[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Malone 4-13-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; amended in its entirety 12-17-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Poles and wires — See Ch. 35.
Sidewalks and streets — See Ch. 47.
Zoning — See Ch. 66.
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Chapter 48, Signs, adopted 4-9-1990 by L.L. No. 3-1990.
Signs must be erected and maintained only when in conformance with the provisions of this Chapter 48 of this Code.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards for the design, manufacture and installation of signs in the Village of Malone and to promote the public health, welfare and safety of the community by regulating existing and proposed outdoor signs. It is intended to reduce distractions, obstructions and hazards caused by indiscriminate placement and use of signs, or by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way and other adverse construction. This chapter shall control the design, installation, alteration, operation, maintenance and removal of all signs existing and proposed within the Village of Malone.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCESSORY SIGN
- Any sign relating to a business, a service or products, including national brand products, supplied on the premises on which it is located.
- ANIMATED OR FLASHING SIGN
- Any sign or device which, in part or in whole, moves or flashes or contains traveling lights or gives the impression of movement or flashing, whether such effect is generated by natural or artificial forces.
- AWNING SIGN
- Any visual message incorporated into an awning attached to a building.
- BANNER SIGN
- Any piece of fabric which is not mounted on a firm backing, displaying a distinctive insignia, identifying wording and/or a symbol representation of a business, service or activity.
- COPY-CHANGE SIGN
- A sign on which the visual message may be periodically changed.
- DIRECTIONAL SIGN
- A sign limited to providing information on the location of an activity, business or event.
- DOUBLE-FACED SIGN
- A sign of which two sides are visible, either back-to-back or attached at an angle no greater than 45°. Two sign faces attached at an angle greater than 45° shall be considered a single-faced sign.
- FREESTANDING SIGN
- Any sign not attached to or part of any building but separate and permanently affixed, by any other means in or upon the ground. Included are pole signs, pylon signs and masonry wall-type signs.
- IDENTIFYING SIGN
- Any sign giving no more than the name and address of the business or occupant of the premises or of its operator and the hours open for business.
- ILLUMINATED SIGN
- Any sign illuminated by electricity, gas or other artificial light, either from the interior or exterior of the sign, and which includes reflective and phosphorescent light.
- INTERIOR WINDOW SIGN
- A sign occupying not more than 1/3 of the window space.
- LAWN SIGN
- A temporary freestanding sign put up for the benefit of the contractor. Such sign is allowed for the duration of the work plus seven days. Such sign must be a minimum of one foot behind the sidewalk on a property owner's land.
- MARQUEE SIGN
- An identifying sign hanging from or supported by a permanent marquee or overhang.
- NONACCESSORY SIGN
- Any billboard or any sign or advertising device advertising a business, service, product or activity at other locations.
- OBSOLETE SIGN
- A sign which advertises a business no longer conducted or a product no longer sold.
- OFF-PREMISES SIGN
- A sign unrelated to a business or a profession conducted, or to a commodity or service sold or offered, upon the premises where such sign is located.
- POLE OR PYLON SIGN
- Any sign supported by or suspended from a freestanding column or columns designed solely to support said sign and set directly on the ground.
- PORTABLE SIGN
- A sign, whether on its own trailer, wheels or otherwise, designed to be movable and not structurally attached to the ground, a building, a structure or another sign.
- PROJECTING SIGN
- A sign which is attached to the building wall or structure and which extends horizontally more than 15 inches from the plane of such wall, or a sign which is perpendicular to the face of such wall or structure.
- REPRESENTATIONAL SIGN
- A three-dimensional sign built so as to physically represent the object advertised.
- Any material, structure or device, or part thereof, composed of lettered or pictorial matter, which is located out of doors, or on the exterior of any building, or indoors as a window sign, displaying an advertisement, announcement, notice or name, and shall include any declaration, demonstration, display, representation, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business or cause when such is placed in view of the general public.
- SIGN DIRECTORY
- A listing of two or more business enterprises, consisting of a matrix and sign components.
- SIGN STRUCTURE
- The supports, uprights, bracing and framework for the sign. In the case of a sign structure consisting of two or more sides where the angle formed between any two of the sides or the projections thereof exceeds 30°, each side shall be considered a separate sign structure.
