Town of Southampton, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-26-2004 by L.L. No. 35-2004]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Article XXII, Quasi-Public Service Use District (QPSUD), added 12-22-1992 by L.L. No. 54-1992, as amended, was repealed 11-13-2001 by L.L. No. 49-2001.
This article has been adopted to assure that all signs within the Town of Southampton are compatible with its unique character, charm, environment, storied history and climate.
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this article is to promote the public health, safety and welfare through a comprehensive system of reasonable, effective, consistent, content-neutral, and nondiscriminatory sign standards and requirements, as more particularly set forth below:
(1) 
To preserve and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town of Southampton;
(2) 
To promote the use of signs which are aesthetically pleasing, of appropriate scale, and integrated with surrounding buildings and landscape, in order to meet the community's expressed desire for quality development;
(3) 
To promote and accomplish the goals, policies and objectives of the Southampton 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update (the "Update"). The Update calls for the Town to adjust its sign ordinance to reflect the different design issues posed by different business areas. This article regulates standards for signage depending on the zoning district in which they are located. Signage in hamlet and village centers, whose businesses generally rely on foot traffic from shoppers going from store to store, should reinforce the historic and pedestrian character of these centers. Highway Business Districts generally require signage that stands out and is readable for travelers driving by at relatively fast speeds. The Update recommends that while signs should be regulated with regard to size and lighting, the number of signs should be curtailed and such curtailment strictly enforced so as to avoid escalating clutter. Additionally, the Update recommends discrete signage in the Hamlet Office and Hamlet Commercial Districts, as these areas are intended to maintain a residential image;
(4) 
To balance public and private objectives by allowing adequate signage for business identification;
(5) 
To promote the free flow of traffic and protect pedestrians and motorists from injury and property damage resulting from cluttered, distracting, and/or illegible signage. Studies have shown that outside distractions may lead to traffic accidents. A recent study concluded that outside persons, objects and events account for 29.4% of all accidents, while eating, drinking and cell phone use only account for a total of 3.2% of all accidents. Stutts, J., Renfort, D., Staplin, L., Rodgman, E., The Role of Driver Distraction in Traffic Crashes (2001);
(6) 
To prevent property damage and personal injury from signs which are improperly constructed or poorly maintained;
(7) 
To protect property values, the local economy, and the quality of life by preserving and enhancing the appearance of the streetscape, which affects the image of the Town of Southampton;
(8) 
To provide for a reasonable amortization period for all legally preexisting but noncompliant signage, as recommended by the Update;
(9) 
To establish specific signage standards for scenic corridors to ensure that the number, height, material, lighting, and size of the signage is not detrimental to the visual quality of such corridors, as also recommended by the Update. Because exterior neon or similar gas-filled tubes may divert the attention of drivers and create a safety hazard, especially along highway corridors in the Town where signs are permitted to be larger, and because such signs negatively affect aesthetic and quality of life issues and can dramatically alter the character of neighborhoods, they would no longer be permitted. However, certain interior neon signs and other types of illumination could continue; and
(10) 
To reduce impacts associated with light pollution and glare emanating from permitted illuminated signage.
B. 
Intent. It is the intent of this article to:
(1) 
Provide functional flexibility, encourage variety, and create an incentive to inculcate basic principles of good design with respect to signage within the Town of Southampton;
(2) 
Assure that public benefits derived from expenditures of public funds for the improvement and beautification of streets, and other public structures and spaces, are protected by exercising reasonable controls over the character and design of sign structures;
(3) 
Provide an improved visual environment for the citizens of, and visitors to, the Town of Southampton, and protect prominent view sheds within the community; and
(4) 
Provide cost recovery measures supporting the administration and enforcement of this article.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The following terms as used in this article shall have the following meanings:
ANNOUNCEMENT SIGN
A sign announcing the activities conducted or to be conducted at the public or semipublic building to which it refers.
AWNING
Any retractable or fixed shade-producing device made of flexible fabric or similar material covering a rigid skeleton structure attached to a building.
BANNER or PENNANT
A sign that is painted or displayed on a sheet composed of fabric, pliable plastic, paper or other nonrigid material, fastened to the exterior of a building or exterior structure other than a flagpole, but excluding any flag representing any federal, state or other governmental entity.
BILLBOARD
A sign relating, in whole or in part, to a business, commodity, service, entertainment or attraction sold, offered or existing at a location other than the location where such sign is displayed.
CANOPY
An architectural projection comprised of a rigid structure over which a covering is attached that provides weather protection, identity or decoration and is supported at one end by the building to which it is attached and at the outer end by not less than one stanchion.
CONSTRUCTION SIGN
A freestanding sign describing construction or development activity or identifying the entity performing such activity at the site to which it refers.
CORNER CLEARANCE
The triangular area on a corner lot formed by measuring 50 feet from the intersection of both street side property lines or, on an interior lot, formed by measuring 20 feet from the intersection of its street side property line and the adjacent private street or driveway, all as illustrated below.
