RELOCATING OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGNS
ON A SCENIC BYWAY
Relocating Outdoor Advertising Signs on a Scenic Byway
For the purpose of insuring that Oregon does not violate any federal scenic byway laws resulting in the loss of federal funding for its scenic byways:
(1) No permit shall be issued to relocate an outdoor advertising sign to be visible to any portion of US 101, a designated scenic byway, unless it complies with federal scenic byway laws, federal regulations or conditions of federal grants relating to scenic byways.
(2) All signs maintained and reconstructed under these regulations are also subject to the provisions of ORS 377.700 to 377.840 and to all applicable federal laws, regulations and agree-ments entered into by the Transportation Com-mission and the Federal Highway Administration. Signs maintained and reconstructed under these regulations are also subject to any city or county ordinance or regulation.
Scenic Byway Removal Incentive Program
(1) As provided in ORS 377.759, the owner of an active outdoor advertising sign permit for a sign visible to a highway located along the Oregon Scenic Byway system may apply to the Department of Transportation to voluntarily remove a sign in exchange for an incentive described in statute. This rule establishes the criteria for participation in the incentive program, the procedure to apply, and the procedure the Department will follow to process those applications.
(2) Qualification for participation — Byway status and sign legality.
(a) The location of the sign must be within the current Oregon Scenic Byway system as approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission. The Scenic Byway system includes state Scenic Byways, national Scenic Byways, All American Roads, and Oregon Tour Routes (hereafter “Byway system” or “Byway”). If the location of the sign is within an area that is the subject of a request to be de-designated or segmented from the Byway system, the sign does not qualify.
(b) The sign must be in compliance with all laws. A sign that is in violation of the law does not qualify for the incentive. The Department need not have issued a notice of violation prior to the application for participation for the Department to deny the application on this basis. If the Department denies the application in part or in full due to noncompliance with state sign laws, it must issue a notice of violation at the same time as the denial so applicant has a full opportunity to contest the decision.
(c) The sign must qualify for relocation under ORS 377.700 to 377.840. If the sign does not meet the criteria for relocation of the sign and permit, the sign does not qualify for the incentive program.
(d) A sign that is nonconforming under state law may qualify for the incentive program, depending on the reason for its nonconforming status. A sign that is nonconforming for a reason that legally would prevent its reconstruction in the same location does not qualify for the incentive program.
(3) Qualification for participation — Particularly Scenic Areas of Scenic Byways
(a) To qualify for the incentive the sign must be in a particularly scenic area within a Byway. When a sign permit holder submits an application the Department will determine if the location of the sign meets that requirement. This is a case-specific determination, therefore the Department will make a decision for each specific application and not for a geographic area, length of highway, etc. The Department will consider the following factors in reaching its decision, and identify its reasons in the written decision finding the sign does or does not qualify for incentive.
(b) The sign is not located at a developed commercial or industrial area (as defined in ORS 377.767) visible from the main traveled way of the highway, regardless of whether the area is occupied by a going concern.
(c) The sign is not located within 500 feet of a sign that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Outdoor Advertising Sign Program but that does not have a state sign permit for any reason, including violation of the law or exemption from the law.
(d) The sign is within view of a public park, publicly owned forest, historic site, scenic viewpoint, or similar location.
(e) Other reasonable indicia of scenic beauty.
(4) Application for Participation in Incentive Program
(a) To apply for participation in the incentive program a sign permit holder must submit a request to the Department of Transportation Outdoor Advertising Sign office.
(b) The request must include a letter from the permit holder or an authorized representative stating the request to receive the incentive in exchange for voluntarily removing a particular sign identified by permit number. The letter must state whether any other entity has a legal interest in the permit or sign structure, and the nature of that interest. The letter must include a statement that the sign and permit are in compliance with all laws. The letter must state whether the applicant seeks two relocation credits, or one relocation credit and one direct relocation permit.
(c) The packet must include recent photographs of the sign showing its construction, condition, and the surrounding area, so the Department may make an initial analysis of qualification under sections (2) and (3).
(d) The packet must include a current county assessor’s map showing Township, Range, and Section numbers, Section subdivision letters or numbers where relevant. Applicant must identify the sign location on the correct tax lot on that map.
(e) The packet may include a permit application for direct relocation of the sign and permit (“relocation application”). The relocation application is contingent on the granting of the incentive unless the applicant informs the Department in writing that the relocation application should be processed immediately. Barring that statement by applicant, the Department will treat the relocation application as incomplete under OAR 734-059-0000 and hold it as pending until the Department determines whether the sign and permit qualify for the incentive.
(5) Department Processing of Application
(a) The Department will determine if the application is complete. If not, the Department will advise applicant what is missing and provide a date by which the application must be completed. If it is not completed by that date the Department will return the original materials to applicant and the matter will be closed.
(b) When the application is complete, the Department will determine if the sign and permit meet the basic requirements in section (2). If not, the Department will contact applicant to gather more information, including whether the applicant disagrees with the Department’s preliminary decision. If the applicant agrees with that decision, the Department will deny the application and return the original materials to applicant and the matter will be closed.
(c) If the sign and permit meet the requirements of section (2), or if applicant disagrees with the Department’s preliminary decision regarding section (2), the Department will inspect the sign and the location for compliance with the law and for qualification as a particularly scenic area.
(d) The Department will determine whether the sign complies with the law and whether the sign is within a particularly scenic area of a Scenic Byway. The Department will notify applicant in writing regarding its determinations and relevant factual findings. If the Department determines the sign and permit do not qualify for the incentive program, the Department will advise applicant of its right to request a contested case hearing.
(e) If the Department determines the sign qualifies for the incentive program, the applicant must inform the Department when it will remove the sign. The sign must be removed no later than 90 days after the Department’s notification. The Department will inspect the site to verify the sign has been removed. The entire sign structure, whether or not visible to the highway, must be removed to comply.
(f) Upon verification the sign has been removed the Department will cancel the sign permit and issue two relocation credits for the size and established location of the sign permit. If applicant also submitted a relocation application the Department will process it under OAR 734-059-0000 and, if the application meets the requirements of the law, will issue the relocation permit and one relocation credit. If the relocation application does not meet the requirements of the law the Department will deny the relocation application and issue two relocation credits.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 377.763, 377.759 & 377.992
Stats. Implemented: 377.763, 377.759 & 377.992
Hist.: HWD 11-2010, f. & cert. ef. 9-27-10