City of Burlington, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fee Schedule — See Ch. 146.
Garage sales — See Ch. 176.
Handbills — See Ch. 189.
Land development — See Ch. 207.
Nuisances — See Ch. 239.
Obscene material display — See Ch. 241.
Retail food establishments — See Ch. 272.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 306.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 8-1997 (Ch. 15.28 of the 1996 Municipal Code)]

§ 285-1 Scope.

The provisions of this article shall regulate the construction, erection and maintenance requirements for commercial and political signs and outdoor display structures which take precedence with respect to area, location, illumination and other characteristics of signs in the City. Structural features of signs shall be as specified in the Building Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 125, Construction Codes, Uniform.

§ 285-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CAMPAIGN MATERIAL
Any circular, handbill, banner, card, statement, advertisement, poster, printed sticker, painted words or material having reference to any election or to the adoption or rejection of any public question of any general, primary or special election.
GROUND OR FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign which is supported by one or more uprights or braces in or upon the ground.
NONCONFORMING SIGNS
Those signs which do not meet the criteria of this article for any reason such as, but not limited to, size, location, construction, attachment or affixture to a building or the ground. In the historic district, nonconforming signs are those which have not been reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board.
PERSON
Any person, individual, candidate, firm, partnership, association, corporation, political committee, citizens' committee, company or organization of any kind, association or any committee or group of persons organized at any special, primary or general election.
PORTABLE SIGN
A movable or mobile sign, including a sign mounted on wheels.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign which is affixed to any building wall or structure and extends beyond the building wall, or part thereof, structure, building line or property line more than 15 inches.
PUBLIC PLACE or PUBLIC FACILITY
Any item used for public purposes, including, but not limited to, traffic signal poles, traffic signal facilities, utility poles, parking meters, any other type of pole, trees, U.S. mail receptacles, litter receptacles, benches, bus shelters, vacant buildings, fences bordering vacant lots, public buildings or any object affixed to or placed upon the streets or sidewalks for public purposes or for the use of the public.
ROOF SIGN
A sign erected, constructed and maintained on or above the roof of any building and attached thereto.
SIGN
Any material or any structure or part thereof or device attached, erected or maintained by any person on which is included a letter, word or figure which attracts or intends to attract attention to itself.
SIGN AREA AND DIMENSIONS
Includes all lettering, wording, coloring and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background, whether open or enclosed, but not including any supporting framework or bracing incidental to the display itself.
WALL OR FACADE SIGN
A sign which is affixed to an exterior wall of any building, when such sign shall project not more than 15 inches from the building wall or parts thereof.
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign painted on or display exhibited on the inside of a building intended to be visible from the outside.
ZONE
Those areas or districts described in Chapter 207, Land Development, which provide for the orderly development of the City.

§ 285-3 Permit required.

A. 
It is unlawful for any person to erect or construct within the City any commercial or political sign, or other advertising structure as defined above, without first obtaining a building permit from the Construction Official and making payment of the fee required.
B. 
No new sign requiring a permit shall be erected or existing sign enlarged or relocated until after the required permit is obtained from the Construction Official. As to any sign located in a historic district, applications for all such signs shall be submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission and approved by the Planning Board as to size, location, color, materials, style, illumination and design.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Art. II of this chapter, Historic District Signs.

§ 285-4 Fees.

[Amended by Ord. No. 16-1997]
A. 
Sign permits shall not be issued until the fees set forth in Chapter 146, Fee Schedule, have been paid.
B. 
The Common Council, by resolution, may waive the permit fee for a temporary sign that would be charged to a charitable nonprofit organization which is tax-exempt pursuant to both state and federal law.

§ 285-5 Freestanding signs.

No freestanding sign shall be situated in a sight triangle. Each commercial or industrial use shall be entitled to one freestanding sign only per separate building. Multiple uses in one building shall use the same sign. Freestanding signs are not required to meet the setback requirements for buildings but shall not be closer to any property line than 25 feet nor shall they be located in any sight triangle or interfere with any circulation pattern.

§ 285-6 Nonconforming signs.

A. 
Any signs now in existence, the erection or placing of which would be prohibited hereunder, may be continued on such building, structure, lot or land so occupied. However, at no time shall such sign be altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended or relocated, unless such action changes a nonconforming sign into a conforming sign as provided in this article. Prior to the issuance of a new mercantile license, nonconforming signs must come into conformance as described herein. The failure to keep a nonconforming sign painted, illuminated or in good repair for a period of one year shall constitute abandonment and such sign may not be reused and must be removed.
B. 
If there is a change of ownership of the property, or if a new occupant undertakes a business on the site, the nonconforming sign must be brought into conformity.

