City of Glens Falls, NY
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Glens Falls 3-21-1973 (Ch. 84 of the 1967 Code); amended in its entirety 8-23-2011 by L.L. No. 5-2011. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building numbering and street naming — See Ch. 72.

§ 180-1 Title.

This chapter shall hereafter be known and cited as the "Sign Ordinance of the City of Glens Falls."

§ 180-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing 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 open space and curb the deterioration of natural beauty and community environment.

§ 180-3 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
ACCESSORY SIGN
Any sign related to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity or service sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
BANNERS
Any sign constructed of fabric or similar flexible material that is mounted or attached to a pole, building, fence, or any other structure, which displays advertising or promotion for an event or a product. National, state, municipal, or the official flag of any institution or business, shall not be considered banners.
CITY
The City of Glens Falls and/or its Common Council, located in Warren County, New York.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Building Inspector of the City of Glens Falls.
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
The Building and Code Department of the City of Glens Falls.
ERECT
To build, construct, alter, display, relocate, attach, hang, place, suspend or affix any sign, and shall also include the painting of exterior wall signs and erection of roof signs.
FLAGS or PENNANTS
Any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in series, designed to move in the wind.
FLASHING SIGN
An illuminated sign in which the artificial light is not maintained in a stationary or constant intensity.
FRONT OR FACE OF A BUILDING
The outer surface of a building which is visible from any private or public street or highway.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign illuminated by electricity, gas, solar power other artificial light, including reflective or phosphorescent light or light emitting diode (LED).
LIGHTING DEVICE
Any light, string of lights or group of lights located or arranged intended to cast illumination as a sign.
MEDIAN
The area between the sidewalk and the curb of a roadway and, where there is no sidewalk, that area between the edge of the traveled roadway and the edge of a public right-of-way. Parkway also includes any area within a roadway that is not open to vehicular travel.
NONACCESSORY SIGN
Any sign unrelated to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity or service sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, institution or organization of any kind.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign (whether on its own trailer, wheels or otherwise), which because of its size, weight, and construction is easily moved from one location to another, which is not secured to a building, stationary post, ground, or other fixed object; and which by the nature of its design can stand freely on its own. This shall include "A-frame" signs, sign boards, signs attached to weighted base posts, signs on legs or rollers, and other similar structures.
PROJECTING SIGN
Any sign which projects from the exterior of any building.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any place of any nature which is dedicated to use by the public for pedestrian or vehicular travel, and includes but is not limited to a street, sidewalk, curb, gutter, crossing, intersection, parkway, highway, alley, lane, mall, court, way, avenue, boulevard, road, roadway, viaduct, subway, tunnel, bridge, thoroughfare, park, square, or any other similar public way.
READER BOARD
Any sign that produces a static or changeable electronic message using light-emitting diodes (LED), liquid crystal display (LCD) or other digital display method; that is designed to provide an electronic message or display pertaining to the type of services offered, time schedules or special events occurring at the business; or whose display may be generated and periodically changed using an internal, external or remotely located electronic control system.
ROADWAY
That part of a public right-of-way that is designated and used primarily for vehicular travel.
SIDEWALK
That part of a public right-of-way that is designated and ordinarily used for pedestrian travel.
SIGNAGE
Any signs as defined in this chapter, including, but not limited to, advertisements, announcements, declarations, demonstrations, displays, illustrations, information, insignia or logos, notices or directional guidance used to advertise or promote the interests of any person, organization or business when placed in view of the general public. The characteristics of a sign include any material, structure, device, or design that is composed of any form of visual presentation in or on which letters and symbols as pictorial matter is placed when used or located out of doors or upon the exterior of any building, including a window display area. Signage includes, but is not limited to, the following: banners, distributor signs, digital signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, painted wall signs, pennants, projected signs from projection or other devices, projecting signs, roof signs, wall signs, sandwich boards, signboards, and sign frames. Signage includes the use of any material, including, but not limited to, metalwork, stone, plastic, PVC, composition materials, glass, vehicles, neon or similar gaseous elements, light-emitting diodes that can illuminate or be illuminated, silk screen, water and pigments.
ZONES
The zones as established by the Zoning Map of the City of Glens Falls as revised to August 1969, and as amended from time to time; and the use herein of the term "residential zone" shall include the following zones: One-Family Residential, Two-Family Residential, Garden Apartments and Multifamily Residential. The term "business zone" shall include both Limited Business and Central Business Zones. The term "industrial zone" shall include both Light Industry and Heavy Industry Zones. The term "Cultural-Professional Zone" shall be treated separately.

