Village of Bellerose, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose 12-9-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Architectural Review Committee — See Ch. 6.
Building construction — See Ch. 68.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 95.
Garage sales — See Ch. 115.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 159.
Property maintenance and housing — See Ch. 165.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 184.
Zoning — See Ch. 210.
ATTACHMENTS
179a Exhibit A
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law repealed former Ch. 179, Signs, adopted 11-27-1978 by L.L. No. 10-1978, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate existing and proposed signs in order to:
A. 
Protect property values.
B. 
Create and promote an attractive economic business climate.
C. 
Enhance and protect the physical appearance and environment of Bellerose Village.
D. 
Regulate the size and placement of "For Sale" signs to prevent the appearance of a depressed or undesirable community or area in transition.
E. 
Preserve the scenic and natural beauty of the Village.
F. 
Provide for a more enjoyable and pleasing community.
G. 
Reduce sign or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents.
H. 
Reduce hazards that may be caused by signs overhanging or projecting over public rights-of-way.
I. 
Avoid unconstitutional prohibitions of noncommercial speech.
As used in this chapter, the following terms are defined as set forth:
FRONT OR FACE OF A BUILDING
The outer surface of the building abutting or fronting upon any street or public highway.
PERSON
Includes one or more persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, companies and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued.
PROJECTING SIGN
Any sign which is erected or maintained over any street, sidewalk, alley or highway.
SIGN OR SIGNS
Any material (including paper, cloth and canvas) structure, or device for visual communication composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is placed, which is used outside of or on the exterior of any building for display of an advertisement, announcement, notice, banner, logo, flag, directional matter or name; and includes signs, billboards, signboards, illuminated signs, neon tube, string of lights or ground signs, but does not include signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in the discharge of any governmental function.
A. 
The term "sign" shall also include any material or structure or part thereof composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is placed, which is on the exterior of any vehicle or other mobile object located on the same zoning lot as a building and which lettered or pictorial matter is designed to serve as a sign for the nature of the business, the goods sold or services rendered on the premises and the price thereof, or any or all of them. Such sign is hereby prohibited when it is customarily located on the same zoning lot as a building.
B. 
A sign is no less subject to this chapter and to its provisions by reason of the fact that it is not on the outside of a premises but is contained on the inside of the window or door of that premises and is clearly intended to be so visible to persons who may pass the premises.
A. 
A sign may be permitted only in connection with a permitted use or for constitutionally protected noncommercial messages.
B. 
Signs shall relate solely to constitutionally protected noncommercial messages or to the business or profession conducted on the premises. Such business or professional signs shall advertise only the name of the owner or lessee, the name, address and telephone number of the establishment, the type of establishment, goods or services or the trade name of the establishment and the goods manufactured or sold or the services rendered.
C. 
No sign shall be constructed, erected or located which will obstruct the visibility with respect to the safety of the motorist or pedestrian proceeding along the public way or entering or leaving a lot.
D. 
Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only clear or white lights emitting a light of constant intensity, and shall contain no lights other than those necessary for the illumination of the script. No sign shall be illuminated by or contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights or moving or movable components. In no event shall an illuminated sign or lighting device be so placed or directed so as to permit the beams and illumination therefrom to be directed or beamed upon a public street, highway, sidewalk or adjacent premises so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance.
E. 
No signs may be constructed, erected, maintained, altered or moved on a lot which maintains a nonconforming sign, unless all signs on such lot are made to conform.
F. 
No temporary or permanent signs, except directional or traffic signs placed by the Village, shall be permitted on public streets, sidewalks or rights-of-way.
G. 
Nonilluminated directional signs are permitted on any lot, provided that such sign or signs shall not exceed two square feet in area and that the number of such signs on the lot shall not exceed the number of approved ingresses and egresses thereon.
H. 
All signs and lighting shall be compatible with a colonial theme as to design and color, which is hereby defined to include the following:
(1) 
The following designs: See Exhibit A at end of chapter.
(2) 
No sign shall be neon, iridescent or fluorescent in color or type.
I. 
No billboards shall be permitted.
A. 
Except as provided under § 179-10 hereof, it shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to erect, construct, paint, alter, relocate reconstruct, display or maintain or cause to be erected, constructed, displayed or maintained any sign or signs without first having obtained a written permit from the Building Inspector.
B. 
Except as specifically permitted in this chapter in connection with lawful signs, neon lighting or other illumination on or about the exterior of a building is prohibited.
A. 
Any person desiring to procure a permit for a sign shall file with the Building Inspector a written application, which shall contain:
(1) 
A drawing or picture showing the lettering and measurement and pictorial matter composing the sign, a description of the construction details, a location plan showing the position of the sign on the building or premises and such other information as the Building Inspector may require to show compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
Written consent of the owner of the building or structure or land to which the sign is to be erected.
(3) 
Certification of an electrical inspection by a qualified person or firm.
(4) 
A completed application for a sign permit (excluding temporary signs) shall be acted upon within 30 business days by the Village Clerk or Building Inspector, and if not rejected within such time, the permit shall be deemed approved.
