Town of Clarkstown, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarkstown 11-14-2006 by L.L. No. 16-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sign requirements in Hamlet Center Overlay Districts — See § 290-7.2.
Licensing of sign contractors — See Ch. 244.
Site plan review — See Ch. 246.
Zoning — See Ch. 290.
Attachment 1 - Table 1 Attachment 2 - Sign Design Guidelines

§ 243-1 Title.

This chapter shall hereafter be known and cited as the “Sign Local Law of the Town of Clarkstown” and shall include this chapter, Table 1 of this chapter and the Sign Design Guidelines.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 1 and the Sign Design Guidelines are included at the end of this chapter.

§ 243-2 Purpose.

The intent and purpose of these regulations is to establish a reasonable framework for signage and to facilitate easy and agreeable communication, at the same time recognizing the need to protect the safety and welfare of the public, to maintain attractive appearance in the community and to allow adequate business identification. It is the further intent of these regulations to maintain a balance between the commercial needs of business enterprises and their visual impact on residents and visitors of the Town. To these ends, the regulations seek to ensure signs visible to the general public that:
A. 
Are compatible with their surroundings and consistent with the objectives of proper design and zoning amenities.
B. 
Allow and promote optimum conditions for meeting sign user's needs while at the same time promoting an attractive environment desired by the general public.
C. 
Are designed, constructed, installed, and maintained in such a manner that they do not endanger public safety or traffic safety.
D. 
Are visible and legible in terms of the message they are intended to convey.

§ 243-3 Compliance required.

