Village of Williston Park, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Williston Park 9-22-1975 by L.L. No. 2-1975 as Ch. 34 of the 1975 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 93.
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 97.
Zoning — See Ch. 230.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed outdoor advertising, outdoor advertising signs and outdoor signs of all types. It is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community. It is further intended hereby to reduce sign or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents, reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more open space and curb the deterioration of natural beauty and community environment.
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY SIGN
Any sign related to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity or service sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
ERECT
To build, construct, alter, repair, display, relocate, attach, hang, place, suspend, affix or maintain any sign, and shall also include the painting of exterior wall signs.
FACING or SURFACE
The surface of the sign upon, against or through which the message is displayed or illustrated on the sign.
FRONT OR FACE OF A BUILDING
The outer surface of a building which is visible from any private or public street or highway.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign illuminated by electricity, gas or other artificial light, including reflective or phosphorescent light.
INCOMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL
Any material which will not ignite at or below a temperature of 1,200º F. and will not continue to burn or glow at that temperature.
LIGHTING DEVICE
Any light, string of lights or group of lights located or arranged so as to cast illumination on a sign.
MAXIMUM HORIZONTAL MEASUREMENT
The horizontal width of such sign, and when used in relation to a sign on the front or rear of a building shall be measured so that the outside extremities of the lettering of such sign shall be equidistant from the side lines of said building.
NONACCESSORY SIGN
Any sign unrelated to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity or service sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
OTHER ADVERTISING STRUCTURE
Any marquee, canopy, awning or street clock as further defined herein.
POLE SIGN
Any sign anchored, suspended, fixed, attached, hung or located on any pole, stanchion or similar structure independently erected and existing separate and apart from any other structure and more than 12 feet in height. No such sign shall contain more than 25 square feet of sign area on each side.
[Added 8-15-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
PROJECTING SIGN
Any sign which projects from the exterior of any building.
RECONSTRUCT
A substantial or material rebuilding or reconditioning of any sign necessitating the taking down of such sign or removal of at least one of its structural parts, other than the electric illumination bulbs and wiring transformers.
SIGN
Any material, structure or device, or part thereof, composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is placed when used or located out of doors or outside or on the exterior of any building or in a window display area for display of an advertisement, announcement, notice, directional matter or name, and includes sign frames, billboards, sign boards, painted wall signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, pennants, fluttering devices, projecting signs or ground signs, and shall also include any marquee, awning, canopy or street clock and any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business when the same is placed in view of the general public. A window or interior sign shall also include but is not limited to paper or temporary signs of any nature.
STRUCTURAL TRIM
The molding, battens, cappings, nailing strips, latticing and platforms which are attached to the sign structure.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term "sign" does not include signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function or required by any law, ordinance or governmental regulation.
The prohibitions contained in this section shall apply to all signs and zoning districts in the Village.
A. 
Illuminated signs. Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only lights emitting a light of constant intensity, and no sign shall be illuminated by or contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights. In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be placed or directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance.
B. 
Projecting signs. No projecting sign shall be erected or maintained from the front or face of a building a distance of more than 10 inches, including those projecting from the face of any theater, hotel or motel marquee.
C. 
Roof signs. No signs shall be placed on the roof of any building.
D. 
Portable or temporary signs. No portable or temporary sign shall be placed on the front or face of a building or on any premises, except as provided in §§ 182-5 and 182-6 herein.
E. 
Moving or fluttering devices. No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices. Said devices, as well as strings of lights, shall not be used for the purposes of advertising or attracting attention when not part of a sign.
F. 
Window signs. No sign erected or maintained, including paper signs and advertisements, in any window of a building shall occupy more than 50% of the area of said individual window. For purposes of this subsection each window will be that glass area enclosed by panes.
[Amended 8-15-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
G. 
Sidewalk signs. No sign shall be placed on any sidewalk or other right-of-way, except that with respect to sidewalks in the Business District, a sign may be placed on a sidewalk, provided such sign is placed within two feet from the building; is not more than four feet high; occupies not more than four square feet; is not permanently affixed to the sidewalk; and advertises the business or profession conducted in the building adjacent to the sign. No fee or permit is required.
[Added 10-20-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
The following signs are permitted in any zoning district without a permit or fee:
A. 
Signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of the premises, which signs shall not exceed four square feet in area.