- SIGN SURFACE AREA
- The entire area within a single, continuous perimeter enclosing all elements which form an integral part of the sign. The structure supporting a sign shall be excluded unless the structure is designed in a way to form an integral background for the display. Only one face of a double-faced sign shall be included as surface or area of such a sign.
- SYMBOL SIGN
- Any nontranslucent sign which is a three-dimensional representation or illustration of the activity of the business or service.
- TEMPORARY SIGN (to include political signs)
- A sign related to a single activity or event. All signs of a temporary nature, except as otherwise provided by this chapter, shall be permitted for a period not exceeding 30 days prior to the activity or event and not exceeding four days after the activity or event. Such signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in business or industrial districts or eight square feet in residential districts; shall not be attached to fences, trees, utility poles, rocks or other parts of a natural landscape; and shall not be placed in a position that will obstruct or impair traffic or in any manner create a hazard or disturbance to the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
- WALL SIGN
- A sign which is painted on or attached to the outside wall of a building, with the face of the sign in the plane parallel to such wall, and not extending more than 15 inches from the face of such wall.
- WINDOW SIGN
- Signs on exterior windows, either inside or outside, shall be treated as wall signs in all districts.
No sign shall be erected, maintained, displayed, altered, rebuilt, enlarged, extended or relocated within the Village without first having obtained and paid for and having in force a permit therefor from the Village Code Officer.
The provisions and regulations of this chapter shall not apply to the following signs; provided, however, that all signs shall be subject to the requirements of § 48-4 on general standards and § 48-13 on unsafe and unlawful signs:
Signs advertising the sale or rental of the premises upon which they are erected by the owner or broker or any other person interested in the sale or rental of such premises and signs bearing the word "sold" or "rented" with the name of the persons affecting the sale or rental may be erected or maintained, provided that:
The size of any sign is not in excess of eight square feet in residential districts or 32 square feet in residential-limited business, business, commercial and industrial districts.
Not more than one sign is placed upon any property unless such property fronts upon more than one street, in which event one such sign may be erected on each frontage.
Such sign or signs shall be removed within a fifteen-day period after the premises has been sold or rented.
Signs designating entrances to or exits from a parking lot, to be limited to one sign for each such exit or entrance and to a maximum size of two square feet each, shall be permitted. One sign per parking lot, designating the conditions or use or identity of such parking lot and limited to a maximum size of nine square feet, shall be permitted, provided that, on a corner lot, two such signs shall be permitted, one facing each street.
Development signs advertising the sale or development of the premises upon which they are erected, when erected in connection with the development of the premises by a builder, contractor, developer or other persons interested in such sale or development, may be erected and maintained, provided that:
The size of any sign is not in excess of 16 square feet in residential districts or 32 square feet in residential-limited business, business, commercial and industrial districts.
Not more than one such sign is placed upon any property unless such property fronts more than one street, in which event one such sign may be erected on each frontage.
Any such sign shall be removed by the developer within 15 calendar days of final sale or completion of the project.
Lawn signs, such as those of mechanics, painters and other artisans, may be erected and maintained during the period when such persons are performing the work on the premises on which such signs are erected, provided that:
For all signs requiring a permit hereunder, applications should be obtained from and returned to the Village Clerk, subject to review by the Village Code Officer. The application shall include:
A nonrefundable permit fee shall be paid upon filing an application with the Village Clerk. The fee shall be $50.
Within five working days, the Village Clerk shall refer the application and all accompanying material to the Code Officer.
After receipt of the application and all required material, the Code Officer shall review the application and advise the applicant of approval or disapproval within 30 days from the date of receipt.
The provisions contained in this section shall apply to all signs and all use districts, regardless of designation:
Any sign or use of signs not specifically permitted by the provisions of this chapter is prohibited.
No sign shall be located in such a way as to interfere with, or to be reasonably confused with, other traffic, traffic signs or signals, nor shall it hinder driver vision.
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 a flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights. In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be so placed or directed as to permit the beams and illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause a glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance.
No sign or sign supports shall be placed upon the roof of any building.
When a business closes or moves, signs must be removed within three weeks from the closing date of the business in this location.
Within any zoning district, the following permanent signs may be erected; provided, however, that this subsection shall not serve to expand the number of signs otherwise allowed, pursuant to § 48-8, Business, commercial and industrial districts:
Off-premises directional signs for the convenience of the general public and for the purpose of directing persons to a business, activity, service or community facility may be erected, provided that such signs do not exceed 10 square feet per establishment, are limited to one off-premises sign per establishment, and each business is limited to one off-premises sign only. Messages shall be limited to name or identification, arrow or direction, and distance. Advertising messages shall be prohibited.
