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Message Center Signs

DRAFT

 

ORDINANCE NO. _______

 

NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP

BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

 

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, SPECIFICALLY CHAPTER 27, KNOWN AS THE NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP ZONING ORDINANCE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF AMENDING SECTIONS RELATED TO MESSAGE CENTER SIGN REQUIREMENTS

FOR COMMERCIAL, RECREATIONAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL DISTRICTS

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED and ORDAINED by the Board of Supervisors of Northampton Township as follows:

 

SECTION 1. PART 16, Signs, General Standards and Requirements., ishereby amended to add §27-1603.17. Message Center Signs. as follows:

 

            17.       Message Center Signs.  Regulations related to message center signs are as follows:   

 

                        A.        Message center signs are permitted as part of the allowable type and size of signage permitted by this Part.  The calculation of such signage must be incorporated as part of the overall sign calculation, not in addition to it.  All identified area and height requirements of this Part shall apply.  

 

                        B.        A Message center sign shall not exceed 50% of the sign area for any one sign, or 25 square feet, whichever is less. 

 

                        C.        A maximum of one (1) message center sign is permitted per property.

 

                        D.        Signs may be illuminated from 5 AM to 11 PM, or a half hour past the close of business of the facility being identified or advertised, whichever is later.

 

                        E.         Message center signs shall be limited to freestanding and ground signs.  The use of wall-mounted or projecting message center signs is prohibited.

 

                        F.         No portion of the sign may flash, pulsate, scroll, twirl, twinkle, oscillate, rotate, blink, change color, or in any way imitate movement.  Each complete message must fit on one screen and utilize the same color.

                        G.        The content of a message center sign must transition by changing instantly (e.g. no fade-out or fade-in) and may not change more than once per hour.

 

                        H.        The use of any digital display images is prohibited. This includes animation, pictures, video, and similar technology. 

           

                        I.          Signs shall have automatic dimmer software or solar sensors to control brightness for nighttime viewing and variations in daytime ambient light.  Signs may not exceed 5,000 nits during daylight hours (between sunrise and sunset) and 250 nits for all other times. The manufacturer shall provide a certification confirming these controls.  Signs not produce glare, the effect of which constitutes a traffic hazard or is otherwise detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare.  The Township reserves the right to require the sign intensity to be reduced if deemed to be too bright after installation. The Township also reserves the right to require the use of a different message color if it determined that it is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. 

 

                        J.         Glare control shall be achieved primarily through the use of such means as cutoff fixtures, shields, and baffles, and appropriate application of wattage, aiming angle, and fixture placement.

 

                        K.        At all times, signs must comply with any operating standards or regulations adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or any other governmental entity with appropriate jurisdiction.

 

                        L.         The owner of every message center sign shall coordinate with local authorities if requested to display, when appropriate, emergency information important to the traveling public.

 

                        M.       The applicant must comply with all other applicable sections of Part 16, Signs. The requirements of §27-1603.17. are in addition to any other criteria of Part 16.

 

                        N.        To the extent applicable, all signs in the Village Overlay District shall be in accordance with §22-619.7.G.(4) and (5) of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, Village Overlay District Design Requirements, which is incorporated herein. 

 

                        O.        In the case of the dissemination of public information in emergencies, the regulations identified herein are not applicable to local authorities.

 

                        P.         Off-premises signs and billboards are not permitted to contain message centers.

 

                        Q.        Nonconforming signs and signs approved by variance are not permitted to contain message centers unless approved by the Zoning Hearing Board.

 

SECTION 2. PART 16, Signs, Sign Requirements for Residential, Recreational and Institutional/Public Districts. ishereby amended to modify §27-1604.7. as follows:

 

            7.         A municipal, governmental, recreational, educational or institutional use may have one freestanding or ground sign along each street that the use has sufficient frontage and vehicular accessibility.  The total area of each sign shall not exceed 40 cumulative square feet.  All other pertinent sign requirements for municipal, governmental, recreational, educational or institutional uses, as defined and specified under this Chapter shall apply. 

 

                        A.    Message center signs are permitted in accordance with Section                                                 §27-1603.17., Message Center Signs., and all other requirements of this Part.

 

SECTION 3. PART 16, Signs, Sign Requirements for Residential, Recreational and Institutional/Public Districts. ishereby amended to delete and rewrite §27-1605.10.F. as follows:

 

            10.       For gasoline service stations only, the following criteria are applicable:

           

                        F.      Signs shall have automatic dimmer software or solar sensors to control brightness for nighttime viewing and variations in daytime ambient light.  Signs may not exceed 5,000 nits during daylight hours (between sunrise and sunset) and 250 nits for all other times. The manufacturer shall provide a certification confirming these controls.  Signs not produce glare, the effect of which constitutes a traffic hazard or is otherwise detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. The Township reserves the right to require the sign intensity to be reduced if deemed to be too bright after installation. The Township also reserves the right to require the use of a different message color if it determined that it is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. 

 

SECTION 4. PART 16, Signs, Sign Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Districts, ishereby amended to add §27-1605.11.

 

            11.    Message center signs are permitted in accordance with Section §27-1603.17., Message Center Signs., and all other requirements of this Part.

SECTION 5. PART 16, Signs, Sign Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Districts, ishereby amended ishereby amended to modify §27-1605.5 as follows:

 

            5.         A municipal, governmental, recreational, educational or institutional use may have one freestanding or ground sign along each street that the use has sufficient frontage and vehicular accessibility.  The total area of each sign shall not exceed 40 cumulative square feet.  All other pertinent sign requirements for municipal, governmental, recreational, educational or institutional uses, as defined and specified under this Chapter shall apply. 

 

                        A.  Message center signs are permitted in accordance with Section §27-1603.17., Message Center Signs., and all other requirements of this Part.

 

SECTION 6. PART 16, Signs, General Standards and Requirements., Illumination., is hereby amended to delete §27-1603.9.B. and rewrite as follows.  All other sections shall remain as written:

 

            9.         Illumination. The following provisions shall apply to the illumination of signs in Northampton Township:

 

                        B.   The use of light combinations near a signalized intersection that create a traffic hazard are prohibited.  The Township reserves the right to require the use of a different color if it is determined that the color combination being used is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. 

           

SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY.

 

In the event that any section, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this ordinance shall be declared illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not prevent or otherwise foreclose enforcement of any of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

 

SECTION 8. REPEALER.

 

All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith or in conflict with any of the specific terms enacted hereby, to the extent of said inconsistencies or conflicts, are hereby specifically repealed.

 

 

ORDAINED and ENACTED by the Board of Supervisors of Northampton Township

 

this _____________ day of _____________, 2018.

 

                                                                                   

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP

 _____________________________

Barry Moore, Chairman

 

 ATTEST: _________________________

                 Frank O'Donnell, Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

  7/26/18

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