B. 
Professional nameplates that shall not exceed two square feet in area.
C. 
Signs denoting the architect, engineer or contractor placed on the premises where construction, repair or renovation is in progress, which signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in area.
D. 
Signs or bulletin boards customarily incidental to places of worship, libraries, museums, social clubs or societies, which signs or bulletin boards shall not exceed 12 square feet in area and shall be located on the premises of such institutions.
E. 
Occupational signs denoting only the name and profession of an occupant in a commercial building, public institutional building or dwelling house and not exceeding two square feet in area.
F. 
Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings and date of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze or other incombustible materials.
G. 
Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, railroad crossing signs, danger signs and such temporary, emergency or nonadvertising signs as may be approved by the Board of Trustees.
H. 
Window or interior signs.
A. 
Commercial, industrial or professional signs which are not related to a place of business, industry, profession or properties for sale or lease within the Village are prohibited. Signs must be erected only on the premises to which the signs pertain and as provided in this chapter.
[Amended 8-17-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
B. 
Billboards on the face of buildings are prohibited.
C. 
Pole signs are hereby specifically excluded from all zoning districts in the Village.
[Added 8-15-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, reconstruct, alter, relocate or maintain within the Village of Williston Park any sign or other advertising structure as defined in this chapter without first obtaining a sign permit from the Building Inspector and making payment of the fee required by §§ 182-10 and 182-11 hereof, except as provided in § 182-5.
Application for a sign permit shall be made upon blanks provided by the Building Inspector or Village Clerk and shall contain or have attached thereto the following information:
A. 
Name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
B. 
Location of the building, structure or lot to which or upon which the sign or other advertising structure is to be attached or erected.
C. 
Position of the sign or other advertising structure in relation to nearby buildings or structures.
D. 
Two blueprints or ink drawings of the plans and specifications and method of construction and attachment to the building or in the ground.
E. 
Name of the person, firm, corporation or association erecting the structure.
F. 
Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which or on which the structure is to be erected.
G. 
Any electrical permit required and issued for said design.
H. 
Insurance policy or bond as required.
I. 
Such other information as the Building Inspector shall require to show full compliance with this chapter and all other provisions of this Municipal Code.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector, upon the filing of an application for a sign permit, to examine such plans and specifications and other data and the premises upon which it is proposed to erect the sign or other advertising structure, and if it shall appear that the proposed structure is in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter and all other provisions of the Village of Williston Park Municipal Code, the Building Inspector shall then issue the sign permit, which shall be valid for a period of two years from the date of issuance thereof. Any such permit may be renewed upon the payment of the renewal fee as provided in Chapter 93, Fees, of this Municipal Code. If the work authorized under a sign permit has not been completed within six months after the date of issuance, said permit shall become null and void.
Every applicant, before being granted a permit hereunder, shall pay to the Village Clerk the permit fee for each sign or other advertising structure as provided in Chapter 93, Fees, of this Municipal Code.
All signs of a temporary nature, such as political posters, banners, promotional devices and other signs of a similar nature, may be granted a temporary permit for a period not to exceed 30 days, provided that such signs are not attached to fences, trees, utility poles or the like and further provided that such signs are not placed in a position that will obstruct or impair vision or traffic or in any manner create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public. A fee as provided in Chapter 93, Fees, shall be paid upon the issuance of a permit for such sign, and a cash deposit for a like amount shall be deposited with the Building Inspector to insure the removal of such sign at the expiration of the permit. The Building Inspector, after 10 days' written notice to the permit holder to remove such sign and after the failure of the permit holder to do so, shall cause said sign to be removed, and the cash deposit shall be forfeited to help defray the cost of removal.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The Building Inspector shall inspect, every two years or at such other times as the Building Inspector deems necessary, each sign or other advertising structure regulated by this chapter for the purpose of ascertaining whether the same is secure or insecure and whether it is in need of removal or repair.
Every sign or other advertising structure hereafter erected shall have painted in a conspicuous place thereon, in letters not less than one inch in height, the date of erection, the permit number and the voltage of any electrical apparatus used in connection therewith.
Each sign shall be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, such as but not limited to faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and shall be maintained at all times in such safe condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health or safety.
All signs and other advertising structures shall be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure of not less than 40 pounds per square foot of area and shall be constructed to receive dead loads as required in the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or other provisions of the Village of Williston Park Municipal Code.
