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Village of Fairport, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fairport 10-14-1991 as part of L.L. No. 5-1991 (Ch. 41A of the 1968 Code); amended in its entirety 3-12-2018 by L.L. No. 4-2018. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 192.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 455.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 500.
Zoning — See Ch. 550.
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide comprehensive time, place, and manner restrictions on signs, including but not limited to controls on size, height, quantity, location, spacing, shape, lighting, motion, design, and appearance, toward the end of promoting community aesthetics, traffic safety, economic development and the protection of property values.
B. 
Intent. This chapter is intended to accomplish the following:
(1) 
Protect and enhance Village appearance.
(2) 
Encourage appropriate and compatible signs and graphics.
(3) 
Lessen objectionable competition in sign size and placement.
(4) 
Reduce the hazards of sign obstructions and distractions to motorists.
(5) 
Create a more attractive business environment.
(6) 
Create a more attractive residential environment.
(7) 
Protect the value of buildings and properties in the Village.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING SIGN
A sign that in any manner is placed flat or parallel or painted upon the exterior wall or roof of a building.
DIRECTORY SIGN
A sign containing the names of multiple tenants located within the same building or plaza.
COMMERCIAL SPEECH SIGN
Any sign that identifies, promotes, or pertains to:
A. 
A commercial enterprise, operation, or activity; or
B. 
A product, commodity, good, or service offered by or in the course of a commercial enterprise, operation, or activity.
GROUND SIGN
A single or multifaced sign affixed to a supporting structure that is embedded in and extending from the ground. Any support structure shall be included in sign area to the extent that it is larger than that necessary to support the sign.
MUNICIPAL SIGN
Any sign erected or maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation; any sign erected or maintained by the Village of Fairport in furtherance of the public health, welfare or safety; any sign erected or maintained by the Fairport Municipal Commission in discharge of its franchise and duties.
NONCOMMERCIAL SPEECH SIGN
Any sign that is not a commercial speech sign.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign that protrudes from a building.
SIGN
Any name, identification, description, display, illustration, symbol, logo, statue, device, graphic material or representation which is visible from any public place, designed to advertise, identify, or convey information, and/or used for the purpose of directing attention to an object, product, service, place, activity, person, institution, organization, or business. Displays of merchandise in storefront windows at regular mercantile establishments shall not be considered signs. Murals are not included in this definition.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A sign which is permitted to be used or erected only for a limited period of time pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, and which is designed to advertise or announce a particular event or series of events, to solicit support or to announce the availability for sale of a particular item or items or the offer of services which will be available for such limited period.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign that is placed on or behind a windowpane and intended to be viewed from outside the building.
A. 
Permit required. All signs shall require a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. Only those signs listed in this chapter shall be allowed in the Village of Fairport.
B. 
Application. Application for a sign permit shall be made on a form provided by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall include such information as required by the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer shall publish regulations governing the information and documentation that shall be required to be submitted as part of a sign permit application.
A. 
Authority. The Planning Board is hereby given authority to grant sign site plan approval pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of Chapter 550. The Planning Board is hereby granted authority to waive any of the provisions or requirements contained in this chapter if, in its opinion, it determines that such provisions or requirements are not necessary for the preservation or protection of the public health, welfare, or safety, and that such waiver will not cause any inappropriate or unsightly signs, or a situation in which there are too many signs in the area.
B. 
Site plan approval from the Planning Board shall be required for the following types of signs:
(1) 
Signs proposed on new construction.
(2) 
Applications involving any structure or site that proposes more than two signs.
(3) 
Ground signs.
(4) 
Directory signs.
C. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Upon receipt of an application for preliminary site plan approval, the Code Enforcement Officer shall refer such application to the Planning Board for its review. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to approve a modification to an approved sign site plan, provided there is no change to either the number, location, or total area of signs, and that the modification is in compliance with the sign standards contained in § 408-5 of this chapter.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall comply with the provisions of SEQR and implementing regulations thereunder. An application for preliminary site plan approval shall not be considered complete, and the review period shall not begin to start, until either a negative declaration has been made or a draft environmental impact statement has been filed.
(3) 
Within 62 days of receipt of a complete application for preliminary site plan approval, the Planning Board shall act on it. The Planning Board's action shall be in the form of a written statement to the applicant stating whether the preliminary site plan is conditionally approved. A copy of the appropriate minutes of the Planning Board shall be a sufficient report.
(4) 
The Planning Board may recommend in its statement desirable revisions to be incorporated in the final site plan, conformance with which shall be a condition of approval. If the preliminary site plan is disapproved, the Planning Board's statement shall contain the reasons therefor. The Planning Board may recommend further study of the site plan and resubmission of the preliminary site plan to the Planning Board after it has been revised or redesigned.
(5) 
The Planning Board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to a preliminary site plan. Such conditions must be met prior to the issuance of a sign permit by the Code Enforcement Officer.
D. 
Considerations. In addition to the items contained in§ 408-5, Sign standards, the Planning Board shall consider the following when deciding whether to grant sign site plan approval:
(1) 
Color(s) of proposed sign(s).
(2) 
Size of proposed sign(s).
