Town of Clifton Park, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clifton Park 12-28-1989 by L.L. No. 27-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land  See Ch. 179.
Zoning  See Ch. 208.
171a Key to Sign Charts 171b Chart I 171c Chart II 171d Chart III

§ 171-1 Purpose; intent.

[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed on-premises advertising signs and signs of all types within the Town of Clifton Park. This chapter is intended 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 and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community. It is further intended to reduce distractions and obstructions that may adversely affect traffic safety, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more visual open space and to maintain the generally high level of the community's appearance and attractiveness.
B. 
This chapter is intended to promote attractive signs which clearly present the visual message in a manner that is compatible with their surroundings and to ensure that signs aid orientation and adequately identify uses and activities to the public. The appearance, character and quality of a community are affected by the location, size, construction and graphic design of its signs. Therefore, such signs should convey their messages clearly and simply to be compatible with their surroundings.

§ 171-2 Title.

This chapter shall hereinafter be known and cited as the "Town of Clifton Park Sign Law."

§ 171-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED SIGN
A sign which for a period of 60 consecutive days has not correctly directed or exhorted any person or advertised a bona fide business, lessor, owner or activity conducted on the premises where such sign is displayed.
ADVERTISING SIGN
That copy on a sign describing products or services being offered to the public.
A-FRAME SIGN
A specific type of mobile sign which is typically constructed or shaped in the form of the letter "A" and which exceeds eight square feet per face.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
ANIMATED SIGN
Any sign which includes action or motion or whose copy is changeable by other than direct manual intervention.
[Added 3-14-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
AREA OF SIGN
The area within a single continuous perimeter composed of rectangle, circle and triangle shapes, including any frame, which forms any integral part of the display, but excluding the necessary supports or uprights on which the sign may be placed and which enclose the extreme limits of the message, announcement or decoration of the facia, wall or freestanding sign.
AWNING
A roof-like exterior covering consisting of any pliable material attached to a frame.
AWNING SIGN
That copy on an awning.
BANNER
A temporary sign composed of lightweight material, either enclosed or not enclosed in a rigid frame, screened or mounted so as to allow movement of the sign caused by movement of the atmosphere.
BILLBOARD
Any off-premises sign.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
BUILDING DEPARTMENT
The Town of Clifton Park Department of Building and Development.
CANOPY and/or MARQUEE
A roof-like exterior cover sheltering an area or forming a sheltered walk to the entrance of a building.
CHANGEABLE COPY (AUTOMATIC)
A sign such as an electronically or electrically controlled public service time, temperature and date sign, message center or reader board, where different copy changes other than by a direct manual intervention.
CHANGEABLE COPY (MANUAL)
A sign on which copy is changed manually in the field, including reader boards with manually changeable letters or changeable pictorial panels.
COMMERCIAL USE
Any business whose primary purpose is retail or wholesale trade, or any service.
COMPLEX
Any building or buildings, structure or structures or premises used by three or more enterprises for any purpose other than a one- or two-family dwelling.
COMPLEX IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A sign identifying a complex but which does not include identification of any individual business or activity within the complex.
CONSTRUCTION SIGN
A temporary sign erected on the premises on which construction is taking place, during the period of such construction, indicating the names of the architects, engineers, landscape architects, contractors and similar persons or firms having a role or interest with respect to the structure or project.
COPY
The logo, graphics, text, pictures or artwork contained in a sign.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
Any sign commonly associated with and limited to information and directions necessary and convenient for persons coming onto the property, including signs marking entrances, parking areas, one-way drives, rest rooms, pickup and delivery areas and the like.
DIRECTOR
The Director of Building and Zoning.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
DIRECTORY SIGN
Any sign containing a list of the names of business enterprises located within a building or office or industrial complex.
DOUBLE-FACED SIGN
Any two-faced sign utilizing both faces or surfaces for display purposes.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
ERECT
To build, construct, alter, display, relocate, attach, hand, place, suspend, affix or maintain any sign and shall also include the painting of exterior wall signs and freestanding signs.
FARM STAND
A facility from which agricultural or nursery products grown solely on the premises where the facility is located are offered for retail sale.
FREESTANDING SIGN
Any self-supported sign not affixed to a building but in a fixed location.
FRONTAGE
The total length of a parcel's property which bounds or abuts a public highway right-of-way.
FRONT YARD
Any open, unoccupied space on the same lot with the building or structure, extending the full width of the lot and situated between the street line (front property line) and the front lines of the building or structure.
GOVERNMENTAL SIGN
A sign erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function or required by any law or ordinance or governmental regulation.
GRAND OPENING SIGN
A temporary sign to announce the opening of a completely new enterprise or the opening of an enterprise under new management.
GROUND LEVEL
The average ground elevation, within 25 feet, measured horizontally of the sign base.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
HEIGHT
The vertical distance between the ground level under a sign and the highest point of the sign structure, including the sign.
HOUSE OF WORSHIP
Any structure in which any recognized religion which has a tax exempt status meets to practice its religion.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A sign which is limited to the name, address and/or number of a building, institution, complex or person.
ILLEGAL SIGN
Any sign for which a valid Town of Clifton Park sign permit has not been obtained and which is not otherwise exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign which emanates light, either by means of exposed tubing or lamps or other electric means on its surface or by means of illumination transmitted through the sign surface, or which reflects lights from a source intentionally directed upon it.
