Village of New Haven, MI
Macomb County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of New Haven 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 365.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 160.
Buildings and structures — See Ch. 168.
Zoning — See Ch. 515.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 425, Signs, adopted 4-28-2010 by Ord. No. 303, as amended.
A. 
This chapter shall be known and cited as "the Village of New Haven Sign Ordinance."
B. 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Public Act 3 of 1895,[1] as amended, for the health, safety, and welfare of Village residents.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 61.1 et seq.
C. 
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards for the design, size and location of signs; establish the review, approval and permit procedures for all signs; regulate the construction and maintenance of signs; and provide for the removal of any unauthorized signs placed within road rights-of-way.
D. 
It is intended by the provisions of this chapter to reduce signage distractions, to eliminate hazards caused by signs being too close to the public rights-of-way, to avoid the confusion of conflicting adjacent signs, to protect property values, and to eliminate obsolete, nonconforming, and deteriorated signs. With these purposes in mind, it is the intention of this chapter to authorize the use of signs which are:
(1) 
Maintained in accordance with zoning/blight and nuisance ordinances.
(2) 
Legible in the circumstances in which they are seen.
(3) 
That signs within districts are consistent in size and aesthetic character.
E. 
All signs within the Village shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.
The definitions which shall apply in the construction and application of this chapter are specified in the Definitions Section, under the definition of "signs."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 425-12.
A. 
Village, county, state or federal road or traffic control signs shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Signs not visible beyond the boundaries of the lot or parcel upon which they are situated, or from any public thoroughfare or right-of-way, shall not be counted toward the maximum number of signs permitted on the subject lot or parcel. These signs shall remain subject to Zoning Administrator approval, permit requirements, inspections, and height and setback requirements.
C. 
Signs directing traffic on private property.
D. 
Public institutions located within the Village of New Haven boundaries, including the Village of New Haven, New Haven Community Schools and State of Michigan recognized public charter schools, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Any sign containing content protected under, or consistent with, the United States Supreme Court decision in Reed v Town of Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2218 (2015).
Prohibited signs. Unless otherwise specifically permitted under this chapter, the following signs and/or sign parts shall not be permitted or erected in the Village:
A. 
Pylon signs.
B. 
Signs displaying streamers, windblown devices, spinners, trailer signs, and pennant string flags.
C. 
No flashing, animated, moving or bare-bulb-type signs or displays.
D. 
Signs affixed to or painted on street furniture.
E. 
Signs painted directly onto wall surfaces.
F. 
Neon tubing, LED or similar accent lighting shall not be permitted on, in, around, in front or behind windows in a manner visible to the general public.
G. 
Abandoned signs.
H. 
Signs which are painted on or attached to a fence or wall (nonpermanent wall sign).
I. 
Signs which are of a size, location, content, coloring, or manner of illumination which may be confused with or construed as a traffic control device or which hide from view any traffic or street sign or signal which obstruct the view in any direction at a street or road intersection.
J. 
Signs which contain any obscene material as defined under Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973).
K. 
Signs which emit audible sound, odor, or visible matter.
L. 
A sign which copies or imitates or in any way approximates an official highway sign or carries the words "stop" or "danger"; or any sign which obscures a sign displayed by public authority for the purpose of giving traffic instruction or direction or other public information.
M. 
A sign which obstructs any window or door opening used as a means of egress or prevents free passage from one part of a roof to any other part thereof. A sign which interferes with an opening required for legal ventilation.
N. 
A sign or illumination that causes any direct glare into or upon any building or property, other than the building or property to which the sign is accessory to.
O. 
A sign which displays flashing or intermittent lights or lights of changing degrees or intensity unless each interval in the cycle is eight seconds or more and the sign does not constitute a traffic hazard.
P. 
Any sign unlawfully installed, erected, or maintained.
Q. 
Any sign not expressly permitted herein.
Except as otherwise provided, the following conditions shall apply to all districts and sign types:
A. 
Applicability and effect. Signs shall be permitted which are in accordance with:
(1) 
The general provisions of the Sign Ordinance.
(2) 
Section 425-12, Definitions.
(3) 
Section 425-8, Schedule of Sign Regulations.
(4) 
The sign regulations for the district in which the sign is to be located.
(5) 
All applicable provisions of the building and electrical codes of the Village of New Haven as adopted, and all amendments thereto.
B. 
Interpretation. In this interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements necessary for the promotion and protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.
C. 
