Borough of State College, PA
Centre County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Sections 1.01, 1.02 and 1.03]{10}
a. 
Title. An ordinance to establish regulations for the construction, erection, maintenance and removal of signs; providing for materials, sizes, number, height, lighting and location; specifying license fees, permits and inspections; and providing for enforcement and penalties for violations. This ordinance shall be known as the "Sign Ordinance."
b. 
General Intent. The sign regulations, controls and provisions set forth in this ordinance are made in accordance with an overall plan and program for the public safety, area development, preservation of property values and the general welfare of the Municipality and are intended to: aid in traffic control and traffic safety; preserve and protect property values; lessen congestion of land and air space; provide against undue concentrations of signs which distract and endanger traffic safety and traffic flow; establish reasonable standards for commercial and other advertising through the use of signs in order to maintain and encourage business activity and area development; avoid uncontrolled proliferation of signs; recognize the rights of the public in roads, streets, highways and the areas adjacent to those roads, streets and highways; preserve the wholesome and attractive character of the Municipality; and to recognize that the general welfare includes a community plan that shall be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious, as well as clean and well-balanced in its growth and development.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 201; amended by Ord. 1001, 4/7/1981 Section 1; Ord. 1030, 8/4/1982, Section 1; Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Sections 1 and 2; Ord. 1682, 10/15/2001, Sections 2 and 3; Ord. 1799, 11/22/2004, Section 1]
The following words and phrases, when used in this ordinance, shall have the meaning given in this section:
a. 
GROUND POLE SIGN — A sign supported by one or more uprights, poles or braces, placed in or upon the ground.
b. 
ILLUMINATED SIGN — A sign that provides artificial light directly or through any transparent or translucent material from a source of light connected with such sign, or a sign illuminated by a light focused upon or chiefly directed at the surface of the sign.
c. 
OFF-PREMISE SIGN — A sign which contains a message unrelated to a business or profession conducted upon the premises where such sign is located or which is unrelated to a commodity, service or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
d. 
OFF-PREMISE DIRECTIONAL SIGN — A sign located beyond the boundaries of a premise that provides directional information to guide persons or vehicles to a business or enterprise. Specific criteria for directional signs are contained in § 15-115.
e. 
PREMISE — The area occupied by a business or other public enterprise. When more than one business occupies a single building on the ground floor, each business area shall be considered a separate premise. Businesses or other public enterprises which occupy other floors shall be considered separate premises.
f. 
PROJECTING SIGN — A sign which projects from and is supported by a wall of a building.
g. 
ROOF SIGN — Any sign erected and maintained upon or above the roof of any building.
h. 
SHOPPING CENTER — A cohesive unit of stores or other commercial businesses arranged and constructed according to a plan and contained within a separate parcel of land.
i. 
SIGN — A sign is a structure, device, light, or natural object (including the ground itself or any device attached thereto or painted or represented thereon) which shall be used to identify, advertise or attract attention to any object, product, place, activity, person, institution, organization, firm, group, commodity, profession, enterprise, industry, or business or which shall display or include any letter, word, model, number, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as an announcement, direction or advertisement. For the purposes of this ordinance, the word "sign" shall include all exterior and externally visible signs. No interior sign shall be required to conform to these regulations, nor are these regulations intended to be interpreted to include nor is enforcement to be effected against the use of objects which are customarily sold on the premises or are actual examples of stock-in-trade as elements in window displays.
j. 
SIGN AREA — Sign area is the area of the smallest triangle, rectangle or circle which can wholly enclose the surface area of the sign. All visible faces of a multi-faced sign shall be counted separately and then totaled in calculating sign area. Three-dimensional signs shall be treated as dual-faced signs, such that the total area shall be twice the area of the smallest triangle, rectangle or circle which can totally circumscribe the sign in the plans of its largest dimension.
k. 
EXTERIOR SIGN — Any sign affixed to the exterior of any building or structure or placed in or mounted on the ground in any fashion.
l. 
INTERIOR SIGN — Any sign mounted within a building which can and is primarily intended to be seen from within the building.
m. 
INTERNAL SIGN — Any sign mounted within a building which can and is primarily intended to be seen from within the building.
n. 
EXTERNALLY-VISIBLE SIGN — Any single or multi-faced sign affixed to the windows or glass doors or otherwise internally mounted such that it can be seen and understood from vehicular ways or parking areas.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 302; amended by Ord. 945, 1/10/1979, Section 1; Ord. 1001, 4/7/1981, Section 2; Ord. 1030, 8/4/1982, Section 2]
Signs listed in this section are permitted in all zones and shall not require licenses, and they shall not be counted when calculating the number of signs on a premise; however, such signs shall conform to the general regulations for signs enumerated in the remainder of this section:
a. 
Name and Address of Resident. Name and address of resident, but not to include any commercial advertising, or not more than two square feet in sign area.
b. 
No Trespassing Signs. "No Trespassing" signs or other such signs regulating the use of a property, such as "No Hunting," "No Fishing," etc., of no more than two square feet in sign area in residential zones and five square feet in all commercial and industrial zones.
c. 
Real Estate Signs. Signs not to exceed five square feet in residential districts and 25 square feet in commercial and industrial districts, which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premise upon which they are located. Such signs shall be removed within 10 days after the premise advertised has been sold, rented or leased.
d. 
Bulletin Boards. Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions, when located on the premise thereof and with a sign area of no more than 25 square feet (if single-faced) nor more than 50 square feet (if double-faced) and if used exclusively for non-commercial announcements.
e. 
