REVISIONS TO OUTDOOR ADVERTISING LAWS.

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 581 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 5, 2017
AN ACT TO PROMOTE UNIFORMITY OF REGULATION AND MODERNIZATION OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO ALLOW FOR THE RELOCATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF OFF-PREMISES OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO INCREASE PERMIT FEES FOR OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO CLARIFY STANDARDS FOR SELECTIVE VEGETATION REMOVAL, AND TO ESTABLISH A REASONABLE TIME FRAME FOR MAKING AGENCY DECISIONS REGARDING PERMITS AND APPEALS.
Intro. by Lewis, Saine, Goodman, Hanes.

Status: Failed 2nd Reading (House Action) (Jun 26 2017)

SOG comments (2):

Long Title Change

House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes changes to the long title. The original title was as follows:

AN ACT TO PROMOTE UNIFORMITY OF REGULATION AND MODERNIZATION OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO INCREASE PERMIT FEES FOR OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, AND TO ESTABLISH A REASONABLE TIME FRAME FOR MAKING AGENCY DECISIONS REGARDING PERMITS AND APPEALS.

Long Title Change

House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes changes to the long title. The original title is as follows:

AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE REMOVAL OF OFF-PREMISES OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO PROMOTE UNIFORMITY OF REGULATION AND MODERNIZATION OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO ALLOW FOR THE RELOCATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF OFF-PREMISES OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO INCREASE PERMIT FEES FOR OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO CLARIFY STANDARDS FOR SELECTIVE VEGETATION REMOVAL, AND TO ESTABLISH A REASONABLE TIME FRAME FOR MAKING AGENCY DECISIONS REGARDING PERMITS AND APPEALS.

H 581

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 26 2017 - More information

    House amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Amendment #1 deletes the proposed changes to GS 136-133(c), which expanded the existing provisions to include building permits, and prohibited requiring a building permit or local building inspection for off-premises advertising if the proposed construction was evaluated and certified by a professional engineer as being in compliance with the State Building Code.

    Deletes proposed GS 87-1(b)(4), which excepted from the definition of general contractor any person engaged in the construction of outdoor advertising signs subject to Article 11 of GS Chapter 136.

    Amendment #4 modifies the applicability provisions of Section 10 of the act, which enacts GS 136-131.3 (Relocation of permitted off-premises outdoor advertising sign). Now provides that the section applies to off-premises outdoor advertising signs removed on or after the date the act becomes law (previously, removed on or after January 1, 2014). Deletes provisions providing for signs removed on or after January 1, 2014, but prior to the date the act becomes effective, which called for construction work on relocation in accordance with GS 136-131.3(a) as enacted to commence within one year of the date the act becomes effective.

    Modifies the applicability provisions of Section 21 of the act, which amends GS 153A-143 (Regulation of outdoor advertising). Now provides that GS 153A-143(d2) applies to off-premises outdoor advertising signs removed on or after the date the act becomes effective (previously, removed on or after January 1, 2014).

    Modifies the applicability provisions of Section 22 of the act, which amends GS 160A-199. Now provides that GS 160A-199(d2) applies to off-premises outdoor advertising signs removed on or after the date the act becomes effective (previously, removed on or after January 1, 2014).

    Amendment #5 modifies the requirements that existing off-premises outdoor advertising are subject to if being altered or reconstructed to a changeable message sign, requiring that the changeable message sign cannot be located within 5,280 feet (previously, 1,000 feet) of any other changeable message sign permitted by the Department of Transportation that is facing the same direction of traffic on the same side of the highway. Makes conforming changes. 


  • Summary date: Jun 14 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Amends the long title.

    Amends GS 136-128 (Definitions) to delete proposed definition ofcross read face.

    Amends GS 136-130.1 (Unzoned commercial or industrial area criteria for outdoor advertising signs). Makes a clarifying change. Deletes the requirement that a commercial or industrial activity have telephone service to qualify as an unzoned commercial or industrial area. Requires the activity's building to be located within 660 feet from the nearest edge of the highway right-of-way (was, nearest edge of the right-of-way) to qualify as an unzoned commercial or industrial area. Amends the requirement that an activity be in active operation for six months prior to the date of submitting an application to provide an alternative requirement that the activity be in active operation a minimum of six months prior to the date that construction commences on the site for the relocation of an off-premises outdoor advertising sign.