INFLATABLE SIGNS
Any temporary sign painted on balloons or figures.
INTERIOR PROPERTY LINE
Property lines other than those abutting on a street, road or highway.
LOGO
A symbol, graphic, trademark or emblem commonly associated with or representing a specific entity, product, concept or enterprise.
LOT
Any parcel of real property recorded in deed form filed in the Saratoga County Clerk's office.
MESSAGE
Wording or copy on a sign.
MOBILE SIGN
A temporary sign designed or constructed in such a manner that it can be moved or relocated without involving any structural or support changes.
NAMEPLATE
A wall sign identifying the tenants or occupants of a building, placed at the entrance to the tenant's place of business, not exceeding one square foot (144 square inches) in area per tenant.
NONCONFORMING
Any sign which was lawfully erected and maintained prior to the effective date of this chapter.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
OFF-PREMISES SIGN
Any sign advertising or calling attention to any business or activity not located on the same parcel of real estate as the sign or any sign advertising or calling attention to any commodity or service not sold or offered upon the same parcel of real estate as the sign.
OWNER
A person recorded as such on an official record of the Saratoga County Clerk, and including but not limited to a duly authorized agent, purchaser, devisee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in the property in question.
PARCEL
A piece of real property which is defined on an approved subdivision map recorded with the Town Assessor or is legally defined on a survey map certified by a licensed land surveyor or engineer.
PERMANENT SIGN
Any sign permitted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
PERMIT STICKER
A sticker affixed either to the face or the channel of a sign, visible from the ground, denoting that the sign to which it is affixed has been authorized by Town officials pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
PLANNING BOARD
The Town of Clifton Park Planning Board.
PLANNING DEPARTMENT
The Town of Clifton Park Planning Department.
POLITICAL SIGN
A temporary sign announcing or supporting political candidates or issues connected with any national, state or local election.
PRIMARY COMPLEX IDENTIFICATION SIGN
Complex identification sign located on a parcel's primary frontage.
PRIMARY FRONTAGE or SECONDARY FRONTAGE
Where a parcel has more than one public highway right-of-way abutting it, one frontage shall be designated by the applicant as the "primary frontage" of the parcel, the other frontage(s) for said parcel shall be known as the "secondary frontage(s)." Where frontage along the highway is discontinuous, one continuous segment of the frontage shall be designated as the "primary frontage"; the remaining segments shall be known as "secondary frontages."
PRIVATE SALE SIGN
An on-premise temporary sign advertising the sale of personal property at house sales, garage sales, rummage sales and the like.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign that is wholly or partly dependent upon a building for support and which does not meet the definition of a wall sign.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
PUBLIC SERVICE INFORMATION SIGN
Any sign intended primarily to promote items of general interest to the community, such as time, temperature and date, atmospheric conditions, news or traffic control, etc.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A temporary sign pertaining to the sale or lease of the premises or a portion of the premises on which the sign is located, excluding, however, "sold by" signs.
REPRESENTATIONAL SIGN
A three-dimensional sign built so as to physically represent the object advertised.
ROOF
Any building surface whose slope is less than two vertical to one horizontal.
ROOFLINE
The top edge of the roof or top of the parapet, whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette.
ROOF SIGN
Any sign erected upon, against or directly above a roof or on top of or above the parapet of a building.
[Added 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
ROTATING SIGN
Any sign or portion of a sign which moves in a revolving or similar manner, including multiprism indexing signs.
SECONDARY COMPLEX IDENTIFICATION SIGN
Complex identification sign located on a parcel's secondary frontage(s).
SIGN
Any on-premises identification, description, illustration or device, illuminated or nonilluminated, which is visible from any public place or is located on private property and exposed to the public and which draws attention to a product, service, place, activity, person, institution, business or solicitation, including any permanently installed or situated merchandise, or any logo, painting, banner, vehicle, pennant, flag, placard or temporary sign intended to advertise, identify or convey information, with the exception of window displays and governmental. Signs shall also include all sign structures.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
SIGN DIRECTORY
A listing of two or more business enterprises.
SIGN STRUCTURE
The supports, uprights, bracing and framework for the sign. In the case of a sign structure consisting of two or more sides where the angle formed between any two of the sides or the projections are greater than 45º, each side shall be considered a separate sign structure.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
SINGLE-TENANT SITE
Any building or buildings, structure or structures located on a single parcel and used by one enterprise.
SOFFIT SIGN
A sign affixed to the underside of a roof overhang adjacent to a store or other commercial premises.
STORE FRONT
In a complex, the linear distance of that wall which has the primary access to the exterior. In any structure other than a complex, the linear distance of the building facing a street or right-of-way and which contains the main entrance to the building.
STREET
A public highway, road or thoroughfare which affords the principal means of access to adjacent lots, measured from property line to property line.
STREET NUMBER PLATE
A nonelectronic sign identifying the number and/or name of the street where a a specific building is located.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter for a specific period stated in the permit.
TOWN
The Town of Clifton Park.
TOWN BOARD
The Town of Clifton Park Town Board.
WALL
Any building surface whose slope is two vertical to one horizontal or steeper.
WALL SIGN
A sign fastened to or painted on the wall of a building or structure in such a manner that the wall becomes the supporting structure for, or forms the background surface of, the sign and in which the face of the sign is no more than 15 inches from such building or structure.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
WINDOW SIGN
A sign which is applied or attached to the interior of a window or located within three feet of the interior of the window and which can be seen from the exterior of the structure.

