Township of Rostraver, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Signs may be erected and maintained only when in compliance with the provisions of this article and any and all other ordinances and regulations of this Township which may be applicable.
The following signs shall be permitted in all districts and shall not be subject to the provisions of this article unless otherwise specifically cited herein:
A. 
Signs of a duly constituted local, state or federal governmental body, including traffic or similar safety and regulatory devices, legal notices, railway warning signals, memorial signs or tablets (no zoning permit required).
B. 
Small signs with a surface area not exceeding three square feet, displayed for the direction or convenience of the public, which identify landmarks, parking areas, convenience facilities and similar features (no zoning permit required).
C. 
One temporary non-lighted sign on a construction site, not exceeding an area of 48 square feet, denoting engineer, architect, contractor or funding agencies and related information regarding the development (no zoning permit required).
[Amended 8-6-2008 by Ord. No. 575; 8-7-2019 by Ord. No. 715]
In the A-1, VR, R-1, R-2 and R-3 Districts, the following requirements shall apply.
A. 
The following signs shall be permitted:
(1) 
Permanent identification sign:
[Amended 4-7-2004 by Ord. No. 508]
(a) 
One permanent identification sign for each dwelling unit, which may cite the name of the occupant, address and other distinguishing features of the structure or property. Such signs shall not exceed one square foot in area (no zoning permit required).
(b) 
One permanent subdivision/development identification sign may be erected at one entrance into the property or plan, which shall only be illuminated with full cutoff luminaries. The maximum sign area shall not exceed 24 square feet and shall be landscaped with shrubs and/or ground cover under the entire area beneath the sign.
(2) 
One temporary non-lighted real estate sign pertaining to the sale, lease, hire or rental of property on which the sign is displayed, not to exceed six square feet in area (no zoning permit required).
(3) 
One announcement sign designating professional uses, group residential facilities, day-care or home occupations, provided that all such signs shall be limited to three square feet in area.
(4) 
One permanent announcement sign erected by churches, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, municipal facilities or similar permitted uses, which may include any appropriate message, provided that the area of such sign shall not exceed 24 square feet in area.
(5) 
Temporary signs advertising a garage sale, street fair or other temporary noncommercial activity or a temporary sign directing persons to the location of such noncommercial activity. Signs can be erected no earlier than one week of the activity and not located within any road right-of-way. Signs must be removed within 24 hours of termination of the activity and shall not exceed three square feet in area. (No zoning permit is required.)
[Amended 9-1-2010 by Ord. No. 606]
(6) 
Signs relating to the sale of farm products, produced on the premises in A-1 Districts, shall be limited to a total of two such signs that do not exceed a cumulative total of 20 square feet in area. Stationary signs and billboards shall be regarded as structures within the meaning of this chapter. Advertising display on a barn or other building or surface shall be included as stationary signs (no zoning permit required).
(7) 
Temporary signs relating to the sale of agricultural products produced on the premises in residential districts shall be limited to a total of two such signs that do not exceed a cumulative total of 20 square feet in area. Such signs shall be displayed only when seasonal sales are taking place and removed when not applicable (no zoning permit required).
(8) 
Signs for municipal and neighborhood recreation shall be established in accordance with the following requirements:
[Amended 7-3-2002 by Ord. No. 462]
(a) 
Signs shall be limited to the immediate site.
(b) 
Signs shall relate only to the activities at the immediate site.
(c) 
There shall be no more than two signs at each business site.
(d) 
Individual signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area.
(e) 
Signs mounted or painted on a wall, canopy or other portion of a principal site structure shall not protrude more than 18 inches beyond the wall on which said signs are mounted.
B. 
Signs in all agricultural, village and residential districts shall be located a minimum distance of four feet from the street or road right-of-way if no sidewalk exists and four feet from the inside edge of the walk, if such a walk exists.
[Amended 8-7-2019 by Ord. No. 715]
C. 
No pole sign or ground sign shall exceed five feet at its highest point above ground level. No sign shall be mounted on a building above the eave line of a roof or extend above a public sidewalk or vehicular right-of-way.
[Amended 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
[Added 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 584]
In the business park district, the following requirements shall apply.
A. 
The following signs shall be permitted:
(1) 
Signs advertising the sale or rental or development of property.
(2) 
Signs indicating the location of premises.
(3) 
Signs advertising business conducted or services conducted on the premises.
B. 
Business signs not to exceed one square foot of sign area for each one linear foot of lot frontage up to a maximum total sign area of 120 square feet.
C. 
Individual business signs shall not exceed 60 square feet in area.
D. 
No sign shall face an adjoining residentially zoned district and/or residentially used lot located outside of the business park.
E. 
No business sign shall exceed a height of 35 feet above ground level.
F. 
Signs shall be located at a minimum distance of 10 feet from the street right-of-way line.