§ 285-7 Illuminated signs.

Illuminated signs shall be arranged to reflect the light and glare away from adjoining lots and streets. No signs shall be permitted with a beam, beacon or flashing illumination. All signs with exterior lighting shall be lighted from the bottom and be shielded from adjoining lots, streets and interior drives and with the light source angled no closer to the horizontal than two vertical to one horizontal. All lights shall be either shielded or shall have a translucent fixture to reduce off-site effects.

§ 285-8 Conforming signs.

A. 
With respect to conforming signs, such signs may consist of removable letters and a change of same will not constitute construction or reconstruction of the sign. Likewise, replacing, changing or painting the sign face, or other maintenance, is specifically permitted, provided the sign is neither enlarged nor relocated.
B. 
With respect to nonconforming signs, the above provisions shall apply if the change, replacement or painting of the sign face, or other maintenance, is done by the present occupant who conducts the business or use on the premises.

§ 285-9 Maintenance of signs.

A. 
Duty to maintain. Any sign that is or shall become dangerous or unsafe in any manner whatsoever or any sign erected hereafter contrary to the provisions of this article shall be repaired, made safe, made attractive and in conformity with this section or shall be taken down and removed by the owner, lessor, agent or occupant of the building, property or land upon which it is placed or to which it is attached.
B. 
Removed by Construction Official. The Construction Official shall have the power to order the repair or removal of any sign which, in his/her opinion, is or is likely to become dangerous or unsafe or is erected contrary to the provisions of this article and to remove same after notice shall have been given as herein provided. The Construction Official shall serve written notice upon the owner, agent or person having control of any sign commanding him/her to repair or to remove the same, as the case may be, within 24 hours thereafter if, in his/her judgment, such necessity exists or within a time not exceeding five days if, in the judgment of the Construction Official, such time is reasonable or just. In case of failure of such owner or agent or other person having control as aforesaid to comply with such notice of the Construction Official, immediately upon the expiration of the time allowed, the Construction Official shall cause such sign to be removed and the Construction Official shall have the power to enter upon or into the lands, house or property upon which such sign, billboard or fence is erected and to remove same or cause same to be removed.
C. 
Recovery of enforcement expenses. The expenses and disbursements incurred in carrying out this provision of this section shall be recoverable by the City from the owner, agent or person having control of such sign in an action at law in any court of competent jurisdiction upon his/her or their neglect or refusal to pay the same within 10 days after service of a statement thereof.

§ 285-10 Removal of signs no longer serving purpose.

A. 
Nonconforming signs. Any nonconforming sign now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted or a product sold shall be taken down and removed, including all supporting structures, mounting, brackets, wiring, etc., by the permittee, owner, agent or person having beneficial use of the building or structure upon which such sign may be found within 10 days after written notification from the Construction Official. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the time specified in such notice, the Construction Official is authorized to cause removal of such sign, and any expenses incident thereto shall be paid by the permittee or owner of the building or structure to which such sign is attached.
B. 
Conforming signs. Any conforming sign now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted or a product sold shall be permitted to remain with respect to the structural portion of the sign and its attachments. The legend or message on the sign shall be obliterated by using a solid color on the entire sign face, which color shall either correspond to the portion of the building to which the sign is attached or will be harmonious with the site and property so as to provide a reasonable aesthetic treatment rather than an eyesore.
C. 
Right to nonconforming signs not extended. Nothing contained herein, including Subsection A of this section pertaining to removal upon demand, shall be construed as allowing the use of a sign which is nonconforming under this article by a person or business other than that which currently occupies the premises and is using such sign.

§ 285-11 Limitations on placement and area.

No wall sign shall cover, wholly or partially, any wall opening, nor project beyond the ends or top of the walls to which it is attached. In no event shall there be more than two wall or facade signs per use. Where multiple uses are contained within one building, the overall limitation of ten-percent coverage on any facade facing a street or roof, wall or facade and window signs must be met. This limitation shall be held to apply on a per-building basis not a per-use basis.

§ 285-12 Obstruction to doors, windows or fire escapes.

No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window or fire escape.

§ 285-13 Campaign material.

A. 
No campaign material shall be painted or affixed upon any public place or public facility.
B. 
No campaign material shall be painted or affixed upon any private property or private fence or private tree without the consent of the owner.

§ 285-14 Temporary signs.