    Deletes amendments to GS 136-131 (Removal of existing nonconforming advertising) and GS 136-131.1 (Just compensation required for the removal of billboards on federal aid primary highways by local authorities).

    Amends GS 136-131.2 (Modernization of outdoor advertising devices). The 2nd edition prohibits listed political subdivisions from regulating or prohibiting certain listed alterations to off-premises outdoor advertising with a valid permit at the time of the alteration, without just compensation, so long as, for multi-faced signs conforming to customary use, the cumulative square footage meets certain requirements regarding square footage and other matters. The amendment retains this prohibition, but deletes the provision applying it solely to multi-faced signs conforming to customary use. Recodifies the following provisions in GS 136-133: (1) prohibiting the Department of Transportation from requiring additional permits or revoking existing permits for actions taken under this statute or GS 136-131.3 and authorizing of the Department to require an addendum to an existing permit, (2) regarding the attachment of rights under the statute to a permit issued by the Department, and (3) authorizing assignment of the permit and associated rights.

    Amends proposed GS 136-131.3 (Relocation of permitted off-premises outdoor advertising sign). Deletes the provisions authorizing the assignment or conveyance of the right under this statute to relocate and reconstruct permitted signs. Amends the requirements for relocation and reconstruction of a sign, requiring the construction work related to the relocation to commence within one year after the date of removal (was, one year after the date of the removal or the effective date of the Article, whichever was later). Provides that any off-premises outdoor advertising sign removed on or after January 1, 2014, but prior to the effective date of GS 136-131.3, must have construction work on relocation in accordance with this statute begin within one year of the date this statute becomes effective.

    Amends GS 136-133.1 (Outdoor advertising vegetation cutting or removal). Deletes proposed provisions that directed the Department of Transportation to approve plans for the cutting, thinning, pruning, or removal of vegetation along or within medians of highways under specified conditions.

    Amends GS 153A-143 (Regulation of outdoor advertising). Amends the prohibition on a county requiring the removal of any nonconforming, lawfully erected off-premises outdoor advertising sign without payment of monetary compensation, to prohibit counties from enacting, amending, or enforcing an ordinance or regulation that causes or requires such a removal. Amends the prohibition on a county enacting, amending, or enforcing an ordinance to prohibit the relocation and reconstruction of any off-premises outdoor advertising sign that meets the specified requirements, to apply that prohibition to circumstances where the relocation and reconstruction (was, relocation) was caused by a lawful project conducted by an entity with eminent domain. Deletes the provision applying the standards of GS 136-131 to any county that causes the removal of off-premises outdoor advertising through exercise of its power of eminent domain.

    Amends GS 160A-199, regarding cities, in a manner identical to GS 153A-143, with one additional change: the prohibition on city ordinances prohibiting relocation of any off-premises outdoor advertising signs now prohibits ordinances prohibiting relocation and reconstruction (as amended, this is identical to the provision in GS 153A-143, but this change did not need to be made to to that statute).


  • Summary date: May 23 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends the long title.

    Amends GS 136-93.2 (Monetary value of trees). Replaces existing system for evaluating the monetary value of removed trees that are eligible for reimbursement with a set rate of $45 per caliper inch. Effective when the bill becomes law, and applies to trees removed on or after that date.

    The following subsections of GS 136-128 are recodified: (1) is recodified as (1d), (1a) as (1e), (1b) as (1f), and (2a) as (2c).

    Amends GS 136-128 (Definitions), as recodified, adding the definition of cross read face, and amending the definitions of changeable message sign, area zoned commercial or industrial, off-premises outdoor advertising, and sign location site.

    Amends proposed GS 136-130.1 (Unzoned commercial or industrial area criteria for outdoor advertising signs). Amends the criteria required for commercial or industrial activities prior to submitting an outdoor advertising permit application, deleting all references to the äóìcontrolled routeäóù from the requirement that the activity be visible and recognizable as commercial or industrial from the main-traveled way. Amends the guidelines for determining whether an activity meets the criteria, providing that each side of the highway (was,each side of the controlled route) shall be considered separately, and deleting references to the äóìcontrolled routeäóù from the guideline regarding measurements.

    Amends GS 136-129 (Limitations of outdoor advertising devices). Deletes the provision prohibiting maintenance of outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the interstate or primary highway systems.

