Village of Northport, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport 10-4-1966 by L.L. No. 3-1966 as Ch. 64 of the 1966 Code; amended in its entirety 11-6-2006 by L.L. No. 10-2006.[1] Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Appearance tickets — See Ch. 9.
Board of Architectural and Historic Review — See Chs. 13 and A311.
Fees — See Ch. 147.
Garage sale signs — See Ch. 166, § 166-3.
Exterior lighting — See Ch. 191.
Subdivision and site plan regulations — See Chs. 247 and A312.
Zoning — See Ch. 306.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that all signs now in existence which conformed to ordinances and laws in effect at the time of their erection or installation and which do not conform to the newly amended requirements of chapter 243, Signs, shall be altered, removed or replaced in conformity hereto upon any change of use of the subject property, but no later than five years from the effective date of this chapter regardless of whether there has been a change of use, unless a waiver or extension has been granted by the Architectural and Historic Review Board pursuant to the conditions specified under § 13-8. Further, any signs that does not conform to Subsections (11), (12) and (13) of § 243-3A of the amended chapter shall be removed within six months from the date it takes effect.
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport finds that the effective control over the location, size, height, number, type, and manner of placement and illumination of signs is essential for the health, safety and welfare of its residents and for the preservation of the value of the real property situated in said Village.
B. 
The Board also finds that control over sign aesthetics is necessary to promote Village goals of enhancing and promoting a positive appearance and identity.
C. 
This chapter has the following purpose and objectives:
(1) 
To avoid, minimize and mitigate visual clutter;
(2) 
To minimize distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents;
(3) 
To promote signs that enhance the appearance of the Village's commercial districts;
(4) 
To support Village businesses and organizations through effective signs whose messages are clearly readable and quickly understood by motorists and pedestrians;
(5) 
To support and facilitate wayfinding by emergency services personnel, and by the general public, through signage that includes address numbers.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMATED SIGN
Any sign that uses movement or change of lighting to depict action or create a special effect or scene.
BANNER
Any sign of fabric or similar material mounted to a pole or a building at one or more edges. National flags, state or municipal flags shall not be considered banners.
BLADE SIGN
A sign attached to a wall with the exposed face of the sign in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the building wall and with a total surface area of less than four feet.
CANOPY SIGN
Any sign that is imprinted on, a part of, or attached to the upper portion (i.e., not the valance) of an awning, canopy, or other fabric, plastic, or structural protective cover over a door, entrance, window, or outdoor service area.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A sign or portion thereof with characters, letters, or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged either electronically or manually, without altering the face or the surface of the sign. A sign on which the message changes more than eight times per day shall be considered an animated sign and not a changeable copy sign for purposes of this chapter. A sign on which the only copy that changes is an indication of time or temperature shall be considered a time and temperature portion of a sign and not a changeable copy sign for purposes of this chapter.
FREESTANDING SIGN
Any sign not imprinted on or affixed to a building.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign illuminated by electricity, gas or other artificial light, including reflective or phosphorescent light.
PENNANT
Any plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in series, designed to move in the wind.
PERMANENT SIGN
Any sign intended and installed to be permanently in place at a given location by means of suitable fastening to a building or to a structure specifically erected to hold such sign(s) or to the ground.
POLE SIGN
A freestanding sign with visible support structure.
ROOF SIGN
Any sign in which all or any part extends above the wall of any building or structure, where said wall does not extend above the roofline. In no event shall a sign permitted as defined by "wall sign" extend beyond the actual wall surface.
SIDEWALK SIGN
A two-sided sign, hinged at the top, which is temporarily located on or near a sidewalk.
[Added 9-1-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
SIGN
Any structure or part thereof, or any device or group of letters attached to, painted on or represented on a building, fence or other structure on or in a window or temporarily or permanently on a vehicle or trailer, upon which is displayed or included any letter, symbol, trademark, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, decoration, device or representation used as or which is in the nature of an announcement, direction, advertisement or other attention-directing device. A sign does not include the flag or pennant or insignia of any nation or association of nations or of any state, city or other political unit or of any charitable, educational, philanthropic, civic or religious organization.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign installed inside a window for purposes of viewing from the outside of the premises. This term does not include merchandise located in a window.