§ 180-4 General regulations.

The regulations contained in this section shall apply to all signs in all use districts, regardless of designation, in the City of Glens Falls. All signs shall be designed and built in accordance with local codes and ordinances.
A. 
Illumination. Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only lighting that emits a constant light intensity. No sign shall contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights, nor shall any flashing signs, as herein defined, be permitted. The Sign Review Board may grant an exception for signs changing or rotating to show time, temperature, changing messages, or moving images, subject to its approval of a specific design. In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device or projected signs on sidewalks be so placed as to permit the illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises without the approval of the Sign Review Board.
B. 
Projection. No projecting signs shall extend a distance of more than three feet from the front face of a building or above its facade. Projecting signs must be firmly affixed to the building and shall not be suspended solely by means of wires. Any supporting wires must be equipped with rustproof hardware, and no sign shall be hung from a projecting arm such that the sign hangs loose. No part of a projecting sign may be installed less than 14 feet above a driveway or less than nine feet above a walkway. All projecting signs shall be subject to the permits and restrictions of the Glens Falls City Code, Article XI, § 189-16 et seq., regarding street and sidewalk encroachments.
C. 
Roof signs. No signs shall be erected or installed on the roof or surface of any building and no sign shall project above the roof line of the building to which it is attached.
D. 
Other devices. No signs or part thereof shall contain or consist of ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices. These devices, as well as strips of lights, shall not be used alone for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention. Except for approved signage that identifies or indicates the nature of a business or advertising purposes, devices, fixtures or systems on the exterior of a structure, or within any exterior side of the window or door opening thereof, which emit, reflect or otherwise produce visible light, shall be deemed to be attention-getting devices and are prohibited. No signs, banners or other devices extending across any public sidewalk or street shall be allowed except as described herein in Subsection J.
E. 
Window and door displays. Signs installed in a window or door-window of a building which are visible from any public sidewalk or street shall not occupy an aggregate of more than 20% of the area of such window or door. Electronic and video display monitors, reader boards, and similar devices shall not be placed upon or within three feet immediately behind a window or within the glazing of a door, where such devices are within the view of a public sidewalk or street.
F. 
Wall signs. No sign or graphic description of any nature shall be permitted to be painted on exterior walls. The Sign Review Board may grant an exception for such a sign after review of neighborhood impacts, artistic content, size, material and maintenance plan.
G. 
Temporary signs/banners.
(1) 
No signs of a temporary nature, such as political aid election notices, advertisements for sporting events and shows, banners, and other signs of similar nature, shall be displayed until 60 days prior to the event, and they must be removed five days after the event. No such signs shall be permitted without a temporary permit. All such signs must be granted a temporary permit for a period not to exceed 65 days, if said signs otherwise conform to the provisions of this chapter. A deposit of $25 shall be paid, upon the issuance of a permit for such signs, to the Planning Department of the City of Glens Falls to insure the removal of such signs at the expiration of the permit. The deposit shall be refunded if the signs are removed in a timely manner. The Building Inspector, after 10 days' written notice to the permit holder to remove such signs and after failure of the permit holder to do so, shall cause said signs to be removed and the deposit forfeited.
(2) 
Number of temporary sign permits allowed. Five temporary sign permits per applicant for a maximum of 60 days total per calendar year will be granted. Only one active, temporary sign permit per applicant will be granted.
(3) 
Political signs or election notices shall be limited to a maximum size of six square feet. Each sign or notice shall be placed only on private property and shall conform to § 180-4, Subsection I. For political signs or election notices, the deposit of $25 shall be required from each candidate and shall cover any number of signs.
H. 
Motion. No signs shall be erected which revolve or employ any motion, or moving images, including moving lines of text. The Sign Review Board may grant an exception for signs changing or rotating to show time, temperature, or changing messages, subject to its approval of the specific design.
I. 
Posting prohibitions. No signs, printed bills or other advertising matter shall be affixed to any fence, utility pole, tree, or any other such parts of the natural landscape within the City.
J. 
Signs across Glen Street.
(1) 
Signs may be temporarily erected across Glen Street using the existing City-owned or -leased poles some 60 feet south of the intersection with South Street. The size of the sign shall not exceed the size of the space between the existing cables. The sign shall be made of vinyl of 13 ounces per square yard or material meeting or exceeding that strength specification. In addition, the sign shall have cuts in the surface to alleviate wind loads.
(2) 
The City of Glens Falls shall erect and remove all such signs for a fee determined by the City Clerk. The City of Glens Falls shall not be responsible for damage to the sign that may occur in erecting or removing the sign. The City Clerk shall grant permits for such signs after review and approval by the Mayor. Signs shall be reviewed on the basis of visual impact, content, appropriateness and construction. Permits shall be granted for a period not to exceed two weeks or shorter as the Mayor may deem appropriate. It is noted that this application is consistent with and cross-referenced to § 189-19, of the City Code regarding permits for encroachments over City streets.
K. 
Portable signs. Portable signs commonly referred to as "A-frames" or "sandwich boards" or signs on weighted-base posts shall be permitted only in commercial or industrial zones and regulated as described in § 180-6.
L. 
Reader boards. Reader boards are permitted only at commercial or industrial locations in commercial and industrial zones and shall be regulated as described in § 180-6. Reader boards are not permitted at designated historical sites or in designated historical districts, or at residential, apartment or condominium buildings or properties used for habitation purposes. Only one reader board is permitted per property.