EFFECTIVE DATE
The date this Article XXII becomes effective, as provided in Section 3 hereof.[1]
EMBELLISHMENT
Structural or decorative elements or enhancements of a sign representing significant architectural features of the associated building or development, but excluding any symbols, logos or lettering thereon.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign detached from any supporting element of a building and consisting of a double- or single-sided sign face attached to a single- or double-pole structure embedded in the ground or mounted on its own self-supporting permanent structure or base. Freestanding signs include both monument signs and pole signs, which are separately defined below.
HISTORIC NEON SIGN
A neon window sign in existence since at least January 1, 1981, and not inconsistent with the character of the community in which it is located.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign illuminated either internally, where the source of illumination is inside the sign or from light bulbs or light tubes affixed or incorporated into the structure thereof, or externally where the source of illumination is separate from the sign and reflected off the surface thereof.
MANSARD ROOF
A roof whose pitch has a twelve-inch or greater vertical projection for each six-inch horizontal projection.
MASTER SIGN PLAN
A specific set of design standards established for the purpose of unifying a variety of signs associated with a multi-use building or complex of buildings. The design standards may include, but are not limited to, letter and logo sizes, letter style, colors, texture, lighting methods, sign type and architectural features.
MONUMENT SIGN
A freestanding sign where the aggregate width of its supports is equal to or greater than 40% of the width of the sign itself, as illustrated below.
NATURAL GRADE
The highest point of the natural grade of the ground at the base of a freestanding sign or, in the case of a mansard sign, at the base of the building to which such sign is affixed.
NEON SIGN
An illuminated sign consisting, in part, of a glass tube filled with neon, argon, mercury or other gasses caused to emit light by the passage of an electric current and commonly bent into various forms, or equivalent lighting method or fixture which has the same appearance or effect as traditional neon.
OBSOLETE SIGN
A sign that no longer directs, advertises or identifies a legal use, product or activity on the premises where such sign is displayed.
POLE SIGN
A freestanding sign wholly supported by a single vertical pole or similar structure embedded in the ground.
POLITICAL SIGN
A nonilluminated sign designed to influence voters or to express a political opinion.
PROFESSIONAL SIGN
A sign that directs attention to a resident's home, a home occupation, a home professional office or other permitted nonresidential use within a residential zoning district and which bears only the name and profession or occupation of the resident.
PROJECTING OR BLADE SIGN
A sign attached perpendicularly to a building or structure that projects from and is supported by a wall of such building or structure.
PUBLIC STREET FRONTAGE
A pedestrian walkway fronting a public street, including a pedestrian walkway within a private shopping mall whose retail shops are primarily served by said walkway.
REAL ESTATE SIGN
A sign advertising the sale, exchange, lease or rental of the real property on which it is located.
RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A dual-pole freestanding sign that directs attention to a residential subdivision or multiunit residential development, which bears only the name of the subject development and which is located on the property.
[Amended 10-10-2006 by L.L. No. 53-2006]
ROOF SIGN
A sign erected upon or above a roof or parapet of a building or structure.
SANDWICH BOARD
A portable sign capable of standing without support or attachment.
SIGN
Any material, device or structure displaying, or intending to display, one or more messages visually and used for the purpose of bringing such messages to the attention of the public, but excluding any lawful display of merchandise. The term "sign" shall also mean and include any display of one or more of the following:
A. 
Any letter, numeral, figure, emblem, picture, outline, character, spectacle, delineation, announcement, trademark, or logo; and
B. 
Colored bands, stripes, patterns, outlines or delineations displayed for the purpose of commercial identification.
TEMPORARY BUSINESS SIGN
A temporary business sign shall be limited to four square feet in area, white nonreflective background with black block lettering, stating the name of the business and/or telephone number only.
[Added 8-24-2010 by L.L. No. 25-2010]
WALL SIGN
Any sign mounted on, attached to or incorporated into the wall, mansard roof or parapet of a building or structure.
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign painted on or affixed to a window or glass door of a building or placed in the interior of such building within four feet from the inside surface of such window or door and visible from the exterior of such building.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 3 of L.L. No. 35-2004, which local law added Art. XXII, Signs, stated that the local law would take effect "upon filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law."
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
New signs. No sign shall be installed or erected within the Town of Southampton on or after the effective date unless such sign and any subsequent modifications or alterations thereto comply with the provisions of this article, including the permit requirements set forth in § 330-208 hereof.
B. 
