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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 1-9-2019 by Ord. No. 5666]
Any sign erected, altered, or maintained after the effective date of this article shall conform to the following regulations.
Signs perform an important function in identifying and promoting properties, businesses, services, residences, events, and other matters of interest to the public. The intent of this article is to regulate all signs within the City of Easton to ensure that they are appropriate for their respective uses, in keeping with the appearance of the affected property and surrounding environment, and protective of the public health, safety, general welfare by:
A. 
Setting standards that permit reasonable use of signs and preserve the character of the City of Easton.
B. 
Avoiding excessive conflicts from large or multiple signs, so that permitted signs provide adequate identification and direction while minimizing clutter, and confusion.
C. 
Establishing a process for the review and approval of sign permit applications.
Words and terms used in this article shall have the meanings given in this article. Unless expressly stated otherwise, any pertinent word or term not part of this listing but vital to the interpretation of this article, shall be construed to have their legal definition.
ABANDONED SIGN
A sign which has not identified or advertised a current business, service, owner, product, or activity for a period of at least 60 days, in the case of off-premises signs, or at least 30 days in the case of on-premises signs.
ADDRESS SIGN
A sign that designates the street number and/or street name for identification purposes, as designated by the United States Postal Service. (Also known as: nameplate sign.)
ANIMATED SIGN
A sign depicting action, motion, or light or color changes through electrical or mechanical means.
AWNING
A cloth, plastic, or other nonstructural covering that projects from a wall for the purpose of shielding a doorway or window. An awning is either permanently attached to a building or can be raised or retracted to a position against the building when not in use.
AWNING SIGN
Any sign painted on, or applied to, an awning.
BANNER
Any cloth, bunting, plastic, paper, or similar nonrigid material attached to any structure, staff, pole, rope, wire, or framing which is anchored on two or more edges or at all four corners. Banners are temporary in nature and do not include flags.
BUILDING FRONTAGE
The maximum linear width of a building measured in a single straight line parallel, or essentially parallel, with the abutting public street or parking lot.
CANOPY
A structure other than an awning made of fabric, metal, or other material that is supported by columns or posts affixed to the ground and may also be connected to a building.
CANOPY SIGN
Any sign that is part of, or attached to a canopy.
CLEARANCE
The distance above the walkway, or other surface if specified, to the bottom edge of a sign. This term can also refer to a horizontal distance between two objects.
DIGITAL DISPLAY
The portion of a sign message made up of internally illuminated components capable of changing the message periodically. Digital displays may include but are not limited to LCD, LED, or plasma displays. Digital displays shall only be permitted on off-premises signs in the Expressway Transitional Zone.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
Signs designed to provide direction to pedestrian and vehicular traffic into and out of, or within a site.
FLAG
Any sign printed or painted on cloth, plastic, canvas, or other like material with distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols attached to a pole or staff and anchored along only one edge or supported or anchored at only two corners.
FLASHING SIGN
A sign whose artificial illumination is not kept constant in intensity at all times when in use and which exhibits changes in light, color, direction, or animation. This definition does not include electronic message centers signs or digital displays that meet the requirements set forth herein.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign supported by structures or supports that are placed on, or anchored in, the ground; and that is independent and detached from any other building or other structure. The following are subtypes of freestanding signs:
A. 
A sign permanently affixed to the ground at its base, supported entirely by a base structure, and not mounted on a pole or attached to any part of another building. (Also known as monument sign.)
B. 
A freestanding sign that is permanently supported in a fixed location by a structure of one or more poles, posts, uprights, or braces from the ground and not supported by a building or a base structure.
GAS STATION CANOPY
A freestanding, open-air structure constructed for the purpose of shielding service station islands from the elements.
GAS STATION CANOPY SIGN
Any sign that is part of, or attached to, the vertical sides of the gas station canopy roof structure. For the purposes of this article, gas station canopy signs shall be considered wall signs.
GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY SIGN
Any sign for the control of traffic or for identification purposes, street signs, warning signs, railroad crossing signs, and signs of public service companies indicating danger or construction, which are erected by or at the order of a public officer, employee or agent thereof, in the discharge of official duties.
HOLIDAY DECORATIONS
Signs or displays including lighting which are a non-permanent installation celebrating national, state, and local holidays, religious or cultural holidays, or other holiday seasons. (Also known as seasonal decorations.)
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign with electrical equipment installed for illumination, either internally illuminated through its sign face by a light source contained inside the sign or externally illuminated by a light source aimed at its surface.
ILLUMINATION
A source of any artificial or reflected light, either directly from a source of light incorporated in, or indirectly from an artificial source.
A. 