No person, including any owner, lessee, or other occupant of any premises, shall erect, construct or display, or permit the erection, construction, or display of any sign within the Town of Clarkstown, other than in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 243-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED SIGN
Any sign that advertises a business, lessor, owner, product, service or activity that is no longer located on the premises where the sign is displayed.
ALTERATION
Any change of copy, sign face, color, size, shape, illumination, position, location, construction, or supporting structure of any sign.
ANIMATED OR MOVING SIGNS
A sign that uses movement, lighting, or special materials to depict action or create a special effect to imitate movement.
AWNING
A roof-like cover that projects from a building wall for the purpose of shielding a window or doorway from the elements.
BANNER, FLAG, OR PENNANT
Any cloth, bunting, plastic, paper, or similar nonrigid material used for advertising purposes attached to any structure, staff, pole, line, framing, or vehicle, not including official flags of the United States, the State of New York, and other states, counties, municipalities, official flags of foreign nations and nationally or internationally recognized organizations.
BENCH SIGN
A sign painted on or affixed to a bench.
BILLBOARD
A permanent off-premises outdoor advertising sign erected, maintained or used for the purpose of commercial or noncommercial messages.
BLADE SIGN
See "projecting sign."
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
BRACKET SIGN
A small sign mounted on the ground using one or more posts.
BUILDING FRONTAGE
That building elevation that fronts on a public street or parking area where customer access to the building is available.
BUSINESS FRONTAGE
That portion of a building frontage occupied by a single tenant space having a public entrance within the building frontage. For businesses located in the interior of a building without building frontage, the building elevation providing customer access shall be considered the business frontage.
BUSINESS IDENTIFICATION SIGNS
A sign that serves to identify only the name, address, and lawful use of the premises upon which it is located and provides no other advertisements or product identification.
CABINET SIGN (CAN SIGN)
A sign that contains all the text and/or logo symbols within a single enclosed cabinet and may or may not be illuminated.
CANDLEPOWER
The amount of light that will illuminate a surface one foot distant from a light source to an intensity of one footcandle. Maximum (peak) candlepower is the largest amount of candlepower.
CANOPY
A roof-like cover, either freestanding or attached to a building wall and supported totally or partially by the ground below.
CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A sign designed to allow changing of copy manually.
CHANNEL LETTERS
Three-dimensional individually cut letters or figures, illuminated or unilluminated, affixed to a structure.
CIVIC EVENT SIGN
A temporary sign, other than a commercial sign, posted to announce a civic event sponsored by a public agency, school, church, civic-fraternal organization, or similar not-for-profit organization.
CONTRACTOR OR CONSTRUCTION SIGN
A sign that states the name of the developer and contractor(s) working on the site and any related engineering, architectural or financial firms involved with the project.
CONVENIENCE SIGN
A sign that conveys information (e.g., restrooms, no parking, entrance) or minor business identification for directional purposes, and is designed to be viewed by pedestrians and/or motorists.
COPY
Words, letters, numbers, figures, designs, or other symbolic representations incorporated into a sign.
DIRECTLY LIGHTED SIGN
A sign that is illuminated by a light source that shines through the letters or logo from the back of the sign.
DIRECTORY SIGN
A sign listing the tenants of a multiple-tenant structure or center.
DOUBLE-FACED SIGN
A sign constructed to display its message on the outer surfaces of two identical and opposite parallel planes.
ELECTRONIC READER BOARD SIGN OR ELECTRONIC GRAPHICS SIGN
A sign with a fixed or changing display/message composed of a series of lights that may be changed through electronic means.
FLASHING SIGN
A sign that contains an intermittent or sequential flashing light source.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign that is not attached to a building.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
FUTURE TENANT IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A temporary sign that identifies the names of future businesses that will occupy a site or structure.
GRAND OPENING
A promotional activity not exceeding 30 calendar days used by newly established businesses, within two months after initial occupancy, to inform the public of their location and services available to the community. "Grand Opening" does not mean an annual or occasional promotion by a business.
GROUND SIGN
See "monument" signs.
HANGING SIGN
A sign hanging down from a marquee, awning or porch that would exist without a sign. Hanging signs shall not exceed four square feet and shall be hung no higher than 12 feet nor lower than eight feet above the surface below.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
HEIGHT OF SIGN
The vertical distance from the uppermost point used in measuring the area of a sign to the average grade immediately below and adjoining the sign.
ILLEGAL SIGN
Any of the following:
A. 
A sign erected without first obtaining a sign permit and complying with all regulations in effect at the time of its construction, placement or use.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
B. 
A sign that was legally erected but whose use has ceased because the business it identifies is no longer conducted on the premises.
C. 
A nonconforming sign that does not comply with the regulations of this chapter and for which the amortization period, 10 years after the effective date of this chapter, has expired (November 14, 2016).
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
D. 
A sign that is a danger to the public or is unsafe; or a sign that pertains to a specific event that has not been removed within five days after the occurrence of the event.
E. 
A temporary window sign displayed for over 30 days
F. 
Prohibited signs as listed in § 243-5.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
INDIRECTLY LIGHTED SIGN
A sign that is illuminated by a light source that shines directly on the surface of the sign, which light source is designed specifically to illuminate only the sign.
INFLATABLE DEVICE
An object that is blown up with air or gas.
INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign whose light source is located in the interior of the sign so that the rays go through the face of the sign, or light source which is attached to the face of the sign and is perceived as a design element of the sign; same as a directly lighted sign.
LOW-PROFILE MONUMENT SIGN
A freestanding sign with a lower height configuration. Such signs are usually used for building complexes that are separated from adjacent streets by substantial setbacks.
MAJOR REGIONAL SHOPPING CENTER
An open or covered regional mall situated within an MRS Zoning District or approved and developed under the MRS regulations.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
MARQUEE
A permanent structure attached to a building wall, having horizontal or nearly horizontal top and bottom surfaces, which is intended to serve as a covering over the area thereunder.
MONUMENT SIGN
A freestanding ground sign on the same lot or parcel as the use it identifies which has its bottom portion attached to a proportionate base or plinth, integrated ground planter box, or to a structural frame designed with two supporting columns.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
MONUMENT SIGN, LOW-PROFILE
A freestanding ground sign with a lower height configuration. Such signs are appropriate for buildings that are separated from adjacent streets by substantial setbacks, for instances where an attached sign cannot be reasonably placed and for gasoline service stations; see 243-11H(1)(d).
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
MULTIPLE-TENANT BUILDING
A development consisting of two or more separate uses or tenancies that share either the same parcel or structure and use common access and parking facilities.
NEON SIGN
Glass tube lighting in which a gas and phosphors are used in combination to create a colored light.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
An identifying structure or sign which was lawfully erected through the issuance of a sign permit and maintained prior to the adoption of this chapter, and which has subsequently come under the requirements of this chapter, but does not now completely comply.
PERMANENT BANNER SIGNS
As a primary sign only, permanent banner signs shall look like architectural elements of the building and shall hang from projecting metal brackets of a size and design appropriate to the banner and the architectural character of the building. Banner signs shall be mounted perpendicular to the face of the facade at both the top and bottom.
PERMANENT SIGN
A sign constructed of durable materials and intended to exist for the duration of time that the use or occupant is located on the premises.
PLAQUE SIGN
Small version of a wall sign that is attached to a surface adjacent to the front entry.
POLE SIGN
A sign mounted on a single freestanding pole or other support so that the bottom edge of the sign face is six feet or more above finished grade (same as pylon sign). Monument and pole signs differ in that monument signs appear grounded and substantial while pole signs appear afloat and stranded.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
POLITICAL SIGN
A sign designed for the purpose of announcing support of or opposition to a candidate or proposition for a public election or a sign expressing political, religious, or other ideological sentiment that does not advertise a product or service.
PORTABLE SIGN
Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to, signs designed to be transported by means of persons or wheels; signs converted to A-frames; menu and sandwich board signs; balloons used as signs; umbrellas for advertising; and signs attached to or painted on vehicles parked and visible from the public right-of-way, unless said vehicle is used in the normal day-to-day operations of the business, in which case the vehicle must be removed from the site during non-business hours.
PROJECTING SIGN (BLADE SIGN)
A sign, attached to a building, the face of which is perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the building wall.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
PROMOTIONAL SIGN
A sign erected on a temporary basis to promote the sale of new products, new management, new hours of operation, a new service, or to promote a special sale.
PROPERTY FRONTAGE
The side of a parcel or development site abutting on a public street.
PYLON SIGN
See "pole sign."
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A sign indicating that a property or any portion thereof is available for inspection, sale, lease, rent, or directing people to a property, but not including temporary subdivision signs.
REGIONAL MALL
See "major regional shopping center."
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
RESTAURANT MENU SIGN
A sign that incorporates a menu containing a list of products and prices offered by the business.
ROOF SIGN
A sign that is mounted on the roof of a building or which is wholly dependent upon a building for support and which projects above the highest point of a building with a flat roof, the eave line of a building with gambrel, gable, or hip roof, or the deck line of a building with a mansard roof.
SHOPPING CENTER DEVELOPMENT
A shopping center or strip mall containing three or more retail stores.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
SIGN
Any announcement, declaration, demonstration, billboard display, illustration, symbol, token, figure, device, design, image or insignia used to promote or advertise the interests of any person, group of persons, company, corporation, service or product when the same is placed, erected, attached, painted or printed where it may be viewed from the outside of any structure on the premises where placed. The display of merchandise and products inside a building and located at least two feet from a window shall not be considered a sign.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
SIGN AREA
The area including the frame or edge of the sign; where the sign has no such frame or edge, the area shall be the minimum area which can be defined by an enclosed four-sided (straight sides) geometric shape which most closely outlines said sign. When two identical sign faces are mounted back to back on the same sign structure and are either parallel or form an angle not exceeding 30°, only one of the sign faces shall be used to compute the sign area. If the angle of the sign faces exceeds 30°, then both faces shall be used to compute the sign area.
SIGN DESIGN GUIDELINES
The general and specific guidelines, adopted as an integral part of Chapter 243, that apply to all nonresidential properties within the Town of Clarkstown. These guidelines are intended to assist applicants, design professionals and the Clarkstown Architectural Historic Review Board in the review and approval process.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
SIGN SETBACK
The distance from the designated street line to the nearest part of the sign or sign structure.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
SPECIAL EVENT SIGN/BANNER
A temporary sign or banner that is intended to inform the public of a unique happening, action, purpose, or occasion (i.e., grand opening or community event).
TEMPORARY SIGN
Any sign intended to be displayed for a limited period of time and capable of being viewed from any public right-of-way, parking area or neighboring property.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL SIGNS
Signs that have a depth or relief on their surface greater than six inches.
TIME AND/OR TEMPERATURE SIGN
A sign that accurately displays the current local time and/or temperature, usually through arrays of small electric lights. No commercial advertising or other message is generally allowed.
VEHICLE SIGN
A sign that is attached to or painted on a vehicle that is parked on or adjacent to any property, the principal purpose of which is to attract attention to a product sold or business located on the property.
WALL SIGN
A sign that is attached to or painted on the exterior wall of a structure with the display surface of the sign approximately parallel to the building wall.
WINDOW AREA
Window area shall be computed by calculating each window pane or panel. The area shall be separate for each building face, and for each window. A group of window panes or panels may be considered one window if they are adjoining on the building face and are less than six inches apart.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign posted, painted, placed, or affixed in or on the interior surface of a window exposed to public view. An interior sign that faces a window exposed to public view that is located within three feet of the window is considered a window sign for the purpose of calculating the total area of all window signs.

