REVISIONS TO OUTDOOR ADVERTISING LAWS.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 645 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 9, 2019
AN ACT TO REVISE THE OUTDOOR ADVERTISING LAWS.
Intro. by Saine, Dixon, Jones, Wray.

Status: Re-ref Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Aug 22 2019)

Bill History:

H 645

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Aug 22 2019 - More information

    The Governor vetoed the act on 8/22/19. The Governor's objections and veto message are available here: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/6320/0/H645-BD-NBC-6109.


  • Summary date: Jul 22 2019 - More information

    Senate amendment to the 5th edition makes the following changes.

    Makes further technical changes to GS 136-128.

    Modifies proposed GS 136-131.3 to refer to lawfully erected outdoor advertising signs (was, legally erected). Amends the criteria for the relocation site of any legally erected outdoor advertising sign due to the property the sign is lawfully existing upon being acquired and the acquiring party requiring its removal. Adds that the sign cannot be relocated adjacent to any highway as provided in GS 136-129.2, except within the same sign location or site (previously, was included as a specification for permitted relocation sites in areas zoned commercial or industrial within the same zoning jurisdiction only). No longer explicitly requires the outdoor advertising sign at the relocated site to conform with customary use in areas zoned commercial or industrial under authority of state law, or if the relocated site is unzoned, in unzoned commercial or industrial areas. Eliminates the prohibition against reconstructed signs increasing the advertising surface area of the outdoor advertising sign that is required to be removed and permitted to be reconstructed. Specifies when the Department of Transportation must issue a new outdoor advertising permit to the owner of a relocated outdoor advertising permit, limited to relocated signs pursuant to subsection (a); provides for addendums to existing permits in other instances of relocation under the statute. Now specifies that, in the event of a taking of an outdoor advertising location, the fact that the outdoor advertising is not relocated cannot prejudice the determination of compensation owed to the owner of the outdoor advertising as provided by state law (previously, permitted the fact finder to consider the actual relocation of the outdoor advertising in determining just compensation as provided by law). Makes additional organizational, technical and clarifying changes. Makes further organizational changes to move the provisions of previous subsection (f) of proposed GS 136-131.3, concerning view corridors, to new GS 136-131.4. Makes clarifying, conforming and organizational changes to the provisions. Changes the applicability of proposed GS 136-131.3, now making the provisions apply to outdoor advertising signs removed on or after July 1, 2019 (was, removed on or after the date the act becomes law).


  • Summary date: Jun 26 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 4th edition makes the following changes.

    Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 136-127, regarding state policy on outdoor advertising.

    Eliminates the proposed changes to the definition of State law set forth in GS 136-128, and instead maintains the existing definition.

    Modifies the requirements set forth in proposed GS 136-131.3 that must be met of outdoor advertising signs legally existing but that would not be conforming to customary use if relocated on the same sign location or site, to no longer prohibit the outdoor advertising sign from being converted to an automatic changeable facing sign when relocated on the same sign location or site. Establishes three new parameters for the relocation of an outdoor advertising sign: (1) prohibits a sign not located within a view corridor, as defined, prior to relocation from being relocated into a view corridor without municipal approval; (2) permits signs previously located within a view corridor to be relocated within the same view corridor; and (3) permits a sign relocated under subsection (a) to be relocated within a five-mile radius from the existing sign location if a municipality has established a view corridor, subject to the requirements of subsection (a) (concerning legally erected signs permitted to be relocated and reconstructed if located on property acquired by a public or private condemner who requires removal).

    Modifies proposed GS 136-131.5 by eliminating the 30-day period given to the Department of Transportation to make a final determination on the relocation and reconstruction of an outdoor advertising sign proposed to be relocated to a site located five miles or less from the perimeter boundary of a military base.


  • Summary date: May 7 2019 - More information

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

    House amendment #1 eliminates the proposed changes to GS 136-133.1 concerning outdoor advertising vegetation cutting and removal and the replacement of native dogwoods and redbuds.

    Amendment #2 changes the effective date provisions for proposed GS 163-131.3 to now provide that the statute applies to outdoor advertising signs removed on or after the act's effective date (was, on or after January 1, 2017, and additionally provided that the one-year construction limitation established commences on the effective date of the act).

