Borough of Leonia, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Leonia 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 09-06.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 123.
Sign advertising garage sales — See Ch. 147, § 147-5.
Distribution of handbills — See Ch. 169, Art. II.
Site plan review — See Ch. 236.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 250.
Zoning — See Ch. 290.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 232, Signs, adopted 5-19-1980 by Ord. No. 874 (Ch. 168 of the 1982 Code), as amended.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADVERTISING SIGN
A sign directing attention to a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is maintained, including a billboard sign. An "advertising sign" also includes a sign directing attention to a product or service offered upon the premises but which could be offered elsewhere.
BANNER
A sign or decoration made of cloth, paper, plastic, or similar flexible material which is attached to a building or structure.
BILLBOARD
A structure primarily or principally erected for the display of off-premises advertisements or noncommercial messages.
BULLETIN BOARD
A sign with movable letters, words or numbers, indicating the names of persons associated with or events conducted upon the premises where such sign is maintained. This sign is incorporated into the total square footage permitted under this chapter. The sign may be either permanent or a mobile type.
BUNTING
A banner usually in the form of draperies or wide streamers.
BUSINESS SIGN
A sign directing attention to the name of a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered upon the premises where the sign is maintained.
CANOPY OR AWNING SIGN
A sign other than a projecting sign, mounted or painted on the canopy or awning of any building and identifying the name or address of the building or an establishment contained in the building herein.
FLASHING SIGN
An illuminated sign, whether stationary or rotating, which exhibits changing light intensity or color effects.
GROUND SIGN
A detached sign erected upon or supported by the ground.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN
A sign, other than a bulletin board sign, indicating the name of a permitted use, the name or address of a building or the name of the management thereof.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign designed to give forth any artificial light or to reflect such light from an artificial light.
INSTRUCTIONAL SIGN
A sign conveying instructions with respect to the premises where it is maintained, such as signs designating "no parking," "entrance," "exit," "keep off," "parking," "no trespassing" and similar signs.
NATURAL KRAFT CARTON
Any box or container made from light brown paper with one layer of alternating ridges or grooves for use in packaging articles.
OFF-PREMISES ADVERTISING SIGN
A sign which identifies a principal activity, product or service which is conducted, available, sold, offered or produced elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is located, including billboards, signs which consist principally of brand name or trade name advertising where the product or service advertised is only incidental to the principal activity and signs which bring rental income to the premises.
ON-PREMISES ADVERTISING SIGN
A sign which identifies a principal activity, product or service which is conducted, available, sold, offered or produced on the premises where the sign is located, including a sign which exclusively advertises the sale or lease of the premises on which the sign is located, but excluding signs which consist principally of brand name or trade name advertising where the product or service advertised is only incidental to the principal activity or signs which bring rental income to the business.
PERMANENT WINDOW SIGN
A business sign placed in a window, or within 18 inches of a window, which will be used for an indefinite period of time.
PROJECTING SIGN
A sign erected perpendicular to the wall of a building, including a sign similarly erected at the corner of a building and projecting out over a public sidewalk.
ROOF SIGN
A sign erected on the roof of any building.
SIGN
Includes any painted or mounted surface sign, banners, streamers or lighting devices or any other type of attention-attracting device and may be a single-faced or double-faced panel.
SIGN AREA
The area of any sign shall be calculated as the smallest area that can be enclosed in a rectangle that includes lettering, illustration and any other graphic representation.
TEMPORARY WINDOW SIGN
A business sign placed in a window which will be used for a limited time and which indicates the date of its first use.
WALL SIGN
A sign painted on or a structure erected against the wall of any building with the exposed face of the sign in a parallel plane with the face of the wall at a distance of 18 inches or less from the wall, measured perpendicularly.
WINDOW DISPLAY
An exhibition, showing or arrangement of articles or merchandise in a business window, designed to advertise or attract consumers or customers.
A. 
No sign or sign structure shall be positioned in such a manner as to materially impede the view of any street or highway intersection.
B. 