Regulating On-Premise Traffic, Parking or Other Functional Subdivision. Signs regulating on-premise traffic, parking or other functional subdivision [such as lavatory facilities, telephone, signs denoting other sections of a building (such as "lubrication," "office," etc.)] when less than five square feet in area and bearing no commercial advertising. Illumination of such sign shall not be permitted by the use of an inside-the-sign lamp.
f. 
Signs Erected by Council. Signs erected by Council or under the direction of Council and bearing no commercial advertising (such as traffic signs, railroad crossing signs, safety signs, signs identifying public schools and playgrounds, and the like).
g. 
Memorial Signs or Tablets. Memorial signs or tablets and signs denoting the date of erection of buildings.
h. 
Flags, Pennants, Insignia of Government; Religious, Fraternal, or Charitable Organizations. The flag, pennant or insignia of any government or of any religious, charitable or fraternal organization.
i. 
Auctions, Garage/Yard Sales, Special Events of Charitable/Public Service Groups. Such signs shall be limited to a maximum size of five square feet in area and shall be removed as soon as the event or activity advertised thereon has taken place.
j. 
Permanent Residential Development. Permanent residential development signs at major entrances designed to identify a residential subdivision and containing no commercial advertising. Maximum area: 25 square feet.
k. 
Identifying Places of Worship. Signs identifying places of worship, when located on the premises thereof. Maximum area: 25 square feet.
l. 
On-Premise for Professionals. On-premise signs for a professional, such as a doctor of medicine, dentist, osteopath, chiropractor, lawyer, accountant, architect, engineer or minister, or as included by the Zoning Hearing Board's definition of professionals. Such signs shall be limited to two square feet and shall contain no commercial advertising.
m. 
Decals. Decals affixed to the windows or door glass panes which indicate membership in a business group or which denote credit cards accepted by the establishment. Such decals shall not exceed 24 square inches and, when displayed, shall be affixed to the lower corners of such panes.
n. 
Temporary Signs Advertising Community Activities. Signs which are temporary in nature and which relate to specific community activities (such as "Welcome 4-H," "Beat Navy," and "Congratulations Seniors"). Each sign shall not exceed two square feet in area and not more than one sign for each activity shall be permitted for each public entrance to the premises. Such signs shall be removed as soon as the event or activity specified thereon has taken place. (See also § 15-103p.)
o. 
Real Estate Management Signs. Such signs may include the name, address and telephone number of a real estate management company but not to include emblem, logo or any commercial advertising, shall be not more than 24 square inches in sign area, and there shall be no more than one such sign per building entrance.
p. 
Temporary Signs - All Other Uses. Any sign normally, but not necessarily, constructed of paper, cloth fabric or canvas announcing or advertising a special limited time offer not normally available on the premises. Each premise in a commercial district is permitted to display temporary signs the total cumulative area of which shall not exceed 20% of the area of each display window or public entrance on the site. No single sign larger than 10 square feet shall be permitted. No premise shall be limited to less than 10 square feet of temporary sign area.
At any premise with more than one display window, the occupant may choose to place all permitted temporary sign area on any single window, provided that not more than 50% of the display window so utilized is covered with signs and that no other temporary signs are displayed on the premise. At no premise shall such a transfer of temporary signs be permitted to occur in excess of four times in any calendar year.
All such temporary signs shall be removed immediately upon the completion of the event so advertised or announced, provided that no temporary sign shall be maintained for a period in excess of 28 days. For the purposes of this subsection, no exterior sign shall be considered a temporary sign. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to those signs listed in §§ 15-104k and 15-126 of this chapter.
For the purposes of this subsection, any display window that faces a separate public right-of-way or is separated from any other display window by a public entrance shall be considered a single display window.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.03; amended by Ord. 945, 11/9/1978; Ord. 1001, 4/7/1981, Section 3; Ord. 1446, 6/22/1994]
The following signs shall not be permitted, erected or maintained in any district, notwithstanding anything else contained in this ordinance or elsewhere. Signs which are prohibited in paragraphs marked with an asterisk (*) shall be removed or brought into conformity with the provisions of this ordinance within 90 days after the ordinance is passed.
a. 
Signs which incorporate, in any manner, any flashing or moving illumination or with illumination which varies in intensity or which varies in color and signs which have any visible moving part, visible revolving parts or visible mechanical movement of any description, or other apparent visible movement achieved by electrical pulsations or by actions of normal wind currents, except when not visible from motor vehicles traveling on public roadways. Hanging signs which simply swing in the wind and clocks and time and temperature signs and barber poles may be exempted provided they comply with all other provisions of this ordinance.
b. 
Light sources which cast light on signs shall be shielded by opaque material so that the lamps are not visible from off the property on which the signs are located.
c. 
*Any sign or sign structure which constitutes a hazard to public safety or health.
d. 
Signs which, by reason of size, location, content, coloring or manner of illumination, obstruct the vision of drivers, either when leaving a roadway or when entering a roadway from another roadway or driveway, or obstructs or detracts from the viability or effectiveness of any traffic sign of control device on public streets and roads.
e. 
*Any sign which obstructs free ingress to or egress from a fire escape, door, window or other required exitway.
f. 
*Signs which make use of words such as "stop," "look," "one-way," "danger," "yield" or any similar words, phrases, symbols, lights or characters, in such manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
g. 
*Any obsolete sign which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted or product sold.
h. 
*Signs on public property or public rights-of-way, unless erected, required or authorized by the Borough Manager or Council.
i. 
Signs painted on, attached to or supported by a tree, stone, cliff or other natural object, except signs permitted under § 15-103i herein.
j. 
String lights, other than temporary holiday decorations, which are unshielded from off the property on which they are located.
k. 
