Township of Patton, PA
Centre County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Patton 5-26-1969 by Ord No. 70; amended in its entirety 2-27-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-495. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The long title of this chapter is as follows: "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 provisions for enforcement and penalties for violations."
This chapter shall be known as the "Sign Ordinance."
The sign regulations, controls and provisions set forth in this chapter 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 Township of Patton and are intended to aid in traffic control and traffic safety, preserve and protect property values, lessen congestion of land and air space, mitigate 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, avoid glare and diversions that could distract motorists, 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 Patton Township and to recognize that the general welfare includes a community plan that shall be beautiful as well as healthy and spacious, as well as clean and well-balanced in its growth and development.
A. 
The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings given in this section:
MENU BOARD
A sign which details the sale of goods or services available on the property and which is not intended to be seen from roadways or parking lots.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other legal entity.
PREMISES
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 premises. Businesses or other public enterprises which occupy other floors shall be considered separate premises.
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.
SIGN
A sign is any structure, device, light or natural object, including the ground itself, or any part thereof, 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 announcement, direction or advertisement and which is intended to be seen from off the premises or from a parking lot. No other indoor sign shall be deemed a sign within this chapter.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597]
(1) 
A sign supported by one or more uprights, poles or braces placed in or upon the ground.
(2) 
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.
(3) 
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.
(4) 
Any sign which is not a temporary sign.
(5) 
A sign which projects from and is supported by a wall of a building.
(6) 
A noncommercial sign communicating a political, issue-oriented, religious, or personal message that is not an advertisement, name, address, directional sign, or real estate sign.
(7) 
A nonpermanent sign erected or maintained on a premises for a short, fixed period of time.
(8) 
A sign which is attached directly to or painted upon a building wall and which does not extend more than 12 inches therefrom nor extend above the roofline.
(9) 
Any sign erected and maintained upon or above the roof of any building.
(10) 
Any fabric or other flexible material attached to or designed to be flown from a flagpole or similar device.
SIGN AREA
The area of the smallest triangle, rectangle or circle which can wholly enclose the surface area of the sign. All visible faces of a multifaced 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 plane of its largest dimension.
B. 
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and the masculine shall include both the feminine and the neuter.
The following regulations shall be observed in all districts within Patton Township:
A. 
Notwithstanding any other regulation in Chapter 140 or elsewhere in the Patton Township Code, noncommercial messages shall be permitted wherever commercial messages are permitted.
B. 
Consistent with § 1-14 of the Patton Township Code, the regulations of Chapter 140 are severable. If any part, section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, phrase, clause, term, or word is declared invalid by a court of law, the remainder of Chapter 140 shall remain valid.
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 premises. However, such signs shall conform with the general regulations for signs enumerated in the remainder of this section.
A. 
Name and address of resident, but not to include any commercial advertising of not more than two square feet in sign area.
B. 
Signs regulating the use of a property, such as no hunting, no fishing, no trespassing, 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 not exceeding five square feet in sign area in residential zones, and 25 square feet in all commercial and industrial zones, which advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which said signs are located. Such real estate signs shall be removed within 10 days after the premises advertised has been sold, rented or leased. "Sold" signs are prohibited.
D. 
Bulletin boards for public, charitable or religious institutions, when located on the premises 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 noncommercial announcement.
E. 
Signs regulating on-premises 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.
F. 
Signs erected by a governmental body, or under the direction of such a body, and bearing no commercial advertising, such as traffic signs, railroad crossing signs, safety signs, signs identifying public schools and playgrounds and the like.
G. 
Historical markers, memorial signs or tablets and signs denoting the date of erection of buildings.
H. 
The flag, pennant or insignia of any government or of any religious, charitable or fraternal organization.
I. 
Temporary signs no larger than 10 square feet in area advertising the sale of farm products produced on the premises or advertising auctions and special events of charitable or public service groups. Such signs shall be removed as soon as the activity advertised thereon has taken place.
J. 