In any district, no lands shall be used and no buildings shall be erected, altered or used, insofar as the location and affixing of signs thereon are concerned, unless such signs conform to the following requirements for the districts in which located:
A. 
All districts. No signs shall be erected or maintained which:
(1) 
Extends outward over a sidewalk or street, except for:
(a) 
Signs installed parallel to a building that project no more than 15 inches from the building facade.
(b) 
Blade signs that maintain a minimum clearance of eight feet above the level of the sidewalk or grade immediately below.
(c) 
One sidewalk sign, permissible only in business districts, one per building and only during business hours, which must be located so that a minimum sidewalk clearance of 48 inches is maintained and wheelchair passage is not hindered. The message area is restricted to 24 inches wide and 36 inches high. Height from the pavement may not exceed 43 inches. The sign surface must be black chalkboard, and the message must be written in white or colored chalk. The business name or logotype may be screen-printed onto the message area, provided it is not taller than four inches. Photographic depictions are prohibited. A sidewalk sign must be framed in wood, and the finish must be natural, stained or painted. If painted, the color must be muted and relate to colors visible on the premises. Sidewalk signs require a sign permit, payment of the fee and proof of insurance coverage in favor of the Village, excepting sidewalk signs conforming to the special menu sign standard for outdoor dining in Chapter 306, Zoning, § 306-18.1.
[Added 9-1-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
(2) 
Are affixed to, painted on or supported by or from trees, stones or other natural objects, vehicles or objects other than buildings or signposts or sign frameworks erected for the support of such signs.
(3) 
Move or simulate motion by electrical, mechanical, natural or other means, except such signs within any commercial or industrial establishment not visible from any road, street, highway, walk or right-of-way, or residential use.
(4) 
Contain or depict scandalous, indecent or immoral matters.
(5) 
Are so illuminated at night as to interfere with the reasonable comfort of the inhabitants of adjacent residential uses.
(6) 
Extend horizontally or vertically beyond the building to which they are attached, except as provided in Subsection A(1) of this section.
(7) 
Are located on the roof of any building.
(8) 
Are illuminated in such a manner that any red, green or amber light source is located in the line of vision from any highway, road, street or public way of a traffic light or signal.
(9) 
Have an illuminated surface with more than a maximum of 50 footcandles.
(10) 
Are comprised of attention-getting devices such as banners, pennants, flags, streamers, posters, searchlights, string or festoon lights, flashing lights, inflatable objects or similar devices designed for purposes of attracting attention, promotion or advertising, except:
(a) 
Governmental or institutional flags;
(b) 
When approved by the Architectural Review Board as an component of a building's facade;
(c) 
When used to for special events on a temporary basis and with a temporary sign permit.
(11) 
Are affixed to utility poles.
(12) 
Advertise a business not located at the premises of the sign.
(13) 
Utilize highly reflective materials such as mirrored glass or chrome metal.
(14) 
Are so located, illuminated or of such a type as to interfere with or detract from the public health, safety and welfare.
B. 
Residence districts. No signs shall be erected or maintained except:
(1) 
Name plates and signs not exceeding 90 square inches in area designating the occupant or occupants and any accessory use authorized by this chapter or permitted by law. Not more than one such sign shall be allowed for each family dwelling unit on the premises.
(2) 
"For Sale," "For Rent" or "To Let" signs which do not exceed four square feet in area. Not more than one such sign shall be allowed on any plot which shall include the buildings thereon. No such sign, if detached, shall be within 10 feet of any boundary line nor shall be more than six feet above the ground surface on which it is erected unless such ground surface be below the grade level of the property frontage in which case the six feet shall be measured from the grade level of the frontage.
(3) 
Signs advertising the owner and/or nature of any other business conducted on the premises as a valid and nonconforming use and for which no other provision has been made, provided that:
(a) 
The permit therefor has been obtained as provided in § 243-4 hereof.
(b) 
The size, design and location thereof have been approved by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 13, Board of Architectural and Historic Review.
