Article IX: Signs

Section 9.1                           Purpose

Section 9.2                           Applicability and Exemptions

Section 9.3                           Approvals Required

Section 9.4                           Application Requirements

Section 9.5                           Sign Definitions

Section 9.6                           Signs Permitted or Prohibited

Section 9.6.1                  Permitted Signs

Section 9.6.2                 Prohibited Signs

Section 9.7                           Amortization

Section 9.8                           General Standards

Section 9.8.1                  Construction

Section 9.8.2                 Placement

Section 9.8.2                 Illumination

Section 9.8.3                 Maintenance

Section 9.9                           Variances

Section 9.10                         Tables of Sign Requirements


Section 9.1                           Purpose

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This section provides comprehensive regulations for signage in the Town of McClellanville designed to promote public safety and welfare by reducing visual clutter along roadways, facilitating the efficient transfer of information, and thus enhancing both traffic flow and the ability to locate needed goods and services.

Section 9.2                           Applicability

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The provisions of this Article apply to all signs erected or installed in the Town of McClellanville, except official notices posted by a court or any public agency or officer provided they are not located within a public right-of-way without authorization of law or an encroachment agreement.

Section 9.3                           Approvals Required

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No signs, except temporary real estate signs for individual lots or political signs that comply with the tables in §9.6 shall be erected within the Town of McClellanville unless the Zoning Administrator has granted a sign permit.  Permits shall also be obtained for the alteration of any permitted sign where 35% or more of the sign face area, exclusive of supports, will be changed or where flags and similar display devices are proposed to be erected for the purpose or bearing of a commercial message or emblem.  In addition:

(a)              Permits to erect signs in the Historic District (HD) shall not be issued prior to obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Town’s Architectural Review Board.

(b)              Permits to erect signs in the Highway Commercial District (HCD) shall not be issued prior to review and approval by the Design Review Board.

(c)               Permits shall not be issued for signs proposed for installation within a public right-of-way prior to authorization of law or approval of an encroachment agreement with the Town or State.

(d)              Signs erected or changed without obtaining a permit as required under this section shall be considered a violation of this Ordinance pursuant to Article XII.

Section 9.4                           Permit Application Requirements

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The Zoning Administrator shall be authorized to grant permits for repair, alteration, erection or placement of signs upon demonstration by the applicant that the sign or signs comply with the requirements of this Article.  Applications for a sign permit shall submitted on a form provided by the Zoning Administrator.

(a)              All permit applications for signs shall be accompanied by a plan, drawn to scale, showing the details of the sign, its dimensions, size and location on the lot or building, dimensions of the sign’s supporting members, and the minimum and maximum height of the sign.

(b)              Applications for signs within the Historic or Highway Commercial Districts shall be accompanied by all other information necessary to demonstrate conformance with design guidelines for those districts.

(c)               An applicant for a sign permit shall pay such fees as determined by Town Council.  The Zoning Administrator may require a deposit guaranteeing the removal of temporary signs within the time period specified in this Ordinance.

Section 9.5                           Sign Definitions

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The following types of structures or devices designed or intended to attract attention to, or convey information to, or convey information about the subject thereof to the public are classified as types of signs.

(a)              Abandoned sign.  Any sign that directs attention to a business or profession that is no longer conducted on the premises where such sign is located or to which the sign directs attention.

(b)              Animated sign.  Any sign so designed as to facilitate or permit the rotation, oscillation, or other movement of the sign or of any of its visible parts.

(c)               Awning or canopy sign.  A sign mounted, painted or attached to an awning or canopy.

(d)              Banner sign.  A sign made of fabric or any nonrigid material with no enclosing framework.

(e)               Building mounted sign. A sign attached to, painted on, inscribed, or deriving its major support from any part of a building, including a canopy sign, projecting sign, wall or façade sign.

(f)                Directional sign.  A sign authorized by the Town or any agency of the State of SC that provides information about, or directions to areas and activities within or outside the Town of McClellanville or a sign solely providing direction to a business located within the Town.

(g)              Directory sign.  A sign advertising the presence of a building with multiple businesses or tenants within a single building or development which identifies the name of the development and lists the individual businesses or tenants thereof. Façade sign.  A sign affixed to a façade of a structure.

(h)              Flashing sign.  Any lighted or electrical sign that emits light in sudden transitory bursts.  For the purposes of this Ordinance, strobe lights in window fronts visible from the public right of way are included in this definition.  On/off time and temperature signs and message boards are not considered flashing signs for the purpose of this Ordinance.

(i)                Freestanding sign.  A sign supported by one or more columns, uprights, posts or braces, in or upon the ground and wholly independent of any building or vehicle.  A sign attached to a flat surface such as a fence or wall, not part of the building, shall be considered a freestanding sign.

