Petition For Reconsideration ATM May 2003





            Article 49, Amend Zoning Bylaw, Art.IX.3200-Signs and Advertising Devices, defeated by the Annual Town Meeting on April 8, 2003, appears below, as moved by the Planning Board with amendments to Section 3261, Chart A, and Section 3265, Chart B.


DEFEATED MOTION: To amend Article IX.3200-Signs and Advertising Devices, as follows:




1.         Delete section 3221 in its entirety, and replace with the following:


“3221.   No exterior sign, window sign or advertising device shall be erected except as provided by this Bylaw.  Signs that are not specifically permitted by this bylaw are prohibited.”


2.         In section 3226, add the word “direct” after the word “for” so that the first sentence of section 3226 reads as follows, “Only white lights shall be used for direct illumination of a sign.”; and renumber section 3226 to 3226A.


3.         Renumber the second sentence of section 3226 to 3226B, so that section 3226B reads as follows, “The illumination of any sign shall be shaded, shielded, directed and maintained at a sufficiently low intensity and brightness that it shall not affect the safe vision of operators of vehicles moving within the premises or on any adjacent public or private ways.”


4.         Delete section 3240 (Signs Prohibited in All Districts) in its entirety, and replace with the following:


              "3240  Signs Prohibited in All Districts.


3241.  Lightboxes.


3242.  Billboards, except transit signs and non-commercial third party signs on municipally owned property.


3243.  String lights used in connection with commercial premises with the exception of temporary lighting for holiday decoration; signs consisting of strings of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, and spinners or similar devices.


3244.  Flashing or oscillating signs or signs with moving lights or rotating beacons; animated signs; rotating signs; signs which move by design or have a major moving part.


3245.  Signs emitting audible sound, odor or visible matter.


3246.  Permanent paper, cardboard, cloth, canvas, plastic or similar non-rigid material signs, tacked, posted, or otherwise affixed to the walls of any structure, tree, pole, hydrant, bridge, fence or any other surface.


3247.  Portable signs.


3248.  Signs having the shape and color of a traffic control device; signs which are of a size, location, movement, content, coloring, or manner of illumination which may be confused with or construed as a traffic or street sign or signal; signs which contain or are in imitation of an official traffic sign or signal or contain the words "stop", "slow", "caution", "danger", "warning" or similar words.


3249.  Signs creating a potential hazard to the safe, efficient movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or which contain statements, words, or pictures of an obscene, indecent, or immoral character, that will offend public morals or decency.


                3249A.  Integral roof signs."


  1. Delete section 3250 (Signs Which Do Not Require a Sign Permit) in its entirety, and replace with the following:


"3250                Signs Which Do Not Require a Sign Permit.

3251.  Resident Identification Sign.  One sign, which shall not exceed two (2) square feet in area and, if lighted, shall use direct illumination with white light only.

3252A. Governmental, Utility or Public Safety Signs.  None of the provisions of this bylaw shall be construed as preventing or limiting any traffic, directional, informational, educational or identification sign owned and installed by a governmental agency.

3252B. Religious institution signs.

3253.  Real Estate Signs.  One real estate sign, not over six (6) square feet in area, or for subdivisions of land as defined in G.L. c. 41, s. 81L, one real estate sign not over thirty-six (36) square feet in area may be erected.  Such signs shall be removed within 30 days of the completion of the subdivision, sale, rental or lease.


3254.  Construction Signs.  One temporary sign which shall not exceed twenty (20)  square feet in area, in all districts, shall be confined to the site of the construction, shall not be erected prior to the issuance of a building permit and shall be removed within seven days of completion of construction, issuance of the occupancy permit, or after the intended use of the project has begun, whichever comes first.

3255.  Window Signs.  One or multiple signs that in aggregate shall not exceed 25% of the window area.  Such signs shall not be illuminated other than by standard lighting fixtures on the building.  Window signs promoting a public service or charitable event shall not be calculated in the allowable 25%.  Within the 25% allowance, any given business may include one neon sign not to exceed two (2) square feet.

3256.  Fuel Pump Signs.

3257.  Vehicle Signs.  Except where the signs are mounted on parked vehicles for the purposes of advertising goods or services sold or provided on the property where the motor vehicle is parked or elsewhere either by direct sale or by order, signs normally painted on or attached to a motor vehicle identifying the owner and his or her trade and signs advertising the sale of the motor vehicle itself shall be allowed.