Artificial light, located away from the sign, which lights the sign, the source of which may or may not be visible to persons viewing the sign from any street, sidewalk, or adjacent property.
B. 
A light source that is concealed or contained within the sign and becomes visible in darkness through a translucent surface. Message center signs, digital displays, and signs incorporating neon lighting shall not be considered internal illumination for the purposes of this article.
C. 
A sign using a three-dimensional message, logo, etc., which is lit in such a way as to produce a halo effect. (Also known as back-lit illumination.)
INCIDENTAL SIGN
A sign that displays general site information, instructions, directives, or restrictions that are primarily oriented to pedestrians and motor vehicle operators who have entered a property from a public street. These signs shall not contain any commercial advertising.
INCIDENTAL WINDOW SIGN
Signs displayed in the window displaying information such as the business' hours of operation, credit institutions accepted, commercial and civic affiliations, and similar information. These signs shall be informational only and shall not contain a commercial message.
INFLATABLE SIGN
A sign that is an air-inflated object, which may be of various shapes, made of flexible fabric, resting on the ground or structure and that may be equipped with a portable blower motor that provides air into the device.
INTERACTIVE SIGN
An electronic or animated sign that reacts to the behavior or electronic signals of motor vehicle drivers.
LIMITED DURATION SIGN
A nonpermanent sign that is displayed on private property for more than 30 days, but not intended to be displayed for an indefinite period.
MANUAL CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A sign or portion thereof on which the copy or symbols are changed manually through placement or drawing of letters or symbols on a sign face.
MARQUEE
A permanent structure, other than a roof or canopy, attached to, supported by, and projecting from a building and providing protection from the elements.
MARQUEE SIGN
Any sign attached to a marquee for the purpose of identifying a use or product. If attached to a theater, performing arts center, cinema, or other similar use, it may also advertise films or productions.
MECHANICAL MOVEMENT SIGN
A sign having parts that physically move rather than merely appear to move as might be found in a digital display. The physical movement may be activated electronically or by another means, but shall not include wind-activated movement such as used for banners or flags. Mechanical movement signs do not include digital signs that have changeable, programmable displays.
MENU SIGN
A permanent sign for displaying the bill of fare available at a restaurant, or other use serving food, or beverages.
MESSAGE CENTER SIGN
A type of illuminated, changeable copy sign that consists of electronically changing alphanumeric text often used for gas price display signs and athletic scoreboards.
MESSAGE SEQUENCING
The spreading of one message across more than one sign structure.
MURAL (or MURAL SIGN)
A large picture/image (including but not limited to painted art) which is painted, constructed, or affixed directly onto a vertical building wall, which may or may not contain text, logos, and/or symbols.
NEON SIGN
A sign illuminated by a neon tube, or other visible light-emanating gas tube, that is bent to form letters, symbols, or other graphics.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
A sign that was legally erected and maintained at the effective date of this article, or amendment thereto, that does not currently comply with sign regulations of the district in which it is located.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN
An outdoor sign whose message directs attention to a specific business, product, service, event or activity, or other commercial or noncommercial activity, or contains a noncommercial message about something that is not sold, produced, manufactured, furnished, or conducted on the premises upon which the sign is located. (Also known as a third-party sign, billboard, or outdoor advertising.)
ON-PREMISES SIGN
A sign whose message and design relate to an individual business, profession, product, service, event, point of view, or other commercial or noncommercial activity sold, offered, or conducted on the same property where the sign is located.
PENNANT
A triangular or irregular piece of fabric or other material, commonly attached in strings or strands, or supported on small poles intended to flap in the wind.
PERSONAL EXPRESSION SIGN
An on-premises sign that expresses an opinion, interest, or position.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign designed to be transported or moved and not permanently attached to the ground, a building, or other structure.
A. 
A type of freestanding, portable, temporary sign consisting of two faces connected and hinged at the top and whose message is targeted to pedestrians. (Also known as A-frame sign.)
B. 
A sign affixed to a vehicle in such a manner that the sign is used primarily as a stationary advertisement for the business on which the vehicle sits or is otherwise not incidental to the vehicle's primary purpose.
PROJECTING SIGN
A building-mounted, double-sided sign with the two faces generally perpendicular to the building wall, not to include signs located on a canopy, awning, or marquee. (Also known as blade sign.)
PUBLIC SIGN
A sign erected or required by government agencies or utilities, including traffic, utility, safety, railroad crossing, and identification signs for public facilities.
REFLECTIVE SIGN
A sign containing any material or device which has the effect of intensifying reflected light.
REVOLVING SIGN
A sign which revolves in a circular motion; rather than remaining stationary on its supporting structure.
ROOF SIGN
A building-mounted sign erected upon, against, or over the roof of a building.