(j)                Ground Mounted or Monument sign.  A freestanding sign permanently affixed to an elevated base or planter.

(k)              Illuminated sign.  A sign designed to give forth artificial light or to reflect artificial light from a source incorporated in or associated with such sign.

(l)                Imitation traffic devices or signal sign.  A sign which is of such size, location, movement, content, coloring or of a manner of illumination which could be confused with or construed to be traffic control devices or which hide from view any traffic or street signal or which obstruct the view in any direction from a street intersection.

(m)           Imitation traffic sign.  A sign which imitates official traffic signs or signals or which contain the words “stop”, “go”, “danger”, “slow”, “caution”, “warning”, or similar words in such a fashion as to imitate official traffic signs or signals.

(n)              Incidental sign.  A sign that provides information or direction to on site locations such as, but not limited to, restrooms, loading areas, parking lot exits, and the like.

(o)              Nonconforming sign.  Any sign which has a valid permit, was erected or displayed prior to the effective date of this Ordinance or any subsequent amendment hereto and does not conform with this Article or any subsequent amendments thereto, or the sign restrictions which preceded this Article.

(p)              Off-premise sign.  A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service or event which is conducted, sold or offered at a location other than the premises on which the sign is located.

(q)              On-premise sign.  A sign that directs attention to a business, commodity, service or event that is conducted, sold or offered on the premises on which the sign is located.

(r)               Portable sign.  A sign that usually rests on the ground on wheels or metal legs, and may be temporarily anchored by weights and/or cables attached to stakes driven into the ground.

(s)               Projecting sign.  A building mounted sign attached to and projecting from the wall or face of a building.

(t)                Real Estate (Project Identification) sign.  A temporary sign advertising the real property upon which the sign is located for rent or lease or sale, or advertising the business or businesses to be located on the premises, the architect, contractor, developer, finance organization, subcontractor or material vendor upon which property such individual is furnishing labor, services or material.

(u)              Roof sign.  A sign erected over or on, and wholly or partially dependent upon, the roof of any building for support, or attached to the roof in any way.

(v)              Sandwich or Tent sign.  A portable, freestanding sign which folds out to form an inverted “V” on the pavement or surface on which it is placed.

(w)            Sign in Disrepair.  Any sign that contains damaged or defective parts, or otherwise presents an unsightly appearance due to lack of maintenance.

(x)              Sign, In Marshes.  Signs erected or displayed in a marsh area or on land subject to periodic inundation by tidal action.

(y)              Snipe sign.  A sign that is pasted or attached to a utility pole, tree, fence or other signs.

(z)               Temporary sign.  Signs that are not permanently attached to a building, other structures or the ground, intended to be erected or displayed for a limited period of time as specified in Table G of this Article.

(aa)          Vehicle sign.  A permanent or temporary sign affixed, painted on, or placed in or upon any parked vehicle, parked trailer or other parked device capable of being towed, which is displayed in public view under such circumstances as to the location on the premises, time of day, duration, availability of other parking spaces on the premises, and the proximity of the vehicle to the area on the premises where it is loaded, unloaded or otherwise carries out its principal function, which circumstances indicate that the primary purpose of said display is to attract the attention of the public rather than to serve the business of the owner thereof in the manner which is customary for said vehicle.

(bb)          Wall sign.  A building mounted sign attached to, painted on, inscribed, or deriving its major support from a wall, and which projects less than twelve (12) inches from the wall.  A façade sign.

(cc)           Window sign.  A sign painted, stenciled, or affixed on or inside a window, which is visible from a public right of way or public access.


Section 9.6                           Signs Permitted or Prohibited

§9.6.1                   Permitted Signs.

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Only those signs listed in the Tables A-E of this Article shall be permitted.  Sign types not listed in a table for a specific zoning district shall not be permitted within that district.  Temporary signs, for commercial and noncommercial operations, may be permitted provided they comply with the maximum size, number and height listed as requirements for each Zoning District and are removed within thirty (30) days of permit approval. 

§9.6.2                  Prohibited Signs.

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The following signs shall not be permitted within the Town of McClellanville:

(a)              Flashing signs;

(b)              Banner sign, except for promotion of community events;

(c)               Signs imitating traffic devices (Signals);

(d)              Signs imitating traffic signs;

(e)               Signs in marshes;

(f)                Signs in Rights-of Way, except those permitted signs that have approved encroachment permits;

(g)              Snipe or other similar signs;

(h)              Signs on parked vehicles;

(i)                Off-Premises signs, except directional signs in compliance with the provisions of Table F and, with permission of a property owner or one temporary real estate sign directing prospective buyers to properties on dirt or dead end roads within the village.  No such signs shall be permitted on any town property, whether owned or leased.