Searchlights, pennants, spinners, banners, and streamers, except for occasions such as grand openings and then only with the special permission of the Design Review Board{20} or the Sign Inspector. Use shall be limited to a fifteen-day period.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.04]
Notwithstanding anything else in this ordinance or elsewhere, no more than five signs may be erected or maintained on any premise at any one time; except when a premise is located on a corner lot and has public entrances on two or more public ways, or where a building has both a front and rear public entrance, one additional sign may be erected. A double-faced sign shall count as a single sign. Signs enumerated in § 15-103 shall not be counted in calculating the total.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.05; amended by Ord. 1220, 9/8/1988, Section 1]
In all zoning districts (except the CP-1), no sign, or any part thereof, including braces, supports or lights shall exceed a height of 25 feet. In the CP-1 District, no sign or any part thereof, including braces, supports or lights, shall exceed a height of 10 feet. Height shall be measured from grade level directly below the face of the sign to the highest part of the sign.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.06]
Notwithstanding anything else in this ordinance or elsewhere, the total sign area per premise shall not exceed two square feet per lineal front foot of the main building on the premise, except that no premise shall be limited to less than 20 square feet of total sign area. In no case shall the total sign area of all signs on one premise exceed 200 square feet, except that shopping centers in planned commercial districts may have one additional shopping center identification sign. Such sign shall be subject to the requirements of regulations for ground pole signs. Notwithstanding anything else in this ordinance, the total sign area for a basement premise shall not exceed 20 square feet.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.07]
The largest sign on a premise shall not advertise any particular article of merchandise unless it is the principal product sold or manufactured on the premise, except for off-premise signs, which shall be regulated by off-premise advertising signs herein.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 3.08.A and B]
Every sign and all parts thereof (including framework, supports, background, anchors and wiring systems) shall be constructed and maintained in compliance with the building, electrical, and fire prevention codes, as they now exist or as they may hereafter exist. In the absence of an electrical ordinance, the National Electrical Code shall be used as the standard for all wiring systems. All signs and all parts thereof shall be kept in a good state of repair and maintenance.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.01]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all projecting signs:
a. 
No projecting sign shall project more than five feet beyond the building line in the direction of the street, nor shall any portion of the projecting sign be closer than two feet to the face of the street curb or curbline.
b. 
No portion of any projecting sign shall be less than 10 feet above grade level.
c. 
No single face of a projecting sign shall exceed 15 square feet in sign area.
d. 
No projecting sign shall have a vertical dimension greater than six feet.
e. 
There shall be no more than one projecting sign for any premise, unless the premise is located on a corner lot or has public entrances on two or more public ways, in which case one projecting sign may be erected for and toward each public way.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.02; amended by Ord. 945, 1/10/1979, Section 1; Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Section 3; Ord. 1682, 10/15/2001, Section 5]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all wall signs:
a. 
No wall sign shall extend above the top of the wall upon which is it placed.
b. 
No wall sign or any part thereof shall project more than 12 inches from the wall upon which it is mounted. If external lighting is used, reflectors must be 10 feet above the surface of the sidewalk, equipped with wire mesh guards, and no part may extend more than two feet from the wall of the building.
c. 
No wall sign shall extend beyond the left and right extremities of the wall to which it is attached.
d. 
For the purposes of this ordinance, an awning shall be considered as a part of the building to which it is attached and any lettering, logo or emblems appearing on such awnings shall be subject to the regulations governing wall signs.
e. 
For the purposes of this ordinance, any backlit awning, canopy, or marquee shall be considered as part of the building to which it is attached, and any lettering, logo, or emblem appearing on such awning, canopy, or marquee shall be subject to the regulations herein governing wall signs. The illumination and brightness of the backlit awning, canopy, or marquee is subject to the regulations within the zoning ordinance governing lighting of backlit awnings, canopies, or marquees (Chapter XIX, Part K, § 19-2706g).
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.03; amended by Ord. 1220, 9/8/1988, Section 2]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all ground pole signs:
a. 
Every ground pole sign and all parts, braces and supports thereof shall be located entirely within the property lines and shall not project over public rights-of-way or other adjoining lands; however, ground pole signs may be permitted between the property line and the building setback lines, except where otherwise prohibited by the Zoning Ordinance.
b. 
No ground pole sign shall be larger than 25 square feet in sign area on a single-sign face nor larger than 50 square feet area for both faces combined, nor in excess of 10 feet in any dimension of the sign face. However, the following special regulations are applicable for ground pole signs in the CP-1 district:
(1) 
Sign area may not exceed 15 square feet per sign face; or
(2) 
Be more than 30 square feet for both faces combined; nor
(3) 
May any part of the ground pole sign exceed a height of six feet; and
(4) 
The base area of all ground pole signs in the CP-1 district must be landscaped with shrubs and other living plant material.
c. 
A premise may erect and maintain one projecting sign or one ground pole sign, but not both; however, no individual business or other enterprise within a shopping center may erect or maintain a ground pole sign.
d. 
No more than one sign shall be mounted to the supporting structure of any ground pole sign, except for directional signs permitted in this ordinance.
e. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this ordinance, any property located on a corner lot or having public entrances to two or more public ways, one ground pole sign may be erected for and toward each public way.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.04]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all roof signs:
a. 
When viewed from a distance of 50 feet directly in front of the sign surface and at a point five feet above ground level, a roof sign shall exhibit a background which contains nothing other than a portion of the building which supports the sign.
b. 
No more than one roof sign may be erected or maintained on a single premise.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.05]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all off-premise advertising signs, except directional signs:
a. 