§ 243-5 Prohibited signs, devices and installations.

[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
The signs, devices and installations listed below are prohibited anywhere in the Town of Clarkstown.
A. 
Flashing, moving, animated, digital (except time or temperature), or fluttering signs and signs that emit smoke, visible vapors or particles, sound or odor.
B. 
Signs affixed to the exterior of a window or glass.
C. 
Signs of such design and location that they interfere with, compete for attention with or may be mistaken for a traffic signal.
D. 
Freestanding or projecting signs within an area bounded by the intersection of the right-of-way of two or more streets and located within 30 feet from such intersection along the rights-of-way of such streets, except informational signs erected by a governmental body.
E. 
Exterior signs containing excessive product or service advertising or trade names.
F. 
Flags, banners and pennants.
G. 
Billboards.
H. 
Signs that are displayed in such a manner as to be hazardous to traffic or disturb occupants of any other building.
I. 
Interior or exterior neon designs or neon signs framing windows.
J. 
Signs attached to or incorporated onto a light pole.
K. 
Window and door signs that exceed 15% of the glass area and temporary window and door signs that exceed 10% of the glass area.
L. 
Signs erected or located on, within or over any public right-of-way, unless specifically permitted herein.
M. 
Except as otherwise permitted in this chapter, signs which are not accessory to a use located on the premises.
N. 
Highly reflective glass or fluorescent paint in red, green or amber.
O. 
Any sign erected, constructed, or maintained above the primary roof or roof peak of a building.
P. 
Internally lit "can" or cabinet signs with transparent backgrounds.
Q. 
Portable signs or devices.
R. 
Bench signs.
S. 
Inflatable signs or devices.
T. 
Pole or pylon signs.
U. 
Signs affixed to a vehicle or trailer, parked in view of the general public, with the intent of providing advertisement of products, services or directing people to a business or activity.
V. 
Electronic reader boards, when visible from a public space.

§ 243-6 Signs exempt from permit requirements.

[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
The following signs are permitted in all zoning and overlay districts and are exempt only from the requirements for a sign permit. Exemption from a sign permit shall not be constructed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility for its erection and maintenance in good and safe condition and for complete compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
A. 
Memorial tablets, emblems, names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or similar material as an integral part of the building. The total area of said signs shall not exceed 1% of the area of the building wall on which they are located or four square feet, whichever is smaller. The area of said signs shall not be included in the maximum permitted wall sign area.
B. 
Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, railroad crossing signs, danger signs, and such temporary emergency signs as may be erected by the government or public utility employees in carrying out their official work.
C. 
Historic site and historic building plaques and markers subject to the provisions of any applicable historic preservation ordinances.
D. 
Names on mailboxes.
E. 
Signs used on property warning the public against trespassing, parking, or soliciting thereon.
F. 
Temporary safety, traffic, directional, and warning signs approved by the governmental agency having jurisdiction.
G. 
Window and door signs and temporary signs attached to or painted on windows and doors as regulated by the Town of Clarkstown Sign Design Guidelines.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Sign Design Guidelines are included at the end of this chapter.
H. 
Signs required by any provision of law or signs deemed necessary to the public welfare by the governing body.
I. 
For any residential premises for sale or rent, one temporary nonilluminated "for rent" or "for sale" sign not over six square feet in area and "open house" signs not over four square feet in area per sign. For any nonresidential premises for sale or rent, one temporary nonilluminated "for sale" or "for rent" sign not over 16 square feet located at least 15 feet from any property line. Such signs shall not be embellished by balloons, streamers or other distractive adornments and shall be placed only on private property with the permission of the owner and shall in no event be placed upon or over the street or road right-of-way. Real estate "for sale" or "for rent" signs shall be removed within seven days after the execution of a lease or closing of a sale. However, real estate "for rent" or "space available" signs that are maintained for a period longer than six months shall be considered a permanent sign, shall not exceed 16 square feet in area and shall meet the requirements for permanent signs, including application for a sign permit and approval of the Architectural Historic Review Board.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
J. 
A nameplate sign, situated within the property lines and bearing only the name and address of the principal occupant, provided that the sign does not exceed 12 inches in height and 24 inches in length. An additional sign, of the same size (12 inches by 24 inches), may be erected for a legally permitted home occupation.
K. 
Signs not exceeding one square foot in area designating or calling attention to driveway entrances and exits.
L. 
Signs erected to control the movement of traffic on a nonresidential premises, provided these signs shall provide traffic directions only and shall not be used for any advertising purposes. These signs shall not exceed four square feet in area and shall have been approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
M. 
Signs denoting the name of the owner, developer, architect, engineer or contractor, or the prospective use, when placed upon work under construction, and not exceeding 32 square feet in area, provided the same are set back at least 15 feet from the curb and further provided the same are removed within 24 hours after the final certificate of occupancy is issued.
N. 
The American flag, and governmental flags displayed by recognized governments or governmental agencies, provided such flags are displayed in a respectful manner and in accordance with established or recognized rules, standards and criteria. Any such flag shall be hung in a safe manner with adequate support based on its size, weight, and exposure to wind in order to avoid hazard to persons and property.
O. 
Temporary political signs promoting the election of individuals to public office, provided they shall be removed within five days following the election. Such signs shall not be embellished by balloons, streamers or other distractive adornments and shall be placed only on private property with the permission of the owner and shall in no event be placed upon or over the street or road right-of-way.
P. 
Signs and displays, customary to drive-through facilities associated with retail sales and services, when installed with and accessory to a sign application and/or building review approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]

§ 243-7 General sign provisions.

