Village of Village of The Branch, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES

Building and zoning administration — See Ch. 31.

Building construction — See Ch. 32.

Zoning — See Ch. 85.

§ 71-1
Application and construction. 

§ 71-2
Definitions. 

§ 71-3
Illumination. 

§ 71-4
Signs restricted. 

§ 71-5
Classification of signs by construction. 

§ 71-6
Classification of signs by use. 

§ 71-7
General regulations. 

§ 71-8
Regulation of signs by district. 

§ 71-9
Special exception signs, Business District. 

§ 71-10
Permit required. 

§ 71-11
Application for permit. 

§ 71-12
Fees. 

§ 71-13
Variances. 

§ 71-14
Districts. 

§ 71-15
Review and appeal. 

§ 71-16
Doorways; windows. 

§ 71-1 Application and construction.

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

§ 71-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:

ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign which is lighted by a self-contained interior light or by lights projected or directed onto the signs.
ILLUMINATION
The lighting or floodlighting outside the confines of a structure by means of electricity or the combustion of gases or liquids, or the lighting of an area, object or structure.
NONILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign other than an illuminated sign.
SIGN
Any device for visual communications, either illuminated or nonilluminated, that is used for the purpose of bringing the subject thereof to the attention of the public, whether displayed from the inside or affixed to the outside of a structure or separately constructed.

§ 71-3 Illumination.

A. 

The area, brilliance, character, color, degree, density, intensity, location and type of illumination shall be the minimum necessary to provide for the security of the property and the safety and welfare of the public.

B. 

All sources of illumination shall be shielded or directed in such a manner that the direct rays therefrom are not cast upon any property other than the lot on which such illumination is situated.

C. 

Illumination shall be steady in nature, not flashing, moving or changing in brilliance, color or intensity.

D. 

The period of time of illumination shall be the minimum necessary to provide for the security of the property and the safety and welfare of the public. Illumination and illuminated signs must be turned off and extinguished at or before 12:00 a.m. of each day, except that such signs as are maintained in connection with a business which is normally open past 12:00 a.m. may continue to be illuminated or lighted until closing time, provided that the lighting intensity is reduced by 50% after 12:00 a.m. and that such sign shall be turned off and extinguished at closing time. All illuminated signs turned off or extinguished as above provided shall remain unlighted and extinguished until the next regular posted opening hour of the business in connection with which such sign is maintained.

§ 71-4 Signs restricted.

No types of signs shall be erected or maintained in the Village of the Branch except as provided in this chapter.

§ 71-5 Classification of signs by construction.

A. 

Canopy. A sign attached to or made a part of a canopy shall be classified as a canopy sign.

(1) 

A canopy sign shall not project horizontally beyond the supporting canopy.

(2) 

The bottom edge of a canopy sign shall be not less than eight feet above the sidewalk or ground elevation.

(3) 

Any light from an illuminated canopy sign shall not be visible to the rear thereof.

B. 

Projecting. A wall sign projecting more than 12 inches from the face of the building to which it is attached shall be classified as a projecting sign and shall be subject to the granting of a special exception by the Board of Trustees.

(1) 

The bottom edge of or any appendage to such sign shall be not less than 10 feet above grade at the sign.

(2) 

No such sign or any part thereof shall project over any property line.

(3) 

Such sign shall not have advertising in a plane parallel to the surface to which it is attached, and such sign shall not have advertising in a plane which makes an angle of less than 60° with the surface to which it is attached.

C. 

Wall. A sign painted on or recessed or affixed in any manner to any wall of a structure shall be classified as a wall sign.

(1) 

No such sign shall project above the parapet or eaves of roof lines, whichever shall be the lowest part of the structure on which it is erected.

(2) 

No such sign or any part thereof shall project more than 12 inches from the wall to which it is affixed.

(3) 

The bottom edge of or any appendage to such sign shall be not less than 10 feet above grade at such sign.

D. 

