Village of New Hyde Park, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park 7-21-2009 by L.L. No. 14-2009.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 195.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 156, Signage and Advertising Materials, adopted 12-6-1994 by L.L. No. 3-1994, as amended.

§ 156-1 Purpose; definitions; safety standards; legal notices.

A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of the Board of Trustees, in promulgating and adopting the provisions of this chapter, to promote and preserve public health, safety, order, comfort and convenience by means of a comprehensive regulation of signs and related advertising materials. Among the primary objectives of this chapter are the reduction or elimination of actual or likely distractions and obstructions to the general public which ensue from the unregulated placement and proliferation of signs, billboards and other advertising materials; the discouragement and prevention of excessive visual competition in the size, design, style, configuration, illumination and other perceptible features relating to such signage and/or materials; and the containment and curtailment of unauthorized postings or unsolicited distribution of transitory advertising materials such as posters, fliers, handbills and other similar such devices. It is the finding of the Board of Trustees that the provisions of this chapter further the purpose and objectives referenced above and constitute the minimum standards necessary to protect, conserve and enhance the desirable and long-standing suburban character, values and aesthetics of the Village community as a whole.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless the context otherwise indicates:
PERSON
Includes any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
SIGN
That portion of any building or structure or any billboard, signboard, sandwich board, banner, pennant or other temporary or permanent object, shape, device, image or merchandise, displayed or used as advertisement, announcement or direction, and all text, symbols, shapes, lights, marks, letters or figures affixed thereto, painted thereon or incorporated therein. Any vending machine located on premises occupied by a business shall not be deemed a "sign," provided that the same is not illuminated. Illuminated machines shall be deemed "signs."
SIGN PERMIT
A type of building permit issued by the Building Inspector authorizing the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration or moving of a sign.
SIGN, REAL ESTATE OR CONSTRUCTION
A type of temporary sign advertising the availability for sale or rental of a realty subdivision, a parcel of land or a lot or improvements thereto during the period of such availability or the identity of a contractor actually performing construction activities upon a parcel of land or a lot.
SIGN, TEMPORARY
A sign which directs attention to an activity or event on the lot on which the sign is located immediately prior to and/or during the pendency of such event and which is removed immediately upon the conclusion of same.
C. 
Safety standards. No person shall at any time post, erect or affix or for any duration maintain, anywhere within the Village, any sign, advertising material or other device regulated by and under this chapter which:
(1) 
Is structurally unsound;
(2) 
Is constructed of inadequate or improper materials;
(3) 
Is a fire or electrical hazard or poses a threat of electrical shock, electrocution or other danger to the health and safety of any human being;
(4) 
Is or becomes damaged, deteriorated or dilapidated due to wear and tear, lack of timely and proper maintenance and repair or the adverse effects of weather and the elements;
(5) 
Is or becomes damaged or defaced due to accident, vandalism, mischief or other adverse human conduct or due to fire, storm or other natural disaster or act of God;
(6) 
Obstructs or impairs the free and unencumbered ingress to and egress from any door, window, entryway, fire exit or other openings in a building or structure by any person or persons;
(7) 
Obstructs or impairs the movement or flow of natural light and air to any occupied or habitable space in a building or structure; or
(8) 
Obstructs or interferes with any architectural component of a building or structure or with the proper functioning of its electrical, heating, plumbing or other systems, fixtures and devices.
D. 
Legal notices. These regulations shall not apply to signs placed on any property to provide legal notice to the public where such notice and such sign are required by the terms of any law, ordinance, governmental regulation, court decree or administrative order. However, in the case of gasoline price signs and other similar external signs required by law to be posted by certain businesses or special permit uses, any characteristic of the sign, such as maximum size, color, exact on-site location, etc., not specifically determined by the law requiring the sign, shall be subject to site plan and/or architectural and design approval in the same manner as any other sign on the property.

§ 156-2 Prohibitions.