Permanent residential development signs at major entrances designed to identify a residential subdivision and containing no commercial advertising. Maximum area: 25 square feet of surface area per sign face or 50 square feet in total surface area.
K. 
Signs identifying places of worship when located on the premises thereof and not exceeding 25 square feet of surface area per sign face or 50 square feet in total surface area.
L. 
Signs identifying a golf course or country club or other recreational facility when located on the premises thereof and containing no commercial advertising.
M. 
Political/personal signs not exceeding five square feet in sign area per sign face (not exceeding 10 square feet total) on residential lots or 25 total square feet on commercial lots.
N. 
Contractor, artisan, or property maintenance signs identifying the contractor or property maintenance company working on the premises on which the sign is located. No more than one sign per street abuttal shall be located on any lot. Such signs must be removed immediately upon completion of the project, and no one sign shall be larger than 16 square feet on a residential lot or 32 square feet on a commercial lot.
O. 
Real estate management signs for premises including six or more units, indicating only the name of the property and the name, address, and telephone number of the real estate management company. Such signs shall not exceed five square feet.
The following signs shall not be permitted, erected or maintained in any district, notwithstanding anything else contained in this chapter or elsewhere:
A. 
Signs which incorporate in any manner any flashing, moving, or changing illumination or sign faces 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. Electronic screen signs, using technologies such as (but not limited to) LCD or LED screens, are prohibited within clear sight of public roadways, except when used as necessary traffic control devices by either Patton Township or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation under the guidelines of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (most recent edition).
(1) 
Flags, banners, and pennants are exempt from this requirement.
[Added 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597]
B. 
Any sign or sign structure which constitutes a hazard to public safety or health.
C. 
Signs which by reason of size, location, content, coloring or manner of illumination obstruct the vision of drivers, either when driving a roadway or driveway or when entering a roadway from another roadway, or obstruct or detract from the visibility or effectiveness of any traffic sign or control device on public streets and roads.
D. 
Any sign which obstructs free ingress to or egress from a fire escape, door, window or other required exitway.
E. 
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 a manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.
F. 
Any obsolete sign which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted or a product sold. In any case, 90 days shall be allowed for removal of an obsolete sign.
G. 
Signs on public property or public rights-of-way, unless erected by a governmental body, or unless required to be so located by order of a governmental body. No sign located on public property or a public right-of-way shall bear any commercial advertising or announcement.
H. 
Signs painted on, attached to or supported by a tree, stone, cliff or other natural object, except signs permitted under § 140-6I.
I. 
String lights, other than temporary holiday decorations, which are unshielded from off the property on which they are located.
J. 
Searchlights, spinners, and streamers, except for occasions such as grand openings and then only with special permission of the Planning Commission or the Sign Inspector. Use shall be limited to a fifteen-day period.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597; 5-22-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-599]
A. 
Light sources which cast light on signs shall be shielded by opaque material so that the bulbs, floodlights or tubes are not visible off the property on which the signs are located. Glare or light may not be cast on adjacent roadways or surrounding property.
B. 
In addition to complying with the provisions of this chapter, all illumination must be in compliance with the provisions for illumination at § 175-48.2 of the Patton Township Code.
C. 
Sign illumination should use the most energy-efficient technology that is available and feasible at the time of installation. The use of less-efficient, incandescent bulbs is discouraged.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597]
Notwithstanding anything else in this chapter or elsewhere, no more than five signs may be erected or maintained on any premises at any one time, except that when a premises 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. In calculating the total number of signs on a premises, both permanent and temporary signs shall be combined in the total. A double-faced sign shall count as a single sign. Flags and ground-pole signs shall be counted towards the sign limit. No more than one flag shall be permitted per parcel. Signs enumerated in § 140-6, "Signs permitted in all districts," shall not be counted in calculating the total. Directional menu signs permitted by § 140-18 and special event signs permitted by § 140-28F shall also not be counted towards the sign limit.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597]
No sign, or any part thereof, including braces, supports or lights, shall exceed a height of 25 feet, except that a wall sign may reach a height of 25 feet or 75% of the height to the roofline of the building to which it is affixed, whichever is higher. A flag may reach a height of 25 feet or a height equal to the roofline of the tallest building(s) to which it is associated; whichever is higher. Height shall be measured from grade level directly below the face of the sign to the highest part of the sign.