Off-premise advertising signs shall be required to locate in space provided at roadside turnoffs or in pedestrian display areas. It is the intent of this provision to permit off-premise advertising for the Centre Region (of which the Borough is a member) in roadside turnoffs or pedestrian display areas.
b. 
To provide maximum direction and information to the traveling public, roadside turnoffs may be located in C-1, CP-1, CP-2, and MP districts. Pedestrian display areas may be located in C-1, CP-1, CP-2 and MP districts.
c. 
A maximum sign area of 10 square feet at each roadside turnoff and five square feet in pedestrian display areas shall be allowed each commercial enterprise, institution or organization using these areas.
d. 
Vehicular access shall be designed in accordance with adopted standards of the Borough's Subdivision regulations and shall be subject to sight distance standards adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways. All areas devoted to vehicular usage shall be paved or covered with dust-free material; rest room facilities, water supply and sewage disposal, if provided, shall be subject to the Borough and State requirements; storm drainage shall be approved by the Borough Engineer; and lighting shall be provided for vehicular and pedestrian areas in accordance with Borough regulations. Outdoor malls shall be located so as to be seen from parked vehicles or by pedestrians and shall not be designed to convey messages from off the site. No structure or parts thereof shall exceed 25 feet in height. All structures and parking facilities shall be located at least 30 feet behind the front property line of the site.
e. 
Roadside turnoffs shall be permitted as either an outdoor advertising mall or enclosed information center, or both. The site may also include picnic tables, rest rooms, playground equipment, cooking grills or other non-commercial activities or utilities. Individual advertisers may have direct telephone lines to their place of business.
f. 
Site Approval.
(1) 
Anyone wishing to construct a roadside turnoff shall apply, in writing, to the Borough Council for location approval. Council shall, within seven days, forward the request to the Borough Planning Commission for recommendations prior to acting upon the request. The Planning Commission shall make its report within 30 days after formally receiving the request from Borough Council.
(2) 
The application shall be accompanied by a preliminary plan of the site showing topographic and other physical features, boundary dimensions and property size.
g. 
Submission of Final Site Plans. Final site plans shall be submitted to Council for its approval.
h. 
Review of Final Site Plans.
(1) 
By Planning Commission. Within seven days of formal receipt, Council shall submit final site plans to the Borough Planning Commission. The Commission shall submit its recommendations to the Council within 60 days of formal receipt.
(2) 
By Design Review Board. Within seven days of formal receipt, the Planning Commission shall submit final site plans to the Design Review Board for review prior to recommending to Council.
i. 
Final Site Plan Requirements. The final site plan shall indicate final grading, parking and driveways, ingress and egress, landscaping, detailed plans of all improvements and, if provided, methods of waste disposal and water supply.
j. 
Pedestrian display structures shall be subject to review procedures, as stated above.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.06; amended by Ord. 1709, 10/15/2002, Section 9; Ord. 1799, 11/22/2004]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all off-premise directional signs:
a. 
Zones. Off-premise directional signs shall be permitted in the C, CP-2, PO, and UV zoning districts.
b. 
Eligibility.
Commercial District. Any business or enterprise that does not have frontage on any street or on Calder Way may erect an off-premise directional sign provided all other regulations herein are complied with.
CP2, PO, and UV Districts. Any business or enterprise that does not have frontage on an arterial street may erect an off-premise directional sign provided all other regulations herein are complied with.
Shopping Centers. No individual business or enterprise within a shopping center shall be eligible to erect a directional sign, but an off-premise directional sign for the shopping center shall be permitted provided all other regulations herein are complied with.
c. 
Content.
All Zones: The content and/or message of an off-premise directional sign shall be limited to the name, logo, type of the business or enterprise, the direction, and distance information to the establishment.
Shopping Centers: The content and/or message shall be limited to the name of the shopping center and/or its logo, and direction and distance information. The name and/or logo of individual businesses located within the shopping center may be displayed on any shopping center's off-premise directional sign.
d. 
Location.
All Zones: Off-premise directional signs may be located on private property along roadways to direct vehicles or pedestrians to premises that are not located along the roadway where the sign is displayed. Such signs shall not be located within public rights-of-way or on public property.
Off-premise directional signs shall not be located more than 500 feet from the building entrance to the business or enterprise for which the sign is displayed.
e. 
Maximum Size Permitted.
C District: 10 square feet on a single-faced sign and 20 square feet on a two-faced sign.
CP2 and PO Zones; 25 square feet on a single-faced sign and 50 square feet on a two-faced sign.
UV Zone: 15 square feet on a single-faced sign and 30 square feet on a two-faced sign.
f. 
Sign Types Permitted.
C District: Wall and or projecting signs may be used as off-premise directional signs.
CP2, PO, and UV Districts: Ground pole, wall, and/or projecting signs may be used as off-premise directional signs.
g. 
Number Permitted.
All Zones: One off-premise directional sign shall be permitted per individual business or enterprise, except for those within a shopping center.
Shopping Centers. Shopping centers are entitled to one off-premise directional sign. The name and/or logo of individual businesses located within a shopping center may be displayed on any shopping center's off-premise directional sign.
h. 
License Required.
All Zones: A sign license shall be required prior to the erection or display of any off-premise directional sign.
i. 
DRB Review. All off-premise directional signs shall be reviewed by the Design Review Board (DRB) prior to the issuance of a sign license by the Borough.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.07]
In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to all real estate development signs:
a. 
The use of real estate development signs shall be limited to those developers or owners having for sale a minimum of six lots in one subdivision.
b. 
Such signs must be located on the premises which are for sale.
c. 
