive cartway and 30 feet from any property line.
B. 
Monument Signs. Monument signs are permitted to be located within the shopping center and adjacent to a public right-of-way, provided that the following regulations are met:
(1) 
The surface display area of a monument sign shall not exceed 80 square feet.
(2) 
The height of a monument sign shall not exceed 10 feet.
(3) 
There shall be no more than one monument sign per 150 feet of street frontage.
(4) 
Monument signs shall be located at least five feet back from the street right-of-way line or access drive and 20 feet from any property line.
(5) 
Monument signs shall be located no less than 50 feet from any other freestanding sign.
(6) 
A monument sign may contain the name of the shopping center and identify up to three of the businesses within the shopping center.
C. 
Wall Signs. Wall signs are permitted to be located on each building or structure, provided that the following regulations are met:
(1) 
The aggregate sign area of all wall signs mounted on the front face of an individual building shall not exceed 10 square feet for each five linear feet of front building wall. Single-tenant buildings smaller than 10,000 square feet shall be permitted to have the greater of either:
(a) 
One wall sign of up to 60 square feet of sign area on the front building wall, i.e., the wall where the main entrance is located; or
(b) 
Ten square feet of wall signage for each five linear feet of front building wall.
(2) 
Wall signs mounted on a side wall exposed to public view from either a street or parking area shall not exceed 10 square feet of area for each linear foot of such side building wall and in no case shall exceed 30 feet in width.
(3) 
Wall signs mounted on a rear wall exposed to public view from either a street or parking area shall not exceed 10 square feet of area for each 10 linear feet of such rear building wall.
(4) 
Each wall sign placed on a structure other than a building shall not exceed 420 square feet in sign display area. No more than two wall signs shall be permitted on a structure other than a building.
(5) 
Wall signs shall have individual channel letters. No box signs shall be permitted.
D. 
Traffic Control and Directional Signs. Traffic control and directional signs are permitted to be located anywhere within a shopping center, provided that each such sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in sign display area and six feet in height.
E. 
Information Signs. Informational signs are permitted to be located adjacent to a building or within a parking area serving the business associated with that informational sign, provided that each such sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in sign display area and eight feet in height.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009; as amended by Ord. 2-2015, 1/14/2015]
1. 
The following standards shall apply to billboards which do not have automatic changeable-copy sign faces:
A. 
Billboards shall be limited to property adjacent to the U.S. Route 1 Bypass without regard to district.
B. 
Billboards shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the legal right-of-way of any public street.
C. 
Billboards shall be located no closer than 200 feet from a dwelling.
D. 
Billboards shall have a maximum sign area of 300 square feet.
E. 
The height of billboards shall be measured as follows:
(1) 
The bottom surface of the sign of the billboard shall not be higher than 12 feet from the ground.
(2) 
The highest point of the billboard shall be no higher than 24 feet.
(3) 
Billboards shall not be illuminated. Billboards shall not have electronically supplied advertising that is lighted from the surface or mechanically rotating or changeable contents.
F. 
Billboards are permitted without regard to the other uses on a property so long as other standards are met.
G. 
Billboards shall be at least 100 feet apart.
2. 
Billboards using an automatic changeable-copy sign face shall be subject to the following controls:
A. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall be permitted as a conditional use in the C-1, C-2 and C-3 Zoning Districts on parcels that have property adjacent to the U.S. 1 Bypass.
B. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall be set back a minimum of 20 feet from the ultimate right-of-way of the U.S. 1 Bypass.
C. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall not be located within 1,000 feet of a residential zoning district that is located on the same side of the U.S. 1 Bypass as the automatic changeable-copy sign face billboard.
D. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards are permitted without regard to the other uses on a property so long as other ordinance standards are met.
E. 
No automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards may be closer than 1,500 feet from any other automatic changeable-copy sign face billboard, as measured from the closest point of each billboard structure. This restriction shall include billboards located in other municipalities.
F. 
No automatic changeable-copy sign face billboard shall be located within 500 feet of an ingress or egress of a limited access highway entry ramp.
G. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards must be placed on a structure designed to resemble a barn, with a pitched roof and two sides at least 20 feet apart.
H. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall have a maximum active sign area of 960 square feet per sign face, with no more than two sign faces per structure.
I. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall have heights measured as follows:
(1) 
The bottom surface of the sign of the automatic changeable-copy sign face billboard shall not be higher than 25 feet from the grade directly below the sign face, subject to compliance with Pennsylvania Code Chapter 445, Outdoor Advertising Devices.
(2) 
The highest point of the automatic changeable-copy sign face billboard shall be no higher than 42 feet from the grade directly below the sign face, subject to compliance with Pennsylvania Code Chapter 445, Outdoor Advertising Devices.
(3) 
The height of the barn structure shall not exceed 50 feet.
J. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards may have two faces if both faces would be readily viewable to traffic traveling in both directions on the highway. The two signs faces shall be affixed to the same structure.
K. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall be constructed of internally illuminated automatic changeable-copy sign faces.
L. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall not change the display on the sign face or copy more frequently than every 10 seconds.
M. 
The automatic changeable-copy sign face display shall not fade, twinkle, scroll, dissolve, increase in intensity or include moving pictures or animation.
N. 
The change of any automatic changeable-copy sign face display shall occur uniformly across the face of the sign and shall occur in one second or less.
O. 
No automatic changeable-copy sign face may exhibit flashing, sudden bursts of light, animation, noise, streaming video, text or copy movement.
P. 
The illumination and/or intensity of the display shall be controlled so as not to create glare, hazard or nuisances. The maximum nits level for an automatic changeable-copy sign face display shall be a maximum of 7,500 nits total for the sign, provided that the brightness of the sign face shall not exceed 0.3 footcandle of light above the normal ambient light levels. The sign luminance shall be determined by a footcandle metering device held at a height of five feet and aimed toward the sign face from a distance of 250 feet from a location perpendicular to the sign face center. Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall utilize automatic dimming technology which automatically adjusts to the sign's brightness based on ambient light controls to automatically reduce the intensity of the illumination during periods of darkness.
Q. 
All automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall be extinguished between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. The only exception to this is in the event of an AMBER Alert® or similar emergency message.
R. 
All billboards shall comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations, including, but not limited to, Pennsylvania Code Chapter 445, Outdoor Advertising Devices, and the Federal Outdoor Advertising Control Act.
S. 
Automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall only be permitted when affixed to a barn-like structure with the appearance of a closed agricultural barn and which is at least 20 feet in width.
T. 
The billboard structure lessee shall have an easement for access across other lands of the property owner to be able to construct and repair the facility.
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
1. 
Signs within shopping centers shall also be subject to the general sign regulations contained in this Part.
2. 
All providers of automatic changeable-copy sign face billboards shall provide designated space for Township and other public entities to give notice of public events at no cost to the Township. Access by other public entities shall be regulated by Lower Oxford Township.
[Added by Ord. 2-2015, 1/14/2015]
[Ord. 1-2009, 5/13/2009]
In the event that any term or provision of this Part shall be determined to be invalid or unenforceable, for any reason, this determination shall not affect any of the remaining terms and obligations of this Part, which shall be read and construed as if the parties had initially intended to omit that term or provision determined to be invalid or unenforceable.