[Amended 9-2-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008]
Purpose. The Town's ability to attract economic development activity is accomplished in part by the enforcement of regulations that maintain an attractive community and streetscape, of which signs are a contributing element. A multiplicity of signs clutters the overall appearance of the Town, detracts from its visual quality, and shall be discouraged.
Permit required. Except for signs erected for the identification of the occupant of a single-family or two-family dwelling, no sign shall be erected or installed upon any structure or upon any land, nor shall existing signs be changed, until a sign permit has been obtained from the Building Inspector. No sign shall be erected for any development requiring site development plan or subdivision approval by the Planning Board without sign plan approval by the Planning Board.
Exempted signs. No permit is required for the following classes of signs:
Signs required by duly constituted governmental bodies and their agencies, where such signs are established in the interest of the safety, convenience or welfare of the general public. The number and location of such signs shall be as directed by the governmental agency having jurisdiction.
Traffic control signs required for traffic control purposes shown on an approved site plan or posted pursuant to the order of traffic control agencies and conforming to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the New York State Department of Transportation.
Flags of the national, state, county or Town government and banners and emblems or name and meeting place signs of civic, philanthropic, educational or religious organizations or institutions.
Signs and decals pertaining to the tenant's registration with, or membership in, a professional organization/affiliation or civic association.
Temporary signs in any zoning district pertaining to and displayed during campaigns, drives, or events of civic, philanthropic, educational or religious institutions, provided such signs are erected not more than three weeks prior to the event and are removed not later than two weeks after the event.
Memorial plaques, cornerstones, historical tablets and the like.
Signs required to be maintained or posted by law or governmental order, rule or regulation, unless specifically prohibited, limited or restricted.
Signs indicating the name or address of the occupant.
A sign for a permitted home occupation, provided that it shall not be larger than four square feet in area. Only one such sign per dwelling unit shall be permitted.
Sale or rental signs. Temporary, nonilluminated signs advertising the sale or rental of the premises upon which they are erected by the owner or broker or any person interested in the sale or rental of such premises may be erected or maintained, provided that the size of any such sign does not exceed six square feet and not more than two signs are placed upon any property unless such property fronts upon more than one street, in which event two more signs may be erected on each additional frontage.
Temporary construction signs, not exceeding 20 square feet in area, either affixed to the wall of the building to which they pertain or to a post, identifying the project under construction, participating designers, contractors or developers, etc. A construction sign shall not be erected until site or subdivision plan approval has been granted by the Planning Board. Said sign shall be permitted only during the construction period of the project and shall be removed immediately upon completion of the construction or improvement. Said sign shall conform in all respects to the provisions of these regulations.
Signs calling attention to a change in the status of a business, which signs are customarily painted on a window or constructed of paper, cloth or other light material and attached to or located within six feet of the interior side of the window. Said sign shall not be displayed for more than 90 days. Banners and streamers advertising the opening of a new business may be permitted up to 30 days after the date on which the business commences operation and is open to the public, provided the applicant has first provided a cash deposit posted with the Town Clerk for purposes of covering the cost of removing the banners, streamers and temporary sign in the event the applicant fails to do the same within the designated time period. The cash deposit shall be refunded upon the applicant's compliance with these provisions within the time period specified above.
Signs not visible outside of a building.
Signs displayed in a window indicating the availability of a public telephone or notary public and/or the possession of any licenses normally required to conduct a given business.
Holiday decorations displayed in season only.
Temporary signs for tag or garage sales, provided such signs contain the name of the seller and date of the sale, are displayed only seven days prior to the sale, and are removed the day after the sale.
"No trespassing" signs.
Signs setting forth matters of public information and convenience (i.e., statements of personal opinion), including statements of protest, other than temporary signs referred to in § 199-29C(5).
Political signs and political advertising, except as regulated in Chapter 44, Advertising, Political, of the Code of the Town of Mamakating.
No excepted sign shall be placed at a location which endangers the public health, safety and welfare.
Permitted signs, Except where signs are otherwise regulated in this chapter, the total sign area permitted for all nonresidential uses shall be determined as follows:
The total area of all signs shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each horizontal linear foot of the front facade of the establishment. The area of each sign shall be computed as follows:
For individual signs, the area of a sign shall be computed by delineating the smallest square, circle, rectangle, triangle, or combination thereof that will encompass the extreme limits of the writing, representation, emblem, or other display, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the background of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the backdrop or structure against which it is placed, but not including any supporting framework, bracing, or decorative fence or wall when such fence or wall otherwise meets the regulations of this chapter and is clearly incidental to the display itself. In the case of a facade or freestanding sign, the entire face shall be measured in computing the sign area.
For multifaced signs, the sign area shall be computed by adding together the area of all sign faces visible from any one point. When two identical sign faces are placed back to back, so that both faces cannot be viewed from any one point at the same time, and, when such sign faces are part of the same sign structure, the sign area shall be computed by the measurement of one of the faces.
If an establishment fronts on a public parking lot, an additional sign area equal to 50% of the sign area that would be permitted for a facade sign shall be allowed provided that the additional sign area appears on that side of the building visible from the parking lot. The sign shall be a facade sign meeting all other dimensional requirements for said type of sign; provided, however, that no sign shall exceed a maximum dimension of 10 feet in length and two feet in height.