SIGN
Any device, structure, fixture, painting, emblem, or visual that uses words, graphics, colors, illumination, symbols, numbers, or letters for the purpose of communicating a message. Sign includes the sign faces as well as any sign supporting structure.
SNIPE SIGN
A sign tacked, nailed, posted, pasted, glued, or otherwise attached to trees, poles, stakes, fences, public benches, streetlights, or other objects, or placed on any public property or in the public right-of-way or on any private property without the permission of the property owner. (Also known as bandit sign.)
STREAMERS
A display made of lightweight, flexible materials, consisting of long, narrow, wavy strips hung individually or in a series, with or without a logo or advertising message printed or painted on them and typically designed to move in the wind.
STREET POLE BANNER
A banner suspended above a public sidewalk and attached to a single street pole.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A type of nonpermanent sign that is located on private property that can be displayed for no more than 30 consecutive days at one time. These include, but are not limited to, a lawn sign promoting a particular candidate for an election, or advertising a sale or promotion at a retail establishment.
VENDING MACHINE SIGN
A sign displayed on a vending machine indicating the name of the product being sold and/or the price of such product.
WALL SIGN
A building-mounted sign which is either attached to, displayed on, or painted on an exterior wall in a manner parallel with the wall surface. A sign installed on a false or mansard roof is also considered a wall sign. (Also known as: fascia sign, parallel wall sign, or band sign.)
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign that is applied, painted, or affixed to a window, or placed inside a window, facing the outside of the building, and easily seen from the outside. Customary displays of merchandise or objects and material without lettering behind a store window are not considered signs.
The following signs are unlawful and prohibited:
A. 
Abandoned signs.
B. 
Snipe signs. Signs shall only be attached to utility poles in conformance with state and utility regulations and the requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Vehicular signs. This regulation does not include the use of business logos, identification or advertising on vehicles primarily and actively used for business purposes and/or personal transportation.
D. 
Mechanical movement signs, including revolving signs.
E. 
Pennant strings and streamers.
F. 
Animated signs, flashing signs, or signs that scroll or flash text or graphics.
G. 
Digital display signs, except when used as permitted off-premises signs.
H. 
Inflatable devices or balloon signs, with the exception of balloons used in temporary, noncommercial situations.
I. 
Any signs that imitate, resemble, interfere with, or obstruct official traffic lights, signs, or signals.
J. 
Signs which prevent free ingress or egress from any door, window, fire escape, or that prevent free access from one part of a roof to any other part. No sign other than a safety sign shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape.
K. 
Signs which emit smoke, visible vapors, particulate matter, sound, odor or contain open flames.
L. 
Reflective signs or signs containing mirrors.
M. 
Interactive signs.
N. 
Any banner or sign of any type suspended across a public street, without the approval of City Council.
O. 
Roof signs.
P. 
Signs erected without the permission of the property owner, with the exception of those authorized or required by local, state, or federal government.
Q. 
Any sign containing information which states or implies that a property may be used for any purpose not permitted under the provisions of the City of Easton's Zoning Ordinance.
R. 
Signs that exhibit statements, words, or pictures of obscene or pornographic subjects as determined by the City of Easton.
S. 
Any sign that promotes illegal activity.
T. 
Internally or externally illuminated vending machine signs.
U. 
Internal illumination signs.
V. 
Neon signs and LEDs that mimic neon.
The following signs shall be allowed without a sign permit and shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of permanent signs allowed within a zoning district, provided such signs comply with the regulations in this section, if any.
A. 
Official traffic signs.
B. 
Government/regulatory signs.
C. 
Signs inside a building, or other enclosed facility, which are not meant to be viewed from the outside, and are located greater than three feet from the window.
D. 
Holiday and seasonal decorations.
E. 
Personal expression signs of any sign type provided that they are not illuminated. Personal expression signs shall follow the requirements of § 595-199.
F. 
Address signs. Up to two signs stating address, number and/or name of occupants of the premises and do not include any commercial advertising or other identification.
G. 
Public signs. Signs erected or required by government agencies or utilities, including traffic, utility, safety, railroad crossing, and identification or directional signs for public facilities.
H. 
Signs or emblems of a religious, civil, philanthropic, historical or educational organization that do not to exceed four square feet in area.
I. 
Flags.
J. 
Legal notices.
K. 
Memorial signs, public monument or historical identification sign erected by the City of Easton, including plaque signs.
L. 
Signs which are a permanent architectural feature of a building or structure, existing at the time of adoption of this article.
M. 
Incidental signs, including incidental window signs which both are non-digital. These signs shall not exceed more than five square feet in total area.
N. 
Directional signs, provided they do not contain any commercial messaging.
