Village of Belgium, WI
Ozaukee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The intent of this chapter is to provide for and regulate the location and safe construction of signs in a manner to ensure that signs are compatible with surrounding land uses, are well maintained and express the identity of individual proprietors and the Village as a whole. All sign permits, unless otherwise specified, shall be issued by the Building Inspector.
No sign shall hereafter be located, erected, moved, reconstructed, extended, enlarged, converted or structurally altered without a sign permit and without conforming to the provisions of this chapter, except as provided in § 270-60.
The following signs are permitted in all zoning districts without a permit, subject to the following regulations:
A. 
Real estate signs, not to exceed eight square feet in area in a residential district or 32 square feet in other districts, which advertise the sale, rental, or lease of the premises upon which said signs are temporarily located. No real estate sign shall be located in a street right-of-way. Real estate signs shall not be closer than 10 feet to a side or rear lot line. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45 of this chapter.
B. 
Personal name and warning signs not to exceed two square feet located on the premises. Personal name and warning signs shall be not less than 10 feet from any street right-of-way or any side or rear lot line. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45 of this chapter.
C. 
Home occupation and professional home office signs not to exceed two square feet in area and mounted flush against the dwelling.
D. 
Election campaign signs, provided that permission shall be obtained from the property owner, renter or lessee and provided that such sign shall not be erected prior to the first day of the election campaign period as defined in § 12.04, Wis. Stats., and shall be removed within two days following the election. No election campaign sign shall be located in a street right-of-way. Election campaign signs shall not be closer than 10 feet to a side or rear lot line. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45 of this chapter.
E. 
Rummage sale and garage sale signs, provided that no such signs shall be erected or placed within a public right-of-way and further provided that such signs are removed within 24 hours following the sale. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45 of this chapter.
F. 
Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions not to exceed 50 square feet in area located on the premises. Bulletin boards shall be not less than 10 feet from any street right-of-way or any side or rear lot line. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45 of this chapter.
G. 
Memorial signs, tablets, names of buildings, and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of metal and affixed flat against a structure.
H. 
Official signs, such as traffic control, parking restrictions, information, and notices.
I. 
Temporary signs or banners when authorized by the Plan Commission for a period of not more than 60 days in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 13-1-72(j), which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 21-94.
[Amended 10-7-1996 by Ord. No. 33-96[1]]
Signs are permitted in all business and manufacturing districts subject to the following restrictions:
A. 
Wall signs placed against the exterior walls of buildings shall not extend more than six inches outside of a building's wall surface, shall not exceed 500 square feet in area for any one premises, and shall not exceed 20 feet in height above the mean center-line street grade.
B. 
Projecting signs fastened to, suspended from, or supported by structures shall not exceed 100 square feet in area for any one premises, shall not extend more than six feet into any required yard, shall not extend more than three feet into any public right-of-way, shall not be less than 10 feet from all side lot lines, shall not exceed a height of 20 feet above the mean center-line street grade, and shall not be less than 10 feet above the sidewalk or 15 feet above a driveway or an alley.
C. 
Ground signs shall not exceed 30 feet in height above the mean center-line street grade and shall not exceed 100 square feet on one side or 200 square feet on all sides for any one premises. Ground signs shall be not less than six feet from the street right-of-way and shall be not less than 10 feet from a side or rear lot line. Sign placement shall comply with the traffic visibility requirements set forth in § 270-45, and signs may not be placed so as to obstruct vision when exiting any driveway.
D. 
Roof signs shall not exceed 10 feet in height above the roof, shall meet all the yard and height requirements for the district in which they are located and shall not exceed 300 square feet on all sides for any one premises.
E. 
Window signs, except for painted signs and decals, shall be placed only on the inside of commercial buildings.
F. 
Combinations of any of the above signs shall meet all the requirements for the individual sign.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
The following signs are permitted in the institutional and park districts and are subject to the following regulation: institutional and park name signs when approved by the Village Board after review and recommendation by the Village Plan Commission.
