Utah Department of Administrative Services Office of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2016, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R933. Transportation, Preconstruction, Right-of-Way Acquisition.

Rule R933-2. Control of Outdoor Advertising Signs.

As in effect on August 1, 2016

Table of Contents

R933-2-1. Purpose.

The purpose of this rule is to implement the Utah Outdoor Advertising Act Sections 72-7-501 through 72-7-516. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to permit outdoor advertising that would disqualify the state for federal participation of funds under the applicable federal standards or conflict with the Utah Outdoor Advertising Act. The Transportation Commission and the Utah Department of Transportation shall, through designated personnel, control outdoor advertising on controlled routes throughout the State of Utah.

R933-2-2. Definitions.

All references in this rule to Title 72, Chapter 7, Part 5, are to those sections of the Utah Code known as the Utah Outdoor Advertising Act. In addition to the definitions in that part, the following definitions are supplied:

(1) "Abandoned sign" means any controlled sign of which the sign face has been partially obliterated, dilapidated, has unsafe conditions or has remained blank or been removed for a continuous period of 12 months or more, and the sign owner does not have a pending and active application with the department or a local governmental authority to repair or rectify the condition.

(2) "Acceleration and deceleration lanes" means speed change lanes created for the purpose of enabling a vehicle to increase or decrease its speed to merge into, or out of, traffic on the main-traveled way. As used in the Act, an acceleration or deceleration lane begins and ends at a point no closer than 500 feet from the nearest point of the beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit from or entrance to the main-traveled way. On-ramps and off-ramps are part of the interchange and shall not be considered an acceleration or deceleration lane under the Act or this rule.

(3) "Act" means the Utah Outdoor Advertising Act.

(4) "Advertising" means any message, whether in words, symbols, pictures or any combination thereof, painted or otherwise applied to the face of an outdoor advertising structure, and the message is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform, and the message is visible from any place on the main traveled-way of a controlled route.

(5) "Areas zoned for the primary purpose of outdoor advertising" as used in the Act is defined to include areas in which the primary activity is outdoor advertising.

(6) "Changeable Electronic Variable Message Signs" or "CEVMS" means a self-luminous advertising sign which emits or projects any kind of light, color, or message. Such a sign has the capability of being changed or altered by electronic means on a fixed display screen composed of a series of lights including light emitting diodes (LEDs), fiber optics, plasma displays, light bulbs, or other illumination devices within the display area.

(7) "Conforming sign" means an off-premises sign maintained in a location that conforms to the size, lighting, spacing, zoning, and other requirements as provided by law and this rule.

(8) "Contiguous" means a property that shares a common property line with another property.

(9) "Controlled route" means any route where outdoor advertising control is mandated by the Act, the Utah-Federal Agreement R933-5, or other state or federal law.

(10) "Controlled sign" means any off-premises sign that is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform and which is located and the advertising thereon is visible within a controlled outdoor advertising corridor as specified by state or federal law.

(11) "Customary Maintenance" means any change, replacement, manipulation, or other repair to the sign structure that does not:

(a) alter or change the overall height, location, material, sign face orientation or sign face size (except for temporary embellishments);

(b) add lighting relative to what is currently listed on the valid permit or change the sign face to a CEVMS, or

(c) require structural engineering review.

(12) "Feeder systems" are secondary city or county roads that bring traffic to the state highway.

(13) "Freeway" means a divided highway for through traffic with full control access.

(14) "Good standing" means the controlled sign is properly maintained, all program and permit-related fees are paid as specified in this rule, and current sign owner contact information is up to date with the department.

(15) "Grandfather status" refers to any off-premises controlled sign erected in zoned or unzoned commercial or industrial areas, prior to May 9, 1967, even if the sign does not comply with the size, lighting, or spacing of the Act and this rule. Signs only, and not sign sites, may qualify for Grandfather Status.

(16) "H-1" means highway service zone as defined in the Act.

(17) "Lease or consent" means any written agreement by which possession of land, or permission to use land for the purpose of erecting or maintaining a sign, or both, is granted by the owner to another person for a specified period of time.

(18) "Nonconforming sign" means a sign that was lawfully erected, but that does not conform to state law or rules enacted at a later date or that later fails to comply with state legislation or rules because of changed conditions. The term "illegally erected" or "illegally maintained" is not synonymous with the term, "nonconforming sign", nor is a sign with "grandfather" status synonymous with the term, "nonconforming sign."

