Borough of Paramus, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Paramus 5-14-1969 by Ord. No. 608 (Ch. 19 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 429.
This chapter may be cited as the "Revised Sign Ordinance of the Borough of Paramus."
The provisions of this chapter constitute a comprehensive plan of regulation that is based on the following considerations:
A. 
Limiting and regulating the nature, location and character of the uses of signs in the Borough.
B. 
Allowing the business community of the Borough to identify the individual business sites in a sufficient and uniform manner.
C. 
Facilitating the issuance of sign permits to the business community.
D. 
Ensuring a greater conformity among all signs at a future date.
E. 
Aiding in providing a guide for public policy and action in the erection and maintenance of signs within the Borough.
F. 
Adhering more closely to the national, state and local desires to achieve a higher aesthetic value on our highways.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A sign advertising for sale or rent a lot or building upon which it is erected or displayed.
SIGN
Any inscription, written, printed, painted or otherwise placed on a board, plate, banner or upon any material object or any device whatsoever, which, by reason of its form, color, wording, activity or technique or otherwise, attracts attention to itself, whether it is used as a means of identification, advertisement or announcement. The term shall apply only to such signs as are visible and intelligible to persons located outside the building.
No person shall paint, post, place or affix any notice, handbill, poster or sign of any description or cause the same to be done on or to any curbstone, flagstone or any other portion of any street or sidewalk or upon any tree, lamppost, telegraph, electric light or telephone pole or fire hydrant within the limits of any street or sidewalk area within the Borough.
No person shall erect, alter, relocate, reconstruct or cause to be erected, altered, relocated or reconstructed any sign, including, without limitation, interior and exterior window signs, until he shall have applied for and secured a sign permit from the Building Inspector.
A. 
No such permit shall be issued by the Building Inspector until an application, in writing, has been filed with him by the owner of the proposed sign.
B. 
The application shall state:
(1) 
The name and address of the owner of the proposed sign;
(2) 
Plans and specifications of the sign, including dimensions, materials and details of construction; and
(3) 
The exact location of the proposed sign with respect to:
(a) 
Property lines of the lands upon which said sign is to be erected;
(b) 
Structures, if any, located on such lands;
(c) 
The nearest street, highway or public or private driveway; and
(d) 
The location of any signs on the properties immediately adjacent to the lot upon which said sign is to be erected.
C. 
If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall show the name and address of a duly authorized agent thereof upon whom process may be served.
D. 
The application shall be signed by the owner of the sign and the owner of the premises upon which the sign is to be located and the lessee of said premises (if any).
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
The form and contents of all said applications may be revised from time to time pursuant to such suitable regulations as may be prescribed by the Building Committee of the governing body, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 6-27-1995 by Ord. No. 95-24]
A revised sign permit application entitled "Application for a Temporary Sign Permit" shall be created by the Building Department and revised from time to time and is to be used when applying for any temporary sign, including banner signs, grand opening decorations, window signs and all types of political campaign signs.
The fees for permits shall accompany the application and shall be as follows:
A. 
Sign, per square foot of face area, one side only for a double-faced sign: $4.
[Amended 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. 11-15]
B. 
For double-faced signs, double the fee below:
[Amended 5-10-2011 by Ord. No. 11-15]
Area
(square feet)
Fee
Less than 1
No fee
1 but less than 25
$20
25 but less than 50
$30
50 but less than 100
$50
100 but less than 200
$60
200 but less than 300
$100
300 and over
$150
C. 
The fees for permits for any sign which is subject to the provisions of § 367-12D of this chapter shall be $5, per window, per year.
D. 
In addition to the permit fee listed in Subsections A and B of this section, a nonrefundable zoning review fee of $35 per sign shall be due at the time of filing a sign permit application. This fee shall cover the cost of reviewing the sign permit application for compliance with Chapter 429, Zoning, as amended and supplemented.
[Added 4-10-2007 by Ord. No. 07-16]
The Building Inspector shall not issue a permit for the erection, alteration or relocation of any sign:
A. 
Unless the application shall show the proposed sign to be in conformity with all the provisions of this chapter and with the provisions of Chapter 429, Zoning, as amended and supplemented; or
B. 
Which said sign will unreasonably obstruct the visibility of an existing sign on a lot immediately adjacent to the lot upon which the proposed sign is to be erected, altered or relocated.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
A. 
No fee shall be charged for the erection of any real estate "for sale" or "for rent" sign having an area on one side of six square feet or less advertising for sale or rent the real estate upon which it is erected. Signs having an area in excess thereof shall be charged fees in accordance with § 367-8.
B. 
A permit for the erection of any sign advertising for sale or rent the real estate upon which it is erected shall expire one year after the date of issuance, and a new permit shall not be reissued for the same sign unless the Building Inspector has determined that the sign is not unsightly and is not in need of substantial repair and the inspection fee is paid.
A. 
The erection of builders', architects' and engineers' identification signs having an area on one side of six square feet or less on the site of construction during the course of any building operation shall be permitted without fee, but a permit therefor must be secured prior to erection of the sign. Signs having an area in excess thereof shall be charged fees in accordance with § 367-8.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
B. 
The maximum size of any such builders', architects' or engineers' signs shall not exceed the maximum permitted size, within the zoning district in which such sign is to be located, of a real estate "for sale" or "for rent" sign in such zoning district as provided by the provisions of Chapter 429, Zoning, as amended and supplemented.
