Township of Mount Joy, PA
Lancaster County
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All signs, billboards and/or advertising structures that are viewable from the road right-of-way on any other exterior portion of a property are subject to the regulations of this article, and all other applicable regulations of this chapter. For definitions, refer to Article IV.
[Amended 3-16-2015 by Ord. No. 293-2015]
This section shall be applicable to land within the R, A, OS, R-1, R-2, and R-3 Zoning Districts.
A. 
The following signs shall be permitted without requirement of a permit for erection when erected and maintained in conformity with this chapter:
(1) 
Governmental signs. Official traffic and street name signs, identification, informational and/or directional signs erected by a governmental body or authority.
(2) 
Real estate signs or real estate open house signs.
(a) 
Real estate signs or real estate open house signs shall be placed only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on any single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(d) 
Real estate signs or real estate open house signs shall be removed within five days after settlement of the sale of the property or signing of a lease on a rental property.
(e) 
Real estate signs or real estate open house signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(f) 
Directional signs to the subject property are permitted as long as all applicable regulations of this chapter are complied with. No more than two directional signs shall be located within the Township for a particular property and shall not be greater than two square feet in size. The top of the directional sign shall be no more than four feet from the ground surface immediately underneath.
(3) 
Garage/yard sale signs.
(a) 
Garage/yard sale signs shall be placed only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on any single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(d) 
Garage/yard sale signs shall be permitted up to one week in advance of the event and shall be removed within twenty-four hours following the event.
(e) 
Garage/yard sale signs shall not be located within the street right-of-way.
(f) 
Directional signs to the subject property are permitted as long as all applicable regulations of this chapter are complied with. No more than two directional signs shall be located within the Township for a particular property and shall not be greater than two square feet in size. The top of the directional sign shall be no more than four feet from the ground surface immediately underneath.
(4) 
Special event signs.
(a) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed 20 square feet.
(b) 
The sign shall be placed no earlier than 30 days before the event and taken down at least five days following the event.
(c) 
A maximum of one sign per lot shall be permitted.
(d) 
Special event signs shall be located outside of the street right-of-way.
(e) 
A maximum of six directional signs shall be permitted as long as all applicable regulations of this chapter are complied with. No directional sign shall be greater than six square feet in size. The top of the directional sign shall be no more than four feet from the ground surface immediately underneath.
(5) 
Election and issue signs.
(a) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet.
(b) 
No more than two such signs shall be permitted per candidate or issue per lot or dwelling unit, per street frontage.
(c) 
Election and issue signs shall be removed from the property within five days following the date of the event the sign pertains to.
(d) 
Election and issue signs shall not be located within the street right-of-way.
(6) 
Farm product signs.
(a) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed 10 square feet.
(b) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on a single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(c) 
Farm product signs shall be removed at the time the stand or sale of farm products cease.
(d) 
Farm product signs shall not be located within the street right-of-way.
(7) 
Contractor, architect, mechanic and artisan signs.
(a) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet. If multiple contractors are performing work on the property, the average of each sign shall be six square feet; the total cumulative sign area shall not exceed 18 square feet.
(b) 
No more than one sign, per contractor, shall be placed on a single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(c) 
Contractor, architect, mechanic and artisan signs shall only be displayed for the duration of the work being performed on the property and shall be promptly removed when completion of the work occurs on the premises.
(d) 
Contractor, architect, mechanic and artisan signs shall not be located within the street right-of-way.
(8) 
Incidental signs.
(9) 
Public utility signs.
B. 
The following signs shall be permitted only after acquisition of a permit from the Zoning Officer:
(1) 
Farm-related business signs.
(a) 
Farm-related business signs shall be placed only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed 10 square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign advertising a farm-related business shall be placed on a lot.
(d) 
Any sign advertising a farm-related business shall not be internally illuminated.
(e) 
Farm-related business signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(2) 
Home occupation signs.
(a) 
Such signs shall be placed only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed six square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on a lot advertising a home occupation.
(d) 
The sign for a home occupation shall not be internally illuminated.
(e) 
Home occupation signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(3) 
Public use signs.