A. 
No sign or other advertising structure as regulated by this chapter shall be erected at the intersection of any streets in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision; or at any location where by reason of the position, shape or color it may interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device, or which makes use of the words "STOP," "LOOK," "DRIVE-IN," "DANGER," or any other word, phase, symbol or character in such manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic. This shall not prohibit signs in private parking lots as directed by the Planning Board.
B. 
No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window or fire escape.
C. 
Sign lighting. Illuminated signs may be directly or indirectly lighted, provided that they comply with the following standards:
(1) 
Illumination of directly illuminated signs shall be of the diffused lighting type.
(2) 
Indirectly illuminated signs with external spot or flood lighting must be arranged such that the light source is directed away from passersby. The light source must be directed against the sign such that it does not shine into adjacent property or cause glare for motorists and pedestrians.
(3) 
Noticeable raceways and transformers for individual letters are prohibited. Sign installation details shall indicate the location of the transformer and other mechanical equipment.
(4) 
Floodlights or spotlights used for the illumination of signs, whether such lights are attached to or separate from the building, shall not project light beyond the sign. Gooseneck reflectors and lights shall be permitted, provided that the reflectors shall be provided with proper glass lenses concentrating the illumination upon the area of the sign so as to prevent glare upon the street or adjacent property.
D. 
All lighting in connection with signs shall be extinguished by 11:00 p.m. prevailing time, or at the close of the business or activity services by said signs or lights, whichever is earlier; provided, however, that the Building Inspector may authorize exterior lighting at additional hours to assist in the protection of properties which otherwise may be subject to this section when so recommended by the Chief of Police of the Town of Clarkstown.
E. 
Places of worship, schools and other institutional facilities, where permitted, may display one freestanding ground sign and/or one wall sign, not exceeding 64 square feet in total area, identifying the name of the facility and pertinent information relating to its activities. The freestanding sign shall be located no closer than 15 feet to a property line or street right-of-way line and shall not exceed six feet in height. In addition, there may be erected one bulletin board sign, no larger than 12 square feet or six feet in height, provided it is not an animated or moving sign.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
F. 
All sign permit applications for a property designated as an historic structure or located within an historic area shall be referred to the Clarkstown Architectural Historic Review Board for its review and approval.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]

§ 243-8 Sign permit requirements.

A. 
Enforcement. The Building Department shall administer and enforce this chapter.
B. 
Permit. A permit is not required for signs exempt from a permit.[1] A permit must be obtained from the Building Department for all other signs. Upon receipt of a sign permit application the Building Inspector shall review the application for completeness. When satisfied that all the required submittals are present the Building Inspector shall refer the application to the Architectural Historic Review Board for its review and determination. No sign may be erected, repaired, altered or restored without the approval of the Architectural Historic Review Board. No sign with over 10 square feet of sign area shall be located so as to be visible from the Palisades Interstate Parkway, unless such sign is at least 500 feet from the Parkway right-of-way. Within 660 feet of the New York Thruway, all signs must have the permission of the Thruway Authority.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 243-6.
C. 
Standards. The standards found within this chapter, including the requirements of Table 1 of this chapter and the Sign Design Guidelines, shall govern the review and determination process of the Architectural Historic Review Board. Approval shall be granted only after the applicant has demonstrated substantial compliance with the governing standards and guidelines. The dimensions found within this chapter pertaining to sign area and sign height are the maximum allowed; however, in many instances, the sign area and sign height approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board will be less than the maximum. The Architectural Historic Review Board may, however, for good reason and in unique circumstances, adjust the application of these standards. Such increase or adjustment shall not exceed 25% of the standard and shall only be permitted with an affirmative vote of a supermajority of the Commission.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012; 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
D. 
Application. Applications for sign permits shall be made upon the forms provided by the Building Department for this purpose. The application shall contain the information as outlined on the sign permit checklist.
E. 
Sign contractors. Only those persons, firms or corporations licensed under the provisions of Chapter 244 of the Clarkstown Town Code shall engage in the business of erecting, altering, repairing or restoring any sign for which a permit is required.
F. 
Permit fees. Permit fees for signs shall be established by the Town Board.
G. 
False information. A person providing false information under this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and not eligible to apply for a permit under this chapter for 12 months from date the Building Inspector determines false information was presented.
H. 
Certificate of completion. Within 30 days of the completion of the sign(s) installation an application shall be submitted to the Building Inspector for a certificate of completion. The application shall include color photographs of the installation and, when required by the Building Inspector, a certified survey depicting the location of the freestanding sign(s) on the property. For signs that are indirectly illuminated, an electrical certificate must be issued by a Town-approved inspection agency and submitted to the Building Inspector. No certificate of occupancy will be issued for any use until a certificate of completion for the sign installation has been issued.
I. 
Permit void. A sign permit shall be void if the sign authorized thereunder has not been erected within 18 months from the date of issuance. The owner or applicant of said sign shall be responsible for obtaining a certificate of completion within this established time period.
[Added 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]

§ 243-9 Construction requirements.

A. 
Material. Signs shall be constructed of high-quality materials and completed with durable finishes.
B. 
Codes. All signs shall conform to the latest edition of the applicable building and electrical codes.
C. 
Fastenings. All signs must remain safe and secure during the period of use. All parts of the signs, including bolts and cables, shall remain painted, and free of corrosion.
D. 
Fire escapes. A sign may not obstruct a fire escape.
E. 
Lighting. External lighting shall be shielded from view and shall be focused upon the sign to avoid stray lighting. Flashing, rotating, and intermittent lighting are prohibited.
F. 
Identification. All signs for which a permit is required shall identify, upon the sign, the name and telephone number of the person responsible for the sign, the name and telephone number of the licensed sign contractor, the sign permit number and the Underwriter's Laboratory seal of acceptance.
G. 
Proximity to electrical conductors. Signs and all supporting structures shall be no closer to electrical utilities than is permitted by applicable codes. No sign, including cables and supports, shall, in any event, be within six feet of any electrical conductor, electrical light pole, electric street lamp, traffic light, or other public utility pole.
H. 
Sanitation. Property surrounding any monument sign shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. It shall be free from weeds, rubbish, and flammable material.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
I. 
Landscaping. The area beneath and around a monument sign shall be landscaped with plants, ground cover and materials so as to complement the site and integrate the sign with buildings, parking areas, surrounding vegetation and natural features of the landscape.
J. 
Responsibility for compliance. The owner of the parcel on which a sign is placed and the tenant are each fully responsible for the condition and the maintenance of the sign, and the area around the sign.

§ 243-10 Signs in residential districts.

The following signs are permitted in residential districts:
A. 
Signs exempt from a permit where applicable to the use on the property.
B. 
Signs pertaining to places of worship, schools and other institutional facilities as provided in § 243-7E.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
C. 
Multi-family housing developments may display one indirectly illuminated, freestanding identification sign at each street entrance to the development, designating only the name of the development, the address and name of the owner and the names of any buildings located therein, provided that the maximum sign area of said sign shall not exceed 24 square feet and that the sign is set back 10 feet from the designated street line.
[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]

§ 243-11 Signs in nonresidential districts.

