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Sign regulations
A. Permits required.
(1) A permit must be obtained from the Township before the erecting of all signs erected in the Township, unless specifically exempted herein.
(2) Exemptions from the necessity of securing a permit, however, shall not be construed to relieve the owner of the sign involved from responsibility for its erection in a safe manner and in a manner in accord with all the other provisions of this chapter.
(3) Before any permit is granted for the erection of a sign or sign structure, plans and specifications shall be filed with the Township, showing:
(a) The dimensions of the sign and, where applicable, the dimensions of the wall surface of the building to which it is to be attached.
(b) The dimensions of the sign's supporting members.
(c) The maximum height of the sign.
(d) The proposed location of the sign in relation to the face of the building in front of which or above which it is to be erected.
(e) The proposed location of the sign in relation to the boundaries of the lot upon which it is to be situated.
(f) Where the sign is to be attached to an existing building, a current photograph of the face of the building to which the sign is to be attached.
(g) The materials, finish and details of construction, including loads, stresses, anchorage and any other pertinent engineering data.
(h) Plans for signs with a proposed area greater than 100 square feet shall be prepared and sealed by a structural engineer.
(i) The application for a permit shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner or lessee of the premises upon which the sign is to be erected for Township officials to enter said premises to inspect such sign.
(4) The following changes to a sign do not require a permit:
(a) The changing of movable parts of an approved changeable copy sign that is designed for such changes or the repainting or reposting of display matter shall not be deemed an alteration, provided the conditions of the original approval and requirements of this article are not violated.
(b) The changing of the advertising copy or message of a painted, plastic face or printed sign only. Except for signs specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy, electric signs shall not be include in this exception.
(c) The electrical, repainting or cleaning maintenance of a sign.
(d) The repair of a sign.
(e) Permit fees to erect a sign shall be in accordance with the sign fee schedule adopted by the Township.
B. Removal or abandonment of signs.
(1) The owner of any property or premises upon which any sign is erected shall be responsible for its complete removal at such time as the circumstances which caused its erection have ceased to exist or at such other time that the sign must be removed under any other provisions of this chapter. If the owner of any property upon which a sign has been erected shall fail or neglect to render it as hereinabove required, the Zoning Officer shall give notice to remove the sign by certified mail to the owner. If this letter is returned undelivered for any reason, he may post such notice upon the premises. If upon the expiration of 30 days following notice the owner fails to remove the sign, the Zoning Officer shall arrange for its removal on behalf of the Township and shall bill the owner for the cost of such work plus 10% for administrative cost. If such bill remains unpaid after the expiration of 30 days, the Township Solicitor shall take the necessary steps to collect the same. Failure of a property owner to remove such sign after the notice hereinabove provided shall constitute a violation of the terms of this chapter, and each day's continuance of such failure shall constitute a separate violation.
(2) If the owner of any sign in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is not the owner of the premises on which it is situated, the identical notices specified above may be issued to him in like manner, and such owner of the sign shall be required to take such steps to comply with the notice or notices issued to him as though he were the owner of the property or premises on which the sign is located. If such owner of the sign fails to comply, such failure shall constitute a violation of the terms of this chapter. Such owner of the sign shall be liable to the same extent as the owner of the property or premises on which the sign is located.
C. Annual registration and inspection of certain signs.
(1) For all signs not exempted under this chapter, whether or not such signs have been erected prior to the adoption of this subsection, the owner of the premises upon which the sign is erected and maintained (or, in the case of leased property, the tenant) shall annually, before January 15 of the year following the year in which a permit for such sign has been secured, pay the registration fee in the amount established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors for each and every sign required to be registered under the provisions of this subsection.
(2) With the annual registration, the applicant shall submit a statement by which the applicant agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Township against any loss, damage, costs and expenses which the Township may hereafter suffer, incur, be put to, or pay by reason of any claims resulting from the erection of the sign and agrees to pay and discharge forthwith on demand of the Township each and every claim, obligation or judgment against said Township resulting from the erection of said sign.
D. Licensing.
In the case of a proposed erection or repair of any electrical or neon sign, or any nonelectrical sign 24 square feet in size or 10 feet above grade, no permit for the erection of such sign or signs shall be issued until after the applicant has complied with the following provisions:
(1) The erector or its agent or employees shall apply for and obtain an annual license for the erection of signs of this category with a fee established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors to be paid to the Township for such license.
(2) Such license shall be obtained or renewed annually for the calendar year period beginning January 1 of each year or at such later time that such sign erection company wishes to obtain its first permit for the erection or repair of a sign of this category in Middletown Township.
(3) The fee for the annual renewal of the license shall be established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Signs permitted in residential districts (off-premises).
(1) Political signs.
(a) The erector of such signs or an authorized agent of the political party or candidate applies for and obtains a permit from the Township Zoning Officer and deposits with the Township at the time of his application the sums established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors as a guarantee that all such signs will be removed promptly within 10 days after the date of the election to which such signs relate. If such signs are not removed at the end of the ten-day period, the Township may have them removed and retain such sums from the deposit in an amount equal to the expense incurred by the Township for such removal. The Township reserves the right to collect from the applicant any such expenses not covered by the deposit.
(2) Community special event signs are permitted.
(a) No permit shall be issued for the erection of such signs until a deposit has been paid in an amount established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. If such signs are not removed within five days after the termination of the exhibit, show or event, the Township may have them removed and keep from the sum deposited an amount equal to the expenses incurred by the Township for such removal. The Township reserves the right to collect from the applicant any such expenses not covered by the deposit.
Signs permitted in A-O, OC and P Districts (on premises).
(1) Portable signs.
(a) Application for a portable sign permit must be made to the Township accompanied by a cash deposit in an amount to be set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors as a guarantee that the portable display shall be promptly and completely removed at the end of the period authorized.
Signs permitted in commercial districts (Monument displays).
(a) Architectural requirements. The architecture of a monument display shall incorporate visual art or architecture elements in addition to its messaging function, thereby creating a unique or distinctive architectural design.
[1] As part of the monument display permit application, the applicant shall submit conceptual architectural renderings elevations of the monument display and the surrounding area and built environment in a three-dimensional software platform, together with a general list of proposed building materials for review and approval by the Township.
[2] A monument display design shall incorporate one or more of the following architectural elements: stone, stucco, wood, brick, ornamental iron or decorative steel.
[3] The Township may require a monument display to display the name of the municipality as part of the structure.
(b) Monument display permit application procedure. A monument display application shall be submitted, reviewed and approved under the Township's standard building permit process. A monument display shall not require subdivision and land development approval.
[1] The Township shall review and issue its comments to any proposed monument display architecture within 60 days of submission of a monument sign display permit application and any subsequent revised submissions.
[2] Revisions to a proposed monument display architecture or design shall not be considered a substantial amendment requiring a formal resubmission of a monument display permit application.
[3] Based upon comments received from the Township, the applicant shall be permitted to revise the monument display design as many times as may be necessary to obtain architecture and design approval.
See § 500-2808: Permits; construction and maintenance; violations for more information.
See Applying For a Permit for more information.
See Building and Zoning for information on documents, forms and permits.