Existing agreements. This chapter shall not abrogate any private agreement, provided that where the regulations of this chapter are more restrictive or impose higher standards than such private agreements, the provisions and requirements of this chapter shall govern.
D. 
Substitution clause. Noncommercial signs are allowed in all districts and may be substituted for any sign expressly allowed under this chapter.
E. 
Separability. In accordance with the following, it is hereby declared that the several provisions of this chapter are separable:
(1) 
If any court of competent jurisdiction determines any provisions of this chapter to be invalid, such determination shall not affect any other provision of this chapter not specifically included in the court's judgment order.
(2) 
If any court of competent jurisdiction determines any provision of this chapter to be invalid as applied to any particular sign, such determination shall not affect the application of such provisions to any other sign not specifically included in the court's judgment order.
F. 
Approval required. Approval and issuance of a building permit is required prior to the erection, installation, alteration or relocation of any sign, unless specifically exempt from permit requirements elsewhere in this chapter. Site plan review and approval shall be required for all signs proposed in conjunction with a proposed development which is required to receive site plan review and approval.
G. 
Construction and maintenance. All signs shall be constructed and maintained in compliance with all local building codes and applicable laws and shall be of sturdy construction to withstand normal natural elements. Signs which have missing letters, burned-out illumination elements or other damaged or missing parts shall be considered improperly maintained.
H. 
Materials. Materials chosen and design selected for signs shall be consistent with the architectural design of the building they identify. All signs shall be maintained in a condition similar to that which existed at the time of their erection. At the least, all signs and all awnings shall be kept clean, free of missing or loose parts, free of blistering or peeling paint, and without missing or obsolete sign panels. Further, all signs that are obsolete, due to the discontinuance of the business or activity advertised thereon, shall be removed within 30 days of the closure of said business or activity.
I. 
Sign area. Unless otherwise noted a sign's area shall include the total area within any circle, triangle, rectangle, or other geometric shape or envelope enclosing the extreme limits of writing, representation, emblem, logo, graphic or any similar figure or element of the sign, together with any frame or other material forming an integral part of the display, if any, or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed.
(1) 
In the case of a wall sign in which there is no frame or other material forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate such sign from the background against which it is placed, the envelope shall be around the full perimeter of any grouping of letters, logos, emblems, figures, pictures, etc.
(2) 
In the case of an awning or canopy sign, where there is no design or envelope forming an integral part of the display which differentiates the sign from the background of the awning material or color, the envelope shall be around the full perimeter of any grouping of letters, logos, emblems, figures, stripes, etc. For transparent or translucent awnings or canopies which have internal lighting, the entire surface of the awning or canopy shall be considered as the sign.
(3) 
For a single-faced sign, the area shall be computed as the total exposed exterior surface in square feet.
(4) 
The area of a double-faced freestanding sign shall be computed using only one face of the sign, provided that the outline and dimensions of both faces are identical and that the faces are back-to-back so that only one face is visible at any given location. In all other cases, the sum of both faces shall be computed for the sign area.
(5) 
Width-to-length ratio. In no case shall any sign exceed a maximum width-to-length or length-to-width ratio of eight to one (8:1), unless otherwise provided for within this chapter.
J. 
Locational requirements.
(1) 
No sign, except as otherwise permitted herein, shall be located in, project into, or overhang a public right-of-way or dedicated public easement, be attached to any utility or light pole, or be placed anywhere on public property without permission from the Village of New Haven.
(2) 
No sign, except those established and maintained by the Village, county, state or federal governments, shall be located within the triangle formed by the intersection of any road rights-of-way and/or access drive at points 15 feet distant from the point of their intersection.
(3) 
No signs shall be located so as to impede pedestrian or automobile traffic.
(4) 
In no case shall a sign be closer than 10 feet to any property line. All signs shall meet the following minimum setbacks as measured in feet from the center line of each road right-of-way (ROW) in accordance with the Village's Master Plan. An additional ten-foot setback from road center lines and property lines shall be required for all signs constructed in residential zoning districts. Political signs shall be exempt from this section.
Road Type (see Master Plan)
Distance
(feet)
Regional (204-foot ROW)
112
Regional (150-foot ROW)
85
Major (120-foot ROW)
70
Secondary (120-foot ROW)
70
Collector (86-foot ROW)
53
Local (70-foot ROW)
45
Local (60-foot ROW)
40
Cul-de-sac
70
Freeway*
50
Private roads**
20
NOTES:
*
Freeways shall be measured from the established right-of-way lines.
