Village of Sea Cliff, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sea Cliff 9-17-1979 by L.L. No. 28-1979, effective 10-15-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction administration — See Ch. 48.
Fences, hedges, walls and plantings — See Ch. 64.
Handbill, newspaper and merchandise sample distribution; marking of property — See Ch. 75.
Health and safety — See Ch. 78.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 110.
Zoning — See Ch. 138.
Rules and regulations of the Board of Architectural Review — See Ch. A141.
Schedule of fees — See Ch. A142.
Rules and regulations of the Planning Board — See Ch. A145.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Sign and Illumination Law of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff."
The regulation and control of signs, displays and other advertising media intended to attract the attention of the general public is necessary in order to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the residents of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff; to protect and preserve property and property values therein; and to benefit trade and all matters related thereto. This chapter has been adopted to regulate, control and restrict the use of buildings, structures and land for such advertising purposes, in order to promote the benefits so enumerated.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 78, Health and Safety, Control and Elimination of Health Hazards and Dangerous Conditions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
A-FRAME SIGN
A freestanding business sign having an A-frame design or structure used for the purpose of a temporary advertisement for a business located on the property on which the sign is located.
[Added 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
AREA OF A SIGN
The "area of a sign" shall be computed as including the entire area within a regular geometric form or combinations of regular geometric forms connecting all of the elements of the matter displayed. A sign may be single-surfaced or multi-surfaced. The area of each surface shall be included in the calculation for the maximum permitted area of the sign.
BOARD OF ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW
The Board of Architectural Review of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff.
[Added 7-16-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
BUSINESS SIGN
A sign intended to advertise the use of the lot on which it is located for the distribution, production or sale of goods, the performance of services or the name of the proprietor, rentor or lessee of the lot or structure.
CANOPY SIGN
A sign attached to or made a part of a canopy.
CONSTRUCTION SIGN
A temporary sign used to advertise the erection or alteration of a structure on the lot on which it is displayed.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A nonbusiness sign beneficial to public safety or traffic control in connection with a use on the lot on which it is displayed or beneficial to public convenience and safety in connection with directions to the location of a municipal, religious or noncommercial public facility.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign standing upon the ground supported by one or more upright legs or posts standing upon the ground, with or without braces, and not attached to any structure.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign which is lighted by a self-contained interior light or by lights projected or directed onto the sign.
ILLUMINATION
The lighting or floodlighting of signs or property, for purposes of identification, advertising or security, outside the confines of a structure, by means of electricity or the combustion of gases or liquids, or the lighting of an area, object or structure.
INSIDE SIGN
See "window sign."
LOT
A portion or parcel of land, held in single and separate ownership, devoted to a certain use or occupied by a building or group of buildings, and the customary accessory uses, buildings and open spaces belonging thereto.
NAME SIGN
A sign used solely for showing the name and address of the occupant of a residential structure on the lot on which it is displayed.
NONILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign other than an illuminated sign.
PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff.
PROFESSIONAL SIGN
A sign containing not more than the name, address and profession of the occupant of a structure on the lot on which it is displayed.
PROJECTING SIGN
A wall sign projecting or extending more than 12 inches from the face of the building or structure to which it is attached.
PUBLIC CONVENIENCE SIGN
A sign used to identify a charitable, hospital, institutional, municipal, nonprofit fraternal or membership, religious or school use of a structure on the lot on which it is displayed.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A nonilluminated temporary sign used to advertise the availability, lease, rental or sale of the lot or structure on which it is displayed.
SIGN
Any device for visual communication, either illuminated or nonilluminated, that is used for the purpose of bringing the subject thereof to the attention of the public, whether displayed from the inside or affixed to the outside of a structure or separately constructed.
TRADEMARK SIGN
A sign or structure having a distinct shape which alone or in conjunction with words or symbols identifies the product intended to be advertised.
TRAFFIC SIGN
A sign erected by the Village of Sea Cliff or by a town, county or state agency and used to inform, control or direct traffic.