3258.  Signs on Product Dispensing Devices.  Signs integral to automated devices, not to include vehicles or gas pumps, which dispense one or more products, when the sign identifies the product(s) contained therein, provided the sign does not project beyond the device.  Signs, which are affixed but not integral to the device, are not allowed.


3259.  Flags, temporary signs, and banners conforming to section 3271 of this bylaw."



  1. Delete section 3260 (Signs Requiring a Sign Permit in the Business, Limited Business, Village Business, Industrial, Limited Industrial, Industrial Park and Research Districts) in its entirety, and replace with the following:


"3260 Signs Requiring a Sign Permit in the Business, Limited Business, Village Business, Industrial, Limited Industrial, Industrial Park and Research Districts.  Any principal use permitted in the Business, Limited Business, Village Business, Industrial, Limited Industrial, Industrial Park and Research Districts may erect a sign or signs subject to the following:

3261.  Exterior Sign.  Except as may otherwise be provided, one primary and two secondary exterior wall mounted, projecting or roof signs shall be permitted for each business, not including directional signs.  If the sign is a series of awning valances, it is considered one secondary sign.  The primary sign shall represent no more than 75% of the total sign face area.  The secondary sign(s) shall represent no more than 25% of the total sign face area.  The total allowed sign face area of all exterior signs is calculated by taking 100% of the primary building frontage plus 40% of each secondary building frontage, up to a maximum of three total building frontages, as shown in Chart A.  The square footage allowance is for direct-illuminated signs.  Those primary or secondary signs which are self-illuminated silhouette or face-lit channel letters shall have their square footage allowance reduced by one-third.


                                                 CHART A


Building Frontage

 (In linear feet)

Maximum Area

of Total Sign Face

(In square feet)

Building Frontage

(In linear feet)



Maximum Area

of Total Sign Face

(In square feet)

0.1 to 9.9


130 to 139.9


10 to 19.9


140 to 149.9


20 to 29.9


150 to 159.9


30 to 39.9


160 to 169.9


40 to 49.9


170 to 179.9


50 to 59.9


180 to 189.9


60 to 69.9


190 to 199.9


70 to 79.9


200 to 209.9


80 to 89.9


210 to 219.9


90 to 99.9


220 to 229.9


100 to 109.9


220 to 229.9


110 to 119.9


230 to 239.9


120 to 129.9


240 and above





3262.  Projecting signs.  A projecting sign may be erected in lieu of an exterior sign only when such exterior sign is permitted under section 3261, and conforming with Chart A.  The projecting sign shall not extend beyond the top of the roof or ridge line of the building.

3263.  Directory Sign/General Directory Sign:  One directory wall sign on which the sign face shall not exceed one square foot for each occupant identified in the directory.  If there is a panel supporting a group of individual tenant names, that panel shall not exceed 110% of the aggregate area of the individual names.


               3264.  Directional Sign: Directional signs may be erected near a street, driveway or parking area if necessary for the safety and direction of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.  The display area of each directional sign shall not exceed two (2) square feet and no directional sign shall be located more than six (6) feet above ground level if mounted on a wall of a building or more than three and one‑half (3½) feet above the ground if freestanding.  Directional signs shall be placed so as to not impair vehicular sight lines.

3265.  Freestanding Business Center Identification Sign.  One freestanding business center identification sign may be erected on a lot.  The sign face shall not exceed the allowances in Charts B and C (starting with Chart B and proceeding to Chart C).

                                                               CHART B


Street Frontage

(In linear feet)

Maximum Area

of each Sign Face

(In square feet)

0.1 to 74.9


75 to 149.9


150 to 249.9


250 to 349.9


350 and above





                                                                                                CHART C


If the Area

Of the Sign Face

In Chart B does not Exceed

(In square feet)

The Minimum distance

From the Front property line shall not be less than

(In linear feet)

Minimum distance

From Side property line

(In linear feet)



















3265A.  The overall height of any freestanding sign shall not exceed ten (10) feet, and the distance from the ground to the bottom of the sign shall not exceed 40% of the total height of the sign."


  1. Delete sections 3271 and 3272 (Special Provisions), and renumber section 3270 accordingly.




  1. Delete section 3280 (Signs Requiring a Sign Permit in the Residential Districts) in its entirety and replace with the following:


"3280.   Signs Requiring a Sign Permit in the Residential Districts.  One sign either attached or freestanding, pertaining to a multi-family development or a permitted non‑residential principal use such as farms, farm stands, nurseries, greenhouses, child care centers and similar uses may be erected upon a lot provided no other sign(s) permitted by this bylaw shall be on the same lot.  The display area of the sign shall not exceed ten (10) square feet and, if freestanding, the height shall not exceed ten (10) feet and the distance from the ground to the bottom of the sign shall not exceed 40% of the height of the sign."