**
Measured from the road easement or common usage line.
K. 
Illumination.
(1) 
Illumination of signs shall be positioned and shielded so that the light shines away from adjoining properties and the eyes of motorists or pedestrians. The light source of such illumination shall be shielded from public view and shall not exceed 1/2 footcandle of light at any property line or right-of-way line.
(2) 
A lighted display of time, temperature, or similar nonadvertising public information shall be permitted as part of a sign subject to Zoning Administrator review and approval. The sign information must be accessory to the use on site and shall not include any off-site advertising.
L. 
Addresses.
(1) 
Addresses shall meet the following requirements and shall not be included in sign area computations:
(a) 
Numbers shall be of a height and width so as to be readily identifiable and readable from the adjacent roadway.
(b) 
Address numbers shall be located on all store doors at the front and rear of the facility.
(c) 
Addresses shall be integrated with the structure on all monument signs and shall be clearly distinguishable from the sign face. For signs advertising more than one address, the range of addresses shall be on the sign.
(d) 
All sites, including residential home sites, shall display an address which is clearly visible from the road.
M. 
Landscape requirements. A monument sign shall be located within a landscaped area. Such landscaping shall include evergreen shrubs and other landscape amenities.
N. 
Open and closed sign. A single "open" or "closed" sign may be allowed for each business establishment, provided that such sign does not exceed more than three square feet in area. Such signs may be illuminated.
O. 
Maintenance of signs. If, upon inspection by the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, a sign is found to be unsafe, insecure, corroded, subject to corrosion, or otherwise poorly maintained, then the owner shall make the sign safe and secure by completing any necessary reconstruction, repairs, painting or other improvements in accordance with the following timetable, unless the sign is required to be removed by the nonconforming sign regulations herein:
(1) 
If the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer determines that the sign is an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property nearby, all required action to correct the defect shall be taken within 48 hours (two working days) from the time of notification in writing from the Village, provided that the sign can be cordoned off or adequately secured during the intervening time so as to remove any immediate threat to safety. If such sign cannot be cordoned off or secured so as to eliminate any immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, then all required action to correct the defect shall be made forthwith.
(2) 
If the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer determines that the sign is not an immediate threat to the safety of persons or property, all required action to correct the defect shall be made within 30 days after notification in writing from the Village. The Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer may extend the thirty-day timetable (until the conditions are deemed suitable for repair) if temperatures below 25° F. prevent painting, or if the defects involved are minor, not generally noticeable to the public, and not a hazard to public safety (such as replacement of burned-out light bulbs).
P. 
Nonconforming signs. Any sign already established by the effective date of this chapter which is rendered nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter, and any sign which is rendered nonconforming as a result of subsequent amendments hereto, shall be subject to the regulations concerning nonconforming signs as follows:
(1) 
Any sign which advertises a business or industry no longer being conducted, or a product no longer being manufactured or sold on the property, shall be considered nonconforming. Such signs shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land within one month from the date of written notice from the Village. However, where such a sign structure and frame are typically reused by the current occupant or business in leased or rented buildings, the building owner shall not be required to remove the sign structure and frame in the interim periods when the building is not occupied, provided that the sign structure and frame are maintained in accordance with this chapter and other relevant Village ordinances and codes, and provided, further, that the time period of nonuse does not exceed 90 days.
(2) 
Any sign in business and industrial districts which is a conforming sign as to use and advertises a bona fide business or industry being conducted or a product being manufactured or sold on the property, but is nonconforming as to size, projection, location, number of signs, position, material or construction, shall be taken down, removed, repaired, rebuilt or replaced, in such a manner as to bring the sign into compliance, by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or land within five years from the adoption of this chapter, except in the event of sale or transfer of the property, upon which the new owner, agent, or person having control over the beneficial use of the building, structure, or land shall immediately bring the sign into compliance with all relevant Village ordinances and codes.
Q. 
Removal of signs. Whenever a sign is removed, or is required to be removed, by this chapter or by order of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, the entire sign structure, including fastenings and anchorages, shall be removed.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term "site" shall be defined as all land in a development which is necessary or indicated as part of the development proposal to meet parking requirements, setback requirements, landscape requirements, drainage requirements (i.e., retention or detention basin), and lot coverage requirements.
A. 
Residential zoning districts (all residential zoning districts).
(1) 
One identification sign or nameplate is permitted for each dwelling unit with a permitted home occupation.