No sign shall be erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window or fire escape. No sign of any kind shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape.
A. 
Advertising nonexisting business. Any sign existing on or after the effective date of this chapter which no longer advertises an existing business conducted or product sold on the premises shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after written notice as provided herein. The Building Inspector, upon determining that any such sign exists, shall notify the owner of the premises, in writing, to remove said sign within 30 days from the date of such notice. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land or building on which such sign is located.
B. 
Unsafe or unlawful signs. If the Building Inspector shall find that any sign or other advertising structure regulated herein is unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public or has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall give written notice to the permittee thereof. If the permittee fails to remove or alter the structure so as to comply with the standards herein set forth within 10 days after such notice, such sign or other advertising structure may be removed or altered to comply by the Building Inspector at the expense of the permittee or owner of the property upon which it is located. The Building Inspector shall refuse to issue a permit to any permittee or owner who refuses to pay costs so assessed. The Building Inspector may cause any sign or other advertising structure which is an immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
No sign shall be maintained, erected, constructed or permitted to remain on any buildings or other property within the Village of Williston Park unless it complies with one of the following provisions:
A. 
Residence districts. In any residence district as specified in Chapter 230, Zoning, of this Municipal Code, no billboard, signboard or advertising sign shall be permitted as an accessory use, except the following:
(1) 
One sign displaying the street number or name and profession of the occupant of the premises, or both, not exceeding two square feet in area. The sign may be attached to the building or may be on a rod or post not more than four feet high and at least three feet from the property line. Such sign shall not be illuminated by floodlights or spotlights.
(2) 
A "For Sale" or "For Rent" sign not exceeding four square feet in area and advertising the property on which the same is erected. Such signs shall in no case be located nearer to any street line than the minimum setback line prescribed by Chapter 230, Zoning, of this Municipal Code.
(3) 
Building contractors' and subcontractors' signs maintained on buildings while the same are actually under construction, provided that no such sign shall exceed 12 square feet in area or be located nearer to any street line than the minimum setback line prescribed by Chapter 230, Zoning, of this Municipal Code.
B. 
Business and industrial districts. In business and industrial districts as specified in Chapter 230, Zoning, of this Municipal Code, no billboard, signboard, sign or other device or display for advertising purposes shall be permitted, except the following:
(1) 
One sign not exceeding 12 square feet in area nor more than six feet in height above the ground level when not attached to a building and when used for advertising the sale or rental of the premises on which the same is erected or any business conducted thereon, or one sign displayed or painted on or applied or attached to each wall of a building or storefront facing on a public street and projecting not more than 12 inches from such wall, provided that such sign does not project into the public highway, when used for advertising the sale or rental of the premises on which the same is erected or any business conducted in such building or product sold in conjunction with said business. The maximum overall dimensions of each such attached sign shall not exceed the following:
(a) 
On a building wall or store having a street frontage of 25 feet or less a maximum vertical measurement of four feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 100% of the street frontage, except that the lettering on such sign shall not exceed 90% of such street frontage and the individual letters shall not exceed three feet in height.
(b) 
On a building wall or storefront having a street frontage of more than 25 feet and not more than 40 feet a maximum vertical measurement of four feet and maximum horizontal measurement of 100% of the street frontage, except that the lettering on such sign shall not exceed 20 feet or 75% of the street frontage, whichever is the greater; provided, however, that the individual letters of such sign shall not exceed three feet in height.
(c) 
On a building wall or store having a street frontage of more than 40 feet and not more than 75 feet a maximum vertical measurement of four feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 100% of the street frontage, except that the lettering on such sign shall not exceed 30 feet or 70% of the street frontage, whichever is the greater; provided, however, that the individual letters on such sign shall not exceed three feet in height.
(d) 
On a building wall or storefront having a street frontage in excess of 75 feet a maximum vertical measurement of 4 1/2 feet and a maximum horizontal measurement of 100% of the street frontage, except that the lettering on such sign shall not exceed 55 feet or 50% of such street frontage, whichever is the greater, and the individual letters of any such sign shall not exceed 3 1/2 feet in height.