Preexisting signs, amortization. No sign, whenever erected, existing within the Town of Southampton prior to the effective date, shall continue to exist after June 1, 2007 (the "amortization date"), unless it is brought into compliance with the requirements of this article prior thereto; provided, however, that the owner of any sign in compliance with the Southampton Town Code prior to the effective date shall have until January 1, 2019 (the "extended amortization date"), to remove any such sign if, prior to the amortization date, such owner submits an application to the Building Department requesting the extended amortization date, together with, for any such sign existing prior to May 22, 1972, a valid sign permit or a certificate of compliance or three affidavits evidencing such existence, all in accordance with procedures hereafter established by said Department. Any modifications or alterations to any such lawfully preexisting, nonconforming sign prior to the extended amortization date shall subject such sign to all the requirements of this article, except that any change in the business name on any such sign, provided that the business conducted at such existing property has not changed, need not conform to the provisions of this article so long as (i) the sign size or nonconformity is not increased, (ii) if the sign is illuminated, it is brought into compliance with all the requirements of § 330-207, and (iii) the applicant receives a permit for such changes pursuant to the provisions of § 330-208A. Signs that are not lawfully preexisting (i.e., signs erected or changed without the benefit of a valid permit, Planning Board approval or a variance) are not entitled to the benefits of such extended amortization and must be brought into compliance with all the provisions of this article prior to the amortization date. No such lawfully preexisting, nonconforming sign may be reestablished after it has been abandoned or discontinued for a period of 90 days or more.
[Amended 8-8-2006 by L.L. No. 45-2006; 8-9-2011 by L.L. No. 29-2011; 5-26-2015 by L.L. No. 18-2015; 3-28-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
Exempt signs. The following signs, whether existing prior to the effective date or thereafter installed or erected, shall be exempt from the provisions of § 330-208A through C related to permits and fees; any other provisions of this article inconsistent with the respective area and height allowances set forth below; and the amortization requirements set forth in § 330-202B.
[Amended 10-24-2006 by L.L. No. 55-2006]
(1) 
A residence nameplate or street number sign not exceeding two square feet in area, up to two property management information signs (e.g., security warnings, delivery information), each not exceeding one square foot in area and a "beware" or "caution" sign not exceeding four square feet in area, in each case accessory to a one- or two-family residential building;
(2) 
Nonilluminated "open," "closed," "vacancy," or "no vacancy" signs not exceeding four square feet in area, and nonilluminated "warning," "private drive," "posted," or "no trespassing" signs not exceeding two square feet in area;
(3) 
Flags of the United States;
(4) 
Flags of any other political, civic, philanthropic, educational or religious organization, provided no more than two such flags are displayed from a single commercial location, that no such flag there exceeds 60 square feet in area, and provided they are displayed from no more than one flagpole at a single location. In no event shall any flag exempted hereunder be located on or displayed from the top or roof of any building or structure;
(5) 
Historical Markers, memorial signs and plaques, names of buildings and dates of erection, and emblems installed by governmental agencies, so long as they not exceed six square feet in area;
(6) 
On-premises directional signs for the convenience of the general public identifying parking areas, fire zones, entrances and exists and not exceeding four square feet in area and six feet in height;
(7) 
Temporary private homeowner garage sale, open house and yard sale signs on the homeowner’s property to which they relate, not exceeding four square feet in area and displayed for no more than seven consecutive days;
(8) 
At gasoline and service stations, integral graphics or attached price signs, on gasoline pumps and auxiliary service signs (e.g., air, water, restrooms, state inspections) not exceeding two square feet and any other signs required to be posted pursuant to federal or state law;
(9) 
Political signs;
(10) 
Interior signs, whether illuminated or not, intended solely for internal consumption and not visible in any way from the exterior of the building within which they are displayed;
(11) 
Historic neon signs, provided no modifications or alterations are made thereto after the effective date;
(12) 
Any parking, real estate or construction sign meeting the requirements of § 330-205D through F; and
(13) 
Window signs meeting the requirements set forth in § 330-205C, except illuminated window signs as permitted under § 330-207B.
B. 
Prohibited signs. The following signs shall not be permitted within the Town of Southampton:
(1) 
Roof signs;
(2) 
Neon or neon-type signs, except those exempt under Subsection A(9) or A(10) above or permitted under § 330-207B;
(3) 
Billboards or any other off-premises signs, including off-premises, real estate or other directional signs;
(4) 
Outside banners, pennants, ribbons, flags, except those exempt under A(3) above, streamers, spinners, inflatables or other similar devices, including those in the shape of produce or other products offered for sale;
(5) 
Sandwich boards;
(6) 
Directional window signs or flag displays;
(7) 
Balloons filled with gas, helium, air or other similar matter;
(8) 
Flashing or moving signs, except those providing only time or temperature information;
(9) 
Projecting or blade signs;
(10) 
Except those exempt under § 330-203A(3) above, temporary or permanent signs resting on, attached to or inside any vehicles, buildings, fences, telephone poles or any other structures or means of support or otherwise displayed in any manner designed to circumvent the restrictions in this article;
[Amended 3-8-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016]
(11) 
Any of the signs referred to in Subsection A above which exceed the number, size or other limitations set forth therein;
(12) 
Pole signs, except as permitted under § 330-205B(4) and § 330-205E; and
(13) 
Blank signs.
For purposes of determining compliance with the area and height requirements throughout this article, the following shall apply:
A. 
Area.
(1) 
The area of a sign having copy mounted, affixed, or painted on a panel or area distinctively painted, textured, or constructed as a background for the sign copy shall mean that area contained within the smallest geometric shape that will enclose both the sign copy and such background, as illustrated below.