(a) 
Each sign shall not exceed 40 square feet.
(b) 
No more than two such signs per use shall be permitted on a single lot.
(c) 
The sign shall pertain to the public use only and shall not include any commercial advertising.
(d) 
Public use signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(4) 
Residential development signs.
(a) 
Each sign shall not exceed 20 square feet.
(b) 
No more than one such sign shall be permitted at each entrance to the development.
(c) 
The sign shall include the name of the development and shall not include any commercial advertising. If applicable, the name and contact information of a homeowners' association, condominium association, rental agency or other party responsible for the ground maintenance and care of the development may be located on the sign.
(d) 
Residential development signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(5) 
Future development signs.
(a) 
Such signs shall be erected only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
Each sign shall not exceed 20 square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on a single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(d) 
Future development signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(e) 
Future development signs shall be promptly removed upon completion of all construction activities on the premises for which the sign relates.
(6) 
Business signs for nonresidential uses permitted by right or by special exception within the residential, rural or agricultural zoning districts.
(a) 
These regulations shall not pertain to signs advertising a home occupation, farm-related business or public use.
(b) 
Each sign shall not exceed 10 square feet, unless a specific requirement is stated in this chapter for a particular use.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on a single lot.
(d) 
Such signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(e) 
All signs shall relate only to the business permitted in the district in which the sign is located.
(f) 
Such signs shall not be internally illuminated.
(7) 
Business directional signs.
(a) 
Any off-premises sign providing direction to a business shall be no larger than two square feet.
(b) 
The top of any sign shall be no more than four feet from the ground surface immediately underneath.
(c) 
No industrial, commercial or business establishment shall erect, place, install or maintain more than three such signs within the Township.
(d) 
The sign shall contain directional information to the business only and shall not contain any advertisement for the business, related sales or any other commercial advertisements.
(8) 
Portable-trailer-type signs.
(a) 
Portable trailer signs shall only be permitted to advertise special events for public uses. Portable trailer signs may be placed on the property up to two weeks in advance of the event and shall be removed promptly following the conclusion of the special event. In no case shall a portable trailer sign be located on a public use lot for longer than a period of 30 days in one calendar year.
(b) 
Portable trailer signs shall be limited to a maximum of 30 square feet in total sign area.
(c) 
Portable trailer signs shall not be permitted to contain any elements of a dynamic display sign.
(d) 
Portable trailer signs shall not be located within a street right-of-way.
[Amended 3-16-2015 by Ord. No. 293-2015]
This section shall be applicable to land within the IN, MU, C-1, C-2, GI and LI Zoning Districts.
A. 
Any sign as permitted in the agricultural, rural and residential districts.
B. 
The following signs shall be permitted without requirement of a permit for erection when erected and maintained in conformity with this chapter:
(1) 
Window displays.
C. 
The following signs shall be permitted only after acquisition of a permit from the Zoning Officer:
(1) 
Real estate signs.
(a) 
Real estate signs advertising a commercial or industrial lot for sale or lease shall be erected only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
The area of the sign shall not exceed 40 square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on any single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(d) 
Real estate signs shall be removed within five days after settlement of the sale of the property or signing of a lease on a rental property.
(e) 
Real estate signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(2) 
Future development signs.
(a) 
Such signs shall be erected only on the premises to which they relate.
(b) 
Each sign shall not exceed 40 square feet.
(c) 
No more than one sign shall be placed on a single lot; provided, however, that in the case of a lot having more than one street frontage, one sign may be erected upon each street frontage.
(d) 
Such signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(e) 
Future development signs shall be promptly removed upon completion of all construction activities on the premises for which the sign relates.
(3) 
Business, commercial and industrial signs.
(a) 
One freestanding sign shall be permitted, per lot, along each street frontage. Each freestanding sign shall have a maximum total area of all attached signs of 50 square feet. If a lot includes four or more separate commercial establishments, the maximum area of the sign shall be increased to 100 square feet. In addition, a second freestanding sign with a maximum area of 50 square feet shall be permitted along one street frontage for vehicular sales facility that contains the sales of new vehicles by two or more separate corporations. All freestanding signs shall have a maximum total height of 20 feet above the surrounding ground level.
