Ordinance No. 12-05

Introduced: March 26, 2012
Public Hearing: May 14, 2012
Status: Adopted

An ordinance amending the Vernon Township Administrative Code Section 330-180 Signs

The original public hearing date was April 23, 2012 at which time the ordinance was tabled to the next regular township council meeting to be held on May 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. The amended version appears below.

BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey as follows:

Section 330-180 of the Vernon Administrative Code is hereby repealed and replaced as follows:

330-180. Signs.

A. Definitions

Sign: Any device used to attract the attention of the public for advertising purposes or message conveyance. The word sign includes letters, figures, drawings, lines, trademarks, photographs, and other markings encompassed within the area of the sign.

Area of a Sign: The area of a sign shall be computed by multiplying the greatest vertical dimension by the greatest horizontal dimension of the sign space. The framing or edging of the sign shall be considered part of the sign area. The total area, including both faces of a double-faced sign is included, but for calculating maximum area permitted, the area of only one (1) face of a double-faced sign is counted toward the maximum area permitted.

A-Frame (Sandwich) Sign: Temporary signs placed upon the property for the purpose of advertising items sold or services supplied.

Awning Sign-Canopy Sign: Roof like covering extending over a walkway, sidewalk or exterior place supported by a frame attached to a building and/or ground with a surface made of fabric or more rigid material and either retractable or fixed in place, covered by any lettering, logo, or other characters, symbols or figures.

Banner: Any temporary sign printed or displayed upon cloth or other flexible material.

Billboard Sign: A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, entertainment, or attraction that is sold, offered or existing elsewhere than upon the same lot where such sign is displayed. The term shall include an outdoor advertising sign (Vehicle, Billboard, Trailer, and Utility Pole).

Changeable Copy Sign: A variable message sign composed of individual letters panel-mounted in or on a track system.

Directional Sign: A sign of noncommercial nature which directs the reader to the location of public or educational institutions, historical structures, historical areas, public parks, or public buildings.

Directory Sign: A sign which directs attention to a business conducted on the premises, or to a product sold or service supplied by such business.

Facade: Principal faces of a building, and is generally one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. In architecture, the facade of a building is often the most important from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building.

Flag: A piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization, as a means of signaling, etc.

Freestanding Sign: See Ground Sign.

Garage Sale: A temporary sign placed upon the property for the purpose of advertising to the public the outdoor sale of used personal or household items held on the seller’s premises.

Gated Community: Is a form of residential community containing strictly controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and sometimes characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. Gated communities usually consist of small residential streets and include various amenities. For smaller communities this may be only a park or other common area.

Graffiti Sign: The name for images, markings, initials, slogans, or lettering that is scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property.

Ground Sign: Any non-movable sign not affixed to a building, but excluding “Pylon Sign.” A sign which is supported by two or more upright or braces in or upon the ground.

Historical (Memorial) Sign: A sign, tablet, or plaque memorializing a person, event, structure, or site.

Illuminated Sign: Any sign having a source of light for illumination either externally or internally, or a combination of both.

Industrial Park: Is an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development.

Informational Sign: An on-site sign commonly associated with, but not limited to, information and directions necessary or convenient for visitors coming on the property, including signs, marking entrances and exits, parking areas, circulation direction, rest rooms, and pickup and delivery.

Maintenance/Service Signs (a/k/a lawn signs or yard signs—includes but is not limited to landscaping, lawn service, paving, driveway sealing and/or repair): Small signs placed on a lawns, are most often rectangular.

Marquee: A permanent roof-like shelter extending from parts or all of a building face; most commonly a structure placed over the entrance to a hotel, theatre, or store. It has signage stating the name of the establishment or, in the case of theatres, the play or movie and the artist(s) appearing at that venue. The marquee is often identifiable by a surrounding cache of light bulbs.

Nameplate: A sign located on the premises giving the name or address, or both, of the owner or occupant of the building or premises.

Nonconforming Sign: Any sign which exists, but does not meet the requirement of this ordinance.

Official Sign: Any sign erected and maintained by a federal, state, county, or local government agency for public purposes.

Off-Premise Sign: A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service, entertainment, or attraction that is sold, offered or existing elsewhere than upon the same lot where such sign is displayed. The term off-site shall include an outdoor advertising sign (Vehicle, Billboard, Trailer, and Utility Pole).