  1. Delete the following definitions from section 7000: 


            Banner; Flag; Signs and Advertising Devices; Sign, awning; Sign, direct illumination; Sign, display area; Sign, erection; Sign, freestanding; Sign, projecting; Sign, self-illuminated; Sign, wall.


  1. Add the following to section 7000, Definitions, after the definition for “Retail”:


"The following definitions apply specifically to Article 3200 SIGNS AND ADVERTISING DEVICES:


1.   Alter: To change the size, shape, height, colors, lettering or materials of a sign.


2.   Animation: Any form of movement by electric, mechanical, or kinetic means including, but not limited to, rotation, revolving or wind activation of all or a portion of a sign, or incorporating flashing or intermittent lights for sign illumination.


3.   Awning Sign:  Any fabric‑covered roof‑like structure, projecting from a building and providing shelter from the weather, which serves as a sign or advertising device.  For secondary signs, verbiage shall occur on the valance of the awning.


4.     Banner Signs: Any sign of lightweight fabric or similar non-rigid material of lightweight material, including nylon, vinyl, cloth, canvas or similar fabric, and which is attached to a rod at the top. National flags and state or municipal flags shall not be considered banners.


5.     Beacon: Any light with one or more beams directed into the atmosphere or directed at one or more points not on the same lot as the light source; also, any light with one or more beams that rotate or move.


6.     Billboard: Any single or double-faced sign that is permanently fixed or placed on particular premises advertising goods, products or services that are not sold, manufactured or distributed from the premises or facilities on which the sign is located.


7.     Business Center Identification Sign: Any sign identifying a building or group of buildings that is under single ownership or control.  All business center identification signs shall contain only the name or address of the business center, and shall not contain logos, icons or names of individual businesses.


8.     Business: All of the activities carried on by the same legal entity on the same premises and shall include, but not limited to, service, commercial and industrial uses and fraternal, benevolent, educational and social organizations.


9.     Business Center: Two or more business tenants as occupants in a building, or on land in single ownership, or business condominiums.


10.   Canopy Sign: Any sign that is a part of or attached under an awning, canopy, or other fabric, plastic, or structural protective cover over a door, entrance, window, or outdoor service area, and viewed when one is under a canopy.


11.   Changeable Copy Sign: A sign with characters, letters, or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face or the surface of the sign. A sign on which the message changes more than eight times per day shall be considered an animated sign and not a changeable copy sign.  A sign on which the only copy that changes is an electronic or mechanical indication of the time and temperature shall be considered a "time and temperature" portion of a sign and not a changeable copy sign.

12.   Channel Letters: Individual, three-dimensional, hollow letters, as metal or plastic structures, and mounted to the front face of a sign.


12.1  Silhouette Letters: Also called reverse channel letters, these opaque hollow letters are manufactured with individual lights built into each letter, and the letters are mounted with stand-offs, leaving a gap between the rear of the letter and the sign face. The illumination directs the light back onto the surface of the sign face creating a halo effect around the letter.

12.2  Backlit Channel Letters: Similar to Silhouette letters, these hollow letters are manufactured with individual lights built into each letter, and the front face is fitted with a translucent colored plastic, which allows for the illumination to be seen through the face of the letter. These letters are mounted directly to the sign face or with stand-offs.


13.   Construction Sign: Any sign identifying the architects, engineers, contractors, and other individuals or firms involved with the construction, and/or announcing the character or purpose of the building, but not advertising any product.


14.   Direct Illuminated Sign: Any sign illuminated by an artificial light source located in front of the face of the sign.  This includes lighting coves.  Where signs are externally illuminated, adjacent roads and properties shall be screened from the light source.


15.   Directional Sign: Any signs erected near a street, driveway or parking area if necessary for the safety and direction of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.  Directional signs shall not advertise, identify or promote any product, person, premises or activity but may identify the street name/number and provide traffic directions.


16.   Directory Sign/General Directory Sign: A sign giving the name, address number and location of the occupants of a building or buildings, and may also include a map or plan and the name of the business center to locate such buildings, if it is a general directory sign.