WALL SIGN
A sign painted on, recessed in or affixed in any manner to a wall of a building or structure.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign erected or maintained in the interior of a building, visible from any public or private street or highway, but not including incidental advertising within an office or business establishment.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff.
No signs shall be erected or maintained in the Village of Sea Cliff except as provided in this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, paint, alter, relocate, reconstruct, display or maintain or cause to be erected, constructed, displayed or maintained any illumination or sign without first having obtained a sign permit from the Building Inspector of the Village of Sea Cliff, except for the following types of signs for which no permit shall be required:
A. 
Directional signs.
B. 
Name signs.
C. 
Professional signs.
D. 
Real estate signs.
E. 
Traffic signs.
F. 
Signs with an area of less than one square foot.
The fee for and duration of a sign permit shall be as set forth in Chapter A142, Schedule of Fees. Such fee shall accompany each application, which shall be in writing and shall be filed in duplicate with the Building Inspector. The form for such application shall be as prescribed by the Building Inspector and shall contain the following information:
A. 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant.
B. 
Location of building, structure or land to which the sign is to be affixed or upon which the sign is to be erected.
C. 
A detailed drawing or blueprint showing a description of the the construction details of the sign and showing the lettering and/or pictorial matter composing the sign, the method and position of lighting, the position of any extraneous devices and a location plan showing the position of the sign on any building or land and its position in relation to nearby buildings or structures and to any private or public street or highway.
D. 
Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which the sign is to be affixed or upon which the sign is to be erected, in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
E. 
Certification of an electrical inspection by a qualified person or firm, in the event that the sign is to be illuminated.
A. 
The area, brilliance, character, color, degree, density, intensity, location and type of illumination shall be the minimum necessary for the intended purpose of such illumination, consistent with public safety and welfare.
B. 
All sources of illumination shall be shielded or directed in such a manner that the direct rays therefrom are not cast upon any property other than the lot on which such illumination is situated.
C. 
Illumination shall be steady in nature, not flashing, moving or changing in brilliance, color or intensity.
D. 
The period of time of illumination shall be the minimum necessary for the intended purpose of such illumination, consistent with public safety and welfare. Illuminated signs must be turned off and extinguished at or before 12:00 midnight of each day, except that such signs as are maintained in connection with a business which is normally open past 12:00 midnight may continue to be illuminated or lighted until closing time, provided that the lighting intensity is reduced by 50% after 12:00 midnight and that such sign is extinguished at closing time. All illuminated signs extinguished as above provided shall remain extinguished until the next regular posted opening hour of the business in connection with which such sign is maintained.
E. 
Signs shall be illuminated indirectly or internally with white light. Exposed neon tubing and signs containing words or symbols shaped or formed directly from neon tubes or similar illuminating devices shall not be permitted. Neon and other gas-type illumination shall be permitted within an internally lighted sign, provided that such lighting is transmitted through the letters or symbols of the sign, and further provided that such letters or symbols are designed for and integrated into the face of the sign prior to erection and are not glued, pinned or otherwise affixed to the face of the sign. Internal lighting which shows through the translucent area of the face of a sign not containing words or symbols shall not be permitted.
F. 
No illumination shall be located so as to be confused with traffic control signals, either by color or proximity.
G. 
Illumination and illuminated signs shall not interfere with the normal enjoyment of residential uses in adjacent residential districts.
A. 
Signs may be erected or maintained only in connection with permitted uses.
B. 
A sign readable from two sides and with parallel faces shall be considered to be one sign.
C. 
No sign shall be erected or maintained so as to be distractive or hazardous or to obstruct visibility with respect to the safety of motorists or pedestrians proceeding along any public way or entering or leaving a lot.
D. 
No signs except directional signs or traffic signs shall be permitted on public streets or rights-of-way.
E. 
No signs shall be erected or maintained on the roof or eave of any building.
F. 
Signs shall be properly maintained so as to present a legible appearance. All signs shall be maintained in good repair. Excessively weathered or faded signs shall be removed or put into a good state of repair. All nonoperative or broken interior lighted illuminated signs shall be repaired or removed. All temporary signs shall be removed at the expiration of the event or sale for which they are erected.
G. 
