Village of Lawrence, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 1-9-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]

§ 212-90 Legislative intent.

A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed advertising signs and signs of all types. It is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community. It is further intended hereby to reduce sign or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more visual open space, and curb the deterioration of the community's appearance and attractiveness.
B. 
The provisions of this article shall govern the construction, erection, alteration, repair and maintenance of all signs together with their appurtenant and auxiliary devices.

§ 212-91 Business District.

Signs in the Business District shall comply with the following regulations:
A. 
The only signs permitted are those which state the names or trademarks or addresses of the persons, firms or corporations doing business on the premises, the nature of the business carried on there, the products or classes of products sold or dealt with and real estate signs advertising the property on which they are located for sale or for rent.
B. 
No sign shall project over the sidewalk or over any public property. Subject to the issuance of a permit by the Building Inspector, this prohibition shall not apply to signs installed flat against the building and projecting not more than six inches therefrom.
C. 
Unless otherwise indicated, a permit issued by the Building Inspector is required for every sign in, upon or over private property, and for every illuminated sign, regardless of size, including, in all cases, signs located inside the building, which are visible from the adjacent street or from the sidewalks on either side of such street. In determining whether to issue a permit, the Building Inspector shall take into account factors, such as excessive similarity, dissimilarity or inappropriateness of design, color, size or placement of the sign, which would adversely affect or be detrimental to the appearance, character, property values, or development of the properties in the vicinity.
D. 
Street level exterior signs.
(1) 
Number. One exterior wall sign shall be permitted per premises on the wall fronting on a public street. When authorized by the Building Inspector, a premises located on a corner lot, which has frontage on more than one street, may be granted one additional sign. The installation or painting of signs on walls not fronting on a street is prohibited.
(2) 
No sign shall be permitted on the side of a building fronting on a public or private parking lot unless that side has an entrance regularly used by the public.
(3) 
Size.
(a) 
The sign shall not exceed 75% of the length of the store frontage, to a maximum of 20 feet. Height shall not exceed 30 inches.
(b) 
Letter size may not exceed 18 inches for capital letters and 12 inches for lower case letters.
(c) 
No decorative displays are permitted.
(4) 
Color. Signs shall have a dark background and light-colored letters and shall only use those colors from samples located in Village Hall, as set by resolution of the Board of Trustees. Signs shall be limited to two colors, white and black being considered colors.
(5) 
Content. The content of a sign may display only the name of the occupant of the premises and, in no more than three words, may also identify the nature of the service or business.
(6) 
Signs consisting of individually placed letters shall be of matte finish.
(7) 
Internally illuminated signs shall be of stencil-cut type, such that, when illuminated, only the letters are displayed and not the background.
E. 
Signs above street level.
(1) 
Signs on floors above the first story of a building shall be mounted behind or shall be painted on the back face of a window facing the street and shall use letters with no background.
(2) 
Said sign shall not be illuminated; and
(3) 
Said sign shall not cover more than two square feet per premises.
F. 
No freestanding or ground-level exterior sign shall be permitted.
G. 
No sign shall be erected on the roof of any building or structure, nor shall any part of a sign project higher than the roofline.
H. 
Window and interior signs for street-level premises.
(1) 
No new or existing sign or window display, excluding the street address, the numbers of which shall not exceed five inches in height, shall be affixed to any door or window of any storefront.
(2) 
All interior signage and display of merchandise shall be placed and maintained a minimum of 12 inches from the storefront window or door. Such signage shall only be illuminated indirectly.
(3) 
A vacant premises shall be permitted to display one "For Rent," "For Sale," or "Opening Soon" type sign, which shall occupy no greater than four square feet of window area.
I. 
The following signs or advertising materials are prohibited:
(1) 
Signs of any nature painted directly on a wall.
(2) 
Signs attached to fences.
(3) 
Banners.
(4) 
Pennants.
(5) 
Balloons.
(6) 
Spinners and other similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices.
J. 
Signs made of cardboard, paper, canvas or other impermanent materials are not permitted on the exterior of the building.
K. 
Only indirect illumination of signs is permitted, with all light sources totally concealed from view from the street or from any adjoining properties. Flashing, moving, sound-producing or intermittently illuminated signs or other attention-seeking devices are prohibited.
L. 
All wall signs shall be safely and securely attached to the building wall.
M. 
All signs must be maintained as originally approved.
N. 
Any sign now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted, product sold or activity or service being conducted shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent, or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or lot upon which such sign may be found within 14 days of such cessation. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to order removal or such sign, within 14 days of a written notification, and expenses incident thereto shall be paid by the owner of the building, structure or lot to which such sign is attached.

§ 212-92 Illumination in Business District.

A. 
Electric lights, lamps, or illuminated tubes of any type shall not be used for design, background, or perimeter decoration or illumination purposes of any type.
B. 
Signs permitted under § 212-91 of this article, other than real estate signs, may be illuminated by artificial means, subject to the following conditions and not otherwise:
(1) 
Electric lights, lamps or illuminated tubes of any type shall not be used for the letters, numerals or other symbols of the sign or for its design, background or decoration.
(2) 
The lights or other means of illumination shall be shielded and shall not be directly visible from adjacent streets and other properties.
(3) 
No flashing or intermittent lights or means of illumination are permitted.
(4) 
In the case of religious organizations, electric lights, lamps and other means of illumination may be used in accordance with their customs, practices and usages.