(2) 
The area of a sign having copy mounted as individual letters or graphics against a wall or fascia of a building or surface of another structure that has not been painted, textured, or otherwise altered to provide a distinctive background for the sign copy shall mean the sum of the areas of the smallest geometric shape(s) that will enclose each word and each graphic in the total sign, as illustrated below.
(3) 
The area of a sign having two faces shall mean the area of the largest face if the interior angle between them is 30° or less, or the sum of the area of the two faces if such angle is greater than 30°, as illustrated below.
B. 
Height. The height of a freestanding sign shall mean the distance from the natural grade to the topmost portion of the higher of the pole or sign, excluding any embellishments permitted in § 330-205B(1), as illustrated below.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The general provisions set forth below shall apply to all signs within the Town of Southampton.
A. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
The total area of any one or more wall signs, including any awning sign or canopy sign attached thereto, shall not exceed 1 1/2 square feet for each horizontal foot of the wall on which they are mounted, and the total width of all such signs shall not exceed 75% of the width of such wall, provided that no more than one wall sign shall be permitted on any wall facing a public street frontage for each business operating within the building containing such wall.
(2) 
Wall signs shall not project more than one foot from the walls on which they are mounted nor extend in any manner above the facade or roofline of the building or structure containing such wall.
(3) 
Where no walls of a building or structure facing a public street frontage exist to reasonably accommodate a wall sign, a sign painted on, incorporated into or affixed to a mansard roof or parapet of such building shall be permitted, provided it complies with the following:
(a) 
The vertical midpoint of the sign shall be no higher than the vertical midpoint of the mansard roof or parapet so that the sign does not project above the roof peak or break the silhouette of the building.
(b) 
The top of the sign shall be no higher than 20 feet above the natural grade.
(c) 
No part of such sign shall project from such mansard roof or parapet a distance greater than 24 inches, and all structural supports, including any angle irons, guy wires or braces, shall appear to be an integral part of the roof or roof sign and enclosed or otherwise hidden from view.
(d) 
The area of any such sign shall not exceed 75% of the width of such roof or parapet.
(e) 
Combination canopy and wall signs are permitted so long as the sign is for a single business and the canopy sign is limited to the smallest geometric shape that will enclose both the wall sign copy, background, and all canopy signage.
B. 
Freestanding signs, including pole and monument signs.
(1) 
No freestanding sign, including pole and monument signs, shall be permitted in the Town of Southampton unless the entire building to which it relates is set back from its front line a distance of 40 feet or more. All such permitted signs shall be subject to the setback requirements in Subsection B(2) below and, with respect to dual-pole freestanding signs only, the height and area restriction of the zoning districts in which they are located as set forth in § 330-206, except for any embellishments up to a maximum of 6 inches on any side, as illustrated below. Further, all such signs shall have no less than two feet of clear space, except for any necessary supports, between the ground level or any planter thereunder and the bottom of the sign. Residential development identification signs shall be limited to the dual-pole freestanding type and shall be regulated by § 330-206G.
[Amended 10-10-2006 by L.L. No. 53-2006]
(2) 
Each freestanding sign permitted hereunder shall be set back at least 20 feet from all property lines unless the average front yard setback of existing buildings located within 200 feet on either side of such sign is less than 10 feet, in which case the setback of such sign may be equal to the average setback of such adjacent buildings, provided that, in no event, shall any such sign be allowed within corner clearances.
(3) 
Only one freestanding sign shall be allowed for each lot. In the case of multiple businesses or buildings on a lot, such sign may state the name of the business complex and/or the names of the individual businesses and, if such lot has five or more businesses located on it, such sign may exceed the area limitations in § 330-206, but in no event shall exceed 40 square feet.
[Amended 5-8-2007 by L.L. No. 22-2007]
(4) 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this article, no pole sign shall be permitted in the Town of Southampton unless it is constructed of wood or metal and contains a horizontal decorative sign support and a suspended sign, as illustrated below, and does not exceed a maximum area of 16 square feet and a maximum height of eight feet to the top of its pole. The required setback for any such permitted pole sign, as set forth in Subsection B(2) above, shall be measured from the base of the pole.
(5) 
Monument signs may have an area of up to 32 square feet but shall not exceed six feet in height, except that any embellishments thereon extending up to 12 inches on any side shall not be considered in determining compliance with such size limitations.
C. 
Window signs.
(1) 
No more than one sign per window or door shall be permitted, provided that if there are more than two windows and/or doors on any wall, no more than two such signs shall be permitted on any such wall.
(2) 
Except as provided in Subsection C(5) below, the area of a window sign shall not exceed 25% of the area of the window to which it is affixed, or 10% of the glass coverage area of door to which it is painted or affixed. A sign exceeding these dimensions shall be considered a wall sign and shall comply with the standards for such signs in Subsection A above.
(3) 
Window signs shall not be illuminated, except as provided in § 330-207B.
(4) 
Window signs satisfying the above criteria are permitted in addition to any wall signs within the same building permitted under Subsection A above.
(5) 
The area of a temporary promotional or announcement signs placed on the interior of a window may exceed 25% but not more than 50% of the area of such window, provided it remains thereon for no more than 30 consecutive days.