(3) 
Compatibility of proposed sign(s) with neighborhood
(4) 
Aesthetic impact of proposed sign(s).
(5) 
Any relevant considerations contained in § 550-19.
A. 
Design standards. All signs erected or maintained in the Village of Fairport shall be in accordance with the following sign design standards:
(1) 
Commercial speech signs and their supporting structures should be in harmony in style and scale with the architectural features of the buildings on which they are placed or to which they relate, as well as those of the surrounding neighborhood.
(2) 
Signs should be appropriate to the types of activities they represent.
(3) 
Signs should be appropriate in size, shape, color, and design to the neighborhood.
(4) 
Layout of signs should be orderly and graphics should be of simple shape, such as rectangle, circle, or oval.
(5) 
No more than three typefaces should be used on any one sign or group of signs indicating one message.
(6) 
The number of colors used should be the minimum consistent with the design.
(7) 
Group of related signs should express uniformity and create a sense of harmonious appearance.
B. 
Miscellaneous.
(1) 
Attention-getting devices. No sign shall include balloons, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners, sails, or other similar fluttering or flashing devices. No sign shall consist of animated or moving parts, nor shall any sign appear to be animated or moving.
(2) 
Uniform Building Code. All signs shall comply with the applicable regulations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, and any other state or county laws or regulations.
(3) 
Utility line clearance. No signs shall be allowed which interferes with any communication or energized power lines.
(4) 
Public safety clearance. No sign shall be allowed that is attached to a fire escape or to any door or window so as to block vision of or confuse access to any fire escape or fire escape route.
(5) 
Portable signs used for promotional purposes or daily specials shall be allowed in the B-1, C-D, L-D, and M-1 districts subject to the following restrictions:
(a) 
One portable sign per business.
(b) 
Portable sign must be placed within 10 feet of the primary entrance to the business.
(c) 
All portable signs must be at least 50 pounds in weight.
(d) 
Maximum area per side shall be no greater than six square feet.
(e) 
Portable signs must be inside after the business to which said sign relates is closed each day.
The following signs shall not require a permit:
A. 
Municipal signs.
B. 
Noncommercial speech signs.
C. 
Repainting, maintenance, or refurbishing of a conforming commercial speech sign, provided that the copy or logo does not change.
D. 
Credit card signs, provided that the total credit card sign area does not exceed one square foot.
E. 
"Sale," "Lease," "For Rent," or "Open-For-Inspection" signs, provided that such signs are removed in a timely manner.
F. 
One informational sign per business, not exceeding two square feet, bearing a legend such as "Open."
G. 
Garage and estate sale signs, provided that each residence has only up to two such sales per year and the signs are placed within one day before the sale commences and are removed within one day after the sale concludes. Garage sale signs can be located in front of the house in which the garage sale is being conducted and at the closest intersection to a major street, with a maximum of two signs.
H. 
Alarm or security company signs, provided that the total area of said sign does not exceed one square foot.
Except as otherwise stated herein, the size, shape, location, design, and total number of signs per parcel shall be in conformity with the regulations contained in the attached schedule, which is hereby made a part of Village Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The sign code schedule is included as an attachment to this chapter.
The following signs are prohibited:
A. 
Signs that incorporate neon, fluorescent or similar colors.
B. 
Posted fliers. Posted fliers are not allowed in any residential district. In all other districts, posted fliers shall not be attached to trees, fences, utility poles, street furniture, public transit shelters, automatic teller machines (ATMs), and the like.
C. 
Moving signs. Signs which move or simulate motion are prohibited. This shall include flashing, blinking, animated, kinetic, rotating signs or signs whose illumination or projected surface changes with time, but shall not include time and temperature signs.
D. 
Pertinent advertising. No commercial speech sign shall be displayed unless such sign advertises a bona fide business conducted in or on the premises.
E. 
Price signs. Signs, other than window signs, specifying price, cost, or value are not allowed, unless advertising the price of gas at a gasoline station, as required by county law.
F. 
Product names, trade names, or logos. Product names, trade names, and logos are permitted as a part of a sign only when the product name, trade name or logo is integral to the name of the business or tenant. No more than 10% of any sign may be used to display the product/trade names of any products total sign area or commodities.
G. 
Reflective surfaces. Reflective surfaces are prohibited.
H. 
Right-of-way. Unless otherwise specified herein, no signs shall be permitted in any public right-of-way.
I. 
Roof signs. No signs, banners, flags, attention-getting devices, or other like advertising devices shall be permitted on the roof of any building or structure or be mounted so as to project above the rooftop.
J. 
Temporary signs, other than those specified in this chapter and in the sign schedule, are prohibited.
K. 
Traffic hazard. No permanent or temporary sign shall be erected or placed at or near the intersection of any streets in such a manner as to cause a traffic hazard; or at any location where, by reason of the position, shape, color or illumination of the sign, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of, or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal, or device.
L. 
No sign shall include anything that may be considered vulgar or obscene.
