Township of Upper Pottsgrove, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Pottsgrove 4-18-2011 by Ord. No. 447.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 350, Art. XVI.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 283, Signs and Billboards, adopted 4-28-2003 by Ord. No. 349.

§ 283-1 Applicability.

This chapter shall establish regulations in the administrative procedure for all signs and billboards within Upper Pottsgrove Township. Any signs erected or maintained after the effective date of this chapter shall conform to the regulations in this chapter and also conform to the applicable requirements of Article XVI, Signs, of Chapter 350, Zoning, of the Code of the Township of Upper Pottsgrove and the Upper Pottsgrove Township Zoning Ordinance.

§ 283-2 Definitions.

The terms used in this chapter are defined in Article XVI, Signs, § 350-133, Definitions, of the Code of the Township of Upper Pottsgrove, also known as the Upper Pottsgrove Township Zoning Ordinance.

§ 283-3 Sign permits.

A. 
Sign permits. It shall be unlawful to erect, construct, or significantly alter any sign, except those listed in Subsection B below, without first filing a written application with Upper Pottsgrove Township to obtain a formal permit.
B. 
Signs not requiring a permit.
(1) 
Street sign. Official highway, street name, directional, or other traffic signs erected in accordance with the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.
(2) 
Legal notice of a governmental agency.
(3) 
Public monument, public park, plaque, historic identification sign erected by a government agency.
(4) 
Government flag, insignia, or decorative banner.
(5) 
Public service and information sign advertising availability of public rest rooms, telephones, or similar public conveniences, not exceeding three square feet in area.
(6) 
Address sign, not exceeding two square feet.
(7) 
Nameplate and identification sign, provided that characters do not exceed three inches in height and that the sign area does not exceed two square feet.
(8) 
Vending machine sign, where a product name is an integral component of the vending machine, provided that the machine is not placed in the front yard of a property.
(9) 
Home security sign, not exceeding one square foot.
(10) 
Residential real estate sign, provided that the sign relates to the premises on which it is located and does not exceed six square feet. One such sign is permitted per street frontage.
(11) 
Open house sign. An on-premise or directional sign for an open house provided that it shall not be erected sooner than 48 hours prior to the open house and shall be removed immediately at the conclusion of the open house. Such sign shall not exceed four square feet and shall require the permission of the property owner on which the sign is placed. The sign shall include the date, time and location of the open house.
(12) 
Yard sale sign and/or a maximum of two directional signs for a yard sale, provided that the sign shall not be erected sooner than 48 hours prior to the sale and shall be removed immediately at the conclusion of the yard sale. Such signs shall not exceed a sign area of six square feet. The sign shall include the date, time and location of the yard sale.
(13) 
"No Trespassing," "No Hunting," "No Fishing," "No Dumping," "No Parking," "No Towing," "Private Lane/Road," and other similar signs not exceeding two square feet in gross area for each exposed surface and not exceeding an aggregate gross surface area of four square feet.
(14) 
Political sign. Temporary political signs advertising political candidates or parties or ballot questions for election may be erected and maintained, provided that the sign area shall not exceed 12 square feet and provided that the sign shall not be displayed more than 45 days prior to the date of the election and shall be removed no later than five days following the election. Permission must be obtained in advance from the property owner where the sign is to be placed.
(15) 
Personal expression sign, provided that it is either a freestanding, wall or window sign. Such signs may not exceed six square feet and, in the case of freestanding signs, six feet in height.
(16) 
Incidental sign, provided that the aggregate area of incidental signs on a property does not exceed three square feet. Incidental sign area in excess of three square feet, where permitted, shall be included in the calculation of a property's total allowable sign area.
C. 
Sign permit review. The Township shall either approve or deny the application, or refer the application back to the applicant in any instance where insufficient information has been submitted.
D. 
Fees. All fees for sign permit applications for the erection, construction, or alteration of signs shall be paid to the Township, prior to obtaining the sign permit.

§ 283-4 General sign regulations.

A. 
Prohibited signs. The following types of signs or illumination of signs shall be prohibited in the Township:
(1) 
Animated signs.
(2) 
Beacon lighting.
(3) 
Flashing, moving or reflective signs.
(4) 
Illuminated temporary signs, except as provided in Subsection C(4).
(5) 
Revolving signs.
(6) 
Roof signs.
(7) 
Trailer signs.
(8) 
Vehicular signs.
(9) 
Obscene signs.
(10) 
Snipe signs.
(11) 
Signs with flashing, pulsating, moving or scrolling text, or which use animation or streaming video. Time and temperature signs are permitted.
(12) 
Projected light signs with moving images, or with images which change more frequently than once every 24 hours.
(13) 
Signs which have varying light intensity, changing colors, or which twinkle.
B. 
Location of signs.
(1) 
No sign shall be placed in such a position as to endanger traffic on a street by obscuring view or by confusion with official street signs or signals, by virtue of position or color.
(2) 
No signs, other than official traffic signs, those not requiring a permit, or those approved by Upper Pottsgrove Township, shall be erected or maintained within the legal street right-of-way.
(3) 
No signs shall be permitted within a sight triangle of an accessway or street right-of-way.
(4) 
No signs shall be erected or maintained so as to prevent free ingress and egress to or from any door, window or fire escape.
(5) 
The property owner shall assume the cost of relocating any sign within the ultimate right-of-way of a street which is widened.
(6) 
No portion of any freestanding sign, business sign, or advertising sign shall be located within the side or rear yard setback or within the required buffer zone when located adjacent to a residence or a residential zoning district.
(7) 
No freestanding sign shall occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, cartways, driveways, fire lane, easement or any other area required to be unobstructed.
C. 
Illumination. Signs may be illuminated, unless specified herein, consistent with the following standards and subject to compliance with the requirements of § 350-140:
(1) 
Externally illuminated signs. External lighting shall be shielded so that the source of light is not visible from any point off the lot on which the sign is located and shall be directed to illuminate only the face of the sign.
(2) 
Internally illuminated signs. Sign lettering shall be backlit with an opaque background material.
(3) 
All lighted signs shall conform to the National Electrical Code.
(4) 
All temporary signs shall be nonilluminated, except for the following:
(a) 
During the month of December, signs in which Christmas trees are offered for sale.
(b) 
On a temporary basis for areas in which carnivals, fairs, or other similar activities are held.
D. 
All signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be maintained in good condition and repair at all times.
E. 
Any sign which does not conform with the provisions of this section at the time of adoption of this chapter is hereby declared a nonconforming sign and subject to the requirements of § 350-140, Nonconforming Signs, of the Upper Pottsgrove Township Zoning Ordinance.