On-Premise Sign: A communication device whose message and design relates to a business, an event, goods, profession or service being conducted, sold or offered on the same property as where the sign is erected.

Pedestal Sign: A sign that is mounted on a freestanding pole, post, or other support so that the bottom edge of the sign is 3 to 18 inches above grade.

Pennant: A long, tapering flag or burgee of distinctive form and special significance, used in signaling or for identification.

Political Sign: A temporary sign related to any political event, issue, or campaign.

Private Community: Is a residential community that can be an association or a proprietary organization. Associations can include condominiums, residential associations, or cooperatives.

Professional Sign: A sign listing only the name and profession of the practitioner.

Projecting Sign: A sign which is affixed to any building and projecting beyond the building wall or parts thereof, structure, building line or property line, but which is not constructed or erected so as to extend above the roof line of the structure to which it is affixed.

Pylon (or pole) Sign: A sign in the form of a tower or pier that is mounted on a freestanding pole, post, or other support.

Real Estate Sign: A temporary sign placed upon the property for the purpose of advertising to the public the sale or lease of said property.

Roof Sign: A sign erected, constructed, and maintained on or above the roof of any building or structure. Decorative facade is not considered a roof if it is affixed to but separate from the main building structure and serves an aesthetic purpose only.

Revolving Sign: A sign which moves in any manner by mechanical means.

Sandwich (A-Frame) Sign: Temporary signs placed upon the property for the purpose of advertising items sold or services supplied.

Scrolling Sign: The continuous movement of information either vertically or horizontally on a screen.

Security Sign: Information sign containing a representation of certain security-related information.

Sign Face: The area of a sign on which copy is intended to be placed.

Sign Permit: A document obtained from the Zoning Official upon payment of required fees, if applicable, granting permission to erect the sign described therein.

Special Event: Is one that helps a business or group meet a specific marketing objective-to increase awareness, build goodwill, introduce a new product, or simply to entertain. Special Event signs are used to inform and to promote the event, remind attendees about the purpose of the event, etc.

Stanchion: Is an upright bar or post, often providing support for some other object.

Streamers: An ensign, flag, or pennant, which floats in the wind; specifically, a long, narrow, ribbon like flag.

Strip Mall (a/k/a Shopping Plaza or Mini-Mall): An open area shopping center where the stores are arranged in a row, with a sidewalk in front. Strip malls are typically developed as a unit and have large parking lots in front. They face major traffic arterials and tend to be self-contained with few pedestrian connections to surrounding neighborhoods.

Temporary Sign: A sign or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric, wood, plastic, paper, or other light material and designed or intended to be displayed for a short period of time.

Wall Sign: A sign which is affixed to or painted on an exterior wall of any building. Such signs shall project not more than twelve (12) inches from the building wall or parts thereof. No wall sign shall be constructed or erected above the roofline of the structure to which it is affixed.

Window Sign: A sign which is affixed to the inside of any window, or glass portion of any door.

B. Maintenance of Signs

All signs, together with their supports, braces, guys and anchors, shall be kept in good repair. All signs shall be so maintained that their appearance is in keeping with the standards of Vernon Township and does not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property owners.

C. Construction

  1. No sign shall be erected, constructed, or maintained so as to obstruct any fire escape, or any window, door, or opening used as a means of egress or for firefighting purposes, or so as to prevent free passage from one part of a roof to any other part thereof.
  2. No sign shall be erected or placed so as to obstruct sight distance or obstruct pedestrian access.

D. Prohibited Signs

All signs not expressly permitted pursuant to this section shall be prohibited. Without limitation thereto, the following shall be prohibited:

