[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant 10-8-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board recognizes the necessity both to preserve the character of the town and to maintain the town's appearance at the highest level. The Board further recognizes that lack of propriety or inconsistencies in the design of signs would adversely affect the desirability of the immediate area as well as surrounding areas. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to control or otherwise regulate the installation, erection and maintenance of all signs defined below within the Town of Mount Pleasant.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any framework, painting, drawing, printing or other configuration which is constructed or affixed upon the exterior of any building or structure or when placed within the interior of any building or structure can be easily viewed from the outside or a freestanding framework, whether permanent or temporary in nature, purporting to indicate the nature of, name of or publicize any service, any organization, any commercial or industrial enterprise or any product which is or may be located, sold or made upon the premises.
No sign shall be constructed except as provided in this chapter.
No sign shall be erected on any property unless a permit has first been obtained from the Building Department as may be required by the provisions of this chapter.
Any sign shall conform to a specific color and shape as determined by the Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance. The applicant shall, upon applying for a permit, submit a rendering of the sign to the Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance, which shall include the size, shape, materials used and color scheme of the sign.
No application for a sign permit shall be processed unless the occupant for whom such sign is intended and the owner of the premises shall join therein. Such application shall be made in writing upon forms provided by the Building Department of the Town of Mount Pleasant. When filing the application, the applicant shall pay the required fee in accordance with the fee schedule then in effect.
No sign for which a permit has been granted hereunder shall be moved, modified or otherwise reconstructed without a new permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
All applications for a permit to erect a sign shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Before granting the permit, the Building Inspector, in addition to the standards set forth in this chapter. shall determine that the proposed sign:
After the installation or erection of a sign, the applicant shall file with the Building Department a photographic print, in color, with the negative of the sign as completely installed.
No sign shall be erected which does not relate to a use located on the property unless a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals is granted after a public hearing thereon.
No part of any sign shall contain banners, posters, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving, fluttering, revolving, flashing or any animated devices, except that trademarks shall be permitted, provided that such are made part of a permitted sign and the area thereof is included in calculating the total permitted sign area allowed under this chapter.
The illumination of any sign shall be arranged to protect public streets adjoining or nearby property from direct glare, nuisance or hazardous interferences therewith. All illuminated signs shall bear the Underwriter's label.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to safety signs, road signs, historical markers and highway directional signs erected by municipal or public agencies.
Traffic directional signs not exceeding three square feet in size shall be permitted on private property without a permit, provided that such signs shall conform to the provisions of this chapter relating to illuminations and shall not cause interference with traffic on public highways.
All nonconforming signs legally existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter shall be allowed to continue in their existing condition. However, should any such sign be altered in any manner, then the provisions of this chapter shall apply.
For single-family or two-family dwellings, a sign not exceeding two square feet indicating only the name and address of occupant and a permitted accessory use shall be allowed. Such sign may be attached to a principal building or may be on a separate support, but in either case shall not project more than eight feet in height above grade, shall not be nearer than 10 feet to any lot line and shall not be illuminated except indirectly. A permit shall not be required for this type of sign.
For multiple dwellings, one sign not exceeding two square feet in area for each building and indicating only the street address shall be allowed. Such sign shall attach to and be parallel to the building, shall not project more than eight feet in height above grade and shall not be illuminated except indirectly.
For multiple-dwelling projects or other residential developments, one sign not exceeding 25 square feet in area indicating only the name of the project or development shall be permitted for each of such. Such sign shall not project more than eight feet above grade, shall not be closer than 10 feet to any lot line and shall not be illuminated except indirectly.
For a convalescent or nursing home, one sign not exceeding four square feet in area, non-flashing and not lighted by exposed tubes, bulbs or other exposed light sources, announcing the name of the convalescent or nursing home, may be permitted facing each public street.
For a hospital or sanatorium, one sign not exceeding 20 square feet in area, not flashing and not lighted by exposed tubes, bulbs or other exposed light sources, announcing the name of the hospital may be permitted facing each public street.
For a farm, no sign other than one facing each public street, announcing the name of the farm and having a total sign area of no more than six square feet, shall be permitted.
For public utility substations, there shall be no signs other than one facing each public street announcing the name or insignia, or both, of the company established on the site. Such a sign shall not exceed 15 square feet in area and shall not extend above the roof or coping of any building. The sign shall not be illuminated by exposed tubes, bulbs or similar exposed light sources. Necessary small direction signs shall be permitted.