O. 
Art and murals, provided such signs do not contain any commercial messaging.
P. 
Temporary signs.
A. 
Wall signs.
(1) 
No portion of a wall sign shall be mounted less than eight feet above the finished grade or extend out more than 12 inches from the building wall on which it is affixed.
(2) 
No such sign shall be located within one foot from a side property line or edge of a building.
B. 
Canopy or awning signs.
(1) 
A canopy or awning without lettering or other advertising shall not be regulated as a sign.
(2) 
Canopy or awning signs must be centered within or over architectural elements such as windows or doors.
(3) 
No awning or canopy sign shall be wider than the building wall or tenant space it identifies.
(4) 
Sign placement.
(a) 
Letters or numerals shall be located only on the front and side vertical faces of the awning or canopy.
(b) 
Logos or emblems are permitted on the top or angled portion of the awning or canopy up to a maximum of three square feet. No more than one emblem or logo is permitted on any one awning or canopy.
(5) 
Sign height.
(a) 
The lowest edge of the canopy or awning sign shall be at least eight feet above the finished grade.
C. 
Projecting signs.
(1) 
No portion of a projecting sign shall project more than four feet from the face of the building.
(2) 
The outermost portion of a projecting sign shall project no closer than five feet from a curbline or shoulder of a public street.
(3) 
Sign height. The lowest edge of a projecting sign shall be at least eight feet above the finished grade.
D. 
Window signs.
(1) 
Incidental window signs displaying pertinent business information such as the business' hours of operation and credit cards accepted, shall be excluded from area calculations for window signs.
(2) 
A maximum of 15% of the total window area of any single nonresidential use may be used for signs.
E. 
Marquee signs.
(1) 
Such signs shall be located only above the principal public entrance of a building facing a public street or parking lot.
(2) 
No marquee shall be wider than the entrance it serves, plus two feet on each side thereof.
(3) 
No marquee shall extend closer to the curb than three feet.
(4) 
Sign height.
(a) 
No portion of a marquee sign shall extend vertically above the eaveline.
(b) 
The lowest edge of the marquee sign shall be at least 10 feet above the finished grade.
F. 
Freestanding signs.
(1) 
The lowest edge of any freestanding pole sign shall be either less than four feet or greater than seven feet above the ground.
(2) 
Freestanding ground signs shall be supported and permanently placed by embedding, anchoring, or connecting the sign in such a manner as to incorporate it into the landscape or architectural design scheme.
(3) 
Sign placement.
(a) 
All freestanding signs shall be set back five feet from the right-of-way, except for official traffic signs and government/regulatory signs.
(b) 
No freestanding sign may occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, driveways, fire lane, easement, cartway of the right-of-way or other areas required to remain unobstructed.
A. 
Locations permitted.
(1) 
Off-premises signs are permitted in the following locations:
(a) 
Expressway Transitional (ET) Zone.
B. 
Requirements.
(1) 
An off-premises sign may be erected on a lot, provided:
(a) 
Location relative to road network. Off-premises signs shall be located no more than 200 linear feet from the edge of right-of-way of a controlled access, divided interstate or United States highway.
(b) 
Right-of-way. No portion of an off-premises sign shall be located in any vehicular right-of-way.
(c) 
Line of sight. No off-premises sign shall obstruct the line of sight within any vehicular right-of-way.
(d) 
Orientation. Off-premises signs shall be oriented roughly perpendicular to the flow of traffic of the adjacent controlled access, divided interstate or United States highway, so that the sign face is directed towards oncoming traffic on these roads.
(e) 
Historic resources. No off-premises sign shall be visible from any local, state and/or federal historic district, local, state and/or federal scenic byway, or any resource listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(f) 
Residential structures. No off-premises sign shall be within 300 feet of a residential structure.
(g) 
Structural support. Off-premises signs shall be freestanding and not connected to other structures.
(h) 
Landscaping.
[1] 
Landscaping shall be provided at the base of all off-premises signs. Trees and shrubbery, including evergreen and flowering trees, of sufficient size and quantity shall be used to achieve the purpose of this section.
[2] 
Trees four inches or greater in diameter removed for construction of the sign shall be replaced on-site at a ratio of one replacement tree for each removed tree using native species no less than three inches in diameter.
(i) 
Lot size. No off-premises sign shall be located on lots smaller than one acre (43,560 square feet).
(j) 
Lot frontage. No off-premises sign shall be located on a lot with less than 400 feet of frontage that is adjacent to a limited access, divided highway.
(k) 
Pedestrians and utilities. No off-premises sign shall obstruct the flow of pedestrians on sidewalks or trails, or the safe operation of utilities.
(l) 
Number of signs. No more than one off-premises sign shall be permitted on a single lot.