(c) 
The size and numbers thereof do not exceed the regulations provided in business districts.
C. 
Nonresidential uses. A valid permit and design approval from the Architectural Review Board is required to erect, alter, paint with a new message, redesign, relocate or reconstruct any sign associated with a nonresidential use, except for:
(1) 
Copy replacement on an approved sign designed for the use of replaceable text; and
(2) 
Normal sign maintenance, such as cleaning, painting and structural repair, that does not alter sign design or location.
D. 
Temporary signs.
(1) 
The Architectural and Historic Review Board may, upon application, grant permits for the locating of temporary signs not in conformity with the provisions of this section for single periods not to exceed 60 days, provided that the location and maintenance of such signs will not create any safety hazard and provided that the temporary sign is located on premises owned by the applicant and the activity on said premises is advertised and/or referred to in said temporary sign. Temporary indoor sales signs for supermarket and other retail uses shall be exempt from permitting requirements provided that they do not exceed 50% of window space.
(2) 
In the event that a second application, prior to the expiration of the first sixty-day period, is submitted to continue the use of the same sign for an additional sixty-day period, the application shall be deemed a new application for the erection of a temporary sign.
(3) 
Additional applications for subsequent periods of 60 days may be made pursuant to Subsection D(2) above.
(4) 
In nonresidential districts, temporary “For Rent” and “For Sale” signs that conform to one of the sample sign formats preapproved by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review shall be exempt from review and permitting requirements. Such signs shall be permitted only when the premises or a portion thereof is available for rent or sale. Therefore, such signs shall be removed as soon as the property is sold or rented. The Board of Architectural and Historic Review is hereby authorized and directed to create a sample sign format of multiple formats for use in nonresidential districts. In addition, property owners and real estate agencies may submit their standard signs for review to become approved sign formats for the sale of property on which the sign is displayed. Two signs such as manufactured by Ty-Ko Products Co. are approved for use and will not need a permit: the first is 12 inches in length and nine inches in height; the second is 24 inches in length and 18 inches in height; both of which are available for reference in the office of the Village Clerk. From time to time, the Board of Architectural and Historic Review shall review additional off-the-shelf signs for approval. The Code Compliance Officer may consult with the Board if he needs assistance to determine whether a temporary sign complies with the sample sign format(s) approved by the Board. Alternatively, all persons and entities retain the option of applying to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review for approval of a sign design other than the preapproved sample sign formats. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a telephone number may be included on these signs if the seller, lessor, sublessor, agent or representative does not maintain a presence, such as an office or store, at the site at which the sign is located.
[Added 9-1-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
A. 
Applications for sign permits shall be made to the Code Compliance Director on a form promulgated by the Architectural and Historic Review Board.
B. 
Application submissions shall include the following information, as relevant:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The name, address, telephone number and insurance coverage of the sign maker.
(3) 
The location of the building upon which the sign is to be erected.
(4) 
The nature of the business or activity for which the sign will be used.
(5) 
Color photographs of the sign premises, including building(s) and road frontage, and of adjacent properties and their signs.
(6) 
Sketches of the proposed sign(s) drawn to scale with supporting documentation indicating placement, size, material(s), colors, size and types of lettering, logos and/or other graphic representation, electrical or other mechanical equipment, and details of installation. Samples of materials should accompany the application, where required by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review.
(7) 
Applications for freestanding signs shall include a site plan indicating the location of the proposed sign, proposed landscaping for the base of the sign and its vicinity, and the location of the nearest existing freestanding signs on both sides of the road along with photographs of those existing signs.
(8) 
The written consent of the owner of the property upon which such sign(s) is/are to be erected and maintained, if other than the applicant.
(9) 
A fee for regular and temporary signs as set forth from time to time by resolution in Chapter 147, Fees.
(10) 
Other pertinent information as may be required by the Board of Architectural and Historic Review to ensure compliance with this section.
C. 
Applicants may consult the Board of Architectural and Historic Review prior to preparing their submission, and are encouraged to do so to obtain advice on matters of consistency with the design guidelines and requirements outlined herein.
D. 