(2) 
One monument sign is permitted for each approved nonresidential (other than home occupation) building site.
(3) 
One double-faced subdivision entrance sign placed parallel to the entrance road or two single-faced subdivision entrance signs placed perpendicular or within 45° of the entrance road shall be permitted for each major entrance to a residential subdivision, manufactured housing community and multiple-family development, as approved in the site plan or subdivision approval.
(4) 
Other than as permitted above, no sign shall have a sign area exceeding six square feet in a residential zoning district.
B. 
Residential Office Zoning District (RO Zoning District).
(1) 
One identification sign or nameplate is permitted for each office unit within a multitenant professional office development.
(2) 
For professional office uses in the RO District, one wall sign and one monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(3) 
For office uses and retail uses in the RO District, one wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant which has both a separate unit within a building and has an individual exterior public entrance to a building. In those cases where multiple tenants share an entrance, one wall sign shall be permitted to include all tenants. One additional wall sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade. In addition, one monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(4) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
C. 
General Business Zoning District (GB Zoning District).
(1) 
One monument sign shall be permitted for each site. Retail establishments with over 60,000 square feet of gross floor area and over 300 feet of road frontage on a single thoroughfare shall be permitted two monument signs. In such cases, the signs shall be evenly spaced along the frontage of the site and shall not in any case abut each other or if the site, as described above, has multiple road frontages, one sign may be placed on each road frontage.
(2) 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant having an individual public entrance to a building. In those cases where multiple tenants share an entrance, one wall sign shall be permitted to include all tenants.
(3) 
One additional wall sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade.
(4) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
D. 
General Business Downtown Zoning District (GBD Zoning District).
(1) 
Each site shall be permitted one monument sign which shall be constructed of brick, wood, metal or other similar durable and decorative materials.
(2) 
Each site or each business with an individual public entrance to a building shall be permitted one wall sign or one projecting sign. One additional wall sign or one projecting sign shall be permitted on buildings which front on two major, secondary or collector roads, as defined by the Village Master Plan. Only one wall sign shall be placed on each street facade.
(3) 
In shopping centers with multiple tenants, all signage shall be coordinated as to size, location, color and character. A coordinated sign package shall be submitted for the entire complex or center prior to individual permits being granted.
E. 
Industrial Zoning Districts (IO, LI and HI Zoning Districts).
(1) 
One monument sign shall be permitted for each site.
(2) 
One wall sign shall be permitted for each tenant having an individual public entrance to a building.
(3) 
One subdivision entrance sign shall be permitted for each major road entrance to identify an industrial or technical park.
A. 
Awning or canopy signs.
(1) 
An awning or canopy sign may be used and shall be placed only on the principal front of the building.
(2) 
An awning or canopy sign shall be permitted in lieu of a permitted wall sign.
(3) 
An awning or canopy sign shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage on which the sign is to be placed, or 15 square feet, whichever is greater. In no case shall an awning or canopy sign exceed 60 square feet.
(4) 
A minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet shall be provided beneath any awning or canopy sign which projects over a parking area or driveway. In all other areas, a minimum vertical clearance of eight feet shall be provided beneath an awning or canopy.
(5) 
Canopies shall be constructed of durable, opaque materials and shall not be translucent or transparent.
B. 
Changeable copy signs.
(1) 
Changeable copy signs may only be permitted as part of a ground sign or located on a canopy for gas stations.
(2) 
The area of the changeable copy sign shall not exceed 50% of the entire sign area.
(3) 
The image or message on the electronic bulletin board shall not change more frequently than once every eight seconds.
(4) 
The sign shall not contain moving text.
(5) 
The text of the sign shall not flash or scroll repeatedly or constantly (vertically or horizontally).
(6) 
The LED of the electronic message board shall not be illuminated beyond the default settings of the sign manufacturer's brightness/dimming controls. All light emitted from such sign shall meet any Village lighting ordinance provisions and/or codes.
(7) 
The owner of an electronic message board shall allow the Village to use the electronic message board to communicate emergency public service information approved by the Village. The operational restrictions on electronic message boards set forth above shall not apply during any time that the electronic message board is used to communicate authorized emergency public service information for the Village.
(8) 
The owner agrees to update an approved emergency public service information communication, or discontinue the emergency public service message as soon as possible after receiving a request from the Village President. The owner shall file and keep current at all times with the Village President the name, e-mail address, phone number, cell phone number, pager and other available emergency contact information of the employee(s) or representative(s) of the owner who has been authorized and designated by the owner to communicate the approved emergency public service message using the electronic message board.