(m) 
Sign faces. No off-premises signs shall have more than two faces.
(n) 
Structural soundness. Any applicant proposing an off-premises sign shall submit documentation from a Pennsylvania-registered professional engineer certifying that the proposed installation will be structurally sound, considering factors such as wind and other loads associated with the off-premises sign location. In addition, signs shall only be built where ground conditions are suitable for this form of development.
(o) 
Application/plan requirements. Plans submitted for off-premises advertising signs shall show the following:
[1] 
The location of the proposed sign on the lot with the required sign setbacks from the property line and ultimate right-of-way.
[2] 
The location and species of existing trees.
[3] 
The distance to the nearest existing off-premises advertising sign.
[4] 
The distance to the nearest right-of-way, property line, building, structure, on-premises sign, off-premises sign, intersection, interchange, safety rest area, bridge, residential district, or institutional use, sewer rights-of-way, and water, electric or petroleum pipelines.
[5] 
Site plan containing all of the applicable requirements set forth in the City of Easton Zoning Code, as amended.
[6] 
Certification under the seal by a licensed engineer that the off-premises sign, as proposed, is designed in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws, codes, and professional standards.
(p) 
Sign standards. All off-premises signs shall also meet the requirements for freestanding signs, per § 595-196F.
(q) 
Environmental hazards. No off-premises sign shall be erected within the FEMA-defined 100- or 500-year floodplain, NWI-defined wetland, or upon slopes greater than 25%.
(r) 
Other governing bodies. All off-premises signs shall conform to any regulations and permitting set forth by the state and/or federal government, in addition to any and all requirements of the City of Easton.
(s) 
Digital display signs. All digital and transitioning signs shall conform to the following:
[1] 
All regulations regarding off-premises signs.
[2] 
Each sign may display only a series of still images, each of which is displayed for at least eight seconds.
[3] 
Still images displayed on signs may not move or present the appearance of motion and may not use flashing, scrolling, twirling, twinkling, oscillating, rotating, scintillating, blinking, or traveling lights or any other means not providing constant illumination.
[4] 
Any portion of a message or still image must have a minimum duration (hold time) of eight seconds and must be a static display. Messages may change immediately or fade in and out only.
[5] 
Transition or blank screen time between one still image and the next may not exceed one second. Transitions shall occur simultaneously on the entire sign face.
[6] 
Illumination and/or intensity of the sign shall be controlled so as to not create glare, hazards or nuisances. Such signs shall have a maximum nits level of 7,000 nits; provided the brightness of the digital sign does not exceed 0.3 footcandle of light above normal ambient light levels.
[7] 
Signs shall be equipped with automatic dimming technology which automatically adjusts the sign's brightness based on ambient light conditions.
[8] 
Sign luminance specification shall be determined by a footcandle metering device held at a height of five feet, and aimed towards the sign, from a distance of 175 feet. Metering devices should be at a location perpendicular to the sign center (as seen in plan view) as this angle has the highest luminance. Signs shall have a display that is at least 50% white when luminance is measured. If the difference in luminance is 0.3 candle or less, as measured in the aforementioned manner, the sign is in compliance with this requirement.
[9] 
Audio speakers and/or any form of pyrotechnics are prohibited.
[10] 
All signs must be equipped with a properly functioning default mechanism that will stop the sign in one position should a malfunction occur.
[11] 
Upon notification, the sign operators agree to coordinate with City staff to display emergency information critical to the traveling public, such as amber alerts, silver alerts, and other similar alerts issued by authorized sources, as well as information, including but not limited to terrorist or military attacks, environmental catastrophes, matters of homeland security, immediate risks to public health or safety, and natural disasters. Emergency messages are to remain in the display's rotation according to the designated issuing agency's protocols.
[12] 
No existing nonconforming sign may be converted to a digital sign.
[13] 
Slat, panel, or blade-twirl-type signs are prohibited.
(t) 
Lighting. For static display signs, lighting shall be focused directly on the sign face, and designed in a manner to limit excess light from illuminating nonsign areas. Lighting shall not be directed or focused as to shine directly onto adjacent properties or interrupt or create hazardous conditions on roadways.
(u) 
Owner. All applications for off-premises signs must be signed and submitted by the property owner, in writing, on forms supplied by the City. If the owner/operator of the sign is not the owner of the property upon which a proposed off-premises sign is to be erected, the owner/operator of the sign shall also be a signatory to application documents.