§ 180-5 Signs in Residential and Cultural Professional Zones.

No sign for advertising purposes of any kind may be erected in any residential or Cultural Professional Zone except as follows:
A. 
A permitted nonresidential use or a legal nonconforming use in a residential zone, or a permitted use or a legal nonconforming use in a Cultural Professional Zone, may display one sign with a maximum of two faces (faces must be parallel with one another) and a maximum of six square feet of area for each face.
(1) 
Such sign may be attached to the building wall, pillars or post with a maximum projection of two feet from the building surface, wall pillar or post (refer to § 180-4B for other restrictions) or may be attached to one or two freestanding posts such that the maximum height of the sign or post is seven feet above grade, and the post is located at least nine feet from the inside edge of the sidewalk or front property line, whichever is more restrictive, and at least 10 feet from all other property lines. All freestanding posts in excess of four-inch-by-four-inch cross section or four-inch diameter require approval of the Sign Review Board.
(2) 
Any such sign may be illuminated only by external lighting and only during the hours of operation of the related use, subject to all other restrictions of § 180-4, General regulations.
(3) 
No such sign shall contain more than three colors, in addition to black and white, including shading of letters or numbers. Additional colors require approval of the Planning Board.
(4) 
Apartment houses with more than four dwelling units, residential hotels, boardinghouses and rooming houses, or bed-and-breakfast houses may display one sign, as permitted in Subsection A above.
(5) 
On premises where more than one use for which a sign is permitted, the total sign area of all signs combined shall not exceed three square feet times the number of uses for each face.
(6) 
On premises with more than one use for which a sign is displayed, all signs shall be of similar design, shape, size, method of support and attachment.
(7) 
Home occupations in residential zones are permitted signage and may display one sign with a maximum of two faces (faces must be parallel with one another) and a maximum of six square feet of area for each face. Such signs must be approved by the Planning Board.
(8) 
Nonconforming signs.
(a) 
Any sign legally erected prior to the effective date of this amendment, which does not conform to the requirements of this section (Signs in Residential and Cultural Professional Zones) shall be allowed to remain in use until it is replaced or there is a change in property or business ownership, at which time a conforming sign shall be required.
(b) 
Any nonconforming sign that is destroyed or damaged in excess of 50% of its area or value shall not be replaced except by a sign that conforms to the requirements of this section. No nonconforming sign shall be enlarged, rebuilt, structurally altered or relocated except to make such sign conform to the requirements of this section.