Municipally owned signs may be permitted in any district without a permit, provided that permission shall be obtained from the property owner, renter, or lessee and provided that such sign shall not exceed 200 square feet in area per face.
No sign except those permitted in §§ 270-60 and 270-62 shall be permitted to face a residential or park district within 100 feet of such district boundary.
Signs shall not resemble, imitate, or approximate the shape, size, form, or color of railroad or traffic signs, signals, or devices. Signs shall not obstruct or interfere with the effectiveness of railroad or traffic signs, signals or devices. Signs shall not be erected, relocated, or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window, or fire escape, and no sign shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape. Signs shall not be placed so as to obstruct or interfere with traffic visibility nor be lighted in such a way as to cause glare or impair driver visibility upon public ways. Signs may be illuminated but nonflashing. Signs in residential districts shall not be illuminated.
A. 
Wind pressure and dead load requirements. All signs and other advertising structures shall be designed and constructed to withstand wind pressure of not less than 40 pounds per square foot of area and shall be constructed to receive dead loads as required in the Village Building Code or other ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 104, Building Construction.
B. 
Protection of the public. The temporary occupancy of a sidewalk or street or other public property during construction, removal, repair, alteration or maintenance of a sign is permitted, provided the space occupied is roped off, fenced off, or otherwise isolated.
C. 
Maintenance. The owner of any sign shall keep it in good maintenance and repair, which includes restoring, repainting, or replacement of a worn or damaged legally existing sign to its original condition, and shall maintain the premises on which the sign is erected in a clean, sanitary, and inoffensive condition, free and clear of all obnoxious substances, rubbish, weeds, and grass.
D. 
Supporting members or braces of all signs shall be constructed of galvanized iron, properly treated wood, steel, copper, brass, or other noncorrosive incombustible material. All projecting signs, if placed at a right or other angle to the wall or roof of any building, shall be attached by such noncorrosive metal bolts, anchors, cable, or other metal attachments as shall ensure permanent and safe construction and shall be maintained free from rust or other defects. Every means or device used for attaching any sign shall extend through the walls or roof of the building should the Village Building Inspector determine that the safe and permanent support of such sign so requires and shall be securely anchored by wall plates and nuts to the inside of the walls or to bearings on the underside of two or more roof or ceiling joists in accordance with instructions given by the Village Building Inspector. Small flat signs containing less than 10 feet of area may be attached to a building by the use of lag bolts or other means to the satisfaction of the Building Inspector.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by Ord. No. 7-93]
E. 
No signs or any part thereof or sign anchors, braces, or guide rods shall be attached, fastened, or anchored to any fire escape, fire ladder, or standpipe, and no such sign or any part of any such sign or any anchor, brace, or guide rod shall be erected, put up, or maintained so as to hinder or prevent ingress or egress through such door, doorway, or window or so as to hinder or prevent the raising or placing of ladders against such building by the Fire Department of the Village, as necessity therefor may require.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 270-67, Existing Signs, was repealed 12-11-2006 by Ord. No. 45-06.
[Amended 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 21-94]
A. 
Applications for a sign permit shall be made on forms provided by the Building Inspector or Village Clerk and shall contain or have attached thereto the following information:
[Amended 3-8-2010 by Ord. No. 2-10]
(1) 
Name, address, and telephone number of the applicant and location of the building, structure, or lot to which or upon which the sign is to be attached or erected.
(2) 
Name of person, firm, corporation, or association erecting the sign.
(3) 
Written consent of the owner or lessee of the building, structure, or land to which or upon which the sign is to be affixed.
(4) 
A scale drawing of such sign indicating the dimensions, the materials to be used, the type of illumination, if any, and the method of construction and attachment, and the information to be displayed on the face of the sign.
(5) 
A scale site drawing indicating the location and position of such sign in relation to nearby buildings or structures.
(6) 
Copies of any other permit required and issued for said sign, including the written approval of the Electrical Inspector in the case of illuminated signs, who shall examine the plans and specifications, reinspecting all wiring and connections to determine if the same complies with the Village Electrical Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 104, Building Construction.