A. 
Temporary signs announcing or advertising any educational, charitable, civic, professional, religious or like campaign or events are permitted only if erected and allowed to remain for a consecutive period not to exceed 21 days in any calendar year.
B. 
Temporary signs advertising political parties or candidates for election are permitted only if erected and allowed to remain for a period not to exceed 60 days prior to the date of the election to which the signs relate; provided that:
(1) 
The size of any such sign is not in excess of 50 square feet on one side.
(2) 
The erector of such signs or authorized agent of the political party or candidate obtains a building permit from the Construction Official and deposits with the Municipal Clerk, at the time of application, a fee as set forth in Chapter 146, Fee Schedule, as a guarantee that all such signs will be removed promptly within 14 days after the date of the election to which the signs relate. If such signs are not removed at the end of the fourteen-day period, the City shall have them removed and retain the full sum deposited to reimburse the expenses incurred thereby.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
All campaign material which has been posted shall be removed no later than 14 days after the election to which the campaign material refers.

§ 285-15 Exceptions to permit requirement.

A. 
No permit will be required for the following:
(1) 
A ground, wall or window sign advertising the sale or rental of the premises upon which it is maintained when such sign does not exceed 12 square feet of display material in the C-2 and C-3 Districts and industrial zones, and four square feet in all other districts.
(2) 
An occupancy sign such as one used for professional purposes containing not more than four square feet.
(3) 
Traffic or other municipal signs.
(4) 
Legal notices.
(5) 
Railroad crossing signs.
(6) 
Such temporary emergency signs as may be erected by government or public utility employees in carrying out their official work.
(7) 
Names on mailboxes.
B. 
The exemptions permitted in this section shall not relieve the owner of the sign from the responsibility for its erection and maintenance in good and safe condition.

§ 285-16 Signs in historic district. [1]

A. 
The historic district of the City is an overlay district containing within same portions of various residential districts, portions of the OP Office-Professional District, and portions of the C-1 Urban Commercial District. In addition to conforming to the regulations contained in this article, approval for the construction, alteration, erection or display of any sign within the historic district shall be subject to Planning Board review and approval. The Planning Board shall refer the plans to the Historic Preservation Commission and take its comments under consideration while conducting the review of the proposed sign and the plans therefor as they relate to the appearance, lettering, color, size, position, method of attachment, texture of materials and design in order to establish that the proposed sign conforms to the historical and distinctive character of the historic district and does not injuriously affect same or impair the value of the adjoining properties, the district in general or those buildings having architectural and historical worth in the immediate area.
B. 
All applications for sign permits within the historic district shall be either submitted directly to the Planning Board or forwarded to same by the Construction Official before a permit therefor may be issued. The application shall be accompanied by sketches and drawings showing details of construction, support and attachment, and shall delineate the size, shape, design, coloring, lettering, lighting and position in relation to the building from which or upon which it shall be displayed.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Art. II of this chapter.

§ 285-17 Signs in residential districts.

The following kinds of signs will be permitted in all residential districts, the Waterfront District and the Special Island District:
A. 
One wall and one ground sign not exceeding 1 1/2 square feet each in area, stating only the name and profession of the occupant or the street address on the premises.
B. 
Signs erected by the state, municipal, county or federal government, as may be deemed necessary for their respective functions.
C. 
One wall or ground sign not exceeding eight square feet on the premises of a church, library, school or other public building, giving only the name and nature of occupancy and information as to the condition of use or occupancy. In addition, wall or ground signs not exceeding one square foot in area may be used for a driveway entrance, exit or for warning purposes on the grounds of libraries, schools, churches or other public buildings.
D. 
"Sale" or "rent" signs erected only on the property to be sold or rented, but not placed on trees or utility poles and not exceeding four square feet.
E. 
Temporary ground signs not exceeding one square foot in area erected for directional purposes for a period not exceeding two days.
F. 
Builders', architects', developers' and engineers' temporary signs erected on the site of construction during the course of any building or developing operation, not exceeding 12 square feet. The temporary signs shall be removed upon the expiration of the building permit or issuance of certificate of occupancy, whichever comes first.

§ 285-18 Signs in OP Office-Professional and C-1 Urban Commercial Districts.

