Bill Summary for H 304 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Mar 18 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 304 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 18, 2015
AN ACT TO INCREASE PERMIT FEES FOR OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO ESTABLISH A REASONABLE TIMEFRAME FOR MAKING AGENCY DECISIONS REGARDING PERMITS AND APPEALS, TO CLARIFY THE STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING JUST COMPENSATION IN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMINENT DOMAIN ACTIONS THAT CAUSE THE REMOVAL OF LAWFULLY ERECTED OUTDOOR ADVERTISING, TO CLARIFY PROVISIONS OF THE OUTDOOR ADVERTISING CONTROL ACT, AND TO PROMOTE UNIFORMITY OF REGULATION AND MODERNIZATION OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING.
Intro. by Hager, Collins, J. Bell, Hanes.

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Bill summary

Identical to S 320 filed on 3/17/15.

Makes revisions to laws pertaining to outdoor advertising as the title indicates.

Current law sets the fee for a selective vegetation removal permit issued under GS 136-18(5), (7), and (9) at $200. Amends GS 136-18.7 to set the fee for a selective vegetation permit for an outside advertising location issued under Article 11, Outdoor Advertising Control Act, of GS Chapter 136 at $600 for the initial three-year period listed in GS 136-133.4 and $200 for any subsequent three-year renewal period.

Amends GS 136-127, which states a declaration of policy as to the General Assembly's findings that outdoor advertising is an integral part of the business and marketing function and the rationale for supporting the reasonable use of property for outdoor advertising. Declares that it is the General Assembly's intent to provide a public policy and statutory basis for establishing a uniform statewide system for the regulation and control of outdoor advertising.

Amends GS 136-128 to add definitions for the following terms as used in Article 11, GS Chapter 136: (1)customary use, (2)changeable message sign, and (3) sign face. Makes clarifying changes to the definitions for erect andnonconforming sign. Makes additional organizational changes to the definitions as presented in this Article.

Under current law, GS 136-129 prohibits erecting or maintaining outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the interstate or primary highway systems in this state with specified exceptions in GS 136-129. Amends subdivisions (4) and (5) in this statute to provide exceptions from the limitations of outdoor advertising devices set by GS 136-129 for outdoor advertising that conforms with customary use, as defined in this act, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation under GS 136-130, as amended in this act, providing that the outdoor advertising is located in areas zoned industrial or commercial by the state or a political subdivision of the state under authority of state law, or located in an industrial or commercial area that is not zoned.

Adds a new subsection (d) to GS 136-129.2 to provide that nothing in Article 11, GS Chapter 136, is to be construed to alter or supersede the requirements and limitations set out in Article 10, GS Chapter 113A, Control of Outdoor Advertising Near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Makes technical corrections to GS 136-130 regarding the regulation of advertising. Adds new subsection (b) to set limitations on the Department of Transportation's (DOT) authority to deny or revoke any permit required under Article 11, GS Chapter 136, for the maintenance of existing outdoor advertising subject to this Article as a result of extensions of the interstate system or the primary systems, nor any other permit required under this Article, but provides exceptions that allow the DOT to revoke or deny permits for failure to comply with specified provisions of this Article.

Amends GS 136-131 to clarify the criteria for determining just compensation in state and local government eminent domain actions to remove existing outdoor advertising (was, nonconforming outdoor advertising). Identifies factors to be used in determining just compensation for lawfully erected outdoor advertising. Directs the DOT to minimize adverse impacts to the outdoor advertiser displaced by any condemnation by the DOT.

Makes additional changes to the provisions of Article 11 to further clarify the provisions of the Outdoor Advertising Control Act of GS Chapter 136 and to promote uniform regulation of and modernization of outdoor advertising in GS 136-131.2. Extends the statute’s provisions to prohibit local governments, without compensation, from regulating the maintenance, alteration, or relocation of any outdoor advertising for which a valid permit is in effect at the time of the action. Adds provisions allowing the addition of a sign face to a single-face sign. Adds provision allowing and governing the relations of an outdoor advertising adjacent to a highway on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways or the Federal-aid Primary Highway System. Also adds provisions concerning the alteration of a sign into a changeable message sign.

Amends provisions regarding cutting or removing outdoor advertising vegetation, obtaining selective vegetation removal permits, and denial of a permit for proposed outdoor advertising. Adds a new section to Article 11 establishing a public notification plan to use changeable message signs to display notifications to the traveling public related to public safety and emergencies.

Amends GS 153A-143 regarding regulation of outdoor advertising by a county and GS 160A-199 regarding regulation of outdoor advertising by a city to prohibit making development approval contingent on advertising without compensation and to define what is included in monetary compensation.

Requires that the DOT, no later than 12 months after the effective date of this act (effective when the act becomes law), to adopt rules to implement the provisions of this act. Sets out the procedure that the DOT is to use to adopt the rules to implement this act.

Includes a severability clause  to provide that if any provisions of the proposed act or its application are held to be invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications.

This act is effective when it becomes law and applies to (1) applications for permits received on or after that date, (2) determinations of just compensation made on or after that date, (3) appeals filed on or after that date, and (4) changes to the agreement made on or after that date. Also applies to outdoor advertising that has not been removed as of that date.

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