(7) 
Additional information as may be required by the Village Plan Commission or the Building Inspector.
B. 
Conditional sign permit. A conditional sign permit may be issued for certain signs pursuant to § 270-70 upon application and approval by the Village Plan Commission.
C. 
Permit issuance and denial. All sign permit applications shall be filed with the Building Inspector at least one week prior to a scheduled meeting of the Village Plan Commission. The Building Inspector may deny an application for a sign permit if the application fails to satisfy the requirements of this article. Only applications which satisfy the basic requirements of this article will be forwarded to the Plan Commission. The Village Plan Commission shall review the application and approve or deny, in writing, the application within 30 days of receipt unless the time is extended by written agreement with the applicant. The Building Inspector shall issue a permit for the erection, structural alteration, enlargement or relocation of a sign within the Village when the permit application has been approved by the Plan Commission or, in the case of a temporary sign, when authorized by the Plan Commission pursuant to § 270-60I. A sign permit shall become null and void, if work authorized under the permit has not been completed within six months of the date of issuance.
A. 
In calculating the area of a sign to determine whether it meets the requirement of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall include the sign copy and any border or frame surrounding that copy.
B. 
Supporting members of a sign shall be excluded from the area calculation. The area of irregularly shaped signs or signs containing two or more detached elements shall be determined by the area of the smallest regular polygon that will encompass all elements of the sign.
[Added 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 21-94]
A. 
Standards. There are certain types of signs which, because of their unique characteristics, cannot be properly classified as unrestricted permitted uses in any particular zoning district or districts without consideration, in each case, of the impact of those signs upon neighboring land or public facilities. Such signs, nevertheless, may be necessary or desirable to be allowed in a particular district, provided that due consideration is given to location, size and design. Such signs are classified as conditional uses. Such signs may only be erected following the issuance of a conditional use sign permit. Prior to the granting of any conditional use sign permit, the Village Plan Commission may stipulate such conditions and restrictions upon the establishment, location, size, construction, color, maintenance and operation of the sign as deemed necessary to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the community. In granting the conditional sign permit, the Village Plan Commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The establishment, maintenance or operation of the sign will not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare.
(2) 
The uses, values and enjoyment of other property in the neighborhood for purposes already permitted shall be in no foreseeable manner substantially impaired or diminished by the establishment, maintenance or operation of the sign, and the proposed sign is compatible with the use of adjacent land.
(3) 
The establishment of the sign will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of the surrounding property for uses permitted in this district.
B. 
Conditional use sign permit required. The following signs may be allowed with a conditional sign permit, as provided in § 270-68B, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
Directional and instructional signs. Electric and nonelectric directional and instructional signs may not exceed eight square feet in area and may not in any way advertise a business. This includes, but is not limited to, such signs as those identifying rest rooms, telephones, entrances and exits, and parking areas.
(2) 
Off-premises signs. Off-premises signs which advertise goods, products, facilities or services not located on the premises where the sign is installed and maintained shall comply with the requirements for a ground sign; shall only advertise a business, industry or enterprise located within the corporate limits of the Village; and shall not be more than 5,000 feet from the business, industry or enterprise.
(3) 
Advertising vehicles. Advertising vehicles may not be parked on any public right-of-way. A permit may be issued for an on-premises advertising vehicle for a period of time not to exceed five days, and no more than three permits per location may be issued per year.
(4) 
Subdivision development sign. Subdivision development signs, banners and flags are permitted with the following restrictions:
(a) 
Such permits may be issued for a period of two years and may be annually renewed after two years.
(b) 
The sign must be located on the property being developed and must comply with all applicable building setback requirements.
(c) 
The sign may not exceed 48 square feet for properties less than five acres and may not exceed 96 square feet for properties more than five acres. One sign is allowed for each major street adjacent to the subdivision.
(5) 
Sale/lease/rent sign larger than eight square feet.
(6) 
Contractor signs. Any sign used for identifying and naming the contractors engaged in construction on the property where the sign is located, provided the sign is not larger than 32 square feet. However, a contractor sign not larger than eight square feet is permitted without a permit but must be removed immediately upon completion of the construction or development.
