|ARTICLE I: SIGNS
1. Purpose: Signs perform important functions that are essential for public safety and general welfare, including communicating messages, providing information about goods and services, and orienting and directing people. It is further recognized that because of potential detrimental impacts, signs must be regulated to:
a) Prevent hazards to vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety by controlling the number, location, and placement of signs;
b) Provide easy recognition and legibility of permitted signs and uses and promote visual order and clarity on streets;
c) Facilitate efficient communication by implementing design criteria that produces signs which can be easily read, recognized, and without distracting elements;
d) Complement the historic and scenic character of the Town of ________; and
e) Support business and community vitality through informing the public of available goods, services, and activities.
2. General Provisions: Signs shall be permitted as designated below or in other portions of this ordinance, but all signs shall be subject to the following regulations:
a) Official town, state or federal signs shall be exempt from these regulations.
b) No sign shall be placed in a manner that will endanger traffic by obscuring the view, by confusion with official signs, by glare or by flashing light, or by any other means.
c) No sign using flashing electric lights shall be permitted in any district.
d) A permit for each sign over six square feet, conforming to other specifications of this section, must be secured from the building inspector.
e) Illuminated signs shall be lit by steady, white light through the use of sharp cutoff fixtures and top-down lighting. Lights for externally illuminated signs shall not be ground-mounted. Unless used to identify public safety facilities, illuminated signs shall be turned off when business or facility is closed or not later than 11 p.m., whichever is the earlier. Internally illuminated signs are discouraged and shall be approved by the Planning Board during site plan review only for those sites adjacent to rights-of-ways with relatively high posted speeds for vehicular traffic.
f) Temporary signs, such as barn and yard sales, political signs, For Sale signs, and auction signs will not require a permit if under six square feet in size and posted for a period not to exceed one hundred and twenty (120) days.
3. Two-faced signs shall be considered as a single unit, and only one surface shall be considered in determining the area.
4. Residents may erect a single freestanding sign not exceeding 4 square feet in area, showing owners' name, address, and allowed home occupation (if any). Persons conducting home occupations may further erect a single sign not exceeding 1 square foot on or adjacent to their mailbox.
5. On-premise advertising signs for businesses shall be limited to no more than 20 square feet in size and may be illuminated only by non-colored, non-flashing lights. Illumination of advertising signs shall be permitted only during hours of actual business operation. Maximum height at highest point shall not exceed 15 feet. Locations may not be within any right-of-way nor within 150 feet of any intersection unless attached to a building, not closer than 15 feet from improved road edge, and shall conform to the side setbacks in section xx.
6. Off-premise signs may only be erected with the written permission of the Board of Selectmen.
a. Internally illuminated sign: A sign that is lighted by a source concealed behind a translucent sign panel.
b. Sign: Any device, fixture, placard, or structure that uses color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol, or writing to advertise, announce the purpose of, or identify the purpose of a person or entity, or to communicate information of any kind to the public.
c. Sign Area: The area of the smallest rectangle or circle within which the entire sign can fit; excluding structural supports which do not contribute through shape, color, or otherwise to the sign's message; but including any separate surface, board, frame or shape on or within which the sign is displayed. The height of a sign shall be measured to the highest point of the sign, including any structural or ornamental projections above the sign proper, from the average ground level above which the sign is located. For signs the components of which are painted or engraved on, or otherwise applied directly to a building or other structure, the sign area shall include any background of a different color, material or appearance from the remainder of the wall or structure, and shall in any event enclose all letters, figures, or representations related to the sign. The dimensions of a sign shall be the length and width of such a rectangle or the diameter of such a circle.