    Amends GS 136-130 (Regulation of advertising). Subjects the Department of Transportationäó»s (DOTäó»s) authority under that statute to the limitations of GS Chapter 136, Article 11 (Outdoor Advertising Control Act). Deletes the provision requiring DOT to promulgate rules and regulations under that statute in the form of ordinances. Amends the proposed prohibition on DOT denying or revoking permits under certain circumstances to apply only to permits for off-premises outdoor advertising, and provides that that prohibition does not apply to the relocation of off-premises outdoor advertising authorized by GS Chapter 136, Article 11.

    Amends GS 136-131. Amends the caption to read Removal of existing off-premises outdoor advertising. Authorizes DOT to acquire all off-premises outdoor advertising and accompanying property rights (was, to acquire all outdoor advertising and accompanying property rights which are prohibited under GS 136-129, GS 136-129.1, or GS 136-129.2), so long as the advertising is in lawful existence on the effective date of GS Chapter 136, Article 11. Provides that this statute applies to all acquisitions, purchases, condemnations, or takings by DOT that cause the removal of any lawfully erected off-premises outdoor advertising, regardless of its location or proximity to interstate or primary systems. Provides that the unit rule (as defined) for valuing property is not used for determining just compensation under this statute. Makes conforming changes. Applies the listed provisions regarding just compensation to any acquisition, purchase, condemnation, or taking (was, any acquisition, purchase, or condemnation), as currently described. Provides nine factors for determining just compensation for off-premises outdoor advertising and accompanying property rights, including the sales price of similar off-premises outdoor advertising and all accompanying property rights. Requires DOT, prior to acquisition or taking under this statute, to undertake the project necessitating the acquisition or taking in accordance with GS 133-11 to minimize adverse impacts to the displaced off-premises outdoor advertiser and reduce the costs of acquiring the off-premises outdoor advertising and accompanying property rights. Authorizes the owner of off-premises outdoor advertising to recover reasonable costs of relocating and reconstructing the displaced off-premises outdoor advertising from the governmental party causing the removal of the advertising, in addition to receiving the just compensation under this statute.

    Amends GS 136-131.1. Amends caption to read Just compensation required for the removal of billboards by local authorities. Prohibits local governments, local or regional zoning authorities, or other political subdivisions from removing off-premises outdoor advertising (was, removing outdoor advertising) with a valid DOT permit, and deletes the language applying the prohibition only to advertising adjacent to certain highways. Makes a conforming change. Applies to determinations of just compensation on or after the date the bill becomes law.

    Amends GS 136-131.2 (Modernization of outdoor advertising devices). Applies the statute to off-premises outdoor advertising (was, outdoor advertising). Amends the provision requiring just compensation for regulation or prohibition of repair, maintenance, alteration, or reconstruction of advertising with a DOT permit to apply when the off-premises outdoor advertising has a DOT permit under GS Chapter 136, Article 11 (was,did not specify which type of permit). Amends provisions regarding taking down signs in the same jurisdiction to clarify that they apply to signs taken down in the same governmental jurisdiction. Amends definition of repair, maintenance, alteration, or reconstruction to include the increase in the height of the sign, not to exceed 50 feet (was,80 feet). Provides that administrative decisions enforcing local ordinances, rules, or regulations are not effective against an owner or operator of outdoor advertising for any activity authorized by GS Chapter 136, Article 11 (was, authorized by GS 136-131.2). Amends the provision permitting the alteration or reconstruction of permitted off-premises outdoor advertising into changeable message signs, deleting the language applying the provision only to signs adjacent to certain highways, and clarifying that the DOT permit must be issued under GS Chapter 136, Article 11. Adds a new requirement for reconstruction into a changeable message sign, prohibiting reconstruction into a changeable-message sign within a historic district lawfully established by a city or county government. Amends the prohibition on the DOT requiring additional permits, or revoking existing permits, for actions taken under this statute or GS 136-131.3 (was, under this statute). Makes a conforming change. Authorizes assignment of a DOT permit, and all accompanying rights. Authorizes the owner of an off-premises outdoor advertising sign, or their designees, to cut or remove vegetation on the private property on which the sign is located with the written consent of the landowner. Applies to repairs, maintenance, alterations, and reconstructions on or after the date the bill becomes law.