§ 171-4 Prohibitions; application; exemptions.

All signs within the Town shall be governed by the sign limitations set forth herein:
A. 
Prohibition.
(1) 
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, move or convert any sign in the town, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a sign permit for each such sign. These directives shall not be construed to require any permit for a change of copy of any sign, provided that that person, place, establishment, business or service identified remains the same and a new photograph is placed on file with the Building Department, nor for the repainting, cleaning and the normal maintenance or repair of a sign or sign structure for which a permit has previously been issued under this chapter, so long as the sign or sign structure is not otherwise modified in any way.
(2) 
Design, size, construction and placement of a sign shall not deviate from plans approved for issuance of a sign permit.
B. 
Sign permit application.
(1) 
Application procedure. Applications shall be made in writing to the Director on forms prescribed and provided by the Town and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of:
[1] 
The applicant.
[2] 
The owner of the property.
(b) 
The location of the building, structure or land upon which the sign exists or is to be erected.
(c) 
If a new sign is to be erected, elevation and plan drawings to scale must be submitted as a part of the application. In addition, a full description of the placement and appearance of the proposed sign must be included with the following information:
[1] 
Location on the premises and, specifically, its position in relation to adjacent buildings, structures and property lines.
[2] 
The method of illumination, if any, and the position of lighting or other devices and a copy of the electrical permit related to the electrical connections for or to the sign.
[3] 
Graphic design, including symbols, letters, materials and colors.
[4] 
The visual message, text, copy or content of the sign.
[5] 
The sign plans shall also include which sign chart, I, II or III,[1] the applicant utilized to determine permissible sign size and provide written calculations showing how the sign size determination was made.
[1]
Editor's Note: The sign charts are included at the end of this chapter.
[6] 
Two plot plans of the parcel on which the sign is to be placed shall also be submitted, delineating property lines, street lines, center lines of all adjacent streets, the distance of the street center lines to the property lines, building locations and dimensions, parking areas, location and dimensions of all other signs on the parcel, exact location of the proposed sign, including dimensions of setbacks from property lines, and any obstructions in relation to the designated location of the proposed sign. Where a parcel has more than one frontage, the primary frontage shall be designated on the plan.
[7] 
Plans shall bear the signature of the owner, applicant or the person responsible for design of the sign. Where deemed necessary by the Director of Building and Development the plans shall include a statement from a licensed engineer that the proposed sign as shown on the plan is structurally sound and will withstand wind loads as prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Subsection B(1)(d), which immediately followed this subsection and which dealt with written notarized consent.
(2) 
The application shall be made to the Building Department on forms prescribed and provided by the Building Department. The applicant shall pay the required fee in accordance with the fee schedule then in effect at the time of issuance of the permit.
C. 
Sign permit. Within 10 business days after receipt by the Building Department of a complete application, a sign permit shall be issued, provided that the proposed sign meets all requirements of this chapter. The issuance of a permit shall not excuse the applicant from conforming to other applicable laws and ordinances of the town.
D. 
Sign placement. If a sign authorized by a permit is not completed and in place within three months from the date of the permit issues, said permit shall become null and void, except that the Building Department may grant one extension for a period not to exceed three months upon request therefor prior to expiration of the initial three-month period.
E. 
Sign photograph and certification. After the issuance of any permit for a sign under this chapter and within 10 days after the installation of such sign, the applicant shall submit a three-and-one-half-inch by four-and-one-fourth-inch (standard Polaroid snapshot) photograph of the sign as completely installed, which shall be filed with the original application, along with written certification from the owner, applicant or designer whose name appears on the approved plans that the sign has been constructed according to the approved plans. For all electrified signs which involve new electrical work not previously inspected, the applicant shall also submit, within 10 days after the installation of such sign, from a certified electrical inspector approved by the town, a certificate of approval of all new electrical work undertaken to make electrical connectors to the Underwriters' Laboratories approved and labeled sign (or an equivalent laboratory approved by the Town Board).
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
F. 
Sign sticker. All signs authorized under this chapter shall bear the assigned permit sticker, which is to be provided by the Building Department, prominently and permanently affixed by the applicant in an area readily visible from the ground. Failure to so affix the permit sticker shall constitute cause for revocation of the permit by the Building Department, in addition to any other penalties or remedies prescribed herein.