Applications shall be referred to the Board of Architectural and Historic Review upon receipt for review pursuant to Chapter 13 of the Code of the Village of Northport. Upon approval, or after any conditions for approval established by the Architectural Review Board are satisfied, a permit for sign construction shall be issued within five business days.
E. 
In the event that an application is denied, applicants shall have the remedies provided in Chapter 13, Architectural Review.
The following restrictions and guidelines shall apply to all permanent signs for nonresidential uses unless otherwise specified.
A. 
Number of permitted signs. No more than two exterior signs shall be allowed for each business or activity separately owned and conducted on the premises, except for those permitted as additional signage in § 243-5A(2) below.
(1) 
Of the two permitted signs, not more than one shall be freestanding, except when the premises are located on a corner lot that fronts on two streets or highways. In such instances, the second freestanding sign shall be limited to one half the size of the primary sign.
(2) 
The following shall be permitted in addition to any other sign or signs permitted on the premises:
(a) 
Text and graphics imprinted on or affixed to the valance of an awning so long as they do not exceed 75% of the valance surface area;
(b) 
Up to two window signs, the area of each of which should not exceed two square feet;
(c) 
Address plaques displaying the building address number and street name; and
(d) 
On-premises direction signs provided they shall not exceed six square feet in surface area and are limited to one for each entrance or exit to parking areas, drive-through lanes, or as may be determined necessary for safe circulation by the Planning Board during the site plan review process.
B. 
Size and proportion.
(1) 
Signs attached to a building shall have a maximum aggregate area of 15% of the total area of the one building facade or storefront, whichever is applicable, upon which the signage is placed.
(2) 
Freestanding signs shall be limited to an aggregate area of 36 square feet. The width shall not be more than four times the height, nor the height more than four times the width.
(3) 
The area of a sign shall be computed from the outer dimensions of the frame, trim or molding by which the sign is enclosed, where they exist, or from the outer edge of the signboard where they do not exist.
(4) 
When a sign consists of individual letters, symbols or characters, its area shall be computed as the area of the smallest parallelogram which encloses all of the letters, symbols and characters.
(5) 
When a sign consists of two or more faces, only one face of the sign shall be used in computing the sign area if the faces are parallel to and within 18 inches of each other. Otherwise, all faces of the sign shall be used to compute the sign area.
C. 
Placement.
(1) 
No sign shall be permitted that:
(a) 
Covers, obscures or obstructs any window or other opening in any building on the premises;
(b) 
Obstructs pedestrians', highway users' clear view of pedestrian, highway or railway traffic regardless of the direction in which any such traffic may be proceeding;
(c) 
Deprives adjacent properties of reasonable access to light and air;
(d) 
Is located in any required side-yard area;
(e) 
Can interfere with or obstruct a clear view of highway or pedestrian traffic into, over or out of the premises on which the sign is proposed to be located or of adjacent premises; and
(f) 
Would reasonably tend to interfere with public safety.
(2) 
Signs should be placed to indicate the location of access to a business, such as at or near the entrance to a building or site.
(3) 
Wall signs shall be mounted in locations that respect the design integrity of a building, including the arrangement of bays and openings.
(4) 
Freestanding signs shall be set back from the public right-of-way a minimum distance equal to the height of the sign.
(5) 
Freestanding signs for multiple uses on a property shall be colocated onto a single joint tenant sign.
(6) 
Freestanding signs for properties sharing an access drive shall be colocated onto a single joint tenant sign.
(7) 
The use of building mounted rather than freestanding signs is encouraged.
D. 
Sign text.
(1) 
Sign text shall be limited to the identification of the business name and function. The inclusion of telephone numbers on exterior signage is prohibited. Telephone numbers and hours of operation may be displayed on interior window signs, as permitted under § 243-5A(2)(b) above.
(2) 
The typeface and graphic treatment used in connection with a single business or activity shall be consistent across all signs on a property, including awning valances, building mounted signs, and freestanding signs.
(3) 
Lettering shall be a minimum height of six inches for signs in the Highway Business and Maritime Business districts. For all other districts, lettering shall be a minimum of four inches.
(4) 
To promote legibility:
(a) 
The number of different lettering types on any one sign, or group of signs indicating one message, shall not exceed two for small signs and three for larger signs.