    Enacts new GS 136-131.3. Permits off-premises outdoor advertising signs with a valid DOT permit under GS Chapter 136, Article 11, to be relocated and reconstructed subject to three listed requirements, including that the new sight must be within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of an Interstate or federal-aid primary highway (1) within the same zoning jurisdiction or (2) within the same city or county limits if the advertising sign was located in an unzoned area. Authorizes the assignment or conveyance of the right. Prohibits denial of a new site for relocation by the DOT due to vegetation obstructing the visibility of the sign from the viewing zone. Authorizes the owner or operator to improve the visibility of the sign by removing vegetation on private property with written consent of the landowner, or on the right-of-way of the interstate and primary systems of the State pursuant to a selective vegetation removal permit under GS Chapter 136, Article 11. Prohibits cities and counties from enforcing ordinances or regulations in conflicts with these rights or to otherwise cause the withholding of consent by the landowner. Provides a separate authorization for relocation of legally existing off-premises outdoor advertising signs that would not conform to customary use if relocated on the same sign location, subject to four listed requirements, including that the structural members of the sign at the relocated site are of like material. Effective when the bill becomes law, and applies to off-premises outdoor advertising signs removed on or after January 1, 2014.

    GS 136-133, as amended by this bill, is effective when it becomes law, and applies to appeals filed and permits issued on or after that date.

    Amends GS 136-133.1 (Outdoor advertising vegetation cutting or removal). Directs DOT, at the request of an owner of a permitted off-premises outdoor advertising sign, to approve plans for the cutting, thinning, pruning, or removal of vegetation along or within medians of listed highway systems so long as the view to the cross read face of the off-premises outdoor advertising sign will be improved and the sign owner replants the disturbed median area with low growth hardy shrubs at the sign ownersäó» expense. Amends the provision requiring preservation of dogwoods and native redbuds, to require their preservation to the extent possible. Authorizes a selective vegetation removal permittee to relocate and replace any native dogwoods or redbuds existing within the cut or removal zone to a location within 2,500 feet of the outdoor advertising structure, as specified. If unable to be preserved, the dogwood or redbud must be replaced with the same species of any quantity that total the same caliper inches.

    Amends GS 136-133.2 (Issuance or denial of a selective vegetation removal permit). Authorizes issuance of the permits for off-premises outdoor advertising locations (was, for outdoor advertising locations) that have been permitted for at least one year (was, two years) prior to the date of application. Authorizes issuance of permits to remove vegetation for off-premises outdoor advertising locations relocated as allowed by law and that otherwise comply with this statute and DOT rules. Makes a conforming change.

    Amends GS 136-133.5 (Denial of a permit for proposed outdoor advertising). Exempts relocations authorized under GS 136-131.3 from the prohibition under this statute. Effective when the bill becomes law, and applies to off-premises outdoor advertising signs relocated on or after that date.

    Amends GS 136-133.5 (Denial of a permit for proposed outdoor advertising), as amended by this act. Directs DOT to approve or deny an application for a permit for a new outdoor advertising sign within 30 days of receipt of an application. Failure to provide written notice to the applicant of the DOTäó»s decision within the 30-day period results in the appeal being automatically approved. Makes a technical change. Effective when the bill becomes law, and applies to applications received on or after that date.

    Makes the amendments to GS 136-134.2 (Notification requirements) effective when they become law, and applicable to revocations and cancellations on or after that date.

    Makes the amendments to GS 136-138 (Agreements with United States authorized) effective when they become law and applicable to revisions made on or after that date.

    Makes proposed GS 136-140.2 (Public notification plan) effective October 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 153A-143 (Regulation of outdoor advertising). Prohibits counties from causing or requiring (was, enacting or amending an ordinance to cause or require) the removal of nonconforming, lawfully erected off-premises outdoor advertising signs without compensation. Prohibits counties from conditioning the grant of any development approval (as defined) on the removal of off-premises outdoor advertising without payment of monetary compensation as required by this statute. Prohibits counties from enacting, amending, or enforcing an ordinance to prohibit the relocation and reconstruction of off-premises outdoor advertising signs under GS 136-131.3, or that meet three listed requirements (regarding placement and size of the sign) and were caused by a project authorized by law and undertaken by an entity possessing the power of eminent domain. Authorizes reconstruction of an off-premises outdoor advertising sign with different building materials at the site of relocation. Authorizes relocation rights to be assigned or conveyed. Amends the calculation of monetary compensation to include consideration of the value of the off-premises outdoor advertising owneräó»s interest in the real property on which the advertising is located, the off-premises outdoor advertising sign structure, and any accompanying rights. Directs monetary compensation to be determined under GS 136-131 (was, under GS 105-317.1(a) and the listed property tax value of the property and documents regarding value). Deletes the provision making this statute not apply to ordinances in effect on the effective date of the statute. Provides that the statute does not affect the power of eminent domain, or the rights of off-premises outdoor advertising under GS Chapter 136, Article 11, except as specifically provided. Applies GS 136-131 to any county that causes the removal of off-premises outdoor advertising through eminent domain. Effective when the bill becomes law, and applies to determinations of just compensation on or after that date, off-premises outdoor advertising that has not been removed as of that date, and off-premises outdoor advertising signs removed on or after January 1, 2014.