Freestanding. A sign freestanding on the ground or supported by one or more uprights upon the ground, with or without braces and not attached to a structure, shall be classified as a freestanding sign.

(1) 

No such sign or any part thereof shall project over any property line.

(2) 

Any such sign located closer than 20 feet to a street property line shall have an open space of not less than five feet between the lower edge of such sign and the average grade of the ground at the base of the uprights.

(3) 

No such sign or part thereof shall extend more than 11 feet above the average grade of the surrounding area.

E. 

Window or inside. A sign erected or maintained in the interior of a building, visible from any public or private street or highway, shall be classified as a window or inside sign.

§ 71-6 Classification of signs by use.

A. 

Business. A sign intended to advertise the use of the lot on which it is located for the distribution, production or sale of goods, the performance of services or the name of the proprietor, rentor or lessee of the lot or structure shall be classified as a business sign.

B. 

Construction. A temporary sign used to advertise the erection or alteration of a structure on the lot on which it is displayed shall be classified as a construction sign and shall be removed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

C. 

Directional. A nonilluminated, nonbusiness sign beneficial to public safety or traffic control in connection with a use on the lot on which it is displayed, or beneficial to public convenience and safety in connection with directions to the location of a municipal, religious or noncommercial public facility shall be classified as a directional sign.

D. 

Name. A sign used solely for showing the name and address of the occupant of a single-family residential structure on the lot on which it is displayed shall be classified as a name sign.

E. 

Professional. A sign containing not more than the name, address and profession of the occupant of a structure on the lot on which it is displayed shall be classified as a professional sign.

F. 

Public convenience. A sign used to identify a charitable, hospital, institutional, municipal, nonprofit fraternal or membership, religious or school use of a structure or lot on which it is displayed shall be classified as a public convenience sign.

G. 

Real estate. A nonilluminated temporary sign used to advertise the availability, lease, rental or sale of the lot or structure on which it is displayed shall be classified as a real estate sign. Such sign shall be removed upon completion of the transaction advertised.

H. 

Traffic. A sign erected by a Town, County or state agency and used to inform, control or direct traffic shall be classified as a traffic sign.

§ 71-7 General regulations.

A. 

A sign may be permitted only in connection with a permitted use.

B. 

Signs shall relate solely to the business or profession conducted on the premises and shall advertise only the name of the owner or lessee, the name of the establishment, the type of establishment, goods or services or the trade name of the establishment and the goods manufactured, sold or services rendered, except for traffic and public convenience signs.

C. 

A sign readable from two sides and with parallel faces shall be considered one sign.

D. 

No sign shall be so constructed, erected or located which will obstruct the visibility with respect to the safety of the motorist or pedestrian proceeding along the public way or entering or leaving a lot.

E. 

All illuminated signs shall be illuminated by a steady source and contain no moving or flashing parts. The illumination, if located so as to be confused with traffic signals, shall not be green, red or orange-yellow.

F. 

No signs may be constructed, erected, provided, maintained, altered or moved on a lot on which exists a nonconforming sign.

G. 

With respect to any sign which is restricted to two feet in height, insignia or key letters in a name on such sign may be varied to a height not to exceed four feet, provided the total area of such sign as varied does not exceed the total area otherwise permitted for such sign under the provisions of this chapter.

H. 

A canopy, projecting or wall business sign shall be permitted only on the front face of a structure, except that on a corner lot situated in a business district a second wall business sign facing a side street may be permitted; provided, however, that such second sign faces property situated in a business district in depth at least equal to the depth of the lot upon which such second sign is located, that there is no residential structure located on the opposite side of the side street at a lesser distance from the front street of the lot on which such second sign is located than 1 1/2 times the depth of the lot on which said sign is located, that such second sign shall not exceed two feet in height or a total length greater than 1/2 the length of the building wall to which it is affixed or the permitted length of sign on the building front, whichever is less, and that said second sign shall be of similar design and contain similar wording to the permitted sign on the building front.

I. 

