Purposes. This article is intended to promote and maintain overall community aesthetic quality; establish reasonable time, place and manner of regulations for the exercise of free speech, without regulating content; promote traffic safety by avoiding distractions and sight distance obstructions; and protect property values and ensure compatibility with the character of neighboring uses.
Permit required. A zoning permit shall be required for all signs except for signs meeting the requirements of § 220-47, and nonilluminated window signs constructed of paper, cardboard or similar materials and that are not of a permanent nature. Only types, sizes and heights of signs that are specifically permitted by this chapter within the applicable district shall be allowed. Within the Historic District, the appearance of a sign may be required to be approved under Chapter 130, Historic District.
Changes on signs. Any lawfully existing sign (including nonconforming signs) may be painted or repaired or changed in logo or message without a new permit under this chapter provided that the changes do not increase the sign area or otherwise result in noncompliance or an increased nonconformity with this chapter.
Signs legally existing at the time of enactment of this chapter and which do not conform to the requirements of the chapter shall be considered nonconforming signs.
An existing nonconforming sign may only be replaced with a conforming sign, except a lawful nonconforming sign serving a lawful nonconforming principal use on the same lot may be replaced with a new sign advertising the nonconforming use if the new sign is not more nonconforming in any manner than the previous sign.
The following signs shall be permitted by right within all zoning districts within the following regulations, and shall not be required to have a permit under this article:
In addition, the following types of signs are not regulated by this chapter:
Historic sign: memorializes an important historic place, event or person and that is specifically authorized by the Borough or a county, state or federal agency.
Holiday decorations: commemorates a holiday recognized by the Borough, county, state or federal government and that does not include advertising.
Not readable sign: not readable from any public street or any exterior lot line.
Official sign: erected by the state, county, Borough or other legally constituted governmental body, or specifically authorized by Borough ordinance or resolution, and which exists for public purposes.
Required sign: only includes information required to be posted outdoors by a government agency or the Borough.
Right-of-way sign: posted within the existing right-of-way of a public street and officially authorized by the Borough or PennDOT.
The following are the signs permitted on a lot within the specified districts and within the following regulations, in addition to exempt signs and temporary signs permitted in all districts by other provisions of this article. See definitions of the types of signs in § 220-55.
Maximum height of wall signs. The maximum height of wall signs shall be equal to the top of the roof along the wall to which they are attached.
Portable signs (including signs on mobile stands) and other temporary signs.
Purpose. These standards recognize portable signs as a particular type of sign that has the characteristics of a temporary sign but that has been inappropriately used as a permanent sign. This section is based on the policy that if a use desires to regularly display a sign for regularly changing messages, that it erect a permanent sign within all of the requirements of this chapter.
Definitions. As used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PORTABLE SIGN
- A freestanding sign that is attached to a chassis or legs that allows it to be towed or carried from one location to another and that is not permanently attached to the ground.
Signs advertising a use no longer in existence (other than a sign relating to a building that is clearly temporarily vacant and being offered to new tenants or for purchase) shall be removed within 180 days of the cessation of such use.
The following shall regulate the location of signs:
A sign shall not project over any existing street right-of-way, except for permitted projecting signs within the DC, RC and MDRB Districts.
A freestanding illuminated sign for a commercial or industrial business (except in the DC District) shall not be located within 10 feet of an abutting lot line of a lot that only includes one dwelling unit.
These setbacks shall not apply to official signs, nameplate signs, public service signs and directional signs.
Sight distance. No sign shall be so located that it interferes with the sight distance requirements of § 220-59.
Off-premises. No signs except permitted off-premises, official, political or public service signs shall be erected on a property to which it does not relate.
Permission of owner. No sign shall be posted on any property or sign pole or public utility pole, unless permission has been received by the owner.
Utility poles. No sign shall be attached to a utility pole using metal fasteners, except by a utility or government agency.
See "light and glare control" in Article V.
Any vehicle or structure to which a sign is affixed in such a manner that the carrying of such sign or signs no longer is incidental to the primary purpose of the vehicle or structure but becomes a primary purpose in itself shall be considered a freestanding sign and as such shall be subject to requirements for freestanding signs in the district in which such vehicle or structure is located.
The following signs are prohibited in all zoning districts:
Any moving object used to attract attention to a commercial use. Flags and banners except as is permitted by § 220-47 and except for flags or banners meeting the requirements for a particular type of sign.
Flashing, blinking, twinkling, animated or moving signs of any type, except time and temperature signs may flash. In addition, 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 Christmas lighting or displays, within § 220-47.