C. 
Any sign permit issued pursuant to this section shall lapse and expire six months from the date of issuance unless within said time the work or action approved thereunder shall have been completed sooner.
A. 
No sign permitted in this chapter shall consist of more than four colors, inclusive of black and white.
B. 
No paper signs of any kind shall be allowed on the exterior of any structure.
C. 
No cloth or oilcloth or canvas signs of any kind shall be permitted on the exterior of any structure except under special permission of the Mayor and Council and then only for a limited time not to exceed 30 days.
D. 
No sign, temporary or otherwise, on the inside of a window shall cover more than 20% of the aggregate area of such window, and no such sign shall be permitted above the first floor of any building.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
E. 
All electrically illuminated signs shall bear the label of approval of the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.
F. 
Any sign permit issued pursuant to this section shall lapse and expire six months from the date of issuance unless within said time the work or action approved thereunder shall have been completed.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
[Added 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1; amended 6-28-1979 by Ord. No. 79-28]
A. 
No person shall hereafter maintain or display any sign unless an annual inspection tag or decal has been issued by the Building Inspector who shall have ascertained that each sign is not insecure and is not a menace to public safety and has been properly erected and a permit therefor issued. The inspection tag or decal shall continue in effect for the calendar year in which issued.
B. 
The fee charged for such annual inspection shall be payable within 30 days of each inspection and shall be as follows:
(1) 
Freestanding signs up to 36 square feet in area on one side and wall signs up to 100 square feet in area: $10.
(2) 
All other signs: $25.
C. 
Failure to pay the fees aforesaid shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
D. 
No person shall maintain or display any sign that is insecure or a menace to public safety.
E. 
The owner of any sign which is determined to be insecure or a menace to public safety shall correct said condition or remove the sign. Notice, in writing, of the condition aforesaid shall be served upon the owner of the sign or the owner of the premises upon which it is situate, and if said condition is not corrected or the sign removed within seven days of service thereof, a complaint for violation of this section shall be filed with the Magistrate. In addition thereto, the Building Inspector is empowered to institute suit to effect its removal, all at the expense of the owner of the sign. Nothing herein shall restrict the power of the Building Inspector or municipal officials to effect such emergency measures as may be reasonably required to protect the public safety.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 19-14, entitled "Construction of chapter; repealer," which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 11-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-23.
[Amended 2-8-1972 by Ord. No. 72-1]
A. 
The Building Inspector may at any time revoke any sign permit in respect to a sign erected, altered, relocated or reconstructed in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The police officers and the Building Inspector of the Borough shall be charged with the enforcement of all provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 11-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-23; 3-14-2006 by Ord. No. 06-2]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties provided by § 1-15 of this Code. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
[Added 11-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-23]
Where this chapter and Chapter 429, Zoning, conflict or overlap, the provisions contained in Chapter 429, Zoning, shall prevail.
[Added 2-14-1995 by Ord. No. 95-2]
A. 
Findings.
(1) 
The Mayor and Council hereby finds and declares that:
(a) 
The Borough of Paramus is inundated with political campaign signs, posters and stickers during local, county, state, national and special elections campaigns, such practice being unsightly and intolerable to residents, lessening efforts to enhance the aesthetic quality of the Borough.
(b) 
The attachment of such signage to utility poles is a hazard to utility workers and is illegal according to state statute.
(c) 
The proliferation of such signage has encouraged illegal acts such as trespassing, vandalism and theft.
(d) 
When it becomes necessary, the removal of such signage by Borough of Paramus personnel is an added expense to the municipality.
(2) 
Defining and regulating political campaign signs throughout the Borough of Paramus is in the interest, general good and welfare of the community.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CAMPAIGN SIGN
A temporary sign which directs attention to a candidate, slate of candidate, issue or issues for public consideration in any primary, general, school board or special election.
C. 
Restrictions.
(1) 
At no time whatsoever may political campaign signs or stickers of any type or size be affixed in any way to utility poles, traffic signs, traffic signal boxes or poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants, fences, trees or any public fixtures or be placed in any way along highways or street curb lines, on highway dividers, islands or overpasses or above (across) streets or highways or on any public property. No campaign signs may be posted or erected within 10 feet from any curbline.
(2) 
No political campaign sign shall be erected or posted on private property without the express written consent of the owner, who shall then be responsible for compliance with this section.
(3) 
(Reserved)
[Repealed 5-19-2015 by Ord. No. 15-18]
(4) 
(Reserved)
[Repealed 5-19-2015 by Ord. No. 15-18]
(5) 
(Reserved)
[Repealed 5-19-2015 by Ord. No. 15-18]
D. 
Enforcement. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by Police Department personnel, Building Department personnel, Department of Public Works personnel and Shade Tree and Parks personnel.
E. 
Borough Clerk directed. The Borough Clerk shall not later than 15 days after the primary election forward a copy of § 367-17 to all candidates for municipal office, the Republican and Democratic Bergen County organizations and the Republican and Democratic State Organizations.
F. 
Violations and penalties. Violations and penalties, as provided in § 367-15 of the Code of the Borough of Paramus, shall apply to this section of the Code.
G. 
Conflicting provisions. Where this section of the Code and Chapter 429, Zoning, conflict or overlap, the provisions contained in Chapter 429, Zoning, shall prevail.
H. 
Reserved.
[Added 6-27-1995 by Ord. No. 95-24; repealed 3-13-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-04]