A freestanding business sign shall be located only in a front yard and no closer to side lot lines than the required side yard and shall be limited to one on a lot, unless otherwise specified in § 71-8.

J. 

No signs except directional or traffic signs shall be permitted on public streets or rights-of-way.

K. 

A projecting sign shall not be installed on a lot containing a freestanding sign, and vice versa.

L. 

Nonilluminated, freestanding directional signs may be permitted in any district, provided that such sign or signs shall not exceed two square feet in area, that the number on a lot applicable to a use thereon shall not exceed the number of approved ingresses and egresses thereon, and that the number on a lot applicable to a use not located on the lot upon which said sign is located shall be limited to one such sign.

M. 

Freestanding traffic signs shall be permitted in all districts.

§ 71-8 Regulation of signs by district.

A. 

No sign shall be erected outside of any building or structure in a residence district except the following:

(1) 

Name sign (see § 71-6D).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum area: one square foot.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(2) 

Real estate sign (see § 71-6G).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: two feet x three feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(d) 

Location on developed property: not nearer to an adjacent street, road or highway than the building line of the premises.

(e) 

Location on undeveloped property; not nearer to an adjacent street, road or highway than 25 feet.

(3) 

Window sign. None permitted.

B. 

Signs erected in the Historic District shall be governed by the following restrictions:

(1) 

Freestanding sign (see § 71-5D).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions:

[1] 

Two or fewer tenants or owner-occupants, three feet x three feet.

[2] 

Three or more tenants or owner-occupants, six feet x six feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(2) 

Wall sign (see § 71-5C).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum area: one square foot for each foot of frontage, not to exceed 25 square feet.

(3) 

Real estate sign (see § 71-6G).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: four feet x four feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(4) 

Window sign. None permitted.

C. 

Signs erected in the Restricted Business District shall be governed by the following restrictions:

(1) 

Freestanding signs (see § 71-5D).

(a) 

Number permitted: one outside of every building on the lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: six feet x six feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(2) 

Wall signs (see § 71-5C): none permitted except as in Subsection (3) below.

(3) 

Theater signs (see § 71-5C).

(a) 

Number permitted: one on the front wall of the building in which the theater is located, above the front entrance door, advertising name of theater only.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: 30 square feet.

(c) 

Marquee-type signs advertising material being performed or shown in theater: none outside of theater permitted.

D. 

Signs erected in the Business District shall be governed by the following restrictions:

(1) 

Freestanding sign (see § 71-5D).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: six feet x six feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

(2) 

Wall sign (see § 71-5C).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot, facing the street.

(b) 

Maximum area: two square feet for each foot of frontage.

(3) 

Real estate sign (see § 71-6G).

(a) 

Number permitted: one per lot.

(b) 

Maximum dimensions: four feet x four feet.

(c) 

Maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level: five feet.

§ 71-9 Special exception signs, Business District.

A. 

In the Business District, freestanding, ground or pylon-type signs, with dimensions greater than six feet x six feet feet, advertising only the business conducted upon the premises, may be permitted when authorized by the Board of Trustees as a special exception subject to such regulations and safeguards as the Board of Trustees may deem necessary to protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Village, provided that:

(1) 

Such sign is necessary for proper identification of the business or processes conducted or services rendered on the premises where it is placed.

(2) 

Such sign will not contribute to the devaluation of any property in the area or to the general deterioration of the neighborhood in which it is placed by reason of size, location on the premises or aesthetic appearance.

(3) 

Such sign will not interfere in any way with automotive visibility or create or contribute to the creation of any traffic hazard.

(4) 

Such sign will not obstruct any window, door, fire escape, stairway, ladder or opening intended to provide light, air, ingress or egress from any building.

(5) 

Banners, pennants, streamers and other exterior promotional items of a similar nature shall not be allowed in any part of the Business District.

[Added 7-12-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1988]

B. 

The Board of Trustees shall refer all requests for signs to the Planning Board for its recommendations.

C. 