The owner of a sign and the owner of the premises on which each sign is located shall be jointly and severally liable for maintaining such sign and supporting structure, including its illuminating sources, in neat, orderly and legible condition and good working order at all times and for preventing the development of any corrosion, rotting or other deterioration in the physical appearance or safety of such sign or supporting structure.
Obstruction to doors, windows and/or fire escapes. 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 shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape.
In residential districts, no sign shall be larger than 16 square feet.
Signs for customary home occupations shall be limited to a small announcement or professional sign not to exceed two square feet in area and shall not be illuminated.
Institutional signs of schools, colleges, churches or hospitals or of other similar public or semipublic nature shall be limited to one such sign on a property unless such property fronts upon more than one street, in which event one such sign may be erected on each frontage.
Within residential-limited business districts, signs will conform to all signs allowed in business districts, except for size. Signs shall be no larger than 32 square feet.
Within business, commercial and industrial districts, the following sign provisions shall apply:
The total cumulative area of all signs permitted on such lot shall be calculated at the rate of the total area of all wall signs for each separate business, shall not exceed two square feet per foot of frontage or shall not exceed 75% of the frontage of the principal facade of the building, up to a total of not more than 200 square feet.
Where groups of four or more contiguous stores are located together in a shopping center or where a lesser number of stores total not less than 20,000 square feet of gross leasable area, one common freestanding sign denoting the name of the shopping facility shall be permitted, not exceeding 100 square feet and with a bottom panel of not less than eight feet above grade. All other signs shall be attached to buildings and shall be of a wall, projecting or soffit type and coordinated in material, shape, lettering, color and/or decorative elements. The total sign area permitted for each storefront shall be calculated at the rate of two square feet per lineal foot of storefront or 75% of store frontage, whichever is more restrictive, not to exceed 200 square feet per store.
Representational signs shall not project in any direction more than four feet beyond the principal structure to which they are attached and shall not exceed 15 square feet. Only one such sign per establishment shall be permitted, with the area of such sign structure included within the total sign area permitted.
Illuminated signs which indicate the time, temperature, date or similar public service information shall not exceed 32 square feet and shall not employ less than 60% of the total sign area on each side for said public service information.
Gasoline service stations shall additionally be permitted two price, product or promotional signs each, not exceeding six square feet per side if located on the pump island. Separate signs shall not be closer than 10 feet to the edge of the pavement or situated so as to impair visibility for pedestrians or motorists.
A new business, or a business in a new location, awaiting installation of a permanent sign may utilize a portable sign for a period of not more than 60 days or until installation of a permanent sign, whichever occurs first. Such a portable sign must meet all of the construction standards of the municipality. A separate permit for such a portable sign shall be required.
A nonilluminated, single-sided real estate development sign, excluding industrial and commercial development, residential subdivision or construction sign denoting the architect, engineer and/or contractor, not exceeding 32 square feet in business and industrial districts, 20 square feet in residential districts, or 32 square feet in residential-limited business districts, may be erected on property being sold, leased or developed. Such sign shall be erected parallel to the fronting highway, set back a minimum of 35 feet from the property line or attached to the building face. Such sign shall be removed upon completion of the project and shall be in place for a period not exceeding two years.
Signs or bulletin boards customarily incident to places of worship, libraries, museums, social clubs or societies may be erected on the premises of such institutions. One such sign or bulletin board, not exceeding 32 square feet, shall be permitted. One such sign shall be permitted for each entrance on a different street or highway.
For multiple dwellings or apartment developments, one sign advertising the availability of several dwelling units, not exceeding 32 square feet, shall be permitted. One such sign shall be permitted for each entrance on a different street or highway.
Signs necessary for the identification, operation or production of a public utility, not exceeding 32 square feet, may be erected on the premises of such public utility.
Below are descriptions of signs varying in construction and type which may comply with the following additional conditions, unless otherwise specified elsewhere in a local law:
Wall signs shall not extend beyond the ends or over the top of the walls to which they are attached and shall not extend above the level of the second floor of the building.
Wall signs shall not extend more than nine inches from the face of the building to which they are attached, except that copy-change signs may extend 15 inches.