(b) 
Building signs, which may be painted or affixed directly to the building, shall not project more than 12 inches from the building wall and shall be so located that the lower edge is a minimum of eight feet above grade in any case where projection from the wall is greater than six inches. Building signs shall have a maximum area of 15% of the wall area of the wall on which the sign is to be erected. The building sign shall not extend higher than the top of the wall. The area of any windows on the wall where the building sign is to be located shall be included in the calculation of the ratio of sign area to wall area.
(c) 
Wall projecting signs shall not project more than 10 feet from the building wall on which the sign is to be mounted. The area of the wall projecting sign shall not exceed 15% of the wall area of the wall on which the sign is to be mounted. The sign shall be located upon the buildings so that the lower edge is a minimum of eight feet above grade. Wall projecting signs shall not project to a point nearer than 12 feet from the edge of a street cartway. No wall projecting sign shall extend higher than the top of the wall upon which it is mounted.
(d) 
Roof signs shall not exceed 15% of the front wall area of the building or structure on which the sign is to be mounted. Roof signs may extend above the roof, or top of the wall, a distance equal to 1/2 the height of the roof or wall, or 10 feet, whichever is the smaller height. No roof sign shall be placed upon the roof of any building so as to prevent free passage from one part of the roof to the other thereof, or interfere with any openings in such roof. All roof signs must comply with the structural height limitations required in each zone. No roof sign erected upon the roof of any building shall project beyond the edges of said roof in any horizontal direction.
(4) 
Center signs.
(a) 
Any planned center uses shall be permitted to contain one freestanding sign per principal entrance to the center, up to a maximum of two signs per center, except there may be more than two signs if all entrances to the center are at least 1,200 feet apart. Each sign shall have a maximum area of all attached signs of 100 square feet.
(b) 
If there are individual, freestanding buildings within an office or industrial park that are accessed off of an internal street of the planned center, each building may have one freestanding sign not exceeding 20 square feet nor an overall height of 15 feet. In the case each freestanding building contains individual tenants, each tenant may be advertised on the freestanding sign as long as the total sign area does not exceed the 20 square feet allotted by this section.
(c) 
Freestanding planned center signs located at the primary entrance(s) to the planned center shall have a maximum total height of 20 feet above the surrounding ground level.
(d) 
Any building sign, wall projecting sign or roof sign proposed to be erected on a building as part of a center use shall comply with § 135-333C(3)(b), § 135-163C(3)(b) through (d).
(e) 
Freestanding planned center signs shall not be placed within the street right-of-way.
(5) 
Temporary business, commercial or industrial signs, outdoor displays or banners.
(a) 
One such sign or display may be permitted per lot for one period not exceeding 30 days during any calendar year.
(b) 
Any signs or banner shall be limited to a maximum of 24 square feet in total sign area.
(c) 
The sign shall promptly be removed at the end of the sale or event for which the sign relates.
(d) 
The temporary sign or display shall not be located within the street right-of-way.
(6) 
Portable signs.
(a) 
Portable-trailer-type signs.
[1] 
Portable trailer signs shall only be permitted to advertise special events for commercial or public uses. Portable trailer signs may be placed on the property up to two weeks in advance of the event and shall be removed promptly following the conclusion of the special event. In no case shall a portable trailer sign be located on a lot for longer than a period of 30 days in one calendar year.
[2] 
Portable trailer signs shall be limited to a maximum of 30 square feet in total sign area.
[3] 
Portable trailer signs shall not be permitted to contain any elements of a dynamic display sign.
[4] 
Portable trailer signs shall not be located within a street right-of-way.
(b) 
Portable-sidewalk-type signs.
[1] 
One portable-sidewalk-type sign shall be permitted for every 75 linear feet of store or street frontage up to a maximum of three portable-type sidewalk signs. Portable-sidewalk-type signs shall be permitted to advertise specials that are ongoing on a commercial establishment.
[2] 
Portable-sidewalk-type signs shall not exceed 10 square feet.
