Town Of Milton Sign Bylaw Highlights

Town of Milton Sign Bylaw Highlights
The following bullets are derived from a presentation by Department of Planning and Community Development staff to the Milton Chamber of Commerce on February 2, 2017. If you have any questions or ideas regarding the Town’s sign bylaw, please call the Department of Planning and Community Development at 617-898-4847 or email Assistant Town Planner Tim Czerwienski at
1. Current Bylaw
• Maximum area of all signs is the lesser of:
o An amount of square footage equal to the length of the façade x 0.4, or o 40 square feet
• Maximum area of window signs is the lesser of:
o 30 percent of the window/door glass area, or o 20 square feet
• Aggregate area of all signs cannot exceed 10 percent of façade area
• Any illuminated sign must be approved by the Board of Selectmen
• Application process can be lengthy and unpredictable
• Many existing signs in Milton’s business districts do not conform to the bylaw
2. Goals for a New Bylaw
• Allow a reasonable amount of signage by-right
• Allow reasonable illumination by-right
• Create a process with clear expectations and timelines
• Promote good design
3. Permissible Signs Under a New Bylaw
• Each business is allowed each of the following:
o One wall sign, the area of which shall not exceed 15% of the area of the
façade o Window signs , the aggregate area of which shall not exceed 25% of the
glass window/door area of the façade o In a historic district, one blade sign o Businesses that have a common entrance can share a directory sign, the
area of which shall not exceed one square foot per business
4. Prohibited Signs Under a New Bylaw
• Roof signs and billboards
• Audible signs
• Moving signs
• Any sign that obstructs the public right of way or any egress into a building, including windows or fire escapes
• Signs resembling or imitating an official traffic control sign
• Wind signs, including banners, pennants, spinners, streamers, and other wind- actuated components
5. Illumination Under a New Bylaw
• An external, white, steady light directed downward at the sign, or
• Reverse-lit/halo-lit, steady white light only
6. Prohibited Illumination Under a New Bylaw
• Exposed bulbs, whether neon, LED, or any other type of illumination
• Internal lighting
• Open-face channel letters
• Any blinking or moving illumination
7. Proposed Application Process
• Bylaw will lay out clear list of necessary application materials
• Planning Department evaluates completeness of application; within 21 days, convenes Sign Review Committee
• Sign Review Committee evaluates application based on sign design guidelines, makes recommendation to Building Commissioner
• Within 30 days of receiving recommendation of Sign Review Committee, Building Commissioner either approves or denies application

MILTON is a town of 27,000 located 7 miles south of downtown Boston, which in 2012 celebrated the 350th anniversary of its incorporation in 1662. Although predominantly residential, 22% of the town is part of the Blue Hills Reservation and permanently preserved from development. In recent rankings of the Best Places to Live by Money Magazine, Milton was listed as the 2nd Best Town in the United States.

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