Town of Moreau, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Moreau 10-8-2002 by L.L. No. 6-2002.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 74.
Zoning — See Ch. 149.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 117, Signs, adopted 12-11-1973 as Ch. 26 of the 1973 Code, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as the "Sign Law of the Town of Moreau."
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Moreau to regulate existing and proposed outdoor advertising signs and signs of all types. It is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity, physical appearance and scenic and natural beauty of the Town of Moreau and its inhabitants. It is the policy of the Town of Moreau that the property within the Town may not be utilized in a manner that detrimentally affects the reasonable use and enjoyment of adjacent or neighboring property.
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
AREA OF SIGN
The entire area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of lettering, representations, emblems or other fixtures, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the background against which it is placed. Structural members bearing no copy shall not be included in the calculation of the area of the sign. Only one side of a freestanding or projecting double-faced sign shall be included in calculating surface area, provided that the two display surfaces are joined at an angle no greater than 45°. All sides of a multifaced sign visible from any one street shall be included in the calculation of surface area.
FACADE OF BUILDING
The exterior front or face of a building; the exterior surface of a building which faces a public street. The facade shall not be interpreted to extend above the lowest point of the roofline of the building.
SIGN
Any material, structure or device, or part thereof, composed of lettered or pictorial matter which is located out-of-doors, or on the exterior of any building displaying an advertisement, announcement, notice or name, and shall include any declaration, demonstration, display, representation, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business or cause, when such is placed in view of the general public; a name, identification, description, or illustration containing letters, numbers or symbols, which is affixed to, or painted, represented or installed on, any part of a building, structure, or lot, or otherwise placed in view of the general public, and used to direct attention to a person, institution, organization, activity, place, object, product or business. A sign does not include the flag, pennant or insignia of any nation or group of nations, any state, city or other governmental unit or any political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive, movement or event. A sign, as defined herein, shall not include a similar structure or device located within a building.
A. 
Any sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, entertainment or attraction sold, offered, or existing elsewhere than upon the same lot where such sign is displayed or only incidentally sold, offered or existing on such lot.
B. 
Any outdoor signs, advertising medium, structure or device which advertises, directs or calls attention to any business, article, substance, service or any other thing, whether similar to the foregoing or not, which is painted, printed, pasted, posted or affixed to any building, wall, fence, railing, natural object or structure of any kind on real property or upon the ground itself and cannot exceed a maximum structure height of 30 feet and a maximum square footage of 1,200.
C. 
A sign which is designed to advertise a business or commercial entity, industry, profession, commodity, service or activity conducted, sold or offered upon the same premises where such sign is located.
D. 
A temporary sign advertising an individual or firm doing work related to construction on the premises on which the sign is located.
E. 
A sign limited to providing information on the location of or direction to an activity, business, event or facility.
F. 
Any sign not attached or part of any building but separate and permanently affixed by any other means, in or upon the ground. Included are pole signs, pylon signs and masonry wall-type signs.
G. 
A sign limited to identifying by personal name, profession and/or address any resident therein carrying out a duly permitted home occupation.
H. 
ILLUMINATED:
(1) 
DIRECTLY: A sign which incorporates any artificial lighting as an inherent part or feature or derives its illumination from electricity or gaseous materials or substances; any sign illuminated by electricity, gas or other artificial light either from the interior or exterior of the sign and which includes reflective and phosphorescent light.
(2) 
FLASHING: An illuminated sign on which the artificial lighting is not maintained stationary or constant in intensity or color at all times while in use, excluding changes of text that indicate time and/or temperature only.
(3) 
INDIRECTLY: A sign illuminated with an artificial light which is separated from or is not an integral or intrinsic part of the sign.
I. 
On-premises sign identifying apartment complexes, housing developments, schools, churches, hospitals and similar institutions.
J. 
As designated by New York State Department of Transportation or the United States Department of Transportation.
K. 
A sign which was legally permitted and installed prior to the effective date of this chapter and which is in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
L. 
A sign, other than a traffic sign, whether on its own trailer, wheels or other device, designed to be movable and not structurally attached to the ground; banners, pennants, flags, placards, posters and any other device not of a permanent nature.
M. 
A sign advertising land or improvements thereon for sale.
N. 
A sign painted on, constructed on or supported by the roof of any building.
O. 
A sign intended to advertise, announce or endorse a community or civic activity, political concept or candidate, real estate for sale or lease, campaign or other special event or construction on a temporary basis.