All signs and structures which support signs shall be properly maintained at all times. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to order the repair or removal of any sign and the accompanying landscaping which constitutes a hazard to safety, health, or public welfare by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, or abandonment. Notification shall be by personal delivery or first-class mail to the last known address of the property owner or occupant. If the maintenance notice is not complied with within 15 days, said notice shall become an order to abate the sign or perform the maintenance or repair specified therein. If said order is not complied with within 15 days, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to pursue the remedies contained in the enforcement section of this chapter.
A. 
All appeals from a ruling or determination of the Code Enforcement Officer made hereunder shall be taken to the Zoning Board of Appeals. All decisions made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be filed in the office of the Building Department.
B. 
Every request for a variance from the provisions hereof on the ground that the strict application of this chapter shall work an injustice by reason of practical difficulty shall be taken before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
The term of a variance from the provisions of this chapter shall be limited to no more than 10 years. Applications for renewal of a variance shall be supported by the same quantum of evidence required for the initial grant. There shall be no limit to the number of times a variance may be renewed.
D. 
Except as otherwise provided above, the procedure before the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be governed by the applicable provisions of Article XI of Chapter 550 of the Code of the Village of Fairport and the Village Law. Review of determinations made hereunder by the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be governed by Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules and the Village Law. Any such proceeding shall be commenced within 30 days of the filing of the decision sought to be reviewed.
E. 
Review of determinations made hereunder by the Planning Board shall be governed by Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules and the Village Law. Any such proceeding shall be commenced within 30 days of the filing of the decision sought to be reviewed.
F. 
Abandonment of variance. If a sign for which a variance has been granted hereunder is not erected within one year from the date of the variance, or if a sign for which a variance has been granted hereunder is removed for a continuous period of one year, the variance for said sign shall be deemed abandoned and of no effect.
A. 
Enforcement and penalties.
(1) 
It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer or his delegate to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
When violations of this chapter occur, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause notice to be given to the owner or occupant of the premises on which the sign is located, or to the agent of either, or to any person receiving the benefits from the violating sign. Said notice may be given by first-class mail, or by the personal delivery of a notice of violation. If any of said persons fail to address said violation within five days after such notice, said persons shall be subject to a civil penalty of $250 for each and every day that said violation continues, recoverable by suit brought by the Code Enforcement Officer in the name of the Village of Fairport and the people of the State of New York. Said suit may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, the Fairport Village Court, or the New York State Supreme Court.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer or authorized representative may serve a written stop-work order upon the applicant or other person who commits or assists in any such violation requiring the correction of any violation of this chapter.
(4) 
The Code Enforcement Officer, on behalf of the Village of Fairport, may maintain an action for an injunction to enjoin violations of this chapter.
(5) 
Any person violating any provisions of this chapter or of any notice or order issued hereunder shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both, for each violation. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense punishable by the foregoing fine. The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby empowered to issue appearance tickets for violations of this chapter. A digital camera photograph with time and date stamp showing a sign displayed or maintained out of doors at a time other than permitted shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of that section.
(6) 
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be revoked by the Code Enforcement Officer if it appears that the sign erected pursuant to the permit no longer conforms to the provisions of this chapter.
(7) 
The remedies provided herein shall be cumulative and shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law.
B. 
Fees. All fees associated with this chapter shall be established and maintained by the Village Board and made a part of the Village's fee schedule.
A. 
All signs for which a valid sign permit exists prior to the date on which the Village Board enacts this chapter shall be allowed to continue as pre-existing nonconforming signs, provided no changes are made to said signs.
B. 
Signs without a valid sign permit that comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be brought into conformity by obtaining a valid sign permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Signs without a valid sign permit that do not comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be removed within one year of the date on which the Village Board enacts this chapter.
D. 
Alteration or abandonment of nonconforming signs. Any sign for which a valid sign permit does not exist on the date on which the Village Board enacts this chapter shall be considered nonconforming. Nonconforming signs shall not be altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended or relocated, unless such action changes a nonconforming sign to a conforming sign pursuant to a valid sign permit. The failure to keep any such nonconforming sign in good repair shall constitute abandonment of the sign. An abandoned sign shall not be reused and shall be removed by or at the expense of the property owner within 30 days of a demand from the Code Enforcement Officer.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as relieving or limiting in any way the responsibility or liability of any person, firm, or corporation erecting or owning any sign from personal injury or property damage resulting from said sign, or resulting from the negligence or willful acts of such person, firm, or corporation, or his or its agents, employees, contractors, workmen, in the construction, maintenance, repair, or removal of any sign erected in the Village of Fairport. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as imposing upon the Village of Fairport or its officers, employees or any board thereof any responsibility or liability by reason of the approval of any signs, materials or devices under the provisions of this chapter.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare. Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, or ordinances, the most restrictive or that imposing the higher standard shall govern.
A. 
Only external lighting of signs shall be allowed. Internally lit, self-illuminated, backlit, or signs which have halo style lighting are prohibited.
B. 
No sign in a residential district shall be illuminated.
C. 
If exterior sign lighting is provided, it shall be arranged to reflect away from surrounding properties and away from public ways.
D. 
The intensity of the light source shall not exceed that necessary to illuminate and make legible a sign from the public ways.
E. 
Neon, fluorescent or similar type lighting is prohibited.
F. 
Flashing lights are prohibited.