  1. String banners, string flags, aluminum ribbons or similar attention-getting devices, except as a temporary sign, e.g. “Grand Opening.”
  2. Illuminated signs which flash, spell, or display any portion intermittently.
  3. Roof signs.
  4. Signs which are menaces to public safety or which obstruct the views of any street, intersection, or crosswalk.
  5. Signs placed on public sidewalks or right-of-ways.
  6. Revolving, rotating, or moving signs.
  7. Erecting a sign less or more distant from the lot line or edge of pavement than prescribed by this section.
  8. Signs that extend above the roof line of the structure to which it is affixed.
  9. Temporary signs which are illuminated.
  10. Billboards.
  11. Any flashing, moving, or animated, or sequentially lighted signs.
  12. Any sign whose lighting or central mechanism causes radio or television interference.
  13. Real estate directional signs.
  14. Signs utilizing the colors red or green in their illuminations within 100 feet of a Signalized Intersection (also known as a traffic light, traffic signal, stop light, traffic lamps, stop-and-go lights.)
  15. Signs which resemble, simulate, or may be mistaken for a traffic sign within 20 feet of a roadway.
  16. Attaching a sign to, or painting or otherwise marking letters, logos, or other expressions on a utility pole, tree, rock, or natural feature of any kind.
  17. Signs affixed or painted on water towers or similar structures.
  18. Signs which obstruct motorists’ vision (site triangle), traffic signs or signals, or business identification signs outside the lot on which the business is located.
  19. All billboards, signboards, advertising signs, vehicular signage, or devices not expressly related to the business being conducted on the premises including advertising on trucks or motor vehicles, the apparent primary purpose of which is to provide a display to broadly attract the attention of the public rather than to directly serve and identify the business of the owner thereof in the manner which is customary for such vehicles.
  20. Off-premises sign or other off-site commercial sign, except that one (1) off-site sign may be erected on the previous site of a business which has relocated for not more than thirty (30) days.
  21. Exhibiting statements, words, pictures, or images of an obscene or pornographic nature.
  22. Emitting a sound, odor, or visible matter such as smoke or vapor.

D(a). Distinguishable Objects; Exempt Signs.

The definition of “sign” in §330-180A definitions notwithstanding, the following objects or structures shall not be considered “signs” or, alternatively, shall nevertheless not be subject to this section:

  1. Customary holiday decorations displayed for a normal duration; provided, however, that white or clear lights evoking candle flames or miniature candle flames shall be permitted from mid-November through the end of March in the C-1, C-2, C-3, CR, and TC districts.
  2. Residential nameplates.
  3. Traffic control signs, the face of which meets the standards of the Department of Transportation, and which contains no commercial message.
  4. Signs for official, governmental, or quasi-governmental business, including signs or banners advertising public or quasi-public events that are posted or displayed with the permission of the Zoning Official or the governing body. [Amended 1-28-2002 by Ord. No. 02-04]
  5. Flags of the United States, State of New Jersey, Township of Vernon, foreign nations having diplomatic relations with the United States, other flags adopted or sanctioned by any elective legislative body of competent jurisdiction, and flags flown in conjunction with the flag of the United States, provided that no such flag shall exceed 60 square feet in area, nor shall any such flag be flown from a pole in excess of 35 feet in height. The flag’s area shall be in reasonable proportion to the height of the pole from which it is displayed. Not more than three flags may be flown from any one pole. Statutory requirements associated with flags and the generally accepted standards of flag display protocol shall be observed.
  6. Flags honoring and remembering military and service men and women of the United States.
  7. Public safety signs.
  8. Signs displayed by places of worship.
  9. Any public notice or warning or safety sign required by a valid and applicable federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance.
  10. Any sign indicating the name of a building and/or date of construction and/or other incidental information about its construction, which sign is made an integral part of a stone or masonry surface, or made of bronze or similar permanent material, including historic tablets, cornerstones, memorial plaques, monuments and emblems which do not exceed four square feet in area from a single viewpoint.
  11. Signs forbidding trespassing, hunting, fishing or trapping as authorized by state laws and regulations concerning fish, game and wildlife, but not exceed one square foot in size; and, further provided that no such sign shall be located less than 50 feet from another.
  12. Pump-mounted fuel price information signs subject to the following:
    1. Only one fuel price information sign shall be permitted per fuel pump; each such sign shall be limited in size to an area of 260 square inches; each such sign shall be affixed directly and firmly to a fuel pump, and shall be stationary.
  13. Regulation mailboxes of the United States Postal Service.

E. Public Signs

Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to restrict or prohibit the erection, construction or maintenance within the Township of Vernon of signs or markers for use in policing, directing or controlling of traffic or parking when legally authorized by the State of New Jersey and/or the County of Sussex, and/or the Township of Vernon; or signs for official, governmental or quasi-governmental business, including signs or banners advertising public or quasi-public events that are posted or displayed with the permission of the Zoning Official or the governing body.