[3] 
Portable-sidewalk-type signs may be permitted within a street right-of-way provided the sign does not cause any visual obstruction for pedestrians and/or motorists and that the sign is in no way permanently affixed to the ground.
(7) 
Electronic message center signs.
(a) 
One electronic message center sign is permitted, per lot; the message board shall not exceed 20 square feet and must be located below the name of the business or center, and must be part of the freestanding business or center sign. The area of the electronic message center sign shall be deducted from the total permissible area of freestanding signage on the subject lot.
(b) 
The text portrayed on the message center portion of the sign shall be of one color and shall be displayed on a black, unlit background.
(c) 
No more than four lines of text shall be displayed at one time.
(d) 
Electronic message center signs shall be permitted to change, alter or move images at a minimum of an eight-second interval.
(8) 
Billboards. Billboards shall be permitted by special exception in the C-2 and MU Districts, subject to the following conditions, as well as all other applicable requirements:
(a) 
The panel shall not exceed 100 square feet in area on one side.
(b) 
No more than one panel (two sides) shall be permitted at one location.
(c) 
No billboard sign shall be located closer than 300 feet from an existing Rural, Agricultural, Open Space and Conservation, R-1 Low-Density Residential, R-2 Medium-Density Residential, R-3 High-Density Residential or Institutional District boundary.
(d) 
An electronic message center that is part of the billboard shall be located below the panel advertisement and shall comply with the regulations set forth in § 135-333C(9).
(e) 
A minimum of 1,000 feet distance shall be maintained between a proposed billboard and any other proposed or existing billboard. This minimum distance shall be measured radially from the furthest extension of any proposed or existing billboard sign.
(f) 
If lighted, a nonglare lighting fixture designed for outdoor use shall be used.
(g) 
No sign shall be more than 25 feet high above the grade of the existing road cartway.
(h) 
All billboards shall be set a minimum distance of 30 feet back from the street right-of-way line.
(i) 
Any billboard which is a dynamic display sign or which contains dynamic display components shall, in addition to the requirements of this § 135-333C(8), meet all requirements of § 135-333C(9). Where there is a conflict between this § 135-333C(8) and § 135-333C(9), the more stringent regulation shall apply.
(9) 
Dynamic display signs. Dynamic display signs shall be permitted by special exception in the C-2 and MU Zoning Districts, subject to the following conditions, as well as all other applicable requirements:
(a) 
Dynamic display signs shall be located no closer than 300 feet to any existing residential zoning district.
(b) 
All dynamic display signs shall be set back a minimum of 30 feet from a street right-of-way.
(c) 
Only one dynamic display sign shall be permitted per property and shall not be located any closer than 200 feet to any other dynamic display sign on an adjacent property.
(d) 
Dynamic display signs shall be permitted to change, alter, or move images at a minimum of a ten-second interval.
(e) 
The images that are portrayed on the sign must be static, and the change to another static image must be instantaneous without any special effects. The images that are portrayed shall be complete in it themselves without continuation of content to the next image, display or to another sign.
(f) 
All dynamic display signs shall be erected with a light detector or photocell by which the sign's brightness can be dimmed when ambient light conditions darken. In no case shall a dynamic display sign cause objectionable glare to motorists, bicyclists and other pedestrian travel along any roadway, pathway, or driveway. A lighting diagram or other documentation acceptable to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be submitted with the application to demonstrate compliance with the lighting regulations of this chapter. In the event the light emits more illumination onto adjoining properties than what is permitted by this chapter, illumination levels or the sign location shall be adjusted accordingly.
(g) 
If the sign malfunctions as to create a violation of any of these regulations, as determined by the Zoning Officer, the sign shall be turned off immediately and kept off until the sign can be repaired to be in full compliance with the above-mentioned regulations.
(h) 
Applicants proposing a dynamic display sign shall be required to obtain a sign permit and a Uniform Construction Code permit in the event an approval is given to their application.
(i) 
Any billboard which is a dynamic display sign or which contains dynamic display components shall, in addition to the requirements of this § 135-333C(9), meet all requirements of § 135-333C(8). Where there is a conflict between this § 135-333C(9) and § 135-333C(8), the more stringent regulation shall apply.