[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
In the business, commercial and industrial districts, signs are permitted as hereinafter regulated or where exempt from a permit.
A. 
Signs pertaining to places of worship, schools and other nonprofit, institutional facilities as provided in § 243-7E.
B. 
A business or commercial establishment shall be permitted a sign or signs as outlined in Chapter 243, Table 1,[1] and as described in the Sign Design Guidelines. Permission to erect a temporary sign may be requested where there is a delay caused by design issues, excessive financial burden, or similar difficulty in complying with the more stringent requirements of this chapter. A temporary sign may be placed for a period of no more than six months upon approval of the Architectural Historic Review Board of such temporary sign and the proposed permanent sign. The business for which a temporary sign is approved shall be restricted to a temporary certificate of occupancy until such time when a permanent sign is approved and erected. Failure to erect a permanent sign within six months will result in the revocation of the temporary certificate of occupancy and prosecution pursuant to § 109-15 of the Town Code. Temporary signs shall comply with the same dimensional regulations that govern permanent signs.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
Master sign program. A master sign program is required for any project that has five or more business or office uses. No permit shall be issued for an individual sign requiring a permit on a site with five or more existing or proposed business spaces unless and until a master sign program for the property on which the sign will be erected has been approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board. Owners of two or more contiguous lots or the owner of a single lot with more than one building may voluntarily file with the Town a master sign program conforming to the provisions of this chapter. In some instances, the approved master sign program may include a unique freestanding sign that is otherwise not defined or permitted in this chapter. For example, such a sign may comprise a freestanding architectural element with four walls, designed specifically to support the sign identifying a shopping center. Such an architectural feature is permitted, subject to the review and approval process called for in this section, as long as it is intended to be an integral part of the design of the project. The master sign program shall conform to and complement the architectural design and character of the structures erected or to be erected on the property in which it is proposed.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(1) 
Application content. A master sign program application shall include the following:
(a) 
An accurate plot plan of the lot, at such a scale as the Architectural Historic Review Board may require.
(b) 
Location of buildings, parking lots, driveways, and landscaped areas on the lot.
(c) 
Computation of the maximum total sign area, the maximum area for individual signs, the height of signs, and the number of freestanding signs allowed on the lot shall be included in the plan. All tenants shall have signage in accordance with a master sign program and the zoning district.
(d) 
An accurate indication on the plot plan of the proposed location and type of each present and future sign of any type, whether requiring a permit or not (i.e., include directional signs, too).
(e) 
Color scheme.
(f) 
Lettering or graphic style.
(g) 
Lighting.
(h) 
Location of each sign.
(i) 
Materials.
(j) 
Sign dimensions.
(k) 
Provisions for leasing information.
(l) 
Amount of window signage, if any, and type (i.e., painted, etched on glass).
(2) 
Existing signs not conforming to a master sign program. If any new or amended master sign program is filed for property on which existing signs are located, it shall include a schedule for bringing them into conformance with the proposed master sign program. In no event shall such schedule for completion exceed three years or the amortization date, November 14, 2016, established in § 243-12B.
(3) 
Binding effect. After approval of a master sign program, no signs shall be erected, placed, painted, or maintained, except in conformance with such plan, and such plan may be enforced in the same way as any provision in this chapter. The master sign program shall be attached to the lease agreements for all leasable space within the project. In the case of any conflict between the provisions of such a plan and any other provision herein, this section shall control. In order to preserve the integrity of the master sign program, no business or office included within a master sign program may elect to forgo the placement of a sign.
(4) 
Modification to an approved master sign program. The Architectural Historic Review Board may approve minor modifications to an approved master sign program with respect to colors, material, elevations, site plans, landscape plans, lighting and other physical changes.
D. 
Office buildings. Additional provisions are applicable to office buildings with a gross floor area greater than 10,000 square feet.
(1) 
Identification signs. One wall-mounted identification sign, with the copy limited to one of the following:
(a) 
A company name and/or logo.
(b) 
The building name/address or, with the permission of the building owner, the name of a major tenant.
(2) 
Monument signs. One monument sign shall be permitted for each street frontage.
The identification and monument signs shall comply with the dimensions established for the zoning district in which it is located, as set forth in Table 1[2] and elsewhere in this chapter.
[2]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
E. 
Shopping center developments. Additional provisions applicable to shopping centers containing three or more tenants.
(1) 
Monument signs.
(a) 
In addition to other permitted signs, a maximum of one monument sign is permitted at each road frontage where there is vehicular access.
(b) 
The maximum total sign area for the monument sign(s) shall be 20 square feet per tenant or 100 square feet, whichever is less.
(2) 
Signs attached to a building. Each tenant with business frontage in a shopping center shall be permitted to have one or more wall-mounted sign, for each business frontage, identifying the name of the business. Such wall, hanging, projecting or other sign attached to the building shall comply with the dimensions established for the zoning district in which it is located, as set forth in Table 1[3] and elsewhere in this chapter. The Architectural Historic Review Board may permit, where it deems it necessary, convenience signs that convey helpful information to the public.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[3]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
(3) 
Other signs. All other signs are subject to the sign regulations set forth in § 243-11C.
F. 
Large retail establishments: Additional provisions applicable to large retail establishments with a gross floor area greater than 30,000 square feet:
(1) 
Monument signs.
(a) 
A maximum of one monument sign is permitted at each road frontage where there is vehicular access.
(b) 
The maximum sign area shall be 100 square feet for each monument sign permitted.
(c) 
The maximum height and minimum setback of the monument sign shall comply with the dimensions established for the zoning district in which it is located, as set forth in Table 1[4] of this chapter.
[4]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
(d) 
The sign(s) may identify only the name and address of the large retail establishment.
(e) 
Temporary signs attached to the monument sign shall not be permitted.
(2) 
Signs attached to a building.
(a) 
One wall, hanging, projecting or other sign attached to a building is permitted for each building frontage or building wall facing a road where there is vehicular access. Such signs shall identify only the name of the business. The Architectural Historic Review Board may permit, where it deems it necessary, convenience signs that convey helpful information to the public.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(b) 
The maximum sign area allowed for all attached signs shall be calculated as the lesser of one square foot of sign area for every 300 square feet of gross building area or 5% of the building frontage.
G. 
Major regional shopping center signs. The following standards shall apply to major regional shopping centers (the center), as defined in this chapter.
(1) 
Master sign program. Each such project shall be required to prepare a master sign program, which shall be subject to review and approval by the Architectural Historic Review Board. The master sign program shall address each of the following types of signs which are proposed to be constructed as part of the major regional shopping center.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(2) 
Interior signs. All signs located inside the major regional shopping center building(s) shall be exempt from Town review or approval.
(3) 
Major regional shopping centers may install the following types of signs, subject to the regulations and requirements noted below, the Sign Design Guidelines, and the requirements of § 243-8 (Sign permit requirements).
(a) 
Primary monument signs.
[1] 
Location(s). A maximum of one primary monument sign shall be permitted along each state or county highway frontage. Primary monument sign locations shall be identified in the master sign program for the center.
[2] 
Primary monument sign height. The maximum height shall be 45 feet along a state highway and 25 feet along a county highway, measured from finish grade of the adjacent entry drive or public roadway and subject to approval by the Architectural Historic Review Board. The Architectural Historic Review Board may require the applicant to prepare a mock-up of the proposed sign, to be lifted by crane or other method, to demonstrate the minimum height required for adequate visibility, taking into account posted travel speed(s), line of sight obstructions and distance from the roadway.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[3] 
Primary monument sign area. Up to three sign faces per sign shall be permitted. For signs placed on another structure, only the area of the sign shall be measured.
[4] 
Tenant identification on primary monument sign. Up to six tenant panels may be identified on a primary entry sign, along with overall site identification. The maximum sign area permitted is 200 square feet, per face, for each monument sign. Included in the 200 square feet of permitted sign area, a maximum sign area of 32 square feet, per face, may be affixed for each anchor store or tenant with a gross floor area greater than 20,000 square feet and included on the primary monument sign. Each primary monument sign shall be located in a landscaped area appropriate to the location and to be approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board as part of the master sign program for the major regional shopping center.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(b) 
Secondary monument signs.
[1] 
Location(s). A maximum of one secondary monument sign shall be permitted along state or county road(s), at each vehicular access to the center, and where there is no primary monument sign. Secondary monument sign location(s) shall be identified in the master sign program for the center.
[2] 
Secondary monument sign height. The maximum height shall be 10 feet, measured from finish grade of the adjacent entry drive or public roadway and subject to approval by the Architectural Historic Review Board. The Architectural Historic Review Board may require the applicant to prepare a mock-up of the proposed sign, to be lifted by crane or other method, to demonstrate the minimum height required for visibility, taking into account posted travel speed(s), line of sight obstructions and distance from the roadway.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[3] 
Secondary monument sign area. Up to three sign faces per sign shall be permitted. For signs placed on another structure, only the area of the sign shall be measured. The maximum sign area permitted shall be 32 square feet, per face, for each secondary monument sign.
[4] 
Primary monument and secondary monument sign: minimum landscape requirements. Each secondary monument sign shall be located in a landscaped area appropriate to the location and to be approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board as part of the master sign program for the major regional shopping center.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(c) 
Major tenant signs. Two types of signs shall be permitted to identify major tenants 20,000 square feet or greater) within the center: primary and secondary. Standards for these sign types are as follows:
[1] 
Number of signs.
[a] 