G. 
No sign shall be mounted on a building above the eave line of a roof or extend above a vehicular right-of-way.
H. 
All illuminated signs shall only be lit with full cutoff luminaries or by means that do not produce light trespass.
(1) 
Illuminated signs shall be reviewed as part of a photometric plan submitted at the time of land development.
I. 
Planned business park identification signs.
(1) 
A maximum of two permanent identification signs (freestanding pole and/or ground sign) may be erected in a planned business park.
(2) 
Freestanding pole signs shall be no higher than 35 feet above grade level.
(a) 
A decorative landscaped strip shall be located immediately under the freestanding sign and extend a minimum of three feet from the sign in all directions.
(b) 
Two flowering trees with minimum of six feet in height shall be planted within the required landscaped strip.
(3) 
Ground signs shall not exceed eight feet at their highest point above ground level and shall be landscaped with shrubs and/or ground cover under the entire area beneath the sign.
(4) 
The total area of each permitted business park identification sign shall not exceed 120 square feet. This sign may include an identification of more than one tenant, but total square area may not be increased beyond that permitted under this section.
[Amended 10-7-1998 by Ord. No. 388]
In the business and industrial districts, the following requirements shall apply.
A. 
The following signs shall be permitted:
(1) 
Signs advertising the sale or rental or development of property.
(2) 
Signs indicating the location of premises.
(3) 
Signs advertising business conducted or services, material or equipment for sale on the premises.
(4) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(4), regulating the maximum sign area of business signs, as amended, was repealed 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712.
(5) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(5), regulating the maximum sign area of individual signs, as amended, was repealed 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712.
(6) 
No sign shall face an adjoining residentially zoned district and/or residentially used lot.
[Amended 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
(7) 
Signs indicating only time and/or temperature and gasoline pricing.
[Added 2-1-2006 by Ord. No. 539]
B. 
Signs shall be located a minimum distance of 10 feet from the street right-of-way line and any abutting property lines. The setback shall be considered as all parts of the sign and supporting structures. All areas between the sign and setback from an abutting right-of-way and/or property line shall be suitably landscaped per § 195-75E.
[Amended 9-1-2010 by Ord. No. 606]
C. 
No sign shall be mounted on a building above the eave line of a roof or extend above a public sidewalk or vehicular right-of-way.
[Amended 10-7-1998 by Ord. No. 390; 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
D. 
Sign height shall be subject to the following regulations:
[Added 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
(1) 
No pole sign or ground sign shall exceed 25 feet at its highest point above ground level.
(2) 
Consideration may be given by the Zoning Hearing Board for a lot within a one-hundred-foot radius of the right-of-way of Interstate 70 and/or Route 51 to increase the sign height, not to exceed 50 feet at its highest point above ground level, and a landscaping strip will be required for the increase in sign height:
(a) 
A decorative landscaped strip shall be located immediately under the sign and extend a minimum of three feet from the sign in all directions.
(b) 
A hedge or other durable planting of at least three feet in height shall extend the entire length of the required landscaped strip.
(c) 
Two flowering trees with a minimum of six feet in height shall be planted within the required landscaped strip.
[Added 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475; amended 4-5-2006 by Ord. No. 545; 4-2-2014 by Ord. No. 644; 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712]
An electronic variable message sign may be permitted as a permitted use in B-1, B-2, I-1, I-2 and I-3 Districts after submission and review by the Planning Agency, and provided that all of the following requirements are met:
A. 
Information content shall be alphabetic, numeric, and/or still images only. No animation is permitted.
[Amended 2-5-2014 by Ord. No. 643]
B. 
Sign change of message shall be subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B(1), which required that all messages remain unchanged for a minimum of one minute, was repealed 4-5-2006 by Ord. No. 545.
(2) 
The time interval used to change from one complete message to the next complete message shall be a maximum of one second.
(3) 
There shall be no appearance of visual dissolve or fading, in which any part of one electronic message appears simultaneously with any part of a second electronic message.
(4) 
There shall be no appearance of flashing, sudden bursts of light or change in intensity of light, and no appearance of animation.
[Amended 4-5-2006 by Ord. No. 545]
(5) 
Any illumination, intensity or contrast of light level shall remain constant.
C. 
The hours of operation for an electronic variable message sign closer than 275 feet in radius from a dwelling shall be limited to the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
[Amended 4-5-2006 by Ord. No. 545; 4-2-2014 by Ord. No. 644; 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712]
D. 
An electronic variable message sign shall not exceed one square foot of sign area for each 10 linear feet of lot frontage up to a maximum sign area of 80 square feet.
[Amended 4-2-2014 by Ord. No. 644; 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712]
E. 
The maximum height of an electronic variable message sign is 25 feet.
F. 
The sign shall not project over or be located within a public right-of-way.