D. 
Parking signs. Signs displaying parking-related information shall not exceed two square feet in area, except to the extent required by the New York State Department of Transportation regulations.
E. 
Real estate signs. Any property owner may display anywhere on his property no more than one real estate sign, provided that such sign shall not be illuminated, shall not exceed four square feet in area and a height of four feet above natural grade in residential districts and eight square feet and a height of six feet above natural grade in area in nonresidential districts; shall not be placed in or interfere with any public or street right-of-way; and shall not be placed on any other property. Any real estate signs in shopping or related centers shall only be displayed within the tenant space window and/or in the tenant panel space of any freestanding sign described in Subsection B(3) above. All such signs shall be removed within 15 days after the property to which they relate is no longer for sale, lease, rent or exchange. Further, one single-pole freestanding real estate sign shall be permitted on a residential property for sale so long as the sign has a maximum area of two square feet, is located completely within the parcel's property lines, and shall not be more than six feet above natural grade to the top of the pole.
F. 
Construction signs. No more than one construction sign shall be displayed at any construction site. Such sign shall not be illuminated, shall not have an area of more than eight square feet and may only identify, in addition to the contractor or developer of such site, no more than two contractors or subcontractors thereon. Any such sign shall not interfere with any public right-of-way and shall be removed no later than 15 days after completion of the project to which it relates, the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or compliance, or nine months from the date of its installation, whichever occurs first.
G. 
Subdivision and site plan signs.
(1) 
No sign shall be placed upon any property that is the subject of a subdivision or site plan application unless it is approved, and complies with the conditions imposed by either the Planning Board or the Architectural Review Board or its successor, as required in § 330-208A(2). Any such approval shall indicate:
(a) 
The area of such sign, which shall not exceed 24 square feet;
(b) 
Its location, which shall be set back at least 20 feet from all property lines; and
(c) 
The sale or construction period during which it may be displayed, which shall not exceed one year.
(2) 
Any identification or other signs erected on any such property following the completion of such activity shall be subject to Planning Board approval.
H. 
Awnings/canopies. Signs painted on or in the form of an awning or canopy shall be permitted for business use only, provided they are, in the case of awnings, not located above the first floor of the building to which they are attached or, in the case of canopies, at the street or parking lot entrance thereof and do not interfere with pedestrian traffic. Further, any identification and lettering on such awnings or canopies shall be limited to the edge of the awning or canopy bib and shall be no more than six inches in height. Lastly, the vertical clearance from the public right-of-way to the lowest part of the awning or canopy, including the valance, shall be a minimum of seven feet and shall be in conformance with Part 3202.2.3 of the Building Code of the State of New York, and the area of the awning or canopy sign shall be included in the total area allowed for a wall sign under § 330-205A.
I. 
Temporary business signs. No more than one temporary business sign may be located on a parcel for each business entity and related business use legally permitted and for which a certificate of commercial compliance, building permit, and a sign permit have been applied for. A temporary business sign shall be removed immediately upon the erection of a permanent business sign permitted under an approved sign permit, or 90 days from the date the temporary business sign was applied for, whichever occurs first.
[Added 8-24-2010 by L.L. No. 25-2010]
(1) 
Each temporary business sign shall prominently display on the lower right-hand corner on the face of such sign the sign permit application number, which shall be 3/4 inch in height and shall be legible and clearly visible.
(2) 
The temporary sign shall be no higher than four feet above grade unless affixed to a legally existing sign. Temporary business signs shall not be illuminated unless the sign is mounted to a legally existing sign with illumination.
(3) 
Temporary business signs shall be set back 20 feet from the property line or the legally permitted setback, whichever is less.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The following limitations shall apply to signs in the zoning districts indicated below. As used below, freestanding signs shall mean only dual-pole signs.
A. 
Village Business: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 26 square feet in total area nor 10 feet in height; provided that if any such sign is set back less than the required 20 feet, as provided in § 330-205B(2), its maximum height shall not exceed eight feet. In all events, all such signs shall be made only of wood or wood-appearing material.
B. 
Highway Business: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area nor 12 feet in height, provided that any such sign may exceed 12 feet in height by one foot for every five feet it exceeds its setback requirement, but in no case shall such height exceed 16 feet.
C. 
Office: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area nor 10 feet in height, or eight feet in height if such sign is set back less than the required 20 feet, as provided in § 330-205B(2).
D. 
Hamlet Office and Hamlet Commercial: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 20 square feet in area nor six feet in height. Wall signs shall not exceed 0.5 square foot in area for each horizontal foot of the wall on which it is mounted, nor exceed, in width, 30% of the horizontal measurement of such wall. All such signs shall be made only of wood or wood-appearing material.
E. 
Shopping Center Business and Light Industrial: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area nor 12 feet in height.
F. 
Motel and Resort Waterfront Business: Freestanding signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area nor 10 feet in height. Such signs shall also comply with the setback requirements of Chapter 325, Wetlands, of the Southampton Town Code.
G. 