Such signs may advertise only the subdivision in which the sign is located and not the sale of lots elsewhere, or the realtor's, developer's or landowner's business in general. The content of such signs shall be limited to the name of the development, the developer's name and the telephone number of the developer or his sales agents.
d. 
Such signs shall conform to relevant setback line requirements. If any person shall use more than one sign for the same development or area, no two signs shall be closer to each other than 1,000 feet, measured in a straight line between said signs.
e. 
The maximum sign area of any such single-faced sign shall be 25 square feet and for any such double-faced sign, 50 feet. No part of such sign shall be more than 10 feet above grade or in excess of 10 feet in any dimension.
f. 
Such signs shall be removed when 75% of the lots in the subdivision have been sold or leased.
g. 
Artificial illumination of such signs is prohibited.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.08]
Professional occupation signs shall denote only the name, office hours, symbol and/or profession of an occupant, and not exceeding one sign per occupant, and not exceeding five square feet per occupant. The total area for all such signs shall not exceed 25 square feet per building.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 4.09; amended by Ord. 1030, 8/4/1982, Section 4; Ord. 1220, 9/8/1988, Section 3; Ord. 1600, 8/30/1999, Section 1]
a. 
Shopping Center Signs. In addition to the general provisions of this ordinance, the following regulations shall apply to shopping centers:
(1) 
Only ground pole signs which bear the name of the shopping center may be erected on the lands occupied by the center, subject to the provisions of § 15-112 herein.
(2) 
All other signs identifying each individual business shall be erected in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.
b. 
Signs in Planned Districts. In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, the following regulations shall apply to any premises in a planned district, except for the University Planned District (UPD), which shall be governed exclusively by those provisions contained in § 19-1210 of the Zoning Ordinance and Chapter XIX of this Codification.
(1) 
Prior to the issuance of a license, as required under § 15-124 of this chapter, all new, relocated, or otherwise modified signs in a planned district shall be reviewed and recommended on by the Design Review Board.
(2) 
In its review, the Design Review Board shall follow the procedures set forth in § 19-1404 of the State College Zoning Ordinance.
(3) 
Internally-lighted ground pole signs or projecting signs are prohibited in the CP-1 district; however, these signs may be illuminated by an external light shining on the sign.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 5.01]
a. 
All signs are prohibited in low-density residential zones except those signs enumerated in §§ 15-103 and 15-117 herein.
b. 
Illuminated signs are prohibited in low-density residential zones except for street address signs, signs indicating doctors of medicine, signs indicating churches or other places of worship and signs necessary for public safety.
c. 
Regardless of anything else in this ordinance, no sign may be erected or maintained in a low-density residential zone which exceeds 25 square feet of area on a single face, or 50 square feet of area on a double-faced sign.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 5.02]
a. 
All signs are prohibited in medium-density and high-density residential zones except those enumerated as follows:
(1) 
Signs permitted in low-density residential zones 3; and,
(2) 
Wall signs denoting the name of the apartment building, fraternity or sorority house, boarding or rooming house, tourist home, nonprofit club, community or municipal center, funeral home or any other similar enterprises as are now allowed or may hereafter be allowed in these zones.
b. 
Illuminated signs are prohibited in medium- and high-density residential zones, except for street address signs, signs indicating doctors of medicine, signs indicating churches or other places of worship and signs necessary for public safety.
c. 
Sign area restrictions in medium-density and high-density residential zones are the same as in low-density residential zones.{40}
[Ord. 900, 10/7/1976]
All signs are prohibited in residential-office zones except those enumerated as follows:
a. 
Signs permitted in low-density, medium-density and high-density residential zones;{50} and,
b. 
Signs denoting only the name, office hours, symbol and/or profession of the occupant of an office, not exceeding one sign per premise, and not exceeding five square feet per premise. The total area for all such signs shall not exceed 25 square feet per building.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Sections 6.01, 6.02, 6.03, 7.01 and 7.02]
a. 
Intent. The intent of this section is to allow certain provisions of this ordinance to be modified where such modification will encourage excellence in the planning and design of signs. Nothing in this section, however, is intended to permit the erection or maintenance of signs which are prohibited in § 15-104 herein.
b. 
Hearing. In the event that any party wishes to retain, construct or install a sign or signs other than as permitted in this ordinance, that party shall be entitled to a hearing before the DRB.
c. 
DRB{60}. The Design Review Board (DRB) shall be appointed by the Municipality according to the following provisions:
(1) 
The Board shall consist of seven members who shall be residents of State College Borough. Members shall be appointed by Council and initially three shall be appointed for terms of two years and four for terms of four years; thereafter, their successors shall be appointed for terms of four years. Vacancies which occur for reasons other than the expiration of terms shall be filled for the period of the unexpired term. One member shall be a member of the Planning Commission.
(2) 
A quorum shall consist of four or more members.
(3) 
The Board shall meet on call by the Chairman.
(4) 
Requests for meetings shall be made, in writing, to the Chairman of the Board, mailed to the Secretary of the Municipality. A meeting shall be called not less than seven days nor more than 20 days after written notice is received. The meeting shall be public.
(5) 
The DRB shall have the power to hear all cases which involve a variance from the terms of this ordinance, prior to submission to the Zoning Hearing Board. The DRB shall also review final plans for roadside turnoffs and pedestrian display areas, prior to submission to the Planning Commission and shall approve application for directional signs prior to issuance of a sign permit by the Sign Inspector. In arriving at its decision, the Board shall consider the Statement of Intent herein and in § 15-101 herein as its basic guide. The Board may request sketches, drawings or photographs showing the entire property and the proposed sign or signs, and the applicant shall explain briefly, in his written request, where his signs vary from the provisions of the ordinance and why he needs an exception for his proposed sign or signs.
