City of Oswego, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 3-14-1983]
A. 
No sign shall be constructed, erected, altered or relocated until a sign permit has been issued by the Zoning Administrator. Application for a sign permit shall be made by the property owner to the Zoning Administrator on forms he shall prescribe. The Zoning Administrator may refer an application for a sign permit to the Planning Board for an advisory opinion. The Common Council, from time to time, shall establish a schedule of sign permit application fees to defray the administration costs in processing the application.
B. 
An application for a sign in public space shall be approved by the Common Council before the issuance of a sign permit.
C. 
Signs, including support structures, shall be removed within 60 days following the closing of the permitted facility for which the sign was issued.
[Added 5-8-2006]
[Amended 7-11-2005]
The following signs are permitted in residential districts or for residential uses when located on the immediate property:
A. 
“For rent” and “for sale” signs.
[Amended 5-8-2006]
(1) 
One "for rent" sign not exceeding one square foot in area displayed inside the window of the residential dwelling for which a rental unit is offered.
(2) 
One "for sale" sign not exceeding five square feet in area on each face for any one residential structure, subdivision or project.
B. 
Directional or informational real estate signs not exceeding four square feet in area on each face.
[Amended 5-8-2006]
C. 
Signs necessary for public safety or welfare.
D. 
One ground sign per lot shall be allowed by special permit in R3 and R4 Residential Districts for licensed professional offices that are otherwise allowed in those districts by special permit. Such signs shall be set back at least 10 feet from any street line or any other lot line and shall not exceed 20 square feet in area on each face.
E. 
Lighting, as identified in § 280-65, of ground signs in R3 and R4 Residential Districts may be allowed by special permit, but in no case shall the sign be illuminated more than one hour before or one hour after the regular business hours of the professional office.
The following signs are permitted in business and industrial districts:
A. 
All signs permitted under § 280-59.
B. 
Business signs, with a total area not to exceed three square feet for each one lineal foot of building frontage.
C. 
Nonilluminated professional A-frame or "inverted-T" signs in public space having a total area not to exceed 20 square feet (including both sides); meeting all of the following:
[Amended 5-8-1995; 7-10-2006]
(1) 
Professional-grade portable signage shall be placed within four feet of the curb, not at the building wall or in the middle of the sidewalk, except in areas where green space is within the first four feet from the curb, the applicant would have the option to place the sign in green space or inside the sidewalk, whichever is beneficial to the store owner.
(2) 
Every business that wants to use public space for an A-frame or inverted-T sign must first obtain approval from the Common Council for use of the public space as well as a permit for the sign.
(3) 
A-frame or inverted-T signs shall only be permitted to advertise the business that they front.
(4) 
Placement of signs shall be at the curb directly in front of the business only during business hours.
(5) 
Signs shall be removed during high winds, and removed when the business is closed. Signs shall be maintained by business owners.
(6) 
The City will issue an identifiable sticker with the permit that must be visibly placed on each sign to show code compliance and that the proper permit was obtained.
D. 
Marquee illuminated flashing portable signs are prohibited both on private properties as well as on public space.
[Added 7-10-2006]
[Amended 7-11-2005]
Post signs shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
The top of a post sign shall not exceed 20 feet in height above the average grade. The bottommost part of a post sign shall not be less than 10 feet above grade at the site of the sign placement.
B. 
Said sign shall be set back at least 10 feet from any street line or any other lot line.
C. 
Said sign shall not exceed 80 square feet in area on each face. The supports for the sign shall not exceed two-post construction (nonlattice type).
[Added 7-11-2005]
A. 
Ground signs shall not exceed 30 square feet on each face, except for ground signs in R3 and R4 Residential Districts as permitted in § 280-59 which shall not exceed 20 square feet on each face.
B. 
Said sign shall be set back at least 10 feet from any street line or any other lot line.
C. 
The top of a ground sign shall not exceed four feet in height above the average grade at the site of the sign placement. The bottommost part of a ground sign shall be at grade or may be within a planter.
[Added 6-10-2013]
Flag/feather signs shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
Said sign shall not be placed in public space.
B. 
Said sign shall not exceed 30 square feet of area.
C. 
Said sign shall be placed a minimum of 12 feet from any public walkway/or sidewalk.
D. 
No more than two signs shall be placed per property street frontage.
E. 
The sign permit shall be valid for 120 days only.
F. 
The sign permit fee shall be $0.50 per square foot of signage on each face.
Signs attached to or supported by a building and having their display face parallel to a wall shall not:
A. 
Project more than one foot beyond the building line or into any required yard.
B. 
Be installed above the cornice line of the main roof of the building to which they are affixed.
[Amended 8-24-2009; 12-10-2012]
C. 
Be painted directly upon an exterior wall.
D. 
Exceed 30 square feet, if it is a banner.
[Added 6-22-1992]
[Amended 10-14-1997; 8-13-2012]
A. 
Projecting signs may be permitted in B1, B2 and B3 Commercial Districts only. All projecting signs shall be subject to review by the Historical Review Committee for consistency with Downtown Design Guidelines and safety. Projecting signs that will be located over City property and City rights-of-way require review and approval by the Oswego Common Council.
B. 
Signs attached to or supported by a building and having their display face perpendicular to a building shall be permitted once they have met the following requirements:
(1) 
The sign shall measure no more than 18 inches by 24 inches and must be attached to a black steel mounting bracket secured to the facade of the building and extending no more than 36 inches from the facade.
(2) 
The lowest point of the perpendicular sign must extend at least eight feet from the height of the sidewalk, and the height can be adjusted upward to accommodate the architectural variations of the facades belonging to particular buildings in the City. No signs will be allowed at a height of greater than 12 feet.
(3) 
If multiple businesses exist in a building storefront, multiple signs can be considered. The separation between signs must be a least eight feet, and there can be no more than three feet separate mounted signs on a facade 25 feet wide. The Historical Review Committee will consider an alternate sign to identify multiple businesses in a building; for example, three business names on one mounted sign meeting the specifications previously described in § 280-63B(1) above.
(4) 
Signs shall be centered on the building facade, whenever possible, and no signs will be allowed within eight feet of each other.
A. 
Every sign shall be designed and located in such a manner as to:
(1) 
Not impair public safety.
(2) 
Not restrict clear vision between a sidewalk and street.
(3) 
Not be confused with any traffic sign or signal.
(4) 
Not prevent free access to any door, window or fire escape.
(5) 
Withstand a wind pressure loads of at least 30 pounds per square foot.
B. 
Portable signs, except A-frame signs permitted by § 280-60C, sandwich board and sidewalk or curb signs shall not be permitted in any district or public space.
[Amended 5-8-1995]
A. 
Signs may be illuminated by a steady light, provided that such lighting will not be directed or create glare onto other properties or be a hazard to traffic.
B. 
Flashing, oscillating and revolving signs shall not be permitted, unless necessary for public safety or traffic control.
Other signs may be permitted under recommendation of the Planning Board to the Common Council if the Board finds that such a sign:
A. 
Is in the public interest and not to the detriment of the public safety or welfare or not detrimental to surrounding properties.
B. 
Is of a character, size and location that it will be in harmony with the orderly development of the district.