C. 
Directional signs.
(1) 
Directional signs shall not exceed two square feet in area, and shall not exceed three feet in height. No more than one such sign shall be located at each drive location.
(2) 
At-grade directional signs painted on or adhered to the surface of paved areas are exempt from these standards.
(3) 
All directional signs required for the purpose of orientation, when established by the Village, county, state or federal government shall be permitted.
D. 
Identification signs. Identification signs shall be limited to:
(1) 
One unlit wall-mounted sign for a permitted home occupation.
(2) 
One unlit wall-mounted identification sign shall be permitted for each approved professional office or each exterior entrance for a multiple-tenant office. Such sign shall be located at the entrance of the office to which it refers.
(3) 
An identification sign shall not exceed one square foot in sign area. Such wall-mounted signs shall not extend outward more than two inches from the surface of a wall on the subject structure.
E. 
Monument or ground signs.
(1) 
Monument or ground signs shall not exceed 64 square feet in sign area in the GB Zoning District; 40 square feet in the RO, IO, LI, or HI Zoning Districts; and 20 square feet in the GBD and Residential Zoning Districts. If the Planning Commission determines that architectural features of the sign, such as wood, rock or brick framing, are in harmony with the surrounding area and the principal structure, the architectural features of the sign shall not count as part of the display area.
(2) 
Monument signs, including the architectural features, shall not exceed eight feet in height. Monument signs shall not have more than two feet of clearance between the bottom of the sign and the established grade. Such signs exceeding three feet eight inches in height shall be located in a manner which in no way impedes or obstructs clear vision of motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrian traffic.
F. 
Off-site signs, including billboards.
(1) 
Off-site signs, including billboard signs, may be permitted as a special land use in the industrial zoning districts as regulated herein and in Chapter 515, Zoning.
(2) 
No digital billboards are permitted within the Village of New Haven.
(3) 
All billboards shall be confined to "adjacent areas," as defined in the Highway Advertising Act of 1972.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 252.301 et seq.
(4) 
No billboard shall be located within 1,000 feet of another billboard abutting either side of the same street or highway.
(5) 
No billboard shall be located within 300 feet from any adjoining residential zoning district or any adjoining residential use.
(6) 
Billboards shall not be located closer than 200 feet to any abutting public road right-of-way, or closer than 100 feet from any property line.
(7) 
The surface area of any billboard shall not exceed 300 square feet. Billboards with stacked or tandem faces shall be prohibited.
(8) 
The height of any billboard shall not exceed 24 feet above the grade of the ground on which the billboard sits or the grade of the abutting roadway, whichever is greater.
(9) 
No billboard shall be located on top of, cantilevered, or otherwise suspended above the roof of any building.
(10) 
A billboard shall not be illuminated.
(11) 
All billboards shall be constructed to withstand all wind and vibration forces that can normally be expected to occur in the vicinity. A billboard must be maintained so as to assure proper alignment of structure, continued structural soundness, and continued readability of message.
G. 
Projecting signs.
(1) 
Projecting signs shall be permitted in lieu of permitted wall signs within the GBD Zoning District.
(2) 
The sign display area shall not exceed 20 square feet. A bracket or mount for a projecting sign shall not extend further than 60 inches from the wall. The face of such sign shall not project more than 60 inches from the wall upon which the sign is mounted and 48 inches in height. In no case shall any part of such sign project above the roofline.
(3) 
A minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet shall be provided beneath any projecting sign which projects over a parking area or driveway. In all other areas, an eight-foot minimum vertical clearance, measured from the ground to the bottom of the sign, shall be provided.
(4) 
Projecting signs may be permitted to extend into the air space of Village-owned rights-of-way or county-owned rights-of-way (only with written permission from the county), provided that such extension does not interfere with the use of such rights-of-way or adversely impact upon the health, safety or welfare of the Village.
H. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
Wall signs shall not project more than 12 inches horizontally from the wall of a building.
(2) 
Wall signs shall not project above the roofline (eave) of a building or structure.
(3) 
Wall signs shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building facade (storefront) on which the sign is to be placed. Store fronts located greater than 200 feet from the center line of the fronting road may double the allowable sign area. In no case shall a wall sign exceed 100 square feet (except as permitted below).