P. 
The visual message displayed on a sign.
Q. 
The change or alteration of the visual message displayed on a sign; excluding changes to illustrate time and/or temperature only.
R. 
A sign, whether portable or not, that is erected to control or direct traffic.
S. 
A sign that is painted on or attached to the wall of a building.
The size, type and location of any sign shall be allowed only in accordance with the following regulations, and, whenever districts are set forth in these regulations, the same shall refer to the districts set forth in Chapter 149, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Moreau.
A. 
Signs in agricultural and residential districts.
(1) 
Home occupation signs indicating the name and address of the occupant or permitted home occupation in any residence shall be allowed, provided that the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of three square feet and shall not include any illumination. Approved signs shall be affixed to the residence as a wall sign. No freestanding signs shall be allowed.
(2) 
Business signs for customary agricultural operations selling farm products grown on the premises shall be allowed, provided the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of 16 square feet in any R-1 or R-2 Residential Districts and 32 square feet in any agricultural and residential districts and shall not include illumination.
(3) 
Institutional signs shall be allowed, provided the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of 20 square feet in area and shall not include any flashing illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property.
(4) 
Business signs pertaining only to legal nonconforming uses of the premises on which they are located shall be allowed, provided the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of 20 square feet and shall not include any flashing illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property. Business signs legally in existence on the date of enactment of this chapter which pertain to nonconforming uses may continue to be used, except that all intermittent or flashing illumination shall be converted to a constant light source.
(5) 
Temporary signs shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of six square feet in area and shall not be illuminated. Such signs shall promptly be removed by the property owner when the circumstances leading to their erection no longer apply.
(6) 
Advertising signs shall not be permitted in any agricultural or residential district except as allowed by other provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Signs in commercial and manufacturing districts.
(1) 
The signs permitted in agricultural and residential districts shall be allowed.
(2) 
Business signs relating to the use conducted in the building or on the immediate premises thereof shall be allowed, provided that the combined area of all such signs shall not exceed a total of 40 square feet. In the event that the facade of the principal use building on said premises shall exceed 800 square feet in area, a square footage for signs equal to 5% of the area of the facade of the front of the building on said premises in which said business is conducted shall be allowed, but in no event shall the total area of such sign or signs exceed 150 square feet.
(3) 
A business sign legally in existence on the date of the enactment of this chapter which does not conform to the specifications of this section may continue to be used, but may not be extended.
(4) 
Temporary signs advertising the sale, construction or improvement of the premises on which they are located shall be allowed, provided that the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of 32 square feet and that the signs shall be removed within five days after the conclusion of the circumstances leading to their erection. Failure to properly remove signs within the prescribed time period is a violation of this chapter.
(5) 
Advertising signs shall not be allowed in any commercial or manufacturing district except as allowed by other provisions of this chapter.
C. 
General regulations.
(1) 
Signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be maintained in good condition. Signs which are deteriorated shall be removed upon direction of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer following notification to the owner of the premises on which the sign is located.
(2) 
No sign shall be erected so that any portion thereof shall be any closer than 10 feet to the nearest lot line or within five feet of any utility pole.
(3) 
The maximum height of any portion of any sign shall not extend above the roofline of the tallest building on the premises.
(4) 
Flashing illuminated signs shall not be permitted in any zoning district.
(5) 
Signs to be erected by a nonprofit community service organization which are intended as a public service for the good of the community may be erected upon the granting of a special permit by the Planning Board pursuant to Article V, Special Use Permits, of the Zoning Law of the Town of Moreau.[1]
(a) 
No sign shall exceed 20 square feet in area.
(b) 
Such signs shall not be illuminated.
(c) 
Such signs shall be limited to arterial and collector streets only.
(d) 
An applicant for a special permit hereunder shall be required to produce evidence of approval for the erection of the sign by the owner of the property on which it is to be placed.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 149, Zoning.
(6) 
Temporary signs.
(a) 
All signs of a temporary nature, such as political candidate's signs, political, educational, or civic issue or movement signs or other signs of a similar nature, shall be allowed in any zoning district in the Town. Such signs shall not be attached to any fences, trees, shrubs, utility poles or the like; and further provided that such signs shall not be placed in a position that obstructs or impairs vision for traffic or in any manner creates a hazard, nuisance or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public.