No sign, other than official traffic signs, shall be erected within or shall project over the lines of any street unless specifically authorized by other Borough ordinances or regulations.
C. 
No sign or structure, other than official highway markers, shall be placed within any street or highway right-of-way.
D. 
No sign shall be erected or maintained as to prevent free and safe ingress and egress from any window, door or fire escape, and no sign shall be attached to a fire escape.
E. 
No sign shall be of a flashing type. No rotating beam, beacon or flashing illumination shall be used in connection with any signs or sign display.
F. 
All signs shall be stationary and not a revolving type.
G. 
Roof signs are prohibited.
H. 
Signs which are in a state of disrepair, including illuminated or neon signs, or signs which are abandoned, shall be removed within 45 days following such disrepair or abandonment.
I. 
Such signs as "no-parking," "entrance," "exit," "keep off," "parking" and similar devices for the convenience or protection of the public shall not be considered in computing total sign area on the premises. The maximum size of such sign shall be five square feet.
J. 
In addition to the other requirements of this chapter, every business and advertising sign referred to in this chapter must be kept in good condition and repair and shall not be allowed to become dilapidated.
K. 
Except as otherwise permitted in Chapter 290, Zoning, within District LI-2, off-premises advertising signs are prohibited.
L. 
All permanent business and electrified signs placed on or within 18 inches of a window shall not be erected or maintained until approved and after issuance of a permit by the Zoning Official.
M. 
The illuminated background panel of any sign may not exceed the allowable sign area by more than 20%.
N. 
(Reserved).
O. 
Neon signage shall not consist of more than three colors per occupancy.
P. 
The light intensity of any illuminated sign, including neon or displays, shall not exceed 50 footcandles, measured with a standard light meter at any point in front of the sign at a distance that is no greater than the smallest horizontal or vertical dimension of the sign.
Q. 
Neon-type bands on the exterior of a building and neon bands or bare bulbs on the inside perimeter of a window are prohibited.
R. 
Illuminated window signs shall not exceed 15% of the total window area.
S. 
Temporary signs, posters, or placards announcing a neighborhood event, such as a garage sale or block party, are permitted but must be removed within 12 hours after the conclusion of the event. Signs and posters reporting lost property or a pet are permitted for a period not to exceed 14 days.
T. 
No sign shall be affixed to any public utility pole, public information sign, bus shelter, public bench, or public building or erected in any public space, such as a street or right-of-way, without the express approval of the Mayor and Council.
U. 
Time-and/or-temperature devices attached to a building and freestanding shall not exceed 25 square feet in area, shall not project five feet from the face of the building, and shall have nine feet of clearance above the ground.
V. 
Strung lights and windblown devices, such as pennants, spinners and streamers, are prohibited.
A. 
Professional, accessory use or name signs indicating the name, profession or activity of the occupant of a dwelling and trespassing signs or signs indicating the private nature of a driveway or premises shall be permitted, provided that the area on one side of any such sign shall not exceed two square feet.
B. 
Identification signs for schools, churches, hospitals, clubs, lodges or similar uses shall be permitted, provided that the area on one side of any sign shall not exceed 12 square feet.
C. 
Temporary signs of contractors, architects, mechanics and artisans may be erected and maintained during the period such persons are performing work, provided that such signs shall be erected only on the premises where such work is being performed and the area of any such sign shall not exceed 12 square feet and such signs shall be removed promptly upon completion of the work.
D. 
One nonilluminated real estate sign, including signs advertising the sale or rental of premises, shall be permitted, provided that the area on one side of any such sign shall not exceed three square feet in residence districts and 16 square feet in commercial and manufacturing districts. Corner lots may have one such sign on each street frontage. These signs must be removed within five days after the property is sold.
E. 
Signs indicating the premises available for or in the process of development and having inscribed thereon the name of the owner, builder or agent may be erected and maintained, provided that:
(1) 
The area of any such sign shall not exceed 100 square feet in total or three square feet for each 15 linear feet of frontage, whichever is larger.
