WSR 97-13-028



[Filed June 11, 1997, 3:17 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-09-070.

Title of Rule: Chapter 468-66 WAC, Highway Advertising Control Act.

Purpose: Amends WAC 468-66-010 Definitions; 468-66-030 General provision; and 468-66-150 Penalties.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 47.42 RCW.

Summary: Amends WAC 468-66-010 Definitions, by adding new definition WAC 468-66-010(28) "Tri-vision sign"; WAC 468-66-030 General provisions, by adding new general provision WAC 468-66-030(13); and WAC 468-66-150 Penalties, by clarifying language pertaining to discontinued signs in WAC 468-66-150 [(1)](e).

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: James R. Shanafelt, P.O. Box 47344, Olympia, WA 98504-7344, (360) 705-7282.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Transportation, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 468-66-010(28), provides for a definition of "Tri-vision signs"; WAC 468-66-030(13), defines the general provisions for "Tri-vision" signs; and WAC 468-66-150 [(1)](e), clarifies language pertaining to "discontinued" signs.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above explanation.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Does not apply.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Does not apply.

Hearing Location: Department of Transportation, Commission Board Room 1D2, Transportation Building, Olympia, Washington 98504, on August 7, 1997, at 1:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact (360) 705-6980.

Submit Written Comments to: James R. Shanafelt, Washington State Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 47344, Olympia, WA 98504, FAX (360) 705-6826.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 7, 1997.

June 5, 1997

E. R. Burch

Deputy Secretary

for Operations

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 96-13-007, filed 6/6/96, effective 7/7/96)

WAC 468-66-010 Definitions. The following terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Abandoned." A sign for which neither sign owner nor land owner claim any responsibility.

(2) "Act" shall mean the Highway Advertising Act of 1961, as amended and embodied in chapter 47.42 RCW.

(3) "Centerline of the highway" means a line equidistant from the edges of the median separating the main-traveled ways of a divided highway, or the centerline of the main-traveled way of a nondivided highway.

(4) "Commercial and industrial areas" means any area zoned commercial or industrial by a county or municipal code, or if unzoned or zoned for general uses by a county or municipal code, that area occupied by three or more separate and distinct commercial and/or industrial activities within a space of five hundred feet and the area within five hundred feet of such activities on both sides of the highway. The area shall be measured from the outer edges of the regularly used buildings, parking lots, storage or processing areas of the commercial or industrial activity and not from the property lines of the parcels upon which such activities are located. Measurements shall be along or parallel to the edge of the main-traveled way of the highway. The following shall not be considered commercial or industrial activities:

(a) Agricultural, forestry, grazing, farming, and related activities, including, but not limited to, wayside fresh produce stands;

(b) Transient or temporary activities;

(c) Railroad tracks and minor sidings;

(d) Signs;

(e) Activities more than six hundred and sixty feet from the nearest edge of the right of way;

(f) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence.

Should any commercial or industrial activity, which has been used in defining or delineating an unzoned area, cease to operate for a period of six continuous months, any signs located within the former unzoned area shall become nonconforming and shall not be maintained by any person after May 10, 1974.

(5) "Commission" means the Washington state transportation commission.

(6) "Discontinued." A sign shall be considered discontinued if, after receiving notice of absence of advertising content for three months, the permit holder fails to put advertising content on the sign within three months of the notice.

(7) "Entrance roadway" means any public road or turning roadway including acceleration lanes, by which traffic may enter the main-traveled way of a controlled access highway from the general road system within the state, including rest areas, view points, and sites used by the general public, irrespective of whether traffic may also leave the main-traveled way by such road or turning roadway.

(8) "Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish.

(9) "Exit roadway" means any public road or turning roadway including deceleration lanes, by which traffic may leave the main-traveled way of a controlled access highway to reach the general road system within the state, including rest areas, view points, and sites used by the general public, irrespective of whether traffic may also enter the main-traveled way by such road or turning roadway.

(10) "Interstate system" means any state highway which is or does become part of the national system of interstate and defense highways as described in section 103(e) of Title 23, United States Code.

(11) "Legible" means capable of being read without visual aid by a person of normal visual acuity.

(12) "Maintain" means to allow to exist. A sign loses its right to remain as a nonconforming sign if its size is increased more than fifteen percent over its size on the effective date of the Scenic Vistas Act on May 10, 1971, or the effective date of control of a given route, whichever is applicable. The sign may continue as long as it is not destroyed, abandoned, or discontinued. Such signs may be reerected in kind if destroyed due to vandalism, and other criminal or tortious acts.