Residential: Except for those exempt signs set forth in § 330-203A(1), and (3), those real estate signs permitted under § 330-205E and those signs displayed by legally existing businesses or industrial uses in residential districts, which shall be regulated hereunder as if such uses were located in a Hamlet Office or Hamlet Commercial District, only professional signs, residential development identification signs or announcement signs shall be permitted in a residential district, as follows:
[Amended 10-10-2006 by L.L. No. 53-2006; 10-24-2006 by L.L. No. 55-2006]
(1) 
A residence may have no more than one professional sign having a maximum area of two square feet and located either on the wall of such residence, in which case it shall not be more than six feet above natural grade, or in the front yard thereof, in which case it shall not be more than three feet above natural grade, provided that, in all cases, it is set back at least 10 feet from all property lines.
(2) 
A a) place of worship or b) school, club or other public or semi-public building may have no more than one announcement sign, having, with respect to a) above, no more than 18 square feet in area or, with respect to b) above, no more than six square feet in area on each public street frontage of its property, either located on the building wall or in the front yard, provided that it is set back at least 20 feet from the front property line and at least 25 feet from all other property lines and is not more than six feet above natural grade. Each such entity may also have no more than one sign, announcing a special event, having no more than 32 square feet in area on each public street frontage of its property and located in the front yard, for a period not to exceed 30 consecutive days, provided it meets the above setback requirements. There shall be no permit fee for any such temporary sign.
(3) 
No more than one residential development identification sign shall be permitted having a maximum of 12 square feet in area, provided that it is set back at least 20 feet from the front property line and at least 25 feet from all other property lines and is not more than six feet above natural grade, and provided that it is in compliance with the corner clearance requirements set forth herein.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
Only those illuminated signs which are exempt under § 330-203A(9) (interior signs not visible from the street) or which meet the following conditions, limitations and restrictions and are not prohibited under § 330-203B (neon and neon-type signs) shall be permitted in the Town of Southampton.
A. 
Exterior signs. Exterior signs (i.e., signs that are either freestanding or attached to the exterior of any building or structure, excluding window signs), if lit externally, shall only be illuminated with steady, stationary, shielded white light sources directed solely down onto such signs, which light sources shall not be visible from the street right-of-way, nor cause glare hazardous to pedestrians or vehicular traffic or create a nuisance to adjacent properties ("approved light sources"). When one light fixture is used to illuminate such sign, the total maximum wattage shall not exceed 60 watts. When two or more light fixtures are used to illuminate such signs, spacing between such fixtures shall not be less than four feet and the total maximum wattage per fixture shall not exceed 60 watts. If lit internally, such exterior signs shall only be constructed with an opaque background, translucent letters and symbols and white light sources, and shall only be allowed in Highway Business Zoning Districts.
B. 
Interior signs. Interior signs (i.e., signs inside any building or structure and visible from the street, including window signs), if lit externally, shall only be illuminated with approved light sources. If lit internally, such interior signs shall only be allowed in Highway Business Zoning Districts, shall not exceed 10 square feet in area per business establishment and shall only be illuminated with shielded white light sources attached thereto, or, in only this limited instance, neon, and having an intensity not exceeding 60 watts or its equivalent; provided that if any such interior signs are window signs, only one such window sign for each public street or parking lot having an area of no more than four square feet shall be permitted per business establishment, which sign shall not be considered in determining compliance with the above ten-square-foot-area limitation.
C. 
Display times. All permitted illuminated signs, whether exterior or interior, shall be extinguished by 11:00 p.m. or when the commercial use or activity to which they relate closes, whichever is later.
D. 
Building illumination. Although not an illuminated sign, the outlining by direct or indirect illumination of all or part of a building, such as a gable, roof, window, wall, side or corner, shall, consistent with the purposes and intent of this article, be prohibited, except during the winter holiday season.
E. 
National Electrical Code. Notwithstanding anything within this article to the contrary, all illuminated signs permitted hereunder shall conform to the requirements of the National Electrical Code, as defined by the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code of the State of New York.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
General permits.
(1) 
Except for exempt signs under § 330-203 and those signs being amortized pursuant to the provisions of § 330-202B and not thereafter modified or altered, permits shall be required for all signs in the Town of Southampton. Applications for sign permits shall be made to, and upon forms provided by, the Building Department and shall include plans, specifications, drawings and such other information as such Department may require (the "application"). The Building Inspector shall determine whether such proposed sign complies with all requirements of this article and all other applicable laws and regulations of the Town of Southampton before authorizing issuance of a sign permit. Each permit issued shall be assigned a permit number that shall be prominently and permanently displayed on the lower right-hand corner on the face of such sign. Each such permit number shall be 3/4 inch in height and shall be legible and clearly visible and preceded by "Permit #." Any sign which does not have a permit or a permit number displayed on its face, or which has had its permit revoked, shall be in violation of this article. No sign or structure hereafter erected, enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a sign permit shall continue to be used for more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Building Inspector, in addition to any which may be required under any further applicable zoning provisions.