G. 
The sign shall be located a minimum distance of 10 feet from the street right-of-way line.
H. 
Only one permanent message board or an electronic variable message sign shall be permitted on a lot and no temporary/portable signs will permitted on a lot once an electronic variable message sign is utilized on that lot, regardless of how many tenants occupy the lot.
I. 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection I, regarding requests for modifications to the requirements of this section, as amended, was repealed 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712.
[Amended 9-1-2010 by Ord. No. 606]
Business identification/plaza development identification signs established for shopping centers and integrated industrial areas shall meet the following criteria:
A. 
Number of signs per each development center, park or plaza:
[Amended 9-1-2010 by Ord. No. 606]
(1) 
One freestanding pole sign; or one freestanding ground sign at facilities constructed on an area of 50 acres or less.
(2) 
A total of two freestanding signs (pole or ground signs) at a facility constructed on an area in excess of 50 acres.
B. 
Total combined maximum area of all freestanding pole signs and/or ground signs:
(1) 
One hundred square feet at facilities with highway frontage of 50 linear feet or less.
(2) 
For facilities with highway frontage of between 51 linear feet and 250 linear feet, the following requirements shall apply:
(a) 
Fifty-one to 100 linear feet: sign area of 200 square feet.
(b) 
One hundred one to 150 linear feet: sign area of 300 square feet.
(c) 
One hundred fifty-one to 250 linear feet: sign area of 400 square feet.
(3) 
Five hundred square feet maximum at facilities with highway frontage in excess of 250 linear feet.
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C, regarding maximum sign area of individual tenant signs, as amended, was repealed 2-6-2019 by Ord. No. 712.
D. 
Signs shall be located a minimum distance of 25 feet from the street right-of-way line.
E. 
The top of a pole sign or ground sign shall be no higher that 25 feet above grade level. Consideration may be given by the Zoning Hearing Board for a lot within a one-hundred-foot radius of the right-of-way of Interstate 70 and/or Route 51 to increase the sign height, not to exceed 50 feet at its highest point above ground level, and a landscaping strip will be required for the increase in sign height [§ 195-55D(2)(a) through (c)].
[Amended 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
F. 
No sign shall be set closer than 50 feet of a rear or side property line.
Portable or mobile signs and other similar advertising displays may be used for special sales, announcement and related purposes, subject to the following provisions:
A. 
Display area of such signs shall not exceed 32 square feet.
B. 
No portion of the sign or its supporting structure shall occupy a public right-of-way.
C. 
All lighting and illumination restrictions which apply to displays, signs and structures under this chapter shall apply.
D. 
Permits for the placement of such signs shall be issued for a maximum of 30 consecutive days and may be renewed no more than one time during any consecutive one-hundred-eighty-day period.
E. 
A temporary sign advertising the location of a new business in the B-1, B-2, MU, I-1, I-2 or I-3 District shall be permitted on the property on which the business will be located once a zoning permit has been issued for that property. Signs can be erected no earlier than 30 days prior to the opening of the business and cannot be located within any road right-of-way. The sign must be removed or a permit issued for the sign within 24 hours after the thirty-day period and shall not exceed three square feet in cumulative area. (No zoning permit is required.) Prior to the sign being erected, the Township Zoning Officer must be notified of the installation of the temporary sign.
[Amended 9-1-2010 by Ord. No. 606]
The following standards shall apply to signs in all zoning districts of the Township.
A. 
No sign shall be located or constructed to obstruct or interfere with any traffic control signal, sign, device or intersection sight triangle.
B. 
All signs shall be constructed of durable materials; shall be kept in good condition and repair; and shall not be permitted to become unsightly or dilapidated.
C. 
No sign shall be permitted that is deemed to constitute a hazard of any kind.
D. 
The following types of signs are prohibited in all zoning districts:
[Amended 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
(1) 
Illuminated sign(s) involving the movement or causing the illusion of movement or flashing.
(2) 
Sign(s) or device(s) with flashing, moving or similar lighting or animation.
(3) 
Snipe sign(s).
(4) 
Rotating sign(s).
(5) 
Sign(s) placed on or affixed to vehicles and/or trailers which are parked on a public right-of-way, public property or private property, for two or more consecutive days, so as to be visible from a public right-of-way where the apparent purpose is to advertise a business or activity. This does not include those vehicle signs on a vehicle that serve as identification for a company vehicle.
E. 
A sign shall be removed within 30 days when the circumstances that led to its erection no longer apply or if safety violations occur. Circumstances that dictate sign removal shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
The creation of a safety hazard.
(2) 
Dilapidation.
(3) 
Vacancy or termination of the subject business for more than 90 days.
(4) 
Legal transfer of ownership of a property that involves a change of name or business activity.
(5) 
The completion of an event, business transaction or other activity for which the sign was originally installed.