A. 
Notwithstanding anything else in this chapter or elsewhere, the total sign area per premises, including both permanent and temporary signs, shall not exceed two square feet per linear front foot of the main building on the premises, except that no premises shall be limited to fewer than 20 square feet of total sign area. In no case shall the total sign area of all signs on one premises exceed 200 square feet, except that shopping centers in Planned Commercial Districts may have one additional shopping center identification sign located along each street frontage used as an entrance. Such sign shall be subject to the requirements of § 140-15. Flags, except those enumerated in § 140-6, Signs permitted in all districts, shall be counted towards the limit on sign area and shall be of a size no larger than 50 square feet. Notwithstanding anything else in this chapter, the total sign area for a basement premises shall not exceed 20 square feet. Directional menu signs permitted by § 140-18 and special event signs permitted by Section 140-28F shall not be counted towards the total sign area of a premises.
[Amended 11-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-597]
B. 
Menu boards are permitted and shall comply with applicable regulations for a wall sign, ground-pole sign or roof sign and may be placed in addition to other signs allowed for by the provisions of this chapter. Menu boards shall not be included in the calculation of total signs and total sign area permitted in §§ 140-8 and 140-10A above. The following standards shall apply to menu boards:
[Amended 9-22-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-526]
The largest sign on a premises shall not advertise any particular article of merchandise unless it is the principal product sold or manufactured on the premises, except for off-premises signs which shall be regulated by § 140-17.
A. 
Every sign and all parts thereof, including framework, supports, background, anchors and wiring systems, shall be constructed and maintained in compliance with the latest adopted version of the Building, Electrical, and Fire Prevention Codes.[1] In the absence of an electrical ordinance, the latest version of the National Electrical Code (NFPA-70) shall be used as the standard for all wiring systems.
(1) 
Each ordering lane shall be limited to one menu board.
(2) 
Each menu board shall be limited to a single face with a maximum sign area of 45 square feet.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 63, Construction Codes, Uniform.
B. 
All signs and all parts thereof shall be kept in a good state of repair and maintenance.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, 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 any 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 premises unless the premises 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.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, the following regulations shall apply to all wall signs:
A. 
No wall sign shall extend above the top of the wall upon which it is 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.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, 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 behind the property line 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.
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 of sign area for both faces combined, nor in excess of 10 feet in any dimension of the sign face.
C. 
A premises 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 sign permitted in § 140-18.
E. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, any property located on a corner lot or having public entrance to two or more public ways, one ground-pole sign may be erected for and toward each public way. On a corner lot, neither sign may be located within 50 feet of the property corner closest to the intersecting roads.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, 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 premises.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, the following regulations shall apply to all off-premises advertising signs, except directional signs:
A. 
Off-premises advertising signs shall be located in space provided at roadside turnoffs or in pedestrian display areas. It is the intent of this provision to permit off-premises advertising for the Centre Region, of which the Township is a member, in roadside turnoffs or pedestrian display areas.
B. 
To provide maximum direction and information to the traveling public without disturbing neighborhoods or causing unnecessary visual clutter, roadside turnoffs may be located in the centrally located I-1 District. Pedestrian display areas may be located in C-1, C-2, and I-1 districts. No off-premises advertising signs are permitted outside of the C-1, C-2, and I-1 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. No off-premises advertising sign in Patton Township shall exceed 10 square feet in size or 10 feet in height.
D. 
Vehicular access shall be designed in accordance with adopted standards of the Township's subdivision regulations[1] and shall be subject to sight distance standards adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 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 Township and state requirements; storm drainage shall be approved by the Township Engineer; and lighting shall be provided for vehicular and pedestrian areas in accordance with Township 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 structures 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.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 153, Subdivision and Land Development.
