Township of Upper Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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In expansion of and in addition to the declaration of legislative intent found in Article I, § 500-101, of this chapter, and the statement of community development objectives found in Article I, § 500-102, of this chapter, it is the intent of this article to:
A. 
Recognize that signs perform an important function in identifying properties, businesses, services, residences, events and other matters of interest to the public.
B. 
Set standards and provide controls that permit reasonable use of signs while restricting the potential adverse visual effects of signs on the character of the Township.
C. 
Control the size, number, location and illumination of signs to reduce potential hazards caused by glare or obstruction of visibility, and to reduce visual clutter which results from competition among signs.
D. 
Encourage signs which are attractively designed in order to enhance the economic value as well as the visual character of the various parts of the community.
E. 
Establish criteria to encourage signs that are compatible with their surroundings, appropriate to the type of activity to which they pertain, complementary to the architecture of the buildings involved, expressive of the identity of individual proprietors or of an integrated development's identity, and which are easily readable in the circumstances in which they are seen.
Signs are permitted in all districts in compliance with the requirements of this article. Sign-related terms are defined in Article II, Definitions, under "sign-related terms."
A. 
Permit required. Prior to erecting, affixing, attaching or installing any sign on or to any building, structure or property, an application for a use and occupancy permit must be submitted to the Zoning Officer for review. The application shall include:
(1) 
A site plan showing the location of the sign in relation to buildings, structures, property lines, and public or private rights-of-way. The width of street frontage(s) at the legal right(s)-of-way on the subject property shall be shown.
(2) 
A drawing of the proposed sign showing the specific dimensions of all elements of the sign, the specific copy, lettering, words, symbols and designs to be displayed, along with a written explanation of any illumination or unusual feature of the sign.
B. 
Construction standards. Construction, choice of materials and installation of signs shall be in accordance with the standards of the Township Building Code, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 180, Construction Codes, Uniform.
C. 
Prohibited signs. The following types of signs or illumination of signs is prohibited in the Township:
(1) 
Flashing, revolving, nonstationary or animated signs.
(2) 
Festoon lighting or beacon lights.
(3) 
Roof signs.
(4) 
Portable signs, except as provided in § 500-1001I.
(5) 
Illuminated temporary signs.
(6) 
Vehicular signs which do not meet the requirements for a freestanding sign in the district where the vehicle is parked.
(7) 
Signs affixed with adhesives.
(8) 
Off-premises signs, except as provided in § 500-1001I.
D. 
Prohibition of hazards: Signs shall be so designed and located that they shall not create a hazard to vehicular traffic by any of the following:
(1) 
Obscuring necessary visibility.
(a) 
Sign locations, sizes, types and colors shall comply with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards and not conflict with street, traffic and/or directional signs.
(b) 
Signs shall not interfere with clear sight distance requirements for intersections, as specified by PennDOT regulations or by the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance regulations for streets and driveways.
[Amended 8-14-2001 by Ord. No. 01-08]
(2) 
Confusion with official street and/or traffic signs.
(3) 
Confusion with traffic control devices by reason of color, location, shape or other means.
(4) 
Creation of motion, glare or excessive brightness which may interfere with drivers' vision or be unnecessarily distracting.
E. 
Public right-of-way. No sign other than official street signs shall be erected or maintained within the legal right-of-way of any public road in the Township. No sign projecting over a public walkway shall be less than eight feet above the walk level at its lower edge.
F. 
Location of signs:
[Amended 4-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-04]
(1) 
No sign may be located in the side or rear yard or in a required buffer area.
(2) 
No sign may occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, cartways, driveways or other areas required to be unobstructed.
(3) 
No sign may be located in the side or rear yard or in a required buffer area adjacent to a zoning district with more restrictive sign requirements.
(4) 
No freestanding sign may occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, cartways, driveways or other areas required to be unobstructed.
G. 
Removal of signs. A sign shall be found to be in violation of this chapter and may be required to be ordered removed by the Zoning Officer under any of the following circumstances:
(1) 
The sign has not been maintained in good condition and safe repair and has deteriorated to the point of becoming a potential public safety hazard. The Zoning Officer shall specify a period of time in which the owner of the sign may repair or rehabilitate the sign, thereby effecting correction of the safety hazard.
(2) 
A sign is erected without an approved use and occupancy permit and does not comply with the requirements of this chapter.
H. 
Illumination:
(1) 
Signs may be illuminated, unless otherwise specified herein, only to the extent that is necessary to allow them to be seen and read at night at a distance not to exceed 500 feet for signs of 20 square feet or more in area and 150 feet for signs less than 20 square feet in area.