(2) 
Not more than one such sign shall be erected on each 500 feet of street frontage.
F. 
Political signs and other noncommercial signs are permitted, provided that no person, firm or corporation shall affix, paint, post, hang or otherwise attach or cause to allow any of his, her, their or its subordinates or employees or allow anyone acting on his/her, their or its behalf to affix, paint, post, hang or otherwise attach any political banner, poster, placard or political advertising of any type whatsoever to any hydrants, traffic signs, street signs, signposts, electric wires, telephone wires, public sidewalks, public thoroughfares, public monuments situated in or upon any of the public thoroughfares or public places in the Borough of Leonia or upon any structure or building of the Borough of Leonia. Such signs shall be further subject to the following limitations:
(1) 
No more than one such sign shall be permitted on any premises per candidate per election. All such signs shall be removed within 24 hours after the election is held.
[Amended 5-3-2010 by Ord. No. 06-10]
(2) 
Within residential districts, such signs shall not be illuminated.
(3) 
Such signs shall not exceed six square feet in residential districts.
(4) 
In commercial and industrial districts, the area of such signs, together with the area of all other permissible signs on the premises, shall not exceed the maximum square footage of signage permitted within such districts.
(5) 
Nothing shall be affixed to any sign in order to draw attention to it, such as banners, balloons, streamers, pennants, reflectors, lights or any similar device.
[Added 4-7-2008 by Ord. No. 14-08]
G. 
Municipal signs necessary to the public welfare of the Borough of Leonia shall be permitted.
H. 
"For sale" and "for rent" signs: in residential zones, freestanding signs only no larger than two feet by two feet, the type of which shall be no more than four feet from the ground. Signs must be located no closer than five feet from the property line or 15 feet from the curbline, whichever is greater. In no instance may a sign be located within the sight triangle at a street intersection or on any street, sidewalk or right-of-way. All "for sale" or "for rent" signs are permitted only on the property being offered for rent or for sale.
I. 
Each second-floor occupancy for a profession or office shall be permitted one announcement sign per occupancy of not more than 1 1/2 square feet at the main entrance to the building. One nameplate or professional sign with an area of not more than 1 1/2 square feet may be mounted flat against the door of each secondary entrance. Such sign may be lighted by interior or exterior lighting. All signs in second-floor office windows shall not exceed 25% of glass area of only one window.
J. 
A common sign may be erected in a parking lot with facilities for more than 40 cars which services a group of attached stores or a professional building. None of the component announcements shall be larger than any of the others, and the total area of the signs shall not exceed 40 square feet. The common sign may be erected as a freestanding sign within the parking lot, provided that it is erected no closer than 10 feet to any property line.
K. 
All entrance doors must display the street number within 12 inches of the top of the door, and such street number shall not be less than three inches or more than five inches high. Entrance door glass must be clear and unobstructed by permanent or temporary signs with only the following permitted, as long as they do not cover more than 20% of the glass area: address number, business name or logo, hours of operation, and open/closed signs. Electric signs are not permitted.
L. 
The total sign area of all permanent window signs shall not exceed 20% of the total window area. The maximum area of permanent window signs for one business shall not exceed 25 square feet.
M. 
Window displays shall not consist of neon or flashing lighting, nor a television or video facing and viewable from the street or right-of-way. Window displays shall be maintained in good condition and appearance, and shall, if damaged, be repaired within 30 days. Natural kraft cartons placed within three feet of the window display shall not be visible from the exterior of the building.
N. 
Temporary window signs may hang in a window for a period not to exceed 60 days. Signs that do not have an expiration date shall be assumed to be permanent and shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter pertaining to permanent window signs. The total area of temporary and permanent window signs shall not exceed 50% of the total window area. All signs and notices placed in a window for the promotion of events or projects sponsored by nonprofit organizations shall be exempt from the area restrictions of this subsection.
O. 
Signs which advertise a "going out of business sale" or "change of occupancy" shall not be permitted for a period in excess of 90 days.
P. 