§ 283-5 Permit application and issuance.

A. 
Permit application. Applications for sign permits shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer and shall contain or have attached thereto the following information:
(1) 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the applicant, the owner of the property on which the sign is to be erected or affixed, the owner of the sign and the person to be erecting or affixing the sign.
(2) 
The location of the building, structure, or zoning lot on which the sign is to be erected or affixed.
(3) 
A sketch plan of the property involved showing accurate placement thereon and the proposed sign.
(4) 
Two blueprints or ink drawings of the plans and specifications of the sign to be erected or affixed and method of construction and attachment to the building or in the ground. Such plans and specifications shall include details of dimensions, color, materials, and weight.
(5) 
If required by the Code Enforcement Officer, a copy of stress sheets and calculations prepared by or approved by a registered structural engineer, licensed by the State of Pennsylvania, showing that the sign is designed for dead load and wind pressure in any direction in the amount required by this chapter and all other applicable ordinances of the Township.
(6) 
The written consent of the owner of the building, structure, or property on which the sign is to be erected or affixed.
(7) 
Such other information that the Code Enforcement Officer may require to determine full compliance with this chapter and other applicable ordinances of the Township.
B. 
Issuance of permits. Upon the filing of an application for a sign permit, the Code Enforcement Officer shall examine the plans, specifications, and other submitted data and the premises upon which the sign is proposed to be erected or affixed. If it appears that the proposed sign is in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter; Chapter 350, Zoning, Article XVI, Signs; and other applicable ordinances of the Township and if the appropriate permit fees have been paid, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a permit for the proposed sign. If the work authorized under a sign permit has not been completed within 90 days after the date of the issuance, the permit shall become null and void, unless otherwise extended by the Code Enforcement Officer for a single additional ninety-day period.
C. 
Each sign required by this chapter requiring a sign permit shall pay a fee as established pursuant to a resolution by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Pottsgrove.

§ 283-6 Violations and penalties; enforcement; remedies.

A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not more than $600. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Removal and storage of signs. The Township shall have the authority to remove any sign within the right-of-way of any Township or state road or any sign that is placed on public property. When any sign is removed by the Township, the Township shall attempt to notify the owner that the Township has possession of the removed sign. The Township shall store the sign at a designated location for 15 days, after which the Township shall properly and legally dispose of the sign. In addition to other authorized remedies, the Township shall have the right to recover from the owner or person placing the sign the full cost of removal and disposal of such sign.
(1) 
Unsafe sign. When any sign becomes dilapidated, structurally unsafe, and dangerous to public safety, or is placed in an area that obstructs visibility, the Township shall attempt to give notice to the owner of the sign or the owner of the premises on which the sign is located that such sign be made safe or removed. Should the owner fail to remedy the safety issues or remove the sign within 24 hours of said notice or if the sign constitutes an imminent hazard to the public safety, necessitating immediate action, the Township Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized and empowered to remove the sign.
(2) 
Abandoned sign. Any sign which was erected for an occupant or business unrelated to the present occupant or business, or any sign which relates to a time or event inconsistent with the time limits established by this section, shall be deemed to have been abandoned. Abandoned signs shall be removed by the owner of the sign or the owner of the premises within three days of written notification from the Code Enforcement Officer.
(a) 
If the use ceases for a period of three months, signs advertising the use of the ceased business or businesses shall be removed by the owner of the property or the owner of the sign. Such sign shall be removed within 10 days of written notice to the owner.
(3) 
Illegal signs. Any sign installed or placed on public property, or within any public right-of-way, or any sign, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, which continued presence would constitute a safety or visibility hazard to the public, that is not in conformance with the requirements of this chapter or Article XVI, Signs, of Chapter 350, Zoning, of the Code of Township of Upper Pottsgrove, or the Upper Pottsgrove Township Zoning Ordinance, shall be subject to removal by the Township Code Enforcement Officer.
C. 
In addition, to all other authorized remedies, the Township will have the right to recover from the owner or person placing such a sign the full cost of removal and disposal of such sign. In such cases a lien shall be placed against the property on which the sign was situated in the amount of the cost incurred by the Township in removing the sign, in the event the owner of the premises or the sign fails to pay the cost of removal and disposal.