Borough of Brooklawn, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Brooklawn 6-13-55. Sections 121-3, 121-4, 121-5 and 121-11 amended at time of adoption of Code; See Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable. Amended in entirety 6-23-1998 by Ord. No. 6-98]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 150.
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise required by the context, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ADVERTISING SIGN
A sign structure which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, activity, or entertainment conducted, sold, or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
AWNING SIGN
A sign that is mounted or painted or affixed to a canopy.
BANNER SIGN
A temporary moving sign composed of light weight material either enclosed or not enclosed in a rigid form secured or mounted so as to allow movement of the sign caused by movement in the atmosphere.
BUILDING SIGN
A sign that is mounted or painted or affixed to the exterior of a building.
BUSINESS SIGN
A sign which directs attention to a business or profession or to a commodity, service or entertainment sold or offered upon the premises where such sign is located.
CANOPY
A roof-like cover, open to the elements on all four sides, which is used to protect outdoor equipment.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
A sign which gives directions to a business or service activity which is not located upon the premises where such sign is erected.
FACADE
The portion of a building exterior extended from grade to top of the parapet wall or eaves and the entire width of the building elevation.
FLASHING SIGN
Any illuminated sign on which such illumination is not kept stationary or constant in intensity and color at all times when such sign is in use.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A pole or pylon sign erected without any attachment to a building or structure.
ILLUMINATED SIGN
Any sign which has characters, figures, designs, or outlines illuminated by electric lights or luminous tubes as a part of the sign.
INDUSTRIAL PARK
A group of industrial, warehouse, and/or office buildings that form a central campus or area that is constructed and managed as one entity.
OFFSITE ADVERTISING SIZE
A business sign or billboard advertising a product or service not sold or available on the property on which it is situated.
PERSON
Includes corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, and partnerships as well as individuals.
RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT, COMMERCIAL DISTRICT, SHOPPING CENTER DISTRICT, LIGHT INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT, and Park/Playground District
Shall have the same meaning as such terms have under the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Brooklawn, as amended and supplemented.
ROTATING SIGN
A sign, any part of which rotates or revolves on its axis by mechanical means.
ROOF
The exterior covering on the top of a building.
SHOPPING CENTER
A group of stores that form a central retail area that is constructed and managed as one entity.
SIGN
A name, identification, description, display, illustration, or device which is affixed to or represented directly or indirectly upon a building, structure, or land in view of the general public and which directs attention to a product, place, activity, person, institution, or business.
SURFACE AREA OF SIGN
The entire area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of the actual sign surface. It does not include any structural elements outside the limits of such sign and not forming an integral part of the display. Only one side of a double-face sign structure shall be used in computing total surface area.
WINDOW SIGN
A sign that is affixed to the interior or exterior of a window or located so that it can be seen from the exterior of the building through the window.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A business sign to be used for a limited period of time and posted upon the exterior or interior of a display window or main entrance door, or a sign pertaining to the lease or sale of the real estate on which said sign is situated.
YARD
An open space that lies between the principal building and the nearest lot line.
YARD, FRONT
A yard across the full width of the lot, extending from the front line of the building to the front line of lot, except as otherwise provided herein. A comer lot is a lot containing frontage on two adjacent streets and shall be considered as having two front yards.
YARD, REAR
A yard across the full width of the lot, extending from the rear line of the building to the rear line of the lot. Only one rear yard for a comer lot shall be provided and determined by the applicant.
YARD, SIDE
A yard between the side line of the building and the adjacent sideline of the lot, extending from the front yard to the rear yard. If there is no front yard, the “side yard” shall be considered as extending to the front line of the lot, and if there is no rear yard, the “side yard” shall be considered as extending to the rear line of the lot. Only one side yard for a comer lot shall be provided and determined by the applicant.
No sign shall hereafter be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, or relocated within the Borough except as provided in this chapter and until a permit for the same has been issued by the Borough Clerk following approval by the Zoning Officer of an application for such permit and the payment to the Borough Clerk of an application fee of $25. Illuminated signs shall require an electrical permit from the Construction Code Official, as required by the BOCA Code .
No application for a permit to construct, alter, repair, or relocate a sign within the Borough shall be approved for the following:
A. 