G. 
Exempt signs. The following types of signs may be erected and maintained without permits or fees, provided that such signs comply with the general requirements of this chapter and other conditions specifically imposed by the regulations:
(1) 
Historical site markers or tablets; memorial signs or plaques; names of buildings and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze, stainless steel or similar material; and emblems installed by governmental agencies, religious or nonprofit organizations, none of which exceed six square feet in area.
(2) 
Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion.
(3) 
On-premises directional signs for the convenience of the general public, identifying public parking areas, fire zones, entrances and exits and similar signs, internally illuminated or nonilluminated, not exceeding two square feet per face and six feet in height. Business and personal names shall not be allowed on the directional signs unless required for safety reasons and then not to exceed 25% of the total square footage of the sign.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(4) 
Nonilluminated warning or private drive signs, not exceeding one square foot per face.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(5) 
Number and name plates identifying either residents in residential zones, mounted on a house, apartment or mailbox, or a business in a business zone, mounted on a wall adjacent to a public entrance, not exceeding one square foot in area.
(6) 
Lawn signs identifying a residence, not exceeding one square foot or two square feet if doubled-faced. Such signs are to be nonilluminated except by a light which is an integral part of a lamppost if used as a support, with no advertising message thereon.
(7) 
Private sale signs for garage sales and auctions, not exceeding four square feet for a period not exceeding five days.
(8) 
Temporary nonilluminated "for sale" or "for rent" real estate signs and signs of a similar nature concerning the premises upon which the sign is located. In a residential zoning district, the sign shall not exceed four square feet. (In a business or industrial zoning district, the sign shall not exceed 16 square feet set back at least 15 feet from all property lines and a permit is required.) All such signs shall be removed within three days after the closing on the sale, lease or rental of the premises.
(9) 
One temporary sign for a roadside stand selling agricultural produce grown on the premises in season, provided that such sign does not exceed 16 square feet and is set back at least 10 feet from the public right-of-way.
(10) 
Temporary, nonilluminated window signs and posters not exceeding 50% of the window surface which shall be displayed for no longer than 14 days. Fifty percent of each window shall be clear of signage at all times.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(11) 
At gasoline stations:
(a) 
Integral graphics or attached price signs on gasoline pumps limited to one square foot per pump.
(b) 
Two self-service identification signs which do not exceed two square feet each per self-service fuel pump island.
(c) 
Two full-service identification signs which do not exceed two square feet per full-service fuel pump island.
(d) 
Fuel price signs required by federal, state or local legislation upon filing a copy of such legislation with the Building Department.
(12) 
Any New York State inspection station identification sign which is at a height not exceeding 10 feet and is located on an exterior or interior wall of a motor vehicle service station.
(13) 
Any New York State authorized repair shop identification sign which is at a height which does not exceed 10 feet and is located on an exterior or interior wall of a motor vehicle service station.
(14) 
Temporary (not to exceed seven days) directional signs for meetings, conventions and other assemblies not exceeding two square feet.
(15) 
Political signs, not exceeding four square feet in the residential districts nor 16 square feet in the business districts, provided that:
(a) 
No signs shall be placed prior to September 1 and must be removed within five days after the general election; provided, however, that with respect to special elections and/or referendums, such signs may not be placed more than 30 days prior to the date thereof and must be removed within five days thereafter.
(b) 
The names and addresses of the sponsor and the person responsible for removal are identified in writing in advance to the Building Department.
(16) 
Posted no hunting, fishing or trapping or trespassing signs not to exceed one square foot.
(17) 
Governmental signs as defined hereinabove.
(18) 
Utility line identification and location signs.
(19) 
Phone identification signs.
(20) 
Rest room identification signs.
(21) 
Handicapped parking and access signs.
(22) 
Open/closed business signs which do not exceed two square feet, provided that the sign does not include any business or personal names.
(23) 
Street identification, traffic and governmental signs and control devices required by law, ordinance or regulation.
(24) 
Signs and markers in cemeteries designating graves and memorials.
H. 
Specific prohibitions.
(1) 
No off-premises signs shall be allowed other than as permitted under the exempt signs provision above and as permitted in the Off-premises Sign Overlay Zone.[3]
[Amended 2-25-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
[3]
Editor's Note: See § 171-6C(5).
(2) 
[4]No sign shall impair or cause confusion of vehicular or pedestrian traffic in its design, color or placement. No sign shall impair visibility for the motorist at a street corner, intersection, driveway or commercial curb cut by placement and location within 25 feet of the intersection of the street or highway edge lines.