The following shall apply to signs in OP Office-Professional and C-1 Urban Commercial Districts:
A. 
General. All signs permitted in the residential district are permitted in these districts.
B. 
Professional signs.
(1) 
Signs of a professional nature not exceeding six square feet shall be allowed at right angles, provided they do not extend more than three feet from the building and are no less than 10 feet above the sidewalk.
(2) 
The support for such signs shall be of wood or suitable metal, with the design to be in keeping with those designs of historical character allowed in the historic district. The face of the sign shall represent the name of the firm, store or establishment or represent the use or professions practiced therein.
C. 
Window signs.
(1) 
Two business signs may be painted on the windows and/or doors of each business bearing the name, street number and/or type of business of the principal occupant; provided that there shall be no more than one such sign on each window or door, and the total area of all such signs shall not exceed 15% per storefront glass or 30% for a corner property with 15% per exposure to street front.
(2) 
Window signs designed to promote the sale of any article or business activity shall not exceed in total sign area 15% of the total window area of the first floor or street level of the building involved. Each individual window sign shall not exceed six square feet in area. Such signs shall not remain in a window longer than 30 consecutive days. They shall be removed within two days after the event or activity has taken place. No fee or permit shall be required.
D. 
Facade signs. No facade sign shall project higher than the highest point of the facade of the building or storefront upon which it is to be erected. A facade sign shall not exceed in area 10% of the total area of the first story or ground level of the building on which it is erected. Facade signs shall be placed in the solid wall spaces between the heads and sills of windows. In no case shall such signs project above the top of any window sill or cover any part of such opening. Facade signs shall be placed on the first story or street level of each building, with the exception of signs which identify the occupant of a single-occupant building.
E. 
Signs prohibited. In addition to those signs which are prohibited generally in the City, the following signs are specifically prohibited in these districts:
(1) 
Pylon signs.
(2) 
Roof signs.
(3) 
Internally illuminated signs.
(4) 
Signs not meeting the above criteria for permitted signs.

§ 285-19 Signs in C-2 and C-3 Commercial and I-1 Industrial Districts.

The following shall apply to signs in C-2 and C-3 Commercial and I-1 Industrial Districts:
A. 
Ground or freestanding signs. One ground sign may be erected near but wholly inside the front property line and at right angles thereto and adjacent to the side line of said property nearest to the oncoming traffic. Such sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in area in a C-2 District. In a C-3 or I-1 District, the sign shall not exceed 1/2 square foot in area per lineal foot of lot frontage, to a maximum of 100 square feet in area. Such signs shall not have a display height greater than two times of the width or, vice-versa, shall be erected so that the overall distance of the top of the sign shall not exceed a maximum of 24 feet and the distance of the bottom of the display area shall be not less than a minimum of eight feet from the ground.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Roof, façade, and window signs. The total combined area for signs displayed on, above or attached to any one side of a building shall not exceed 10% of the area of the building face on or above which it is attached. The "face" means the front side of the place of business facing the street, and the area shall include the window and door areas. Business locations facing more than one street may have roof, facade and window signs on each facade facing a street. No roof, facade or window signs shall be placed on any face which does not face a street.
(1) 
Roof signs. Signs erected upon or supported on the top of a building or a ledge or marquee attached thereto are permitted. Said signs shall not exceed three feet in height.
(2) 
Facade signs. Facade signs are permitted, which signs when combined with other signs displayed on or above said facade shall not exceed in the aggregate a total of 10% of the area of that face of the building used in such business at the location in question.
(3) 
Window signs. Window signs are permitted, provided they do not exceed 10% of the glass area of any required entrance or exit door or 25% of the total window area of the first floor or street level of the building involved and subject to the overall limitation of the area of signs on any one facade as is set forth above.
C. 
Mobile or temporary signs. Mobile or temporary signs are permitted for the opening of a business or for a special business event. The use of such signs shall be limited to 30 days total per year, per current, validly issued mercantile license, with a limitation of 10 days' use at a time. A separate application for each time such a sign is to be used must be made to the Construction Official. The applicant must comply with all rules for placement of permanent signs, and no sign will be allowed which interferes with visibility or creates a traffic or pedestrian hazard. With respect to the location of the sign, the Construction Official will make the determination as to the appropriateness for the location of the sign, and any change of location shall constitute a violation of this section.
D. 
Motor vehicle gasoline service station signs. Motor vehicle gasoline service stations shall be permitted one freestanding sign in compliance with the size standard for that zone plus not more than one permanent sign per road frontage no larger than 10 square feet each for use as price pods or reader boards advertising fuel prices or automotive services. Such signs shall be permanently attached to a permitted freestanding sign or incorporated as part of the same standard. Such signs shall be limited only to automotive-related products or services.

§ 285-20 Prohibited signs.