    Amendment #3 adds to the requirements set forth in proposed GS 136-131.3 that must be met of outdoor advertising signs legally existing but that would not be conforming to customary use if relocated on the same sign location or site, now requiring that the outdoor advertising sign not be converted to an automatic changeable facing sign when relocated on the same sign location or site. Amendment #3 also amends GS 136-131.2, concerning the modernization of outdoor advertising devices. Adds that local authorities cannot regulate or prohibit the repair or reconstruction of any permitted outdoor advertising without just compensation so long as the reconstruction is not converted to an automatic changeable facing sign (in addition to the condition that the square footage of the advertising surface area is not increased in the reconstruction).

    Amendment #4 further modifies proposed GS 163-131.3 regarding the requirements of legally erected outdoor advertising signs required to be relocated when a public or private condemnor or the Department of Transportation (DOT) acquires the property. Modifies the parameters of the relocation site and permits the site to be any area within 660 feet of the right-of-way of a highway and if applicable, within an area zoned commercial or industrial located within the same zoning jurisdiction so long as it is not located adjacent to any highway as provided in specified state law (was, so long as it is not located within a view corridor). 

    Amendment #6 enacts GS 136-131.5 to require the owner of an outdoor advertising sign relocated to a site located five miles or less from the perimeter boundary of a military base to notify and consult with the following on the proposed relocation: the commander of the base or a designee; DOT; the respective county board of commissioners; and the respective city council, if any. Requires the notification to include a detailed map and explanation of the proposed relocation and reconstruction. Gives the entities a 30-day comment period in which to submit comments or analysis on the proposed relocation and reconstruction's compatibility with base operations, which is deemed waived if DOT does not receive a response within the 30-day period following notice. Gives DOT 30 days to make a final determination on the relocation and reconstruction, taking into consideration any comments and analysis.


  • Summary date: May 6 2019 - More information

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

    Modifies proposed GS 136-130.1, Unzoned commercial or industrial area criteria for outdoor advertising signs, to specify that the activities listed in subsection (c) are not considered activities for the purpose of qualifying an unzoned commercial or industrial area under the Article 11 (previously, are not considered activities qualifying an unzoned commercial or industrial area).

    Deletes the provisions of Section 4, which amended GS 136-131 and GS 136-131.1, to instead maintain existing law regarding the removal of existing nonconforming advertising and just compensation for removal by local authorities. Makes conforming organizational changes.

    Modifies proposed GS 136-131.3, Relocation of lawfully existing outdoor advertising sign. Now sets forth requirements for legally erected outdoor advertising signs required to be removed when property on which the sign is located is acquired by a public or private condemnor or the Department of Transportation (DOT) and permitted to be relocated and reconstructed within a two-mile radius from the existing sign location (previously provided for signs caused to be removed in instances when the property is acquired by State or local government agencies or others possessing eminent domain authority, and did not provide for relocation within a specified range of the existing location). Makes conforming changes. Regarding relocation, modifies the parameters of the relocation site permitting the site to be any area within 660 feet of the right-of-way of a highway and if applicable, within an area zoned commercial or industrial located within the same zoning jurisdiction so long as it is not located within a view corridor (was within the same zoning jurisdiction). Now requires the relocation construction work to commence within one year after the date of removal (previously alternatively within one year of the effective date of Article 11). Requires reconstruction to comply with GS 136-131.2, which provides for the modernization of outdoor advertising devices. Prohibits the sign from being relocated a distance greater than 250 feet from the lot boundaries on which the sign was previously located (was a distance greater than 250 feet from the original lot boundaries on which the sign was previously erected). Adds a new provision to prohibit relocation of the same sign under subsection (b) within a 10-year period. Specifies that the limitation does not apply to relocations on the same sign location or site. Permits owners or operators of outdoor advertising signs (was of off-premises outdoor advertising signs) to remove vegetation to improve sign visibility by obtaining the landowner's written consent and/or a selective vegetation removal permit, as previously provided. Eliminates the specified considerations the fact finder is to take into account when determining just compensation for damages to the outdoor advertising property owner in the actual relocation of the outdoor advertising under the statute. Makes clarifying, organizational and technical changes. Removes the statute's subsection descriptors. Changes the effective date to now makes the changes applicable to outdoor advertising signs removed on or after January 1, 2017 (was January 1, 2014). Adds that the one-year construction limitation commences on the effective date of the act.

