BYLAW: Sign Regulation By-law
MUNICIPALITY: Amherst, MA
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS BYLAW CONTACT:
Jonathan Tucker, Planning Director
4 Boltwood Ave
Amherst, MA 01002
TEXT OF THE BYLAW
SECTION 8.0 GENERAL STANDARDS
Any exterior sign or advertising device, or any permanent interior sign or advertising devise designed and intended to be viewed from the out of doors, which is hereafter erected or maintained shall, except as expressly provided, conform to the following restrictions. Any interior sign used only temporarily and not permanently mounted shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
No sign or advertising device shall, in any district:
8.00 Projecting Signs
8.000 Exceed 10 square feet in area.
8.001 If affixed to, suspended from, or incorporated as part of a building, project more than 36 inches from the building, except that such a sign may project up to 48 inches from the building provided it does not exceed 6 square feet in area.
8.002 If supported by or suspended from a pedestal or post, project more than 36 inches over or into any pedestrian way customarily used by the public, except that any such sign may project up to 48 inches over any such way provided it does not exceed 6 square feet in area.
8.003 Extend into a 24 inch setback from a vertical plane above the curb line of any adjacent street customarily used by the public.
8.01 Project or extend more than four feet above the eavesline or parapet of any building to which it is affixed.
8.02 Incorporate or be lighted by, flashing or blinking lights, or be designed to attract attention by a change in light intensity or direction, or by repeated mechanical or electrical motion. Fixed banners or electronic billboards using changeable lights to convey the time, temperature, or other public information shall be exempt from this prohibition.
8.03 If free standing, extend more than twelve feet above ground level.
8.04 Be larger than 125 square feet in area.
8.10 In the case of a dwelling or use accessory thereto - one sign not over two square feet in area for each household residing on the premises, not to exceed a total of eight square feet in area, indicating the address and/or the names of the owners or occupants and one sign not over eight square feet in area pertaining to the accessory use.
8.11 In the case of a permitted or authorized use other than a dwelling or use accessory thereto, or in the case of the sale or lease of the premises - two signs pertaining to such use, sale or lease provided that the combined total area of such signs clearly visible from any point off the premises shall exceed twelve square feet only under a Special Permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
In the R-VC District only, The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit for two signs pertaining to an accessory use, wê combined total area of such signs clearly visible from any point off the premises shall not exceed twelve square feet, with any single sign not to exceed eight square feet in area.
8.12 No billboard, or sign on which the principal product or service advertised is not regularly produced or available on the premises, shall be erected or maintained in any Residence District.
8.13 In the case of a fraternity or sorority - one sign identifying the group residing on the premises and not to exceed twelve square feet.
8.14 Political Signs
8.140 Election Signs -- Election signs shall be those signs pertaining to a candidate for election or ballot question. Such signs shall be allowed except each sign shall be erected no earlier than sixty days prior to an election and shall be removed within three days after the election. No such sign shall be located in the clear sight triangle, as defined in Section 6.27.
8.141 Message Signs -- Message signs shall be those signs displaying a political, religious, or other non-commercial message other than that allowed under Sections 8.10 through 8.13 and 8.140. A maximum of two such signs per property shall be allowed. Each sign shall not exceed six square feet in size. No such sign shall be located in the clear sight triangle, as defined in Section 6.27.
8.21 Signs affixed to, suspended from, or incorporated as part of a building, provided that the total area of the sign on a wall shall not exceed 10 percent of the area of that wall.
8.22 A marquee over the principal entrance to a place of public assembly, subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 5 of the Town By-Law.
8.23 One other sign (such as a sign affixed to a post) for each 100 feet, or fraction thereof, of lot frontage on the principal street, provided that the total area of all such signs shall not exceed 100 square feet for each such unit of frontage. No such sign shall be located nearer to the street line than the minimum setback distance required for a building on the same lot, except as may be provided for under this section. In no case shall there be more than 4 such signs in conjunction with a development or project.
For any sign located on a property in a B-VC, B-L or COM district and also in a National Historic Register District or local historic district, the minimum front setback may be the same as established for business uses in the B-G District, subject to approval of the sign location and design by the permit-granting authority. The authority shall consider the following criteria: vehicular and pedestrian safety; the setbacks of existing signs in the vicinity; historical precedent for sign locations in the vicinity; the design principles and standards in Section 3.2041,9), and; the proposed uses of the property.
8.24 Permanent signs identifying a business or facility may be allowed on cloth or fabric structures such as awnings or upon fixed banners under the permitting procedures required under this Bylaw for the use with which they are associated, and shall conform to the provisions of this section.
8.30 Name plates of the type described in Section 8.10 herein.
8.31 Announcement: one or two signs not exceeding a total of twelve (12) square feet in area for the following purposes:
8.310 Advertisement for the sale, rental or lease of the premises.
8.311 Announcement or bulletin board for a public charitable or religious institution.
8.312 Advertisement for a building contractor only while construction is occurring on the site.
8.40 Signs legally existing at the time this Bylaw was adopted may continue as non-conforming uses, subject to the provisions of Article 9 hereof.
This provision shall not apply to billboards, signs and other advertising devices subject to the provisions of Sections 29 through 33, inclusive, of Chapter 93, and of Chapter 93D of the General Laws.
8.41 A directional or identification sign may be erected and maintained in any district where the Board of Appeals, acting under Section 10.3, finds that such signs will serve the public convenience, will not endanger the public safety, and will be of such size, location, and design as will not be detrimental to the neighborhood.
8.42 Nothing herein shall affect provisions in existing Town By-Laws relating to temporary signs permitted by the Select Board, or posted by the Town or government, nor to the regulation by the Select Board under Article III, Section 5 of the Town By-Laws of signs which extend six inches or more into or over the limits of a public way.
8.43 The Building Commissioner may grant a temporary sign permit for temporary exterior signs made of cloth, fabric, vinyl, paper or other similar materials, including banners, pennants and flags, for such purposes as grand openings, going-out-of-business sales and seasonal promotions. A temporary sign permit shall not exceed 3 weeks in duration.