(2) 
On the rear or side wall of any building or store abutting on a municipal or private parking area, one additional sign, the horizontal width of which shall not exceed 50% of the width of a sign permitted on the front of the building or store under the provisions of Subsection B(1) hereof, provided that no such sign shall be placed more than 15 feet above grade level to the top of said sign and provided further such sign shall in no event be erected higher than the sign or signs on the front of such building or store, nor shall the horizontal center of said sign extend above the roof level. On any such sign abutting a parking area as aforesaid, the individual letters on said sign shall not be greater in height than the individual letters on a sign which would be permitted on the front of said building or store pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
No sign or show window display shall in any case be so placed or illuminated as to be hazardous to traffic or to disturb the occupants of any other building. No flashing or moving illuminated sign shall in any case be permitted. In no event shall the lights, beams or reflected light of any such sign or advertising matter or mechanism be so directed as to permit the beams and illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed into an adjacent residential district so as to cause the houses and property in such residential district to be illuminated therefrom.
(4) 
Signs not exceeding six inches in height painted on or applied or attached to the front valance of an awning over a show window facing on a public street or municipal parking area, when used for advertising any business conducted on the premises of which such window is a part.
(5) 
A sign or notice having an area of six square feet or less of a public utility, gasoline service station or public garage and outdoor display area necessary or convenient for the direction, information or safety of the public.
(6) 
Where any building or store is located on the corner formed by the intersection of a business street with a street which is zoned residential within a distance of 150 feet or less of such business street, then the sign on the side of said building or store facing such street leading into a residential district as aforesaid shall not exceed in horizontal length 50% of the total horizontal distance of said building or store as it fronts on said street leading into a residential district, and such sign shall be located on that half of such building front nearest to the business street.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 34.18(7), which immediately followed this subsection and dealt with pole signs of gasoline service stations, was repealed 8-15-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983.
(7) 
One sign on a plot of ground on which a business is conducted (commonly referred to as a "ground sign") used solely for the purpose of advertising the type of business or trade conducted on such property or the name of the owner or proprietor of said business, provided that such sign shall be maintained only as an accessory use to said property and provided further that its maximum area shall not exceed 26 square feet, its maximum height to the top of such sign shall not exceed 12 feet and its minimum height to the bottom of said sign shall not be less than six feet.
C. 
Window or interior signs. Not more than 50% of the available window space of any place of business shall be occupied by any window or interior sign or signs. The owner or occupant of any place of business shall not permit or allow such signs to remain in view of the public which are torn, discolored, soiled or no longer relevant to the operation of the business contained therein or where the place of business becomes vacant.
[Amended 8-15-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
All signs presently existing and not conforming to the provisions of this chapter shall be discontinued and removed within five years following the adoption of this chapter, as amended, it being the intention of this chapter to fix the discontinuance and subsequent conformity with the provisions of this chapter within a period of time permitting the owners and users of such signs the amortization of investment for the construction of such signs prior to the enactment of this chapter, unless an extension of time is granted by the Board of Appeals subject to such safeguards and conditions as it may deem proper.
The Board of Trustees is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint a Sign and Billboard Advisory Board. Such Advisory Board shall advise the Board of Trustees and the Building Inspector with reference to desirable and effective use of signs for the purpose of enhancing and maintaining the natural beauty and cultural and aesthetic standards of the community. The Advisory Board may advertise, prepare, print and distribute pamphlets and other media which in its judgment will further these purposes. The members of the Advisory Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees.
A. 
Notice of violation; procedure. In the event of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall give written or personal notice specifying the violation to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, sent to the addresses as stated in the application for the sign permit, to conform or remove such sign. The sign shall thereupon be conformed by the owner of the sign and the owner of the land within 30 days from the date of said notice. In the event that such sign shall not be so conformed within 30 days, the Building Inspector shall thereupon revoke the permit and such sign shall be removed by the owner of the sign or the owner of the land.
B. 
Review and appeal.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Building Inspector relative to the provisions of this chapter or the Village may appeal such decision to the Board of Appeals as provided in Chapter 230, Zoning, of this Code, and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by the Board of Appeals.
(2) 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Appeals may have the decision reviewed by a special term of the Supreme Court in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
C. 
Variances. The Board of Appeals may, in appropriate cases, after public notice and hearing and subject to appropriate safeguards, vary or modify the application of this chapter in harmony with its general purpose and intent.
[Amended 10-1-1984 by L.L. No. 6-1984]
Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a violation punishable as provided in Chapter 1, §§ 1-18 and 1-19 of this Code.