Village of South Glens Falls, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of South Glens Falls 10-19-1994 by L.L. No. 6-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 67.
Site plan review — See Ch. 119.
Zoning — See Ch. 153.

§ 115-1 Title.

This chapter may be known and cited as the "Sign Ordinance of the Village of South Glens Falls."

§ 115-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating existing and proposed outdoor advertising signs and outdoor signs of all types. It is intended to protect property values, to create a more attractive economic and business climate, to enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, to preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas and to provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community.

§ 115-3 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
AREA OF SIGN
That area determined by circumscribing the exterior limits of the mass of each display erected on one sign structure. The structure supporting the sign is not included in determining the "area of the sign" unless the structure is designed in a way to form an integral background for the display. Only one face of a double-facing sign is included as area of such sign.
FACADE OF BUILDING
The front or face of a building; the outer surface of a building which faces a private or public street or highway. The "facade" shall not be interpreted to extend above the roofline of the building.
SIGN
Any structure or part thereof or any device attached to a structure or painted or represented on a structure, which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as or which is in the nature of an announcement, direction or advertisement. A "sign" includes any billboard, but does not include the flag, pennant or insignia of any nation or group of nations or of any state, city or other political unit of any political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive, movement or event. However, a "sign," as defined herein, shall not include a similar structure or device located within a building.
A. 
Any sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the same lot.
B. 
A sign which directs attention to a business or profession conducted or to products sold upon the same lot. A "For Sale" or "To Let" sign relating to the lot on which it is displayed shall be deemed a "business sign."
C. 
Any illuminated sign on which the artificial light is not maintained stationary and constant in intensity and color at all times when in use.
D. 
Any sign designed to give forth any artificial light or designed to reflect such light deriving from any source which is intended to cause such light or reflection.

§ 115-4 Regulations.