A. 
No person, company, association or business entity shall park any vehicle or trailer-type chassis capable of being transported as a unit over public roads and streets with a sign mounted upon, painted upon or affixed to it, on any street, public highway or municipal parking lot of the Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park or upon any private property within 10 feet of a property line, except for vehicles which have been issued taxi licenses. Service vehicles of electricians, plumbers, painters and the like shall be permitted to park a commercial vehicle which contains information concerning the service provided outside of or in the vicinity of premises upon which work is being performed. For purposes of this subsection, a vehicle shall be considered parked if it remains in the same place or within 50 feet thereof for a duration of more than 15 minutes.
B. 
Any sign that is not expressly permitted by this chapter shall be prohibited.

§ 156-3 Signs in residential districts.

Signs in any residential district shall not require a permit. No sign shall be displayed in any residential district, except as follows:
A. 
Temporary signs as permitted in § 156-4.
B. 
An identification sign shall be required for each residence which shall be one sign, which shall not exceed two square feet in area, displaying not more than the name and street number of the occupant of the premises and, in the case of a permitted office, studio or occupational room, the identification thereof Such sign shall be parallel to and within one foot of the front building line and shall not exceed four feet in height above ground level.
C. 
One sign or bulletin board, not exceeding eight square feet in area, on church, institutional or school property, giving the identification thereof or advertising the activities thereof, or both. Such sign shall not be placed within a distance of 10 feet from any street or property line and shall not exceed six feet in height above ground level. Any such sign shall require a written permit thereof from the Building Inspector. All applications shall conform to the requirements of § 156-5A through C.
D. 
One sign, which shall not exceed one square foot in area, indicating that the premises is protected by a security company. Such sign shall be parallel to and within one foot of the front building line and shall not exceed two feet in height above ground level. Signs on windows, which signs do not exceed 36 square inches, indicating that the premises is protected by a security company, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

§ 156-4 Temporary signs in residential districts.

A. 
Temporary signs in residential districts:
(1) 
Any real estate sign containing only the words "for sale," "for lease," "for rent," or "open house" and, at the option of the applicant, the word "owner" or "broker" and a telephone number.
(2) 
Any construction sign identifying a contractor who is performing work upon the subject premises.
(3) 
No more than two temporary signs may be in effect at any one time for a single parcel of property.
B. 
Size of temporary signs. No real estate or construction sign or other temporary sign shall be larger than three square feet in area.
C. 
Placement and height of temporary real estate and construction signs. All real estate, construction or other temporary signs shall be posted, erected or maintained in the front window of a residence or parallel to and within one foot of the front building line and shall not exceed four feet in height above ground level.
D. 
Expiration and removal of temporary signs.
(1) 
Real estate signs must be removed within 24 hours of the transfer of the title to the property or the giving of possession of the property, whichever event first occurs, except that "open house" signs shall be removed at the conclusion of the open house.
(2) 
All other temporary signs shall be erected no more than 10 days prior to the event or activity advertised and shall be removed at the conclusion of the event or activity.
E. 
Conditions for all signs in residential districts.
(1) 
No signs shall have characters, letters, figures, designs or outlines illuminated by electric lights or luminous tubes or use reflective or fluorescent paint or material.
(2) 
All signs permitted pursuant to this section shall have lettering only on one side and shall be attached to the premises or shall be displayed on a stationary rod or post. No sign shall be attached to a tree, bush, hydrant, telephone pole, car or lamppost. No sign shall be placed so as to obstruct a clear view of a street from any intersecting street.

§ 156-5 Signs in nonresidential districts.

