[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pound Ridge 11-4-1976 as L.L. No. 10-1976. Section 88-12 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 113.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating signs of all types throughout the Town. It is intended to protect property values, create a more functional business district, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community. It is further intended hereby to eliminate sign or advertising distractions and obstructions that may contribute to traffic accidents, eliminate hazards that may be caused by signs hanging or projecting over public rights-of-way, provide more open space and prevent the deterioration of property values, natural beauty and community environment.
This chapter shall hereafter be known and cited as the "Sign Law."
The words or terms used in this chapter shall be defined as follows:
- To build, construct, alter or relocate any sign, and shall also include the painting of signs directly on exterior walls.
- FREESTANDING SIGN
- Any sign which is self-supporting and not attached to any building or structure.
- GROUP SIGN
- Any sign relating to two or more separate persons.
- ILLUMINATED SIGN
- Any sign illuminated by electricity, gas or other artificial light.
- ITEM OF INFORMATION
- A word, abbreviation, number or symbol contained on a sign.
- Any person, firm, family, partnership, association, corporation, company, institution or organization of any kind.
- PRINCIPAL FRONTAGE
- That face of a building or part of a building containing the principal entrance to the interior from a walk, drive or road accessible to the general public. A business establishment may have only one frontage designated as the "principal frontage."
- PROJECTING SIGN
- Any sign attached to and projecting from a wall of a building.
- Any structure or part thereof, or any device attached thereto or painted thereon, or any material or thing, illuminated or otherwise, which displays or includes any numeral, letter, work, model, banner, emblem, light, device, trademark or other representation used as an announcement, designation, direction, display or advertisement of any person, firm, group, organization, commodity, service, profession or enterprise, when placed in such manner that it provides visual communication to the general public out of doors, except as otherwise provided herein. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "sign" does not include the following signs:
- (1) Those signs erected and maintained pursuant to and in discharge of any governmental function.
- (2) The flag or insignia of the United States of America; the flag or insignia of any other government or governmental agency when used in connection with a governmental activity.
- (3) Seasonal decorations which are promptly removed within a reasonable time after the holidays.
- (4) Any sign erected by the Town on Town property or rights-of-way.
- SIGN AREA
- Where a sign consists of a single board or face with information on one or both sides, the "sign area" shall be that which is enclosed within the outside dimensions of such sign, not including the vertical, horizontal or diagonal supports which may affix the sign to the ground or to a structure or building, unless such supports are evidently designed to be part of the sign, as defined herein. Where a sign consists of several individual faces, the "sign area" shall be the total of the areas of all such faces which can be observed from any one point. Where the sign consists of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted on a building, the "sign area" shall be the area of the smallest rectangle, triangle or circle which encompasses all of the letters, symbols and any background of a different color than the color of the building.
- TOWN ORGANIZATION
- Any group of persons organized in the Town of Pound Ridge for religious, cultural, community service, political, social or similar purpose.
After the effective date of this chapter and except as otherwise herein provided, no person shall erect any sign as defined herein without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Building Inspector.
The provisions of this section shall apply to all signs and all use districts, regardless of designation.
An illuminated sign shall employ only lamps emitting a soft white light of constant intensity and shall not contain flashing, intermittent, rotating, moving or neon-tube lighting devices. In no event shall an illuminated sign or sign-lighting device be so placed or directed so as to cause glare or reflection that may constitute a traffic hazard or nuisance. Signs may only be illuminated when the place of business is open or until 8:00 p.m., whichever shall last occur.
No projecting or hanging sign shall be erected or maintained which projects more than 36 inches from the building to which it is attached.
No portable signs shall be permitted.
No sign shall be placed on the roof or extend above the eave line of the roof of any building. No projecting or freestanding sign shall be higher than 10 feet, measured from the ground to the highest point on the sign.
All signs shall be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, such as, but not limited to, faulty wiring and loose fastenings, and shall be maintained at all times in a safe and attractive condition so as not to be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.
No sign shall be attached in any manner to a tree or trees, except in residential districts only, land posting, name of occupant or signs advertising sale, lease or rental.
No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices, with the exception of a standard barber pole device not more than six inches in diameter or 24 inches in height.
No sign shall be erected or maintained in the window of a building which is visible from outside, except as follows:
One permanent, durably constructed and approved sign no greater than 20% of the window area or eight feet, whichever is smaller.
One permanent sign, indicating the hours of the establishment, not greater than 1/2 square foot in area, or included in the 20% above, whichever is smaller.
No window signs shall be so arranged as to prevent the viewing of displays or the interior of the space, except for the temporary use of window space for Town or civic functions.
No sign shall be erected or maintained which is not directly related to the occupant of or activity conducted on the property where the sign is located, with the exception of permitted temporary signs as set forth in § 88-5 below.
No sign shall contain more than eight items of information as defined in this Sign Law, except for lettering not greater than one inch in height.
The following signs are permitted in all use districts without a permit:
Signs advertising the sale, lease or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located shall not exceed two square feet in area.
A sign for a permitted accessory use shall not exceed two square feet in area.
Signs denoting the name and/or address of the occupants of the premises shall not exceed two square feet in area.
Temporary signs denoting the architect, engineer or contractor or informational signs placed on premises where construction, repair or renovation is in progress shall not exceed two square feet in area.
Temporary signs advertising the location of a tag sale or similar enterprise are permitted, provided that no more than three signs not more than one square foot in area each, are erected and that such signs are removed within 24 hours after the conclusion of the event.