(b) 
The proportion of letter area to overall sign background area shall not exceed 75%.
(c) 
Letters and words shall not be spaced too close together or too widely apart.
(d) 
Messages shall be kept brief. Signs with more than three lines of text are discouraged.
(5) 
Lettering styles shall be chosen with consideration for the nature of the business or activity being advertised, the architectural style of the building and the styles of other signs in the vicinity.
E. 
Address signs.
(1) 
All premises shall have their address number included on one of the permitted signs or on a separate address plaque that shall not be counted as part of the premises allowable sign allotment per § 243-5A(2).
(2) 
Letters and numbers for the display of the address of the premises shall be a minimum of three inches.
(3) 
Letters and numbers for the display of the address of the premises shall be consistent with other signage on the premises.
(4) 
Addresses shall be visible from the public right of way.
(5) 
The placement of address numbers on or over the front door of the premises is preferred, when not in conflict with § 243-5E(4) above.
F. 
Height.
(1) 
No freestanding sign shall exceed 12 feet in height, measured from the ground elevation to the top of the sign. If sight distance requirements or physical constraints of the site do not allow a freestanding sign to be placed on the street front, a maximum height of 20 feet may be approved. A maximum height of 20 feet may also be approved for:
(a) 
Freestanding signs at gasoline filling stations that list gasoline prices.
(b) 
Shopping center identification signs that include the name of the center and a minimum of four current businesses within the center.
(2) 
The height of any freestanding sign shall in no case be greater than the distance of the base of the sign from the curbline or nearest boundary of the premises.
(3) 
The bottom of awning valances shall be a minimum of seven feet above the sidewalk.
(4) 
The use of low-profile monument signs, with a maximum height of four feet, are preferred over taller freestanding signs.
G. 
Freestanding signs: frame and mounting; landscaping.
(1) 
The frames and mountings of freestanding signs shall be coordinated with the balance of the sign with respect to material, color and overall design. Mountings shall have a permanent and finished appearance.
(2) 
The total frame and mounting area of freestanding signs shall be limited to a maximum of 50% of the allowed sign face area for the proposed sign.
(3) 
Sculptural forms or architectural elements are encouraged.
(4) 
Single-pole mounts for freestanding signs are prohibited.
(5) 
The bases of freestanding signs shall be landscaped.
(a) 
The planting bed shall extend a minimum of three feet beyond each face of the sign and one feet beyond each end.
(b) 
The planting mix shall include coniferous or evergreen groundcovers and/or shrubs.
(c) 
Plant material shall be maintained so as not to obscure sign messages.
(d) 
Any areas intended for annual plantings shall be replaced at the beginning of each growing season. Annual plants shall be removed after each hard frost and the area covered with mulch until replanted.
H. 
Illumination.
(1) 
Illumination shall be appropriate to the character of the sign and its surroundings and shall be in accordance with Chapter 191, Lighting, Exterior.
(2) 
Illumination shall be steady in nature, not flashing, moving or changing in brilliance, color or intensity.
(3) 
The period of time of illumination shall be the minimum necessary for the intended purpose of such illumination, consistent with public safety and welfare.
(a) 
Illuminated signs must be turned off and extinguished at or before 12:00 midnight of each day, except for signs in connection with a business that is normally open past 12:00 midnight.
(b) 
Signs for businesses operating past 12:00 midnight may continue to be illuminated until closing time.
(c) 
All illuminated signs extinguished as above provided shall remain extinguished until one half hour prior to the next regular posted opening hour of the business in connection with which such sign is maintained.
(4) 
Backlit awnings are prohibited.
(5) 
Internally lit signs are discouraged.
I. 
General design.
(1) 
Applicants for signs on premises that will host more than one sign shall present a planned sign program providing coordinated signing for the premises through the use of one or more common design element such as construction materials, color scheme, lettering and images, supports and mountings, etc.
(2) 
Signs shall be designed to be compatible with their surroundings and should be appropriate to the architectural character of the buildings on which they are located. Panels, graphics and placement shall relate to and not obscure architectural features or details, and shall be in proportion to them.