17.   Flag: Any fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols, used as a symbol of government, political subdivision, or other entity and that is mounted to a pole or building attached at a maximum of one point to a structure. A flag must be free-flying (i.e., it must be attached to a pole on one end only, not two).


18.   Freestanding Sign: Any two-sided sign supported by one or more uprights or braces placed on, or anchored in, the ground and not attached to any building or structure.


19.   Frontage: See primary and secondary building frontage.

20.   Fuel Pump Signs: In accordance with M.G.L.c.94, s.295, standard gasoline fuel pump signs on service station fuel pumps bearing thereon in usual size and form the name, type and price of the gasoline.


21.   Governmental, Utility or Public Safety Signs: Any signs such as traffic control signs, railroad crossing signs, legal notices, signs that serve as an aid to public health or safety or that show the location of public telephone, underground cables, etc.  Includes signs erected and maintained by the Town of Sudbury, the Sudbury Water District, the Sudbury Housing Authority, the Lincoln-Sudbury

 Regional High School, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or the Federal Government on any    


  land, building or structure used by such agencies and any other signs at any location required by                              such agencies.

22.   Illumination: Any method of giving forth artificial light, either directly from a source of light incorporated in or connected with a sign, or indirectly from an artificial source.

23.   Integral Roof Sign: Any sign erected, constructed, painted-on, or woven into the shingles of the roof as an integral or essentially integral part of a normal roof structure of any design, including a false mansard roof or other fascia, such that no part of the sign extends vertically above the highest portion of the roof and such that no part of the sign is separated from the rest of the roof by more than 12 inches.


24.   Interim Sign: Any sign used as an identifier of the business on the property on a temporary basis, which is replaced with a permanent sign.


25.   Lightbox: Any sign illuminated by an internal light source located behind a translucent panel which is the continuous front face of the sign.


26.   Lighting Cove: A decorative architectural device that conceals a light source and is mounted above, below or around and separate from a sign face, leaving a gap that reflects the light back and creates a soft lighting effect around the sign face.


27.   Maintain: To allow to exist or to continue.


28.   Neon Sign: A self-illuminated sign using neon light which is created by injecting either neon or argon gas into a thin glass tube that has been bent to resemble either a letter or graphic design.


29.   Non-conforming Sign: Any sign that existed on the effective date of this ordinance (or amendment thereto), and does not comply with the regulations set forth herein.


30.   Off-Site Advertising: See billboards.


31.   Portable Signs: Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported by means of wheels; signs converted to A- or T- frames; menu and sandwich board signs.  Includes A-Frame Signs.


32.   Primary Building Frontage: The lineal extent of the public face of a structure.


33.   Projecting Sign: Any two-sided sign which is supported by an exterior wall of a building with the exposed face of said sign in a plane approximately perpendicular to the plane of the wall, etc. and projecting more than twelve (12) inches and less than sixty (60) inches.


34.   Real Estate Signs: All signs advertising the sale or rental of the premises on which it is located; on subdivisions of land, all signs erected solely to advertise the selling of land or buildings in said subdivision. 

35.   Religious Institution Signs: All signs erected by religious institutions on any land, building or structure used by such agencies and any other signs at any location required by such agencies.


36.   Repair: To restore to sound condition, but not reconstruct.  Repairs are considered general, routine maintenance.


37.   Resident Identification Sign: Any sign in a residential district, either attached or freestanding, indicating only the name of the occupant, street number, and accessory permitted uses or occupations engaged in thereon. 


38.   Roof Line: The top of the roof or the top of the parapet, whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette, on the side of building on which the sign is located.

39.   Roof Sign: Any sign erected and constructed wholly on and over the roof of a building, supported by the roof structure.


40.   Secondary Building Frontage: If a business has a direct entrance into the business in a wall other than the front wall, the lineal extent of the public face of this side.


41.   Self‑illuminated sign:  Any sign illuminated by an artificial light source located within the front face of the sign including channel letters.


42.   Sign: Any object, device, display, or structure or part thereof which is affixed to or otherwise represented directly or indirectly upon a building interior or exterior or piece of land and that is used to advertise, identify, display, or attract attention to any object, person, institution, organization,    business, product, service, place, activity, or event related to the premises on which the sign is situated by any means including words, letters, figures, designs, or symbols.

43.   Sign Face: The area made available by the sign structure for the purpose of displaying a message thereon.


44.   Sign Permit: A permit issued by the Town to regulate the erection, expansion, alteration, relocation, or reconstruction of signs in all parts of this municipality.


