MapLink™ | Procedures | Signs - Permit Procedures

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Signs - Permit Procedures
No sign, except as provided by § 215-82: Exempt signs and § 215-100: Nonconforming signs, shall be erected, displayed, altered, relocated or replaced until the municipality issues a sign permit.
A. Permit application. An application for a sign permit shall be submitted on a form provided by the Borough and completed as required. At a minimum, the application shall have attached to it the following information in either written or graphic form:
(1) Location of the sign on the premises in relation to lot lines, buildings, sidewalks, streets, public rights-of-way and street intersections within 300 feet of the proposed sign.
(2) Type of sign (e.g., freestanding, pole, monument, wall) and a general description of structural design and construction materials.
(3) A drawing of the proposed sign containing specifications showing the height, perimeter, area, dimensions, type of lettering proposed, means of support, method of illumination and any other significant characteristics.
(4) Any other information requested by the Zoning Officer in order to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter.
(5) The required sign permit fee as established by resolution of the Borough Council. Permit fees will cover the cost of administering this chapter for compliance with its purpose.
(6) A landscaping plan for any freestanding sign shall be created as follows:
(a) A landscaped island containing shrubs and/or flowers extending not less than three feet from all sides of the sign, but in no case less than 32 square feet in total area, and a minimum of one foot in height is required.
(b) The island shall be formed from materials such as, but not limited to, stone, brick or landscape timbers. The area of the island shall be maintained to keep it free of weeds, debris and brush.
(c) A sketch of the sign and island shall be submitted with the sign permit application for review and approval by the Zoning Officer.
See Sign Permit Application for more information.
B. Permit review and action. The Borough's Zoning Officer shall review the sign permit application and issue or deny the permit in conformance with the following standards:
(1) Official date. The official date of submission shall be the day the Zoning Officer determines that the completed application with all required or necessary data has been properly prepared and submitted.
(2) Time to decide. The Zoning Officer shall determine whether the proposed sign will or will not be in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and shall, within 30 days of the official date of submission, issue or deny the sign permit.
(3) Photograph. When the sign has been completed, the applicant shall photograph the completed sign and forward the photograph to the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer shall then inspect the sign.
(4) Inspection for compliance. The Zoning Officer, or a designee, shall perform a final inspection after installation of any approved sign. The Zoning Officer will then complete the Borough's portion of the sign application and forward the completed application form to the applicant. The final dimensions of the sign will be noted by the Zoning Officer, either on the back of the photograph of the sign or at any other appropriate place, which information shall be filed at the Borough's offices along with the completed application.
(5) Discrepancies. Any discrepancies between any sign as approved and the sign as constructed shall be identified in writing by the Zoning Officer and may result in the halt of construction and correction of the discrepancy. If the discrepancy is not corrected within 20 days after written notice, the sign may be ordered removed by the Zoning Officer.
(6) Complaints. The Zoning Officer shall investigate any complaints of violations of these regulations and may revoke any permit if there is any violation of these regulations or if there was any misrepresentation of any material fact in either the sign permit application or the plans.
(7) Biennial inspection. The Zoning Officer, or a designee, shall complete a biennial inspection of all regulated signs on or about the anniversary date of the issuance of the permit for each sign and shall determine if the sign is in conformance with this article. If any sign is not in conformance, the Zoning Officer will revoke the permit for that sign and may remove, or order the removal of, that sign at the expense of the owner or lessee.
(8) Annual license fee. An annual license fee shall be paid in accordance with any resolution of the Borough Council establishing the annual license fee schedule.
(9) Penalty fee. If the annual license fee is paid later than 40 days from the date of the invoice requesting payment, a penalty fee equal to 50% of the cost of the annual license fee shall be assessed. At the end of 90 days, the unpaid annual license fee will bear interest at 18% APR. If the annual license fee has not been paid at the end of 120 days from the date of the invoice, the applicable sign will be ordered removed by the Zoning Officer with the cost of removal to be borne by its owner or the landowner.
(10) Revocation of permit. All rights and privileges acquired under the provisions of this chapter are mere licenses and, as such, are revocable for cause by the Zoning Officer. All permits issued pursuant to this article are hereby subject to this provision.
(11) Registration of signs. All signs must be registered with the Borough. Signs that are certified as nonconforming and are registered under this chapter may continue to be displayed, replaced or altered to conform with this chapter. All signs erected after the effective date of this chapter must comply with it. Appropriate notice will be provided to all existing sign owners upon the adoption of this chapter.
(12) Information to be affixed on signs. All signs erected after the effective date of this chapter shall have the following information permanently affixed in a conspicuous place:
(a) Date of the approval.
(b) The sign permit number.
(c) The voltage of any electrical apparatus used in connection with the sign.
(13) Violations. Any sign that has not been certified and registered as nonconforming or that has not received a permit from the Zoning Officer within one year of the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed to be in violation of these regulations and shall be ordered removed by the Zoning Officer with the cost of removal to be borne by its owner or the landowner.
C. Expiration of sign permit.
(1) If the sign authorized by any sign permit has not been erected or completed within 120 days from the date of issuance of that permit, the sign permit shall be deemed expired.
(2) An expired sign permit may be renewed within 30 days from the expiration date for good cause shown and upon payment of a permit extension fee as established by resolution of the Borough Council.
D. Revocation of a sign permit. The Zoning Officer shall revoke any sign permit if the sign, whether new or preexisting, is moved or otherwise altered either intentionally or by natural forces in a manner which causes the sign not to be in conformity with this chapter. Signs must be properly maintained, properly painted and be kept free from all hazards, including but not limited to faulty wiring, loose fastenings, being in an unsafe condition or detrimental to public health, safety or general welfare. In the event of a violation of any of the foregoing provisions, the Zoning Officer shall give written notice specifying the violation to the current owner of the sign and the current owner of the land upon which the sign is erected to conform or to remove the sign. The sign shall be made to conform to the permit requirements within 30 days from the date of the notice, or the Zoning Officer shall revoke the sign permit and the subject sign shall be removed by the sign owner or the landowner.
E. Removal of the violating sign. After issuing an enforcement notice that complies with the Municipalities Planning Code § 616.1, as amended, the Zoning Officer shall have the power to remove, cause to be removed, or order the removal of, signs that are in violation of this chapter. The Zoning Officer has the option of waiving the removal of a sign, if the business is for sale. The removal will be completed at the expense of the sign's owner or the landowner, or both. Removal shall take place in the following instances:
(1) When any sign constructed after the adoption of this chapter or any amendment to it is not in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) When the Zoning Officer finds a sign which presents immediate peril to persons or property.
(3) When any sign, whether existing on or erected on or after the effective date of this chapter, is declared obsolete for any of the following reasons:
(a) Any directional or off-premises sign which refers or pertains to a business or facility, the affairs of which are discontinued for a period of six months or more.
(b) Any sign which pertains to a time, event or purpose which no longer exists or applies.
(c) On-premises signs for any business or facility which has been vacant, unoccupied or not actively offered for sale for a period of six months or more.
(4) Any sign for which the annual license fee has not been paid within 120 days from the date of the invoice requesting payment.