Signs of the following types, or types closely related to them, are specifically prohibited:
A. 
Billboards and outdoor display structures, including, but not limited to, temporary signs or displays.
B. 
Advertising signs tacked, pasted, painted or otherwise attached on poles, posts, trees, fences, sidewalks or curbs.
C. 
"A" or "sandwich" type signs on sidewalks or other temporary signs on sidewalks.
D. 
Signs on trailers, truck trailers or unregistered motor vehicles.
E. 
Animated, flashing or illusionary signs using mechanical and/or electrical devices to revolve, flash or display movement or the illusion of movement, except time-and-temperature or barbershop poles.
F. 
Illuminated signs using red or green lights when they are situated within 200 feet of any street intersection;
G. 
Any sign, words, symbols, pictures, murals or graphic design directly painted on an exterior wall of a building or upon any street or sidewalk or upon any public place or public facility.
H. 
Signs advertising goods, services, businesses or uses not conducted upon or available at the premises upon which the sign is located.
I. 
Any sign that uses the word "danger" or "stop" or otherwise presents or implies the need or requirements of stopping or caution or the existence of danger or which is likely to be confused with any sign displayed by public authority.
J. 
Pennants, banners, mobiles, except where allowed with the approval of the Construction Official based upon the same criteria and at the same locations as mobile signs.
K. 
Any illuminated tubing or strings of lights free hanging or outlining roof lines, doors, windows or wall edges of any building, except Christmas decorations during November, December and January.

§ 285-21 Appeals.

[Amended by Ord. No. 13-1998]
If any person, company, firm or corporation shall be aggrieved by the action of the Construction Official, appeal may be made to the Planning Board, in accordance with its procedures, within 65 days of the Construction Official's action.
[Adopted 1-20-2009 by Ord. No. 04-2009]

§ 285-22 Purpose.

A. 
The historic district of the City is an overlay district containing within same portions of various residential districts, portions of the OP Office-Professional District, and portions of the C-1 Urban Commercial District. In addition to conforming to the regulations contained in this article, approval for the construction, alteration, erection or display of any sign within the historic district shall be subject to Historic Preservation Commission review and approval.
B. 
All applications for sign permits within the historic district shall be either submitted directly to the Historic Preservation Commission Secretary or forwarded to same by the Construction Official for the review process before a sign permit therefor may be issued. The application shall be accompanied by sketches and drawings showing the details of construction, support and attachment, and shall delineate the size, shape, design, coloring, lettering, lighting, and position in relation to the building from which or upon which it shall be displayed.
C. 
The Historic Preservation Commission or the Commission's designee shall review the proposed sign and the plans as they relate to the appearance, lettering, color, size, position, method of attachment, texture of materials and design in order to establish that the proposed sign conforms to the historical and distinctive character of the historic district and does not injuriously affect same or impair the value of the adjoining properties, the district in general or those buildings having architectural and historical worth in the immediate area.
D. 
The review process will encourage the creation of signs that are compatible with the architectural style of the building and that will express the identity of individual properties while being cognizant of the historic character of the community. No sign in the historic district shall be placed on a building or structure in such a way as to obscure or mar any architectural feature deemed to be important to the architectural integrity of the building or structure.

