WSR 03-11-071

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed May 20, 2003, 10:13 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: May 19, 2003.

Purpose: Reduce the daily hours of operation from eight to six for tourist-oriented businesses to qualify for motorist information signing on state highways.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 468-70-050.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 47.36.310 and 47.36.320.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: Currently tourist oriented businesses must be open eight hours a day, five days a week, with one day a week being Saturday or Sunday in order to qualify to be signed on a motorist information sign. Tourist oriented businesses are defined as a natural, recreational, historical, cultural, educational, or entertainment activity, or a unique or unusual commercial or nonprofit activity. Many of these types of businesses do not operate eight hours a day. This change will allow additional business to qualify for signing and provide the traveling public with more information about available tourist activities. The summer high season of travel is approaching. There are a number of tourist-oriented businesses interested in having motorist information signs installed as soon as possible.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

May 19, 2003

John F. Conrad

Assistant Secretary

of Transportation

OTS-6404.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 196, filed 12/22/99, effective 1/22/00)

WAC 468-70-050   Business eligibility.   (1) To be eligible for placement of a business sign on a motorist information sign panel a motorist service activity must conform to the following standards:

(a) Gas activity:

(i) Provide vehicle services including fuel, oil, tire repair and water; and

(ii) Be in continuous operation at least sixteen hours a day, seven days a week; and

(iii) Provide restroom facilities, drinking water and a telephone access;

(iv) Motorist information sign panels may be installed and existing signing will not be removed when the motorist service activity is closed for a short period of time or when its hours of operation have been reduced as a result of a shortage of gasoline;

(v) Activities not meeting the tire repair requirement of (i) of this subsection but have gas, oil, and water may qualify for signing provided that the motorist information sign panel displays fewer than the full complement of business signs. A telephone must also be available at no cost for a person to use to acquire tire repair;

(vi) Business signs for card-lock gas activities may be installed, provided that the activities serve the general motoring public, without membership, and accept a variety of credit cards available to the general public. Card-lock gas activities must also meet the applicable requirements of (a)(i) through (v) of this subsection.

(b) Food activity:

(i) Be licensed or approved by the county health office; and

(ii) Be in continuous operation for a minimum of twelve hours a day to serve meals six days a week; and

(iii) Have inside seating for a minimum of twenty patrons and parking facilities for a minimum of ten vehicles; and

(iv) Provide telephone and restroom facilities.

(c) Lodging activity:

(i) Be licensed or approved by the Washington department of health; and

(ii) Provide adequate sleeping and bathroom accommodations available without reservations for rental on a daily basis; and

(iii) Provide public telephone facilities.

(d) Camping activity (applicable only for activities available from interstate highways):

(i) Have a valid business license;

(ii) Consist of at least twenty camping spaces, at least fifty percent of which will accommodate tents, and have adequate parking, modern sanitary and drinking water facilities for such spaces; and

(iii) Have an attendant on duty to manage and maintain the facility twenty-four hours a day while in operation.

(e) Recreation activity (applicable only for activities available from noninterstate highways):

(i) Consist of activities and sports of interest to family groups and the public generally in which people participate for purposes of active physical exercise, collective amusement or enjoyment of nature; e.g., hiking, golfing, skiing, boating, swimming, picnicking, camping, fishing, tennis, horseback riding, ice skating and gun clubs; and

(ii) Be licensed or approved by the state or local agency regulating the particular type of business; and

(iii) When the recreational activity is a campground, it must meet the criteria specified in WAC 468-70-050 (1)(d)(i) thru (iii).

(f) Tourist-oriented business activity:

(i) A natural, recreational, historical, cultural, educational, or entertainment activity, or a unique or unusual commercial or nonprofit activity, the major portion of whose income or visitors are derived during its normal business seasons from motorists not residing in the immediate area of the activity.

(ii) Activities must be open to the motoring public without appointment, at least ((eight)) six hours a day, five days a week including Saturday and/or Sunday.

(2) Distances prescribed herein will be measured from the center of the interchange or intersection along the centerline of the most direct public road to the facility access.

(3) The maximum distance that gas, food, lodging, camping, recreational, or tourist-oriented activities can be located on either side of an interchange or intersection to qualify for a business sign shall be as follows:

(a) From an interstate highway, gas, food and lodging activities shall be located within three miles in either direction. Camping or tourist-oriented activities shall be located within five miles in either direction;

(b) From a noninterstate highway, gas, food, lodging, recreation, or tourist-oriented activities shall be located within five miles in either direction.

(c) Where there are fewer than the maximum number, as specified in WAC 468-70-060 (3)(a), of eligible services within the distance limits prescribed in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section, the distance limits may be increased up to a maximum of fifteen miles to complete the balance of allowable signs.

(i) In reference to WAC 468-70-040(3), the department may erect and maintain signs on an alternate route that is longer than fifteen miles if it is safer and still provides reasonable and convenient travel to an eligible activity.

(ii) The department may erect and maintain signs on a route up to a maximum of twenty miles if an activity qualifies as eligible and is located within a distressed area under the criteria set forth in chapter 43.165 RCW.

(4) Within cities and towns having a population greater than twenty-two thousand five hundred, the department shall obtain concurrence from the municipality of locations for installing panels, and may request that the municipality install the panels.

(5) A gas, food, lodging, camping/recreational, or tourist-oriented activity visible from the mainline at least three hundred feet prior to an intersection shall not qualify for a business sign on such highway. The activity's on-premise sign is considered part of that activity in determining the three hundred foot visibility.

(6) When a multiple business activity qualifies for business sign placement on more than one type of motorist information sign panel, placement will be made on that type of panel which, as determined by the department, best describes the main product or service. Additional business signs for a qualifying multiple business activity may only be placed on more than one type of motorist information sign panel where the applicable panels display fewer than a full complement of business signs. Where these additional business signs complete the full complement of business signs on a motorist information sign panel, the most recently installed of such additional business signs shall be substituted for in the event that a qualifying single business activity applies to receive business signs.

(7) Motorist information sign panels will not be erected and maintained by the department until adequate follow-through signing, as specified by the department, is erected on local roads and/or streets. Written assurance that the follow-through signs will be maintained is required.

(8) Where operations are seasonal, business signs for each specific location shall be removed or covered during the appropriate period as determined by the department.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW and RCW 47.42.060. 00-01-184 (Order 196), 468-70-050, filed 12/22/99, effective 1/22/00. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW and RCW 47.01.101. 91-17-012 (Order 129), 468-70-050, filed 8/13/91, effective 9/13/91. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. 87-01-054 (Order 106), 468-70-050, filed 12/16/86; 85-17-012 (Order 96), 468-70-050, filed 8/12/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. 85-03-031 (Order 94), 468-70-050, filed 1/10/85. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), 468-70-050, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-42-040.]

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