§ 180-6 Signs in commercial or industrial zones.

In commercial and industrial zones, signs shall be regulated in accordance with the following regulations and other applicable sections of this chapter, including, but not limited to, General regulations, § 180-4, and Additional regulations, § 180-7.
A. 
Each business/industry shall be allowed one sign attached to the building, the area of which shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each linear foot of building frontage occupied by that business/industry; in no case shall such sign exceed 100 square feet in total. In addition, any business/industry with frontage on more than one public street, public parking lot, or other public use shall be permitted to attach one sign as above on each such building frontage.
B. 
No projecting sign shall be higher than the top of the first story of the building to which the sign addresses itself. No sign shall be attached to the rear or side of any building unless that wall faces public space as indicated in Subsection A above.
C. 
All signs shall advertise only the name of the owner, trade names, trademarks, logos, insignia, products sold and/or the business or activity conducted on the premises on which the sign is located.
D. 
In addition to other permitted signs, directional and enforcement signs not exceeding two square feet each, indicating the only terms "entrance," "entry," "exit," "drive-up window," "parking," or "handicapped parking" may be installed at driveways, parking lots or attached to the building to which they apply. Such signs shall not include business names, logos, or additional text.
E. 
Unless otherwise stated elsewhere in this chapter, each building in the business/industrial zone shall be allowed one freestanding sign. The sign must be located on the same lot as the building, must not project beyond the front property line or within 10 feet of any other lot line of the same property and must not exceed 25 feet in height above grade. Signs within five feet of a sidewalk must be at least 10 feet above grade.
F. 
Freestanding signs shall be limited to a maximum of two faces, with maximum area of each face as listed below:
(1) 
One hundred square feet:
(a) 
All general, heavy and light manufacturing uses as defined in the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 220).
(b) 
Automobile dealerships. One such sign will be allowed for each car dealer, or one sign for each car franchise located on the lot.
(c) 
Large business complexes with 300 feet or more of lot frontage on a single street.
(2) 
Twenty-five square feet. Businesses, or other allowed uses, with 100 feet or more of lot frontage on a single street.
(3) 
Twelve square feet. Businesses, or other allowed uses, with less than 100 feet of frontage on a single street.
(4) 
No sign of any type may be located so as to cause a visual obstruction for vehicular or pedestrian traffic. At street intersections, any sign located within 20 feet of the nearest curbs, must not be located in the space between two feet six inches and 10 feet above grade, to allow a clear view for vehicles. (Refer to Figure 1-11.[1]) At driveways or parking lot exits or entrances, signs located within 10 feet of the driveway, exit or entrance, and within 10 feet of the sidewalk or other public right-of-way, must conform to the same height restrictions.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said figure is on file in the City offices.
G. 
Portable signs. In order to prevent inconvenience and/or danger to persons using sidewalks or other public rights-of-way, and to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the City of Glens Falls, all portable signs shall conform to the following specifications:
(1) 
There shall be only one such portable sign for each business.
(2) 
Portable signs shall be located directly in front of the building or other premises containing the business that the sign is advertising.
(3) 
The portable sign may be placed on a public sidewalk either adjacent to the building or approximately three feet from the curb. In either case a minimum of six feet of clear space for the passage of pedestrians shall be maintained. Where a sidewalk is not wide enough to meet the six-foot clear space requirement, the sign shall be placed on the owner's property, not in the parkway between the sidewalk and the curb, or on a public right-of-way.
(4) 
Portable signs shall be no larger than two feet wide, three feet high and three feet deep at the base, with a maximum of two faces, and shall be constructed of durable weather-resistant materials, except for daily, temporary attachments such as menus, etc. Such attachments shall not be allowed to become unsightly.
(5) 
Portable signs shall be displayed only during the hours of operation of the related business.
(6) 
Portable signs shall not be used for advertising or publicity other than that dealing with the items being sold within the associated business.
(7) 
All portable signs shall be maintained in a safe, neat and clean condition and be in good repair at all times so that they are reasonably free of dirt and grease, chipped, faded, peeling or cracked paint in the visible painted areas thereof and rust and corrosion in the visible unpainted metal areas thereof; the clear plastic or glass part thereof, if any, through which the sign age therein is viewed is unbroken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, blemishes or discoloration; the paper or cardboard parts or inserts thereof, if any, are reasonably free of tears, peeling or fading; and the structural parts thereof are not broken or unduly misshapen.