(13) "Main-traveled way" means the traveled way of a highway on which through traffic is carried. In the case of a divided highway, the traveled way of each of the separated roadways for traffic in opposite directions is a main-traveled way. It does not include such facilities as frontage roads, turning roadways, entrance roadways, exit roadways, or parking areas.

(14) "Person" means this state or any public or private corporation, firm, partnership, association, as well as any individual, or individuals.

(15) "Primary system" means any state highway which is part of the federal-aid primary system as described in section 103(b) of Title 23, United States Code, in existence on June 1, 1991, as enacted in the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, and any highway which is not on such system but which is on the National Highway System.

(16) "Scenic system" means:

(a) Any state highway within any public park, federal forest area, public beach, public recreation area, or national monument;

(b) Any state highway or portion thereof outside the boundaries of any incorporated city or town designated in RCW 47.42.140 by the legislature as a part of the scenic system; or

(c) Any national scenic byway, state scenic byway, or state highway or portion thereof, outside the boundaries of any incorporated city or town, designated by the legislature in chapter 47.39 RCW as a part of the scenic and recreational highway system except for the sections of highways specifically excluded in RCW 47.42.025 or located within areas zoned by the governing county for predominantly commercial and industrial uses, and having development visible to the highway as determined by the department.

(17) "Sign" means any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing which is designed, intended or used to advertise or inform, any part of the advertising or informative contents of which is visible from any place on the main-traveled way of the interstate system or other state highway.

(18) "Trade name" shall include brand name, trademark, distinctive symbol, or other similar device or thing used to identify particular products or services.

(19) "Traveled way" means the portion of a roadway for the movement of vehicles, exclusive of shoulders.

(20) "Turning roadway" means a connecting roadway for traffic turning between two intersection legs of an interchange.

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

(22) "Electronic sign" means an outdoor advertising sign, display, or device whose message may be changed by electrical or electronic process, and includes the device known as the electronically changeable message center for advertising on-premise activities (WAC 468-66-070).

(23) "Public service information" means a message on an electronic sign which provides the time, date, temperature, weather, or information about nonprofit activities sponsored by civic or charitable organizations.

(24) "Temporary agricultural directional sign" means a sign on private property adjacent to state highway right of way to provide directional information to places of business offering for sale seasonal agricultural products.

(25) "National scenic byway" means any state highway designated as part of the national scenic byway system authorized by the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.

(26) "State scenic byway" means any scenic and recreational highway established by chapter 47.39 RCW.

(27) "Visible development" means those areas determined by the department to have development, both in type and location, that meet the requirements for unzoned commercial and industrial areas prescribed by RCW 47.42.020(9) and such development is not visually obstructed by vegetation or other natural features. It is prohibited to remove vegetation or other natural features, located within the state highway right of way, that may act as visual obstructions.

(28) "Tri-vision sign" means a sign having a series of three-sided rotating slats arranged side by side, either horizontally or vertically, which are rotated by an electric-mechanical process, capable of displaying a total of three separate and distinct messages, one message at a time.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. 96-13-007, 468-66-010, filed 6/6/96, effective 7/7/96. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW and RCW 47.01.101(5). 94-12-049 (Order 144), 468-66-010, filed 5/27/94, effective 6/27/94. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. 92-09-043 (Order 130), 468-66-010, filed 4/10/92, effective 5/11/92. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. 88-22-002 (Order 116), 468-66-010, filed 10/20/88; 86-01-063 (Order 99), 468-66-010, filed 12/17/85. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. 85-17-012 (Order 96), 468-66-010, filed 8/12/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. 85-03-031 (Order 94), 468-66-010, filed 1/10/85; 80-06-057 (Order 56), 468-66-010, filed 5/19/80. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution 13), 468-66-010, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-40-010.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 96, filed 8/12/85)

WAC 468-66-030 General provisions. Notwithstanding any other provision of the act or these regulations, no signs visible from the main-traveled way of the interstate system, primary system, or scenic system which have any of the following characteristics shall be erected or maintained:

(1) Signs advertising activities that are illegal under state or federal laws or regulations in effect at the location of such signs or at the location of such activities.

(2) Illegal, destroyed, abandoned, discontinued or obsolete signs.

(3) Signs that are not clean and in good repair.

(4) Signs that are not securely affixed to a substantial structure.

(5) Signs which attempt or appear to attempt to direct the movement of traffic or which interfere with, imitate or resemble any official traffic sign, signal or device.

