Bill Summary for H 581 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

May 23 2017

Bill Information:

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.

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Bill summary

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.

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