Township of Cedar Grove, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No signs shall be erected, altered, or replaced which are not in accordance with the standards of this article.
A. 
Zoning permits shall be required for all signs greater than two square feet in area unless specifically exempted herein. Relief from the requirements of this article shall be requested in the form of a variance from the appropriate Board pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-l et seq.
B. 
No signs shall be placed on or attached to a building or erected independently for any purpose other than to advertise a permitted business or use conducted on the same premises unless specifically permitted herein.
C. 
No sign shall be placed in a public right-of-way nor otherwise obstruct driving vision, traffic signals, traffic directional or identification signs. All signs shall comply with the requirements of this chapter pursuant to sight triangles and required sight distances.
D. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, no part of any sign shall extend above the top or beyond the ends of the wall surface on which it is placed; no sign, except such directional devices as may be required by federal aeronautical authorities, shall be placed, inscribed or supported upon the roof or upon any building which extends above the roof of any building; and no sign shall be placed so as to interfere with the opening of an exit door or to obstruct any window opening to a room to be used for dwelling purposes.
E. 
Freestanding signs shall be supported by one or more columns or uprights which are firmly embedded in the ground. Exposed guy wires, chains or other connections shall not be permitted except that the sign itself may hang from its supporting frame by flexible links. Two-faced freestanding signs shall have no angle between the two sides.
F. 
Interior window signs shall not be considered in computing total allowable signage, provided that such signs shall not exceed 50% of the total window area, shall be used only for advertising of special sales, products, or services sold on the premises, and shall not be used for business identification purposes.
G. 
Informational signs such as street number designations, postal boxes, parking signs, "private property" signs, on-site directional signs, and warning signs are permitted in all zones. Such signs shall not exceed one square foot in area and shall not be considered in calculating total permitted signage.
H. 
Illuminated signs shall be designed to minimize light spillage and/or glare beyond the border of the sign, itself. Such signs shall be either indirectly lighted or of the diffused lighting type. Illumination shall be designed to direct light and glare away from adjoining streets and properties. Floodlights used for sign illumination shall not project light above the highest elevation of the illuminated wall of the building.
I. 
A single decorative flag of 25 square feet or less may be affixed to any building in any zone without necessity for a zoning permit. Such flags may contain generic words such as "open," but shall not advertise any product or event. Such a decorative flag shall not be included in any calculation of total permitted signage.
The following signs are expressly prohibited in all zones:
A. 
Billboards are not permitted in any zone of Cedar Grove Township.
B. 
Flashing, intermittent intensity or revolving signs shall not be permitted, nor shall any illuminated sign of red, green, yellow, or any light placed in a location or manner which could be mistaken for a traffic signal or emergency vehicle.
C. 
No person may erect a sign which is affixed to a fence, utility pole, tree or natural object. No sign may be painted directly on the exterior surface of a building or an accessory structure such as a storage tank.
D. 
All other attention attracting devices such as streamers, strings of pennants, spinners, pin wheels, beacons, inflatables, flashing signs or similar devices are prohibited. Banners shall be permitted as temporary signs in accordance with the requirements of this section.
E. 
No movable signs shall be permitted, except in conjunction with Christmas tree sales, which may be permitted for no more than 45 days.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Christmas Trees, Sale and Storage of.
F. 
It shall be unlawful to utilize a vehicle or trailer as a structure to which a sign is attached or placed. Vehicles on which signs are placed, painted, or erected and which are regularly parked in a conspicuous location for the purpose of advertising are prohibited.
A. 
Real estate "for sale/for lease/sold" signs. One sign is permitted per lot to advertise the sale or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located by the owner or a real estate agent or broker. The sign is not to exceed an area of six square feet in residential districts or 16 square feet in all other districts and shall be set back a minimum of five feet from all street right-of-way lines. The sign shall be removed within seven days of the consummation of a sale or lease transaction. No permit is required for such signs.
B. 
Real estate "open house" sign. One sign in addition to the "for sale" sign, may be placed on the subject property. The sign shall not exceed six square feet in area, shall be set back a minimum of five feet from all street right-of-way lines, and may be erected from 72 hours before the open house until no more than 24 hours after it. No permit is required for such signs.
C. 
Land development signs. Signs advertising the sale of property or structures in developments of two or more lots and signs advertising the opening or construction of a new business shall be permitted for a period of up to six months, or until the signing of the contract or transaction of sale or lease of the last lot or structure in the development, or until a certificate of occupancy is issued for a new business, whichever event occurs last. The applicant shall be permitted to request a renewal at the end of the six-month period, if necessary. No such sign shall exceed 24 square feet in area, and shall otherwise conform to the sign regulation of the district in which it is located. No permit shall be issued for such sign until the subdivision and/or site plan has been granted approval by the appropriate municipal board.
D. 