§ 212-93 Erection, alteration, use and maintenance of billboards.

The erection, alteration, use or maintenance of any billboard within the Village of Lawrence is hereby prohibited.

§ 212-94 Signs permitted in residence districts.

No signs shall be erected or maintained in a residence district of the Village, except:
A. 
Signs stating the name of the premises or the name of the owner or occupant thereof and, in the case of a duly licensed professional person, the letters or symbol designating his profession.
B. 
Signs stating the street and number of the building or premises where the sign is located.
C. 
Subject to a permit issued by the Building Inspector, in the case of multiple dwellings, houses of worship, schools, libraries, public museums, clubs, public parks and playgrounds, municipal golf courses, docks and landings, one sign stating the name of the building or of the organization, the nature of its activity and, in the case of religious organizations, such other symbols, displays, information and announcements as may be in accordance with their customs, practices and usage.
D. 
Directional or warning signs for the convenience of persons desiring to enter the premises, such as "tradesmen," "deliveries," "entrance," "private," "children," "beware of dog," "no peddling allowed," and the like.
E. 
Real estate signs advertising the real estate on which the sign is located for sale or for rent.

§ 212-95 Size in residence districts.

The size of signs in the residence districts shall conform to the following requirements:
A. 
Except as set forth hereafter, signs permitted under § 212-94A, B and D of this article shall not exceed 12 inches in height, three feet in length and 1 1/2 square feet in area.
B. 
Signs permitted under § 212-94C of this article shall not exceed 12 square feet in area.
C. 
Signs permitted under § 212-94E shall conform to the provisions of § 212-97.

§ 212-96 Location in residence districts.

Signs in the residence districts shall be located as follows:
A. 
Signs permitted under § 212-94A, B and D of this article may be erected and maintained within the required front yard, required side yard or required rear yard, provided that the highest point of the sign is not more than five feet above the level of the ground where it is located and the highest point of the post or standard on which it is mounted or to which it is attached shall not be more than six feet above the level of the ground where it is located.
B. 
Signs permitted under § 212-94AC and E of this article are prohibited within a required front yard, required side yard or required rear yard.

§ 212-97 Real estate signs.

Real estate signs shall conform to the following conditions and requirements:
A. 
Only one sign shall be permitted for a single building plot or premises, such sign not to exceed three square feet in area.
B. 
Every such sign shall have a space of no less than three feet between the bottom of the sign and the ground.
C. 
The highest point of the sign and of the post or standard on which it is mounted or to which it is attached shall not be more than six feet above the level of the ground where it is located.
D. 
Every such sign shall be so placed as to conform to the front yard, side yard and rear yard restrictions applicable to the principal building or use in the district in which the same is situated.
E. 
No illumination, attachments, or other attention-seeking devices shall be permitted.

§ 212-98 License required.

No advertising sign or advertising display of any character whatsoever, whether illuminated or otherwise, shall be constructed, altered or enlarged without a permit previously obtained from the Building Inspector of the Village of Lawrence, upon payment of the license and inspection fee specified in Chapter A219, Fees, of this Code of the Village of Lawrence.

§ 212-99 Removal of signs in violation.

Any billboard, sign, advertisement, display or structure erected or maintained in violation of this chapter is hereby declared a public nuisance, and the Building Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to cause the same to be removed without notice, and the cost or expense thereof shall be charged against the owner or occupant of the premises upon which the same is situated.

§ 212-100 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 9-11-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine up to a maximum of $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.

§ 212-101 Effect on previously erected, nonconforming signs; interior signage exception.

A. 
Signs erected prior to the effective date of this article and for which no sign permits are in effect and which do not conform to the provisions or standards of this article shall be removed within 30 days after the effective date of this article.
B. 
All interior signage erected prior to the effective date of this article which does not conform to the provisions or standards of this article, shall be permitted to remain subject to the restrictions of § 212-91H(2).

§ 212-102 Severability.

Each separate provision in this article shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and if any provisions shall be deemed or declared invalid, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.

§ 212-103 Illumination of house numbers.

[Added 12-8-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
A. 
Legislative intent. The Board of Trustees has found that the efforts of first responders responding to night-time emergencies can be slowed or impeded by their inability to identify house numbers on dark or dimly lit streets in the Village. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees finds that it shall be in the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare for addresses posted on residential properties in the Village to feature illumination that makes the address readily visible from the street at night.
B. 
All residential buildings in the Village shall feature address numbers conforming to the requirements stated in this section. Any residential building not in compliance with this section on the date of enactment shall come into compliance with this section no later than six months after such date.
C. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this Code to the contrary, address numbers posted on residences in the Village shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
They shall be visible from the street on which the property fronts;
(2) 
They shall be no less than four inches and no greater than eight inches in height; and
(3) 
They shall be illuminated from sundown to sunrise by internal or external means, provided that all light sources shall be constant and fixed, as opposed to flashing and moving, and shall be positioned and designed in such a way that they do not cast light off the subject premises or into a public right-of-way.
D. 
Failure to comply with this section shall be a violation of the Village Code punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Each week a violation persists shall constitute a separate offense.