(3) 
Layout shall be orderly and graphics concise.
(4) 
The number of colors used shall be the minimum consistent with the design.
(5) 
Wood, metal, porcelain enamel panel, stone, concrete and masonry are preferred sign materials.
(6) 
Sign design is encouraged to be appropriate to the types of activities represented.
(7) 
The following design elements are discouraged:
(a) 
Neon and fluorescent colors.
(b) 
The use of photographs.
The following signs, if in compliance with the provisions of § 243-3A hereof, are exempted from all other provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Danger or cautionary signs relating to the premises on which located.
B. 
Signs required by law or in legal proceedings or put up by public authority.
C. 
Signs announcing the building activities or functions of any local church; synagogue; library; museum; educational, charitable or historical society or institution; chamber of commerce or merchants' association; or fire department or fire company, provided that the same do not exceed nine square feet in area.
A. 
All signs now in existence which conformed to ordinances and laws in effect at the time of their erection or installation and which do not conform to the requirements of this chapter shall be altered, removed or replaced in conformity hereto no later than five years from the effective date of this chapter, except for signs that do not conform to Subsections (11), (12) and (13) of § 243-3A above, which shall be removed within six months from the date of this amendment.
B. 
A nonconforming sign shall immediately lose its legal, nonconforming status if:
(1) 
The sign is altered in any way in structure, color or copy, except for changeable copy signs;
(2) 
The sign is damaged in excess of 50% of the original cost of the sign;
(3) 
The sign is relocated; or
(4) 
The sign is replaced.
C. 
In any of the events described in Subsection B of this section, the Architectural and Historic Review Board may authorize specific alterations of such nonconforming signs if it finds that:
(1) 
The end of the nonconforming sign's amortization period is more than two years away; and
(2) 
The total amount of aggregate noncompliance of the sign area of the existing signs on the premises is reduced at least 50% by the proposed alterations.
No person may place any sign, poster, placard, device, graphic display or any other form of advertising that advertises tobacco and/or other smoking products in publicly visible locations. In this section, "publicly visible locations" include billboards, sides of buildings and freestanding signboards. The provisions of § 243-7 hereof shall be inapplicable to any sign, poster, placard, device, graphic display or any other form of advertising that advertises tobacco and/or smoking products in publicly visible locations.
A. 
The owner of a sign and the owner of the premises on which such sign is located shall be jointly and severally liable to maintain such sign, including its illumination sources, in a neat and orderly condition and good working order at all times and to prevent the development of any rust, corrosion, rotting or other deterioration in the physical appearance or safety of such sign.
B. 
Unsafe signs or unsightly, damaged, or deteriorated signs or signs in danger of falling shall be put in order or removed upon written notice. Immediate compliance is expected for the repair or removal of unsafe signs. If compliance is not achieved within the time period specified in such notice, the sign shall be repaired or removed by the City and the costs assessed to the property owner.
C. 
Unsafe temporary signs or unsightly, damaged, or deteriorated signs or signs in danger of falling shall be put in order or removed upon written notice. Immediate compliance is expected for the repair or removal of unsafe temporary signs.
D. 
Signs shall be removed within 60 days after the use with which they are associated ceases to operate, per § 243-3A(12) above.
A. 
Each violation of this chapter, of any regulation, order or ruling promulgated hereunder or of any permit issued hereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250, imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. In addition to such fine, the defendant shall pay all costs and expenses incurred by the village in determining such violation. The foregoing shall be in addition to all other remedies available under the law to the Village or the Board of Trustees.
B. 
Additional remedies. In the event of any actual or impending violation of this chapter, the Board of Trustees, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such violation.
The Code Compliance Director may remove any advertising sign or billboard which shall violate any provision of this chapter. Before doing so he shall notify the owner, tenant or lessee of the land upon which such sign or billboard is erected, personally or by mail if such person cannot with reasonable diligence be found, of his intention to remove said sign or billboard. If such owner, tenant or lessee shall thereupon and within 10 days serve upon the Code Compliance Director objection in writing to such removal, the said sign or billboard shall not be removed until 40 days after the service of said objection.