(j)                Portable signs (not permanently affixed to the ground or structure)

(k)              Electronic message boards and/or changeable copy signs unless integrated within a permanent sign structure that contains permanent lettering.

(l)                Signs attached to a single stake or picket that are posted in the ground without any foundation or means of permanent support, except temporary real estate or political signs.

(m)           Signs emitting a sound, odor, or visible matter such as smoke or vapor.

(n)              Roof signs.

(o)              Abandoned signs or signs in disrepair,

(p)              Any sign exhibiting statements, words or picture of obscene or pornographic subjects.

Section 9.7                           Amortization

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(a)              To allow a gradual, orderly transfer of signage which will preserve business identity and location, and so as not to unduly burden business owners, any sign that complies with the Town sign regulations and which has a valid permit as of the date of the adoption of this Ordinance and which is rendered nonconforming by the provisions of this Ordinance may remain, but shall be brought into compliance with the terms of this ordinance within three (3) years after the effective date hereof.

(b)              All other signs shall be removed, altered or brought into compliance with the provisions hereof within six (6) months of the effective date of this Ordinance.

Section 9.8                           General Standards

§9.8.1                  Sign Construction.

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(a)              Signs must be constructed of durable materials and maintained in good, readable condition.

(b)              All signs must meet structural and installation standards of the International Building Code and electrical standards of the International Electrical Code as enforced by the Town of McClellanville, or such other standards as the Town may, from time to time, adopt.

(c)               Signs shall face a maximum of two directions, and may be mounted back—to— back or V’ed.

(d)              Where signs face two directions, whether back-to-back or V’ed, both sign faces must be the same size and dimensions.

§9.8.2                  Illumination.

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(a)              Signs, which are or are proposed to be illuminated, shall be illuminated by means of an external light source, except where a ground-mounted sign proposes translucent letters and graphics on an opaque background.

(1)               Neon signs are not permitted.

(2)              External illumination shall be a steady stationary light source, shielded and directed solely at the sign.

(b)              The intensity of light shall not exceed 20-foot candles at any point on the sign face.

(c)               The color of light sources to illuminate signs shall be white.

(d)              The light source from any illuminated sign shall be shaded, shielded and directed such that the light intensity or brightness is not visible from adjacent properties or rights of way.

(e)               Neither the direct, nor reflected, light from primary light sources shall create a traffic hazard to operators of motor vehicles on public thoroughfares.

(f)                No exposed reflective type bulbs and no strobe/intermittent light or incandescent lamps shall be used to illuminate a sign.

(g)              No sign shall outline any building or part thereof with neon or other lights.

§9.8.3                  Placement.

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(a)              Except as stated in §9.6.2(i), signs shall be placed on the property or structure to which it directs attention or to which it is appurtenant.

(b)              All signs shall be setback from the public right of way or interior lot line as specified in the tables referenced in §9.6(a) unless a valid encroachment permit has been obtained from the appropriate agency.

(c)               No sign or structure shall be erected so as to interfere with the vision of pedestrians or vehicles traveling along any highway, street, road or driveway, or any intersection of any street, highway or road.  Upon notice, such signs shall be immediately removed.

(d)              Where minimum setback and height requirements listed elsewhere in this section conflict with the vision clearance standards, the more restrictive of the two shall apply.

(e)               No sign shall obstruct a fire escape, window, door or opening used as a means of ingress or egress for fire fighting purposes, or so as to prevent free passage from one part of a roof to any other part thereof.  No sign shall be attached in any manner to a fire escape or be so placed as to interfere with any opening required for legal ventilation.

§9.8.4                  Maintenance.

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(a)              Signs in disrepair shall be repaired, renovated, or removed from the premises within sixty (60) days following notice by the Zoning Administrator.

(b)              Signs advertising a business or use no longer in existence shall be removed within sixty (60) days of the business or use ceasing to exist.

(c)               The Town may remove all signs not removed within 30 days of receiving notice of noncompliance.  The cost of such removal shall be assessed to the property owner.

Section 9.9                           Variances

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Variances from the provisions of this section may be requested from the Board of Zoning Appeals in accord with the standards and procedures in Article XII of this Ordinance.

 


 

TABLE A: GENERAL PROVISIONS

For any combination of freestanding, ground mounted, projecting, wall/façade, or painted wall signs

REQUIREMENTS

ZONING DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL

HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

Maximum number of sign types/business (including any combination of the signs listed in Tables B-E below)

1

3, but no more than 1 freestanding or monument sign/lot

4 total, (inclusive of any listing(s) on directory signs) and no more than 1 freestanding or monument per facade/lot frontage

2 total, (inclusive of any listing(s) on directory signs) and no more than 1 freestanding sign/lot frontage

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TABLE B: FREESTANDING SIGNS

RERUIREMENTS

ZONING DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL

HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

Maximum Sign Area/Freestanding sign

Home Occupations: 4 sf

Principal Uses: 12 sf

12 sf

100 sf

24 sf

Maximum Height (to top of sign)

5 ft

6 ft

16 ft

10 ft

Minimum Height from ground level (visibility clearance for drivers at site entrances)

3 ft

3 ft

4 ft

4 ft.