F. Termination Of Use

At the termination of any use of any premises, building structure or lot, the permission to display signs associated with such use shall terminate. All nonconforming signs and the brackets and posts which support the signs, shall be removed from the premises within ten (10) days from the date of termination of such use, unless approval for any extension of time is requested from and granted by the Zoning Official.

G. Permitted Sign Specifications (if a specific type of sign is not listed, see Zoning Official)

  1. Banner Signs. Any temporary sign printed or displayed upon cloth or other flexible material. Promotional banners include those used to announce open houses and grand openings, make special announcements, or communicate events.
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot.
  • Size: Shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area, or 12'L x 3'H in size.
  • Time Limitation: May be placed thirty (30) days before the event, and removed no later than two (2) business days after the event.
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum twelve (12) feet measured from road edge.
  • No outdoor banner, flag, paper, canvas, or cloth signs used to advertise an event shall be erected until the proper no-fee permit is obtained.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before “banner” can be erected or displayed.
  1. Charitable Organization Drives. Temporary signs for campaign or money-raising drives for religious or charitable organizations.
  • Permitted Zones: Off-premise, Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot.
  • Time Limitation: May be placed thirty (30) days prior to the publicized event, and removed no later than two (2) business days after the event.
  • Size: Shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area, or 12'L x 3'H in size.
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum twelve (12) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before “sign” can be erected or displayed.
  1. Construction Signs. Temporary signs pertaining to the construction, repair, remodeling of any building shall be located at the principal entrance to the building.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per construction site/lot.
  • Time Limitation: May be placed at start of construction, and removed within 2 days of conclusion.
  • Size: Shall not exceed sixteen (16) square feet in area, or 4'L x 4'H
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before “sign” can be erected or displayed.
  1. Garage Sale Signs. A temporary sign designating or advertising to the public the sale of used or unwanted possessions, as household articles, often held in the garage of a house.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1)
  • Time Limitation: May be placed three (3) days prior to event, and must be removed within 2 days of conclusion.
  • Size: Not to exceed four (4) square feet or 2'W x 2'H
  • Maximum Height: Four (4) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before signs can be erected or displayed.
  1. Grand Opening Signs. Colored pennants are permitted on streamers/string (see Zoning Official for details).
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot.
  • Size: Shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area, or 12'L x 3'H in size.
  • Time Limitation: May be placed thirty (30) days prior to event, and removed within two (2) days of conclusion.
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum twelve (12) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before “sign” can be erected or displayed.
  1. Ground Signs. Any non-movable sign not affixed to a building, but excluding “Pylon Sign,” which is supported by one or more upright posts or braces in or upon the ground. Ground signs may include two components, branding and changeable marketing.
  • Permitted Zones: Non-Residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) per business occupancy.
  • Time Limitation: n/a permanent
  • Size: Shall not exceed Thirty (30) square feet
  • Maximum Height: Ten (10) feet measured from the ground level
  • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
  • Fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed.
  1. Maintenance/Service Signs (a/k/a lawn signs or yard signs—includes but is not limited to landscaping, lawn service, paving, driveway sealing and/or repair). Small signs placed on a lawn.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One per site
  • Time Limitation: During work, and for two (2) days after cessation of work.
  • Size: Shall not exceed four (4) square feet, 2'L x 2'H in size.
  • Maximum Height: Four (4) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed.
  1. New Occupancy Signs.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot.
  • Time Limitation: They shall be removed within fifteen (15) days of occupancy.
  • Size: Shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area, or 12'L x 3'H in size.
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum twelve (12) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed.
  1. Pedestal or Sandwich Signs. Signs which direct attention to products sold, or services supplied.
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: Up to two (2) signs permitted per property; properties with multi-business (plaza/centers) are limited to two pedestal signs.
  • Time Limitation: Displayed during normal business hours, must be removed nightly, and may not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic or sight distance.
  • Size: Shall not exceed eight (8) square feet, or 2'W x 4'H in size
  • Maximum Height: Four (4) feet, measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed.
  1. Political Event Signs. Political signs announcing political events, issues or campaigns may be erected providing that they do not constitute safety hazard by blocking sight distance, pedestrian or vehicular traffic and the like.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Time Limitation: May be placed thirty (30) days prior to event or campaign, and removed within seven (7) days after completion of the event or campaign.
