Skip Navigation
Welcome to the website for the town of Rutland, Massachusetts
This table is used for column layout.

On Our Site
Search Our Site
Site  This Folder
Advanced Search

Signs Section 5.0
5.0     Signs Allowable in All Districts

5.1     Exempt Signs
The following types of signs represent the history and culture of the Rutland community and shall be allowed without a permit.
5.1.1   Historic and Cultural Signs
Historical markers, tablets, statues, memorial signs and plaques; names of buildings and dates of erection and emblems installed by governmental agencies, religious or non-profit organizations; not exceeding six (6) square feet shall not require a permit.
5.1.2   Residential Identification Signs
Signs identifying residential owners or occupants or addresses shall not require a permit provided the sign does not exceed three (3) square feet. A sign exceeding three (3) square feet may be approved following review by the Building Inspector prior to installation. See provisions related to home occupation signs in section 6.0.
5.1.3   Home Occupation/Major Home Occupation Identification Sign
One sign identifying a home occupation, major home occupation or accessory use that is authorized under the Rutland Zoning By-law, shall be allowed for each property for which a home occupation or accessory use is present.  Such sign shall be exempt so long as it measures no more than four (4) square feet in area. Such sign may be a monument sign or attached to the building or may be freestanding and not more than eight (8) feet high.  Off-site directional signs associated with a permitted home occupation may be permitted in accordance with section 7.1.9.
5.1.4   Multi-unit Dwelling Complexes
In the event that the occupants of a residential structure are part of a congregate living facility; including senior care, group homes, apartment or other multifamily dwelling, one sign not exceeding eight (8) square feet may be permitted to identify the group.
5.1.5   Entrance Signs
Up to two freestanding or monument signs may be provided at each roadway entrance to a subdivision or existing neighborhood to identify the name of the subdivision or neighborhood, provided that each sign does not exceed sixteen (16) square feet in area, complies with this section and does not reduce site visibility to or from intersecting roads.
5.1.6   Sponsor Signs
Signs advertising or soliciting support of local non-profit youth or functions through local business advertising shall not require permits, so long as such signs are incorporated into an integral part of a structure used by the group (e.g. Charles D. Marsh little league outfield fence). Signs shall be erected in an orderly arrangement and safely and securely attached to the supporting structure. The sponsored group shall be responsible for ensuring the maintenance of sponsor signs or alternatively their removal. Individual sponsor signs shall not exceed sixteen (16) square feet, shall be maintained in good repair and shall be removed or replaced at the discretion of the sponsored group.
5.1.7   Seasonal Farm Stand Signs
Farm stands offering produce or other products produced on properties may post one sign at such property, without a permit, to advertise such products for sale.  The sign may include permanent or changeable copy where the items available change from time to time, provided that such sign shall be located at least five (5) feet from the public way.  Farm stand signs are allowed in addition to any other signs that would otherwise be permitted on the property under the provisions of this bylaw.  Permanent farm signs are not exempt; see section 6.1.4 for conditions.

5.2     Temporary Signs
Temporary Signs are permitted by right without a permit in accordance with this section and provided that the requirements of section 4.0 above are satisfied.  Any temporary sign that does not comply with this section must comply with the permit requirements of this chapter or otherwise be subject to enforcement action.
5.2.1   Election Signs
Signs relating to candidates for public office, ballot questions, notices pertaining to voting not exceeding thirty two (32) square feet shall be allowed.
5.2.2   Message signs
Signs displaying messages regarding a public event shall not be erected more than four (4) weeks prior to the event; shall not exceed sixteen (16) square feet in area; and shall be removed within three (3) days after the event.   A larger sign measuring a maximum of thirty-two (32) square feet may be allowed following review and approval by the Building Inspector within two (2) business days.  
5.2.3   Yard Sale Signs
Signs advertising a yard sale, not to exceed three (3) square feet each may be displayed for not more than five (5) consecutive days.  The holder of the yard sale may post no more than four (4) signs. Signs must be removed within twelve hours after the yard sale.
5.2.4   Sandwich Boards
In all non-residential districts sandwich board signs are allowed during business hours, provided that the Sign does not exceed eight (8) square feet in area (per side) and are displayed no more than 12 hours per day.  In addition, sandwich boards shall be located in a manner that does not create a safety hazard or hindrance to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
5.2.5   Contractors and For Sale or Lease Signs
An on-premises sign identifying the contractor, builder, architect, landscape architect and/or engineer's name, address and other pertinent information shall be allowed provided such signs do not exceed sixteen (16) square feet and are set back a minimum of two (2) feet behind the property line.