(6) 
After the meeting and hearing on any application, the Board shall decide the application and make its determination known to the applicant within 30 days of having received such application. Subsequent to review of any application for a variance from the terms of this ordinance, the DRB shall also make its determination known to the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of having received such application. This action will constitute a formal application to the Zoning Hearing Board, provided that, upon receipt of notice from the DRB, the applicant submits such forms and fees as required by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(7) 
In considering the application, the DRB may not consider reasons of economic hardship.
d. 
Variances. Variances to this ordinance shall be granted by the Zoning Hearing Board under the variance provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and in accordance with the provisions of this section.
The Zoning Hearing Board shall have the power to hear and rule on appeals from the decisions of the Sign Inspector. Such appeals must be filed with the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of the Sign Inspector's decision.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 8.01; amended by Ord. 945, 1/10/1979, Section 1]
a. 
Appointment. The Borough Manager shall appoint a Sign Inspector to enforce the provisions of this ordinance.
b. 
Duties.
(1) 
The Sign Inspector shall examine all applications for licenses to erect signs and shall issue licenses for all signs which conform to the requirements of this ordinance. The Inspector shall record and file all applications, conduct an annual inspection of all signs and make such reports as the Borough may require.
(2) 
If the Sign Inspector shall find that any sign has been constructed, structurally altered or erected, or is being maintained in violation of the provisions of this ordinance, he shall promptly notify the owner or lessor thereof in writing. If the owner or lessor fails to remove or alter the sign so as to comply with the provisions of this ordinance within 24 hours of the mailing or delivery of written notice, the Sign Inspector shall cause a violation notice to be filed with the District Magistrate, as provided in this ordinance.
(3) 
If the Sign Inspector shall find any sign which is in immediate peril to persons or property, he shall be empowered to order it to be removed immediately. If the Sign Inspector cannot locate the owner or lessor to have the sign removed immediately, he shall cause the sign to be removed and the costs of such removal shall be borne by the owner or lessor and shall constitute a lien upon the premises.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Sections 8.02 and 8.03; amended by Ord. 944, 11/9/1978; Ord. 1675, 8/28/2001, Section 3]
a. 
General Provisions for All Signs.
(1) 
All signs, except those enumerated in § 15-103 herein, must be licensed.
(2) 
Application for a license for a sign shall be made on a form provided by the Sign Inspector. Licenses for signs must be kept on the premises where the sign is displayed and must be shown to the Sign Inspector at his request.
(3) 
Licenses for signs are valid until the sign is replaced, remodeled or structurally altered, in which case a new license shall be required.
b. 
Licenses to Erect New Signs or to Alter or Move Existing Signs.
(1) 
No sign shall hereafter be erected, structurally altered or moved until a license has been obtained thereto the following information:
(a) 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant.
(b) 
A map showing the location of the building, structure or lot to which the sign is to be attached or erected and showing the position of the sign in relation to nearby buildings and thoroughfares. Such a map must be to scale.
(c) 
A plan showing design of sign, materials to be used, colors, lighting, lettering, method of construction and means of attachment to the building or the ground. Such plans must be to scale.
(d) 
Name of person, firm, corporation or association erecting, altering or moving said sign.
(e) 
Written consent of the owner of the land on which the sign is to be erected, altered or relocated.
(f) 
Any electrical or building permit required and issued for said sign under Borough ordinances.
(g) 
Any other information as the Sign Inspector shall require in order to show full compliance with this and all other applicable laws of the Borough.
(2) 
After permission to erect, alter or move a sign has been obtained and said sign has been constructed, painted and emplaced, as specified in the license application, the owner of the sign shall notify the Sign Inspector, who shall inspect the sign. If the sign is as specified in the license application and does not violate any provision of this or other applicable ordinances, the license shall be validated by signature of the Sign Inspector.
c. 
Licenses for Existing Signs. All owners of signs in existence at the time of passage of this ordinance, which are not licensed, shall make application for a sign license within 90 days of the passage of this ordinance. After application to license an existing sign has been received, the Sign Inspector shall inspect the sign. If the sign is safe and in good repair and does not violate the provisions of this ordinance for such existing signs, a license shall be issued to the licensee subject, however, to the following provisions:
(1) 
Conforming Signs. All signs which were in existence at the time of the original enactment of this ordinance (February 24, 1969) and which conform to the provisions of this ordinance shall be eligible for a sign license.
(2) 
Nonconforming Signs. All signs which were in existence at the time of the original enactment of this ordinance (February 24, 1969) which did not conform to one or more applicable provisions of this ordinance (with the exception of those signs designated with an asterisk enumerated in § 15-104, "Signs Prohibited in All Districts") shall be eligible for a sign license and, if licensed, shall be permitted to remain. The following additional provisions shall be applicable to such nonconforming signs:
(a) 
If there is an abandonment or non-use of a sign or sign location of a nonconforming sign for a period of at least six months, such nonconforming sign may be deemed to be abandoned and the right to maintain such nonconforming sign shall terminate.
(b) 
No nonconforming sign shall be enlarged nor shall the location of any nonconforming sign be changed.
(c) 
Nonconforming signs may be repaired and maintained. Repairing and maintaining shall include, but not be limited to, the replacement of certain portions of a sign or the entire sign, if necessary, to repair damage from collision, natural causes (such as windstorms or fire) or from intentional damage, such as vandalism.
d. 
Fees. Every applicant, before being granted a license hereunder, shall pay to the Borough of State College a fee for each sign regulated by this ordinance. Council shall establish, by Resolution, appropriate fees to cover the reasonable costs of reviewing and administering all applications for a sign license.