(2) 
In addition to a permit from the Building Department issued under Subsection A(1) above, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in § 330-170B, approval shall be required from either:
(a) 
The Planning Board with respect to all signage relating to a project that requires Planning Board approval pursuant to the Town Code and for which a certificate of occupancy has not been issued;
(b) 
The Architectural Review Board, or its successors, for any such project that has received a certificate of occupancy; or
(c) 
The Planning Board with respect to all signage relating to a project where a master sign plan has been approved by the Planning Board.
(3) 
With respect to Subsection A(2)(a) above, upon receipt of the application, the Planning Board shall request an advisory report from the Architectural Review Board, or its successors, and, thereafter, take no action on the application until it has received such report or until 45 days from the date of its request, whichever first occurs. The attached Schedule A located at the end of this article[1] sets forth the design guidelines to be used by the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board, or its successors, in their review of signs.
[1]
Editor's Note: Schedule A is included as § 330-210.1, Design guidelines.
B. 
Administrative permits.
(1) 
To encourage appropriate and compatible signage throughout the Town of Southampton, any sign meeting the provisions set forth in § 330-207, the applicable zoning requirements, and all of the following design criteria, in the opinion of the Building Department, shall receive a permit from said Department within 15 days of its receipt of a complete application seeking such expedited relief:
(a) 
Color: maximum of three colors, one for background, a contrasting color for lettering, and a third color for borders, motifs, or letter shading to give the sign a three-dimensional look. Colors shall be muted and earthtone with a matte finish, as those terms are defined in Schedule A, Subsection (3), attached.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See §  330-210.1C.
(b) 
Message: Content shall be limited to the name and type of business, street number or address, and telephone number.
(c) 
Scale: in scale with the building to which it relates and not covering any architectural details, such as arches, transom windows, moldings, columns, capitals, sills, cornices and the like.
(d) 
Materials: wood that is either handcarved, sandblasted, flat painted, or any combination thereof.
(e) 
Illumination: only external direct illumination from a shielded, low-intensity, white light source, not to exceed 60 watts per fixture. When two or more light fixtures are used to illuminate a sign, spacing between such fixtures shall not be less than four feet.
(2) 
Signs that are subject to Planning Board review pursuant to § 330-208A(2) are not eligible for administrative permits.
C. 
Fees. The Town Board of the Town of Southampton shall from time to time, by resolution, determine the schedule of fees for sign permits; provided that if an applicant is seeking to replace a nonconforming sign with a conforming sign and proceeds diligently to do so, such fee shall be waived. Additionally, no fee shall be required with respect to the application requesting an extended amortization date referred to in § 330-202B.
D. 
Violations.
(1) 
Any violation of this article or of any condition or requirement of the Building Department established pursuant hereto may be restrained, corrected or abated, as the case may be, by injunction or other appropriate proceedings pursuant to state law and/or the Southampton Town Code. Furthermore, the remedies of the Town shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) 
Issuing a stop-work order for any and all work on any sign;
(b) 
Seeking an injunction or other order of restraint or abatement requiring the removal of the sign or the correction or repair of the nonconformity or hazard;
(c) 
Imposing any penalties available under the Zoning Code;
(d) 
Seeking, in court, the imposition of any penalties that may be imposed under the Zoning Code; and
(e) 
In the case of a sign that poses an immediate danger to the public health or safety, taking such immediate measures as are available to the Town under the applicable provisions of the Zoning Code and/or Building Code.
(2) 
In nonemergency matters, the Building Inspector, Fire Marshal, Code Enforcement Officers or Ordinance Inspectors, as appropriate, shall cause a notice of such violation to be served on the owner of the building, structure, or lot where said sign is located or the lessee or tenant thereof, requiring such owner, lessee or tenant to remove such illegal sign or take other appropriate action within 30 days of receipt of such notice. Such notice may be served personally, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to either the property address where the sign is located or a known address of any such individual.
(3) 
Persons found guilty of any violation under this article shall be subject to a fine and/or imprisonment as set forth in § 330-186.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
Maintenance. All signs within the Town of Southampton shall be properly maintained. Such maintenance shall include periodic cleaning, replacement of flickering, burned out or broken light bulbs or fixtures, repair or replacement of any faded, peeled, cracked, or otherwise damaged or broken parts, and any other activity needed to conform a sign to the provisions of this article and to the provisions of any permit relating thereto. Likewise, the areas surrounding all freestanding signs shall be properly maintained, including the removal of all rubbish, debris and graffiti, and, if landscaped, free of weeds and otherwise properly maintained.
B. 
Inspections. Every sign existing within the Town of Southampton, including those signs for which a sign permit has been issued, may be inspected for compliance with the provisions of this article, proper maintenance, freedom from any hazardous conditions and structural soundness. If any such sign is found to be noncompliant, inadequately maintained, hazardous or unsafe, the Building Inspector shall revoke the sign permit until such time as corrective action has been taken and/or may proceed pursuant to the provisions of § 330-208D.
C. 