(4) 
Large, multi-department stores and big box uses with over 100,000 square feet of floor area may be permitted a wall sign area equal to one square foot for each linear foot of store frontage up to a maximum of 300 square feet.
(a) 
Wall signs for industrial buildings shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of building facade on which the sign is to be placed. In no case shall a wall sign for industrial buildings exceed 150 square feet.
I. 
Window signs.
(1) 
Window signs are permitted on the same side of a commercial building's primary or secondary storefront to either identify the following:
(a) 
Business name;
(b) 
Products or services of the primary business;
(c) 
Identify the name of a second business that is owned/operated from the same structure.
(2) 
Window signs are exempt from calculation for total number of signs per business and/or parcel.
(3) 
The following standards shall be applied to the design and regulation of window signs:
(a) 
Letter height shall not exceed eight inches.
(b) 
The number of lettering styles should be limited and simple typefaces shall be used.
(c) 
Message shall be placed only within the top 25% or bottom 25% of any window.
(d) 
Window accent signs shall not exceed 10% of each individual window area, up to a maximum of eight square feet per window and a total of 25 square feet per building window facade.
J. 
Temporary exterior signs.
(1) 
No permit shall be required for temporary signs as follows by this subsection. Such exemptions, however, shall not be construed to relieve the owner of the sign from responsibility for its proper location, erection and maintenance.
(a) 
Temporary sign(s) may be located only on private property with the owner's permission.
(b) 
Placement in public right-of-way prohibited. Signs shall not be placed in the public right-of-way or between the public sidewalk and the road. Signs located in the public right-of-way will be removed and discarded.
(c) 
Number of signs. Two temporary signs for each address may be displayed.
(d) 
Size (area) limitations. The total combined area of all temporary signs shall not exceed 16 square feet per address. Square footage shall be measured as the total of one side containing a message or the sum of two sides containing a message for double-sided signs.
(e) 
Height limitation. No sign shall be greater in height than four feet above the ground.
(f) 
Method of display. Signs shall not be attached to any utility pole, street sign, traffic signal pole, streetlight, hydrant or tree. Signs shall not block visibility at intersections, sidewalks or driveways.
(g) 
Condition. Signs must be maintained by the sign owner. Faded, tattered, ripped, torn, stained, unmounted, illegible or water-damaged signs shall be removed or repaired by the owner or will be subject to removal and disposal by Village of New Haven code enforcement personnel or other designated Village staff.
K. 
Special temporary event display signs.
(1) 
The following special temporary display signs require a Village of New Haven issued special temporary event display sign permit:
(a) 
Banners.
(b) 
Inflatables.
(c) 
Feather signs.
(d) 
Human directional signs.
(2) 
Frequency. A property owner may apply for a special temporary event display sign two times per calendar year.
(3) 
Duration. Display of special temporary event display signs are limited to 14 consecutive calendar days.
(4) 
Number. A combination of no more than four special temporary event display signs can be displayed at a permitted address during any fourteen-calendar-day period.
(5) 
Size. Banners shall not exceed 30 square feet in size.
(6) 
Location. Banners shall not be erected higher than 15 feet above ground level.
(7) 
Special temporary event display signs not in compliance with the chapter are subject to removal by Village of New Haven code enforcement personnel or other designated Village staff.
Sign Types
Zoning Districts
Residential, SF, SF-1, SF-2, MF, MH
Residential Office, RO
General Business Downtown, GBD
General Business, GB
Industrial Office, IO
Light Industrial, LI
Heavy Industrial, HI
Canopy
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Changeable copy
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Directional
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Entranceway sign
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Monument
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Non-accessory billboards
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Y
Projecting
N
N
Y
N
N
N
N
Business identification or nameplate
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Subdivision entrance
Y
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Wall
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Window
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Special Temporary Event Signs
Special temporary event signs
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
A. 
No person shall alter, relocate, erect, re-erect or construct any sign, except those which are exempted in § 425-3, Exempt signs, unless a permit has been issued by the Village pursuant to this chapter. This does not include temporary special event signs. Signs which are approved as part of a site plan do not require a separate application and sign fees and Zoning Administrator review. This does not include building permit fees.
B. 
Application for a permit to erect a sign shall include the following:
(1) 
Completed application form, including signatures of property owner(s) and sign erector(s) and the address of the subject property.
(2) 
A written description of the proposed sign(s) which details the method of calculation used to determine sign area.