Signs shall be hung or erected in a secure and safe manner so as to present no danger of falling or collapse.
H. 
Flashing, rotating, revolving, reflecting, intermittent or mobile signs shall be prohibited.
I. 
Signs painted, erected, affixed or maintained on any tree, stone or other natural object shall be prohibited.
J. 
No later than 90 days after a tenant has vacated a premises, any exterior signs identifying such tenant or business shall be removed by the property owner and the facade of the building restored.
[Added 7-16-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
K. 
An A-frame sign readable from two sides shall be considered to be one sign.
[Added 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
A. 
Business signs.
(1) 
Business signs shall relate solely to the business conducted on the lot and shall advertise only:
(a) 
The name of the owner or lessee.
(b) 
The name of the establishment.
(c) 
The type of establishment.
(d) 
The type of goods manufactured or sold or the type of services rendered.
(2) 
There shall be no more than two business signs and one A-frame sign permitted per business, regardless of the method of display employed,[1] except that only one of such signs, in addition to the A-frame sign, may be a freestanding or trademark sign. Further, only one freestanding or trademark sign shall be permitted on any lot regardless of the number of separate or individual businesses located on such lot, except that, in addition thereto, there shall be permitted one A-frame sign per business on such lot.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 105-10 for specific regulations regarding uses in districts.
(3) 
Except for an A-frame sign, business signs shall be permitted only on the front face of a structure, except that on a corner lot situated in a business district a second business sign facing a side street may be permitted as a wall sign; provided, however, that such second sign faces property situated in a business district and that said second sign is of a similar design and contains similar wording to the permitted sign on the building front and is no greater in dimension than such permitted sign.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
B. 
Canopy signs.
(1) 
Canopy signs shall not project horizontally beyond the supporting canopy.
(2) 
The maximum area of a canopy sign shall be four square feet.
(3) 
The bottom edge of a canopy sign shall not be less than eight feet above the sidewalk or ground elevation over which the canopy extends.
(4) 
Any light from an illuminated canopy sign shall not be visible to the rear thereof.
(5) 
Canopy signs shall be permitted only on the front face of a structure.
C. 
Construction signs.
(1) 
There shall be one construction sign permitted per lot upon which construction is taking place.
(2) 
The maximum area of a construction sign shall be four square feet.
(3) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a freestanding construction sign above the ground shall be two feet. The maximum height above the ground of all other construction signs shall be five feet.
(4) 
On developed property, construction signs shall be located not nearer to an adjacent street than the building line of the premises thereon.
(5) 
On undeveloped property, construction signs shall be located not nearer to an adjacent street than 25 feet.
(6) 
Construction signs shall be removed from the premises on which they are located prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the work to which they are related.
(7) 
The illumination of construction signs is prohibited.
D. 
Directional signs.
(1) 
The maximum area of a directional sign shall be two square feet.
(2) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a directional sign above the ground shall be five feet.
(3) 
The number of directional signs on a lot applicable to a use thereon shall not exceed the number of approved entrances and exits thereto.
(4) 
The number of directional signs on a lot not applicable to a use thereon shall be limited to one.
E. 
Freestanding signs.
(1) 
No freestanding sign or part thereof shall project over any property line.
(2) 
No such sign or part thereof shall extend more than eight feet above the average grade of the surrounding area.
(3) 
Except for an A-frame sign, a freestanding business sign shall be located only in a front yard and shall be no closer to the side lot lines than the required side yard.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
(4) 
In addition to any A-frame signs permitted on the lot, there shall be only one freestanding sign permitted on any lot, regardless of the number of separate or individual businesses located on such lot.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
(5) 
The maximum dimensions of freestanding business signs, other than an A-frame sign, shall be three feet high by three feet wide by eight inches in thickness.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
(6) 
The maximum dimensions of freestanding non-business signs shall be the same as for the type of sign displayed.
(7) 
Other than an A-frame sign, the maximum height of the bottom of a freestanding business sign above the ground shall be five feet.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
(8) 
The maximum height of the bottom of freestanding nonbusiness signs shall be as specified for the type of sign displayed.