B. 
One or more temporary signs may be placed, substituted or replaced upon a premises so long as the owner or occupant thereof shall obtain a temporary sign permit, which shall permit the placement of all such signs until March 31 of each year, and so long as all of the terms and provisions of this chapter shall be complied with. The fee for the temporary sign permit shall be established by the Board of Trustees.
Except as may be otherwise provided herein, no sign permit shall be issued until the applicable fee is paid to the Village Clerk. The amount of such fees for erecting or placing a new sign; altering, relocating, reconstructing or enlarging an existing sign; repainting a sign; or for temporary signs shall be established by resolution duly adopted by the Board of Trustees. Where a sign has been erected or placed upon the premises prior to obtaining the required permit, the fee shall be doubled, but the payment of such fee shall not release any person from duly complying with all requirements of this chapter.
The Building Inspector may at any time for a violation of this chapter revoke any sign permit. Notice of such revocation and the reason therefor, in writing, shall be served by the Building Inspector upon the person named in the application by mailing the same to the address given in the application and upon the last known owner of the premises on which the sign is placed by mailing the same to his last known address as shown on the assessment roll of the Village.
A. 
The area, brilliance, character, degree, density, intensity, location and type of illumination shall be the minimum necessary to provide for the security of the property and the safety and welfare of the public.
B. 
All sources of illumination on front-lighted signs shall be indirect and shall be positioned so that the direct rays of such sources are cast upon the sign from in front thereof. Such sources of illumination shall also be shielded so that the direct rays therefrom are not cast upon any property other than the lot on which such illumination is situated.
C. 
Illumination on front-lighted signs shall be white, fluorescent or incandescent, steady in nature and not flashing or moving or changing in brilliance, color or intensity.
D. 
Back-lighted signs shall have an opaque face; only the letters and business symbols set forth thereon may consist of translucent material.
E. 
Lights and hoods or shields for the lights used to illuminate signs are permitted, provided that such light hoods or shields do not extend more than 24 inches beyond the face of the building.
F. 
Neon tubular signs and neon window framing are prohibited.
Whenever it shall appear to the Building Inspector that any sign has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of any of the terms of this chapter or is unsafe and insecure or is in such condition as to be a menace to the safety of the public, the Building Inspector shall thereupon issue or cause to be issued a notice in writing to the owner and occupant, informing such person of the violation of this chapter or the dangerous condition of such sign and directing him/her to make such alteration or repair thereto or to do such things or acts as are necessary or advisable to place such structure in a safe, substantial and secure condition and to make the same comply with the requirements of this chapter within such reasonable time as shall be stated in such notice. Upon the failure to comply with such notice the Building Inspector may cause such sign or such part thereof as is constructed or maintained in violation of this chapter to be removed and may charge the expense of such removal to the person so notified; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the Building Inspector from adopting such precautionary measures as may be necessary or advisable in case of imminent danger to place such sign in a safe condition, the expense of which shall be paid by the owner and added to the tax roll of the premises.
A. 
In the Residence District, no signs shall be erected or maintained except as permitted below:
(1) 
Signs customarily incidental to churches and places of worship, public buildings and structures, parks and playgrounds of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose.
(2) 
One real estate sign for each improved parcel of land showing that the property is for sale or rent, provided that such sign shall be attached to the dwelling and shall not exceed 12 inches by 12 inches in size. Such signs are not permitted to be placed upon a lawn, flower bed, walkway or driveway.
(3) 
One real estate sign for each improved parcel of land showing that an open house or like event is occurring on the premises. Such sign may not be larger than 18 inches by 24 inches and may not remain on the premises for more than 24 hours within a seven-day period. Such signs may only placed upon a lawn, flower bed or upon the dwelling itself.
(4) 
Signs not exceeding one square foot in area used solely for showing the name and address of the occupant of the premises.
(5) 
One security sign no larger than 64 square inches in the front yard and the rear yard.
(6) 
Seasonal, patriotic and decorative flags and banners.
B. 
No temporary or permanent sign shall be affixed or placed upon any tree, pole, wall or fence and the person or entity responsible for the placement thereof or whose goods, services or interests are promoted by such sign, shall bear full responsibility for the costs of removal and any fine or penalty due for the placement thereof.
In the Business District, no sign shall be erected or maintained unless and until it complies with the following provisions:
A. 
No such sign shall be erected on any roof, on eaves or extended above a parapet wall.
B. 
Such sign may be placed only upon the front or face of a building and not elsewhere, and must be constructed and maintained flat or parallel with the building wall to which it is attached and shall not exceed more than 12 inches from such exterior building wall.
C. 
Size and location; nameplates.
(1) 
No such sign shall be wider than the building or structure upon which it is placed and no higher than the distance between the head of windows of one story and the lower sill course of the windows of the next higher story or top of the parapet wall if a one-story building and in no event higher than two feet. No more than one sign for each business establishment is permitted, provided that the combined signs do not exceed the maximum limitations for a single sign as herein prescribed.
