The purpose of this article is to permit signs that will not, by reason of their size, location, construction or manner of display, endanger the public safety of individuals, confuse, mislead or obstruct the vision necessary for traffic safety or otherwise endanger public health, safety, morals and general welfare; to permit and regulate signs in such a way as to support and complement the purpose of this chapter; to prevent the proliferation of signs which detract from the appreciation of the landscape; and to preserve and enhance the attractiveness of Dorchester County.
No sign shall be erected until a sign permit and/or building permit has been issued, except for those signs specifically exempted in this article.
No sign shall, by reason of its intensity, color, location or movement, interfere with traffic lights, signals or other controls, obscure the view of a road or in any other manner impair public safety. Flashing or animated signs are prohibited, except those elements of a sign displaying time or temperature.
No sign, other than an official traffic sign, shall be located within the right-of-way of any road.
No sign shall be attached to a utility pole or any other unapproved supporting structure. No sign which requires a sign permit shall be attached to a tree.
These regulations do not apply to a sign on a truck, bus or other vehicle which identifies the product, service or activity for which the vehicle is used and which is incidental to the primary business use of the vehicle for transportation.
No part of a freestanding sign shall be located closer than 10 feet to any lot line.
Wall signs may be located on any wall of a building at any height up to the roof line but may not extend above the roof line.
Signs located inside a building window are not included when determining maximum number or sign area allowed.
Each off-premises sign requiring a sign permit and/or building permit shall be clearly marked with the permit number and the name, address and phone number of the person or firm placing the sign on the premises.
Every application for a sign permit shall be accompanied by plans drawn to scale and shall include the following:
The dimensions of the sign and its supporting structure. When the sign is to be attached to a building the application shall include dimensions of and location on the building wall surface.
The proposed location of the sign in relation to the boundaries of the lot on which it is to be situated.
The wording or design to be carried on the sign.
The manner of illuminating and securing the sign to a building, structure or the ground.
Materials to be used in the construction of the sign.
For all off-premises signs, written permission from the owner(s) of the property where the sign is to be erected.
Any sign associated with an activity on a vacated premises shall be removed from the premises, altered or resurfaced by the owner or lessee within six months from the time such activity ceases so that the sign will not display letters, numerals, symbols, figures, designs or any other device for visual communication pertaining to the former activity.
All signs shall be maintained in good condition and appearance. The Director of Planning shall remove or cause to be removed any sign which shows gross neglect, becomes dilapidated or where the area around such sign is not well maintained.
The Director of Planning shall remove or cause to be removed any sign erected or maintained in conflict with this chapter if the owner or lessee of either the site or the sign fails to correct the violation within 30 days after receiving written notice of violation. Removal of a sign by the Director of Planning shall not affect any proceedings instituted prior to removal of such sign.