  1. Professional Occupation. A sign listing only the name and profession of the practitioner.
  • Permitted Zones: All
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1)
  • Time Limitation: n/a permanent
  • Size: Shall not exceed four (4) square feet, 2'L x 2'H in size.
  • Maximum Height: 8 Ft.
  • Sign Placement: Minimum ten (10) feet measured from road edge.
  • Permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed. Note: building department permit(s) may be required. Cannot be internally lit - down lighting only.
  1. Projecting Sign. A sign which is affixed to any building and projecting beyond the building wall or parts thereof, structure, building line or property line more than twelve (12) inches, but which is not constructed or erected so as to extend above the roof line of the structure to which it is affixed.
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1)
  • Time Limitation: n/a permanent
  • Size: The area of the sign shall not exceed sixteen (16) square feet, or 4'L x 4'H.
  • Projection: Shall not project beyond the building line more than four (4) feet, and in no case shall a projecting sign project beyond any property line into public right-of-ways.
  • Supports and Attachments: Shall be in compliance with the N.J.U.C.C.
  • Maximum Height: The bottom of the sign shall be at least eight (8) feet clear above the walk or ground.
  • Fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed. Note: building department permit(s) may be required.
  1. Real Estate Signs. A temporary sign placed upon the property for the purpose of designating or advertising to the public the sale or lease of said property. No fee permit required. Real estate signs may be one of the following two types:
    1. Real estate “for sale/for lease/sold” signs.
      • Permitted Zones: All
      • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot to advertise the sale or rental of premises upon which the sign is located by the owner or real estate agent or broker.
      • Time Limitation: The sign shall be removed within seven (7) days after consummation of a sale or lease transaction.
      • Size: The sign is not to exceed eight (8) square feet in residential districts or sixteen (16) square feet in all other districts (this includes farm assessed land).
      • Maximum Height: n/a
      • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
    2. Real estate “Open House” signs.
      • Permitted Zones: All
      • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign, in addition to the “for sale” sign, may be placed on the subject property.
      • Time Limitation: The sign may be placed up to seven (7) days prior to the open house and shall be removed within two (2) days after the open house.
      • Size: The sign shall not exceed six (6) square feet in size,
      • Maximum Height: Four (4) feet (measured from ground to top of sign).
      • Sign Placement: Minimum five (5) feet measured from road edge.
    3. Real estate “Directional” signs are prohibited.
    4. No fee filing requirements. Real estate office/broker must register annually; filing window: November 1st through December 31st, for each year.
  1. Special Event Signs. (e.g. Special Olympics, Earthfest, Municipal events, etc.)
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One (1) sign per lot
  • Time Limitation: May be placed (30) days before the event, and removed no later than two (2) business days after the event.
  • Size: Shall not exceed thirty-six (36) square feet in area, or 12'L x 3'H in size.
  • Maximum Height: Eight (8) feet measured from ground to top of sign.
  • Sign Placement: See Zoning Official.
  • No outdoor banner, flag, paper, canvas, or cloth signs used to advertise a special event shall be erected until the proper no-fee permit is obtained.
  1. Wall. A sign which is affixed to or painted on an exterior wall of any building.
  • Permitted Zones: non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: No more than one wall sign per face of a building which fronts on a street shall be permitted to any one business occupancy.
  • Time Limitation: n/a permanent
  • Size: Total area of all wall signs on any one building shall not exceed in area thirty (30) percent of the total area of the first story or ground level face of the building on which they are erected, up to forty (40) square feet, and shall be designed to be architecturally compatible with the building.
  • Projection: No wall sign shall project higher than the highest point of the facade of the building upon which it is to be erected, and it shall not project more than eight (8) inches from the facade of the building.
  • Supports and Attachments: Shall be in compliance with the N.J.U.C.C.
  • Corner Properties: Corner properties, fronting on two or more streets, shall be permitted no more than one wall sign fastened on each wall fronting upon a street.
  • Maximum Height: n/a
  • Sign Placement: Wall signs shall be placed in the front of the building only, except on corner properties.
  • Fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed. Note: building department permit(s) may be required.
  1. Window Signs. Temporary window signs designed to promote the sale of any article or business activity.
  • Permitted Zones: Non-residential
  • Number of Signs Permitted: One per window
  • Time Limitation: shall not remain in a window longer than thirty (30) continuous days, and shall be removed within two (2) days after the event or activity has taken place.
  • Size: Shall not exceed in total sign area fifty (50) percent of any total window area.
  • Maximum Height: n/a
  • Sign Placement: n/a
  • No fee permit must be filed with Zoning Office before sign can be erected or displayed.