    Amends GS 160A-199 (Regulation of outdoor advertising). The amendments are substantively identical to those made in GS 153A-143, applying to cities instead of counties.

    Except as otherwise provided, the bill is effective when it becomes law.


  • Summary date: Apr 6 2017 - More information

    Amends Article 11 of GS Chapter 136, the Outdoor Advertising Control Act, as follows.

    Adds to the declaration of policy in GS 136-127 that the General Assembly finds and declares off-premises outdoor advertising is an important and distinct medium of communication for effectively displaying commercial and noncommercial messages and is an established segment of the national economy that serves to promote and protect investments in commerce and industry. Further finds that off-premises advertising is a use of land that should be preserved and its modernization fostered in order to enable new technology and more inventive ways of communicating. Modifies the declared intent, now providing that the intent of the General Assembly is to declare a pubic policy and statutory basis for the establishment of a uniform system for the regulation and control of off-premises outdoor advertising throughout the state. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.

    Modifies and adds to the definitions that apply to the Article, set out in GS 136-128. Modifies the definitions for erect or erection, nonconforming sign, and unzoned commercial or industrial area (was, unzoned area). Adds and defines the terms area zoned commercial or industrial, changeable message sign, customary use, maintain or maintenance, main-traveled way or main travel way, sign face, and sign location or site. Defines off-premises outdoor advertising to mean the use of land consisting of a sign erected and maintained for the purpose of (1) displaying, advertising, identifying, or directing attention to business products, operations, or services sold or offered at a site other than the site where the sign is erected or (2) promoting an attraction, activity, idea, opinion, or other noncommercial messaging that is unrelated to the site where the sign is erected. Provides that a sign meeting this definition is commonly known as a billboard, where space is commonly made available or rented to advertisers to display their messages to the traveling public. Makes technical changes to the statute.

    Enacts GS 136-130.1, detailing nine criteria that one or more commercial or industrial activities must meet to qualify an area unzoned commercial or industrial for purposes of Article 11 prior to submitting an outdoor advertising permit application, including that the activity must have a direct or indirect vehicular access and be a generator of vehicular traffic, and the activity must be in active operation a minimum of six months prior to the date of submitting an application for an outdoor advertising permit. Details guidelines to be used in making a determination as to whether an activity meets the criteria. Specifies ten activities that cannot be considered for purposes of qualifying an area as unzoned commercial or industrial, including transient or temporary activities and activities not visible and recognizable as commercial or industrial from the traffic lanes of the main-traveled highway.

    Amends GS 136-129, which prohibits any outdoor advertising to be erected or maintained within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the interstate or primary highway systems in this State so as to be visible from the main-traveled way thereof after the effective date of the Article as determined by GS 136-140, and delineates six exceptions to the prohibition. Modifies the exception in subdivision (4) to except outdoor advertising, in conformity with customary use and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation, pursuant to GS 136‑130, located in areas which are zoned commercial or industrial by the State, or a political subdivision of the State, under authority of State law. Modifies the exception in subdivision (5) to except outdoor advertising, in conformity with customary use and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation, pursuant to GS 136‑130, located in unzoned commercial or industrial areas.

    Amends GS 136-129.2, which sets forth limitations of outdoor advertising devices adjacent to scenic highways, state and national parks, historic areas and other places, to add new subsection to clarify that the Article does not alter or supersede the requirements and limitations set forth in Article 10 of GS Chapter 113A (Control of Outdoor Advertising near the Blue Ridge Parkway).