A. 
Permit required. Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful to erect, construct, paint, alter, relocate, reconstruct, display or maintain or cause to be erected, constructed, painted, altered, relocated, reconstructed, displayed or maintained within the nonresidential districts any sign unless a written permit therefor has been obtained from the Building Inspector as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Color scheme. Any signs installed pursuant to this section shall be of a color scheme, in a color palette, style, and font and manufactured of such materials approved by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park. The Village Board shall, at a regular meeting, choose samples of approved color palettes, styles, fonts and materials, which shall thereafter be made available to the public by the Building Inspector.
C. 
Application for permit. An application for a sign permit should be accompanied by the following:
(1) 
A drawing showing the lettering, color and pictorial matter of the sign, a description of the construction details of the sign structure, and a location plan showing the position of the sign on the building or premises.
(2) 
A written statement showing the name of the owner and the name of the person in control of the building or the premises where such sign is to be located, and the right or authority of the applicant to apply for a permit.
(3) 
A photograph of the subject building upon which the proposed sign is to be installed.
(4) 
Photographs of adjacent buildings with existing signage.
(5) 
A certified English translation of the sign's content, if applicable.
(6) 
Such other information as the Building Inspector may reasonably require to demonstrate compliance with provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Placement, size and other requirements. In addition to the other requirements of this chapter, a sign erected, constructed, painted, altered, relocated, reconstructed, displayed or maintained in a nonresidential district shall meet the following requirements:
[Amended 12-1-2009 by L.L. No. 15-2009]
(1) 
Except as provided for in this chapter, a sign may be placed only upon the front or face or side of a building or on the interior or exterior surface of any front, side or rear window thereof and must be constructed and maintained parallel with the building wall to which it is attached and extending outward from such wall not more than 12 inches. No more than one sign per exterior wall shall be permitted. One of the signs shall be deemed the main sign. The main sign shall conform to the following dimensional requirements:
(a) 
On a building, including doors and windows, having a street frontage of 25 feet or less: a vertical measurement of no less than two feet and no greater than three feet and a horizontal measurement of 80% of the street frontage of such building;
(b) 
On a building, including doors and windows, having a street frontage of more than 25 feet: a vertical measurement of no less than two feet and no greater than three feet and a horizontal measurement of 20 feet.
(2) 
In addition to the main sign as designated by an applicant, an additional three signs shall each be permitted on any rear or side wall of any building which abuts a parking field or another street and shall be deemed subordinate to the main sign. Each of the three subordinate signs shall have a maximum vertical measurement of two feet and a maximum horizontal measurement not greater than 10 feet or 40% of the width of any such wall of the building, whichever is less. No sign shall adjoin or face a residential district or parcel.
(3) 
The upper edge of each sign shall not be located above the top of the building, and no part of such sign(s) shall extend beyond the ends of the building wall upon which it is placed. No portion of a sign shall be located closer to the ground than eight feet or higher off the ground than 13 feet.
(4) 
Exterior lighting shall be from above or below the signage only and shall be of a design approved by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park; fixtures shall not project more than 1 1/2 feet from the face of the sign and shall not extend above or below the top of the sign more than one foot; there shall be no more than one fixture per four linear feet of signage; and such illumination shall not result in confusion with traffic signals, either because of color or proximity. Box lighting and neon lighting or the like are specifically prohibited.
(5) 
Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, any sign may be painted on the inner or outer surface of a window, provided that it meets with all other requirements of this chapter.
(6) 
Such signs shall advertise only the business conducted or products sold on the premises.
(7) 
There shall be no signs and/or lettering permitted on any awning or canopy. All awnings or canopies shall conform to the color palate established by the Board of Trustees pursuant to § 156-5B and shall be complementary to the main sign.
(8) 
There shall be permitted one logo per sign, provided that such logo does not extend beyond the permissible boundaries of the sign, as set forth in this section.
E. 
Internally illuminated signs and lighted signs. No neon signs or internally illuminated signs shall be permitted. All lighting on signs must be through detached fixtures directed at the sign as provided in § 156-5D(4). In addition, lighting in a nonresidential district shall be arranged and affixed in such a way that no direct light rays from any light used in such illumination shall penetrate a residential district or impede traffic within the Village. Any lighting constituting a nuisance to neighboring residences or buildings or the occupants thereof is strictly prohibited.
F. 
Flashing and flickering signs; spectaculars prohibited. No illuminated signs of a flashing, flickering, intermittently lighted or similar nature or animated illuminated signs known as "spectaculars" shall be permitted.
G. 
Right-angle or projecting signs. A right-angle or projecting sign shall be permitted by special permit from the Architectural Review Board and shall be complementary to the main sign. All such signs shall require general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 naming the Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park as an additional insured.
H. 
Windstream devices. No windstream devices shall be permitted. A windstream device includes any one or more devices, whether used singularly or in combination, which are designed and intended to wave, flutter, spin, snap or give off some other wind-driven or wind-aided animation effect visible to the normal unaided human eye, including but not limited to pennants, streamers, banners, flags, ribbons, tassels, pinwheels, spinners, whirligigs or other similar such materials or devices.
I. 
Signs which might be confused with traffic signs prohibited. No billboard, sign or other advertising structure or device shall be erected or maintained where, because of the size, location, shape, height, wording, design or lighting, such sign might be confused as a traffic directional or stop sign, or might interfere with the vision or discernment of a traffic directional or stop-and-go sign, or might otherwise imperil the safety of travel on streets and highways.
J. 
Signs erected and maintained by Village or governmental authorities. This chapter shall not apply to those signs erected and maintained by the Village or other governmental authorities in the discharge of their official duties or functions.
K. 
Special permits. If a building abuts on a public parking field, a sign conforming to the conditions of this section may be erected on the rear or side wall facing such parking field by special permit from the Architectural Review Board.
L. 
Nonconforming signs.
(1) 
All nonconforming main signs in existence on the effective date of this chapter located upon a building within a nonresidential district shall be converted to a conforming sign upon any change in use, occupancy or signage.
(2) 
When and where any legal nonconforming sign has become damaged or has deteriorated, such sign shall be immediately and completely removed or shall be immediately and completely converted to or replaced by one which fully conforms to all regulations and requirements set forth in this chapter.