45.   Temporary Sign: A banner, pennant, poster or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, plastic sheet, cardboard, wallboard, sheet metal, plywood or similar materials on private property and intended to be displayed for a limited period of time, includes political signs.


46.   Vehicle Sign: Any sign on a vehicle of any kind, provided the sign is painted or attached directly to the body of the original vehicle and does not project or extend beyond two (2) inches from the original manufactured body proper of the vehicle.  The vehicle to which the sign is attached shall be in proper working order and shall bear a current license plate and shall not be permanently parked on a public street or street right-of-way.  A sign in or on a vehicle that advertises the vehicle for sale, lease or rental shall not be considered a Vehicle Sign.

47.   Wall Sign: Any sign attached parallel to, but within twelve inches of, a wall, painted on the wall surface of, or erected and confined within the limits of an outside wall of any building or structure, which is supported by such wall or building, and which displays only one sign surface.

48.   Window Area: The total area of all windows along a building frontage.


49.   Window Sign: Any sign visible from the exterior of a building that is painted on, affixed to, or suspended immediately in front of, on, or up to 24” behind a window."


A Petition for Reconsideration of Article 49 was filed with the Town Clerk in accordance with Town Bylaws on April 9, 2003, and is posted in the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall.  Reconsideration of Article 49 will be addressed at the resumption of the Annual Town Meeting on May 21, 2003.






Article 54, Special Act-Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption, as amended and approved by the Annual Town Meeting on April 9, 2003, appears below.


VOTED: (YES 430 – NO 345) To petition the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to enact special legislation to provide that the Assessors of the Town of Sudbury shall use the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption as described below:




Section 1.            Purpose

   The purpose of the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption is to encourage Sudbury's senior citizens to remain in the community adding to its vitality and character.  High real estate taxes often force or encourage senior citizens to sell their homes and move.  As a consequence, these homes are often bought by families seeking to move to Sudbury for the quality of its school system thereby further pressuring school enrollment and budgets.  The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption is designed to reduce the tax burden for all of Sudbury's senior citizens living in single-family homes to encourage them to remain in their homes.


Section 2.            Qualifications

   The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption only applies to an owner occupied single family residence where: (1) at least one of the owners owning at least 50% of the residence is at least 60 years old and (2) there is no one staying in the residence for more than 60 days during the Fiscal Year who is either under the age of 6 years old or who attends a public or private pre-school, nursery school, elementary school, middle school, junior high school or senior high school or similar school.  The

minimum 60 year old age qualification shall be established as of July 1 at the beginning of each Fiscal Year.


No property shall be granted a Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption that does not meet the qualifications as of July 1, the first day of the Fiscal Year.  The Senior Citizen Exemption shall be prorated during the Fiscal Year when a property ceases to be qualified; such as when the property is sold to a buyer who does not qualify for  the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption.   To apply for an Exemption, the Property owner must file an application on a form prepared by the Board of Assessors, attest to the facts establishing qualification for the exemption under the pains and penalties of perjury, and file the application by the deadline date set by the Assessors.  Each quarter, the owners shall be required to recertify their eligibility under the pains and penalties of perjury, by returning a recertification form prepared by the Assessors and mailed with each quarterly tax bill to those receiving the exemption.


Section 3.            Exemption Amount

   The initial Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption shall be the smaller of 50% of the real estate tax otherwise due on the property or 50% of real estate tax due for a house valued at the Average Residential Assessment for the entire Town.  The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption shall be implemented by the Sudbury Assessors as an Exemption for each qualifying property, not  as a Tax Abatement, so that the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption Program does not result in a charge to the Town’s Operating Budget.


Section 4.            Changes in the Exemption Percentage and Maximum Amount

   The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption Percent can be changed by a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting.  Increases can be voted to take effect at any time.  The effective date for any decrease in the exemption percentage or maximum amount shall not become effective for at least four (4) years.  Prior to any vote to change the exemption percentage, the Selectmen, and the Finance Committee shall each be required to hold a public hearing and then report to Town Meeting on their recommendations before any action can be taken."


Section 5.           Severability

   If any provision of this Special Act is ruled to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.


said petition to the General Court is to be made and legislation to take effect without further submission to the Sudbury Town Meeting.           



A Petition for Reconsideration of Article 54 was filed with the Town Clerk in accordance with Town Bylaws on April 10, 2003, and is posted in the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall.  Reconsideration of Article 54 will be addressed at the resumption of the Annual Town Meeting on May 21, 2003.