(a) 
Number. There shall not be more than one temporary construction sign for each project or development, except that where a project or development abuts two or more streets, one sign may be allowed for each abutting street frontage.
(b) 
Nonresidential areas. In all nonresidential areas, temporary construction signs shall not exceed 50 square feet in gross surface area.
(c) 
Location. Temporary construction signs shall be located only upon the premises upon which construction either is about to occur or is occurring. Such signs shall be set back/offset a minimum of 10 feet from any abutting property line, road right-of-way or driveway.
(d) 
Height. Temporary construction signs shall not project higher than seven feet, as measured from preconstruction grade at the base of the sign.
(e) 
Special conditions. Temporary construction signs shall be permitted only as accessory to an approved building permit for the purpose of identifying a proposed construction project and the names of contractors, engineers, architects, and financial institutions involved in the project development. Temporary construction signs may be erected and maintained for a period not to exceed 30 days prior to the commencement of construction and shall be removed within 30 days of the termination of construction of the project and development.
(f) 
Phone numbers. Phone numbers are permitted but are not to exceed six inches in height.
(7) 
Changeable copy/message/portable signs. Changeable copy/message/portable signs are permitted with the following restrictions:
(a) 
The sign must comply with all applicable setback requirements.
(b) 
The sign may not be located in any public right-of-way.
(c) 
The sign may not cause a hazard to traffic or be a nuisance to adjoining properties.
(d) 
The sign may not be larger than 32 square feet.
[Added 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 21-94]
The following signs shall be prohibited within all zoning districts in the Village:
A. 
Billboards.
B. 
Unclassified signs which:
(1) 
Bear or contain statements, words or pictures of obscene, pornographic or immoral subjects.
(2) 
Are a hazard or dangerous distraction to vehicular traffic or a nuisance to adjoining residential property.
(3) 
Are an imitation of, or resemble in shape, size, copy or color, an official traffic sign or signal.
[Added 6-6-1994 by Ord. No. 21-94]
The following definitions shall be applicable in this article:
ADVERTISING VEHICLE
Any advertising media attached to or an integral part of a trailer, truck or other vehicle used for sales or promotional purposes.
BILLBOARD
Outdoor advertising on a board, poster, panel structure or device of any kind used or intended to be used for advertising or display painted thereon or for the affixment, attachment or support of printed poster or other advertising matter and constructed, erected and located on any premises not owned or occupied by the person for whose use such billboard is constructed, erected, located or attached and when used for purposes other than advertising the business conducted on such premises or in such building or structure. A billboard is usually larger than 300 square feet in area.
CHANGEABLE COPY/MESSAGE SIGN
A sign such as a time and temperature sign, message center or reader board, whether electronic, electric or manual, where the copy or message changes.
CONDITIONAL SIGN
A permanent or temporary sign that, because of unusual circumstances, would require special conditions attached to the sign for conformance with this article.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
Any sign which serves to designate the location or direction of any place or area.
ELECTION CAMPAIGN SIGN
Signs which support candidates for public office or issues on an election ballot.
GROUND SIGN
A sign which is placed directly on the ground and is not attached to any building. A-frame and low-profile signs less than eight feet in height shall be considered ground signs.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN
A sign which advertises goods, products, facilities or services not located on the premises where the sign is located or directs persons to a different location from where the sign is located.
PERMANENT SIGN
A sign placed, installed or attached to a building or property that will remain for more than 30 days.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign which is not permanently mounted to the ground or a structure and which is designed to be moved.
ROOF SIGN
Any sign erected upon, against or above the roof of any building or structure.
SIGN
Any structure or device displaying advertising in the form of lettering, pictures, symbols or other media, including all but the supporting structure.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign for the purpose of promoting or announcing a special event or for special informational purposes permitted for a limited period of time.
WALL SIGN
Signs attached parallel to the vertical wall of a building.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign attached to, placed upon, or painted on the interior of a window or door of a building which is intended for viewing from the exterior of such building.