2010 Wyoming Statutes
Title 24 - Highways
Chapter 10 - Outdoor Advertising
CHAPTER 10 - OUTDOOR ADVERTISING
24-10-101. Short title.
This act may be cited as the "Outdoor Advertising Act".
24-10-102. Declaration of policy and legislative intent.
The legislature finds and declares that in order to promote the safety, convenience and enjoyment of travel on, and protection of the public investment in highways within this state, and to preserve and enhance the natural scenic beauty or aesthetic features of the highways and adjacent areas, it shall be the policy of this state that the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising in areas adjacent to the right-of-way of the interstate and primary systems within this state shall be regulated in accordance with the terms of this act and the rules and regulations promulgated by the commission, pursuant thereto, and finds that all outdoor advertising which does not conform to the requirements of the act are public nuisances. It is the intention of the legislature in this act to provide a statutory basis for regulation of outdoor advertising consistent with the public policy relating to areas adjacent to the interstate and primary systems declared by congress in title 23, United States Code, "Highways".
(a) Except as otherwise provided, as used in this act:
(i) "Interstate system" means that portion of the national system of interstate and defense highways located within this state, as officially designated, or as may hereafter be so designated by the commission and approved by the secretary of transportation pursuant to the provisions of title 23, United States Code, "Highways";
(ii) "Primary system" means that portion of connected main highways, as officially designated or as may hereafter be so designated by the commission and approved by the secretary of transportation pursuant to the provisions of title 23, United States Code, "Highways";
(iii) "Outdoor advertising" means any outdoor sign, display, light, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, plaque, poster, billboard, or other thing which is designed, intended or used to advertise or inform and which is visible from any place on the main-traveled way of the interstate or primary systems;
(iv) "Commission" means the transportation commission of Wyoming;
(v) "Safety rest area" means an area or site established and maintained within or adjacent to the right-of-way by or under public supervision or control, for the convenience of the traveling public;
(vi) "Information center" means an area or site established and maintained at safety rest areas for the purpose of informing the public of places of interest within the state and providing such other information as the commission may consider desirable;
(vii) "Visible" means capable of being seen, whether or not legible, without visual aid by a person of normal visual acuity;
(viii) "Commercial or industrial zone" means those areas which are reserved for business, commerce, or trade pursuant to comprehensive local zoning ordinances or regulation, or enabling state legislation, including highway service areas in which the primary use of the land is reserved for commercial and roadside services other than outdoor advertising;
(ix) "Unzoned commercial or industrial area" means those areas not zoned by state or local law, regulation or ordinance which are occupied by one (1) or more industrial or commercial activities other than outdoor advertising signs on the lands along the highways for a distance of six hundred (600) feet immediately adjacent to the activities, and those lands directly opposite on the other side of the highway to the extent of the same dimensions; provided, those lands on the opposite side of the highway are not deemed scenic or having aesthetic value;
(x) "Commercial or industrial activities" mean for purposes of paragraph (viii) those activities generally recognized as commercial or industrial by zoning authorities in this state, except that none of the following activities shall be considered commercial or industrial:
(A) Agricultural, forestry, grazing, farming, and related activities including wayside fresh produce stands;
(B) Transient or temporary activities;
(C) Activities not visible from the main-traveled way;
(D) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence;
(E) Railroad tracks and minor sidings.
(b) All signs located within an unzoned area shall become nonconforming if the commercial or industrial activity used in defining the area ceases for a period of six (6) months.
24-10-104. Outdoor advertising visible from highways prohibited; exceptions.
(a) No outdoor advertising shall be erected or maintained which is visible from the main-traveled way of the interstate or primary highways in this state, except the following:
(i) Directional and other official signs and notices, which signs and notices shall include, but not be limited to, signs and notices pertaining to natural wonders, scenic and historic attractions, as authorized or required by law;
(ii) Signs, displays and devices advertising the sale or lease of property upon which they are located;
(iii) Signs, displays and devices advertising activities conducted on the property upon which they are located;
(iv) Signs, displays and devices located in areas which are zoned industrial or commercial within six hundred sixty (660) feet adjacent to the highway right-of-way, under authority of law;
(v) Signs, displays and devices located in unzoned commercial or industrial areas, within six hundred sixty (660) feet adjacent to the highway right-of-way, which areas shall be determined from actual land uses and defined by regulations to be promulgated by the commission.