(8) 
Portable signs shall not be illuminated by either internal lighting or by externally attached light sources.
(9) 
No person shall install, use or maintain any portable signs:
(a) 
Within three feet of any marked crosswalk.
(b) 
Within three feet of the curb return of any unmarked crosswalk.
(c) 
Within five feet of any fire hydrant, fire call box or other emergency facility.
(d) 
Within three feet ahead and 15 feet to the rear of any sign marking a designated bus stop.
(e) 
In any location used, marked or posted for public utility purposes, public transportation purposes, government use or handicap accessible route.
(f) 
Where placement unreasonably interferes with the use of poles, posts, traffic signs or signals, public benches, public telephones, mailboxes or mechanical sidewalk cleaning machinery.
(g) 
Within one foot of any area improved with lawn, flowers, shrubs or trees.
(h) 
Within five feet of any driveway.
(i) 
Where placement unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, but in no event at any location where the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians is reduced thereby to less than six feet.
(j) 
Where placement unreasonably obstructs, interferes with or impedes access to or the use of abutting property, including but not limited to residences, places of business or legally parked or stopped vehicles.
(10) 
Portable signs placed on public sidewalks or other public walkways shall also be subject to the permit and specification requirements of the City Code of the City of Glens Falls, Chapter 189, Part 2, Street and Sidewalk Encroachments.
(11) 
The owner of the portable sign shall provide liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 naming the City of Glens Falls as an additional insured.
H. 
Projecting banners which indicate that a business is "OPEN," or which display a logo associated with the business may be displayed only during business hours, provided that:
(1) 
The pole or bracket from which the banner hangs must be at least seven feet six inches above any public walkway.
(2) 
Neither the pole or bracket nor the banner may project more than three feet over a public walkway.
(3) 
If any part of the banner hangs less than six feet above a public walkway, it may project no more than two feet over the public walkway.
(4) 
In no case may any such banner restrict the clear space for the passageway of pedestrians to less than six feet in width and less than seven feet six inches in height.
I. 
Nonconforming uses.
(1) 
Any sign legally erected prior to the effective date of this amendment which does not conform to the requirements of this section (Signs in commercial or industrial zones) shall be allowed to remain in use until it is replaced or there is a change in property or business ownership, at which time a conforming sign shall be required.
(2) 
Any nonconforming sign that is destroyed or damaged in excess of 50% of its area or value shall not be replaced except by a sign that conforms to the requirements of this section. Any nonconforming sign shall not be enlarged, rebuilt, structurally altered or relocated except to make such sign conform to the requirements of this section.
J. 
Reader boards.
(1) 
Operation and design.
(a) 
Reader boards shall not be designed, located or operated in a manner that may distract vehicle drivers or pedestrians performing movements in adjacent public rights-of-way.
(b) 
Reader board displays, including their background, text and graphics, shall not change more frequently than once per hour.
(c) 
During a display, the display shall not exhibit animated text or graphics, which exhibit movement, shifting, flashing, changes in brightness, or changing parts or components.
(d) 
Reader boards shall be turned off during times when the business is physically closed or nonfunctional.
(2) 
On-site locations.
(a) 
Reader boards are permitted only as part of an allowed freestanding sign. Reader boards shall not be attached to any side of a building, a roof, or in a doorway or window of a building.
(b) 
When part of a freestanding sign, which exhibits a business name or other data, a reader board shall be installed beneath the main body of the sign.
(3) 
Display content.
(a) 
Reader boards shall not be used as the primary identification of the business or commercial activity located at the site.
(b) 
A reader board display may be comprised of text and graphic images, which are contained in an overall message. Text images are comprised of letters and numbers. Graphic images include borders, outlines, art-images, logos or symbols of any design, configuration or color, which may or may not accompany the text in a message.
(c) 
The design, style and color of a perimeter border or outline shall remain constant and static. However, the color of the border or outline may change with each change to the display content.
(4) 
Size.
(a) 
Up to two faces are permitted per sign. The surface area of the reader board, whether part of a larger sign or installed by itself, is limited to 15 square feet per face.
(b) 
The size of the reader board shall be included in the overall calculated size of an allowed freestanding sign.
(5) 
Colors.
(a) 
Background colors exhibited on reader boards shall be limited to one color and may be any color, but may not be white or off-white.
(b) 
Text images on reader boards may be any color, but may not be green or white.

