Town of Putnam Valley, NY
Putnam County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
All signs shall be safe, secure and shall not pose a hazard to the public or block any sight distances.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following signs:
A. 
Signs of or required by a duly constituted governmental body or its agency where such signs are established in the interest of the safety, convenience or welfare of the general public, including traffic signs and legal notices.
B. 
One bulletin board not exceeding 15 square feet in area for a public, charitable or religious institution, when it is located on the premises of such institution.
C. 
Memorial plaques, cornerstones or historic tablets that are cut into the masonry surface or that are of a permanent type and made an integral part of the structure.
D. 
Residential identification signs designating name and house number, not exceeding two square feet in area.
E. 
Lettering on marquees denoting the attraction, film or exhibit being shown or to be shown by or in a theater containing the marquee.
F. 
"No trespassing," "posted" and "private drive" signs.
G. 
Signs not exceeding three square feet in area, identifying historic properties.
[Added 3-21-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
In order to maintain the character of residential zoning districts, the following sign restrictions shall apply:
A. 
No sign shall be permitted that advertises any business or commercial activity unless it is a permitted or specially permitted use on the premises and is carried out on the premises. No sign shall be permitted on a lot where there is no residence.
B. 
In the case of a permitted home office or occupation, or specially permitted home business or trade, only one sign, whether designating a business or otherwise, shall be permitted for any single dwelling, and that sign shall not exceed two square feet in size. Where there are two or more units in a dwelling, no sign may exceed one square foot in area.
C. 
No part of any sign shall be placed within two feet of any property boundary. Mailbox signs identifying the house number and occupant of the lot and signs identifying historic properties are exempt from this regulation.
[Amended 3-21-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
D. 
The source of illumination for signs shall be oriented or shielded so that it is not visible from any residence.
E. 
Subdivision identification signs shall designate the subdivision by name or symbol only. There may be no more than one such sign with a maximum total area of 12 square feet at each street entrance to the subdivision.
F. 
Any sign for a special permitted use in a residential area that is in excess of two square feet in area shall not be erected unless a variance has been granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The special use permit shall terminate with the transfer of the property to a new owner or with a change of use, and such sign shall be removed within 30 days thereafter.
The following provisions are intended to prevent sign clutter and to contribute to the public safety, aesthetics and economic vitality of the CN, CC-1, CC-2 and PC districts.
A. 
Maximum sign area.
[Amended 9-19-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(1) 
On a building lot improved or to be improved with one or more commercial buildings, there shall be allowed for each such building one square foot of wall signage for each linear foot of building frontage, to a maximum of 80 square feet of wall signage per building. No single wall sign shall exceed 12 square feet in area.
(2) 
On a building lot improved or to be improved with one or more commercial buildings, which lot fronts or two or more streets or vehicular rights-of-way, the total allowable wall signage referenced in Subsection A(1) above may be increased by up to 50%.
(3) 
Each building lot improved or to be improved by one or more commercial buildings shall be permitted to have one two-sided freestanding sign, neither of which side shall exceed 12 square feet in area. Building lots described in Subsection A(2) above shall be permitted to have one such freestanding sign for each such street or right-of-way frontage, provided that each such frontage has an approved driveway access.
B. 
In no case shall a sign in a nonresidential district exceed 25% of the total area of the wall on the side of the structure on which such sign is to be placed.
C. 
All signs shall pertain only to goods sold, services rendered and establishments, enterprises, activities, persons, organizations and facilities on the lot where the sign is located. When the sale of such goods or the rendering of such services on the lot is terminated or when the establishment, enterprise, activity, person, organization or facility on such lot is moved, discontinued or otherwise terminated, all signs pertaining thereto shall be removed within 90 days after such termination.
D. 
No sign shall be located within a public right-of-way or project horizontally into a public right-of-way.
E. 
No sign shall be displayed which endangers traffic or pedestrians, causes confusion with official street signs or signals, obstructs the window of any door, ventilation system, fire escape or exit, or causes any other hazard to the public health and safety.
F. 
A variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals shall become invalid with a change of use.
G. 
Illumination.
(1) 
Illumination shall be only from indirect light sources which create no glare in the street or adjoining properties.
(2) 
Flashing, intermittent, changing intensity or other such forms of illumination shall be prohibited with the exception of signs which alternate temperature and time message.
H. 
