Signage for Businesses

Signage regulations for commercial businesses are contained within the Township's Zoning Ordinance. 

Current and prospective business owners should be advised that many businesses are located in Local Historic Districts and Local Historic Landmarks.  As required under Montclair Code 347-136A(5), properties within these areas are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission prior to any exterior modifications, including change in existing, or addition of new, signage and awnings.  All proposed signage for review must also conform to the Zoning requirements, detailed below. 

To determine whether your business is located in a Local Historic District or Local Historic Landmark, please use the Online Historic Inventory Viewer.

Below is a summary listing of the general zoning requirements for signage installations at business locations in the Township of Montclair.

Wall-Mounted Business Signs

  • Businesses are permitted to install wall-mounted business signs.  The signs are to be installed only on public facing facades (facing a public street or public parking area) and must be installed within the confines of the portion of the building within which the business is located. 
  • Signs are to be mounted flat to the face of buildings; the painting of signs directly onto buildings is not permitted.  
  • The maximum permitted square footage of a sign is equal to the width of the storefront: i.e., a 12 foot wide storefront can have a maximum sign area of 12 sq. ft.
  • The maximum permitted height of a sign is 24 inches; except for the portion of a wall sign containing logos where the height may be 30 inches

Sign Illumination

  • Only externally illuminated signs or halo illuminated signs are permitted.  Internally illuminated signs (such as light boxes with sign faces design to allow light to shine through) are prohibited.
  • The light source of illuminated signs cannot be visible.
  • No other illumination is permitted including light bulbs (singly or in combination, used as an attraction device); strobe lights; black (i.e., ultraviolet) lights; string lights; flashing or moving lights of any kind; or similar uses of illumination as attraction devices.

Window Signs

  • Window signs are only permitted in storefront windows, fronting a public street or public parking area, of the referenced business.
  • The maximum permitted area coverage of window signs is 20% of each window.
  • Neon signs, such as "OPEN" signs, are permitted in windows and are subject to and included in the calculation of the 20% maximum coverage requirement.
  • All windows must remain transparent and may not be covered by opaque material, with the exception of the window sign area.

Sidewalk Signs

  • Prior to placement of a sidewalk sign, a Zoning Permit application, accompanied by proof of business insurance listing the Township as an additional insured party, is to be filed with the Department of Planning & Community Development.
  • Sidewalk signs are to be A-frame style and constructed of wood or metal.  Sidewalk signs are to be no more than 2 feet in width and 3 feet in height.
  • Sidewalk signs must be placed to maintain a 5-foot unobstructed sidewalk path for pedestrians.
  • Sidewalk signs may only be located in front of the referenced business and must be removed and stored when the referenced business is closed.