H. Illumination and Electrical Equipment

  1. All lit signs shall be turned off each day by midnight, unless the business is still open.
  2. The only illumination permitted shall be down-lit (a light projecting from the top of the sign downward onto the sign) and/or internally lit (lit from within the sign itself).
  3. All permitted illuminated signs shall be in accordance with the N.J.U.C.C.

I. Non-conforming Signs

Any sign lawfully in existence prior to the effective date of this ordinance may be continued, provided that the same shall be regularly maintained and kept in good repair. However, no change in lettering, content, size, construction, location, or lighting of such sign shall be permitted except by approval of the Zoning Official.

No non-conforming sign may be enlarged or altered in such a way as to increase its non-conformity unless approved by the Land Use Board. All non-conforming aspects shall be removed or altered to conform to the provisions of this Section when any such sign is changed or modified in shape, size, illumination, or structure.

J. Permits, Fees, and Enforcement

  1. Permit.
    1. Temporary Signs: Permit Required (NO FEE).
    2. All Other Signs: No other sign shall be erected, constructed, altered, or structured condition repaired until a permit has been issued by the Zoning Official and fee paid.
  2. Regulations.
    1. Fees: Fees shall be collected by the Zoning Official in accordance with the Vernon Township Fee Ordinance. Fee shall be required for all new signs and all signs replacing existing signs.
    2. Exemptions: The requirements for a permit fee shall not apply to:
      • Temporary window signs
      • Temporary signs of a political nature
      • Temporary signs advertising charitable fund raising events
      • Temporary Real Estate signs
      • Temporary Special Event signs
      • General Maintenance and Upkeep on an existing permitted sign
      • Amendment/Alteration of advertising copy on an existing permitted sign
      • Security Signs
      • Maintenance/Service Signs
  3. Enforcement.
    • Inspection: The Zoning Official shall inspect each sign for which a permit is required upon completion of its installation.
    • Unsafe Signs: In the event that any sign is found to be in a dangerous structural condition, the Zoning Official shall notify the owner of such sign and/or the owner of the property on which it is erected in writing, and advise the owner to make the same safe and secure. In the event the owner does not comply with the requirements as specified within two (2) business days from receipt of such notice, the sign may be removed by the Township of Vernon, in which case the owner of the sign and the owner of the building shall be jointly and severably liable to the Township for the costs of removal.
    • Defective Signs: In the event any sign is found to be in violation of size, number or location provisions of this ordinance, the Zoning Official shall notify the owner of such sign and the owner of the property on which the sign is erected of such violation in writing, and the owner shall within FIVE (5) business days, correct such violation.
    • Penalties: Violation of and/or non-conformance with this Ordinance shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in the Vernon Township Administrative Code.

K. Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Ordinance be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such provision(s) shall be deemed severable, and the remaining portions of this Ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.

L. All ordinances or parts of ordinances or resolutions that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

The Township Clerk is hereby directed to give notice at least ten days prior to the adoption of this Ordinance to the County Planning Board and to all other persons entitled thereto pursuant to NJSA 40:55D-15 and NJSA 40:55D-63 (if required). Upon the adoption of this ordinance after public hearing thereon, the Township Clerk is further directed to publish notice of the passage thereof and to file a copy of the Ordinance as finally adopted with the Sussex County Planning Board as required by NJSA 40:55D-16. The Clerk shall also forthwith transmit a copy of this Ordinance after final passage to the Township Tax Assessor as required by NJSA 40:49-2.1.

This Ordinance shall take effect after publication and passage according to law.