[4]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection H(2), regarding flashing signs, was repealed 3-14-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011. This local law also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection H(3) and (4) as Subsection H(2) and (3), respectively.
(3) 
Any sign not otherwise permitted in this chapter and any sign specifically described below is prohibited. Signs specifically prohibited are as follows:
(a) 
Roof signs.
(b) 
Rotating signs.
(c) 
Projecting signs.
(d) 
Animated signs, except public service information.
(e) 
A-frames in excess of eight square feet.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992; 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
(f) 
Billboards, except as permitted in the Off-premises Sign Overlay Zone.[5]
[Amended 1-7-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
[5]
Editor's Note: See § 171-6C(5).
(g) 
Pennants.
(h) 
Mobile signs.
(i) 
Illuminated window signs, except for exposed neon which is allowed only in commercial areas as defined herein, and not to exceed 25% of the area of the window.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(j) 
Any sign or part thereof on a vehicle parked on a public right-of-way or public property or on private property so as to be intended to be viewed from motorized vehicular public right-of-way, which has for its basic purpose the providing of advertisement of products or directing people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property or any other premises. This subsection is not intended to prohibit any form of vehicular signage, such as a sign attached to a bus or lettered on a motor vehicle or signs that are part of such vehicle as a construction trailer, whose primary purpose is not advertising to the public right-of-way.
(k) 
Any sign other than an exempt sign placed on any curb, sidewalk, hydrant, utility pole or tree.
(l) 
Any sign erected or maintained which might be confused with any traffic control device or which might interfere with the vision or discernment of any traffic sign or which might cause danger to public travel.
(m) 
No sign in a residential zone shall be illuminated between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. unless the premises on which it is located is open for business.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992; 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
(n) 
Animated signs are prohibited except in the following specific zones and areas of zoning districts:
[Added 3-14-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
[1] 
B-3 Zone east of the Northway at Exit 10.
[2] 
B-5 Zone north of Kinns Road on Route 9.
[3] 
B-4A Zone east of the Northway and along Route 9.
[4] 
Southern section of the B-4 Zone in the Exit 9 area. This exception does not include the portion of Clifton Park Center Road between Sitterly Road and Clifton Country Road, or areas within 100 feet of Sitterly Road.
[5] 
Within B-3 Zones for gas stations for fuel pricing signs only.
[6] 
L-2 Zone east of the Northway along Route 9 in the northeast part of Town.
[Added 9-6-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
[7] 
B-3 Zone south of Kinns Road along Route 9.
[Added 9-6-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
I. 
Illegal signs. The following signs are deemed illegal signs and are in violation of this chapter:
(1) 
Abandoned signs. (If the sign conforms to this chapter, the Director may grant a six-month extension to allow reuse of the property.)
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(2) 
Any sign other than exempt signs erected for which no building or sign permit was issued by the Town or which does not have a sign permit number displayed or which has had its permit revoked.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(3) 
Any sign not properly maintained in the opinion of the Director, such as, but not limited to, signs that are structurally unsound or are hazardous or unsafe.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection I(4), which immediately followed this subsection and which dealt with unregistered signs, was repealed 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992.
J. 
Nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Subject to the provisions of this chapter, any sign legally in existence one day prior to the date this chapter is enacted shall be considered a nonconforming sign and may be continued and maintained.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(2) 
Any sign existing at the time this chapter is enacted which is altered in any way, form or fashion shall be considered a new sign and shall be required to conform to the requirements contained herein, except that the original owner may be allowed to alter the message of the sign, provided that the person, place, establishment, business and service identified by the sign remains the same, but may not alter its structure or size.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(3) 
Any nonconforming sign which has deteriorated to such an extent that cost of restoration would exceed 35% of the replacement cost shall not be repaired or rebuilt except to conform to the requirements of this chapter.[7]
[7]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection J(4), which immediately followed this subsection and which dealt with a seven-year period for nonconformance, was repealed 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992.
K. 
Removal of signs. 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 upon which such sign is located, shall be removed within five business days of termination of the business aforedescribed.
L. 
No authorized sign may contain noncommercial copy in lieu of any other copy.
[Added 2-25-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]

