This section applies to all new signs, as well as to alterations of existing signs. Any exterior sign or advertising device, or any permanent interior sign or advertising device designed and intended to be viewed from the out of doors, which is hereafter erected or maintained, shall, except as expressly provided otherwise, conform to this section. This section shall apply to all existing signs that do not comply with the current zoning by-law.
3.1 Permit Required
All new or altered signs shall require a permit from the Building Inspector, except for non-conforming signs, satisfying the criteria of Section 3.2, exempt signs as provided by Section 5.1 and temporary signs in accordance with Section 5.2. Refer to the attached appendix for guideline references to relevant sections.
3.2 Non-conforming Signs
It is the intent of this section to bring all signs into conformance with this section over time.
3.2.1 Legally erected non-conforming signs
Any existing sign that conformed to the requirements of the Rutland Zoning by-law when so erected shall continue to legally exist as a non-conforming sign, until such time that the elements of wear and tear require replacement. Such signs may continue to be maintained, even though as a result of adoption of this section, the sign does not conform to the terms of this sign bylaw, provided that such sign shall not be enlarged, except so as to make the sign conform to said requirements. Significant redesign or alteration shall not include general maintenance and upkeep, alteration of the copy (including a different name for a new business) or new logo design for a similar business or modifications that do not increase the size of the sign.
3.2.2 Restoration of Non-conforming signs
Any such sign that has been destroyed or damaged to such an extent that the cost of restoration would exceed thirty-five percent (35%) of the replacement value of the sign at the time of destruction or damage, or where greater than 50% of the sign area is destroyed or damaged, shall not be repaired, rebuilt or altered, except so as to make said sign conform to the requirements of this chapter, except where such destruction or damage is by accident, caused by parties other than the business or property owner or by act of God. The Building Inspector shall determine whether restoration of a non-conforming sign shall be allowed in accordance with this section.
3.2.3 Abandonment; Failure to Maintain
The exemption for a nonconforming sign herein granted shall terminate with respect to any sign which is abandoned, which advertises or calls attention to any products, businesses or activities no longer carried on or sold on the premises for at least sixty (60) days or which is not repaired or properly maintained for at least sixty (60) days after notice that such repair or maintenance is required has been given to the property owner by the Building Inspector.
3.3 Prohibited Signs
The following signs shall not be allowed in Rutland
3.3.1 Flashing signs;
3.3.3 Signs exceeding the limits set forth herein;
3.3.4 All Neon signs except "open" or "closed" signs not exceeding two (2) square feet. In a business zone only, one (1) additional neon window sign not exceeding two (2) square feet is allowed;
3.3.5 Internally illuminated signs except by waiver as granted in accordance with Section 8.4.2;
3.3.6 Tethered, lighter than air objects used as signs;
3.3.7 Any sign displayed on a chassis, trailer, or other unregistered vehicle.