(b) 
Signs may be placed on private property for a period not to exceed 60 days, including removal time. All signs must be removed within five days after the date of activity that the sign was announcing or endorsing. Failure to properly remove signs within the prescribed time period is a violation of this chapter.
(7) 
Signs erected for the purposes of posting private lands shall be in accordance with Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York.
(8) 
Such off-premises directional signs as may be necessary to direct persons to commercial, industrial, service or community facilities may be erected in any zoning district, subject to the following:
(a) 
No such sign shall exceed 10 square feet in area, and no more than 32 square feet of signage shall be allowed on any one lot.
(b) 
No commercial, industrial or service use shall be permitted to have more than one directional sign.
(c) 
Text shall be limited to name or identification, arrow, direction and distance, but shall contain no advertising message.
(d) 
Such signs shall not be illuminated.
(e) 
Such signs shall be limited to arterial and collector streets only.
(f) 
An applicant for a sign permit hereunder shall be required to produce evidence of approval for the erection of the sign by the owner of the property on which it is to be placed.
(g) 
Permits for such signs shall be subject to the approval of the Planning Board pursuant to Article V, Special Use Permits, of the Zoning Law of the Town of Moreau.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 149, Zoning.
(9) 
Billboard signs shall be allowed in all zoning districts that have frontage on an interstate highway.
(a) 
Signs must be within 1,000 feet of the property line and as otherwise restricted under Part 150 of the Regulations of the New York State Department of Transportation for advertising signs adjacent to interstate highways.
(b) 
Signs must face the interstate highway.
(10) 
Traffic signs shall be allowed in all zoning districts. All signs must be erected and removed by persons having jurisdiction over the property on which they are positioned.
(11) 
Portable signs shall not be allowed in any zoning district.
After the effective date of this chapter, and except temporary signs as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect any signs as allowed by § 117-4 herein without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer.
Application for a permit shall be made in writing, upon forms provided by the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer.
A fee, as set by resolution of the Town Board and on file in the Town Clerk's office, shall be paid to the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer for each sign permit issued. Where work for which a permit is required by this chapter is started or proceeded with prior to obtaining a permit therefor, the fee specified above may be doubled, but the payment of such doubled fee shall not relieve any person or persons from fully complying with the requirements of this chapter in the execution of the work nor from the penalties prescribed in this chapter.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, upon the filing of an application for a permit for a sign, to examine such plans, specifications and other data submitted with the application and, if necessary, the building or premises upon which it is proposed to erect the sign. If the sign authorized under any such permit has not been completed within six months from the date of the issuance of such permit, the permit shall become null and void.
No sign shall hereafter be erected or altered except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. However, notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, the sign must be kept clean, maintained and free from all hazards, such as, but not limited to, faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and the sign must be maintained at all times in safe condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health or safety. In the event of a violation of any of the foregoing provisions, the Building inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall give written or personal notice specifying the violation to the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, sent to the address as stated in the application for the sign permit, to conform or remove such sign. The sign shall thereupon be conformed by the owner of the land within 30 days from the date of said notice. In the event that such sign shall not be so conformed within 30 days, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall thereupon revoke the permit, and such sign shall be removed by the named owner of the land. Upon failure of said persons to remove such sign within 10 days from the expiration of said thirty-day period, the Building inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the owner of the land and/or land on which said sign is located.
A. 
Any business sign legally permitted and existing on or after the effective date of this chapter which no longer advertises any existing business conducted or product sold on the premises shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after written notice as provided herein. The Building inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, upon determining that any such sign exists, shall notify the owner of the premises in writing to remove said sign within 30 days from the date of such notice. Upon failure of the owner to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such signs and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land on which the sign is located.
B. 
If the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall find that any sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or is a menace to the public, a written notice shall be given to the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, who shall remove or repair said sign within seven days from the date of said notice. If said sign is not removed or repaired, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke the permit issued for such sign, as herein provided, and may remove said sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land on which such sign was located. The Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Moreau may, in appropriate cases after public notice and hearing, vary or modify the application of this chapter, in harmony with its general purpose and intent, and act on variances wherever the same are required by the provisions of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals as provided in Chapter 149, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Moreau and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Zoning Board of Appeals.
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each week such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Building inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Moreau.
The Town Board may, from time to time, on its own motion or on recommendation of the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, after public notice and hearing, amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this chapter pursuant to the provisions of the Town Law applicable thereto.
Should any section or provision of this chapter be decided by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any pan thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.