    Adds to the proposed changes to GS 136-133.1 concerning outdoor advertising vegetation cutting or removal. Adds that the maximum cut or removal zone for each sign face must include any area within the right-of-way between sign faces for any outdoor advertising with two sign faces. Eliminates the proposed provisions requiring DOT to approve plans for the cutting or removal of vegetation along or within medians. Now allows selective vegetation removal permittees to remove native dogwoods or native redbuds existing within or outside of the maximum cut or removal zones established under subsection (a) and (a1) so long as the permittee replaces any removed with the same species of at least a quantity that totals twice the caliper inches to a location within 2,500 feet on either side of the outdoor advertising structure, measured as provided (previously permitted removal and replacement as necessary within the cut or removal zone established in subsection (a) only). Makes clarifying changes. 


  • Summary date: Apr 30 2019 - More information

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

    Amends GS 136-131, concerning the removal of existing outdoor advertising, by removing from the factors that are to be used to determine just compensation the reasonable expectation of lease renewal for a period in excess of that stated in the lease for original and renewal terms. 

    Amends GS 136-131.3 by amending one of the requirements to be met when relocating and reconstructing outdoor advertising to provide that the new site can be any area (was, must be any area) within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of a highway within the same zoning jurisdiction or within the same city or county territorial limits if the initial outdoor advertising sign was located in an unzoned area before the relocation (previously did not specify before the relocation). Deletes the provision prohibiting a municipality, county, local. or regional zoning authority, or other political subdivision from regulating or prohibiting any relocation of outdoor advertising that is authorized by the statute. Makes additional clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 136-133.1 by making a conforming change by deleting references to points A, B, D, and E, which were removed in the previous edition.


  • Summary date: Apr 9 2019 - More information

    Identical to S 534, filed 4/2/19.

    Amends GS 136-127, adding to the legislative policy declaration regarding outdoor advertising, establishing the importance of outdoor advertising in the national economy. Declares it in the public interest that outdoor advertising signs be erected, maintained, and clearly visible along State highways in order to provide public service announcements and information on services and products available to the general public, as specified. Explicitly recognizes the need to balance the needs of outdoor advertisers against the beatification of the State.

    Amends GS 136-128, which sets forth defined terms applicable to Article 11, the Outdoor Advertising Act. Adds the terms area zoned commercial or industrial, customary use, main-traveled way or traveled way, on-premises/on-property sign, and sign location or site. Amends the definitions for erect or erection, nonconforming sign, State law, and unzoned commercial or industrial area. 

    Enacts GS 136-130.1, setting forth criteria for an area unzoned commercial or industrial, requiring one or more commercial or industrial activities to satisfy all nine criteria prior to submitting an outdoor advertising permit application to the Department of Transportation (Department), including the activity having all basic utilities, the activity being in active operation at least six month prior to the date of application submission, and the activity opening to the public at least 20 hours per week, as specified. In considering whether the nine criteria have been met, establishes certain considerations and measurement guidelines which must be used. Enumerates 10 activities which are not qualifying activities for an unzoned commercial or industrial area, including outdoor advertising structures, activities more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way, railroad trucks and minor sidings, and illegal and nonconforming junkyards.

    Modifies GS 136-131 to authorize the Department to acquire by purchase, gift, or condemnation all outdoor advertising and all property rights pertaining to outdoor advertising in lawful existence or lawfully erected. Defines the scope of authority to include all acquisitions, purchases, condemnations, or takings by the Department that cause the removal of any lawfully erected outdoor advertising, regardless of the location and proximity of the outdoor advertising to the interstate or primary system (previously limited to nonconforming advertising under GS 136-129, GS 136-129.1, or GS 136-129.2). Makes conforming changes to refer to any acquisiton, purchase, condemnation, or taking (previously did not explicitly include taking). Lists nine factors which must be used in determining just compensation under the statute, including the sales price of similar outdoor advertising, the effect of land-use restrictions, and the reasonable expectations of lease renewal for a period in excess of that stated in the lease for original or renewal terms. Adds a new requirement for the Department to undertake the project necessitating the acquisition or taking under GS 133-11 prior to any acquisition or taking under the statute, including allowing the outdoor advertising to remain until actual construction or other physical site work is commenced on the project and within 100 feet of the outdoor advertising sign. Specifies that the statutes does not affect relocation assistance funding, which is in addition to any just compensation provided.