(b) Outdoor advertising authorized under paragraphs (a)(i), (iv) and (v) of this section shall conform with standards contained, and shall bear permits required, in regulations which are promulgated by the commission under this act. Paragraphs (a)(ii) and (iii) of this section are exempt.
24-10-105. Regulations of commission.
The commission is hereby authorized to make and promulgate regulations to control the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices along the interstate and primary highway systems in conformance with the terms of this act and in conformity with section 131 of title 23, United States Code as amended.
24-10-106. Size, lighting and spacing; where signs may be erected.
(a) The minimum standards and criteria for the size, lighting and spacing of outdoor advertising, and the criteria for unzoned commercial or industrial zones or areas within the controlled area along the interstate and primary systems designated in W.S. 24-10-104 shall conform to those promulgated and submitted by the secretary of transportation to the congress of the United States on or about January 10, 1967.
(b) No sign face within the state of Wyoming shall exceed the following limits:
(i) Maximum area - twelve hundred (1,200) square feet;
(ii) Maximum length - sixty (60) feet;
(iii) Maximum height - twenty-five (25) feet.
(c) No more than two (2) facings visible and readable from the same direction on the main-traveled way may be erected on any one (1) sign structure. Whenever two (2) facings are so positioned, neither shall exceed three hundred twenty-five (325) square feet.
(d) Double-faced, back-to-back and V-type signs shall be considered as a single sign or structure.
(e) No new sign shall be erected closer than five hundred (500) feet to an existing off-premises sign adjacent to an interstate highway; provided, that signs may be erected closer than five hundred (500) feet if the sign structures on the same side of the interstate are not simultaneously visible and are separated by a building or other enclosed structure.
(f) No new sign shall be erected closer than one hundred fifty (150) feet to an existing off-premise sign adjacent to a primary highway; provided, that signs may be erected closer than one hundred fifty (150) feet if the sign structures on the same side of the highway are not visible simultaneously or are separated by a building or other enclosed structure.
(g) Signs may not be located within five hundred (500) feet of any of the following which are adjacent to the highway, unless the signs are in an incorporated area:
(i) Public parks;
(ii) Public forests;
(iii) Public playground;
(iv) Scenic areas as designated by the department of transportation or other state agency having and exercising such authority;
(h) No sign may be located on an interstate highway or freeway within five hundred (500) feet of an interchange, or intersection at grade, or rest area measured in both directions from the point of widening as constructed.
(j) The location of sign structure situated on the limited access primary highways in commercial or industrial zoned area between streets, roads or highways entering or intersecting the main-traveled way shall conform to the following minimum spacing criteria:
(i) Where the distance between centerlines of intersecting streets or highways is less than one thousand (1,000) feet, a minimum spacing between structures of one hundred fifty (150) feet may be permitted between the intersecting streets or highways;
(ii) Where the distance between centerlines of intersecting streets or highways is one thousand (1,000) feet or more, minimum spacing between sign structures shall be three hundred (300) feet.
(k) The commission may, for good cause shown, permit a variance in the restrictions set forth herein.
24-10-107. Permits and identification tags.
(a) Within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this act, no outdoor advertising authorized by W.S. 24-10-104(a)(i), (iv) and (v) shall be maintained without a permit. Applications for permits shall be made to the commission on forms furnished by it. The commission shall require reasonable information to be furnished, including a statement that the owner or occupant of the land has consented to the erection or maintenance of the sign or signs thereon. A permit must be obtained for each advertising structure and the application for such permit must be accompanied by an initial fee of ten dollars ($10.00).
(b) Permits shall be for three (3) years, shall be assigned a permit number, and shall be renewed annually thereafter upon payment of five dollars ($5.00) without the filing of a new application. All fees shall be paid into the state highway fund. All such fees collected shall be used by the commission for relocation or damages, but not for administrative purposes.