§ 180-7 Additional regulations.

A. 
Convenience stores and gasoline service stations. At any gasoline service station not more than one pole sign shall be erected for the purpose of advertising the brand of gasoline sold at such service station. Such pole sign shall have a maximum for each face area of not more than 25 square feet and a maximum height of not more than 25 feet.
B. 
Large-scale business zone developments.
(1) 
"A large-scale business zone development" shall be defined to mean the construction of three or more business units, either adjoining or in architectural proximity, which are planned and developed under single ownership and/or control.
(2) 
In any such development, one sign, otherwise conforming to these regulations, may be permitted to be erected in the ground, containing the name of the development, if any. Such sign shall not exceed 40 square feet in area per each face area, shall not contain more than two face areas, and shall not contain any appendages or nonaccessory signs or other signs suspended from said sign.
(3) 
In addition, any business unit contained in the development may be allowed one sign attached to each unit not to exceed 20 square feet. Said sign may not extend beyond the top of the first story of the building to which it is attached. Further, any business unit may also be permitted one sign suspended from any marquee or other projecting device, which suspended sign shall not exceed two square feet per each face area, provided, however, that all such suspended signs in any such development shall conform to each other and shall be of the same size and composition, advertising only the name of the business.

§ 180-8 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempt from the regulations of this chapter to the extent described and shall require no permits:
A. 
Signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation.
B. 
Signs or bulletin boards customarily incident to places of worship, libraries and museums; provided, however, that such signs or bulletin boards shall not exceed 12 square feet in area, shall be illuminated only by light of constant intensity and shall be located only on the premises of such institutions, except that the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a special permit for the erection and maintenance of such signs or bulletin boards off the premises.
C. 
Nonilluminated signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located, having an aggregate face area of not more than four square feet within any residential or business zone, or light-industrial zone or not more than 20 square feet in any heavy-industrial zone. No more than one sign shall be placed at each property.
D. 
One indirectly illuminated professional nameplate not exceeding one square foot in area for each professional practice located therein.
E. 
One nonilluminated sign denoting the architect, engineer or contractor, placed on the premises where construction, repair or renovation is in progress, not exceeding 18 square feet in area.
F. 
Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and dates of erection, when cut into any masonry building surface, or when constructed of bronze, stainless steel or similar material.
G. 
Any sign necessary for the direction, information, welfare or safety of the public but not for advertising any business, commercial or private use; provided, however, that the Code Enforcement Officer, together with a majority of the Review Board, first approves the erection and maintenance of any such sign, and their decision upon the public necessity of the sign shall be final.