There shall be paid to the Village Clerk a sum as determined by the Board of Trustees as an application fee in connection with each application for a special exception under this section.

[Amended 3-9-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]

§ 71-10 Permit required.

[Amended 8-9-1977 by L.L. No. 2-1977]

It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, paint, alter, relocate, reconstruct, display or maintain or cause to be erected, constructed, displayed or maintained any illumination or sign, except name, real estate or traffic signs and signs with an area of one square foot or less, without first having obtained a written permit from the Building Inspector of the Village of the Branch.

§ 71-11 Application for permit.

Application for the permit shall be made in writing, in duplicate, upon forms prescribed and provided by the Building Inspector or the Village Clerk, to the Building Inspector, and shall contain the following information:

A. 

Name, address and telephone number of applicant.

B. 

Location of building, structure or land to which or upon which the sign is to be erected.

C. 

A detailed drawing or blueprint showing a description of the construction details of the sign and showing the lettering and/or pictorial matter composing the sign; the position of lighting or other extraneous devices; and a location plan showing the position of the sign on any building or land and its position in relation to nearby buildings or structures and to any private or public street or highway.

D. 

Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which or on which the sign is to be erected, in the event the applicant is not the owner thereof.

E. 

Certification of an electrical inspection by a qualified person or firm.

§ 71-12 Fees.

[Amended 8-9-1977 by L.L. No. 2-1977; 5-8-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
A. 

A fee shall be paid to the Building Inspector or Village Clerk for each sign permit issued, per square foot of sign. Where work for which a permit is required by this chapter is begun prior to obtaining a permit therefor, the fees will be doubled, but the payment of such double fees shall not relieve any person from fully complying with the requirements of this chapter in the execution of the work nor from the penalties prescribed in Chapter 1, General Provisions.

[Amended 3-9-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]

B. 

All sign permits must be renewed during the first January following one year from the date of issuance of the permit. Said permit must be renewed during the month of January of every year thereafter. All signs which are legal nonconforming uses must be registered with the Building Inspector or the Village Clerk during the first January following the adoption of this chapter and must be renewed during the month of January of every year thereafter. The fee for renewal of an existing permit or registration of legal nonconforming uses shall be identical with that of the original issue of a sign permit.

§ 71-13 Variances.

The Board of Zoning Appeals,

Editor's Note: Information concerning the Board of Appeals may be found in Article XVI of Ch. 85, Zoning.
in considering variances from strict conformity with the provisions of this chapter, shall, among other things, consider the intensity, location and type of the proposed illumination and illuminated or nonilluminated signs, and shall, when granting variances, ensure by appropriate conditions that:

A. 

Illumination shall be only that necessary to provide for the security of the property and the safety and welfare of the public while the business is open to the public and that necessary for the security of the property when not open to the public.

B. 

Illuminated or nonilluminated signs shall be only of such location, size and type as are necessary to convey to the traveling public, on adjacent public streets at a normal and unobstructed sight distance on such streets, the message on said signs.

C. 

Illumination and signs shall not be distractive, hazardous or obstructive to the traveling public on the public ways or upon entering or leaving the lot on which such illumination or sign is located.

D. 

Illumination and illuminated signs shall not interfere with the normal enjoyment of residential uses in adjacent residential districts.

§ 71-14 Districts.

All districts referred to in this chapter shall be as controlled and defined under the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of the Branch.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 85, Zoning.

§ 71-15 Review and appeal.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Building Inspector relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals, as provided in the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of the Branch, and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Board of Zoning Appeals.

Editor's Note: Information concerning the Board of Appeals may be found in Article XVI of Ch. 85, Zoning.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals may have the decision reviewed by a special term of the Supreme Court in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

§ 71-16 Doorways; windows.

[Added 3-12-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]

Illumination of the periphery of any doorways or windows shall be prohibited in the Village of the Branch. However, this does not preclude the use of holiday or festival lights commonly known as "Christmas or Hanukkah lights."