For sale, rent, or lease signs are allowed on-premises to advertise the property being sold, leased, or rented, provided that:
o       Such sign shall not exceed eight (8) square feet;
o       Such signs shall advertise only the property on which the sign is located, except off-premises signs of not greater than six (6) square feet may be posted for a maximum of 18 hours to provide directions for one-day events so long as they do not restrict visibility.  
o       A maximum of two (2) signs may be maintained on any property being sold, leased, or rented.  
The owner or agent shall remove signs governed by this subsection within ten (10) days of sale, lease, rent, completion of work or issuance of a certificate of occupancy, as applicable.

5.2.6   Banner Signs
Fixed banners for advertising special events or otherwise identifying the user of the property shall be allowed provided they are not illuminated by external lights.  Banners shall be removed after a period of six weeks.  

The total area of all banner signs shall not exceed thirty-two (32) square

The Town of Rutland is exempt from the size requirement where the purpose of the banner is to promote public participation in public events such as meetings, voting or celebrations.  Such public notice or public participation banners shall not be present in any location for longer than two weeks.

5.3     Special Provisions
The following signs shall be permitted following review and approval by the Building Inspector.  Where this section applies, the Building Inspector shall grant or deny the permit within five (5) business days of submission of a complete application.  One copy each of the items specified in Section 8.2 shall be required for a complete application.  
5.3.1   Signs Internal to a Property
Signs internal to a property that are obscured from view from public ways by vegetation, structures or topography shall be allowed without a permit. The Building Inspector shall make the determination as to whether or not the signs are obscured from view.  This section specifically includes directory signs intended to identify the occupants of multifamily developments, senior housing and business parks, where the property itself is otherwise identified by a "place name".    
5.3.2   Directional Signs for Public Benefit
Off-site signs on public ways or other property indicating the direction to any public building or community facility, such as the senior center, community hall, churches, schools, recreation fields, hospital and other similar uses are allowed following approval by the Building Inspector with consideration of comments from the Police Chief.  Non-permanent signs such as legal notices, flyers or directional signs to events are exempt under the definition of "sign."
5.3.3   Municipal Signs
Signs serving municipal purposes such as advertising a public event, locations or identification of public buildings or property or the location of land or buildings open for the public benefit may be permitted by the Building Inspector after consideration of the proposed sign in context of its purpose and its compatibility with surrounding neighborhood.  Non-permanent signs such as legal notices, flyers or directional signs to events on the day of the event are exempt under the definition of "sign."
5.3.4   Moveable, Portable or Mobile Signs
Moveable, portable or mobile signs that are capable of being readily moved or relocated shall be allowed only under the provisions for temporary signs in accordance with the provisions in Section 5.2.  This section is specifically intended to prohibit permanent signs displayed on trailers, vehicles, carts, or other wheeled or easily moveable display that do not otherwise meet the specifications of other sections of this bylaw. Any sign displayed on any chassis, trailer, or other unregistered vehicle is not permitted.  For the purposes of this section only, registered commercial vehicles actively used in the day-to-day operation of the business and conforming to this paragraph shall not count toward the total number of allowable signs on the property.   

Town of Rutland 250 Main Street, Rutland, MA 01543   Disclaimer
Virtual Towns & Schools Website