(19) "Off-Premises Sign" means an outdoor advertising sign that advertises an activity, service or product and that is located on premises other than the premises at which activity or service occurs or product is sold or manufactured.

(20) "On-Premises Sign" does not include a sign that advertises a product or service that is only incidental to the principal activity or that brings rental income to the property owner or occupant.

(21) "Point of the gore" means the point of the area delineated by two solid white lines that is between a permanently constructed continuing lane of a through-roadway and a permanently constructed lane used to enter or exit the continuing lane, including similar areas between merging or splitting highways.

(22) "Property" as used in the definition of "On-Premises Sign" includes those areas from which the general public is serviced and which are directly connected with and are involved in assembling, manufacturing, servicing, or repairing of products used in the business activity. This property does not include the site of any auxiliary facilities that are not essential to and customarily used in the conduct of business, nor does it include property not contiguous to the property on which the sign is situated.

(23) "Public park" means any publicly owned land that is designed or used as a recreation area, wildlife or waterfowl refuge, or historical site.

(24) "Sale or lease sign" means any sign situated on the subject property that advertises that the property is for "sale" or "lease". This sign may not advertise any product or service unrelated to the business of selling or leasing the land upon which it is located, nor may it advertise a projected use of the land or a financing service available or being utilized in its development.

(25) "Scenic area" as used in the Act includes a scenic byway.

(26) "Transient or temporary activity" means any industrial or commercial activity, not otherwise herein excluded, that does not have a prior continuous history for a period of six months.

(27) "Visible" means capable of being seen whether or not readable, without visual aid, by a person of normal visual acuity.

(28) "Written notification" as described under Subsection 72-7-506(2)(a) is further defined to include email notification. An outdoor advertising permit holder may request in writing to receive notice via United States Postal Service.

R933-2-3. Permit Required.

(1) All controlled signs legally in existence prior to the effective date of the 1967 Act, or that are legally created thereafter, shall have a permit issued by the department.

R933-2-4. General Requirements.

(1) Permits shall be issued in accordance with the Act and as described by this rule.

(2) Permits may be issued only for signs that are to be erected in areas allowed by local, state and federal law.

(3) All permits shall be maintained in good standing with the department for the duration of the sign's existence.

(4) Until the application is considered complete by the department, the department shall not process the application.

(a) If the application is deemed incomplete by the department, the department will send a notice notifying the applicant of the deficiencies of the application.

(b) The applicant will have 30 days from the notification date to make the application complete per the instructions on the application.

(c) If the applicant does not submit the required information to make the application complete within 30 days from the notification date the application will be returned to the applicant as incomplete without being processed.

(d) During the time the applicant is completing the application, the department will not consider or review any subsequently-received New Outdoor Advertising Permit Application for the same general location, where granting one permit would preclude the other.

(e) If multiple incomplete New Outdoor Advertising Permit Applications are submitted to the Department at the same time for the same general location, and granting one permit will preclude granting any other, the first application to be completed will receive priority over any other. The Department shall serve notices of deficiencies on the applicants simultaneously.

(5) If multiple complete New Outdoor Advertising Permit Applications are submitted to the Department at the same time for the same general location, the first application received will have priority over any other.

(6) Where the local authority has issued a building permit for construction of a sign, but construction is contrary to the Act, the action of the local authority does not require the state to issue a permit.

(7) The crossing of a right-of-way line of any controlled route for access at other than an established access approach to erect, alter or maintain a sign without the written permission of the department, is unlawful.

(a) The first documented offense the permit holder will receive a warning notice.

(b) The second documented offense will result in a Notice of Agency Action.

(c) The third documented offense will result in permit revocation.

(8) Any sign located within the controlled area of two controlled routes shall meet the spacing requirements of both highway systems.

(9) If a sign message may be read from two or more routes, one or more of which is a controlled route, the more stringent of applicable control requirements applies.

(10) New sign structure or adjusted sign structure location requires the proposed location to be staked by the applicant prior to submitting any application. The applicant shall mark the center-point(s) of the support pole(s) of the proposed location with a clearly visible stake and a ribbon. The stake shall have the sign owners name clearly identified on it.