§ 171-5 Construction standards.

This section provides the specifications and standards for construction of signs.
A. 
All sign fabrication, erection and attachment shall conform to the requirements of the latest edition of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other applicable codes and regulations.
B. 
Lighting fixtures and wiring shall conform to the requirements of the latest edition of the National Electrical Code and other applicable codes and regulations, and all electrified signs shall bear the Underwriters' Laboratories label or approved equal. Further, all new electrical connections with a sign shall be inspected and approved by any certified electrical inspector approved by the town.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
C. 
All transformers, wires and similar items shall be concealed.
D. 
All wiring to freestanding signs shall be underground.
E. 
All signs, sign finishes, supports and electrical work shall be kept in good repair and safe condition, including the replacement of defective parts, painting, repainting, cleaning and other acts required for the maintenance of said sign.

§ 171-6 Specific regulation of sign types.

Below are descriptions of signs varying in construction and type which must comply with the following additional conditions, unless otherwise specified elsewhere in a local law:
A. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
Wall signs shall not extend beyond the ends or over the top of the walls to which attached and shall not extend above the level of the second floor of the building.
(2) 
Wall signs shall not extend outward more than 12 inches from the face of the buildings to which attached, except that changeable copy signs may extend 15 inches.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(3) 
Any part of a sign extending over pedestrian traffic areas shall have a minimum clearance of seven feet six inches.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A(4), which immediately followed this subsection and which dealt with changeable copy signs, was repealed 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992.
B. 
Freestanding signs.
(1) 
No freestanding sign may be located less than 50 feet from any other freestanding sign.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(2) 
If for any reason the property line is changed at some future date, any freestanding sign made nonconforming thereby must be relocated within 90 days to conform to the minimum setback requirements.
(3) 
[2]No freestanding sign shall exceed the height limitations in Charts I, II and III.[3] Such height shall be measured vertically from the established average ground level (not including any berms erected as part of the sited plan improvements) directly below the sign or entry level of the building or structure, whichever is lower, to the highest point of the sign, including supporting structures.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(3), which dealt with the maximum square footage of double-faced signs, was repealed 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992. Said local law also renumbered former Subsection B(4) through (7) as Subsection B(3) through (6).
[3]
Editor's Note: Said charts are included at the end of this chapter.
(4) 
No freestanding sign shall extend over or into the public right-of-way, nor shall it overhang the property lines.
(5) 
Freestanding signs under which a pedestrian walkway or driveway passes must have a ten-foot vertical clearance.
(6) 
Masonry wall-type signs shall not exceed four feet in height and shall not be placed so as to impair visibility for motorists.
C. 
Other signs.
(1) 
Permanent window signs.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992; 12-5-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
(a) 
Changeable copy window signs shall not exceed three square feet.
(2) 
Sign directories.
(a) 
The character and size of the sign matrix and of the individual sign components comprising the directory shall be regulated in accordance with design guidelines provided by this chapter.
(b) 
Sign directories shall contain identification of and direction to several business enterprises, but shall contain no promotional advertising.
(3) 
Inflatable signs.
(a) 
Inflatable signs may be permitted, but only on a temporary, infrequent basis for grand openings or special events as determined by the Director not to exceed 10 days for each event and a maximum of two events per year.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
(b) 
Inflatable signs require a permit, and installation on a building must be inspected and approved by a New York State licensed engineer.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