(c) The commission shall issue with each new permit a permanent identification tag not larger than six (6) square inches which shall be affixed to the sign in a position readily visible from the highway.
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the commission shall issue permits and identification tags, upon application and payment of the requisite fee for any structure lawfully in existence on the day prior to the effective date of this act, and the permits shall thereafter be renewed for such period of time as is prescribed herein, unless the structure is removed for improper maintenance. Permits shall be obtained prior to the beginning of construction of any sign. Signs lawfully in place on the effective date of this act shall have permits.
24-10-108. Revocation of permits and removal of signs.
When the commission determines that a false or misleading statement has been made in the application for a permit or that the structure for which a permit was issued is not in a reasonable state of repair, is unsafe or in poor repair or otherwise in violation of this act, the commission shall notify the holder of the permit in writing, either by certified mail or by personal service, of the violation and specify that remedial action shall be taken within thirty (30) days or the permit will be revoked and action for removal of the sign commenced as provided in W.S. 24-10-109. No notice is required prior to filing a complaint after the notice period has lapsed. The provisions of this section apply to all signs in existence prior to the effective date of this act.
24-10-109. What outdoor advertising deemed unlawful; procedure for removal.
(a) The following outdoor advertising is deemed unlawful:
(i) When erected after the effective date of this act contrary to the provisions of this act; or
(ii) When a permit is not obtained as prescribed in this act; or
(iii) When a permittee fails to comply with a notice of violation as provided in W.S. 24-10-108.
(b) The commission shall give notice in writing, either by certified mail or by personal service, to the owner or occupant of the land on which such advertising is located and the owner of the advertising structure, if the latter is known, or if unknown, by posting notice in a conspicuous place on said structure of its intention to remove the advertising deemed unlawful. Within fifteen (15) days after notice, the owner of the land or the structure may make written request for a hearing. The commission shall set a date for a hearing thirty (30) days after notice thereof is received. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act governing contested cases. The commission shall keep a full and complete record of such hearing, make and enter its findings, conclusions and decisions in the matter and mail copies thereof by certified mail to the owner of the land and the structure.
(c) If a hearing before the commission is not requested, or if there is no appeal taken from the commission's decision at such hearing, or if the commission's decision is affirmed on appeal, the commission shall immediately remove the offending outdoor advertising at its own expense.
24-10-110. Power of commission to acquire and remove existing advertising; compensation.
(a) The commission may acquire by gift, purchase, agreement, exchange or eminent domain any existing outdoor advertising and all property rights pertaining to same which were lawfully in existence on the effective date of this act and which by reason of this act become nonconforming.
(b) Compensation shall be paid in accordance with the Relocation Assistance Act for outdoor advertising and all property rights pertaining to same which are acquired by eminent domain. The agency is empowered to remove signs found in violation of W.S. 24-10-108 or 24-10-109 without payment of compensation.
(c) Those signs meeting the criteria of the act shall not be required to be removed unless at the time of removal there are sufficient funds, from whatever source, appropriated and immediately available to this state with which to pay the just compensation required under this section, and unless at such time the federal funds required to be contributed to this state under section 131 of title 23, United States Code, have been appropriated and are immediately available to this state.
24-10-111. More restrictive ordinances saved.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to abrogate or affect the provisions of any lawful ordinance, regulation or resolution, which is more restrictive than the provisions of this act.
24-10-112. Change of rules and regulations to conform with federal law.
In the event the general requirements of title 23, United States Code, "Highways", or existing rules and regulations of the United States department of transportation become amended or changed to less restrictive conditions than presently exist, then, the commission is empowered to amend or change such rules and regulations that they may have adopted to come into conformity with the federal law, rule and regulation; however, in no event shall this act become more restrictive than is indicated herein by said federal action.
If any provisions of this act, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this act shall not be affected thereby.
24-10-114. Outdoor advertising contracted for prior to enactment of chapter.
Outdoor advertising contracted for prior to the enactment of this act and under the provisions of the act becomes nonconforming shall not be regulated as such until January 1, 1972.
24-10-115. Violations a misdemeanor.
Any person violating any provision of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor.
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