Whenever there is a change in occupancy of business premises, all signs and displays which identify or advertise a business, product, or other item that is no longer present or available on the premises shall be removed within 21 days from the date the previous occupancy ceased. The manner of removal of sign messages shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
In the case of a sign with a painted message, the message shall be painted in a color which matches the background, or in a light neutral color.
(2) 
Window signs and displays shall be removed.
(3) 
In the case of a sign where the message is contained on a panel that is inserted into the sign frame or structure, the message panel shall be replaced with a blank panel.
(4) 
In the case of a sign where the message cannot be removed without also removing the sign structure, the structure shall be removed, unless the owner demonstrates to the Zoning Official that the sign message could reasonably apply to the next occupant of the premises.
Q. 
Off-premises advertising signs subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in Chapter 290, Zoning, within the District LI-2.
R. 
On-premises advertising signs within commercial and industrial districts subject to the limitations and conditions set forth herein.
A. 
Prior to the erection of any sign, an application must be filed with the Zoning Officer. When the application is submitted, it must be accompanied by scaled sketches of the proposed sign and existing signs. A plan showing the location and erection must also accompany the application. Detailed information concerning copy, weight and dimensions of the sign, the materials incorporated in its construction and the type of illumination, if any, shall also be submitted.
B. 
The application should include:
(1) 
The name and address of the owner of the property.
(2) 
The location of property where the sign is to be erected.
(3) 
The zoning district in which the sign is to be erected.
(4) 
The square footage of the proposed sign.
(5) 
The name and address of the person constructing the sign.
(6) 
The name and address of the person erecting the sign if different than the one constructing it.
(7) 
The nature of the activity being announced by the sign.
The cost of a permit will be as set forth in Chapter 123, Fees.
Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to require the removal or discontinuance of a legally existing display sign that is not altered, rebuilt, enlarged or relocated, but all such signs shall be subject to inspection and maintenance as hereinafter provided, and shall be considered nonconforming.
Regulations regarding signs in the Business District shall be as follows:
A. 
Wall signs may be between 8% and 12% of the wall area at street level for the store that it is advertising, provided that the sign shall not exceed 25 square feet in area.
B. 
Lots fronting on two or more streets are permitted signage along each street frontage, but the signage cannot be accumulated and used on one street frontage.
C. 
Wall signs may not be located higher than the bottom of the windows of the second level of a multistory building.
D. 
The area of any such wall sign painted upon the wall of any building or structure shall be enclosed within a molding or border which is clearly visible.
E. 
For buildings with multitenants, signs shall have the same area and height.
F. 
Each sign is permitted to include a main title which identifies the name of the store and one subtitle which is a description of the business. The subtitle must be a smaller font size than the main title.
G. 
The subtitle of the sign may not include a telephone number or e-mail address. Telephone numbers and e-mail addresses are also not permitted on awnings and canopies. Facsimile, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and Web sites are prohibited on all signs, awnings and canopies. These may be included on windows or window signs in letters not to exceed five inches in height.
H. 
Signs may not be printed in more than two font styles and different font styles on one sign must complement each other.
I. 
Hanging signs are permitted.
J. 
Hanging signs may not be located higher than the ceiling of the first floor of a building and may not have an area more than two square feet. Design, materials, and mounting methods must be approved by the Building Department. Hanging signs may not be internally illuminated.
K. 
The wall sign for an establishment with a hanging sign may not be greater than 8% of the total wall area at street level for the store.
L. 
Wall signs may be externally illuminated.
M. 
Wall signs shall be securely attached to the building by means of metal anchors, bolts or expansion screws, provided that signs exceeding 50 pounds in weight shall be secured at both top and bottom with metal shelf angles.
N. 
Each second-floor occupancy for a profession or office shall be permitted one announcement sign per occupancy of not more than 1 1/2 square feet at the main entrance to the building. One nameplate or professional sign with an area of not more than 1 1/2 square feet may be mounted flat against the door of each secondary entrance. Such signs may be lighted by interior or exterior lighting. All signs in second-floor office windows shall not exceed 25% of the glass area of only one window.