(2) 
At the entrance of buildings with business establishments above the first floor, nameplates of uniform design and appearance at each such building and not more than 12 inches in length and 6 inches in height may be mounted at the side of such entrance, provided that they are placed flat against the exterior wall.
D. 
At a gasoline filling station or automobile sales room, in addition to the signs herein permitted, one yard sign may be erected not more than 20 square feet in area, with the largest dimension not more than five feet and the bottom of the sign not more than four feet above the ground, provided that:
(1) 
No letter on such sign shall be more than 12 inches in height or width.
(2) 
Such sign shall be so located that the entire sign shall lie within the property line of the premises on which the sign is sought to be erected. However, no sign shall be placed upon a canopy.
(3) 
Such sign shall not be so located as to create a hazardous or dangerous condition with respect to traffic.
(4) 
One sign attached to each pump showing the price of gasoline and not exceeding one square foot.
E. 
No signs on any building or premises, either outside or inside, shall be illuminated after 11:00 p.m., except on those places of business which shall remain open after 11:00 p.m. and they shall be extinguished at the time of closing of such business.
F. 
At any place of business which maintains off-street parking for the use of its customers, in addition to the signs herein permitted, there may be one yard sign indicating the availability of off-street parking for such customers. Such signs shall not be more than 10 square feet in area, with the largest dimension not more than four feet and the bottom of the sign not more than five feet above the ground, provided that no letter on such sign shall be more than six inches in height or width, such sign shall be so located that the entire sign shall lie within the property line of the premises on which the sign is erected and such sign shall not be so located so as to create a hazardous or dangerous condition with respect to traffic. The placement of such sign in a position that makes it difficult for the drivers of automobiles to read legal signs present on other premises creates a presumption that such sign is so located as to create a hazardous or dangerous condition with respect to traffic and its proper movement at proper speed.
Signs conveying a constitutionally protected noncommercial message shall be permitted as follows:
A. 
Number permitted: one per lot.
B. 
Maximum area: one square foot.
C. 
Maximum height of the bottom of the sign above ground level: two feet.
D. 
Location: at least 15 feet from all property lines.
A. 
No signs shall be erected so as to obstruct free egress from any window, door or fire escape or so as to become a menace to life, health or property.
B. 
Signs affixed to any wall or building shall be securely fastened thereto.
C. 
All wiring, fittings, materials, electrical or other installation of illuminated or lighted signs shall be subject to inspection by and approval of the Building Inspector.
A. 
No bills, circulars or notices shall be posted or placed within the Village except on bulletin boards or signboards maintained by the Village or other governmental authority for that purpose.
B. 
In the Business District, no signs shall be constructed of cloth, plastic, paper or other destructible materials for display outside of any building or on the inside of any building so as to clearly be visible to and intended to be visible to those persons who may pass the outside of the building, except for the following:
(1) 
A temporary permit, subject to renewal, may be granted for real estate signs advertising the sale or rental of the building upon which it is placed, constructed of temporary materials, but not for more than 60 days, and no such sign shall be larger than four feet by five feet or 20 square feet.
(2) 
Paper or temporary signs.
(a) 
Maximum area: the cumulative area of such signs shall not exceed 33% of the window area in size.
(b) 
Paper or temporary signs may be placed in a window and maintained in good condition.
(c) 
Multiple signs shall be of the same color and design.
(d) 
Temporary signs shall be placed in retail or service establishments only and must relate to the principal products sold or the primary activity conducted on the premises.
(3) 
No banners shall be erected or maintained across any street or sidewalk or across the face or side of building.
(4) 
Advertising of the name and phone number of the occupant and the address of the premises may be placed upon the valance of an awning which shall not be less than seven feet six inches above the sidewalk.
(5) 
No permit shall be required for a contractor's sign, not exceeding 12 square feet in area, which is displayed during the course of construction.
On unimproved land, one real estate sign not over four feet by five feet in size is allowed, with the location subject to approval of the Building Inspector. In either instance, the maximum height of bottom of sign above ground level shall be five feet and the location shall be at least 10 feet from the property line.
A. 
Any legal sign, whether by permit, variance or legally nonconforming status, in existence on the effective date of this chapter, which violates or does not conform to the provisions of this Code shall be altered, removed or replaced to comply with such provisions in accordance with the following phaseout schedule: within five years of the adoption of this chapter, after notice by the Building Inspector.
B. 
No existing nonconforming sign shall be structurally altered in any manner. If any sign is removed except for maintenance, it may not be reinstalled and may only be replaced with a sign in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Said notice may be served personally or by certified mail, addressed to the premises where the sign is located and to the last known residence address, if any, of the owner or lessee of such sign; the date of such mailing shall be construed as of the date of notice.
Any neglect, failure or refusal to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be deemed a violation thereof, and any person who shall so violate any provision of this chapter, in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense; and such violation shall also constitute disorderly conduct, and the person so violating this chapter shall be a disorderly person. Each and every day such violation shall continue will constitute a separate offense.