(4) 
Signs in historic districts. Any request for a permit to erect a sign located within the boundary of or within 100 feet of the boundary of an historic district, as identified in the Clifton Park Master Plan for Development (CPMPD, adopted April 17, 1995) shall require site plan review and approval from the Planning Board.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992; 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
(5) 
The Off-premises Sign Overlay Zone.
[Added 1-7-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
(a) 
An overlay zone is hereby established for signs within a portion of the Town of Clifton Park along Route 9 from the southernmost portion of the Town line as it crosses New York State Route 9 and running north to the southerly end of Meyer Road.
(b) 
Any off-premises/advertising signs located within the Off-premises Sign Overlay Zone shall be subject to the following requirements:
[1] 
All off-premises/advertising signs within this zone shall be limited to a maximum of 100 square feet per face.
[2] 
No off-premises/advertising signs shall exceed 10 feet in height, including support, as measured from the ground below the sign to the uppermost point of the sign or sign structure.
[3] 
Only two billboard faces shall be permitted on any one structure or support.
[4] 
There shall be no artificial illumination permitted either located on or directed toward the off-premises/advertising sign.
[5] 
No off-premises sign structure shall be located nearer than 2,500 feet to another off-premises/advertising sign structure.
[6] 
All off-premises/advertising sign applications shall be allowable only by special use permit within the Off-premises Sign Overlay Zone.
[7] 
Any off-premises/advertising sign constructed and placed shall be subject to all applicable setback requirements, except that no sign shall be placed greater than 100 feet from the property line which borders New York-U.S. Route 9.
(c) 
Amortization of preexisting off-premises/advertising signs.
[1] 
All off-premises/advertising signs existing within the boundaries of the Town of Clifton Park at the time of the adoption of this subsection shall be removed within a period of three years from the date of adoption of this subsection.
[2] 
Any owner of an off-premises/advertising sign subject to removal under this subsection may apply to the Town Board for an extension of up to an additional three years of the period within which the structure must be removed. Such a determination shall be within the discretion of the Town Board. In making such a determination, the Town Board shall consider the owner's initial investment, the term of ownership, the depreciated value of the structure, and any other relevant evidence supplied by the applicant.
(d) 
Additional requirements and provisions.
[1] 
Information for Assessor. Before a building permit is issued for any off-premises/advertising sign, the applicant shall provide to the Assessor of the Town of Clifton Park such information concerning the deed, lease or license as is reasonably required by the Assessor for real property tax purposes. The applicant or owner will have an ongoing duty to report the cost of any material improvements to the site. Such information may be exempt from public disclosure pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(2) or similar provisions of the law.
[2] 
Security requirements. An applicant who has been granted a permit for the placement of an off-premises/advertising sign and the applicant's assigns shall be responsible for continuous maintenance of the off-premises/advertising sign and structure. The applicant and/or owner of all off-premises/advertising signs shall also be responsible for proper and complete removal of all advertising signs and structures in the event that the special use permit granted is terminated or abandoned.
[3] 
The Planning Board shall require the applicant to provide the Town of Clifton Park with adequate security to ensure prompt and continuous compliance with the requirements of the special use permit, such security being in the form of a letter of credit or client fund account, to be held by the Town during the period of time that the off-premises/advertising sign and structure shall be permitted. The amount of such security, in whatever form, shall be equal to the full estimated cost of the placement and removal of the structure and sign. The amount of such security shall be determined by the Planning Board prior to issuance of the special use permit.
[4] 
Severability. If any provision of this chapter or its applications to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, provisions of this chapter are separable.