The size, type and location of any sign or advertising device shall be allowed only in accordance with the following regulations, and, wherever districts are set forth in these regulations, the same shall refer to the districts set forth in Chapter 153, Zoning, of the Code of the Village of South Glens Falls.
A. 
Signs in RC-1 and residential districts.
(1) 
Nameplate and identification signs indicating the name and address of the occupant or permitted home occupation in any residence shall be allowed, provided that the combined area of such signs shall not exceed a total of three square feet and shall not include any flashing or intermittent illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property.
(2) 
Agricultural signs for customary agriculture operations selling farm products may not exceed a combined total area of 15 square feet and shall not include any flashing or intermittent illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property.
(3) 
Institutional signs for schools, churches or similar public and semipublic institutions shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of 15 square feet in area and shall not include any flashing or intermittent illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property.
(4) 
Business signs pertaining only to legal nonconforming uses of the premises on which they are located shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of 20 square feet in area and shall not emit any flashing or intermittent illumination, nor shall any source of illumination be directed toward any public street or adjacent residential property. However, business signs legally in existence on the date of enactment of this chapter which pertain to nonconforming uses may continue to be used, except that all intermittent or flashing illumination shall be converted to a constant light source.
(5) 
Temporary business signs advertising the sale, rental, construction or improvement of the premises on which they are located shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of six square feet in area, shall not be illuminated and shall be promptly removed by the property owner when the circumstances leading to their erection no longer apply.
(6) 
Advertising signs and mobile advertising or attracting devices shall not be permitted in any RC-1 and residential districts.
B. 
Signs in commercial and industrial districts.
(1) 
The signs permitted in RC-1 and residential districts shall be allowed.
(2) 
Business signs relating to the use conducted in the building or on the immediate premises thereof shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of 40 square feet in area. In the event that the facade of the building or buildings on said premises shall exceed 800 square feet in area, a square footage for signs equal to 5% of the area of the facade of the building or buildings on said premises in which said business is conducted shall be allowed, but in no event shall the total area of any such sign or signs exceed 100 square feet unless a special permit thereof is secured from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Such signs shall be at least three feet clear of the ground and shall be less than 10 feet from above ground level. No sources of illumination which may be focused or spotted, as opposed to general neon or bulb illumination, shall be directed toward any adjacent property or public street.
(3) 
A business sign in existence on the date of the enactment of this chapter which does not conform to the specifications of this section may continue to be used, but may not be extended, except that all intermittent or flashing illumination shall be converted to a constant light source.
(4) 
Temporary signs advertising the sale or rental or construction or improvement of the premises on which they are located shall be allowed, provided that such signs shall not exceed a combined total of 10 square feet in area and shall be promptly removed by the agent or owner when the circumstances leading to their erection no longer apply.
(5) 
Advertising signs shall not be permitted in any commercial or industrial district.
C. 
General regulations.
(1) 
Signs shall be in keeping with the architectural design of the building upon which they are placed, the design of neighboring properties and adjoining signs and the character of the Village of South Glens Falls.
(2) 
Signs shall be constructed of durable materials and shall be maintained in good condition. Signs which are permitted to deteriorate shall be removed upon direction of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer following written notification to the owner.
(3) 
No sign shall be erected so that any portion thereof shall be any closer than five feet to the nearest lot line or within five feet of any utility pole.
(4) 
No signs shall be erected which may cause hazardous or unsafe conditions. Any sign which shall have been erected and which, since the date of its erection, because of changed conditions, becomes hazardous shall be removed following written notice to the owner.
(5) 
The maximum height of any portion of any sign shall not exceed above the facade of any building on the premised.
(6) 
Signs to be erected by a nonprofit community service organization which are intended as a public service for the good of the community may be erected upon the granting of a special permit.
(7) 
All signs of a temporary nature, such as political posters, banners, promotional devices and other signs of a similar nature, may be granted for a period not to exceed 30 days, provided that such signs are not attached to fences, trees, utility poles or the like; and further provided that such signs are not placed in a position that will obstruct or impair vision or traffic or in any manner create a hazard or disturbance to the health and welfare of the general public.
(8) 
Political posters not exceeding nine square feet in the residential district nor nine square feet in the business district, provided that:
(a) 
Placement shall not exceed 45 days.
(b) 
The names and addresses of the sponsor and the person responsible for removal are identified.
D. 
Placement of signs.
(1) 
Signs shall be placed parallel to the facade of the building; and, except for marquees of theaters in operation and awnings, no part of the sign shall project more than eight inches beyond the face of the surface to which it is applied nor extend beyond the building in any direction.
(2) 
The lower edge of a sign placed on a facade shall not be located above the level of the floor of the second story of the building upon which the sign is placed.
(3) 
Temporary signs, advertising display panels, posters and similar graphic materials relating to general sales and information, special events and offerings and sales promotions may be displayed without a permit, provided that:
(a) 
No dimension shall exceed 3 feet by 4 feet.
(b) 
They are neatly and professionally rendered and displayed and are mounted on firm material in a true square manner.
(c) 
Not more than one such sign per 20 linear feet of storefront and a maximum of four such signs per facade may be displayed at any one time.
(d) 
All such signs in this category must be dated.
(e) 
Freestanding signs must be at least three feet above ground level and less than 10 feet above ground level.
(4) 
Not more than two posters concerning an event sponsored by a not-for-profit group, with dimensions not exceeding 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet, may be displayed without displaying a permit on the door of a business establishment.
(5) 
Signs on accessory building or buildings incidental to the principal building in which the business is located shall be allowed as a portion of the total allowable sign area computed using the frontage of the principal building only.
(6) 
Sign directories. An off-street shopping plaza or building housing multiple businesses or professional offices will be permitted a sign directory. Each business within the plaza/building may have a sign within the directory. They shall be equal in size and shape and shall not exceed three square feet in size. The directory sign may not exceed 30 square feet for five or fewer businesses. For each additional business, add five square feet. The total is not to exceed 75 square feet.
(7) 
One illuminated sign, as defined in § 115-3, identifying the name and description of the business shall be permitted on each street facade for the ground floor use of a business establishment. For a business located on two or more rights-of-way, a maximum of two such illuminated signs, one on each facade, shall be permitted.
(8) 
The design and appearance of light fixtures shall be fitting and appropriately integrated with the architectural character of the building facade and that of its neighbors.
(9) 
Future and proposed illuminated signs, interior. Externally illuminated signs, as defined in § 115-3, are permitted in the windows of a business establishment, if designed to identify the name and type of business. Such sign(s) may not be in addition to a sign on the building exterior, except that the name of the business may also be located on the front valance of an awning or on a front door in accordance with these regulations.
(10) 
Future and proposed illuminated sign light sources.
(a) 
Light sources, with the exception of neon, shall be shielded or screened in a manner not to be seen by passersby from a normal viewing angle. Intense or glaring light is to be avoided.
(b) 
Light sources shall be limited to natural white incandescent or fluorescent lamps.
(c) 
Light fixtures and sources shall be designed to cause a reasonably uniform distribution of light on the full extent of the sign(s).
(11) 
Any sign shall be designed and constructed to withstand a wind pressure load consistent with environmental conditions in the Village of South Glens Falls and shall comply with all applicable building code ordinances[1] of the Village of South Glens Falls and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 69, Fire Prevention and Building Code, Uniform
(12) 
Awnings. The minimum height from the sidewalk to any part of the awning covering or its supporting frame when closed or extended shall be seven feet six inches.
E. 
Supplementary regulations.
[Added 10-6-1999 by L.L. No. 5-1999]
(1) 
In any zone, wall/front facade signs shall be regulated by the distance of the wall on which the sign is to be placed to the front of the property line. At the setback distance of up to 100 linear feet from the front property line, the wall sign area shall be limited to 100 square feet. Linear setback distances of greater than 100 linear feet from the front property line shall be permitted an additional 10 square feet of sign area for each 10 additional feet of setback distance. In any case, wall signs shall not exceed 25% of the area of the front facade to which they are attached.
(2) 
In any zone where plazas front on any two or more streets, one being residential, signs for residential side rear delivery entrances must not exceed six square feet of area per establishment. There can be indirect lighting but no flashing or intermittent illumination.
(3) 
In any zone, square footage of signs used for rear delivery entrances and/or sign directories are not considered a part of square footage permitted for front facade of the building.
(4) 
Wherever the application of this § 115-4E shall be construed to be in conflict with other signs of greater restriction, regulations or requirements, permitted or provided, it is the intention of this subsection that the supplementary sign regulations shall prevail.