No sign shall be greater than 50 square feet in area. No more than one such sign shall be located on the site, except that an accessory restaurant, coffee shop or cafeteria may have one additional sign, but no such additional sign shall be greater than 25 square feet in area. Necessary small direction signs shall be permitted.
Signs shall be erected on separate frameworks and shall comply with all regulations applicable to the height and location of buildings and structures, except that signs may be erected to within 25 feet of the street line.
In addition to the signs permitted above, the Board of Appeals may permit one additional sign, not exceeding 50 square feet in area, located on a wall, roof or chimney of a permitted principal building, provided that such sign shall not extend more than five feet above the level of the roof. A lighted sign shall be so located and designed that it is not visible from any contiguous residence district if within 750 feet thereof, and an unlighted sign shall be so located and designed that it is not visible from any contiguous residence district if within 250 feet thereof. The additional sign may be permitted by the Board only if it can be clearly demonstrated that other permitted signs would not be satisfactory in bringing the presence of the motel to the attention of traffic on the principal roads from which the motel's clients would come and provided that such additional sign would be in general harmony with the district.
No sign shall be erected which would be a nuisance to adjacent residential property, schools or parks. No sign shall be of the flashing type or be illuminated by exposed tubes, bulbs or similar exposed light sources.
For a church or other permitted institution, club or permitted principal use other than dwellings not listed heretofore, one sign not exceeding 20 square feet in area shall be permitted. Such sign shall not be nearer to any lot lines less than 1/2 the required front setback of 20 feet, whichever is greater, shall not project more than eight feet in height above grade and shall not be illuminated except indirectly.
Temporary signs used in connection with the sale, rental or improvement of real property. These signs shall be located on the premises to be sold, rented or improved, shall not exceed, in the case of the sale, rental or improvement of a one- or two-family house or multiple dwelling or commercial building, nine square feet. In the case of a residential or commercial development, said signs shall not exceed one sign of 32 square feet at maximum size or two signs of 16 square feet at a maximum size for each development. For the purpose thereof, a residential subdivision shall be considered a single development. Such signs shall not be illuminated except indirectly and may be erected and installed only after a permit shall have been obtained from the Building Department. The permit shall be valid for a period of 12 months and may be renewed. The signs shall be removed within 48 hours after the time of the sale or rental or completion of the improvement.
Any signs placed or in connection with a commercial or industrial use, including the sale of farm products, conducted in a residential district shall be subject to the provisions hereof relating to signs in commercial and industrial districts, but this shall not be construed to permit any use which would otherwise be prohibited under this chapter.
Commercial and industrial districts.
The following signs may be erected after obtaining a permit from the Building Department:
A single non-flashing sign pertaining to a permitted use and located on the same lot. Such sign shall not have a total sign area greater than one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage, and the aggregate area of all such signs erected or placed upon the building or located on the same lot shall not exceed one square foot in area for each linear foot of building frontage. The sign shall not extend beyond the top of any wall of a building on which displayed, shall not be displayed on a separate structure, shall not project into any required rear or side yard or into the street right-of-way more than six inches and shall not face any side or rear line of an adjoining lot in a residential district.
A single non-flashing sign placed within the interior of the building to be easily seen from the outside and in area covering no more than 20% of the aggregate area of the front windows allocated to such enterprise or in area no greater than one square foot for each linear foot of building frontage.
In no case shall the aggregate area of any sign or signs permitted under Subsection B(l)(a) or (b) exceed 50 square feet.
Signs of the type called "sandwich signs" or any type of sidewalk sign shall not be permitted anywhere at the exterior of a building or business enterprise.
In shopping plazas, each individual store or other enterprise shall be permitted to have one sign of a type permitted under Subsection B(1)(a), (b) or (c). In addition, the shopping plaza may erect a single freestanding sign not exceeding 60 square feet in area identifying the name of the shopping plaza and a directory of the establishment contained therein. Such sign shall be non-flashing, and light sources in any shall not be exposed. Such sign shall be erected only after a special permit has been obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals. For the purposes of this chapter, a "shopping plaza" shall be defined as any complex constructed and otherwise maintained under the provisions of the Use District designated C-PS (Commercial-Planned Shopping) as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Gasoline filling stations or service stations shall be permitted no more than two signs, one of which shall be attached to the front and the other to the side of the building. If located on a corner lot, in lieu of one of the signs a freestanding sign not exceeding 20 square feet carrying the logo of the gasoline or oil company may be allowed, upon application to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit. These signs, exclusive of the freestanding sign, shall conform to the provisions set forth under Subsection B(1)(a) (b) or (c); provided, however, that the top of the sign shall not be higher than six feet above the roof of the building. Such signs shall conform in all other respects to the provisions of this chapter and shall be erected only after a permit has been obtained from the Building Department, provided that, if such signs are proposed for a new gasoline filling or service station, they shall be installed only after a permit is obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Accessory signs. Each of the preceding businesses or enterprises may have the following accessory signs:
Two signs, each not exceeding six square feet in area, indicating or calling attention to traffic entrances and exits, provided that, if illuminated, such illumination shall cease at the close of business hours. Such signs shall not carry any advertisement, shall not be nearer than six feet to any lot line and shall not project more than eight feet in height above grade. All such accessory signs shall require a permit.