E. 
Roadside turnoffs shall permit 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 noncommercial 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 Township Board of Supervisors for location approval. The Board shall, within seven days, forward the request to the Township 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 the Board of Supervisors.
(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 the Board of Supervisors for its approval.
H. 
Review of final site plans.
(1) 
By Planning Commission. Within seven days of formal receipt, the Board of Supervisors shall submit final site plans to the Township Planning Commission. The Commission shall submit its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors within 60 days of formal receipt.[2]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection H(2), regarding the Sign Review Board, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 5-22-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-599.
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.
A. 
Within the C-2, C-T, PC, OBD, OBD2, and Industrial Zoning Districts, directional menu signs, as defined in this section, may be placed in shopping centers or multibuilding office/business parks under single ownership and/or approved simultaneously under a single development plan. The signs shall be the property and responsibility of the single ownership or tenant association.
B. 
Such directional menu signs will only be permitted on parcels greater than five acres in size.
C. 
Such directional menu signs must be located on site.
D. 
Directional menu signs shall not be located closer than 75 feet to any vehicular entrance into the involved shopping center or office/business park.
E. 
Directional menu signs shall address automobile and pedestrian traffic that is either on site or passing along a local public road that bisects the site. To this end, they shall not be located within 150 feet of a freeway, expressway, arterial highway, or urban collector as defined by the Federal Functional Classification System.
F. 
Directional menu signs facing the same direction of travel may be no closer than 200 feet to each other.
G. 
Directional menu signs shall:
(1) 
Be no greater than seven feet in height, with no more than 20 square feet of sign area per side where they are located along a local road and no more than 15 square feet of sign area per side where they are located in an off-street parking area.
(2) 
Have no more than two sides oriented back to back.
(3) 
Consist of a top panel that gives the name of the shopping center or office/business park, as well as lower panels that list and direct traffic to tenants.
(a) 
The lower panels that list and direct traffic to tenants shall use a uniform, nonserif, mixed-case font (e.g., Futura, Aerial, Helvetica, Universe 65) that is no greater than six inches tall and no smaller than three inches tall. They shall be dark panels with lighter-colored text and shall contain no advertising. The lower panels shall be composed of a uniform color scheme, and each shall be the same size with the same-sized text.
(b) 
No one business or tenant may be listed on more than one of the lower panels or may have more than one line of text.
(c) 
The top panel that gives the name of the shopping center or office/business park shall use text or graphics that are no greater than six inches tall.
(4) 
Be uniform throughout each shopping center or office park, using a uniform shape, font, and color scheme.
(5) 
Match the architecture and surface materials of the shopping center or multibuilding office/business park as much as is possible.
H. 
Directional signs shall either use reflective lettering or be lighted via an interior light source. If an interior light source is used, however, the entire sign must be a dark color with lighter-colored text.
The following illustration of a directional menu sign is for illustrative purposes only and in no way should be interpreted as containing any regulatory power.
140 Directional Signs.tif
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, 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.
Denoting 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.
In addition to the general provisions of this chapter, the following regulations shall apply to shopping centers:
A. 
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 § 140-15. Also, directional signs that meet the requirements of § 140-18 may be erected in shopping centers.
B. 
All other signs identifying each individual business shall be erected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
All signs are prohibited in low-density residential zones except those signs enumerated in §§ 140-6 and 140-20, "Signs permitted in all districts" and "Professional occupation signs."
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 chapter, 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.
A. 
All signs are prohibited in medium-density residential zones except those enumerated as follows:
(1) 
Signs permitted in low-density residential zones.
(2) 
Wall signs denoting the name of an apartment building, fraternity or sorority house, boarding-house 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. 
Illumination and sign area restrictions in medium-density residential zones are the same as in low-density residential zones.
[Amended 5-22-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-599]
A. 
The intent of this section is to allow certain provisions of this chapter 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 that are prohibited in § 140-7, (Signs prohibited in all areas).