R933-2-5. Commercial and Industrial Usage Limitations for Unzoned Areas.

(1) Airport runways or parking or aircraft tie down areas are not commercial or industrial activities.

(2) Farming or ranching areas or related dairy farm facilities, of whatever nature, are not commercial or industrial activities.

(3) Municipal or private golf courses or cemeteries are not commercial or industrial areas.

(4) A trailer or mobile home park, court, or facility are not commercial or industrial areas.

R933-2-6. New Application Requirements.

(1) The applicant shall submit a completed application on the approved departmental form (Outdoor Advertising Permit Application) in accordance with the instructions listed on the application. At a minimum, the applicant shall include the following items:

(a) Each application shall be accompanied by a valid and approved building permit or special use permit from the local governing authority, or a written statement from that authority indicating the building permit or special use permit is not required under its ordinances for the proposed sign.

(b) Written proof of lease, easement, ownership, or consent from the property owner to erect and maintain an outdoor advertising sign shall be furnished by the applicant.

(i) Proof of ownership may consist of a sworn declaration showing the landowner's name and address, the sign owner's name, and the sign location by route, milepost, address, and county; and

(ii) Proof verifying legal access to the sign location from private property, for purposes of maintaining the controlled sign, is also required.

(c) The Application's Location Sketch Addendum shall be completed and attached in accordance with the instructions contained thereon.

(d) The Application's Zoning Verification Addendum shall be completed and signed by the local zoning authority.

(e) The appropriate non-refundable new application review fee shall be submitted with the completed application.

(2) All new approved permit applications require the applicant to commence construction of the sign structure within 180 days from the date of the department approval and shall complete all work within 365 days from the date of the department approval.

(3) The final approval of the new approved permit application will not occur until (a) the applicant notifies the department of its completion and (b) the applicant has forwarded photographs to the department depicting the entire sign structure (including a photograph showing each individual sign face).

(4) It shall be the sole responsibility of the sign owner to ensure the final placement of the sign is not encroaching anywhere within the department's established right-of-way.

(5) A retroactive permit fee penalty shall be charged in addition to the non-refundable new application review fee to cover the additional administrative review and inspection costs where an applicant is seeking a state permit for an existing sign that did not have prior written approval.

R933-2-7. Permit Transfer Application Requirements.

(1) A permit is transferable in accordance with Utah Code Section 72-7-507.

(2) Within 90 days of the sale or transfer of ownership of a controlled sign the new sign owner shall submit a completed application on the approved departmental form (Outdoor Advertising Permit Ownership Transfer Application) in accordance with the instructions listed on the application. At a minimum, the applicant shall include the following items:

(a) The new sign owner shall provide the department proof of sign ownership.

(b) Written proof of lease, easement, ownership, or consent from the property owner to maintain an outdoor advertising sign shall be furnished by the applicant.

(i) Proof of ownership may consist of a sworn declaration showing the landowner's name and address, the sign owner's name, and the sign location by route, milepost, address, and county; and

(ii) Proof verifying legal access to the sign location from private property, for purposes of maintaining the controlled sign, is also required.

(3) The appropriate non-refundable permit transfer fee shall be submitted with the completed application.

(4) If an ownership transfer application is not submitted to the department within 90 days of the sale or transfer the new sign owner shall submit a new permit application, with the appropriate non-refundable application review fee and any corresponding late fee.

R933-2-8. Sign Alteration Application Requirements.

(1) Any sign alteration-related activity that is not defined as customary maintenance requires the sign owner to submit an Outdoor Advertising Sign Alteration Application.

(2) Anyone preparing to remodel a controlled sign shall submit a completed application on an approved departmental form (Outdoor Advertising Sign Alteration Application). The form shall be completed in accordance with the instructions on the application. At a minimum, the applicant shall include the following items:

(a) Each application shall be accompanied by a valid and approved building permit or special use permit from the local governing authority, or a written statement from that authority indicating the building permit or special use permit is not required under its ordinances for the proposed sign.

(b) The Application's Location Sketch Addendum shall be completed and attached in accordance with the instructions contained thereon.

(c) The Application's Zoning Verification Addendum shall be completed and signed by the local zoning authority.

(d) Evidence from the sign owner confirming the sign owner has legal access to the sign location from private property, for purposes of alteration and maintenance of the controlled sign.