(6) Signs which prevent the driver of a vehicle from having a clear and unobstructed view of official signs and approaching or merging traffic.

(7) Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights (except those signs giving public service information).

(8) Signs which use any lighting in any way unless it is so effectively shielded as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled ways of the highway or is of such low intensity or brilliance as not to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or to otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle.

(9) Signs which move or have any animated or moving parts (except revolving signs giving public service information).

(10) Signs which are erected or maintained upon trees or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.

(11) Signs which exceed twenty feet in length, width or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim but excluding supports, except:

(a) Larger signs as permitted within commercial and industrial areas adjacent to the primary system pursuant to RCW 47.42.062; and

(b) Type 3 signs not more than fifty feet from the advertised activity; and

(c) Type 8 signs shall not exceed thirty-two square feet in area, unless they qualify as Type 3 (on-premise) signs.

(12) Electronic signs may be used only to advertise activities conducted or goods and services available on the property on which the signs are located or to present public service information.

(a) Advertising messages may contain words, phrases, sentences, symbols, trade-marks, and logos. A single message or a segment of a message must have a display time of at least two seconds including the time to move onto the sign board, with all segments of the total message to be displayed within ten seconds. A message consisting of only one segment may remain on the sign board as long as desired.

(b) Electronic signs requiring more than four seconds to change from one single message display to another shall be turned off during the change interval.

(c) Displays traveling horizontally across the sign board must move between sixteen and thirty-two light columns per second. Displays can scroll onto the sign board but must hold for two seconds including scrolling.

(d) Sign displays shall not include any art animations or graphics that portray motion, except for movement of graphics onto or off of the sign board as previously described.

(e) No electronic sign lamp may be illuminated to a degree of brightness that is greater than necessary for adequate visibility. Signs found to be too bright shall be adjusted in accordance with the instructions of the department.

(f) As on-premise signs, electronic signs are subject to the provisions of RCW 47.42.045 and 47.42.062.

(13) Tri-vision signs may be used as Type 3, Type 4, or Type 5 signs, with the following provisions:

(a) Visible to Interstate highways, tri-vision signs may only be used as Type 3 signs.

(b) Rotation of one sign face to another sign face is no more frequent than every eight seconds and the actual rotation process shall be accomplished in four seconds or less.

(c) Tri-vision signs shall contain a default mechanism that will stop the sign in one position should a malfunction occur.

(d) Maximum size limitations shall independently apply to each sign face, including framework and border.

(e) Tri-vision signs are subject to all other applicable provisions of chapter 47.42 RCW and chapter 468-66 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. 85-17-012 (Order 96), 468-66-030, filed 8/12/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. 85-03-031 (Order 94), 468-66-030, filed 1/10/85; 80-04-095 (Order 52), 468-66-030, filed 4/1/80. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution 13), 468-66-030, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-40-020.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 99, filed 12/17/85)

WAC 468-66-150 Penalties. (1) After hearing, as required by chapter 34.04 RCW (Administrative Procedure Act) and the rules and regulations of the department of transportation adopted pursuant thereto, any permit may be revoked without refund by the department for any of the following reasons:

(a) For the making of any false or misleading statements in the application for any permit, whether or not the same is material to or relied upon by the department in the issuance of such permit when such false or misleading statement or information shall remain uncorrected after the expiration of thirty days following written notification thereof.

(b) For allowing or suffering any sign to remain in a condition of disrepair or unreasonable state of repair after the expiration of thirty days following written notification thereof.

(c) For maintaining any sign, for which a permit has been issued, in violation of any provision of the act or these regulations after the expiration of thirty days following written notification thereof.

(d) For any convictions of a violation of the act or any of these regulations, any permit held by the convicted person may be revoked whether or not such violation is related to the sign for which the permit is revoked.

(e) For maintaining a discontinued sign as defined in WAC 468-66-010(6)((, or for not erecting a sign structure with advertising on a permitted site within six months of the date of permit issue. A notice of failure to erect the sign structure will be sent after three months, and the sign must be erected within three months of the notice)).

(2) Notice whenever required herein shall be given to the person entitled thereto by registered mail at the last known address of such person which shall be such address as may be on file with the department, if any, otherwise the last address of such person shown by the tax records of the county in which the real property upon which the sign in question is maintained.

(3) Computation of time when dependent upon giving of notice shall relate to the day of mailing such notice rather than the day of receipt.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. 86-01-063 (Order 99), 468-66-150, filed 12/17/85. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), 468-66-150, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-40-110.]

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