Restoration. Upon replacement or removal of any sign and structure, the area of the sign, structure and all adjoining areas shall be restored to match the existing surrounding conditions.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
Rights-of-way. No sign other than a sign erected by a governmental agency or permitted under § 330-205H shall be erected or placed within the right-of-way lines of a public street, and the Town may remove any such sign without notice to the owner.
B. 
Sign supports. No lettering shall be permitted on any sign supports.
C. 
Historical buildings. Notwithstanding anything within this article to the contrary, no sign shall be located so as to detract from or obstruct historical buildings (as listed in § 330-321) from public view.
D. 
Wind loads. All signs shall meet the standards of § 1609 of the Building Code of the State of New York, entitled "Wind Loads."
E. 
Variances. All requests for variances from the requirements of this article shall be made to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
F. 
Schedule of Permitted Signs. Schedule B located at the end of this article summarizes the number, size and setback requirements of certain permitted signs according to zoning district. In the event of any conflict between Schedule B and this article, the provisions of this article shall control.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See the Schedule of Permitted Signs included at the end of this chapter.
G. 
Town signs. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prohibit, limit or restrict the Town of Southampton from erecting and maintaining any signs deemed by it to be in the public interest.
H. 
Obsolete signs. Obsolete signs and their supporting structures shall be removed within 180 days after the use or activity they identify has ceased or the property on which they are located has become vacant.
[Amended 1-10-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The following design guidelines shall be used by the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board in their review of signs:
A. 
Sign types: The choice of sign type depends upon the surroundings and the attention one desires to attract. For example, freestanding signs are best used in situations where there is a large setback from the street, where the attention of people in fast-moving vehicles is being sought, or where there are several uses in one building or complex. Wall signs are best used where the attention of people in slow-moving cars or pedestrians is desired.
B. 
Simplicity:
(1) 
Whatever sign type is used, simplicity is the key factor to good design and readability. An effectively designed sign utilizing bold, easily recognized symbols and clear, crisp lettering will identify a business or activity efficiently and attractively, enhance the area in which it is located, and complement the general appearance of the street and town.
(2) 
The most common problems in business districts are an overabundance of signs that are often excessively large, all of which contributes to "sign overload." This creates a visually chaotic situation in which no one gains the advantage, since the competing signs tend to cancel each other out in an unsuccessful bid to catch the buyer's eye.
C. 
Color: Restraint should be exercised when selecting colors. On most signs, no more than three colors should be used: one for background, a contrasting color for the lettering, and a third color perhaps for emphasis (such as for borders, motifs, or shading lettering to give it a three-dimensional look). In selecting the principal colors for a sign, colors which are in harmony with the general tone of the building should be chosen (unless they are inappropriate to the type of business being identified). The use of neon or day-glow-type colors are prohibited, and the use of colors that are muted (i.e., saturated with white and/or gray to soften the color) and earth tone (i.e., beige, tan, brown, gray, forest green or burgundy) with a matte finish are strongly encouraged.
D. 
Message: In deciding how to best convey sign messages, the cardinal rule is to "keep it simple" for rapid comprehension by the public.
E. 
Size: Legibility depends more upon the color and type of lettering than the actual size of the sign. In fact, a very large sign may be unreasonable for pedestrians in a downtown business district, while a small window sign (especially one located just above the windowsill) will quickly catch one's eye. Therefore, the size of the words, and ultimately the size of the sign, should always be kept in scale with the viewer's location and speed. The sign should also be in scale with the building, never covering architectural details (such as arches, transom windows, moldings, columns, capitals, sills, cornices, etc.).
F. 
Materials: Sign materials should be consistent with and complement the original construction materials and architectural style of the building on which they are to be displayed. For this reason, materials such as wood and metal are much more appropriate than glossy plastic. Internally lit plastic signs, neon signs and other similarly lighted signs are inconsistent and are generally out of context with the period and style of buildings located in the Town of Southampton.
G. 
Lettering: Lettering styles should complement the style and period of the building on which they appear. Traditional block and curvilinear styles, which are easy to read, are preferred. No more than two different types of style should be used on the same sign, to avoid a cluttered appearance.
H. 
Illumination: To conserve energy and reduce light pollution, signs shall not be illuminated unless the premises is open for business. The type of lighting that is most appropriate to the historical character of our Town is direct illumination from a shielded low-intensity light source. Neon, plastic and internally lit "box" signs are not appropriate in or adjacent to residential areas and buildings of historic significance or architecture.
(1) 
However, in commercial districts internally illuminated signs may be appropriate when they are composed of:
(a) 
Individual letters with translucent faces, containing soft lighting elements inside each letter; or
(b) 
Metal-faced box signs with cut-out letters and soft-glow fluorescent tubes (in which the sign background is dark and opaque).
(c) 
Plastic when the body of the sign is a dark opaque earth tone color; and
(d) 
A matte finish with translucent lettering and low-intensity soft-glow fluorescent tubes.
(2) 
Neon interior window signs may be permitted in Highway Business Zoning Districts only. These signs shall be no more than four square feet in area.
(3) 
Power and intensity shall conform to applicable illumination standards (see § 330-207.)