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Definition of Sign

cmdrico7812

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
We are soon overhauling our zoning ordinance here is SW Michigan and our current definition of sign is approximately 75-100 words in length and is confusing to the novice reading the definition for the first time. If any one could post a more simple definition of a sign or give ideas on how to more appropriately describe a sign that would be great. Thanks.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
Our code says:

Sign.
a. Any device for visual communications and the structure which supports it, which is used or is intended to attract the attention of the public, when the display of this device is visible beyond the boundaries of the property upon which the display is made.
b. The term "sign" shall not include National flags, flags of political subdivisions, and symbolic flags of any institution or business or badge or insignia of the United States, State of Wisconsin, foreign countries or official historic plaques.


Still very wordy, but it seems to work. However now that I look at it, the definition does not categorzie internal traffic directional signs or internal tenant boards (both of which cannot be seen beyond the property boundaries) as signs. Hmmmm.....
 
Last edited:

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
One of the better, in my opinion, PAS reports is Eric Damian Kelly's on Sign Regulations for Small (?, I can't remember the exact title, but you can find it by author) Communities. I don't use models much, but I have been using this one as my starting point with communities that want to talk about signs for several years. It has good definitions, as well as a nice simple format for content-neutral regulations.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,419
Points
34
Our sign definition is pretty good and goes into detail on definitions based on characteristics of signs. Here's what ours has to say:

2.5- Sign means any writing, pictorial representation, illustration, emblem, symbol, design or other figure of similar character, placed out of doors in view of the general public and used for purposes of advertisement, identification or expression. For the purposes of this Ordinance, all signs are defined according to their physical characteristics:

a. Freestanding Signs are permanent signs that are not mounted or attached to any building.

b. Wall Signs are permanent signs that are mounted or attached to a building or an extension thereof.

c. Stake Signs are temporary signs affixed to the ground with stakes or poles.

d. Portable Signs are transportable signs on wheels, skids, legs, or framing, including trailers and searchlights, used for advertising or promotional purposes, which are not primarily designed or intended to be permanently affixed to the ground or a building or structure, although they may be capable of being so affixed.

Hope that helps...
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,232
Points
52
Not easy, but covers everything

For the City of Reading, our zoning ordinace says:

“Any permanent or temporary structure or part thereof, or any device attached, painted or represented directly or indirectly on or in a structure or other outdoor surface that shall display or include any letter, word, insignia or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an advertisement, announcement, visual communication, direction, or is designated to bring the subject to attention of the public. The term “sign” shall not include the flag of any public, quasi-public, civic, charitable or religious group”.

In short, if anything has any meaning or thought… it is a sign. *Except flags*
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Ours are anything but simple...but the towns like it that way....

SIGN -- Any structure or part thereof or any device attached thereto or painted thereon or any material or thing, illuminated or otherwise, which displays or includes any numeral, letter, word, model, banner, emblem, light, device, trademark or other representation used as an announcement, designation, direction, display or advertisement of any person, firm, group, organization, commodity, service, profession or enterprise when placed in such a manner that it provides visual communication to the general public out of doors.

SIGNS -- Any material, structure or device, or part thereof, composed of lettered or pictorial matter or upon which lettered or pictorial matter is used, displaying an advertisement, announcement, notice or name, and including any declaration, demonstration, display, representation, illustration or insignia used to advertise or promote the interests of any person or business or cause when such is placed in view of the general public. The word "sign" shall not be deemed to include any badge or insignia of any government agency or any civic, charitable, religious, patriotic, fraternal or similar organization, nor shall it include directional signs erected and maintained pursuant to law.

couple from our towns... many of our town codes can be viewed here at General Code:

http://www.generalcode.com/webcode2.html#newy

Signage is really tight in Westchester....if you want small signs... just look to some of the codes in our county. Some towns even regulate hand bills,, the paper signs in windows and such.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
Sign. Anything whatsoever placed, erected, constructed, posted, pointed, printed, tacked, nailed, glued, stuck, carved, or otherwise fastened, affixed or made visible for out-of-door advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever on the ground or on a tree, wall, bush, rock, post, fence, building, structure or thing whatsoever.

From a previous jurisdiction where I worked.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
For a state wide policy, use this link and navigate through "The Planning System", then "State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs)" then scroll down to SEPP 65. For what we do 'at home', try this link and choose "download F", then go to section 2.7.7 in Streescape and the Public Realm. (Don't worry, it is a PDF and it will load on your screen from the server, it will not download unless you command it).

Sorry the links aren't direct but they keep coming back to early pages even when I am copying and pasting from the final destination. Then again I am a bit of a computer gumby.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,758
Points
69
Here's the definition from the code I wrote.

Sign – device or structure used to advertise, identify or direct attention to an object, person, institution, business, product, service, event or location by any means; including words, designs, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination, images and forms.
 

BCF

Cyburbian
Messages
29
Points
2
Re: Not easy, but covers everything

michaelskis said:
For the City of Reading, our zoning ordinace says:

“Any permanent or temporary structure or part thereof, or any device attached, painted or represented directly or indirectly on or in a structure or other outdoor surface that shall display or include any letter, word, insignia or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an advertisement, announcement, visual communication, direction, or is designated to bring the subject to attention of the public. The term “sign” shall not include the flag of any public, quasi-public, civic, charitable or religious group”.

In short, if anything has any meaning or thought… it is a sign. *Except flags*

You can't do that. If you exempt non-profit organzation and religious organization flags, you have to exempt corporate flags as well. Ours exempts, "Flags, emblems and insignia of a nation or political subdivision" and that's it. And there is a court ruling out here that if the State had flags hanging from bridges over the freeways to support the troops, they had to allow anti-war signs as well.

=Bob
 
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