B. 
In the event that any person wishes to retain, construct or install a sign or signs other than as permitted in this chapter, that person shall be entitled to a hearing before the Planning Commission for special exceptions. Any person requesting a variance for hardship shall be entitled to a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with § 140-25, Variances.
C. 
The Planning Commission will consider requests for special exceptions to the provisions of this chapter in the following manner:
(1) 
Requests for special exceptions shall be made, in writing, to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and provided to the Secretary of the municipality.
(2) 
The Planning Commission shall have the power to hear all cases that involve a special exception from the terms of this chapter prior to submission to the Zoning Hearing Board. The Planning Commission shall also review final plans for roadside turnoffs and pedestrian display areas prior to submission to the Zoning Hearing Board and shall approve applications for directional signs prior to issuance of a sign permit by the Sign Inspector.
(a) 
The Planning Commission may recommend a special exception, provided that all of the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
[1] 
The sign material, design or construction should be nonstandard. Signs of substantially the same material, design or construction as existing signs in the Township or commonly used signs for a multisite business interest do not demonstrate excellence in design.
[2] 
The sign shall include some unique element or elements, other than the written message, related to the use, or the sign shall provide a visual tie to other features on the site, or the sign shall convey additional information.
[3] 
Evidence must be provided demonstrating that the sign has been integrated into the site or building design in the design phase of the project. "Excellence in planning" is demonstrated by linking site, architectural, and signage elements together early in the process.
[4] 
It must be demonstrated that due to the unique elements of the sign it is not possible to comply with all aspects of the Sign Ordinance, or it must be demonstrated that there is a compelling reason related to other design features on the site that lead to a design outside the Sign Ordinance, and it must be demonstrated that the requested special exception represents the minimum deviation that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.
(b) 
The Planning Commission may request sketches, drawings or photographs showing the entire property and the proposed sign or signs, and the applicant shall explain briefly in the written request where the sign or signs vary from the provisions of this chapter and why an exception is needed.
(3) 
After the meeting and hearing on any application, the Planning Commission 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 special exception from the terms of this chapter, the Planning Commission 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 Planning Commission the applicant submits such forms and fees as required by the Zoning Hearing Board. The Zoning Hearing Board shall determine that the Planning Commission has correctly applied the express criteria stated in § 140-24C(5) and may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards it may deem necessary.
(4) 
In considering an application, the Planning Commission may not consider reasons of hardship.
A. 
Variances, for hardship, to this chapter shall be granted by the Zoning Hearing Board under the variance provisions of Chapter 175, Zoning, and in accordance with the variance criteria established by the Municipalities Planning Code.[1] The Board shall hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of the Sign Ordinance inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant. The hearings shall be convened and conducted in accordance with § 175-64, Hearings.
(1) 
The Board may grant a variance, provided that all of the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(a) 
That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the Sign Ordinance.
(b) 
That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be signed in strict conformity with the provisions of the Sign Ordinance and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property.
(c) 
That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant.
(d) 
That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare.
(e) 
That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.
(2) 
In granting any variance, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this Act and the Zoning Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 175, Zoning.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
B. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall have the power to hear and rule on appeals from the decision of the Sign Inspector. Such appeals must be filed with the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of the Sign Inspector's decision.
A. 
Appointment. The Township Supervisors shall appoint a Sign Inspector to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Duties of the Sign Inspector.
(1) 
The Sign Inspector shall examine all applications for permits for erection of signs, issue licenses for new signs and for continued use of signs which conform with the requirements of this chapter, record and file all applications for permits with any accompanying plans and documents, make an annual inspection of all signs in the Township and make such reports as the Township may require.
(2) 
If the Sign Inspector shall find that any sign has been constructed or erected or is being maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter, 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 chapter within 30 days, the Sign Inspector shall cause such sign to be removed or altered in such way as to conform with the provisions of this chapter. The cost of such removal or alteration shall be borne by the owner or lessor of such sign and shall be a lien upon the premises.