    Amends GS 136-131.1, expanding the provisions to include just compensation for removal of outdoor advertising for which there is a valid permit issued by the Department pursuant to GS Chapter 11 and regulations thereunder (previously limited to outdoor advertising adjacent to a highway on the National System or a highway on the Federal aid Primary Highway System). 

    Enacts GS 136-131.3, requiring the relocation and reconstructing of any legally erected outdoor advertising that is caused to be moved due to State or local government agencies or other possessing eminent domain authority imposing eminent domain authority upon property on which the sign is located. Details six requirements for such relocation or reconstruction, such as requiring that the new site be any area within 660 feet of the nearest edge of a highway on the National System or the federal aid highway system within the same zoning jurisdiction or within the same city or county limits if the signs located in an unzoned area, and requiring the construction for the relocation work to commence within one year after the later of the date of removal or the effective date of the Article. Generally allows for relocation of lawfully erected signs for which a permit has been issued by the Department, which do not qualify for relocation under the previous provisions, to relocate and reconstruct the sign subject to the same six requirements, except that the sign cannot be relocated more than 250 feet from the original lot boundaries on which the sign was previously erected. Provides special rules for signs legally existing but would not be conforming to customary use if relocated on the same sign location or site. Permits the removal of any vegetation to improve relocated sign visibility upon written consent of the landowner and selective vegetation removal permit issued under the Article, as specified. Prohibits denial of a new site for relocation due to vegetation obstructing visibility, and prohibits cities or counties from enforcing conflicting regulations. Provides for preemption of all state political subdivisions' regulation or prohibition the relocation of outdoor advertising. Applies to outdoor advertising signs removed on or after January 1, 2014.

    Amends GS 136-133.1, which provides for a selective vegetation removal permit. Now provides for the maximum cut or removal zone for each sign face for the direction of travel for which the sign faces is oriented to not exceed a continuous 500 feet horizontal distance parallel to a State right-of-way and measured from a point on the main-traveled way of the highway nearest the sign face (previously provided parameters to establish five points in order to define the limits of the vegetation or removal cut area). Now requires (was, permits) the Department to approve plans for cutting, thinning, pruning, or removing vegetation outside of the cut or removal zone along acceleration or deceleration ramps so long as sign visibility will be imposed and the total aggregate of cutting or removal does not exceed the specified maximum allowed. Further, now requires the Department to approve plans for the cutting, thinning, pruning, or removal of vegetation along or within medians of the interstate or federal aid highway system so long as the view to the cross read face of the sign will be improved and the sign owner replaces the disturbed median area with low grade hardy shrubs at the sign owner's expense. Now qualifies the requirement for native dogwoods and redbuds to be preserved, requiring preservation only to the extent possible. Adds that a selective vegetation removal permittee can relocation and replace any native dogwoods or native redbuds existing within the cut or removal zone established under the statute to a location within 2,500 feet on either side of the outdoor advertising structure, as measured along the edge of the pavement of the main-traveled way of the nearest controlled route, but only if necessary. Requires the selective vegetation removal permittee to replace the native dogwoods or native redbuds with the same species and quantity as specified if preservation is not possible during relocation.

    Amends GS 136-133.2 to allow permits to remove vegetation to be granted for outdoor advertising locations that have been permitted for one year (was, two years) prior to the date of application. Now also allows permits to remove vegetation to be granted for outdoor advertising locations, if relocated as allowed under law, and the outdoor advertising otherwise complies with the requirements of the statute and rules adopted by the Department. Makes conforming changes to GS 136-133.5

    Provides a severability clause. 


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