    Makes conforming, clarifying, and technical changes to GS 136-130, concerning the regulation of advertising. Makes organizational change to place existing language into new subsection (a). Adds new subsection (b) to prohibit the Department of Transportation from denying or revoking a permit for outdoor advertising required under the Article on the basis that the outdoor advertising fails to conform to ordinances, rules, or regulations of a municipality, county, local or regional zoning authority, or other political subdivisions of the State, except for the case of the proposed erection of a new outdoor advertising sign at a new sign location or site that fails to comply at the time of denial with ordinances, rules, or regulations of a municipality, county, local or regional zoning authority, or other political subdivision of the State that are consistent with GS 136-131.2(b).

    Modifies GS 136-131.2 (Modernization of outdoor advertising devices) to now provide as follows. Subsection (a) establishes that no municipality, county, local or regional zoning authority, or other political subdivision can, without the payment of just compensation as provided for in GS 136‑131.1, regulate or prohibit the repair, maintenance, alteration, or reconstruction of any outdoor advertising for which there is in effect a valid permit issued by the Department of Transportation at the time of the repair, maintenance, alteration, or reconstruction, so long as for multi‑faced signs conforming to customary use, the cumulative square footage of the advertising surface area is not increased and no sign face exceeds 672 square feet. Permits the size of a sign face or faces of another off‑premises outdoor advertising sign permanently taken down in the same jurisdiction within 120 days of a sign being reconstructed to be combined to increase the cumulative advertising surface area of the reconstructed sign, but prohibits exceeding 672 square feet for any sign face. Allows one additional sign face to be added to a single‑face sign conforming to customary use so long as the additional face does not exceed the size of the existing sign face. Sets out the meaning of repair, maintenance, alteration or reconstruction as used in the statute. 

    Subsection (b) clarifies that the statute does not prohibit a municipality, county, local or regional zoning authority, or other political subdivision from using its zoning authority to regulate (1) the initial erection of an outdoor advertising sign that has not been relocated pursuant to applicable law or (2) outdoor advertising in which a permit issued by the Department of Transportation pursuant to this Article has been voluntarily cancelled or lawfully revoked, and any appeals under GS 136‑134.1 have been exhausted. Further provides that no decision of an administrative official charged with enforcement of a local ordinance, rule, or regulation is effective against an owner or operator of outdoor advertising for any activity authorized by this section, and no appeal under GS 153A‑345.1 or GS 160A‑388 is required to protect the outdoor advertiser's rights under this section.

    Subsection (c) provides that any outdoor advertising adjacent to a highway on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, or a highway on the federal‑aid primary highway system, for which there is in effect a valid permit issued by the Department of Transportation, including any sign relocated pursuant to applicable law, must be permitted to be altered or reconstructed to a changeable message sign, subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (a) of the statute and the seven requirements detailed in the subsection.

    Subsection (d) authorizes the Department of Transportation to adopt or enforce rules that restrict the rights set forth in the statute for outdoor advertising that does not conform to customary use and whose failure to conform to customary use cannot be eliminated through any repair, maintenance, alteration, relocation, or reconstruction authorized in the statute.

    Subsection (e) prohibits the Department from requiring additional permits, or revoking any existing permits, for any action taken pursuant to the statute. Permits the Department to require an addendum to an existing permit within 30 days of the completion of any action taken pursuant to the statute showing or describing the changes to the conditions of the outdoor advertising sign. Establishes that the rights set forth in the statute attach to a permit issue by the Department and expire with the voluntary cancellation of the permit or after the permit has been lawfully revoked and any appeals pursuant to GS 136-134.1 have been exhausted. Clarifies that the rights set forth in the statute do not run with the land.