Primary signs: one building-mounted sign per business frontage on a parking lot or street and where the Architectural Historic Review Board deems it necessary and appropriate; an additional marquee, blade or surface-mounted sign(s) for major tenant(s) without entrances on that frontage. Size of the additional sign(s) shall not exceed 200 square feet.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[b] 
Secondary signs: one building-mounted sign per customer entrance.
[2] 
Size.
[a] 
Primary signs: maximum size based on location of sign on building:
[i] 
Two and one-half square feet per linear foot of building facing a parking lot for signs located 40 feet or less from adjacent ground level.
[ii] 
Three square feet per linear foot of building facing a parking lot for signs located more than 40 feet above adjacent ground level.
[iii] 
Transfer of allowable square footage from one building frontage to another is not permitted.
[b] 
Secondary signs: Maximum of 30 square feet.
[3] 
Overall height: no maximum.
[4] 
Letter height: no maximum.
[5] 
Logo height: no maximum.
[6] 
Location: signs to be mounted to the major tenant's building or to common shopping center buildings, or entry elements that provide direct access to an entrance into the major tenant's building. Major tenant sign(s) shall not be placed on any other building occupied by another tenant.
[7] 
Illumination: Signs may be internally or externally illuminated or backlit.
Sign design and placement for major tenant identification signs shall be approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board as part of the master sign program for the center.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(d) 
Minor tenant signs.
[1] 
Type and number of signs permitted.
[a] 
A tenant's signage shall be based on the size and style of the sign and lettering, the location of the sign within the designated sign areas and the tenant's storefront and the cohesive integration of the sign into the overall building design. All in-line tenants shall be limited to signage on the exterior of the building having customer entrances or having frontage on primary elevation of the shopping center at the designated sign area.
[b] 
Corner occupants shall also be permitted sidewall signs in the designated sign area or within window glazing. Exterior signage shall consist of the tenant's trade name and logo or insignia only.
[c] 
Restaurants in an open mall or freestanding outbuildings shall be permitted to have one sign on each of the exterior facades that surround their space. Exterior signage shall consist of the name of tenant’s trade name, logo or insignia and may include taglines.
[Amended 8-20-2013 by L.L. No. 6-2013]
[d] 
Users on the second level shall be permitted to have one wall-mounted sign facing the main street with forty-two-inch maximum letter height.
[e] 
Additionally, tenants are permitted a sign over their entrance, as an integral part of their storefront design.
[f] 
Additionally, one non illuminated under-canopy blade-type sign shall be permitted. Two blade signs shall be permitted for corner locations.
[g] 
Additionally, fixed or fabric awning signage shall be permitted.
[h] 
Additionally, small-scale signs on the storefront glass, naming operating hours, address and contact information shall be permitted.
[i] 
Additionally, small-scale lettering at noncustomer/service doors, naming the tenant and address, shall be permitted.
[j] 
Building sign types may include internally illuminated, pin-mounted, halo-illuminated, externally illuminated backlit and marquee signs.
[k] 
Signs with exposed lamps, flashing, moving, audible signs or elements, and rooftop signs shall not be permitted.
[2] 
Size of signs permitted.
[a] 
Lettering shall be proportional to the width of the tenant's business frontage and the designated sign area and in any event shall not be greater than 42 inches in height. Tenants shall be permitted 1.5 square feet of signage per lineal foot of business frontage, up to a maximum of 150 square feet. Corner tenants', restaurants' and freestanding tenants' sidewall signs shall be permitted to be 1.5 square feet per lineal foot of building facade, up to a maximum of 150 square feet.
[b] 
Projecting vertical or marquee signs perpendicular to the face of the building shall not project more than six feet from the face of the building and shall not exceed the height of the building parapet.
(e) 
Primary retail center entry signs.
[1] 
Type and number of signs permitted. Primary retail center entry sign locations shall be defined as part of the master sign program for the regional shopping center. No specific limit is placed on the number of signs.
[2] 
Size: maximum of 150 square feet of total text area per primary retail center Entry, as follows:
[a] 
Center identification and/or logo: up to 150 square feet.
[b] 
Secondary and tenant ID signs: up to 30 square feet each (to be considered part of overall maximum of 150 square feet).
[3] 
Overall height: no maximum height.
[4] 
Letter height: no maximum height.
[5] 
Logo height: no maximum height.
[6] 
Location: to be located at major pedestrian entrances into the interior of the center, not including entrances through a tenant space. Exact locations shall be determined as part of the master sign program for the center.
[7] 
Illumination: may be internally or externally illuminated or backlit.
(f) 
Secondary retail center entry signs.
[1] 
Type and number of signs permitted. Secondary retail center entry sign locations shall be designated in the master sign program prepared for the center. No specific limit is placed on the number of signs.
[2] 
Size: 50 square feet maximum per secondary entry.
[3] 
Overall height: no maximum height.
[4] 
Letter height: no maximum height.
[5] 
Logo height: no maximum height.
[6] 
Location: to be located at secondary pedestrian entrances into the interior of the mall, exact locations to be determined by the Architectural Historic Review Board at the time of architectural/design approval.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[7] 
Illumination: may be internally or externally illuminated or backlit.
(g) 
Directional and informational signs at major regional shopping centers.
[1] 
Type and number of signs permitted. Allow use of pole-mounted (directional) street signs, vehicular directional signs, pedestrian directories with ad panels, building-mounted directional/informational signs and decorative semipermanent banners/flags. Banners or flags used as directional signs shall not be subject to regulations affecting temporary advertising signs.
[2] 
Size. Sign sizes to be limited as follows:
[a] 
Pole-mounted (directional) street signs:
[i] 
Maximum sign area: two square feet per sign panel, each side, multiple panels permitted.
[ii] 
Maximum overall height: 14 feet.
[b] 
Vehicular directional signs:
[i] 
Maximum sign area: six square feet per panel, with multiple panels permitted.
[ii] 
Maximum overall height: 11 feet.
[c] 
Pedestrian directories with ad panels (up to four faces):
[i] 
Maximum sign area: 26 square feet, per face.
[ii] 
Maximum overall height: nine feet.
[d] 
Building-mounted directional/informational signs:
[i] 
Maximum sign area: eight square feet.
[ii] 
Maximum overall height: 12 feet.
[e] 
Banners/flags:
[i] 
Maximum banner size: 10 square feet.
[ii] 
Maximum overall height: 20 feet.
[3] 
Sign heights to be limited as follows:
[a] 
Monument signs: maximum of four feet.
[b] 
Street/directional signs: maximum of eight feet.
[c] 
Banners/flags: maximum of 20 feet.
[4] 
Letter/logo height: no maximum.
[5] 
Location: Locations to be approved by the Architectural Historic Review Board as part of the master sign program for the center. Directional signs may be located on private property only.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
[6] 
Illumination: Pole-mounted (directional) street signs, vehicular directional signs, building-mounted directional/informational signs and banners/flags, may incorporate decorative or safety lighting, but may not be internally lit. Pedestrian directories are permitted to be internally illuminated.
[7] 
Materials/maintenance: Materials and construction used in directional/decorative signs shall be capable of sustaining an attractive appearance throughout the projected lifetime of the sign, materials/construction specifications to be approved as part of the master sign program for the center.
H. 
Gasoline service station signs.
(1) 
Freestanding signs.
(a) 
A maximum of one monument sign or low profile monument sign is permitted.
(b) 
The maximum sign area of a monument sign, including the sign frame, shall not exceed 80 square feet, inclusive of the gasoline service station price sign. Such sign shall not be separated from the gasoline price sign, but shall appear as a single integrated sign.
(c) 
A monument sign shall not exceed a height of 15 feet measured to the topmost portion of the sign, and the monument sign shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from any property line.
(d) 
Low-profile monument signs are lower in height and are permitted to be located closer to a lot line. The maximum sign area of a low-profile sign, including the frame, shall not exceed 50 square feet, inclusive of gasoline service station price sign.
(e) 
A low-profile monument sign shall not exceed six feet in height and shall be set back a minimum of five feet from any property line.
(2) 
Gasoline service station canopy signs.
(a) 
A gasoline service station with a canopy shall be permitted two canopy signs in total.
(b) 
The canopy sign or signs shall collectively not exceed 16 square feet in area.
(c) 
The canopy sign shall be a flat sign permanently affixed to the vertical face of the canopy and shall not project above or below or from any side of the vertical face of the canopy.
(d) 
The canopy sign may be illuminated by internal and nonintermittent light sources.
(e) 
A business logo, inclusive of striping or other symbols, may appear on this canopy sign as part of the allowable sign area. Any striped area of the canopy shall be counted towards the permissible area of the sign.
(3) 
Pump signs.
(a) 
Signs shall be allowed on gasoline pumps so as to provide the required information to the public regarding "octane rating," "price," type of fuel," "federal and state stamps," "pump use directions," and "no smoking."
(b) 
The trade name and any associated symbols shall be permitted on the sides of the pumps as flat signs located no more than three feet above the ground and not to exceed one square foot in sign area per pump.
(c) 
"Self-service," "full-service" or other information signs may identify each pump island on the gasoline service station property. The location of such signs shall be limited to the gasoline pump or the canopy support located at each end of the pump island or between the canopy supports as a spandrel panel. A maximum of two such signs shall be allowed per pump island, and each sign shall not exceed two square feet in sign area when placed on the gasoline pump or when located at each end of the pump island or between the canopy supports as a spandrel panel.
(4) 
Gasoline service station price signs. Gasoline service station price information may be incorporated into a monument sign or low-profile monument sign, provided that the total area of the price sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in area.
(5) 
Identification signs.
(a) 
One wall-mounted identification sign, with the copy limited to a company name and/or corporate logo, is permitted on a gasoline service station.
(b) 
The sign area of the wall-mounted identification sign shall be 10% of the building frontage up to a maximum of 32 square feet.
I. 
Automotive new car dealerships and distributorships.
(1) 
Monument signs.
(a) 
A maximum of one monument sign is permitted at each road frontage where there is vehicular access. The Architectural Historic Review Board may allow additional signs for separate franchises.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(b) 
The maximum total sign area shall be 100 square feet.
(c) 
The maximum sign height shall be 20 feet, and the minimum setback shall be 25 feet from the designated street line.
(d) 
The sign(s) may identify only the name and address of the dealer/distributorship and the name of the franchises represented.
(e) 
Temporary signs attached to the freestanding sign(s) shall not be permitted.
(2) 
Signs attached to a building.
(a) 
One wall, hanging, projecting or other sign attached to a building is permitted for each building frontage or building wall facing a road where there is vehicular access. The Architectural Historic Review Board may allow additional signs for separate franchises. Such sign(s) shall identify only the name of the business and the name of the franchises represented. The Architectural Historic Review Board may permit, where it deems necessary, convenience signs that convey helpful information to the public.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(b) 
The maximum total wall sign area shall be 100 square feet for the first 10,000 square feet of gross building area. An additional square foot of sign area may be allowed for every 300 square feet of gross building area over 10,000 square feet.