Signs which emit smoke, visible vapors or particles, sound or odor.
Signs which contain information that states or implies that a lot may be used for any purpose not permitted under the applicable provisions of this chapter.
Signs that are of such character, form, shape or color that they imitate or resemble any official traffic sign, signal or device or that have any characteristics which are likely to confuse or distract the operator of a motor vehicle on a public street (such as prominent use of the words "danger").
Signs or displays visible from a lot line that include words or images that are obscene or pornographic.
Balloons of greater than 25 cubic feet that are tethered to the ground or a structure for periods of over a day and that are primarily intended for advertising purposes.
Floodlights and outdoor lasers for advertising purposes.
Every permanent sign permitted in this section shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be kept in good condition and repair. The Zoning Officer shall by written notice require a property owner or lessee to repair or remove a dilapidated or unsafe sign within a specified period of time. If such order is not complied with, the Borough may repair or remove such sign at the expense of such owner or lessee.
Sign definitions. The following definitions shall be used in determining whether signs meet the measurement and type requirements of this article:
- BUILDING FACE
- The vertical area of a particular side of a building, but not including the area of any slanted roof.
- FREESTANDING SIGN
- A sign which is self-supporting upon the ground or which is primarily supported by poles attached to the ground and not primarily supported by a building.
- HEIGHT OF SIGN
- The vertical distance measured from the average ground level surrounding a sign to the highest point of the sign and its supporting structure. Religious symbols, when not accompanied by lettering, shall not be restricted by the sign heights of this article when attached to a tower or spire of a place of worship.
- ILLUMINATED SIGN, INTERNALLY
- A sign illuminated by light from within the sign rather than a source adjacent to or outside of the sign. A sign within a display case with lights only shining onto the front of the sign shall be considered to be externally illuminated.
- WALL SIGN
- A sign primarily supported by or painted on a wall of a building and which does not project more than two feet from such wall.
- WINDOW SIGN
- A sign which is readily visible and can be at least partially read from an exterior lot line and which is attached to a window or transparent door or that can be read through a window or transparent door.
Measurement of sign area.
Sign area shall include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with related background areas on which they are displayed. One freestanding sign may include several signs that are all attached to one structure, with the total sign area being the area of a common geometric form that could encompass all signs.
The sign area shall not include any structurally supporting framework, bracing, or clearly defined wooden framing if such area does not include any display, lettering or sign and if such area is clearly incidental to the sign area itself.
Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted directly on a building or window, other than an illuminated background that is a part of the sign, the sign area shall be the smallest rectangle that includes all of the letters and symbols.
The maximum sign area of sign shall be for each of two sides of a sign, provided that only one side of a sign is readable from any location.
Unless otherwise specified, all square footages in regards to signs are maximum sizes.
Purposes. Off-premises signs are controlled by this chapter for the following purposes, to: ensure that a physical environment is maintained that is attractive to desirable types of development, especially light industrial and office parks; prevent visual pollution in the Borough and protect property values, especially in consideration of the fact that most commercial areas of the Borough are within close proximity to existing residences; prevent glare on adjacent property and streets; avoid the creation of additional visual distractions to motorists, especially along busy arterial streets that involve complex turning movements and numerous traffic hazards; recognize the numerous alternative forms of free speech available in the Borough, including existing nonconforming off-premises signs, on-premises signs and temporary signs and printed and electronic media; carry out the purposes listed in § 220-45.
Nonconforming off-premises signs. This section is not intended to require the removal of an existing lawfully placed off-premises sign that is in structurally sound condition.
PennDOT sign. Signs erected and maintained by PennDOT are permitted by right in all districts.
Permitted off-premises signs. An off-premises sign is only permitted if it meet the following requirements:
District. An off-premises sign is only permitted in the HC District.
Location. An off-premises sign shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from all lot lines and street rights-of-way.
Maximum sign area: 300 square feet.
Spacing. Any off-premises sign shall be separated by a minimum of 1,200 feet from any other off-premises sign, including signs on either side of a street and including existing signs in other municipalities. No lot shall include more than one off-premises sign.
Maximum height: 25 feet above the elevation of the adjacent street, measured at the street center line.
Attached. No off-premises sign or sign face shall be attached in any way to any other off-premises sign, except that a sign may have two sign faces of 150 square feet each if they are placed approximately back to back.
Residences. No off-premises sign greater than 10 square feet in sign area shall be located within 200 feet of an existing dwelling.
Condition. The sign shall be maintained in a good and safe condition. The area around the sign shall be kept free of debris.