(3) 
A site plan of the subject parcel, drawn to scale not less than 50 feet to the inch, including (Wall sign applications and applications for resurfacing a sign do not require a site plan.):
(a) 
All existing and proposed property lines, improvements, buildings, signs and parking/drive areas.
(b) 
Setback distances from all property lines to all signs, buildings and structures.
[1] 
The Zoning Administrator may require a survey of the subject property if the Zoning Administrator determines that it is necessary to verify property lines, right-of-way lines, building setbacks, or other dimensional aspects of the site which are necessary to determine compliance with the sign requirements of this chapter.
(c) 
The location of existing and proposed streets, roadways, parking areas, entrances and exits within 50 feet of the proposed sign(s). Clearly indicate the setback distances and clear vision triangle.
(4) 
Drawings and/or digital renderings of the proposed sign(s) to be erected or installed on the site shall be submitted with the site plan and shall include all of the following detailed information:
(a) 
All dimensions of the sign and supporting members.
(b) 
Surface of the sign (material, color and dimensions).
(c) 
Area of sign surface in square feet. Clearly outline the areas computed as sign area on an illustration.
(d) 
Lettering of sign drawn or digitally rendered as it will appear on the erected sign. It need not be in the style of the finished sign, but must be neatly printed in the size and weight approximating that of the final constructed sign.
(e) 
Method and color of illumination, if any.
(f) 
Logos, emblems or additional features.
(g) 
Such additional information as the Zoning Administrator deems necessary and/or pertinent to the application.
(5) 
Sign permit review fee, as established by resolution of the Village Council, paid in full.
C. 
The Zoning Administrator, or designee as appointed and/or approved by the Village Council, shall review the application and plan for conformance with this chapter prior to issuance of a building permit for the proposed sign(s) in conformance with § 515-199 of the Village of New Haven Code, Certificate of zoning compliance/building permits required.
D. 
The Zoning Administrator, or designee, may choose to submit the application and plan to the Planning Commission for approval prior to issuance of a building permit for the proposed sign(s) in conformance with § 515-199 of the Village of New Haven Code, Certificate of zoning compliance/building permits required.
Any party who had a sign denied by the Planning Commission or a sign permit denied by the Building Department may seek a variance of the provision(s) of this chapter by filing an appeal application to the Village of New Haven Zoning Board of Appeals. Such a variance request must be applied for within 30 days of such denial.
A. 
At the hearing for a variance, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance from the provisions of this chapter upon a finding of all of the following:
(1) 
The particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical conditions of the property would render compliance with the provisions of this chapter difficult and would likely result in a particular hardship on the owner, as distinguished from inconvenience of the chapter requirements or a desire to increase financial gain or avoid the financial expense of compliance.
(2) 
Strict enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would serve no useful purpose.
(3) 
The type of sign structure and the location proposed would not pose a significant risk to the public health, safety and welfare.
(4) 
The benefit of the sign to the general public and/or applicant under the circumstances outweighs any risk to traffic safety and the Village's desire to eliminate the accumulation of visual clutter in accordance with the stated purpose of this chapter.
(5) 
A variance would be in the interest of the Village and not against the spirit and intent of this chapter.
B. 
In issuing a variance from the strict letter of the provisions of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance of any sign requirement or place reasonable conditions or restrictions upon issuance of a permit.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be punished as set forth in Chapter 59, Municipal Civil Infractions, of the Code of the Village of New Haven.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and terms shall be defined as follows:
A. 
The term "sign" shall mean the use of any words, numerals, figures, pictures, banners, pennants, sculpture, devices, designs, insignia, inflatable devices, imprints or trademarks by which anything is made known, advertised or attracts attention to an object, product, place, activity, person, message, institution, organization, cause, business, service or use when viewed from outside a building or from neighboring properties and roadways, or which promotes the interests of any person, firm or corporation when the same is placed in view of the general public, whether displayed on a permanent or portable structure attached or not attached to a building, including painted directly on an exterior building wall or awning. For purposes of this chapter, a sign shall not include:
(1) 
Legal notices, identification information or devices erected or authorized by governmental bodies.
(2) 
Signs of one square foot or less which contain only the names of residents and/or street address numbers.
B. 
Definitions applying to specific types of signs shall include, without limitation, all of the following:
(1) 
A sign which pertains to and is incidental to the principal building and/or use on the premises.
(2) 
A sign relating to an activity, use or service not performed on the premises or to a product not fabricated, produced, handled or sold on the same premises upon which the sign is displayed. A sign which does not pertain to the principal use of the premises.