No sign shall extend more than two feet beyond the face of a building, beyond the extension of a straight line of any face of the building, nor shall any freestanding sign be placed higher than the roof of the principal building on the premises.
I. 
Gasoline service stations shall be permitted two additional signs, not exceeding a total area of 12 square feet or six square feet per side, if located on the pump island, or set no closer than 10 feet from the edge of the pavement, so as not to impair visibility for pedestrians or motorists.
Temporary signs, which call attention to a single activity or event for a limited period of time, may be displayed as follows, provided that all requirements listed below are met.
A. 
Political signs, which are designed to influence the action of voters for the passage or defeat of a measure or the election of a candidate or candidates to public office, shall be permitted as follows:
(1) 
Such signs shall be placed on private property with consent of the owner thereof.
(2) 
Such signs shall be removed within five days after the voting is concluded.
(3) 
Signs shall not exceed 32 square feet in area.
(4) 
Political signs shall not be illuminated in any residential zoning district.
B. 
Signs advertising flea markets and garage sales. Any sign advertising a flea market, garage sale, barn sale, tag sale, or the like shall not be posted more than 10 days before the event it advertises and shall be removed within two days following the event.
C. 
Construction signs denoting the architect, engineer or contractor.
(1) 
Construction signs shall be limited to one, relating to the project, and shall not exceed four square feet in area.
(2) 
Construction signs shall not be placed within a distance of 10 feet from a property line and shall not exceed six feet in height above ground level.
(3) 
Construction signs shall be removed within 30 days of completion of the services.
D. 
Real estate signs advertising the sale, rental or lease of a property.
(1) 
Real estate signs shall be limited to one for a single property and shall not exceed six square feet in area in a residential zone or 12 square feet in a nonresidential zone.
(2) 
Real estate signs shall be removed from a property within 30 days after its sale, rental or lease.
E. 
Temporary window signs hung or affixed inside or outside windows.
(1) 
Temporary signs painted on a window pane or hung or otherwise affixed directly inside a window for the purpose of identifying the premises or advertising "specials" shall not exceed in area 25% of the area of the window in which they are displayed.
(2) 
Such signs displayed longer than 30 days shall be considered permanent and shall be required to conform to all requirements for permanent signs.
F. 
Portable signs.
(1) 
A new business, or a business in a new location, awaiting installation of a permanent sign, may utilize a portable sign for a period of not more than 60 days or until installation of a permanent sign, whichever comes first.
(2) 
A portable sign used on a regular basis to advertise sales, specials or items of interest shall be safe, secure and shall not pose a hazard to, or interfere with, the safe passage of the public. Such signs shall not exceed four feet in width nor five feet in height and shall be kept indoors during nonbusiness hours.
Directional signs are those limited to providing information for the convenience of the public, including indications as to the locations of exits, entrances and parking lots.
A. 
For a single residence or business.
(1) 
Directional signs for a single residence or business establishment shall not exceed six inches in height, 36 inches in length or one inch in thickness.
(2) 
No signs shall be displayed which endangers traffic or pedestrians, causes confusion with official street signs, causes any other hazard to public health and safety or contributes unnecessarily to visual sign clutter.
(3) 
The number and location of directional signs for individual establishments shall be under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Highways.
(4) 
No off-premises directional sign shall be placed on any premises without the permission of the owner.
B. 
For multiple residences and businesses.
(1) 
Off-premises directional signs for two or more businesses in the same area may be permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals if such signs will promote public safety without a negative visual impact, provided that the owner of the premises where the directional signs are to appear has given permission.
(2) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall approve the placement, size and design of such off-premises directional signs.
Directories for residential or commercial structures with multiple occupants shall conform to the following:
A. 
A directory outside a building to identify multiple occupants shall have site plan or development plan approval from the Planning Board.
B. 
A freestanding directory may be permitted in addition to a directory on the facade of the structure.
C. 
The Planning Board shall adhere to the intent of this chapter with respect to design, location and size in issuing an approval; however, strict adherence to total area limitations of signs need not be observed for directories with multiple listings.
D. 
All directories placed outside of a building to identify multiple occupants shall prominently display the number of the street address of the building.
Any nonconforming permanent sign that was conforming prior to the adoption of this chapter may remain in its current size, until or unless there is a change in use of the premises.
If any sign is found by the Code Enforcement Officer to be unused, abandoned, unsafe, insecure or hazardous, it shall be removed within 14 days of a notice of violation by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall not be replaced unless a variance shall have been granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.