The following regulations shall apply to all permitted sign uses:
A. 
Area of a sign.
(1) 
The area of a sign shall be construed to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background, whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed but shall not include any supporting framework or bracing incidental to the display itself.
(2) 
Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to a building, wall or window, the area of the sign shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or other geometric shape which encompasses all of the letters and symbols.
(3) 
If a sign includes two attached sides of the same size, then only one side shall be considered for the purposes of determining compliance with the maximum sign area. However, if the interior angle of two attached sides of a sign is greater than 45°, or if a sign includes three or more sides, then the maximum sign area limit shall apply to the aggregate total of all of the sign faces.
B. 
All signs located within a rural, residential or agricultural district shall not be internally illuminated unless otherwise permitted by this chapter. Signs in the rural, residential or agricultural districts may be externally illuminated in compliance with all applicable sections of § 135-298 of this chapter.
C. 
No sign shall be placed in such a position that it will cause danger to vehicular or pedestrian traffic on a street by obscuring the view.
D. 
No sign located within 300 feet of any traffic light shall be illuminated with red, green or yellow lighting.
E. 
No sign or sign-bearing structure, other than official traffic signals, public utility signs, or temporary off-premises directional signs, shall be erected within or extend into the right-of-way of a street unless authorized by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
F. 
No sign shall contain or use flashing, intermittent or rotating illumination, except official traffic control signs and as permitted on electronic message center signs and on dynamic-display-type signs.
G. 
No objectionable glare should result from any illuminated signs. Such signs shall comply with all lighting regulations set forth in § 135-298 of this chapter.
H. 
No freestanding sign shall be higher than 20 feet, unless otherwise permitted by this article, and no sign which is attached to a building shall be higher than the height limit of the permitted principal uses in the district in which the sign is located; provided, however, that if other provisions of this article establish lower height restrictions for certain types of signs, the lower height limit shall control.
I. 
No sign shall be erected or located so as to prevent ingress or egress from any window, door, or fire escape.
J. 
No sign shall be permitted which is pasted, stapled or otherwise attached to public utility poles, except any necessary public utility signs as defined by this chapter.
K. 
No signs shall be pasted, stapled or otherwise attached to any trees within the public right-of-way.
L. 
All signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be kept in good condition and repair. No sign shall be allowed to become dilapidated within the Township and in such a state of disrepair as to have the appearance of complete neglect, which is rotting or falling down, which is illegible or has loose parts separated from original fastenings.
M. 
Whenever a sign becomes structurally unsafe or endangers the safety of the building or premises, or endangers the public safety, the Zoning Officer shall give written notice to the owner of the premises on which the sign is located that such sign be made safe or removed within five days.
N. 
Each sign shall be removed when the circumstances leading to its erection no longer apply.
O. 
All electrically illuminated signs shall be constructed to the standards of the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
P. 
No loud, vulgar, indecent or obscene advertising matter shall be displayed in any manner.
Q. 
No sign shall be placed on an automobile, truck or other vehicle if that vehicle is used primarily for displaying such sign.
R. 
No sign located within the identified floodplain area as established in Chapter 70 shall exceed six square feet of area per side.
[Amended 3-21-2016 by Ord. No. 299-2016]
S. 
Nothing contained herein shall be constructed to abrogate or affect the provisions of any lawful state or federal statute or regulation controlling outdoor advertising which are more restrictive than the provisions of this chapter.
T. 
In the event that a symbol, trademark or other such figure is used as a sign post or standard which could be construed to indicate or identify a particular use or business, that symbol, trademark or figure is to be computed as part of the total allowable sign area.
U. 
No sign shall emit smoke, visible vapors, particles, sound or odor.
Any sign which lawfully existed and was maintained at the effective date of this chapter may be continued, provided that it meets the requirements of § 135-334L herein. A nonconforming sign may be replaced with a similar sign as long as the sign will not be expanded or placed in a manner that would not conform to this chapter or which would allow the existing nonconformity to worsen.