Minimum setback from public right of way or lot lines

None, provided there is no encroachment or overhang of the public right of way

 

1 ft for every 1 sf above 30 sf in sign area.

1 ft for every 1sf above 12 sf in sign area.

Other

Single pole supports only

Double supports acceptable

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TABLE C: MONUMENT/GROUND MOUNTED SIGNS

REQUIREMENTS

ZONING DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL

HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

Maximum Sign Area/Ground Mounted Sign

Home Occupations: 4 sf

Conditional Uses: 10 sf

N/A

80 sf

16 sf

Maximum Height

4 ft

N/A

6 ft

Minimum setback from public right of way or lot lines

 

None, provided there is no encroachment or overhang of the public right of way

Other

Must be situated on a landscaped base perpendicular to the public right of way and surrounded by shrubs and/or other ornamental plantings a minimum of 36” in depth on each side with an opacity of no less than 60%.

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TABLE D: WALL/FAÇADE/PAINTED OR MURAL SIGNS

REQUIREMENTS

ZONING DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL

HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

Maximum Sign Area/Wall or Façade Sign

Home Occupations: 4 sf

Principal Uses: 12 sf

8% of wall area

15% of wall area, including incidental signs

8% of wall area

Maximum Height/placement

Wall or façade signs shall be placed no higher than eave of principal structure nor shall they project more than 12 inches from the wall on which they are placed

 

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TABLE E: PROJECTING SIGNS

REQUIREMENTS

ZONING DISTRICT

RESIDENTIAL

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL

HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL

Maximum number of signs/business

N/A

1/street frontage

2/street frontage

1/street frontage

Maximum Sign Area/Projecting Sign

N/A

6 sf

6sf

6sf

Minimum separation from other projecting signs

N/A

25 ft

 

 

Maximum Height

N/A

12 ft

25 feet above grade or the building eave, whichever is lower

`12 ft

Minimum Height

from ground level

N/A

8 ft

8 ft

8 ft

Maximum Projection from building

N/A

2.5 ft

4 ft

4 ft

 

In addition to the signs permitted under Tables A-E, the following signs may be permitted

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TABLE F: SPECIAL SIGNS

SIGN TYPE

MAXIMUM DURATION

MAXIMUM TOTAL AREA ALL SIGNS

MAXIMUM HEIGHT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL

MAXIMUM NUMBER

MINIMUM SETBACK

ILLUMINATION PERMITTED

Incidental or On-site Directional

N/A

3 sf

10 ft

1 per use or purpose/site or building entrance

6 ft.

See §9.8.2

Off-site Directional Signs to established businesses

N/A

4 sf

8 ft

1/business

5 ft

None

Residential Subdivision Identification

N/A

16 sf

6 ft

1/entrance

6 ft.

See §9.8.2

Directory

N/A

Same as other signs of same sign type, i.e. freestanding directory signs can have maximum sign area for freestanding signs

10 ft

1/entrance, no more than 2 total

6 ft.

See §9.8.2

Window signs

May be temporary or permanent

15% of glass area of window; included within total sign area for business if displayed more than 60 days

8 ft

 

Same as principal building

None, except for signs constructed of neon piping

Sandwich signs

During business hours

6 sf, no more than 2 feet in width

3 ft

1/business

3.5 ft

None

Minimum separation of 20 feet from other such signs required

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TABLE G: TEMPORARY SIGNS

SIGN TYPE

MAXIMUM DURATION

MAXIMUM TOTAL AREA ALL SIGNS

MAXIMUM HEIGHT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL

MAXIMUM NUMBER

MINIMUM SETBACK

ILLUMINATION PERMITTED

Temporary Real Estate

(On-site)

Remove within 30 days of sale transaction or when 75% of lots within a subdivision are conveyed

Residential: 6 sf

None

1 per dwelling unit

6 ft.

None

Subdivisions and Non-residential: 24 sf

10 ft

1 per entrance

6 ft.

Temporary Construction

Completion of project, issuance of occupancy permit

32 sf (total for all subcontractors, etc.)

10 ft

1/entrance

6 ft.

None

Temporary Event (including political signs)

No more than 30 days in advance and 15 days after event or election

Events: 12 sf

Political: 6 sf

N/A

Events: 4 throughout the town

Political: No maximum

6 ft.

None

 

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