The following signs shall be exempt from license fees; such signs must be licensed, however:
Any sign which existed at the time this ordinance was adopted on which a previous license or permit fee had been paid.
[Ord. 888, 4/5/1976, Section 8.04]{70}
Violations of this ordinance shall be considered violations of the Borough Zoning Ordinance and penalties for violations shall be the same.
[Ord. 1030, 8/4/1982, Section 3]
a. 
Colored, lightweight panels constructed of acrylan, nylon, cloth or other similar durable materials permanently affixed to building or buildings. It is the intent of this section to provide for the use of these panels for the purposes of developing a theme which will collectively identify an area. Such panels shall bear no commercial advertising.
b. 
No single face of any decorative panel may exceed 16 square feet.
c. 
No panel may be less than 10 feet nor more than 35 feet above grade, measured from a point directly beneath the mid-point of the panel. No panel or its supporting structure may extend more than 30 inches over any public right-of-way or required yard area.
d. 
No panel may be erected and maintained within 10 feet of any other panel unless such grouping is constructed for the purposes of a special design effect.
e. 
Prior to receiving a permit, a review and recommendation on each application must be obtained from the DRB. In its review of each proposal, the Board shall consider the type and color of the materials selected for each panel as well as the visual impact of the proposed panel(s). All applications for use of decorative panels shall be for an area not less than that between any two parallel streets.
f. 
No decorative panel, as defined in § 15-126a above, may be erected or maintained without prior issuance of a sign permit, as required in § 15-124 of this chapter.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any of the items listed in § 15-104k.
The use of decorative panels, as described above, is permitted only within the central business district, as defined in § 19-201, Chapter XIX, of this Codification.
g. 
Any variance or modification to conditions of this section shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 15-122 of this chapter.
[Ord. 1709, 10/15/2002, Section 8; amended by Ord. 1754, 8/18/2003, Section 1]
a. 
All signs are prohibited in the UV Zoning District except those enumerated in §§ 15-103 and 15-117 of the Sign Ordinance and as permitted in this section.
b. 
One sign is permitted per premise in the UV Zoning District. In addition to the criteria in Chapter XIV, any sign displayed in the UV District shall be subject to the following:
(1) 
Maximum sign area per premise shall not exceed 15 square feet for a single-faced sign and 30 square feet for a double-faced sign.
(2) 
Be located only on a wall of the building or in the yard abutting the arterial street.
(3) 
Internally-illuminated signs are not permitted; external illumination may be used only during business hours.
(4) 
The content of the sign shall be restricted to the name and address of the occupant and to the type of business conducted on the site.
c. 
Directional signs are permitted in the UV Zoning District as provided for in § 15-115 of this chapter, except that the size of any directional sign shall comply with the maximum size limitations of this section.
[Ord. 1754, 8/25/2003, Section 2]
All signs in that portion of the University Planned District (UPD) located within the Borough of State College shall be governed exclusively by the provisions contained in § 15-1210, Sign Regulations, of the Zoning Ordinance and Chapter XIX of the Borough's Codification of Ordinances. Where a conflict exists between the specific language contained in § 15-1210 of Chapter XIX and these sign regulations, Parts A and B of Chapter XV, § 15-1210 of Chapter XIX shall prevail.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1985, Section 1; amended by Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Sections 4 and 5]
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the text, words in the plural shall include the singular and words in the singular shall include the plural. The word "shall" is mandatory.
a. 
AWNING (BACK-LIT) — A back-lit awning is any awning, fixed or retractable, which incorporates any transparent or translucent material in its covering and is illuminated by a light source placed behind the covering.
b. 
AWNING (FIXED) — Fixed awning is a fixed structure supported by a frame or bracketing extending outward from the wall of a building which does not retract or roll up and is constructed to provide shade or shelter.
c. 
AWNING (RETRACTABLE) — Retractable awning is a structure fastened to the wall of a building which, in a closed or rolled up position, does not extend beyond eight inches from the face of the building and, when extended, is constructed to provide shade or shelter.
d. 
CANOPY — A canopy is a permanent or temporary structure other than an awning or marquee, attached to a building over an entrance and carried by a frame supported by the ground or sidewalk, extending from the entrance to or over the public sidewalk for the purpose of providing shade or shelter to pedestrians walking from the sidewalk to the building's entrance.
e. 
CURB LINE — Curbline is the vertical plane projected upward from the face of the curb along a street.
f. 
FRONT, SIDE OR REAR YARD — Front, side or rear yard is the required yard or distance from the building line to street line (right-of-way) or property line, as established under the State College Zoning Ordinance.
g. 
MARQUEE — Marquee is a permanent structure fastened entirely to the building and projecting from the wall above an entrance and extending over the street right-of-way to provide shelter for automobile passenger loading and unloading to the entrance.
h. 
PROJECTING OVERHANG — Projecting overhang is an integral part of a building, an overhanging roof or an affixed permanent structure in a horizontal direction from the wall of a building not over 14 inches in thickness and within 14 feet from the ground or sidewalk to provide shade, shelter or architectural form.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 3; amended by Ord. 808, 8/30/1972, Section 1; Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Sections 6, 7 and 8; Ord. 1682, 10/15/2001, Section 4]
a. 
All awnings, canopies, projecting overhangs and marquees shall be affixed or fastened to buildings by supports in such a manner as not to be dangerous or harmful to the users of the sidewalks or streets of the Borough.
b. 
Marquees and projecting overhangs shall be designed to support live loads in conformity with BOCA Code regulations and shall be drained so no water will drip on or flow across the sidewalk used by the public.
c. 