(v) 
Emergency access. Access shall be provided to the off-premises sign by means of a public street or easement to a public street. All easements shall be a minimum of 20 feet in width and shall be improved to a width of at least 10 feet and remain sufficiently clear for the passage of emergency vehicles year-round. These conditions must be met prior to the sign's construction and continue until such a time that all sign equipment is removed. An approved emergency management system, such as Knox key accessibility, must be installed and fully operational for all fenced/secured components before installation of any off-premises sign may begin.
(w) 
Sign is to be operated in such fashion that it does not disorient motorists.
(2) 
Area and height. One off-premises sign may be erected on a lot, provided:
(a) 
The maximum area of an off-premises sign face shall be no more than 800 square feet. Off-premises signs shall be rectangular in shape, with the area considered to be the smallest rectangle enclosing all display elements of the sign.
(b) 
No off-premises sign shall exceed the maximum building height of the underlying zoning district.
(3) 
Construction and maintenance.
(a) 
All plans for off-premises signs shall be certified by a licensed engineer registered in Pennsylvania.
(b) 
All off-premises advertising signs shall be constructed in accordance with industry-wide standards established by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Institute of Outdoor Advertising, or their successor organizations. All off-premises advertising signs shall be structurally sound and maintained in good condition and in compliance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code.
(c) 
Every three years, the owner of the billboard shall have a structural inspection made of the billboard by a licensed engineer registered in Pennsylvania and shall provide to the City of Easton a certificate certifying that the billboard is structurally sound.
(4) 
Abatement.
(a) 
Whenever any off-premises sign is erected and/or maintained in violation of this chapter or of the regulations promulgated under the Codified Ordinances of the City of Easton, the Department of Planning and Zoning shall serve written notice of such violations upon the property owner on which said off-premises sign is located, directing compliance within 30 days of receipt of the notice of violation. In the case where ownership cannot be determined or notice cannot be delivered, the Department of Planning and Codes shall place a violation notice upon the sign and/or sign structure.
(b) 
After expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, if the violation has not been corrected, the City may itself or by contract remove the offending sign. The costs incurred by the City shall be charged against the person owning such offending sign. If the sign is abandoned, the property owner on whose premises the sign is located shall be responsible for the cost of removal.
(c) 
If any condition and/or location of an off-premises sign results in an immediate peril to persons or property, the City may require immediate compliance to mitigate harm. If such compliance is not forthcoming, the City may without other notice, in addition to invoking any other sanction or remedial procedure provided, apply with the approval of the City Police to any court with jurisdiction for relief by injunction or restraining order.
(5) 
Compliance with other City obligations. A permit will not be issued for any off-premises sign if the applicant or owner of the parcel upon which the off-premises sign is to be erected is delinquent paying any taxes, in violation of any law, code, standard, regulation, or similar obligations.
A. 
Limited duration signs, as defined in this section, located on private property are subject to the regulations set forth below. Limited duration signs that comply with the requirements in this subsection shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property. Unless otherwise stated below, the requirements listed below shall apply to both commercial and noncommercial signs.
B. 
Size and number.
(1) 
Zoning Districts: Adaptive Reuse, River Corridor and Other Green Areas, Expressway Transitional, and Downtown.
(a) 
Large limited durations signs: One large limited duration sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[2] 
Area: Each large limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[3] 
Height: Large limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
(b) 
Small limited duration signs: In addition to the large limited duration sign(s) outlined above, one small limited duration sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[2] 
Area: Each small limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[3] 
Height: Small limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(2) 
Zoning Districts: College Hill, South Side, and West Ward
(a) 
Large limited duration sign: One large limited duration sign is permitted per property per year so long as the property is greater than two acres in size and has at least 200 feet of street frontage.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[2] 
Area: Each large limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[3] 
Height: Large limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
(b) 
Small limited duration sign: one small limited duration sign is permitted per property per year.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[2] 
Area: Each small limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[3] 
Height: Small limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of six feet.
C. 
Permit requirements.
(1) 
A permit for a limited duration sign is issued for one year and may be renewed annually.
(2) 
One sign is allowed per permit.
(3) 
An application for a limited duration sign permit must include:
(a) 
A description of the sign indicating the number, size, shape, dimensions, and colors of the sign, and the expected length of time the sign will be displayed.
(b) 
A schematic drawing of the site showing the proposed location of the sign in relation to nearby buildings and streets.
D. 
Installation and maintenance.
(1) 
All limited duration signs must be installed such that they do not create a safety hazard.
(2) 
All limited duration signs must be made of durable materials and shall be well-maintained.
(3) 
Limited duration signs that are frayed, torn, broken, or that are no longer legible shall be deemed unmaintained and required to be removed.
E. 
Illumination: Illumination of any limited duration sign is prohibited.
Temporary signs, as defined in this article, located on private property, are exempt from standard permit requirements. Temporary signs that comply with the requirements in this section shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property.
