Beach Haven Tightening Regulations on Lighted Signs

Council Also to Ban Bike Riding on Public Sidewalks
Sep 13, 2017

Saying it needed to keep up with the latest trends in illumination technology, the Beach Haven Borough Council introduced an ordinance that will outlaw neon, flashing, digital and animated signs.

Introduced at its Sept. 11 meeting, the ordinance will permit lighted signs, which are not to exceed 35 square feet in area.

“Additionally, no lighted sign shall produce a strong, dazzling light or reflection of a strong dazzling light or glare beyond property lines,” the ordinance said. “Lighted signs shall be shielded, buffered and directed so that glare, direct light or reflection will not become a nuisance to adjoining properties, adjoining dwelling units, adjoining districts or streets.”

According to the ordinance, directional signs for specific buildings, driveways and off-street parking areas not exceeding 2 square feet may be provided at the entrance to any such building, driveway or parking area.

In the ordinance, neon signs are defined as those illuminated by a neon tube, or other visible light-emanating gas tube, that is bent to form letters, symbols or other graphics. “A neon sign spelling out the word ‘open,’ which is placed indoors as in a manner which can be read from the exterior through a window, is exempt.”

An animated sign is one “depicting action, motion or light or color changes through electrical or mechanical means,” while digital signs “are made up of internally illuminated components capable of changing the message periodically.”

A flashing sign is one “whose artificial illumination is not kept constant in intensity at all times when in use and which exhibits changes in light, color, direction or animation.”

“Lighting today is so much brighter and stronger, so we had to update our ordinance,” said Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis. “These stronger lights can be a nuisance to people in residential areas who live near them.”

Another ordinance introduced by the council will prohibit bicycle riding on public sidewalks. It will also be unlawful for anyone to operate a cycle having more than two wheels on Bay Avenue from Pearl Street to 12th Street .

Violators face a fine of $100. Juvenile offenders will first receive a written notification of the violation. A second violation results in a suspension of bicycle-riding privileges, with the duration determined by the police chief or his designee. Subsequent offenses can result in the parent or guardian receiving a summons.

During the public portion, John Hailperin, president of the Beach Haven Taxpayers Association, applauded the move.

“People riding bikes on the sidewalk create a dangerous situation, especially during the summer,” he said. 

Public hearings on both ordinances are scheduled for the next meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m. 

— Eric Englund

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