SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 406
State of Washington 49th Legislature 1985 Regular Session
By House Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Representatives Baugher, Walk, Lewis, Rayburn, Lundquist, Vekich, Brooks, Bristow, McMullen, Haugen, Sanders, Smitherman, Zellinsky, Gallagher, Fisher, Prince, Fisch, Kremen, Tilly, Hastings, Todd, Doty, B. Williams, Ballard, Sutherland, Taylor, Schmidt, Chandler and Hankins)
Read first time 3/8/85 and passed to Committee on Rules.
AN ACT Relating to tourist and agricultural directional signs; amending RCW 47.42.020, 47.42.040, 47.42.047, 47.42.055, and 47.42.080; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. It is the intent of the legislature that state highway information and directional signs provide appropriate guidance to all motorists traveling throughout the state. Such guidance should include the identity, location, and types of recreational, cultural, educational, entertainment, or unique or unusual commercial activities whose principle source of visitation is derived from motorists not residing in the immediate locale of the activity. Such informational and directional signs shall comply with Title 23, United States Code and the rules adopted by the department under RCW 47.42.060.
Sec. 2. Section 2, chapter 96, Laws of 1961 as last amended by section 222, chapter 7, Laws of 1984 and RCW 47.42.020 are each amended to read as follows:
The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Department" means the Washington state department of transportation.
(2) "Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish.
(3) "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(d) of title 23, United States Code.
(4) "Maintain" means to allow to exist.
(5) "Person" means this state or any public or private corporation, firm, partnership, association, as well as any individual or individuals.
(6) "Primary system" means any state highway which is or does become part of the federal-aid primary system as described in section 103(b) of title 23, United States Code.
(7) "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 by the legislature as a part of the scenic system, or (c) any state highway or portion thereof outside the boundaries of any incorporated city or town designated by the legislature as a part of the scenic and recreational highway system except for the sections of highways specifically excluded in RCW 47.42.025.
(8) "Sign" means any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing that 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.
(9) "Commercial and industrial areas" means any area zoned commercial or industrial by a county or municipal code, or if unzoned by a county or municipal code, that area occupied by three or more separate and distinct commercial or industrial activities, or any combination thereof, 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, or storage or processing areas of the commercial or industrial activity and not from the property lines of the parcels upon which the 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;
(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.
If any commercial or industrial activity that has been used in defining or delineating an unzoned area ceases to operate for a period of six continuous months, any signs located within the former unzoned area become nonconforming and shall not be maintained by any person.
(10) "Specific information panel" means a panel, rectangular in shape, located in the same manner as other official traffic signs readable from the main traveled ways, and consisting of:
(a) The words "GAS," "FOOD," or "LODGING" and directional information; and
(b) One or more individual business signs mounted on the panel.
(11) "Business sign" means a separately attached sign mounted on the specific information panel or roadside area information panel to show the brand or trademark and name, or both, of the motorist service available on the crossroad at or near the interchange. Nationally, regionally, or locally known commercial symbols or trademarks for service stations, restaurants, and motels shall be used when applicable. The brand or trademark identification symbol used on the business sign shall be reproduced with the colors and general shape consistent with customary use. Any messages, trademarks, or brand symbols which interfere with, imitate, or resemble any official warning or regulatory traffic sign, signal, or device are prohibited.
(12) "Roadside area information panel or display" means a panel or display located so as not to be readable from the main traveled way, erected in a safety rest area, scenic overlook, or similar roadside area, for providing motorists with information in the specific interest of the traveling public.
(13) "Tourist-oriented directional sign" means a sign on a specific information panel on the state highway system to provide directional information to a qualified tourist-oriented business, service, or activity.
(14) "Qualified tourist-oriented business" means any lawful cultural, historical, recreational, educational, or entertaining activity or a unique or unusual commercial or nonprofit activity, the major portion of whose income or visitors are derived during its normal business season from motorists not residing in the immediate area of the activity.
(15) "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 harvested or produced on the property where the sale is taking place.
