St. Joseph County, Michigan

Due to the length of this ordinance the Village of Colon has chosen to only publish a synopsis of the entire ordinance. Individuals wishing to read, in its entirety, the ordinance regulating signs may do so at the Village of Colon office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

An ordinance to regulate signs

The Village of Colon ordains:

Sec. 46.1
The Village Colon sign ordinance applies to the R1, R2, Commercial and Industrial Districts. The sign ordinance allows businesses to promote the nature and location of their establishments and to improve access for their patrons. The sign ordinance also allows the Village to enhance the physical appearance and economic viability of the commercial and industrial districts by controlling the number, size and maintenance of sign, awnings, and canopies. The sign ordinance even protects pedestrians and motorists by limiting distractions from too many signs. The sign ordinance ensures that the quality of life and natural beauty and landscape appearance of R1 and R2 districts. The sign ordinance requires any business intending to construct, maintain, display or alter a sign to pay a one-time permit application fee. Types of signs that are allowed include multiple-surface signs, awnings, canopies, marquees, freestanding signs, projecting signs, or blinking lights that scroll messages, wall signs and any other sign as listed in Section 46.13, Exempt Signs. Signs that are not allowed include flashing signs, signs that move, roof signs, signs on the public right-of-way and signs on vacant spaces and any other sign as listed in Section 46.12, Prohibited Signs. Any sign that is not included in the above categories will be subject to approval of the Zoning Administrator of the Village of Colon. Temporary signs are allowed for up to 60 days as long as they are mounted and properly maintained. Permanent and temporary window signs must not occupy more than 50% of the window area, except in the downtown business district where special sign restrictions are in place. The design, size, content and structure of all signs must meet all other requirements specified within this sign ordinance.

As of the effective date of this ordinance all aspects of the previous sign ordinance, signs that were in compliance, and those that were not in compliance will be rendered null and void.

Signs in the Village of Colon that were constructed or have been in place prior to the effective date of this ordinance are considered to be under a grandfather clause. If, however, any of these signs are removed, redesigned, repaired, or replaced by a new sign they will no longer be under the protection of the grandfather clause and will be subject to all aspects of this ordinance. The only exception to the above stipulations shall apply to present non-conforming and off premises signs that are intentionally vandalized or stolen. Owners of such signs must file a police report within twenty-four (24) hours for this condition to apply.

For more information about the sign code contact the Zoning Administrator of the Village of Colon. For a permit application for a new sign contact the Village of Colon Office. The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Colon considers variance requests from the sign ordinance.

Sign Appendix
Sec. 46.2 A: Findings and purpose 46.2 B Scope
Sec. 46.3: Relationship to other Ordinances
Sec. 46.4: Definitions
Sec. 46.5: Sign Permit
Sec. 46.6: Sign Variance
Sec. 46.7: Master Sign Plan
Sec. 46.8: Dimension Measurement
Sec. 46.9: General Construction and Design Standards
Sec. 46.10: Ground Sign Construction and Design Standards
Sec. 46.11: Obsolete, Abandoned or Unsafe Signs
Sec. 46.12: Prohibited Signs
Sec. 46.13: Exempt Signs
Sec. 46.14: Temporary Signs
Sec. 46.15: Electronic sign construction and design standards
Sec. 46.16: Publication
Sec. 46.17: Signs Appendix A
The following findings and purposes are hereby adopted:
A. It is necessary for the promotion and preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the Village of Colon that the erection, construction, location and maintenance of all signs be regulated and controlled.
B. A large quantity of signs is not only distracting to motorists can be a hazard to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
C. An over abundance of off-premises signs obscures the legitimate effort of local business establishments to reasonably identify the location and nature of their businesses.
D. It is a legitimate public purpose to limit signs in the Village to those reasonably necessary to identify local and businesses. Such limitations and all other sign regulations herein are established to accomplish the following purposes:
1. To protect public safety and welfare.
2. To ensure signs are kept within a reasonable scale with respect to the building to which they relate.
3. To enhance the economy and the business and industry of the village by promoting the reasonable, orderly and effective display of signs, and encouraging better communication with the public.
4. To protect business districts from sign clutter.
5. To prevent off-premises signs from conflicting with the public’s ability to identify businesses, residential areas, and public land uses.
6. To limit or eliminate unnecessary signs, which may become distractions and jeopardize pedestrian or vehicular traffic safety.
7. To assure the maintenance of signs.
8. To preserve and protect historic signs and signs of special significance to the Village.
9. To implement the objectives expressed in within this ordinance.
10. To preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape and residential and commercial architecture, one of the prime assets of the Village.
11. To protect the property values and economic well being of the Village.

Sec. 46.2 B SCOPE
It is unlawful for any person to construct, maintain, display or alter or cause to be constructed, maintained, displayed or altered, a sign within the Village of Colon, except in conformance with this ordinance.

A. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed or construed to modify or alter the provisions of any other section of the Village of Colon Zoning Ordinances. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of the sign ordinance and those of any other provision of the Village of Colon Zoning Ordinances the Planning Commission shall review and make final determinations.
If any section, paragraph, clause, phrase or part of this Ordinance is, for any reason, held invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Ordinance; and, the application of these provisions to any persons or circumstances shall not be affected.
Ordinance Declared Adopted 12/11/12, effective after publication.
Nancy Schultz, Colon Village Clerk/Treasurer

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