(3) 
A canopy sign.
(4) 
Any plastic, film, paper, cloth or similar material and its associated message area that is designed to be tied or otherwise fastened to a building or other structure so as to constitute a sign.
(5) 
(a) 
An advertising sign upon which a display is pasted, painted or otherwise affixed in a manner which is readily changed. A nonaccessory sign.
(b) 
"Digital billboard" shall mean a display of a sign message that is made up of internally illuminated components that display an electronic image, which may or may not include text and is capable of changing the message periodically. Digital billboards may include, but are not limited to, television screens, holographic displays, programmable ink, LCD, LED, or plasma displays.
(6) 
An accessory sign of the following nature:
(a) 
Listing church, school or municipal names and/or events.
(b) 
A directory of tenants and/or activities within a building, use area or planned grouping of buildings, or other multitenant development with separate panels for each individual tenant.
(7) 
A sign attached to, painted or printed on a canopy, awning, marquee or other similar type of structure. All awnings which have backlighting shall constitute signs for purposes of this section.
515 Canopy Sign.tif
(8) 
A sign attached to the underside of a canopy, awning, marquee or other similar type of structure.
515 Canopy Entry Sign.tif
(9) 
A sign on which message copy or graphics can be changed through the use of attachable letters, numerals or graphics; or by electronic switching of lamps, LEDs or other illuminating devices.
(10) 
A sign which directs or attempts to direct vehicular or pedestrian movements.
515 Directional Entry Sign.tif
(11) 
A ground sign identifying a primary vehicular entrance to a nonresidential or residential use such as a subdivision.
(12) 
A vertically oriented banner connected to a vertical pole, typically placed in the ground.
(13) 
A sign which intermittently reflects and/or produces light and/or movements from artificial or natural sources.
(14) 
A sign which is not mounted on or structurally attached to a building and which has its own foundation and support structures permanently attached to the ground.
(15) 
A freestanding sign the bottom edge of which is located close to grade and thereby precludes visibility beneath the sign. Ground signs include monument-type signs. Not a post-pylon sign.
515 Ground Sign.tif
(16) 
"Human directionals" shall include sign twirlers, sign spinners, and human sign holders, and shall mean a person or persons promoting a specific business, product, or event by seeking to capture the attention of passing motorists or pedestrians.
(17) 
"Inflatable sign" means any object enlarged or inflated which floats, is tethered in the air, is activated by air or moving gas, or is located on the ground or on a building with or without copy or other graphic.
(18) 
A sign which does not pertain to the principal use of the premises.
(19) 
A freestanding sign not permanently anchored or secured to either a building, structure or the ground, such as, but not limited to, so-called A-frame, T-shaped or inverted T-shaped stands. Any sign attached to a trailer or other vehicle not accessory to the vehicle or its use, but used with the express intent of advertising; a temporary sign.
(20) 
A sign supported by post(s) or other column(s) thereby providing a predominately clear viewing space beneath the sign; not a ground sign.
515 Post-Pylon Sign.tif
(21) 
A sign attached to a building wall and projecting outward from the face of said building more than 12 inches (not a wall sign).
515 Projecting Sign.tif
(22) 
(Reserved)
(23) 
(Reserved)
(24) 
A new or refurbished sign panel or facing within an existing sign or sign structure that does not increase sign area or otherwise modify the size or location of the sign.
(25) 
A sign attached or located on the roof of a building.
515 Roof Sign.tif
(26) 
Banners, inflatables, feather signs and human directional signs requiring a permit and intended for a limited period of display.
(27) 
A freestanding sign, constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric, plastic, wood, paper or other material, with or without a structural frame, or any other sign intended for a limited period of display.
(28) 
Any sign attached to or erected against a wall or parapet wall of a building or structure with the exposed face of the sign in a plane approximately parallel to the plane of such wall and projecting outward from the wall not more than 12 inches; not a projecting sign.
515 Wall Sign.tif
(29) 
Any paper, posterboard, plastic film, cloth, paint or similar material, either temporary or permanent, and its associated message area, that is placed on or behind a window and which is visible from outside a business building.
All ordinances or resolutions in conflict with any part of this chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of the conflict.
If any part of this chapter is held invalid or unconstitutional for any reason, the remaining parts of this chapter shall remain unaffected.
This chapter shall take effect 20 days after adoption by the Village Council, or immediately upon publication, whichever date occurs first.