Any soft white illuminated sign which is erected shall be in keeping with the levels of illumination necessary for business purposes but nonglaring for neighboring properties.
A single sign advertising the sale, lease or rental of a group of three or more dwelling units or building lots may be installed and have an area no greater than five square feet.
A single sign for schools, libraries, houses of worship, meeting halls or similar uses may be erected on each property and have an area no greater than 12 square feet.
The following signs are permitted in all use districts but require a permit as provided herein:
Temporary signs erected by a Town organization to advertise an event open to the public, which signs shall not exceed 20 square feet. Such signs shall be erected no more than three weeks prior to the date of the event and must be removed within 24 hours after the conclusion of the event.
In addition, political signs are restricted to location on or in the political campaign headquarters only.
The provisions of this section shall apply to signs proposed for the Planned Business A, Planned Business B and Planned Business C Zoning Districts and to nonconforming and accessory uses in residential districts only. All require permits.
The allowable total sign area for a business establishment shall be based on the gross floor area of that part of the building occupied by said establishment, as follows: 3/4 of one square inch of sign area shall be allowed for each square foot of floor area occupied, except that no business establishment shall be permitted more than 60 square feet of total sign area, and no business establishment shall be restricted to less than 15 square feet of total sign area, regardless of floor area, except as provided in Subsection D below.
Individual signs for a business establishment shall not exceed 1/2 the total sign area allowed but shall not be restricted to an individual sign area less than 12 square feet, except as provided in Subsection D below.
Where a business establishment has a principal frontage less than 7 1/2 feet in length, the total sign area shall be limited to not more than two square feet for each linear foot of principal frontage, but no individual sign shall exceed 12 square feet.
A business establishment shall not erect more than three building signs, regardless of size or type, except for directional signs not larger than one square foot in area.
When a business establishment is moved or discontinued, all signs relating to it shall be removed within 10 days by the tenant or the owner.
When a building contains three or more business establishments, a comprehensive plan for all the signs for the group shall be submitted by the owner of the building to the Building Inspector, who may recommend Design Review Group approval thereof.
Application for a sign permit shall be made in writing, in duplicate, upon forms prescribed and provided by the Building Inspector, to the Building Inspector and shall contain the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
The location of the building, structure or land to which or upon which the sign is to be erected.
Written consent of the owner, or his designated agent, of the building, structure or land on which the sign is to be erected, in the event that the applicant is not the owner thereof.
The required fee.
The Building Inspector shall, within 10 days, examine all applications and visit the sites of all proposed signs to determine whether such proposals are in compliance with this chapter.
The Building Inspector shall then notify the applicant of any submission which does not conform to the Sign Law.
If the proposed sign conforms to the Sign Law, the Building Inspector shall issue the permit within two weeks of the date of the application. If the sign is proposed for a designated landmark, landmark site or historic district, the application shall also be forwarded to the Landmarks and Historic District Commission for review, approval and issuance of a certificate of appropriateness within a two-week period from the date of the application filing.
At the request of the applicant, a Design Review Group will, without undue delay, review the application and return it to the applicant with their recommendations. The Design Review Group may, at its discretion, meet with the applicant to discuss the proposal.
If a sign authorized by permit has not been completed within six months, the permit shall be null and void unless an extension of such time period, not to exceed two months, shall have been requested by the applicant and granted by the Building Inspector.
The Building Inspector of the Town of Pound Ridge shall be the enforcement officer charged with the enforcement of all regulations of this Sign Law.
In the event of a violation of any of the provisions of the Sign Law, the Building Inspector shall give written or personal notice specifying the violation to the owner of the sign. Such sign shall be conformed or removed within 10 days of said notice, or the Building Inspector shall revoke the permit issued for such sign and may remove or repair said sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal or repair against the land or the building on which such sign was located and to the owner of the building and land on which it is located.
The Building Inspector may cause any sign which is, in his opinion, a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
If a sign erected prior to the effective date of this chapter is found not to conform with any provision of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall notify the owner of the sign of the nature of its nonconformity.
If such a nonconforming sign is found to be in a safe condition, its use may be temporarily continued, and the Building Inspector shall grant a temporary permit for such use for a period not to exceed one year if the value of the sign is less than $200 or two years if the value of the sign is more than $200. For the purposes of this regulation, sign value shall be considered to be the original cost of the purchase and installation of the sign.
Such nonconforming sign shall be removed by the sign owner prior to the expiration of the temporary permit. The owner is encouraged to consult with the Design Review Group during this period in order to achieve a solution which will conform to the Sign Law.
If the owner, having received notice, fails to comply with the above requirement, the Building Inspector shall cause the sign to be removed immediately after expiration of the temporary permit.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Building Inspector or Design Review Group relative to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals as provided in the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Pound Ridge, New York, and shall comply with all procedural requirements prescribed by such Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Pound Ridge may vary or modify the application of this chapter in harmony with its general purpose and intent in the same manner and subject to the same conditions required for a zoning variance.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
The Town Board of the Town of Pound Ridge shall appoint a Design Review Group, to serve at the pleasure of the Town Board, consisting of three residents of the Town of Pound Ridge, of whom one shall be a member of the Planning Board, and to delegate to the Design Review Group the responsibility of advising the Planning Board, Building Inspector and/or the applicant, when requested, with reference to the desirable and effective use of signs.