§ 171-7 Illumination.

All signs permitted within this chapter shall comply with the following requirements:
A. 
Illumination of signs shall be accomplished by means of shielded light sources or in such other manner that no glare shall extend beyond the property lines of the property upon which such signs are located, and no glare shall disturb the vision of passing motorists or constitute a hazard to traffic.
B. 
No flashing, nonconstant or moving light sources shall be permitted or constitute a part of any sign, with the exception of public service information signs. Each public service message shall be allowed to remain for not less than two seconds.
C. 
No illuminated signs shall be permitted in any residential zone.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]

§ 171-8 Design guidelines.

[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
To encourage appropriate and compatible graphic design, material, colors, illumination and placement of proposed signs, the following should be considered:
A. 
Compatibility with the surroundings and appropriateness to the architectural character of the buildings on which they are placed. Sign panels and graphics should relate to and not cover architectural features and should be in proportion to them.
B. 
Appropriateness to the types of activities they represent.
C. 
Orderly layout.
D. 
A limited number of type faces on one sign or group of signs.
E. 
Consistency of colors with the design and use.
F. 
Illumination appropriate to the size of the sign and surroundings.
G. 
Groups of related signs should express and create a sense of harmonious appearance.

§ 171-9 Administration; enforcement. [1]

A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Building Department, which shall have the power to make necessary inspections.
B. 
No sign permit shall be approved by the Building Department except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 171-9, Registration, was repealed 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992. Said local law also renumbered former §§ 171-10 through 171-14 as §§ 171-9 through 171-13.

§ 171-10 Removal; notice.

A. 
If the Director shall determine that any sign regulated in this chapter is not used, is abandoned, unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public, the Director shall give written notice to the named owner of the land upon which it is located, who shall remove or repair the sign within 30 days from the date of the notice. If the sign is not removed or repaired within said time period, the Director may seek authority from the Town Board to revoke the permit issued for such sign and to remove or repair the sign and assess the owner for all costs incurred for such service.
[Amended 10-26-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992]
B. 
The Director may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed immediately and without notice. The cost of such removal shall be assessed to the owner.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]

§ 171-11 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person or persons, associations or corporations committing an offense under this chapter or any section or provision thereof is guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both.
B. 
In the event of a continuing offense of any section or provision of this chapter, each day that such offense shall continue shall be a separate violation and subject to a separate fine, imprisonment or combination thereof.
C. 
Notwithstanding a conviction for an offense against any provisions or sections, any person or persons, association or corporation convicted shall be subject to revocation of any permit therein granted without reimbursement of fees paid therefor.
D. 
In lieu of or in addition to any fine or imprisonment, or both, imposed for a conviction of an offense of this chapter, each such offense may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 to be recovered by an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction. Each day an offense continues shall be subject to separate civil penalty.
E. 
The Town Attorney may maintain an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with this chapter, notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections A, Subsection B and Subsection C of this section, for a penalty or other punishment.

§ 171-12 Variance.

A. 
Intent. The intent of this section is to allow certain provisions of this chapter to be modified where such modification will encourage excellence in the planning and design of signs.
B. 
Application for variance. Any person who wishes to construct or install a sign or signs other than as permitted in this chapter shall make application for a variance sign permit to the Zoning Board of Appeals on forms provided and prescribed by the Building Department.
C. 
Guidelines. The following guidelines shall be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals in determining whether a variance sign permit shall be issued. The proposed sign should:
(1) 
Not be detrimental to other property.
(2) 
Not create a hazard or a nuisance.
(3) 
Not interfere with the use of public lands or highways.
(4) 
Be in harmony with the purposes of this chapter.

§ 171-13 Interpretation; conflict.

In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements, adopted for the promotion of the public health, morals, safety or the general welfare. It is not intended to interfere with, abrogate or annul other rules, regulations or ordinances, provided that whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted regulations, rules or ordinances, the most restrictive or those which impose the highest standards shall govern.