(6) 
Any illegality under the provisions of this chapter or regulation of a duly constituted governmental authority.
F. 
(Reserved)
G. 
Signs shall be subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
All lighting and illumination of signs shall conform to regulations regarding traffic hazards as specified in local and state regulations and shall not cause undue distraction, confusion or hazard.
(2) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G(2), which provided height and placement regulations for signs, was repealed 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475.
H. 
Business signs not located on the premises, i.e., billboard, of the business or industry that they advertise shall be permitted as a conditional use in B-1, B-2, I-1, I-2 and I-3 Districts when approved by the Rostraver Township Board of Commissioners, after submission and review by the Planning Agency, and provided that all of the following requirements are met:
[Amended 10-7-1998 by Ord. No. 388; 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
(1) 
Subject matter on the sign shall be limited to advertising products, services or attractions available within 10 miles of the location of the sign.
(2) 
Signs shall be permitted only in those districts zoned for business and industrial uses (B-1, B-2, I-1 and I-2 and I-3).
(3) 
The sign shall be limited to 500 square feet in sign face area per lot, including those signs composed of multiple slats or panels.
(4) 
Signs shall not project over or be located within public rights-of-way.
(5) 
The sign shall not be illuminated in any manner that has a potential of causing undue distraction, confusion or hazard to vehicular traffic.
(6) 
Signs advertising the same business and its products, services, and attractions shall not be closer than 1/2 mile from one another.
(7) 
A billboard/off-premises sign is only permitted on a lot that does not have any other signs on the lot. Only one billboard/off-premises sign is permitted per lot.
(8) 
No off-premises sign/billboard shall be closer than 500 feet in radius from a dwelling.
(9) 
A sign shall be located a minimum distance of 10 feet from the street right-of-way line.
(10) 
Landscaping requirements:
(a) 
A decorative landscaped strip shall be located immediately adjoining the supporting structure of the billboard/off-premises sign and extending a minimum of five feet from the sign in all directions.
(b) 
A hedge or other durable planting of at least three feet in height, shall extend the entire length and breadth of the required landscaped strip.
(c) 
The rear side of a single-faced billboard/off-premises sign shall be of one color and screened by existing or natural landscaping materials or by planting of evergreen trees at least six feet tall.
(d) 
Two flowering trees a minimum of six feet in height shall be planted within the required landscaped strip.
I. 
Any trees, bushes or shrubs required by this chapter or other Township ordinances where a sign is located, which die, shall be promptly removed and replaced with new trees, bushes or shrubs of like kind and equality.
[Added 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
[Added 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
A. 
Sign face area.
(1) 
The area of sign face enclosed in frames or cabinets shall be determined based on the outer dimensions of the frame or cabinet surrounding the sign face. Sign area shall not include foundations, supports and other essential structures that do not serve as a backdrop or border to the sign.
(2) 
When a sign shall be on a base material and attached without a frame, such as a wood or plastic panel, the dimensions of the base material shall be used unless it is clear that part of the base contains no sign, related display or decoration.
(3) 
When signs shall be constructed of individual pieces or letters attached to a building wall, sign area shall be determined by a perimeter drawn around all the pieces or letters.
B. 
Double-faced signs.
(1) 
Any sign may be doubled-faced, provided that it has two parallel surfaces that are opposite and matching in size and shape and are not over 12 inches apart.
(2) 
The sign shall be considered as one sign and only one face shall be used to calculate the total size of the sign.
(3) 
Should the two surfaces deviate from being parallel or should they differ in size or shape, the sign shall be considered as two signs and both sides will be used to calculate the total size of the sign.
C. 
Multiple slats or panel signs.
(1) 
A sign face that changes by means of flipping of slats or panels encased in a stationary frame or cabinet.
(2) 
The sign shall be considered as one sign and only one face shall be used to calculate the total size of the sign.
A. 
A separate zoning permit shall be required for the erection of signs under this chapter, except that no permit shall be required for the following exclusions:
(1) 
Signs specified under § 195-53 of this chapter.
(2) 
Signs specified under § 195-54A(1)(a), (2), (5), (6) and (7) of this chapter.
[Amended 6-1-2011 by Ord. No. 617]
(3) 
A zoning permit waiver may be applied for in lieu of a zoning permit for the replacement of an existing permitted sign face, after submission and review by the Zoning Officer. The sign face area to be replaced shall be identical to the square footage approved on the original permit.
[Added 12-4-2002 by Ord. No. 475]
B. 
Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a drawing to scale showing the proposed sign, the size, general characteristics, method of illumination, the exact location of the sign in relation to the lot and structure involved and other data as may be required by the Zoning Officer.
C. 
A fee shall accompany each application for a permit. Such fees shall be established by resolution of the Township Board of Commissioners.