A. 
Unless otherwise stated below, the requirements listed below shall apply to both commercial and noncommercial signs.
B. 
Size and number.
(1) 
Zoning Districts: Adaptive Reuse, River Corridor and Other Green Areas, Expressway Transitional, and Downtown.
(a) 
Large temporary signs: One large temporary sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[2] 
Area:
[a] 
Each large temporary freestanding, window, or wall sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[3] 
Height:
[a] 
Large temporary signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
(b) 
Small temporary signs: In addition to the large temporary sign(s) outlined above, one small temporary sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[d] 
Personal expression sign.
[2] 
Area: Each small temporary sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[3] 
Height: Small temporary signs shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(2) 
Zoning Districts: College Hill, South Side, and West Ward.
(a) 
Large temporary signs: One large temporary sign is permitted per residential property so long as the property is greater than two acres in size and has at least 200 feet of street frontage.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[d] 
Personal expression sign.
[2] 
Area:
[a] 
Each large temporary freestanding, window, or wall sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[3] 
Height:
[a] 
Large temporary signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
(b) 
Small temporary signs: one small temporary sign is permitted per residential property.
[1] 
Type:
[a] 
Freestanding sign.
[b] 
Window sign.
[c] 
Wall sign.
[d] 
Personal expression sign.
[2] 
Area:
[a] 
Each small temporary sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[3] 
Height:
[a] 
Small temporary signs shall have a maximum height of six feet.
C. 
Duration and removal.
(1) 
Temporary signs may be displayed up to a maximum of 30 consecutive days, two times per year.
(2) 
The City of Easton or the property owner may confiscate signs installed in violation of this chapter. Neither the City of Easton nor the property owner is responsible for notifying sign owners of confiscation of an illegal sign.
D. 
Permission: The party posting the temporary sign is solely responsible for obtaining the permission of the property owner before posting their temporary sign.
E. 
Municipal notification: Temporary signs are exempt from the standard permit requirements but the date of erection of a temporary sign must be written in indelible ink on the lower right-hand corner of the sign. Signs without this marking shall be deemed to have been erected for more than 30 days.
F. 
Installation and maintenance.
(1) 
All temporary signs must be installed such that they do not create a safety hazard.
(2) 
All temporary signs must be made of durable materials and shall be well-maintained.
(3) 
Temporary signs that are frayed, torn, broken, or that are no longer legible will be deemed unmaintained and required to be removed.
G. 
Illumination: Illumination of any temporary sign is prohibited.
A. 
General provisions.
(1) 
Illumination: Illumination of any portable sign is prohibited.
(2) 
Hours of display.
(a) 
All portable signs must be taken in during hours of nonoperation of the business being advertised.
B. 
Sandwich board. Sandwich board signs that comply with the requirements in this subsection shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property.
(1) 
Number: One sandwich board sign is permitted per establishment.
(2) 
Area: Each sign shall have a maximum area of seven square feet per sign face.
(3) 
Height: Signs shall have a minimum height of three feet and a maximum height of four feet.
(4) 
Sign placement.
(a) 
If a sign is located on a public or private sidewalk, a minimum of 36 inches of unobstructed sidewalk clearance must be maintained between the sign and any building or other obstruction.
(b) 
The sign must be located on the premises, and within six feet of the primary public entrance, of the establishment it advertises.
(c) 
Portable signs shall be weighted, temporarily secured, or strategically placed so as to avoid being moved by high winds.
(5) 
Manual changeable copy.
(a) 
Manual changeable copy signs are permitted when integrated into a sandwich board sign.
(b) 
Commercial messages must advertise only goods and services available on the premises.
In addition to all other requirements of this chapter, the following regulations shall be applicable to any sign placed in the designated Local Historic District:
A. 
No sign shall be erected or altered until an application has been reviewed and approved by the Historic District Commission and after City Council has issued a certificate of appropriateness.
B. 
Installation must not damage or require removal of historic materials and must be done in a manner such that signs can be removed without harm to the masonry or architectural detailing.
C. 
The Historic District Commission shall ensure that the proposed sign is appropriate in relation:
(1) 
To the style, period, type, size, and scale of the building and district for which it is proposed.
(2) 
With other signs in the district.
D. 
Permit requirements.
(1) 
All applications for a certificate of appropriateness must contain the following information:
(a) 
A current color photograph of the property.
(b) 
An illustration of the building facade showing the proposed sign.
(c) 
A scaled drawing showing the sign itself and including the size, materials, colors, lighting, lettering, and method of attachment. Material samples may be required.
(d) 
The type of illumination.
A. 
Unsafe or unlawful signs.