(e) The appropriate non-refundable application review fee shall be submitted with the completed application.

(3) All approved alteration(s) shall commence within 180 days from the date of the department approval and shall complete all work within 365 days from the date of the department approval.

(4) A retroactive permit fee penalty shall be charged in addition to the non-refundable application review fee to cover additional administrative and inspection costs where an applicant is seeking an alteration permit for a sign that has been altered without prior written approval.

(a) If the sign alterations are not approved the permit holder will return the sign to the original recorded approved permitted state for size and structure.

(5) A conforming or nonconforming sign that is damaged by vandalism or an act of God may be re-erected or changed, or both, upon properly completed Outdoor Advertising Sign Alteration Application and approval of the application.

(a) Nonconforming sign located on a scenic-by-way that is damaged by vandalism or an act of God may only be repaired to the original recorded approved permitted state for size and structure.

R933-2-9. Permit Renewal Requirements.

(1) Permits shall be renewed by the filing of a renewal application and submission of the appropriate non-refundable renewal fee before the first day of July during the designated billing cycle year.

(a) Permits not renewed by the first day of July during the designated billing cycle year are considered suspended.

(i) Suspended permits for conforming and non-conforming signs may be renewed upon submittal of the renewal application, appropriate non-refundable renewal fee, and late fee. The submittal must be received by September 30 of the current billing cycle year.

(ii) The department shall issue a Notice of Agency Action for suspended permits not renewed by September 30 of the current billing cycle year providing the sign owner a voluntary correction time frame prior to revoking the permit. The department shall provide this notice via certified mail to the sign owner as identified within the official sign inventory records maintained by the department.

(2) A renewal time extension may be provided to the sign owner upon the sign owner submitting a written request to the department before the first day of July during the designated billing cycle year. The department may approve such a time extension at the department's sole discretion. Any such extension shall not exceed 30 days in length. Additional time extensions beyond 30 days may only be considered where the department determines extraordinary circumstances exist. The time extensions are not subject to Section (1)(a) unless the sign owners do not submit payment within the 30 day extension period.

(3) The department may make renewal applications available to the sign owner 90 days prior to the first day of July during the designated billing cycle year. The department will make the renewal applications available to the sign owner no less than 30 days prior to the first day of July of the designated billing cycle year.

(4) Completion of the renewal application prior to the expiration of the existing permit shall be the sole responsibility of the sign owner.

(5) Ensuring the department has the latest billing contact information including a valid email address shall be the sole responsibility of the sign owner.

(6) By signing the renewal application the sign owner certifies the sign site is still under valid lease, easement, or consent to the sign owner, or under the ownership of the sign owner including legal access to the sign location from private property, for purposes of maintaining the controlled sign.

R933-2-10. Minimum Sign Maintenance Requirements.

(1) Signs shall be properly maintained.

(a) Improper maintenance includes:

(i) paint faded or peeling extensively;

(ii) message not visible or illegible;

(iii) sheets or panels loose or sagging;

(iv) structural damage, or leaning; or

(v) abandonment.

(b) A sign with any of the deficiencies listed in Subsection R933-2-10(1)(a) is not in a reasonable state of repair, is in violation of the law, and is subject to permit revocation and removal. The department shall issue a Notice of Agency Action providing the sign owner a voluntary correction time frame prior to revocation and removal. The department shall provide this notice via certified mail to the sign owner as identified within the official sign inventory records maintained by the department.

R933-2-11. Outdoor Advertising Control and Permit-Related Fees.

(1) All applicable outdoor advertising control and permit-related fees shall be determined in accordance with Utah Code 63J-1-504 and be contained within the department's approved fee schedule.

(2) Permit applications shall not be processed or reviewed until all applicable outdoor advertising control and permit-related fees have been paid in full.

(3) The fee for permits shall not be prorated.

R933-2-12. Termination of Nonconforming Use Status.

(1) The nonconforming use status of a controlled sign shall terminate and the status will become illegal under the following conditions:

(a) failure of the sign owner to respond to a Notice of Agency Action issued to renew a suspended permit;

(b) abandonment;

(c) failure to correct an identified outdoor advertising violation or failure to ask for a hearing after receiving proper notice pursuant to Section 72-7-508, failure to file a written response as required by law, or failure to appeal from an adverse decision of the department;

(d) purchase by the department under Section 72-7-510; or

(e) acquisition at any time by the department for highway construction.