§ 180-9 Permits.

A. 
Permit. After the effective date of this chapter and except as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect any sign as defined herein without first obtaining a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
Application for permit. Application for the permit shall be made in writing, in duplicate, upon forms prescribed and provided by the Code Enforcement Officer, which shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The location of the building, structure or land to which or upon which the sign is to be erected.
(3) 
A detailed drawing showing a description of the construction details of the sign and showing the lettering and/or pictorial matter composing the sign and position of the lighting or other extraneous devices and a location plan showing the position of the sign on any building or land and its position in relation to nearby buildings or structures and to any private or public street or highway.
(4) 
Written consent of the owner, or his duly authorized agent, of the building, structure or land to which or on which the sign is to be erected, in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
C. 
No sign shall be permitted and no permit shall be issued unless the construction or erection thereof shall comply with safe and existing methods of construction or erection and shall not endanger the users of the public streets or sidewalks of the city. Electric signs must display an Underwriters' Laboratories seal of approval, or the owner must furnish a certified inspection agency certificate within 30 days of its installation.
D. 
Fees. A fee of $20 per application shall be charged.
E. 
Issuance of permits.
(1) 
It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer, upon the filing of an application for a permit to erect a sign, to examine such plans, specifications and other data submitted to him with the application and, if necessary, the building or premises upon which it is proposed to erect the sign or other advertising structure. The Code Enforcement Officer shall, no later than the end of the business day next following the filing of the application, submit a copy of the application to the Review Board for its review, recommendation and assistance in construction and compliance with this chapter. If, after five business days from the submission to the Review Board, it shall appear to the Code Enforcement Officer that the proposed sign is in compliance with all requirements of this chapter and other laws and ordinances of the city, regardless of action taken or not taken by the Review Board, the Code Enforcement Officer shall immediately issue a permit for the erection of the proposed sign. If the sign authorized under any such permit has not been completed within six months from the date of the issuance of such permit, the permit shall become null and void but may be renewed within 10 days from the expiration thereof for a good cause shown upon payment of an additional fee of $5.
F. 
Revocation of permit.
(1) 
No sign, whether new or existing, shall hereafter be erected or altered except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. However, notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, the sign must be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, such as but not limited to faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and must be maintained at all times in such safe condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health or safety.
(2) 
In the event of a violation of any of the foregoing provisions, the Code Enforcement Officer shall give written or personal notice, specifying the violation, to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, sent to the addresses as stated in the application for the sign permit, to conform or remove such sign. The sign shall thereupon be made to conform by the owner of the sign and the owner of the land within 30 days from the date of said notice. In the event that such sign shall not be so conformed within 30 days, the Code Enforcement Officer shall thereupon revoke the permit, and such sign shall be removed by the named owner of the sign and/or the named owner of the land.

§ 180-10 Removal.

A. 
Any sign existing on or after the effective date of this chapter which no longer advertises an existing business conducted or product sold on the premises shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located, within 30 days after written notice so to do has been served upon him, either personally or by delivering the same to him at his last known place of residence or, if the name of the owner or his place of residence cannot be ascertained after due diligence, by posting the same in a conspicuous place upon the premises. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the Code Enforcement Officer shall remove or cause to be removed such sign. In such case, a bill for the expenses incurred thereby shall be presented to the owner in the same manner as the service of notice above cited. If the owner shall fail to pay the same, the Code Enforcement Officer shall file with the Common Council a certificate of the actual cost of the removal, together with a statement as to the premises from which said sign was removed, and the same shall be added by the Common Council to the next city assessment levied on that premises and collected in the same manner as the general city tax.
B. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer shall find that any sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public, then he shall give the same notice to the owner of the premises along which said sign is located as above cited and shall have the same power to remove or cause to be removed any such sign and shall seek reimbursement for any such removal as above cited. The Code Enforcement Officer may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice and may seek reimbursement as above cited.