    The above changes to GS 136-131.2 apply to repairs, maintenance, alterations, and reconstructions on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Makes organizational changes to GS 136-133. Amends GS 136-133 to require the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (Secretary) to affirm or reject an appeal of a decision to refuse to grant or revoke a permit within 90 days after the Secretary receives the agency appeal. Adds that failure to provide written notice to the aggrieved party of the Secretary's decision to affirm or reject the agency appeal within the 90‑day period results in the appeal being affirmed, entitling the aggrieved party to issuance of the outdoor advertising permit or reversal of the Department of Transportation's decision to revoke. Applies to appeals filed on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Modifies the permit fees for outdoor structures, as set forth in GS 136-129(4) and (5) (amended above), to now cap the fees at $240 (was $120) for the initial fee, $75 (was, $60) for the annual renewal fee, and $240 for an addendum to an existing outdoor advertising permit for (1) relocating outdoor advertising beyond the existing sign location or site where the outdoor advertising was located immediately prior to the relocation or (2) altering or reconstructing to a changeable message sign, in accordance with GS 136‑131.2. Applies to permits issued on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Adds to subsection (c), providing that no building permit can be denied to an outdoor advertising sign in GS 136-129(4) or (5) for which the Department of Transportation has issued a permit that has not been revoked, and the building permit is otherwise compliance with building code standards. Further provides that no building permit or local building inspection authorized under GS Chapters 153A or 160A can be required for off‑premises advertising if the proposed construction is evaluated by a professional engineer, acting within the scope of the engineer's authority, and the construction is certified by the engineer as being in compliance with the State Building Code. 

    Makes technical change to the statutory reference in GS 136-133.5 (Denial of a permit for proposed outdoor advertising). Adds new subsection (h), requiring the Department of Transportation to approve or deny an application for a permit for a new outdoor advertising sign within 30 days of the receipt of an application, including any fee required by GS 136‑133 and any other required documentation. Adds that failure to provide written notice to the applicant of the Department's decision to approve or deny the application within the 30‑day period results in the appeal being affirmed, entitling the applicant to issuance of the permit for a new outdoor advertising structure (appears to intend: results in the application being approved and entitling the applicant to issuance of the permit for a new outdoor advertising sign). Applies to applications received on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Makes organizational changes to GS 136-134.2 (Notification requirements). Adds new subsection (b) setting out the notification requirement for revocation of a permit. Adds new subsection (c) for notification requirements for the cancellation of a permit. Places existing language into subsection (a), setting out the notice requirements for notice of the denial of an application for a permit or nonconformance of an outdoor advertising structure. Places existing language into subsection (d), providing for the tolling of the review hearing upon the Department's failure to provide required materials. Applies to revocations and cancellations on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Amends GS 136-138 to specify that the Department of Transportation is authorized to enter into agreements with the US government or any department or agency thereof relating to the control of outdoor advertising as previously specified. Adds new provisions requiring the General Assembly to approve any revisions to the agreement dated January 7, 1972, and entered into between the State and the US Department of Transportation to implement the provisions of the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965, in order to be effective. Prohibits the Department from entering into any agreement or otherwise transferring or delegating the Department's regulatory authority set forth in this Article to any other governmental authority. Applies to revisions made on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Amends GS 136-18(9), authorizing the Department of Transportation to allow the roadside parks, picnic areas, picnic tables, scenic overlooks or other turnouts, or any part of the highway right-of-way to be used for commercial purposes, to the extent allowed by federal law, and as permitted by the local government or the designated authority, for outdoor advertising on or with any transit shelter or rail or bus facility. 

    Enacts GS 136-140.2 to direct the Department of Transportation to work together with the owners of changeable message signs and a host of government entities to develop a public notification plan for the purpose of using changeable message signs to display notifications to the traveling public related to public safety and emergencies. Public notifications include information about Silver Alerts, Amber Alerts, inclement weather, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Requires the plan to be in writing and address: (1) the criteria to be applied in determining when it is appropriate to request that an owner of a changeable message sign display a public notification and (2) the procedures used to determine the expiration of a notification and to recall the request once the information is no longer needed. Effective October 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 87-1 to except from the definition of general contractor any person engaged in the construction of outdoor advertising signs subject to Article 11 of GS Chapter 136.

    Directs the Department of Transportation to adopt rules to implement the provisions of the act no later than six months after the effective date of the act. Sets forth the procedure the Department is to use to adopt the rules, which include having the proposed rule published, accepting written comments on the proposed rule, and holding a public hearing on the proposed rule prior to adoption. Provides that a rule adopted in accordance with this provision becomes effective on the first day of the month following the month the Department of Transportation adopts the rule and submits the rule to the Codifier of Rules for entry into the NC Administrative Code. Any rule adopted more than six months after the effective date of this act must comply with the requirement of Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B.

    Makes any rule or policy adopted by the Department that does not comply with with this act null and void.

    Provides a severability clause.


  • Summary date: Apr 5 2017 - More information

    To be summarized.


Printer-friendly: Click to view