§ 285-23 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMATED SIGN
Any sign with action, or changing colors which require electrical energy. This definition does not include signs which indicate time, temperature, or date.
AWNING SIGN
A sign painted or printed on the area of the lowest 12 inches of an awning. A retractable awning is constructed from fabric, typically canvas, which is supported on a framework that is extended out from a building facade.
BANNER SIGN
Any sign that is stretched across and hung over a public right-of-way, is attached to any public or utility poles or a building and that is a nonpermanent sign.
BUILDING MARKER
Indicates the name of a building or a builder or its date of construction.
BUSINESS SIGN
Any notice or advertisement, pictorial or otherwise, which directs attention to goods, commodities, products, services, or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises.
CAMPAIGN SIGN
A sign identifying or urging voter support for a particular election issue, political party, or candidate for public office.
CANOPY SIGN
A sign located on the fascia of a canopy. A canopy is a structural boxed projection with a flat roof that provides cover over a door or over a walkway, possibly supported by posts.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A sign that is designed so that characters, letters, or illustrations can be changed or rearranged without altering the face or the surface of the sign.
CIVIC SIGN
Any sign that identifies a nonprofit institution or organization on whose premises it is located. This may take the form of a sign with changeable copy.
CLOCK SIGNS and TEMPERATURE SIGNS
Any timepiece or thermometer erected outside of any building for the purpose of advertising the business on the premises on which it is located.
CONSTRUCTION SIGN
Any sign giving the name or names of principal contractors and lending institutions responsible for construction on the site where the sign is placed, together with other information included thereon.
COPY
The wording or graphics on a sign surface.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A sign that serves as an aid to motorists or pedestrians using facilities of some establishment, which sign does not itself advertise the establishment, and which meets the sign requirements of this article.
FACADE SIGN
A sign which is affixed to an exterior wall of any building, when such sign shall project not more than 15 inches from the building wall or parts thereof.
FACE OF SIGN
The entire area of a sign on which copy could be placed, and in the instance where a double-faced sign is utilized, the area of both faces shall be included to determine face square footage.
FLASHING SIGN
A sign, the illumination of which is not kept constant in intensity at all times when in use and which exhibits marked changes in lighting effects. Illuminated signs which indicated only the time, temperature, or date shall not be considered to be flashing signs.
GRAND OPENING SIGN
A temporary sign erected only for that limited period during which an enterprise not theretofore in operation begins its operation initially or at a new location.
GROUND SIGN
A sign which is supported by one or more uprights or braces in or upon the ground.
HISTORICAL IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A sign or plaque identifying an historic structure or site that also provides an explanation about the significance of the structure or site.
HOURS OF OPERATION SIGN
A sign specifically indicating the hours and days of business or organizational operations.
INTERIOR SIGNS
Signs within a building not attached to a window or door.
INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign on translucent material that is illuminated by an internal light source.
MOBILE SIGN
A sign which is attached to, mounted on, pasted on, painted or drawn on any vehicle, whether motorized or drawn, which is placed, parked or maintained at a particular location for the express purpose and intent of promotion and advertising.
MUNICIPAL SIGN
Any sign approved by the Mayor and Council of the City of Burlington or the City Board of Education for use relating to traffic control, public information, public access or safety or similar purpose. Municipal signs shall not require review and approval by the City Historic Preservation Commission.
NEON SIGN
A glass tube filled with neon gas that is lit with electricity.
NONCONFORMING SIGNS
Those signs which do not meet the criteria of this article for any reason such as, but not limited to, size, location, construction, attachment or affixture to a building or the ground. In the historic district, nonconforming signs are those which have not been reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board.
PROFESSIONAL SIGN
A sign indicating the name of an individual or company and the profession, such as law or medicine, practiced within the premises.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign which is affixed to any building wall or structure and extends beyond the building wall, or part thereof, structure, building line or property line more than 15 inches.
PUBLIC FACILITY
Any item used for public purposes, including, but not limited to, traffic signal poles, traffic signal facilities, utility poles, parking meters, any other type of pole, trees, U.S. mail receptacles, litter receptacles, benches, bus shelters, vacant buildings, fences bordering vacant lots, public buildings or any object affixed to or placed upon the streets or sidewalks for public purposes or for the use of the public.
PYLON SIGN
A large freestanding sign typically over six feet in height and wider than tall, which is supported by a visible armature.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A temporary sign erected by the owner or his or her agent that advertises the real property for rent, lease, or sale.
ROOF SIGN
A sign erected, constructed, and maintained on or above the roof of any building and attached thereto.
SANDWICH BOARD SIGN
A movable, double-sided sign typically with an A-frame construction.
SIGN
Any material or any structure or part thereof or device attached, erected or maintained by any person on which is included a letter, word or figure which attracts or intends to attract attention to itself.
SIGN AREA AND DIMENSIONS
Includes all lettering, wording, coloring and accompanying designs and symbols, together with background whether open or enclosed, but not including any supporting framework or bracing incidental to the display itself.
SNIPE SIGN
Any sign of any material whatsoever that is attached in any way to a utility pole, tree, or any object located or situated on public or private property.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign of a nonpermanent nature, such as, but not limited to, a business's "sale" sign or a landscaper's sign.
WALL SIGN
A sign which is affixed to an exterior wall of any building, when such sign shall project not more than 15 inches from the building wall or parts thereof.
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign painted on or display exhibited on the inside of a building intended to be visible from the outside.

§ 285-24 Institutional and residential uses.

The following types of signs, subject to the limitations prescribed for them, shall be the only signs permitted for residential and institutional uses authorized in the historic district of the City of Burlington. The design, color scheme, lighting, and placement shall be subject to review and approval of the Historic Preservation Commission. The following kinds of signs will be permitted in all residential and waterfront zones in the historic district:
A. 
Signs erected by the state, municipal, county or federal government, as may be deemed necessary for their respective functions.
B. 
One wall and one ground sign not exceeding 1.5 square feet each in area, stating only the name of the occupant or the street address on the premises.
C. 
One wall sign or ground sign not exceeding eight square feet on the premises of a church, library, school or other public building shall be permitted, giving only the name and nature of occupancy. Directional signs not exceeding one square foot in area may be used for a driveway entrance, exit or for warning or directional purposes on the wall or grounds of libraries, schools, churches or other public buildings. In addition, one changeable copy sign shall be permitted for those institutions that have frequent programming changes.
D. 
Real estate signs erected only on the property to be sold or rented, but not placed on trees or utility poles and not exceeding four square feet. If not attached to a building, said sign shall not exceed five feet in height and shall be set back at least six feet from the face of curb or edge of pavement. Real estate signs shall be removed within seven days of the closing of the sale, rental or lease of the premises or as determined by the Zoning Officer in the case of multiple lease or rental spaces in a single project.
E. 
Temporary ground signs not exceeding one square foot in area erected for directional purposes for a period not exceeding two days.
F. 
Construction signs such as builders', architects', developers', and engineers' erected on the site during the course of any building or developing operation, not exceeding 12 square feet. The temporary signs shall be removed upon the expiration of the building permit or issuance of a certificate of occupancy, whichever comes first.
G. 
Historical identification signs and building markers may remain on or be placed on or near an historic building, structure, site or City property by an accredited historic or civic organization or by the City of Burlington. They should not exceed two square feet and should be constructed from cast, cut or etched masonry, metal, or similar durable material. They may not be installed, removed or altered without the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission.
H. 
Temporary banner signs shall be allowed to be placed over a street by a municipal, nonprofit or quasi-public organization.
I. 
Hours of operation signs that are painted on the glass or affixed to the door and inscribed in a rectangle no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches shall be permitted for institutions that have regular open hours.