(3) 
The Sign Inspector shall cause any sign which is in immediate peril to persons or property to be removed immediately. The cost of such removal shall be borne by the owner or lessor of such sign and shall be a lien upon the premises.
A. 
General provisions for all permanent signs.
(1) 
All permanent signs except those enumerated in § 140-6, Signs permitted in all districts, must be licensed.
(2) 
Application for a license for a permanent sign shall be made on a form provided by the Sign Inspector. Licenses for permanent 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 permanent signs are valid for three years. If such sign is found to be in violation of this chapter at time of license renewal, it shall be subject to a new license fee.
B. 
Permits to build new permanent signs or to alter or move existing permanent signs.
(1) 
No permanent sign shall hereafter be erected, structurally altered or moved until the person proposing to erect, alter or move such sign shall have obtained a permit therefor from the Sign Inspector. Such permit shall be issued only when the Sign Inspector is satisfied that such sign will, in every respect, comply with all of the applicable provisions of this chapter. Such permit shall be valid for 180 days.
(2) 
Any person desiring such a permit shall file application therefor upon a form which shall contain or have attached thereto the following information:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the 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 the design of the sign, materials used and method of construction and means of attachment to the building or the ground; such plans must be to scale.
(d) 
The name of the 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 Township 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 Township.
(3) 
After permission to erect, alter or move a permanent sign has been obtained and said sign has been constructed, painted and placed as specified in the permit application, the owner of the sign shall notify the Sign Inspector, who shall inspect the sign. If the sign is as specified in the permit application and does not violate any provision of this or other applicable ordinances, a license shall be issued to the owner, valid for the current year.
C. 
Nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Eligible nonconforming signs may be relicensed annually until said signs are structurally altered or moved, at which time they shall be considered new signs.
(2) 
No nonconforming sign shall be enlarged, nor shall the location of any nonconforming sign be changed.
(3) 
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 or natural causes such as a windstorm or fire or from intentional damage such as vandalism.
A. 
All temporary signs as they are defined in this chapter, except those signs enumerated in § 140-6, Signs permitted in all districts, must be licensed. Possession of a valid license for a temporary sign shall entitle the licensee to display one temporary sign at any given time.
B. 
Application for a license for a temporary sign shall be made on a form provided by the Sign Inspector. Licenses for temporary signs must be kept on the premises where signs are displayed and must be shown to the Sign Inspector at his request.
C. 
Size, content and location of a temporary sign may be varied at any time so long as the variations remain within the overall restrictions of this chapter.
D. 
Licenses for temporary signs are valid for one year and shall be renewed annually.
E. 
No temporary sign need be licensed until one year after the passage of this chapter. Thereafter, nonconforming temporary signs shall not be permitted, and the Sign Inspector may cause any such nonconforming temporary sign to be removed without notice.
F. 
Each premises may display one temporary "special event sign" per year that does not count towards the maximum number of signs permitted per premises by § 140-8 and does not count towards the maximum amount of sign area allowed per premises by § 140-10A. This one sign shall not exceed 25 square feet in size and shall remain in place for no more than 20 days. It shall be placed against an existing building wall or freestanding wall, and it must meet all other requirements of this chapter beyond those exempted here. Each sign must display its expiration date on the sign itself.
A. 
Every applicant, before being granted a license hereunder, shall pay to the Township Secretary a fee to be set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors from time to time.
B. 
Signs exempt from license fee. The following signs shall be exempt from license fees. Such signs must be licensed, however.
(1) 
One sign on any premises, provided that such sign does not exceed 25 square feet in sign area and conforms in all respects to the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
Any sign which existed at the time this chapter was passed and on which a previous permit fee had been paid. Such signs shall be exempted from payment of fees upon presentation of a valid sign license or bona fide receipt for such license.
(3) 
No off-premises sign shall be exempt from license fees.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, for each and every such violation, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and court costs, including reasonable attorney fees. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the municipality may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day's continuance of a violation shall constitute a separate offense.