No awning, canopy, projecting overhang or marquee shall be used for a support for any sign or advertising nor shall they contain any lettering or sign, except that the name of the owner and the business, industry or pursuit conducted within the premises, or the name of the feature (in the case of theatres) may be painted or embossed directly to the surface or in letters not to project more than one inch in thickness, may be attached to the surface.
For the purposes of determining sign area and numbers, an awning, canopy, projecting overhang or marquee shall be considered as a part of the building to which it is attached and any lettering, logo or emblems appearing on such structures shall be considered as a wall sign and shall be subject to the regulations governing wall signs.
d. 
No awning, canopy, projecting overhang or marquee shall extend over the right-of-way of an alley.
e. 
Fixed awnings, canopies and projecting overhangs, referred to in § 5-201 herein, shall be permitted to extend over public sidewalks on the granting of such permission by Council.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2; amended by Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Section 9]
In addition to the general regulations, fixed awnings in commercial districts shall not extend more than five feet over the required front or rear yard.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2]
In addition to the general regulations, retractable awnings may be erected pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance over windows and doors and may extend over a front yard and/or a street right-of-way, excepting alleys, a total distance not to exceed five feet from the wall of the building but not closer to a curbline than two feet. The lower portion of a retractable awning, including any skirt, shall be not less than seven feet above the sidewalk.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2; amended by Ord. 1208, 6/27/1988, Sections 10 and 11]
a. 
In addition to the general regulations, canopies may be erected and maintained as follows:
Canopies may be permitted in commercially- or industrially-zoned districts (C, CP-1, CP-2, MP and M) for any retail, office or other commercial use, or for multifamily use or church use. However, in the commercial district (C), only one canopy shall be erected per lot.
Covering shall be made of lightweight material and all frames and supports shall be of metal, securely supported.
No portion of a canopy extending over a front yard or street right-of-way shall be less than eight feet above the level of the sidewalk.
No canopy shall be permitted to extend closer than one foot to the curbline, and no canopy shall exceed eight feet in width.
However, canopies may extend across front yards to the doorway of a building.
b. 
Temporary canopies for special events may be erected for a period not exceeding three days, upon securing a special permit at a fee of $5.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2; amended by Ord. 708, 5/2/1967, Section 1]
In addition to the general regulations, no marquee extending over a front yard or public right-of-way shall be erected except over entrances to hotels, theatres and public assembly buildings where special permission is made by the Borough Council for curb loading and unloading space for automobile passengers.
All marquees, including anchors, bolts, supporting rods and braces thereof, shall be constructed of incombustible materials and shall be designed by a structural engineer and approved by the Building Inspector.
No portion of a marquee shall be less than 10 feet above the level of the sidewalk.
No marquee shall be permitted to extend closer to the curbline than three feet.
No marquee shall be wider than the entrance of the building plus two feet on each side thereof. Where an entrance consists of multiple adjacent doors, the multiple doors shall be treated as one single entrance.
Marquees shall be supported solely by the building to which they are attached and no columns or posts shall be used as supports in the required front yard or street right-of-way.
No marquee shall be thicker nor have an overall vertical dimension greater than 1/8th of its length.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2]
In addition to the general regulations, projecting overhangs, as an integral part of a building or as a structure affixed to the wall of a building in commercial districts, shall not extend over the street right-of-way or not more than five feet over the required front or rear yard, except structures to cover retractable awnings, when rolled up, may extend not more than eight inches over the right-of-way.
Projecting overhangs in commercial districts shall not be less than eight feet above the level of the ground or sidewalk.
In residential districts, projecting overhangs shall not project more than 30 inches over the required front or rear yard.
Overhangs shall not project over side yards more than two inches per foot of the required side yard width.
Where overhangs are an integral part of a building or remodeling, covered under building permits, these regulations shall apply, but no permit under this ordinance shall be required.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2; amended by Ord. 1675, 8/28/2001, Section 4]
a. 
From and after the effective date of this ordinance, no awning, canopy, marquee or projecting overhang shall hereafter be erected or altered within the Borough except in strict conformity with the provisions of this ordinance and until a permit has been secured from the Zoning Officer, except as specifically exempted herein.
b. 
Application for permit shall be on a form supplied by the Zoning Officer, which form shall require all measurements and data necessary to indicate that the structure to be erected is in conformity with the Borough regulations pertaining thereto.
c. 
Council shall establish, by Resolution, appropriate fees to cover the reasonable costs of reviewing and administering all applications for a sign license.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 2; amended by Ord. 1675, 8/28/2001, Section 5]
The Zoning Officer shall, from time to time, make or cause to be made an examination of the structure, including its fastenings. He shall make recommendations for the correction of existing irregularities and, should the owner or the person in control thereof fail to make such corrections within 15 days from notice thereof, Zoning Officer shall cause an information to be made for the violation of this ordinance and shall have the right to compel removal of any such structure erected, altered or repaired in violation of this ordinance. Zoning Officer shall revoke any permit granted under the provisions of this ordinance when he shall find that the awning, canopy, projecting overhang and marquee is unsafe or in disrepair or interferes with public use of a street, right-of-way or when not in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance.
[Ord. 478, 2/21/1955, Section 4]{80}
Any person, firm or corporation convicted of violating any provisions of this ordinance shall be fined not less than $5 or more than $25 and costs of prosecution and, in default of payment thereof, shall be committed to the County Jail for not more than 30 days and, whenever such person has been notified by the Borough Council that he is committing a violation of this ordinance, then each day that he shall continue such violation after notification shall constitute a separate offense, punishable by a like fine and penalty.