§ 285-25 Office and commercial uses.

The following types of signs, subject to the limitations prescribed for them, shall be the only signs permitted for office and commercial uses authorized in the historic district of the City of Burlington:
A. 
Signs erected by the state, municipal, county or federal government, as may be deemed necessary for their respective functions.
B. 
Real estate signs erected only on the property to be sold or rented, but not placed on trees or utility poles and not exceeding four square feet. If not attached to a building, said signs shall not exceed five feet in height and shall be set back at least six feet from the face of curb or edge of pavement. Real estate signs may not be placed in any right-of-way. Real estate signs shall be removed within seven days of the closing of the sale, rental or lease of the premises or as determined by the Zoning Officer in the case of multiple lease or rental spaces in a single project.
C. 
Temporary ground signs not exceeding one square foot in area erected for directional purposes for a period not exceeding two days.
D. 
Construction signs such as builders', architects', developers', and engineers' signs erected on the site during the course of any building or developing operation, not exceeding 12 square feet. The temporary signs shall be removed upon the expiration of the building permit or issuance of a certificate of occupancy, whichever comes first.
E. 
Historical identification signs and building markers may remain on or be placed on or near an historic building, structure, site or City property by an accredited historic or civic organization or by the City of Burlington. They should not exceed two square feet and should be constructed from cast, cut or etched masonry, metal, or similar durable material. They may not be installed, removed or altered without the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission.
F. 
Campaign signs are permitted, provided that no campaign material shall be painted or affixed upon any public place or public facility and no campaign material shall be painted or affixed upon any private property or private fence or private tree without the consent of the owner.
G. 
Hours of operation signs that are painted on the glass or affixed to the door and inscribed in a rectangle no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches shall be permitted for offices and stores that have regular open hours.
H. 
Business signs.
(1) 
Ground-floor businesses. Each ground-floor occupant of a commercial building is permitted one facade sign, ground sign or projecting business sign in addition to window and/or awning signs for each facade, subject to the following restrictions:
(a) 
A facade sign shall not exceed in area 10% of the total area of the first story or ground-level facade of the building on which it is erected.
(b) 
No facade sign shall project higher than the highest point of the first-floor facade of the building or storefront upon which it is to be erected.
(c) 
Facade signs shall be placed in the solid wall spaces between the heads and sills of windows. In no case shall such signs project above the top of any window sill or cover any part of such opening.
(d) 
Secondary entrances. Where the ground-floor occupant has a secondary side or rear entrance, smaller versions of the sign created for the front of the building may be installed on or near the secondary entryway. The secondary sign may be a facade sign, ground sign, projecting business sign or permanent window sign. The area of the secondary sign must not exceed 1/2 of the area of the related sign on the main facade of the building. The sign must be proportional to the space either above, beside or upon the secondary door.
(e) 
Ground signs shall be a maximum of 12 square feet (three feet by four feet) and shall be situated at least 10 feet from the pavement edge or curb of a public street or outside the public right-of-way, whichever is further.
(f) 
Projecting signs not exceeding six square feet in area shall be allowed at right angles, provided they do not extend more than three feet three inches (39 inches) beyond the facade of the building and are no less than 10 feet above the sidewalk, as measured from the bottom edge of the sign. The support for such signs shall be of wood or suitable metal, with the design to be in keeping with those designs of historical character allowed in the historic district. The structural supports for such signs shall comply with all applicable building construction codes. The face of the sign shall represent the name of the firm, store or establishment or represent the use or professions practiced therein.
(g) 
Window signs. Two business signs may be painted on the windows and/or doors of each business bearing the name, street number, and/or type of business of the principal occupant; provided that there shall be no more than one such sign on each window or door, and the total area of all such signs shall not exceed 15% per storefront glass or 30% for a corner property, with 15% per exposure to street front.
(h) 
Temporary window signs designed to promote the sale of any article or business activity shall not exceed in total sign area 15% of the total window area of the first floor or street level of the building involved. Each individual window sign shall not exceed six square feet in area. Such signs shall not remain in a window longer than 30 consecutive days. They shall be removed within two days after the event or activity has taken place. No fee or permit shall be required.
(i) 
Awning signs shall be permitted for individual business located on the first floor of a commercial building. The awning may have the name of the business imprinted along the vertical drop of the valance, subject to the following restrictions:
[1] 
The lettering shall be no more than eight inches in height.
[2] 
Approval by the Historic Preservation Commission shall be obtained for the installation of a new or replacement awning, along with the lettering to appear on the vertical drop of the awning.
(2) 
Upper-floor businesses.
(a) 
Signs permitted for business establishments above the first floor that do not have a separate exterior entrance shall be a sign painted on one window in gold, black or white or a combination of the same and similar lettering on the glass of the corresponding ground-floor entrance door and/or transom. Each sign shall be limited to two lines, and each line shall be limited to six inches in height.
(b) 
Businesses situated on the second or third floor of commercial buildings that have an exterior entranceway shall be permitted one wall sign not to exceed 10% of the total area of the facade of the upper story or level on which it is erected or a projecting sign not greater than 12 square feet.
I. 
"Grand opening" signs. Notwithstanding other provisions of this article, a newly established, expanded or relocated commercial business, in addition to the previously specified sign allotments, may, for a period of 30 days, display one temporary ground, window, or wall "grand opening" sign per street frontage. Each allowed sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in face area. Ground signs shall not exceed six feet in height and shall be mounted flat on the front of the building.
J. 
Sandwich board signs shall be permitted in the historic district, provided that:
(1) 
The maximum height of the sign shall not exceed four feet, and the maximum area shall not exceed 12 square feet. For purposes of measurement, only one of the sides of a double-sided sign will be used if both sides contain identical content.
(2) 
The signs do not block public access and are placed in close proximity to the entryway.
(3) 
The signs are taken in at night and are not on the sidewalk when the establishment is not open during the day.
(4) 
The signs are constructed of wood and are designed to be compatible with the other signage of the same business.
(5) 
The signs will be hand painted, with no vinyl or moveable copy permitted.
(6) 
Electric lights or devices shall not be permitted.
(7) 
The sign must include the name of the business establishment and may include an area for a slate board or an erasable white board so as to permit a notation of special sales.
K. 
Clock signs and temperature signs shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
Clocks and temperature signs shall be permitted, provided that they do not encompass more than 20% of any allowable sign area for the type of sign upon which they are placed.
(2) 
The time and temperature display may alternate, provided that the period of time that one display is shown is not less than one second.
(3) 
Mechanical clocks are preferred within the historic district.
L. 
Interior signs. The display of permanent advertising signs and posters attached to or otherwise mounted so as to be seen only through the windows of a business or commercial establishment shall constitute a sign within the meaning of this provision, and the area of such signs shall be included within the total permitted above. Signs attached directly to a window or within three feet of a window may not cover more than 25% of the window.