No sign shall obstruct any window, door, fire escape, stairway, or opening intended to provide light, air, ingress or egress for any building or structure.
B. 
No sign shall resemble any official marker erected by a governmental unit or display such words as ” stop” or” danger” .
C. 
No signs shall be externally illuminated and shall not give off intermittent or rotating beams, strobe lights, or shine upon any part of a residence and or commercial building.
[Amended 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 5-17; 7-10-2017 by Ord. No. 14-17]
(1) 
In Block 101, Lots 2,3,5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, no signs shall give off intermittent or rotating beams, strobe lights, or shine upon any part of a residence and or commercial building.
D. 
If a sign in direct line of vision of any traffic signal, from any point in the traffic lane from a position opposite or near sidewalk line to a position one-hundred-fifty-foot before said sidewalk line, shall not have red, green, or amber illumination.
E. 
No sign other than traffic or official signs shall be erected within or project over the right-of-way of any public street or sidewalk.
F. 
No sign shall be erected that is a mobile sign, rotating sign, bench sign, vehicle sign, animated sign, or signs that emit smoke and/or noise. No moving signs shall be permitted that are displayed for attention getting purposes such as banners, pennants, and/or streamers, except where the Zoning Officer shall grant temporary approval.
G. 
No sign shall be attached to a utility pole, electric light pole, or on any natural elements, such as trees and rocks.
H. 
Off-site advertising signs.
I. 
“A” frame signs, except for those that are stored inside a building each night.
J. 
Changeable copy signs, except for those permanent signs advertising special events and programs for schools, churches, theatres, taverns, and bowling centers and prices for gas stations and fruit stands.
K. 
Political signs, except those attached to buildings or displayed in windows and doors.
L. 
No roof signs shall be permitted and no sign shall project above the main cornice of the building to which the sign is affixed.
M. 
Vehicles displaying the advertisement of a store or stores shall not be visible from the street.
[Amended 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 5-17; 7-10-2017 by Ord. No. 14-17]
A. 
That said sign will be of substantial, workmanlike design and construction and securely anchored in position.
B. 
That the written permission of the owner of the property on which the sign is to be or has been erected has been filed with the Borough Clerk.
C. 
Area of signs.
(1) 
Signs in A Residential Districts. In residential districts, no signs shall be permitted except the following:
(a) 
One nameplate not more than two square feet in area bearing the name and profession or home occupation of a person residing on the premises.
(b) 
One temporary sign not exceeding six square feet in area pertaining to the lease or sale of the lot or building on which it is placed.
(c) 
A sign or bulletin board not exceeding 12 square feet in area erected upon the premises of a church or other nonprofit institution for the purpose of displaying the name and activities thereof or the services therein provided. Any sign or nameplate permitted by this subsection shall be at least 15 feet back from the curbline or five feet back from the street line if there is no curb. The maximum height of any sign shall be eight feet.
(2) 
Signs in B Commercial Districts. In commercial districts, no signs shall be permitted except the following:
(a) 
Signs permitted in the A Residential Districts.
(b) 
A commercial establishment may have one sign located on or attached to the principal facade of said commercial building on each street frontage. The sign shall not project more than six inches beyond the building line. The sign shall not exceed either 15% of the principal facade area, including window and door area on which or in front of which they are displayed, or 40 square feet, whichever is smaller.
[1] 
In Block 101, Lots 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, a commercial establishment may have one sign located on or attached to the principal facade of said commercial building on each street frontage. If a building entrance does not face the site frontage, a sign may be attached to the facade above the entrance, provided that the total number of wall signs does not exceed the total number of street frontages. The sign shall not project more than six inches beyond the building line. The sign shall not exceed either 20% of the principal facade area, including window and door area on which or in front of which they are displayed, or 80 square feet, whichever is smaller.
(c) 
One freestanding sign may be installed for each street frontage with a maximum of two signs that contains direct vehicular access from that street. The sign shall be no larger than one square foot of sign per two linear front footage of building with a maximum of 50 square feet. The sign shall not exceed a height of 25 feet nor be lower than a height of six feet from grade level. A freestanding business sign shall be located in the front yard and shall not be closer to the side yard lot lines than the required side yard.