§ 180-11 Nonconforming signs.

In the event that a sign is erected prior to the effective date of this chapter, which sign does not conform to the provisions and standards of this chapter, the requisite permit, as provided herein, shall be granted for every such sign for a period of time not exceeding the present ownership of said sign, five years or the remaining depreciable life of such sign, whichever comes soonest. Except as otherwise provided, nonconforming signs shall be made to conform to the provisions of this chapter. A nonconforming sign which is destroyed or damaged to an extent in excess of 50% shall not be replaced except by a sign which conforms to the provisions of this chapter. Any nonconforming sign existing as of the effective date of this chapter shall not be enlarged, rebuilt, structurally altered or relocated, except to make such sign conform. For purposes of this section, refurnishing or repairs of nonconforming signs do not extend the depreciable life of the sign.

§ 180-12 Planning Review Board.

The Planning Board of the city is hereby designated as the Sign Review Board. The Review Board shall advise the Mayor and, as herein provided, work with the Code Enforcement Officer in enforcement of this Sign Ordinance with reference to desirable and effective use of signs for the purpose of enhancing and maintaining the natural beauty, culture and aesthetic standards of the community.

§ 180-13 Variances.

A majority of the Review Board, after denial by the Code Enforcement Officer of a permit in accordance with the procedures of this chapter, must vary or adapt the strict application of any of the requirements of this chapter where strict application would result in substantial difficulty or unnecessary hardship that would deprive the owner of reasonable use of a sign or where, in the opinion of the majority of the Review Board, a proposed nonconforming sign would not be offensive to the artistic and aesthetic objectives of this chapter.
Upon such determination, the Review Board shall thereupon direct the Code Enforcement Officer to issue the permit. In making any such determination, the burden of proving the necessity or artistic value of the variance shall be on the applicant. The Review Board may prescribe any conditions that it deems necessary or desirable. The granting of any variance shall in no event be construed as precedent for any other application for variance.

§ 180-14 (Reserved)

§ 180-15 Violations; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee finds that there has been a violation of this chapter, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, a notice of violation and order to remedy shall be issued to the person or persons responsible.
B. 
The notice of violation and order to remedy shall be in writing, shall identify the violation and remedial action to be taken, and shall provide a reasonable time limit for compliance.
C. 
The notice of violation and order to remedy may be served by personal service, by mailing by registered or certified mail or by posting a copy of thereof in a conspicuous place on the premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the premises on the same day as posted, enclosed in a postpaid wrapper addressed to the person or persons responsible.
D. 
In the case that the person responsible shall fail, neglect or refuse to remove, eliminate or abate the violation within the time specified in notice of violation and order to remedy, an action or proceeding in the name of the City of Glens Falls may be commenced in the City Court of the City of Glens Falls, or any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
A request to take appropriate legal action shall be made to the City Court of the City of Glens Falls, by the filing and service of an appearance ticket and complaint. The service of the appearance ticket shall be made by personal service, by mailing by registered or certified mail or by posting a copy of thereof in a conspicuous place on the premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the premises on the same day as posted, enclosed in a postpaid wrapper addressed to the person or persons responsible.
F. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days, or both. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 180-16 Construal of provisions.

This chapter is applicable within the City and shall be construed as an exercise of the powers of such municipality to regulate, control and restrict the use of buildings, structures and land for advertising purposes, displays, signs and other advertising media in order to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community, including the protection and preservation of the property of the municipality and its inhabitants and of peace and good order, for the benefit of trade and all matters related thereto.