R933-2-13. Termination of On-Premises Status.

An on-premises sign loses its on-premises status when the business or activity it advertises has ceased to exist for a period of 12 months at the site of the sign, and the message thereon is visible to the traveling public from a controlled route. The advertising copy on signs meeting this criterion may be removed at the expense of the sign owner or land owner or both without compensation to the sign or site owner as provided in Section 72-7-508 of the Act.

R933-2-14. Removal of Illegal Signs.

(1) Illegal or abandoned sign(s) removal from private property. The department shall provide the responsible party with a Notice of Agency Action prior to removing any illegal or abandoned sign(s) from private property.

(2) Signs placed within the state right-of-way may be removed without prior written notice.

(3) Permitted sign(s) affixed to private property that encroach on the state right-of-way may be given written notice to remove the installation from the right-of-way.

(4) The cost for the removal by department of an illegal or abandoned sign shall be assessed jointly and severally against the sign owner, landowner, occupant of the land or other responsible person, or any combination thereof, in accordance with Section 72-7-508.

(5) Storage Charges. Illegal or abandoned signs that have been removed by the department shall be stored at the nearest department shed. An appropriate fee shall be charged for storage. The storage charges shall be in addition to the costs of the removal of the illegal or abandoned sign.

(6) Redemption and Disposal. If the illegal or abandoned sign has not been claimed and redeemed within 60 calendar days from the date of removal a designated department official shall proceed to dispose of the stored illegal or abandoned sign by either utilizing the material contained therein for department purposes or destroying the sign. A statement of the sign disposal shall be made and filed with a designated person at the department.

R933-2-15. Directional Signs.

(1) Directional signs allowed under Section 72-7-504 shall conform to federal standards under 23 CFR Section 750.154.

R933-2-16. Official Signs.

(1) Prerequisites for erection and maintenance.

(a) Prior to erection of an official sign the public agency shall submit to the Outdoor Advertising Control Program, a completed permit application on an approved departmental form (Outdoor Advertising Permit Application). The form shall be completed in accordance with the instructions on the application.

(b) The sign shall be erected off the highway right-of-way, owned and maintained by the political subdivision, and located within the zoning jurisdiction of the political subdivision.

(2) Standards, Criteria and Restrictions.

(a) Only information of general interest to the traveling public may be placed on an official sign. Commercial advertising of a particular service, product or facility is prohibited.

(b) The sign shall be within the zoning jurisdiction of the city, town, or other public agency designated by the sign.

(c) No city, town or other political subdivision of the state may erect or maintain more than one sign at each approach to the off-ramp, facing oncoming traffic at the nearest point of turn off to a city, town or other political subdivision and in no event may more than two official signs, one for each direction of travel upon the controlled highway, be erected and maintained by or for the purpose of designating a city or town or other subdivision.

(d) No official sign may be located within 2,000 feet of an interchange or intersection at grade along the interstate highway system, measured from the nearest point of pavement widening at the exit from the main traveled way.

(e) No official sign may be so illuminated as to interfere with the effectiveness of, or obscure, an official traffic sign, device, or signal.

(f) Signs that are not effectively shielded so as to prevent light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way of a controlled route, or that cause glare or impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or that otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle, are prohibited.

(g) Any official sign erected or maintained under the Act and this rule may at any time be removed for cause and without compensation after a Notice of Agency Action is issued, if required. The owner of any official sign shall remove the sign at its own cost and expense.

(h) Official signs shall remain static and not be permitted or converted to digital display formats such as CEVMS signs.

(i) An Outdoor Advertising Permit for an Official Sign may not be transferred and may not display off-premises advertising.

R933-2-17. Department Hearings.

Any hearing regarding an application or conformance to the rule or statute for a sign shall be held in accordance with the Act, and in accordance with the Utah Administrative Procedures Act and Rule R907-1.

KEY

signs

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

September 23, 2015

Notice of Continuation

November 14, 2011

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

Title 72, Chapter 7, Part 5; 72-1-201


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R933, please contact the promulgating agency (Transportation, Preconstruction, Right-of-Way Acquisition). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.