All signs shall comply with the accompanying Schedule of Sign Requirements. Except as may be specifically referred to herein, "establishment" may refer to a tenant in a multi-tenant building or an entire building if it is owned by or leasable to one tenant.
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Sign Requirements is included at the end of this chapter.
Prohibited signs. The use, erection or installation of the following sign types is prohibited:
Signs or billboards advertising items sold or produced elsewhere than on the lot where such sign is located are prohibited. Signs advertising services or resorts not located on the lot where such sign is located are prohibited, unless part of an overall Town-approved directory sign.
Signs on any roof or extending over any portion of the roof or parapet to which they are attached.
Flashing or intermittently illuminated signs. A sign which exhibits changing light or color effects, even though the intensity of light may be relatively constant, shall be deemed a flashing sign.
Searchlights to attract attention to a sign or permitted use.
Strings of incandescent lights.
Flashing, moving or rotating signs.
Pennants, streamers, banners or other eye-catching devices.
Portable signs, with or without wheels, easel-type, "A" frame or other; any sign not permanently affixed to a building or the ground.
Inflatable signs and tethered balloons.
Signs which compete for attention with or may be mistaken for a traffic signal.
Directory signs. As a matter of policy, the Town may permit directory signs as a method of identifying businesses in the Town. Said directory signs may be located in the vicinity of major access points into the Town. Directory signs shall be permitted upon approval by the Town Board, which shall approve the design and content. The lettering, color scheme, depiction and emblem of each identification sign contained on the directory shall be uniform. General directory signs shall be no larger than 100 square feet. The name of the establishment on a general directory sign shall be no higher than six inches.
General regulations. The following regulations shall apply to all permitted signs:
Signs must be constructed of durable materials, maintained in good condition and not allowed to become dilapidated.
Illumination. In districts where illuminated signs are permitted, the source of illumination shall be shielded so that it is not visible beyond the boundaries of the lot on which it is located.
Design standards. The Planning Board may impose reasonable limits on the size of a sign, type and characteristics of illumination, number and location, taking into consideration the uses on the site and the reasonable requirement for communicating information to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The Planning Board shall consider the following in granting sign approval:
Signs must be clearly accessory to the use or uses on the lot on which they are located, and such signs and lighting must be shown to be essential to the principal use upon the lot.
Signs should be a subordinate part of the streetscape.
The size and content of the sign shall be the minimum essential for legibility and for the provision of information to patrons or invitees seeking the particular use being identified.
The sign content shall not hawk or peddle and must clearly provide only information necessary to identify the use upon the lot.
Garish colors and materials should be avoided. Signs which have dark background colors and light letters are preferred in order to minimize the apparent size of letters within the streetscape.
All signs, together with their supporting braces, guys, anchors, etc., shall be kept in repair and in a proper state of preservation. The display surfaces of all signs shall be kept neatly painted or maintained at all times.
Nonconforming signs. Any sign made nonconforming by these regulations may be permitted to continue; however, any change of use shall require the removal of the nonconforming sign and the erection of a sign that conforms to these regulations.
Enforcement. The erection of a sign not conforming to an approved sign plan shall be deemed a violation of this chapter. No sign plan shall hereafter be approved or sign permit issued except pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. No permit shall be issued for any sign which does not conform to an approved sign plan or site development plan.
The Building Inspector, by written notice, shall notify a property owner of a sign which has been erected in contravention of an approved sign plan and any conditions which have been attached thereto. Said notice shall be sent by certified mail to the owner of the sign.
The sign owner shall take down or obtain sign plan approval immediately in accordance with the procedures contained in these regulations. If the owner of the nonconforming sign has not met the requirements of the notice, the Building Inspector shall be authorized to issue a violation against said owner.
Removal of certain signs. Any sign, including structural supports or frame, now or hereafter existing, which no longer identifies a use on the subject premises, or which is not being maintained, shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building or structure upon which such sign is found within 10 days after written notification from the Building Inspector. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the time specified in such order, the Building Inspector shall issue a violation to said owner.
Unsafe signs. Should a sign be or become insecure or in danger of falling or otherwise unsafe in the opinion of the Building Inspector, the owner thereof or person maintaining the same shall, upon receipt of written notice from the Building Inspector and in any case within five days thereafter, secure the same in a manner to be approved by the Building Inspector. If such order is not complied with, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to cause removal of the unsafe sign, and any expense incident thereto shall be paid by the owner of the building, structure or premises on which such sign is located. When any sign is in such dangerous condition as to be immediately dangerous to the safety of the public, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to take such action as in his opinion shall be necessary to protect the public or property. The cost of the removal shall be borne by the owner of the property on which such sign was erected and shall become a lien upon such property until paid.
Adjustment of sign regulations. The Planning Board, when approving a sign as part of site or subdivision plan, may adjust the requirements for a particular sign where it finds that they may be impractical due to existing conditions such as the size or location of existing structures, existing vegetation, topographic conditions, and any benefits gained, such as the reduction of a nonconformity, provided that any such modification will not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of this chapter or the Town Comprehensive Plan. In allowing any modification, the Planning Board shall attach such conditions as are, in its judgment, necessary to secure the objectives of the standards or requirements so modified. Any sign that requires a sign permit from the Building Inspector, which does not conform to these sign regulations, shall require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.