O. 
A common sign may be erected in a parking lot with facilities for more than 40 cars which service a group of attached stores or a professional building. None of the component announcements shall be larger than any of the others, and the total area of the signs shall not exceed 40 square feet. The common sign may be erected as a freestanding sign within the parking lot, provided that it is erected no closer than 10 feet to any property line.
Regulations regarding signs in the LI District shall be as follows:
A. 
No sign shall project above the maximum height of any building or structure on the premises. No rooftop signs shall be permitted.
B. 
Signs may be illuminated where the direct source of light is not visible from any street or residential district, but, in no event, shall flashing or animated signs be permitted.
C. 
There shall be no illumination of any sign between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
D. 
Only two signs, exclusive of directional and other safety signs in parking and loading areas, relating to the operation conducted on the premises, are permitted.
E. 
The following types of signs are permitted:
(1) 
Wall signs may be placed or inscribed upon the facade of a building, showing only the name of the building or its occupant, provided that the sign shall not exceed 10% of the area of the facade on which it is attached. No such sign shall extend more than 12 inches in front of the facade, nor shall the sign be more than three feet in height. The area of the sign shall not exceed 36 square feet.
(2) 
Freestanding signs may be erected to identify the building or its occupants, but, in no event, shall there be more than one sign on the premises. The area of the sign shall not exceed 15 square feet. A sign shall not be located within 20 feet from the curb of a public street or parking area driveway or within 50 feet of a boundary of a residence district and shall in no way interfere with the safe functioning of any traffic control signal or directional device. Freestanding signs shall have a clear space of at least two feet from the lower edge of the sign to ground level and shall not exceed four feet in height including its support above ground.
(3) 
Directional and traffic control signs may be permitted on the premises, provided that they do not exceed six feet in height nor an area of four square feet on each of two sides.
Regulations regarding signs in the LI-2 District are as follows:
A. 
All signs permitted in the LI - District subject to the limitations contained therein.
B. 
Off-premises advertising signs subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in Chapter 290, Zoning.
A. 
Temporary cloth or banner signs when placed on buildings or suspended between buildings on private property shall be permitted only during the opening of a new business or change in ownership or management. The period of time that they may be erected is not to exceed 30 days not more than once in any twelve-month period and shall be removed as soon as torn or damaged.
B. 
Construction signs, promotional signs for condominiums, cooperatives, rentals, etc. shall be subject to the same limits as described in § 168-3D.
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Building Subcode Official or his duly authorized agent to inspect each sign, billboard or outdoor display structure for which a permit is required upon completion of its installation.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the Building Subcode official or his authorized agent to make an inspection of every sign, billboard or other outdoor display structure once each year in order to determine whether they are in a safe condition. The fee for each inspection shall be as set forth in Chapter 123, Fees.
C. 
In the event that the sign, billboard or outdoor display structure is found to be in a dangerous condition, the Building Subcode Official shall notify the owner thereof, in writing, and advise in what manner the owner shall make the structure safe and secure. In case the owner thereof does not comply with the requirements of the Building Subcode Official within 30 days, the permit shall be revoked, the Building Subcode Official shall be obligated to remove the sign, billboard or outdoor display structure and the owner thereof shall be liable to a penalty hereunder provided.
D. 
In case the Building Subcode Official shall be required to remove any sign as herein provided, he shall keep a record of the cost of such removal, and the owner of such sign and the owner of the land shall be jointly and severally liable to the Borough of Leonia therefor.
Any sign not permitted under this chapter is expressly prohibited.
Any person, firm or corporation which shall permit the erection of any sign, billboard or other outdoor display structure in violation of the provisions of this chapter or shall permit the maintenance of such structure in violation of this chapter or shall erect or construct any such structure in violation of the provisions of this chapter or shall neglect or refuse to remove, repair or alter any such structure in accordance with the provisions of this chapter within the time herein provided shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as set forth in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty.