Village of Port Washington North, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Washington North by Ord. No. XV; amended in its entirety 12-16-2004 by L.L. No. 10-2004. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Property maintenance — See Ch. 128.
Zoning — See Ch. 176.

§ 135-1 Applicability.

The erection and maintenance of all signs shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 135-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board of Trustees of the Village.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Building Inspector of the Village.
DESIGN
Shall include, but not be limited to, the lettering (font and size), logos, symbols, colors, size, shape, material, height, location, and lighting.
FREE SPEECH SIGNS
Noncommercial signs which solely set forth constitutionally protected free speech, including but not limited to political and election signs.
SIGN
Any outdoor billboard, poster, panel, bulletin, advertising structure, advertising sign, or other advertising or attention-attracting device or display.
VILLAGE
The Village of Port Washington North.

§ 135-3 Permit for signs.

A. 
No commercial sign shall be erected, maintained, displayed, altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended, or relocated within the Village without a conditional use permit from the Board of Trustees.
(1) 
In determining whether or not to issue such permit, the Board of Trustees may consider whether or not the sign will be in conformity with other signs in close proximity to the location of the proposed sign, thereby creating a uniform design for the particular building, shopping center, or area, and whether or not such sign, by virtue of its design, will have an adverse impact upon nearby residential properties or be distracting to motorists along nearby public roadways.
(2) 
The Board of Trustees shall have the right to grant such conditional permits for limited periods of time, to vary any of the requirements set forth in this section in order to alleviate any practical difficulty to the applicant in conforming to the requirements set forth herein, and to revoke any such permit in the event that any of the conditions upon which such permit was granted were violated.
B. 
No noncommercial sign shall be erected, maintained, displayed, altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended, or relocated within the Village without a permit from the Building Inspector.

§ 135-4 Application for permit.

A. 
Commercial signs. A separate application for a conditional use permit shall be made to the Board of Trustees for each commercial sign on a form furnished by the Building Inspector. Each application shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner of the real property upon which such sign is to be erected or maintained. Application shall be made in like manner for a permit to maintain any existing sign or to renew a conditional permit for a sign.
B. 
Noncommercial signs. A separate application for a permit shall be made to the Building Inspector for each noncommercial sign on a form furnished by the Building Inspector. Each application shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner of the real property upon which such sign is to be erected or maintained. Application shall be made in like manner for a permit to maintain any existing sign or to renew a conditional permit for a sign. The application shall be in such form as shall be prepared by the Building Inspector and shall include such documents as shall be required by the Building Inspector, including, but not limited to, six color copies of the proposed sign, which shall be prepared to scale and shall show the actual color of the proposed sign.

§ 135-5 Responsibility for removal of advertising structures, signs and devices without permits.

All signs shall be removed by the person, firm or corporation erecting, owning, maintaining or displaying the same or, in default of removal by the person, firm or corporation thus primarily charged with such duty, by the owner or tenant of the premises upon which the structure or display is maintained, within 30 days from the date of the expiration or revocation of the permit for same or within 30 days after the business is no longer operating at the premises for which the sign was approved, whichever is the sooner to occur.

§ 135-6 Ground signs, pole signs and tower signs.

The erection or maintenance of pole signs, ground signs and tower signs within the Village is hereby prohibited, except as specifically regulated by this chapter.
A. 
In residence districts. Ground signs requiring fees shall be erected only on undeveloped property or subdivisions being developed, shall not exceed 20 square feet in area, shall advertise only the sale or rental of premises upon which they are maintained, and shall be set back at least 20 feet from all property lines. Such signs shall conform to the established front and side yard setbacks for the districts in which they are maintained. No renewal of such sign permit shall be issued beyond a period when development of the subdivision has reached 90% of completion.
B. 
In business and industrial districts. On undeveloped property, ground signs shall be set back at least 20 feet from all property lines. On developed property, ground signs shall be set back at least 20 feet from any front property line; provided, however, that if the average front yard setback of existing buildings on the same side of the street within the same block is 10 feet or less, the front yard setback of such signs shall conform with the established setback of such buildings, except that no part of the sign structure shall extend closer than five feet to a front property line. The area between the sign structure and the street line shall be maintained free of grass, weeds and debris.

§ 135-7 Off-site advertising display restriction.

Signs which seek to advertise businesses, activities, products or services which are not conducted or sold on the property where such signs are located or which are not expressly permitted by other sections of this chapter are prohibited.

§ 135-8 Signs exempt from fees.

The classes of signs and announcements which are exempt from fees and may be erected or maintained upon permit issued by the Building Inspector are described in this section. Such signs shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 135-3 through 135-5, inclusive, of this chapter, except that it shall not be necessary for the owner thereof to make application for renewal as is provided for signs requiring fees, unless there is a change in ownership or an alteration of said sign.
A. 
In residence districts:
(1) 
One sign displaying the street number and name and profession of the occupant of the premises, not exceeding one square foot in area; professional signs only to be illuminated.
(2) 
Except upon real property improved with a one- or two-family dwelling, one sign containing four square feet or less upon real property, stating that the property or part thereof is for sale or rent. When not attached to a building, the same shall be located to conform to the minimum front and side yard setbacks of the district in which it is erected.
(3) 
Engineers', architects', building contractors' and/or subcontractors' signs maintained on buildings or structures only while construction is actually taking place, provided that no such sign shall exceed four square feet in area or be located nearer to the street line than the minimum setback in the district in which it is erected.
(4) 
A notice or advertisement required by law in any legal proceeding or put up by public authority.
(5) 
A notice of any railroad, transportation company or corporation, necessary for the direction or information or safety of the public, said sign to project not more than 12 inches into the right-of-way and to conform to the provisions of § 135-8B(1), (2) and (5) of this chapter.
B. 
In other than residential districts:
(1) 
Signs permitted in residence districts are also permitted in other than residential districts and, in addition thereto, the signs hereinafter described.
(2) 
One sign displayed, painted, applied or attached to each exterior wall of a building or storefront facing on a public street, when used for advertising the sale or rental of the premises on which it is erected or any business conducted or products sold in such building. The display surfaces of such signs shall be parallel with the wall of the building, and no part of the sign structure shall extend more than 12 inches from the wall of the building. The maximum dimensions of such signs shall not exceed those hereinafter specified:
(a) 
On buildings or storefronts having a total street frontage of 15 feet or less, for each individual business, a maximum vertical measurement of 2 1/2 feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 80% of the total street frontage.
(b) 
On buildings or storefronts having a total street frontage of more than 15 feet and not more than 25 feet, for each individual business, a maximum vertical measurement of three feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 80% of the total street frontage.
(c) 
On buildings or storefronts having a total street frontage of more than 25 feet and not more than 40 feet, for each individual business, a maximum vertical measurement of 3 1/2 feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 20 feet or 75% of the total street frontage, whichever is greater.
(d) 
On buildings or storefronts having a total street frontage of more than 40 feet and not more than 75 feet, for each individual business, a maximum vertical measurement of four feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 30 feet or 70% of the total street frontage, whichever is greater.
(e) 
On buildings or storefronts having a total street frontage in excess of 75 feet, for each individual business, a maximum vertical measurement of 4 1/2 feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 52 1/2 feet or 50% of the total street frontage, whichever is greater.
(f) 
If such sign is irregular in shape, it shall not, at its greatest vertical dimension, extend more than six inches above its permissible vertical measurement, nor shall such extension exceed 10% of the maximum horizontal measurement.
(g) 
The top of the sign shall be not more than 18 feet above ground level, and no sign shall be placed upon any portion of the roof of a building.
(3) 
A sign upon a marquee constructed and maintained in connection with a hotel or theater, not exceeding 15 inches in height, extending to the permissible outer limits of said marquee, no part of which shall be less than 10 feet above the street surface.
(4) 
An identification sign over the rear entrance of a building or store facing a parking area, showing only the trade name of the occupant of said store or building, such sign to be limited to a maximum vertical measurement of two feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 14 feet and a maximum overall height of 18 feet above the surface of the ground. If such signs are illuminated, illumination shall be by indirect lighting (nonflickering/nonblinking type). Such signs shall be illuminated only during the hours when the store or building is open to the public.
(5) 
One ground sign on either an undeveloped plot where business is permitted or on a developed plot where a business is conducted in a building having a front yard setback. Said sign shall not exceed three feet in height, nor five feet in width, nor one foot in depth. The top of the sign shall not exceed seven feet from the grade directly beneath the sign. The grade beneath the sign shall not be raised from the area generally within a twenty-foot radius of the sign. Said sign shall be set parallel to the street line. Notwithstanding the foregoing, on corner lots, at the option of the owner, the sign may be set diagonally to the corner, so long as the Building Inspector finds that the proposed location will not adversely impact upon sight lines of drivers approaching or at that intersection. Signs as described in this subsection shall only be permitted where there is no other sign or advertising device erected or placed upon a building on the premises. Such signs shall conform to the minimum front yard setback requirements for principal structures, as provided for the district within which they are maintained; however, in no event shall any sign or part thereof be located within five feet of the front property line, nor within five feet of any property line which abuts a street. An open space of at least three feet shall be maintained between the bottom of the sign and the ground. The area between the sign structure and the street line shall be maintained free of grass in excess of six inches in height, weeds, and debris.
(6) 
Such signs shall advertise only the business conducted or products sold on the premises. The maximum overall horizontal measurement shall not exceed 25% of the street frontage of the plot upon which such sign is erected, and the maximum overall vertical measurement shall not exceed three feet.
(7) 
Such signs, including the sign structure, shall not exceed a total height of 15 feet when measured from the established street grade.
(8) 
Signs for the advertisement of the selling price of gasoline, to be used by gas filling stations and battery and tire service stations:
(a) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to sell or offer for sale at retail for use in internal combustion engines in motor vehicles any gasoline unless such seller shall post, and keep continuously posted on the individual pump or other dispensing device from which such gasoline is sold or offered for sale, a sign or placard not less than seven inches in height and eight inches in width nor larger than 12 inches in height and 12 inches in width and stating clearly and legibly, in numbers, the selling price or prices per gallon of such gasoline so sold or offered for sale from such pump or other dispensing device, together with the name, trade name, brand, mark or symbol, and grade or quality classification, if any, of such gasoline.
(b) 
No other sign or placard stating or referring to the price or prices of gasoline shall be placed or maintained on any part of the premises upon which gasoline is sold or offered for sale or upon which any gasoline filling station and battery and tire service station business is conducted.

§ 135-9 Danger and directional signs.

A. 
A danger or precautionary sign, containing two square feet or less, relating to the premises or a sign warning of the conditions or of dangers of travel on a highway may be erected and maintained for a temporary period without application to the Building Inspector for a permit.
B. 
A directional sign on the side wall of a building, where said side wall faces a driveway giving access to a parking area at the rear of the building, may be erected.

§ 135-10 Prohibited signs.

A. 
No signs, except directional and warning signs erected by or with the approval of the Building Inspector, shall be erected or maintained on the right-of-way of any public highway.
B. 
No sign shall be erected or maintained where, because of the design, such sign might be confused as a traffic directional or stop sign, or might interfere with the vision or discernment of a traffic directional or stop-and-go sign, or might otherwise imperil the safety of travel on streets and highways.
C. 
No right-angle or projecting sign extending over the public right-of-way shall be permitted, except those classified under § 135-8B(3) of this chapter.
D. 
No sign that is not expressly permitted in this chapter shall be permitted.
E. 
No commercial sign shall be erected or maintained on any real property improved with a one- or two-family dwelling.
F. 
No sign or show window display shall be placed, illuminated, or maintained in such a way as may cause danger to traffic by obscuring the driver's view.
G. 
No sign shall consist of a painted surface utilizing fluorescent or Day-Glo colors.
H. 
No revolving signs are permitted.
I. 
No signs which are lighted with intermittent flashing or animated illumination, except time and temperature signs, are permitted.
J. 
No sign or artificial lighting source or reflector connected to or used therewith is permitted if such sign or lighting conflicts with or may be mistaken for a traffic signal.
K. 
No illuminated signs or other lighting devices, flashing lights, strobe lights, and lights that outline any part of a building such as a window, door, gable, roof, sidewalk, or corner are permitted.
L. 
No self-illuminated signs wherein the light source itself is shaped and utilized to form the sign (for example, but not limited to, neon bulbs forming words) are permitted.

§ 135-11 Temporary signs.

No sign relating to an event of limited duration may be erected more than 30 days before the commencement of such event, and such sign must be removed no later than two weeks after the conclusion of such event.

§ 135-12 Free speech signs.

A. 
No fee shall be required for a free speech sign.
B. 
Free speech signs shall be permitted to the greater of four square feet or the same size as commercial signs for the zoning district within which such property is located, whichever is larger.
C. 
Free speech signs shall have a setback of at least 20 feet from all property lines or the required setback, if any, for commercial signs for the zoning district within which such property is located, whichever is less.
D. 
Free speech signs shall be permitted to the greater of four square feet or the same size as commercial signs for the zoning district within which such property is located, whichever is larger.
E. 
No free speech sign relating to an event of limited duration may be erected more than 60 days before the commencement of such event, and such sign must be removed no later than 30 days after the conclusion of such event.
F. 
If a free speech sign is to be illuminated, illumination shall be by indirect lighting (nonflickering/nonblinking type).
G. 
Applications for free speech signs shall be processed on an expedited basis and in no event more than two weeks from the date that a complete application is received.
H. 
The sole basis for denying a free speech sign application shall be public safety. In the event of such denial, the Building Inspector shall set forth the specific safety reasons for which the permit was denied.
I. 
Upon the denial of a free speech permit, the applicant may either appeal to the Board of Trustees or commence a court action or proceeding to challenge said denial, at the option of the applicant. In the event that an appeal is taken to the Board of Trustees, such appeal shall be heard no later than the next regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees to be held not less than two business days after the filing of the appeal.

§ 135-13 Penalties for offenses.

[Added 12-18-2006 by L.L. No. 4-2006]
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a violation pursuant to the Penal Law, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day’s continued violation shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.