(9) 
No freestanding sign, other than an A-frame sign, shall be erected on a lot containing a projecting sign.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
F. 
Name signs.
(1) 
There shall be one name sign permitted for each family occupying a residential structure.
(2) 
The maximum area of name sign shall be one square foot.
(3) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a name sign above the ground shall be five feet.
G. 
Professional signs.
(1) 
There shall be one professional sign permitted for each professional person occupying a structure.
(2) 
The maximum area of a professional sign shall be two square feet.
(3) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a professional sign above the ground shall be five feet.
H. 
Projecting signs.
(1) 
The maximum area of a projecting sign shall be nine square feet.
(2) 
The bottom edge of or any appendage to a projecting sign shall be not less than 10 feet above grade at the sign.
(3) 
No projecting sign or any part thereof shall extend over any property line.
(4) 
No projecting sign shall have advertising in a plane parallel to the surface to which it is attached, and no such sign shall have advertising in a plane which makes an angle of less than 60º with the surface to which it is attached.
(5) 
A projecting sign shall be permitted only on the front face of a structure.
(6) 
A projecting sign shall not be installed on a lot containing a freestanding sign.
I. 
Public convenience signs.
(1) 
There shall be one public convenience sign permitted per lot.
(2) 
The maximum area of a public convenience sign shall be 12 square feet.
(3) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a public convenience sign above the ground shall be five feet.
J. 
Real estate signs.
(1) 
There shall be one real estate sign permitted per lot.
(2) 
The maximum dimensions of real estate signs shall be three square feet on developed property and six square feet on undeveloped property.
(3) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a freestanding real estate sign above the ground shall be two feet. The maximum height above the ground of all other real estate signs shall be five feet.
(4) 
On developed property, real estate signs shall be located not nearer to an adjacent street than the building line of the premises thereon.
(5) 
On undeveloped property, real estate signs shall be located not nearer to an adjacent street than 25 feet.
(6) 
Real estate signs shall be removed forthwith upon completion of the transaction advertised.
(7) 
The illumination of real estate signs is prohibited.
K. 
Trademark signs.
(1) 
No trademark sign or part thereof shall project over any property line.
(2) 
No such sign or part thereof shall extend more than eight feet above the average grade of the surrounding area.
(3) 
A trademark sign shall be located only in a front yard and shall be no closer to the side lot lines than the required side yard.
(4) 
There shall be only one trademark sign permitted on any lot, regardless of the number of separate or individual businesses located on such lot.
(5) 
The maximum dimensions of trademark signs shall be three feet high by three feet wide by eight inches in thickness.
(6) 
The maximum height of the bottom of a trademark sign above the ground shall be five feet.
(7) 
No trademark sign shall be erected on a lot containing a freestanding sign or a projecting sign.
L. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
Except on corner lots, there shall be one wall sign permitted per lot.
(2) 
Except on corner lots, wall signs shall face the front street of the lot on which the building containing the sign is located.
(3) 
The maximum area of a wall business sign shall be two square feet for each front foot of building on which the sign is located.
(4) 
The maximum dimensions of wall signs other than business signs shall be the same as for any permitted sign in the zoning district in which it is located.
(5) 
No wall sign shall project over the parapet or eaves of rooflines. whichever shall be the lower part of the building on which it is located.
(6) 
No wall sign or any part thereof shall project more than 12 inches from the wall to which it is affixed.
(7) 
The bottom edge of a business wall sign, or any appendage thereto, shall not be less than 10 feet above grade at such sign.
(8) 
A business wall sign shall be permitted only on the front face of a structure, except that on a corner lot situated in a business district a second business wall sign of equal or lesser dimension facing a side street may be permitted; provided, however, that such second sign faces property situated in a business district and that said second sign is of similar design and contains similar wording to the permitted sign on the building front.
M. 
Window signs.
(1) 
The maximum dimensions of a business window sign shall be six square feet.
(2) 
The maximum dimensions of a nonbusiness window sign shall be the same as for the type of sign displayed.
N. 
A-frame signs.
