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Township of Bear Creek, PA
Luzerne County
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All signs shall be classified according to type and use as provided herein:
A. 
Identification sign. A sign which communicates the name and/or address of an occupant or a permitted home occupation upon the zoning lot on which the sign is located.
B. 
Business sign. A sign which communicates information concerning a business, profession, commodity, service, entertainment or development which is sold, offered, prepared, manufactured or conducted upon the zoning lot where the sign is located.
C. 
Billboard or off-premises advertising sign. A sign which communicates information concerning a subject, business, profession, activity, commodity, service, entertainment or development not related to, sold, offered, prepared or manufactured on the zoning lot where the sign is located.
D. 
Real estate sign. A temporary sign, having an area not greater than eight square feet in area which advertises the sale, rental or development of the premises upon which the sign is located.
E. 
Subdivision/development advertising sign. A temporary real estate sign, not greater than 60 square feet in area, which advertises the sale of property within an approved subdivision or planned residential development.
F. 
Institutional sign. A sign which identifies a use pertaining to a school, church, hospital or other institution of a similar public or semipublic nature.
G. 
On-site directional and/or informational sign. A sign commonly associated with, and limited to, information and directions necessary for visitors entering or exiting a property, including signs marking entrance and exits, parking areas, circulation direction, rest rooms and pickup and delivery areas. Such signs shall contain no advertising material.
H. 
Subdivision/development identification sign. A sign that displays the name of a subdivision and/or development at an entrance to the site upon which the subdivision or development is located.
I. 
Electronic message board sign. A sign whose alphabetic, pictographic or symbolic informational content may be changed or altered on a fixed display screen composed of electrically illuminated segments.
J. 
Event signs. A temporary sign advertising private not-for-profit events and fund-raisers such as picnics, bazaars, gaming events, arts and crafts shows, and similar types of fund-raising activities.
All signs shall be classified according to construction types as provided herein:
A. 
Freestanding sign. A sign not attached or applied to a principal building but supported by another structure, including structures designed for the sign itself and accessory structures.
B. 
Wall sign. A sign attached, painted or affixed to the wall of a principal structure or accessory structure, not projecting over any public right-of-way and not extending more than two feet from the building or structure.
C. 
Projecting sign. A sign which projects outward or extends more than two feet from the building or structure.
The establishment, erection or reconstruction of any sign shall be in accordance with the regulations as set forth herein:
A. 
Identification sign. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
B. 
Business signs. Such signs shall be permitted in B-1, B-2, C-1, A-1 and I-1 Zoning Districts.
C. 
Real estate signs. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
D. 
Subdivision/development advertising signs. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts and any PRD zoning district upon the creation of such.
E. 
Institutional signs. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
F. 
On-site directional and/or informational sign. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
G. 
Billboard signs. Such signs shall be permitted in an I-1 Zoning District.
H. 
Subdivision/development identification signs. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
I. 
Electronic message board sign. Such signs shall be permitted in B-1 and B-2 Zoning Districts.
J. 
Event signs. Such signs shall be permitted in all zoning districts.
The establishment, erection or reconstruction of permitted signs shall be governed by the following regulations:
A. 
Identification sign. An identification sign shall not exceed two square feet in area. Such a sign shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the front lot line. The maximum height of an identification sign, if freestanding, shall not exceed 10 feet in height, or if attached to a building shall not be higher than the first story of the building to which it is attached.
B. 
Business sign.
(1) 
A business sign shall not exceed the square feet of area for the following zoning districts:
(a) 
C-1 District: 50 square feet.
(b) 
A-1 District: 32 square feet.
(c) 
B-1 District: 75 square feet.
(d) 
B-2 District: 100 square feet.
(e) 
I-1 District: 150 square feet.
(2) 
In a shopping center or an integrated grouping of commercial or industrial uses which is classified as a "land development," in addition to permitting each individual business establishment to display a business sign, one sign shall be permitted on the lot that indicates the name of the shopping center and/or the names of the business establishments located therein. Only one such sign shall be permitted on the lot and such sign shall not exceed 300 square feet in area.
(3) 
A business sign shall have a minimum front yard setback of not less than 25% of the required setback for a principal structure in the zoning district in which the sign is located. If an existing building has a front yard setback which is less than 10 feet, the sign shall be attached flat against the building as a wall sign.
(4) 
The maximum height of any business sign shall not exceed 18 feet.
C. 
Real estate sign. A temporary real estate sign shall not exceed eight square feet in area and shall be located on the same lot on which the property is offered for sale or rental. The sign shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the front lot line and shall be removed from the premises within 30 days after the sale or rental of the property.
D. 
Subdivision/development advertising sign. A subdivision/development advertising sign shall be considered a temporary real estate sign and shall not exceed 60 square feet in area. The sign shall be located on the same property on which lots and/or homes in the subdivision are offered for sale. Not more than one sign shall be erected in any subdivision, and such signs shall be set back not less than 35 feet from the front lot line. The sign shall be removed from the premises within 30 days after the last lot and/or home is sold.