§ 243-12 Nonconforming signs.

[Amended 8-21-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
A. 
Intent. This chapter is intended to encourage the eventual elimination of signs which do not comply with this chapter. The elimination of nonconforming signs is important to the purpose stated in § 243-2. However, it is also the intent of this chapter to avoid unreasonable invasion of property rights while accomplishing removal of nonconforming signs.
B. 
Amortization. A sign not complying with this chapter, but in place legally on or before the effective date of this chapter, shall be removed, or brought into compliance with this chapter, by November 14, 2016. Signs that were not placed pursuant to a legally issued sign permit represent a continuing violation and shall be removed immediately. Nonsubstantial ancillary signs such as posters, announcements, banners, bills, placards, product endorsements, and signboards shall not be amortized and, if in violation of this chapter must be removed.
C. 
Continuance. A nonconforming sign may be continued during the amortization period if it is maintained in good condition. It shall not, however, be replaced by another nonconforming sign. Change in copy, design, colors or materials constitute a nonpermitted replacement. It may not be structurally altered so as to prolong the life of the sign. It may not be reestablished after damage or destruction if the Building Inspector determines that the estimated cost of reconstruction exceeds 50% of the estimated replacement cost.
D. 
Nuisance. An unsafe or abandoned sign, including pylon, pole, frame or brackets, is declared a public nuisance, which shall be abated by the owner within 30 days of receiving notice from the Building Inspector.
E. 
Removal by Town of Clarkstown.
(1) 
If the owner fails to remove, or cause to be removed, such nuisance as described in § 243-12D within 30 days after written notice, the Town Board may hold a public hearing. The public hearing shall be held upon notice posted conspicuously on the affected property and forwarded to the last known address of the property owner, as it appears on the current tax records of the Town, by certified mail, return receipt requested. Posting and service of such notice shall not be less than 15 days prior to the date of such hearing.
(2) 
The Town Board, after a public hearing as provided in Subsection E(1) may cause any unsafe or abandoned sign, sign structure, pylon or pole to be removed from any property within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown upon failure of such owner, tenant or occupant to comply with any order of the Town Board. Said removal may be performed by the Superintendent of Highways or other designee, including a private contractor. The Town Board shall ascertain the cost of the proceeding and the costs of removal, and such costs shall be charged and assessed against the owner of the property. The expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it has been levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
(3) 
The removal of any nuisance or hazard by the Town of Clarkstown or its agents shall not operate to excuse such owner, tenant or occupant from properly maintaining any premises as required by this chapter, and such owner, tenant or occupant shall, notwithstanding such action, be subject to any penalties for herein.