§ 285-26 Illumination.

Indirectly illuminated signs shall adhere to the following provisions and restrictions in addition to those stated in the sign requirements by zone:
A. 
Indirectly illuminated signs shall be permitted, with the specific design of the illumination to be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.
B. 
All lights shall be either shielded or shall have a translucent fixture to reduce off-site effects.
C. 
Illuminated signs shall be arranged to reflect the light and glare away from adjoining lots and streets.
D. 
No signs shall be permitted with a beam, beacon or flashing illumination or that have a changing light intensity, brightness or color.
E. 
No colored lights shall be used at any location in any manner so as to be confused with or construed as traffic control devices.
F. 
Neither the direct nor reflected light from primary light sources shall create a traffic hazard to operators of motor vehicles on public thoroughfares.
G. 
Exposed bulbs shall not be used on the exterior surface of any sign, except when approved by the Historic Preservation Commission.
H. 
Exposed neon shall not be allowed, except in such instances where the Historic Preservation Commission determines that the sign is compatible with the architectural style and features of the building in question.

§ 285-27 Prohibited signs.

In addition to those signs which are prohibited generally in the City of Burlington, the following signs are specifically prohibited in the historic district:
A. 
Pylon signs.
B. 
Roof signs.
C. 
Internally illuminated signs.
D. 
Animated signs.
E. 
Snipe signs.
F. 
Mobile signs.
G. 
Signs not meeting the above criteria for permitted signs.