Any part of a sign extending over pedestrian traffic areas shall have a minimum clearance of seven feet six inches.
Copy-change wall signs shall be permitted on theaters only.
Projecting signs shall not have more than two faces.
The exterior edge of a projecting sign shall extend not more than five feet from the building face or 1/3 the width of the sidewalk, whichever is less.
No part of a projecting sign shall extend into vehicular traffic areas, and any part extending over pedestrian areas shall have a minimum clearance of seven feet six inches.
Projecting signs shall not extend above the level of the second floor of the buildings to which they are attached or in any case be higher than 12 feet.
No projecting sign shall be closer than 15 feet to the corner of a building located at a street intersection unless it is 12 feet above ground level.
One freestanding sign not over 25 feet in height shall be permitted on the lot. The one freestanding sign is allowed an area of 100 square feet, plus 25 square feet per commercial occupancy in excess of one on the lot, with the total sign area not to exceed 200 square feet.
No freestanding sign shall be located less than five feet from the property line. The size of the sign cannot exceed 32 square feet in a business district or 16 square feet in a residential, commercial or industrial district.
No freestanding sign shall extend over or into the public right-of-way, nor shall it overhang the property lines.
Freestanding signs under which a pedestrian walkway or driveway passes must have a ten-foot vertical clearance.
If, for any reason, the property line is changed at some future date, any freestanding sign made nonconforming thereby must be relocated within 90 days to conform to the minimum setback requirements.
Except in the case of those situations defined in the general provisions of § 48-8A(2), no freestanding sign shall be more than 100 square feet per side for a double-faced sign.
No freestanding sign shall be more than 25 feet in height above finished grade. Such height shall be measured vertically from the established average grade directly below the sign or entry level of the building or structure, whichever is lower, to the highest point of the sign, including supporting structures.
Masonry wall-type signs shall not exceed four feet in height and shall not be placed so as to impair visibility for motorists.
The character and size of the sign matrix and of the individual sign components, composing the directory shall be regulated in accordance with design guidelines provided by this chapter.
Sign directories shall contain identification of and direction to several business enterprises but shall contain no promotional advertising.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Building Inspector relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision, in writing, to the Planning Board and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Board. A filing fee of $50 will be paid to the Village Clerk for Planning Board review.
In granting any variance from the provisions of this chapter, the Planning Board must find that the variance is necessary for the reasonable use of the land or buildings, that granting the variance is in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this chapter, that such will not be injurious to the neighborhood character or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare and that denial of the variance would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship to the applicant.
Any person, firm or corporation, whether as owner, lessee, agent or employee, who proceeds to erect, reerect, construct or structurally alter any sign without first applying for and obtaining the necessary permit or who in any other way violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $50 for each offense. Each week's continuous violation shall constitute a separate additional violation. In case of a violation of this chapter, the municipality and its officers may, in addition to any other remedies specifically conferred by law or ordinance, institute any appropriate proceedings to prevent unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration or use of any sign not in compliance with this chapter.
The lawful signs existing at the time of the enactment of this chapter may be continued, although such signs may not conform to the provisions of this chapter.
A nonconforming sign shall not be replaced, enlarged or altered, other than for repair, except as such would be in compliance with this chapter. If a nonconforming sign is destroyed for any reason, with a loss of more than 75% of its replacement cost, it shall be removed.
If the Building Inspector shall find that any sign or other advertising structure regulated herein is unlawful, unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public, he/she shall give written notice, either in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner, lessee or holder of the permit for such sign, as well as to the owner of the property upon which the sign is located, such person hereinafter referred to as the "responsible person," advising that such sign should be either removed or altered. If such responsible person fails to remove or alter any sign which is unsafe or insecure, or which in any other way is a menace to the public, within 10 days after receipt of such notice, such sign or other advertising structure shall be removed or altered by the Village Code Officer, or anyone so designated by the Village Board, at the expense of the responsible person, or at their joint expense if there is more than one responsible person who fails or refuses to pay costs which were incurred by the Village in the removal or alteration of a sign. The Village Code Officer may cause any sign or other advertising structure which is an immediate peril to persons or property to be immediately removed without notice, and such costs shall be charged to the responsible person or persons.
Large projects are required to undergo a site plan review as per the New York State Code.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State of New York.