§ 156-6 Temporary signs in nonresidential districts.

A temporary sign shall be permitted for advertising and sales of merchandise or other special occasions, subject to the following conditions:
A. 
No more than 10%, in total, of each window shall be used to advertise special occasions or the sale of merchandise.
B. 
The legend on the sign shall be directly related to the business activity carried on by the occupant of the business premises.
C. 
The duration of the temporary sign shall be no longer than two calendar weeks, provided that the sign may be displayed for no more than three weekends.
D. 
No signs shall be of neon or neon paper or internally illuminated.
E. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to temporary signs placed within the windows of retail establishments of the business district by charitable or religious organizations.
F. 
All such temporary signs shall be of professional quality, shall be printed in legible type and shall not be handwritten.

§ 156-7 Temporary real estate and construction signs in nonresidential districts.

All real estate and construction signs in nonresidential districts shall satisfy all of the requirements set forth in § 156-4 of this chapter.

§ 156-8 Removal of signs identifying tenant or business.

No later than 30 days after a tenant has vacated a premises, any exterior signs identifying such tenant or business shall be removed in their entirety by the building owner. In instances where removal of any such sign causes damage to the facade of the building, the building owner shall repair/restore the damaged facade within 10 days of the removal of the sign. The repair/restoration shall match and conform to the existing building.

§ 156-9 Appeals; enforcement.

A. 
Appeals. Any person seeking review of the action of the Building Inspector with respect to a sign application or with respect to the interpretation or application of this chapter may appeal to the Architectural Review Board.
B. 
Enforcement. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector and of any other person authorized by resolution of the Board of Trustees to enforce the provisions of this chapter. Any sign not in conformity with this chapter may be removed without notice to the property owner or the owner of the sign.

§ 156-10 Permits; fees.

A. 
No person or persons shall erect, construct, use or maintain any sign or advertising device for which either a permit or special permit is required under the provisions of this chapter, without having first obtained the proper permit. Where, under the provisions of this chapter, the consent or approval of any separate governing board, commission or other government agency shall be required in addition to any permit or special permit, then such consent or approval shall be obtained by the person or persons seeking the permit prior to the issuance thereof.
B. 
Applications for permits and special permits shall be made and filed with the office of the Building Department upon the official forms approved and provided for such purpose and shall be accompanied at the time of filing by the current authorized application fee. Upon the approval of an application, the requested permit or special permit shall be issued by the Building Department only upon payment in full of the current authorized permit fee. The fees for all applications and permits, and any renewals or extensions thereof, shall be those fees adopted and approved from time to time by resolution or order of the Board of Trustees.

§ 156-11 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this chapter or assists in the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter only and shall be punishable as follows:
A. 
By a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
B. 
By a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a second offense, provided the first and second offenses were committed within a period of five years of each other.
C. 
By a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offense or a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years.