§ 115-5 Permit required.

After the effective date of this chapter and except as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect any signs allowed herein without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer.

§ 115-6 Application for permit.

Application for the permit shall be made, in writing, in duplicate, upon forms prescribed and provided by the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer or the Village Clerk to the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer and shall contain the following information:
A. 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
B. 
The location of the building, structure or land to which or upon which the sign is to be erected.
C. 
A detailed drawing or blueprint showing a description of the construction details of the sign and showing the lettering and/or pictorial matter composing the sign; the position of lighting or other extraneous devices; a location plan showing the position of the sign on any building or land and its position in relation to nearby buildings or structures and to any private or public street or highway.
D. 
Written consent of the owner of the building, structure or land to which or on which the sign is to be erected, in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
E. 
Certification of an electrical inspection for any sign having electrical connections.

§ 115-7 Fees.

[Amended 6-19-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002; 3-21-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
Upon application for the issuance of a sign permit, a fee shall be paid in an amount established by resolution of the Village Board.

§ 115-8 Issuance of permit.

It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, upon the filing of an application for a permit to erect a sign, to examine such plans, specifications and other data submitted to him with the application and, if necessary, the building or premises upon which it is proposed to erect the sign or other advertising structure. If it shall appear that the proposed sign is in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter and other laws and ordinances of the Village of South Glens Falls and that the necessary fee has been paid, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall, within seven days, issue a permit for the erection of the proposed sign. If the sign authorized under any such permit has not been completed within six months from the date of the issuance of such permit, the permit shall become null and void, but may be renewed within 30 days from the expiration thereof, for good cause shown, upon payment of an additional fee set by resolution of the Village Board and on file in the Village offices.

§ 115-9 Revocation of permit.

No sign, whether new or existing, shall hereafter be erected or altered except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. However, notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, the sign must be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, such as, but not limited to, faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and the sign must be maintained at all times in such safe condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health or safety. In the event of a violation of any of the foregoing provisions, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall give written or personal notice specifying the violation to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, sent to the addresses as stated in the application for the sign permit, to conform or remove such sign. The sign shall thereupon be conformed by the owner of such sign and the owner of the land within 30 days from the date of said notice. In the event that such sign shall not be so conformed within 30 days, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall thereupon revoke the permit, and such sign shall be removed by the named owner of the sign and/or the named owner of the land. Upon failure of said persons to remove such sign within 30 days from the expiration of said thirty-day period, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land or building on which such sign is located.

§ 115-10 Removal of certain signs.

A. 
Any business sign existing on or after the effective date of this chapter which no longer advertises any existing business conducted or product sold on the premises shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after written notice as provided herein. The Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer, upon determining that any such sign exists, shall notify the owner of the premises, in writing, to remove said sign within 30 days from the date of such notice. Upon failure of the owner to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such signs and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land or building on which the sign is located.
B. 
If the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall find that any sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or insecure or is a menace to the public, he shall give written notice to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, who shall remove or repair said sign seven days from the date of said notice. If said sign is not removed or repaired, the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke the permit issued for such sign, as herein provided, and may remove or repair said sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal or repair against the land or building on which such sign was located. The Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.

§ 115-11 Nonconforming advertising signs.

A. 
A nonconforming advertising sign is an advertising sign which was installed under laws or ordinances in effect prior to the effective date of this chapter but which is in conflict with the provisions hereof.
B. 
All nonconforming advertising signs facing on other streets within the Village shall be removed within five years from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 115-12 Variances.

The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of South Glens Falls may, in appropriate cases and after public notice and hearing, vary or modify the application of this chapter in harmony with its general purpose and intent and act on special permits wherever the same are required by the terms of this chapter.

§ 115-13 Review and appeal.

Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals as provided in Chapter 153, Zoning, of the Code of the Village of South Glens Falls and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Zoning Board of Appeals.

§ 115-14 Penalties for offenses.

Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each week such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be grounds for revocation of any business license previously granted to the violator by the Village of South Glens Falls.

§ 115-15 Enforcement.

This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of South Glens Falls.

§ 115-16 Amendments.

The Village Board may, from time to time, on its own motion or on recommendation of the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, after public notice and hearing, amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this chapter pursuant to the provisions of the Village Law applicable thereto.