One sign not exceeding two square feet in area, indicating only the street address of the property. Such sign shall not project more than eight feet in height above grade and shall not be nearer than 10 feet to any lot line. A permit shall not be required.
In gasoline filling service stations or public garages each fuel pump may carry lettering indicating the brand name and type of fuel dispensed, provided that the lettering or any device carrying the lettering does not extend beyond the width or depth of the pump. In addition, each pump may carry one sign, not to exceed one square foot in size, indicating the price per gallon of the fuel to be dispensed. The obtaining of a permit is not required.
In any use zone designated OBT1 through OB6, and OB-CE, M1 and M2, at each ingress from a public street a freestanding sign, not exceeding 60 square feet in total area and not more than 10 feet in height nor more than 10 feet in width, limited to the name of the development and a listing of the major sections and use areas therein, may be erected; in addition, a freestanding sign, limited to the dimensions listed in the foregoing, may be placed in connection with each ingress to provide directions for visitors to the various businesses or enterprises contained therein. Additional signs not exceeding 40 square feet in area nor more than seven feet in height or width may be placed at each ingress to the various sections or use area located within the site. Each sign shall contain the name of the use area or section and a listing of the occupants therein. For all nonresidential use areas or sections at each ingress to a building site, a sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in area and not more than seven feet in height identifying the occupant or occupants of the building. Directional signs each not exceeding six square feet in area and not more than four feet in height may be placed as required giving the direction to a building, use or group of buildings or parking and loading areas. Temporary non-illuminated real estate and construction signs not exceeding 75 square feet in area and 15 feet in height may be placed on each building site, which signs must be removed from such site no later than 12 months after the issuance of a permanent certificate of occupancy. All signs shall be nonmoving and nonflashing. Light sources, if any, shall not be exposed. Signs shall not extend above the roof or coping of any building. There shall be no advertising signs other than one facing each public street announcing the name or insignia, or both, of the company or companies established on the site. Such a sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in area and shall not extend above the roof or coping of any building. Signs shall not be illuminated by exposed tubes, bulbs or other similar exposed light sources. Necessary small direction signs shall be permitted in locations approved by the Building Department.
One non-illuminated sign, not exceeding 32 square feet in area, denoting the architect, engineer or contractor, may be placed on the premises where construction, repair or renovation is in progress. Such sign shall project no more than 10 feet in height above grade and shall not be nearer than 10 feet to any lot line. Such sign shall require a permit, which permit shall be valid for a period of not more than one year and may thereafter be renewed. Upon completion of the project, the sign shall be removed.
Temporary signs announcing coming events, special sales, contests, civic activities or promotional activities, through the use of devices, banners and decals, etc., may be exhibited only if inside any window area of a building, provided that the aggregate area of such signs, posters or banners does not exceed 50% of the area of the window in which they are exhibited. Such signs shall be removed within 48 hours after the end of such event, sale and civic activity, etc. Neither Board approval nor a permit is required.
Use of town bulletin boards and structures. No sign, poster, drawing, printing or any other configuration shall be posted upon a Town of Mount Pleasant bulletin board or other town maintained structure by any group other than a duly constituted civic, fraternal, religious or educational organization. Information contained on each sign shall relate solely to the civic, fraternal, religious or educational intent of the group. Permission from the Supervisor's office, in writing, must be obtained prior to the posting of the sign, and the organization is required to post a copy of the information contained on the sign with the Superintendent of Recreation prior to posting said sign.
The Zoning Board of Appeals may, in the case of unnecessary hardship or practical difficulty, suspend the provisions of this chapter and may, in the public interest, grant variances therefrom.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both, for each day the violation exists.