Planning Board,Proposed Bylaw Amendments, Hearing 11/13/17

Town of Otis


Notice of Planning Board Hearing

Relative to Proposed

Changes to Sign Zoning By-Law Amendments

Pursuant to M.G.L. Ch 40A, Sect. 5



The Town of Otis would like to add Sections 5.2.7 and 5.2.8 to the Town of Otis zoning bylaws to establish the Political Signs Zoning Bylaw:


5.2.7    Billboards are Prohibited.


5.2.8    Political Signs


The following is the Town of Otis policy on political sign location, size and duration:


  1. LOCATION: Political signage shall not be located within a public way layout or on Town-owned property except as follows:
  2. Exceptions on Private Property

Political signage may be placed on private property, along a public way provided that:

  1. The sign is placed a minimum of ten (10) feet back from the edge of pavement for the public way and any sidewalk, and
  2. The owners of the subject private property allows placement of the signage, and
  3. The signage does not impede the travel of pedestrians.


  1. Exceptions on Town-Owned Property

Political signage may be placed on town owned property providing that:

  1. The sign is placed a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) feet away from any polling entrance and shall be removed immediately after the polls close. The sign shall not block vehicular traffic, the progress of pedestrians or existing signs.
  2. ONE SIGN per candidate is permitted on the grassy island at the intersection of Becket Road and East Otis Road, also known as Route 23, provided that the signs are placed so they do not impede the view of drivers on the adjacent public ways or block existing signs or impede pedestrians.


  1. TIME FRAME OF DISPLAY: Political signs may be erected forty-five (45) days prior to the election and are to be removed within two days after the election except as noted above for polling places.


  1. SIZE OF SIGNS: Political signs may not exceed three (3) square feet of total area and the top of political signs may not exceed thirty-two (32) inches in height from virgin ground below.



The Town of Otis would like to amend section 5.2.2 Temporary Signs:

Temporary signs which do not comply with this By-Law may be authorized by the Zoning Enforcement Officer for special events.  The Zoning Board of Appeals Zoning Enforcement Officer may, at their his discretion, require the posting of a bond or cash deposit large enough to cover the cost of removal of temporary signs if such signs are not removed promptly after termination of the advertised event by the sponsors.


The Town of Otis would like to amend section 5.2.4 Abandoned Signs:


Any sign which has been abandoned or advertises any product or activity which is no longer sold, or any activity which is no longer sold or carried on must be removed within thirty (30) days by the owner of the premises after notice to that effect from the Zoning Board of Appeals Zoning Enforcement Officer.


The Town of Otis would like to amend section 5.2.6 Signs Authorized by Special Permit:


5.2.6    Signs Authorized by Special Permit


The following signs may be displayed with a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals:

  1. On property in R-40 Residential devoted to use authorized by Special Permit, one sign not exceeding six (6) square feet in total area.


  1. Within the V-1 Village district, each business is permitted two (2) signs not to exceed twenty-four (24) square feet in total combined area. Signs may be freestanding or attached flat against the wall of the building.  Freestanding signs may not exceed four (4) eighteen (18) square feet.


  1. On multiple business use lots there is permitted one (1) directory sign per lot not exceeding twenty-four (24) square feet in area for all business establishments or uses on the lot, and not exceeding twelve (12) square feet for any one business establishment or use on the lot.

Billboards are prohibited.




Respectfully Submitted,

Michael Ernst

Chairman, Otis Planning Board