[1] 
In Block 101, Lots 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, one freestanding sign may be installed for each street frontage with a maximum of two signs that contains direct vehicular access from that street. The sign shall be no larger than one square foot of sign per two linear feet of lot frontage with a maximum of 100 square feet. The sign shall not exceed a height of 25 feet. A freestanding business sign shall be located in the front yard and shall not be closer to the side yard lot lines than the required side yard.
(d) 
The area on one side of a directional sign shall not exceed 32 square feet. Directional signs shall not contain advertising and may be installed only on the lot to which it relates. The maximum height of the bottom of a directional sign shall be three feet. The number of directional signs shall not exceed the number of approved entrances and exits.
[1] 
In Block 101, Lots 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, the area on one side of a directional sign shall not exceed 32 square feet. Directional signs shall not contain advertising, aside from a commercial logo or advertising symbol, and may be installed only on the lot to which it relates. The maximum height of the bottom of a directional sign shall be three feet. The number of directional signs shall not exceed the number of approved entrances and exits.
(e) 
Awning signs. Awning signs shall not be used in conjunction with wall signs. The area of the awning sign shall not exceed 20% of the entire portion of the building covered by the awning in its extended position and shall not be larger than the area permitted for a wall sign.
(f) 
Canopy sign. Canopy signs are permitted only in conjunction with gasoline stations where the canopy is used to provide cover for outdoor equipment. No more than one canopy sign shall occur in any yard area. The area of the sign shall not exceed 50% of the canopy face or 50 square feet, whichever is less.
[1] 
In Block 101, Lots 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, canopy signs are permitted only in conjunction with gasoline stations where the canopy is used to provide cover for outdoor equipment. A maximum of two canopy signs shall be permitted. The canopy signs shall be no wider than the width of the canopy, have a maximum area of 50 square feet, and be located on, under, or on the side of the canopy. Additionally, commercial logos and/or advertising symbols shall be permitted on the fuel pumps.
(g) 
Window sign. The total area of window signs for any single enterprise shall not exceed 25% of the window area.
(3) 
Signs in D Shopping Center and C Light Industrial Districts. In these districts, no signs shall be permitted except for the following:
(a) 
Any sign permitted in the A Residential and B Commercial districts.
(b) 
A shopping center or industrial park may erect one freestanding sign for the purpose of identifying the site as a shopping center or other commercial or professional use. Such a sign shall be no larger than 100 square feet. The sign shall not exceed a height of 25 feet nor be lower than eight feet from grade level. The freestanding sign shall be located in the front yard and shall not be closer to the side yard lot lines than the required side yard.
(c) 
An individual commercial or industrial establishment located on an individual parcel may erect one freestanding sign for the purpose of identifying the site as a shopping center or other commercial or professional use. Such a sign shall be no larger than 100 square feet. The sign shall not exceed a height of 25 feet. The freestanding sign shall be located in the front yard and shall not be closer to the side yard lot lines than the required side yard.
(4) 
Signs in E Park/Playground Districts. In park/playground districts, no signs shall be permitted except those approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(5) 
Temporary signs. Temporary signs shall not be considered in computing allowable sign areas, provided that temporary signs shall not exceed 12 square feet. Signs should be removed within 30 days or, for construction signs, after the completion of all work on the property. No more than one sign shall be erected on each street that the property fronts.
(6) 
Real estate signs. One real estate sign shall be permitted per lot and shall be removed immediately upon the completion of the signing of an agreement of sale or rental. The maximum dimensions of a real estate sign shall be six square feet. The height of the sign above the ground shall not exceed five feet. The sign shall not be illuminated.
(7) 
Illuminated signs. In Block 101, Lots 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Brooklawn Redevelopment Area only, wall signs, freestanding signs, instructional signs, awning signs and canopy signs may be internally or externally illuminated. LED lighting may be permitted for fuel pricing.
Immediately upon issuing a permit under this chapter, the Borough Clerk shall notify the Construction Code Official of such issuance, and it shall be the duty of the Construction Code Official to determine, upon completion of the work authorized by said permit, whether the terms thereof and the terms of this chapter have been observed.