(2) 
Professional sign of a health care practitioner, dentist, clergyman, justice of the peace, and such other person whose services are customarily considered essential in an emergency maybe illuminated, provided that the illumination is white light not exceeding the equivalent of a twenty-five-watt incandescent light source.
(3) 
Can be no greater than one vertical footcandle at an adjacent nonresidential property line and shall not exceed 1/10 vertical footcandle at an adjacent residential property line.
[Amended 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
(4) 
When internally illuminated:
[Added 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
(a) 
A maximum of 40% of the entire sign face may consist of light or pale colors and/or the color white.
(b) 
Upper Hanover Township reserves the right to conduct a post-installation inspection of signs to require the reduction of sign brightness when it determines that the brightness creates a hazard to drivers or pedestrians, creates a nuisance or is otherwise judged to be excessive.
I. 
Off-premises signs. Off-premises signs are not permitted except as follows:
(1) 
Directional signs. Businesses not situated on a primary highway in the Township may, with the written consent of the owner of the affected property, locate no more than one directional sign at the nearest intersection with a major Township road. Such sign may not exceed six square feet in sign area and may display no more than the name of the subject business and its location, direction and distance.
[Amended 9-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-10]
(2) 
Political signs. Temporary nonilluminated signs advertising political parties or candidates for elections, provided that the sign area does not exceed four square feet. Such signs shall not be displayed more than 30 days prior to an election and must be removed no later than seven days following the election.
(3) 
Special event signs. Temporary nonilluminated signs directing attention to temporary exhibits, shows or special events of a noncommercial nature, provided the sign area does not exceed 15 square feet. Such signs shall not be displayed more than 30 days prior to the advertised event and must be removed no later than seven days following the event.
(4) 
Service signs. Nonilluminated signs directing patrons, members or an audience to service clubs, churches or other nonprofit organizations, provided the area of such signs does not exceed four square feet. Such signs shall indicate only the name of the organization and the place, date and time of meetings.
(5) 
Official signs. Memorial or historical markers, official signs directing traffic, signs identifying communities and street names, legal notices and warnings, and other official signs authorized or erected by appropriate governmental authorities.
(6) 
Billboards. A large off-premises sign, only allowed subject to the following requirements:
[Added 4-10-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-04]
(a) 
Billboards shall be located on land that borders the following highway in the area specified:
[1] 
Pennsylvania State Route 29 from its intersection with Water Street to the municipal boundary between Upper Hanover Township and East Greenville Borough in the LI, LIC-2 or CB Districts.
(b) 
The maximum size shall be 300 square feet.
(c) 
There shall be a limit of one billboard per lot.
(d) 
The minimum distance between sign structures containing billboards shall be 1,500 feet, whether on the same or the opposite side of the street.
(e) 
The minimum distance between a billboard and a freestanding sign erected as part of a community shopping center shall be 500 feet.
(f) 
A minimum setback of 15 feet and a maximum setback of 100 feet from an ultimate right-of-way.
(g) 
The sign height shall be a maximum of 30 feet with a minimum ground clearance of 10 feet.
(h) 
The sign structure may utilize only one side or direction for display and may contain only one billboard on that side.
(i) 
No billboard shall obstruct the view of adjoining commercial uses which depend upon visibility for identification.
The following provisions shall apply to all uses in residential districts and to residential uses in nonresidential districts.
A. 
Permitted on-premises signs:
(1) 
Real estate signs.
(a) 
Individual properties. Nonilluminated on-premises real estate signs, provided the sign area does not exceed six square feet and not more than two signs are placed upon any property in single and separate ownership, unless such property fronts upon more than one street, in which event not more than two such signs may be erected on each frontage.
(b) 
Small developments. Nonilluminated on-premises sign advertising sale or rental of dwelling units in a development or subdivision of up to 10 dwelling units, provided that the sign area shall not exceed 15 square feet, and provided that not more than one such sign shall be erected within any such development.
(c) 
Large developments. Nonilluminated on-premises sign advertising sale or rental of dwelling units in a development or subdivision of more than 10 dwelling units, provided that the sign area shall not exceed 30 square feet, and provided that not more than two such signs shall be erected within any such subdivision.
(2) 
Directional signs. On-premises directional signs, provided that the area of any such sign shall not exceed three square feet.