(1) 
Upon written notice by the City of Easton, the owner, person, or firm maintaining a sign shall remove the sign when it becomes unsafe, is in danger of falling, or it becomes so deteriorated that it no longer serves a useful purpose of communication, or it is determined by the City of Easton to be a nuisance, or it is deemed unsafe by the City of Easton, or it is unlawfully erected in violation of any of the provisions of this article.
(2) 
The City of Easton may remove or cause to be removed the sign at the expense of the owner and/or lessee in the event of the owner or the person or firm maintaining the sign has not complied with the terms of the notice within 30 days of the date of the notice. In the event of immediate danger, the City of Easton may remove the sign immediately upon the issuance of notice to the owner, person, or firm maintaining the sign.
B. 
Abandoned signs.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of any property upon which an abandoned sign is located to remove such sign within 30 days of the sign becoming abandoned as defined in this section. Removal of an abandoned sign shall include the removal of the entire sign including the sign face, supporting structure, and structural trim.
(2) 
Where the owner of the property on which an abandoned sign is located fails to remove such sign within the 30 days the City of Easton may remove such sign. Any expense directly incurred in the removal of such sign shall be charged to the owner of the property. Where the owner fails to pay, the City of Easton may file a lien upon the property for the purpose of recovering all reasonable costs associated with the removal of the sign.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to erect, alter, repair, or relocate any sign within the City of Easton without first obtaining a sign permit, unless the sign is specifically exempt from the permit requirements.
B. 
In order to apply for a sign permit, the applicant must provide the following information to the City of Easton:
(1) 
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of applicant.
(2) 
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the property owner, and the signature of the property owner or duly authorized agent for the owner.
(3) 
Description of any existing signage that will remain on the site.
(4) 
Identification of the type of sign(s) to be erected by the applicant.
(5) 
Location of the lot, building, and proposed sign in relation to each public right-of-way, building, and driveway.
(6) 
The design of each sign face and sign structure, including dimensions, total area, sign height, depth, color scheme, structural details, materials, lighting scheme and proposed location.
(7) 
A permit fee shall be paid.
C. 
Each owner and applicant (if different than owner) shall be required as a continuing condition of any permit issued under this section, to provide the City of Easton with written notice of a change of address within 14 days of such a change, to be sent to both the Zoning Officer of the City of Easton and the Director of Finance of the City of Easton. Failure to comply with this requirement is considered grounds for revocation of the permit. Moreover, each owner and applicant, by acceptance of the permit, agrees that if a notice is returned because the party is no longer at that address, or otherwise is not signed for, the service requirement is satisfied if the City mails a notice by first class mail to the last address provided to the City, as well as posting the notice upon the property subject to the permit.
A. 
Signs legally in existence at the time of the adoption of this article, which do not conform to the requirements of this article, shall be considered existing nonconforming signs.
B. 
All permanent signs and sign structures shall be brought into conformance with the sign regulations when and if the following occurs:
(1) 
The sign is removed, relocated, or significantly altered. Significant alterations include changes in the size or dimension of the sign. Changes to the sign copy or the replacement of a sign face on a nonconforming sign shall not be considered a significant alteration.
(2) 
If more than 50% of the sign area is damaged, it shall be repaired to conform to this article.
(3) 
A change in the mechanical facilities or type of illumination.
(4) 
The property on which the nonconforming sign is located submits a subdivision or land development application requiring municipal review and approval.
(5) 
The property on which the nonconforming sign is located undergoes a change of land use requiring the issuance of either a use and occupancy permit or a change of use and occupancy permit by the City of Easton.
A. 
The Table of Permitted Signs by District is located at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Requirements.
(1) 
Not more than one such sign shall be erected for each unit unless:
(a) 
Such property fronts on more than one street, in which case one such sign may be erected on each street frontage in all zoning districts except:
[1] 
Institutional 1 (INS-1), Institutional 2 (INS-2) and Adaptive Reuse (AR) Zoning Districts where two signs per frontage shall be allowed if the total area of all signs does not exceed 30 square feet.
(2) 
Downtown Zoning District and Street Corridor Enhancement Overlay District where two signs per frontage shall be allowed if:
(a) 
At least one of the signs per frontage is a projecting sign; and
(b) 
The total area of all signs does not exceed 30 square feet per frontage.
A. 
All complaints regarding signs must:
(1) 
Be submitted in writing and include:
(a) 
Name, address, phone number and signature of the complainant.
(b) 
Proof that the complainant is a resident of, landholder in, or possesses a valid business license in the City of Easton.
(2) 
Be filed with the Zoning Officer or his/her staff.
B. 
Only the Zoning Officer shall enforce this chapter.
C. 
All written complaints will be referred to the responsible entity by the City of Easton.