§ 243-13 Administration and enforcement; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Administration. This chapter shall be administered by the Building Inspector of the Town of Clarkstown, who shall be responsible for the inspection, investigation and pursuit of compliance through enforcement of all the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
The Building Inspector, his subordinates and Town officials with code enforcement authority shall enforce all provisions of this chapter and are empowered to cause any sign, place or premises to be inspected and to order in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist in violation of any provision of this chapter.
(2) 
All written notices issued shall be by first class mail and shall be posted on the premises in full view, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of an owner, tenant, lessee or other cited person or business entity.
(3) 
For the purposes of any prosecution pursuant to § 243-13, it shall be presumed that the owner, tenant, lessee, agent, property manager, sign company, contractor or any other person involved with the building where a violation of this chapter has been committed or exists is subject to penalties in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Penalties. In addition to any other penalties or remedies prescribed herein or otherwise available to the Town of Clarkstown, any person, corporation, firm or other entity that shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $2,500 or imprisonment up to 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such.

§ 243-14 Variances and appeals.

A. 
Variance. Upon referral from the Building Inspector or the Architectural Historic Review Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the authority to vary the requirements and standards of Chapter 243.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
(1) 
In approving a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall set forth written findings or reasons as to how such variance will promote the intent and purpose of this chapter and how such variance will not be injurious to the neighborhood and otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
(2) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may attach conditions to a granted variance in order to make such variance more in harmony with the intent and purpose of this chapter.
(3) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may deny an application upon the submittal of incomplete information.
(4) 
Any variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals which is not exercised by obtaining a corresponding sign permit within one year from the effective date of the variance shall be null and void.
B. 
Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have the authority to hear and decide upon any appeal where an applicant is aggrieved by the determination of the Architectural Historic Review Board or where it is alleged that there is an error in the order, requirement, decision or determination of the Architectural Historic Review Board or the Building Inspector. All appeals shall be made within 30 days from the date of the order, requirement, decision or determination of the Architectural Historic Review Board or the Building Inspector.
[Amended 6-28-2016 by L.L. No. 8-2016]
C. 
Administration of variances and appeals.
(1) 
Application. All applications for a variance or an appeal shall be submitted in writing in a form prescribed by the Zoning Board of Appeals and shall be accompanied by a filing fee, as set by the Zoning Board of Appeals from time to time, to cover the cost of processing such variance or appeal application.
(2) 
Public hearing. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for the holding of a public hearing for any application for a variance or an appeal and shall give public notice thereof in the official paper of notice of such hearing at least 10 days prior to the date thereof.
(3) 
Public notice. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall, at least 10 days before such public hearing, mail notices thereof or cause such notices to be mailed by the applicant to owners of real property within such areas as the Town Board may prescribe. The expense of publishing and mailing any notice required by this section shall be paid for by the appellant.
(4) 
Referrals. The Zoning Board of Appeals may refer any application for a variance or an appeal to any department, agency, board, consultant or official it deems appropriate for review and comment.

§ 243-15 Severability.

The phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and subsections of this chapter are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, or subsection of this chapter shall be declared unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful by the valid judgment, decree, injunction or order of a court of competent jurisdiction, such ruling shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and subsections of this chapter.

§ 243-16 Substitution of noncommercial messages.

Any sign that can be displayed under the provisions of this chapter may contain a noncommercial message.