E. 
Institutional sign. An institutional sign for public and semipublic facilities, such as schools, churches, hospitals, libraries, colleges or other institutions of a similar nature, shall not exceed 30 square feet in area. The maximum height of such signs shall not exceed the maximum height restriction established for a principal structure in the district in which the sign is located. An institutional sign shall be not less than 10 feet from the front lot line.
F. 
On-site directional and/or informational sign. An on-site directional and/or informational sign shall not exceed six square feet in area. A front, rear or side yard setback of not less than five feet shall be required for such signs. The maximum height of such signs shall not exceed six feet.
G. 
Billboard sign or off-premises advertising sign. The following regulations shall apply to any billboard and/or off-premises advertising sign. The advertising surface area of any panel shall not exceed 300 square feet and not more than one double-faced panel shall be permitted on the same structure or standard:
(1) 
Such a sign shall not be located within 200 feet of any residential structure or residential zoning district.
(2) 
There shall be a minimum spacing distance of 1,000 feet between all such signs.
(3) 
Such signs shall be set back not less than 200 feet from the center line of any public right-of-way for vehicular traffic.
(4) 
Such signs shall not be attached to a building, nor shall such signs be permitted to project above the maximum height limitation for the zoning district in which it is located.
H. 
Subdivision/development identification sign. A subdivision/development identification sign shall not exceed 10 square feet in area. Not more than one sign shall be erected at any entrance point to the subdivision/development. Such signs shall be set back not less than 10 feet from the front lot line.
I. 
Event sign. An event sign shall not exceed six square feet in area. Such signs shall not be attached to any tree, utility pole or structure within a public right-of-way. Such signs shall not be posted more than 45 days in advance of the scheduled event and shall be removed within 30 days following the event.
J. 
Number of signs. Excluding on-site directional and/or informational signs, not more than two signs shall be permitted on any property located in any zoning district. In the case of a property located upon a corner lot, a total of three signs may be permitted.
The minimum side yard setback and rear yard setback for any freestanding sign shall be the same as the minimum side yard or rear yard setback for a principal structure in the zoning district in which the sign is located. The minimum front yard setback, with the exception of § 127-84, Subsection F, On-site directional and/or informational sign, and Subsection G, Billboard sign or off-premises advertising sign, shall be the more restrictive of 25% of the required setback for a principal structure in the zoning district in which the sign is located, or 10 feet. If an existing building has a front yard setback that is less than 10 feet, any new proposed sign shall be attached flat against the building as a wall sign.
An existing sign related to a legally established nonconforming use shall be considered a nonconforming sign that may be continued at its present dimensions and location, but shall not be enlarged. Where a nonconforming use is lawfully changed to another nonconforming use, a new sign shall be permitted being the same type and size as the previous sign. The new sign shall be erected on the property at the same location as the previous sign. The sign may be erected at a different location, provided it meets all applicable regulations within Article V and for the zoning district in which it is located.
The area of a sign shall be construed to include all lettering, wording and accompanying design and symbols, together with the background including border and trim, whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed, but not including any supporting framework and bracing that are incidental to the display itself. Computation of the area for particular signs shall be in accordance with the following regulations:
A. 
Wall sign. For a sign painted upon or applied to a building, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, wording and accompanying design or symbols, together with any backing associated with the sign.
B. 
Separate symbols. Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted on a surface; building, wall or window, the area shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or other shape that encompasses all of the letters and symbols.
C. 
Double-face sign. With the exception of a billboard, when computing the area of a double-face sign, only one sign shall be considered, provided both faces are identical.
D. 
Cylindrical sign. The area of a cylindrical sign shall be computed by multiplying 1/2 of the circumference by the height of the sign.
A freestanding sign and a projecting sign shall have a vertical distance of not less than nine feet as measured from the lowest edge or point of the sign to the highest ground elevation located beneath the sign.
The following types of signs shall not be permitted in any zoning district:
A. 
Signs that are located in such a position which endangers vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic by obscuring the site distance.
B. 
Signs which by design and/or location may be confused with traffic signs or signals.
C. 
Any sign located in or extending into a public right-of-way, including sidewalk areas, except an official street sign or traffic control sign.
D. 
Any freestanding or projecting sign within an area bounded by the intersection of two public or private streets, for a distance of 20 feet along the center line of the right-of-way of such streets from the point of their intersection.
E. 
Freestanding or projecting signs over any type of public right-of-way, including sidewalk areas.
F. 
Sequential, flashing or oscillating signs, excluding an electronic message board sign as provided for in § 127-83I.
G. 
Signs which due to their construction and/or location would constitute a hazard or a potential danger to the community.
A zoning permit shall be required for the erection, alteration or relocation of any sign that exceeds eight square feet in surface area. Real estate signs and subdivision/land development signs shall be exempt.