[Added 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
(1) 
An A-frame sign shall relate solely to one business conducted on the lot and shall advertise only:
(a) 
The name of the owner or lessee.
(b) 
The name of the establishment.
(c) 
The type of establishment.
(d) 
The type of goods manufactured or sold or the type of services rendered.
(2) 
There shall be only one A-frame sign permitted per business on a lot.
(3) 
An A-frame sign readable from two sides shall be considered to be one sign.
(4) 
No A-frame sign shall be permitted or placed on public streets, public rights-of-way, public sidewalks, or in any public or private parking area designated as a parking space or aisle.
(5) 
The maximum dimensions of the display portion of an A-frame sign shall be three feet high by two feet wide.
(6) 
The maximum height of the bottom of an A-frame sign above the ground shall be one foot. The maximum height of the top of an A-frame sign above the ground shall be four feet.
(7) 
The illumination of an A-frame sign is prohibited.
(8) 
An A-frame sign shall not be displayed or located outside on any property before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.
In addition to the regulations set forth above, the following regulations shall control the erection and maintenance of signs in the districts indicated. No signs other than those listed shall be permitted in the districts indicated.
A. 
Residence districts.
Type of Sign
Method of Display Permitted
Illumination Permitted
Maximum  Dimensions Permitted
(square feet)
Construction
Freestanding
No
4
Wall
No
4
Window
No
4
Directional
Frestanding
Yes
2
Wall
Yes
2
Window
Yes
2
Name
Freestanding
Yes
1
Wall
Yes
1
Window
Yes
1
Professional
Freestanding
Yes
2
Wall
Yes
2
Window
Yes
2
Public convenience
Freestanding
Yes
12
Wall
Yes
12
Real estate
Freestanding
No
Developed property: 3
Undeveloped property: 6
Wall
No
3
Window
No
3
B. 
Business districts.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
Type of Sign
Method of Display Permitted
Illumination Permitted
Maximum Dimensions Permitted
Business
Canopy
Yes
4 square feet
Freestanding
Yes
3 feet x 3 feet x 8 inches
Projecting
Yes
9 square feet
Trademark
Yes
3 feet x 3 feet x 8 inches
Wall
Yes
2 square feet for each front foot of building
Window
Yes
6 square feet
A-frame
No
12 square feet
Construction
Freestanding
No
6 square feet
Wall
No
6 square feet
Window
No
6 square feet
Direcional
Freestanding
Yes
2 square feet
Wall
Yes
2 square feet
Window
Yes
2 square feet
Name
Freestanding
Yes
1 square foot
Wall
Yes
1 square foot
Window
Yes
1 square foot
Professional
Freestanding
Yes
2 square feet
Wall
Yes
2 square feet
Window
Yes
4 square feet
Public convenience
Freestanding
Yes
12 square feet
Wall
Yes
12 square feet
Real estate
Freestanding
No
Developed property: 3 square feet
Undeveloped property: 6 square feet
Wall
No
3 square feet
Window
No
3 square feet
A. 
Existing signs not conforming to these regulations shall be altered so as to conform or shall be removed not later than five years from the date of enactment of this chapter.
B. 
No signs may be erected, maintained, altered or moved on any lot or structure on which exists a nonconforming sign.
[Amended 7-16-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
The Board of Architectural Review may grant variances from strict conformity with the provisions of this chapter. In so doing, it shall consider the following:
A. 
Whether there is a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship in requiring compliance with said provisions.
B. 
Whether the requested sign is necessary for proper identification of the business conducted or services rendered on the premises where it is proposed to be placed.
C. 
Whether the requested sign will contribute to the devaluation of any property in the area or to the general deterioration of the neighborhood in which it is proposed to be placed, by reason of size, location or aesthetic appearance.
D. 
Whether the requested sign will interfere in any way with automotive visibility or create or contribute to the creation of any traffic hazard.
E. 
Whether the requested sign will obstruct any sidewalk, window, door, fire escape, stairway, ladder or opening intended to provide light, air, ingress or egress from any building.
All districts referred to in this chapter shall be as defined in the Zoning Law of the Incorporated Village of Sea Cliff.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 138, Zoning.