Nonprofit organization event signs. Temporary signs advertising a specific event sponsored by a bona fide nonprofit organization may be located on or off the premises of the organization's operating location. Such signs shall be unlighted, shall be set back a minimum of five feet from all street right-of-way lines and shall not exceed 32 square feet in area. Such signs may be displayed for a period of time not to exceed 30 days and shall be removed within 24 hours after the event. No permit shall be required for nonprofit organization event signs, but the back of each such sign shall be clearly marked with the name, address and phone number of the person empowered to remove the sign.
E. 
Political signs. Temporary signs advertising a political campaign may be located on or off the premises of the organization's operating location. Such signs shall be unlighted, shall be set back a minimum of five feet from all street right-of-way lines, and shall not exceed 32 square feet in area. Political signs relating to any municipal, county, state, or national election shall be permitted for 30 days prior to the election and shall be removed within seven days after it. No permit shall be required for political signs.
F. 
Business promotional signs. A temporary sign or banner advertising a special sale or business promotion on the premises of a commercial enterprise may be authorized by zoning permit up to four times per year, provided the sign or banner is not displayed for more than 21 days at a time; does not exceed 32 square feet in area; and is set back a minimum of five feet from all street right-of-way lines. Such signs shall not be considered in determining total permitted signage.
In residential zones the following signs may be permitted:
A. 
A nonilluminated nameplate sign, situated within the property lines and bearing only a place name, the name of the principal occupant, and/or the address of a private dwelling, and not exceeding 96 square inches in total area.
B. 
Signs advertising a use in a residential zone such as a nonprofit organization or fraternal group, identification for a multifamily development, public or quasi-public building or building used solely for a nonprofit church, school, hospital or other like purpose, but not including any activity of a retail nature, provided that it is located on the same premises which it advertises. Such sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in area. Where such signs are freestanding they shall be a minimum of 10 feet from any property line and no higher than six feet.
C. 
Not more than one sign shall be posted for each use or activity permitted within the provisions of this section.
A. 
Business and commercial establishments. Business and other commercial establishments including industrial uses and offices may display any one or combination of the following signs, provided that no individual business shall be permitted more than three exterior signs. New and replacement signs on properties containing more than one use or business establishment shall be part of a comprehensive signing plan for the property, which is subject to Board approval at the time of site plan review.
(1) 
Wall signs. Wall signs are permitted on each facade of a commercial building that faces on a public street or on-site parking lot, subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Not more than one wall sign on each such wall shall be permitted for each business establishment or use located within the building and having a public entrance from that wall.
(b) 
The bottom of said sign shall be at least seven feet above the ground or sidewalk below it if the sign extends more than three inches from the face of the building wall.
(c) 
The total area of all such signs shall not exceed 10% of the area of the building wall, including window area, to which they are attached.
(d) 
A cantilevered sign may be substituted for a permitted wall sign, or may be placed in addition to a wall sign where the total area of both does not exceed the area permitted for the wall sign, by itself. The bottom of a cantilevered sign shall be at least seven feet above the ground or sidewalk below it, and its extension from the building wall shall not exceed 48 inches. Cantilevered signs may extend into the required yard area of the building, but may not extend beyond the property line.
(2) 
Ground or freestanding signs. One ground or freestanding sign shall be permitted for each street frontage of a commercial property, subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Such signs shall not exceed 50 square feet in area nor 15 feet in height above the ground.
(b) 
Such signs and all supports shall be situated at least 10 feet from any building and 10 feet from any property line.
(c) 
Shopping centers consisting of a building or buildings having a total gross floor area of 20,000 square feet or more, shall be permitted one freestanding sign of up to 100 square feet in area with a maximum 24 feet in height above the ground. Such signs shall be set back from all property lines a distance equal to not less than their height.
B. 
Motor vehicle service stations.
(1) 
The following types of signs are permitted at gas stations: freestanding signs, attached or canopy signs, signs over garage bay doors, customary lettering or other insignia which are a structural part of the gasoline pump, and a sign indicating the location of a waste oil recycling facility. The waste oil recycling sign shall be attached to the building.
(2) 
The number of signs shall be limited as follows: one freestanding sign, three attached signs, provided that two of these are permitted only if attached to a canopy, one sign over each garage bay door, one credit card sign, one oil recycling facility sign and pump price signs as required by law.
(3) 
The maximum size of signs permitted shall be limited as follows:
Sign Type
Maximum Size
(Square Feet)
Freestanding
50
Attached
20
Over bay doors
4
Oil recycling sign
4
Pump price sign
As required by law
Pump structural signs
Limited by size of pump
(4) 
No freestanding sign shall be closer than 10 feet to a street right-of-way line or to a property line not coincident with a street line and no freestanding sign shall exceed 24 feet in height or have the lowest edge of the display area closer than eight feet from the ground.
C. 
Public and institutional uses. One wall or ground sign shall be permitted on properties dedicated to public or quasi-public uses such as hospitals, eleemosynary institutions, churches, schools, government buildings, libraries, or other like purposes. Such signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area. Where such signs are freestanding they shall be a minimum of 10 feet from any property line and no higher than six feet.