Upon a finding that a violation exists, the Construction Code Official shall give written notice to the holder of said permit and the owner of the property in question to correct such violation or, in lieu thereof, to remove said sign within five days from the date of service of such notice. Upon a failure of compliance with such notice, the Construction Code Official shall proceed to remove the sign in question at the joint or several expense of the holder of the permit and the owner of the property .
A. 
Every sign within the Borough, together with its supports, braces, guys, and anchors, shall be kept in repair and in a proper state of preservation. The Construction Code Official may order the repair or removal of any sign not maintained in accordance with this section, at the joint, or several expense of the owner of the sign and the owner of the property, utilizing the procedures outlined in the preceding section.
B. 
Permanent business, building, advertising, and directional signs shall be kept in good condition and shall be repainted, reconstructed, repaired, removed or painted out whenever, by wear and tear due to the action of the elements, vandalism, mischief or defacement, more than twenty percent (20%) of the surface area of the sign has become illegible. Should any owner or lessee fail or refuse to repaint or reconstruct, repair or paint out such signs within 30 days after receiving notice from the governing body, such owner or lessee shall have no right to paint, construct, post or in any other manner make any new signs without first securing a permit for same as a non business sign.
A permit shall not be required for the following types of signs, which shall be subject, however, to the provisions of § 121-5:
A. 
Temporary signs conforming to the requirements of the particular district as to location, size and type.
B. 
Signs erected or maintained prior to the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the terms of this chapter and fall within the category of a nonconforming use or structure may be continued, without enlargement or extension, for such period of time as may be allowed by law or ordinance pertaining to zoning.
C. 
Traffic signs, signs necessary to public safety or welfare, signs posted or erected by public authority and legal advertisements required by law to be posted or displayed.
D. 
Historical markers, official signs, political signs, temporary yard or garage sale signs, temporary real estate signs, and signs of contractors, mechanics, and painters.
E. 
Signs prohibiting or otherwise controlling trespassing, swimming, fishing, and/or hunting shall be limited to one sign for each fifty (50) feet of street frontage and limited to one square foot per sign.
Each sign for which a permit is issued shall have displayed at the upper portion of said sign, in legible numerals two inches high, the number of such permit. The construction and erection of all signs and the issuance of permits therefore shall be under and subject to the provisions of the Building Code of the Borough of Brooklawn as amended and supplemented, but this chapter shall supersede said Building Code with respect to areas wherein signs are erected or to be erected, their location, size, type, illumination, and all characteristics thereof which shall relate to the subject of zoning.
No person shall nail, tack, paste, or in any manner attach or cause to be attached any sign, notice, advertisement, or any poster to a telephone pole or electric light pole, or to any tree along the street or sidewalk, or to any vacant building, wall or fence, without the written permission of the owner of such utility pole, tree, building, wall or fence, and then only upon issuance of a permit by the Borough Clerk following approval by the Board of Adjustment of an application for such permit, but no such permit shall be issued to any person not a bona fide educational, veteran, religious, political, charitable, or civic organization not operated for profit or a public utility.
These regulations shall be in all respects subject to such powers as may be exercised by the Board of Adjustment by law and the Zoning Ordinance in respect to the granting of variances or exceptions.
Every person owning or maintaining an advertising structure shall take away and remove all old posters and other debris and shall not permit the debris to remain on the street or upon the lot.
A. 
Every permit and license number issued under this Article shall be revocable any time on written notice given by the Construction Code Official.
B. 
Every sign on such revocation shall be removed within three days of written notice to the person who has erected the sign or who is maintaining the site.
C. 
Licenses issued under this article shall not be transferable.
D. 
In case of failure to do so, the Zoning Officer shall remove the sign at any time after the three day period has expired, at the expense of the person who erected or who is then maintaining such sign, device and/or structure.
E. 
Any sign that has been abandoned due to abandonment of the property or use in question, shall be removed. The Zoning Officer shall have the authority to order the sign be removed upon notice.
For each and every violation of the provisions contained in this chapter, the person or persons, firm or corporation so violating the same shall, for each and every violation, be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or a jail term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day that the violation continues may be construed as a separate and specific violation of this chapter .