(3) 
Private property signs. Nonilluminated on-premises "No Trespassing" signs, "No Hunting" signs, and other similar signs indicating private ownership of roadways or other property, provided that the sign area shall not exceed two square feet and shall be spaced at intervals of not less than 100 feet.
(4) 
Construction signs. Temporary, Nonilluminated on-premises construction signs, provided:
(a) 
The sign area shall not exceed eight square feet.
(b) 
Not more than one such sign for each contractor performing work on any one property shall be erected on that property.
(c) 
All such signs shall be removed upon completion of the work.
(5) 
Business signs:
(a) 
Home occupations. Nonilluminated on-premises signs identifying and advertising bed-and-breakfasts, rooming houses, and home occupations, provided that the sign area shall not exceed six square feet, and provided that not more than one such sign shall be erected on any one street frontage of any property in single and separate ownership.
(b) 
Other home occupation businesses in residential districts. On-premises business signs in residential zoning districts, provided that the sign area shall not exceed three square feet and no more than one such sign is erected on any one property in single and separate ownership.
(c) 
Other businesses in residential districts. On-premises business signs for commercial, industrial, professional and office uses in residential zoning districts, provided that the sign area shall not exceed 20 square feet and no more than one such sign is erected on any one property in single and separate ownership.
(d) 
Roadside stand sign. Nonilluminated on-premises sign advertising the sale of agricultural products at a roadside stand, provided that the sign area shall not exceed eight square feet, and provided that not more than one such sign shall be placed on any one street frontage of any property in single and separate ownership.
(6) 
Signs for residential complexes and institutional uses:
(a) 
On-premises sign for a school, campground, church, health care facility, health care service, private club, or other institution of a similar nature, displaying the name of the institution and its activities or services, provided that the sign area shall not exceed 15 square feet, and provided that not more than one such sign shall be erected on any street frontage of any property in single and separate ownership. Said sign shall be set back at least 1/3 the distance of any required yard from any property line or street line.
[Amended 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
(b) 
Permanent signs which identify the name of a subdivision or land development shall be permitted in compliance with the following:
[1] 
One freestanding sign may be located at each intersection of the development's streets with primary or secondary streets, the area of each sign not to exceed six square feet in area.
[2] 
One freestanding sign may be located at one main entrance to the development, not to exceed 30 square feet in area, or two signs not exceeding 15 square feet each.
[3] 
These signs shall be landscaped to provide an attractive setting.
(c) 
Identification sign for individual buildings are allowed but are limited to one sign per building not exceeding four square feet.
[Added 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
B. 
Height. The maximum height limit for any sign permitted in residential districts shall be six feet.
The following provisions shall apply to all nonresidential uses in nonresidential districts.
A. 
Permitted on-premises signs:
(1) 
Single-occupancy business signs. Properties in single and separate ownership with a single business premises may have a sign or signs within the following limits on sign area:
(a) 
Twenty square feet of sign area for a business where the road frontage of the property (in single and separate ownership) upon which it is located is up to 40 feet.
(b) 
The sign area may be increased by one square foot for every three additional feet of building frontage in excess of 40 feet.
(c) 
The total maximum sign area shall not exceed 40 square feet.
(d) 
In order to encourage users to provide the community with an attractive unified outdoor advertising scheme, it is further provided that, if the user chooses to mount a parallel sign(s) or awning sign(s) rather than freestanding or projecting sign, the maximum allowable sign area (calculated above) may be increased by 20%.
(2) 
Multiple-occupancy business signs. Properties in single and separate ownership with multiple businesses, tenants or franchise premises may have a sign or signs in accordance with the following:
(a) 
Each multiple-occupancy property may have a single freestanding sign which identifies the business or commercial center as a whole and/or which is a directory sign for the establishments on the property, with a maximum sign area of 40 square feet.
(b) 
In addition, each individual business on the property may have a parallel or awning sign of no more than 20 square feet in sign area.
(3) 
Real estate signs. Nonilluminated on-premises sign no larger than 10 square feet in sign area. One such sign per road frontage is permitted.
(4) 
Construction signs. Temporary nonilluminated construction signs shall not exceed 15 square feet in sign area and shall be removed upon completion of the work. No more than one sign per contractor performing work on a property shall be permitted.
B. 
Height. The maximum height of signs in nonresidential districts shall be:
(1) 
Twelve feet for freestanding signs for individual uses.
(2) 
Eight feet for directional signs.
(3) 
Sixteen feet for freestanding shopping center signs and multiple-directory signs.
(4) 
Seventy-five percent of the wall height for wall signs, measured on the wall upon which the sign is placed.