Sec. 3. Section 4, chapter 96, Laws of 1961 as last amended by section 1, chapter 69, Laws of 1979 and RCW 47.42.040 are each amended to read as follows:
It is declared to be the policy of the state that no signs which are visible from the main traveled way of the interstate system, primary system, or scenic system shall be erected or maintained except the following types:
(1) Directional or other official signs or notices that are required or authorized by law;
(2) Signs advertising the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located;
(3) Signs advertising activities conducted on the property on which they are located;
(4) Signs, not inconsistent with the policy of this chapter and the national policy set forth in section 131 of title 23, United States Code as codified and enacted by Public Law 85-767 and amended only by section 106, Public Law 86-342, and the national standards promulgated thereunder by the secretary of commerce or the secretary of transportation, advertising activities being conducted at a location within twelve miles of the point at which such signs are located: PROVIDED, That no sign lawfully erected pursuant to this subsection adjacent to the interstate system and outside commercial and industrial areas shall be maintained by any person after three years from May 10, 1971;
(5) Signs, not inconsistent with the policy of this chapter and the national policy set forth in section 131 of title 23, United States Code as codified and enacted by Public Law 85-767 and amended only by section 106, Public Law 86-342, and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the secretary of commerce or the secretary of transportation, designed to give information in the specific interest of the traveling public: PROVIDED, That no sign lawfully erected pursuant to this subsection adjacent to the interstate system and outside commercial and industrial areas shall be maintained by any person after three years from May 10, 1971;
lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, determined by the commission, subject
to the approval of the United States secretary of transportation, to be
landmark signs, including signs on farm structures or natural surfaces, of
historic or artistic significance the preservation of which would be consistent
with the purposes of chapter 47.42 RCW; ((
(7) Public service signs, located on school bus stop shelters, which:
(a) Identify the donor, sponsor, or contributor of said shelters;
(b) Contain safety slogans or messages which occupy not less than sixty percent of the area of the sign;
(c) Contain no other message;
(d) Are located on school bus shelters which are authorized or approved by city, county, or state law, regulation, or ordinance, and at places approved by the city, county, or state agency controlling the highway involved; and
(e) Do not exceed thirty-two square feet in area. Not more than one sign on each shelter may face in any one direction.
Subsection (7) of this section notwithstanding, the department of transportation shall adopt regulations relating to the appearance of school bus shelters, the placement, size, and public service content of public service signs located thereon, and the prominence of the identification of the donors, sponsors, or contributors of the shelters.
(8) Temporary agricultural directional signs, with the following restrictions:
(a) Signs shall be posted only during the period of time the seasonal agricultural product is being sold;
(b) Signs shall not be placed adjacent to the interstate highway system unless the sign qualifies as an on-premise sign;
(c) Signs shall not be placed within an incorporated city or town;
(d) Premises on which the seasonal agricultural products are sold must be within fifteen miles of the state highway, and necessary supplemental signing on local roads must be provided before the installation of the signs on the state highway;
(e) Signs must be located so as not to restrict sight distances on approaches to intersections;
(f) The department shall establish a permit system and fee schedule and rules for the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of these signs in accordance with the policy of this chapter;
(g) Signs in violation of these provisions shall be removed in accordance with the procedures in RCW 47.42.080.
of types 1, 2 ((
and)), 3 (( shall)), 7, and 8 may
be erected or maintained within view of the scenic system. Signs of types
7 and 8 may also be erected or maintained within view of the (( scenic
system and the)) federal aid primary system.
Sec. 4. Section 4, chapter 80, Laws of 1974 ex. sess. as amended by section 224, chapter 7, Laws of 1984 and RCW 47.42.047 are each amended to read as follows:
The department is authorized to erect and maintain specific information panels within the right of way of those portions both of the primary system and the scenic system lying outside of cities and towns and lying outside of commercial and industrial areas to give the traveling public specific information as to gas, food, recreation, or lodging available off the primary or scenic highway accessible by way of highways intersecting the primary or scenic highway. Specific information panels shall include the words "GAS," "FOOD," "RECREATION," or "LODGING" and directional information and may contain one or more individual business signs maintained on the panel. The erection and maintenance of specific information panels along primary or scenic highways shall conform to the national standards promulgated by the United States secretary of transportation pursuant to sections 131 and 315 of Title 23 United States Code and rules adopted by the state department of transportation including the manual on uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways. A motorist service business shall not be permitted to display its name, brand, or trademark on a specific information panel unless its owner has first entered into an agreement with the department limiting the height of its on-premise signs at the site of its service installation to not more than fifteen feet higher than the roof of its main building.
The department shall adopt rules for the erection and maintenance of tourist-oriented directional signs with the following restrictions:
(1) Where installed, they shall be placed in advance of the "GAS," "FOOD," "RECREATION," or "LODGING" specific information panels previously described in this section;
(2) Signs shall not be placed to direct a motorist to an activity visible from the main traveled roadway;
(3) Premises on which the qualified tourist-oriented business is located must be within fifteen miles of the state highway, and necessary supplemental signing on local roads must be provided before the installation of the signs on the state highway.
The department shall charge reasonable fees for the display of individual business signs to defray the costs of their installation and maintenance.
Sec. 5. Section 2, chapter 258, Laws of 1977 ex. sess. as amended by section 225, chapter 7, Laws of 1984 and RCW 47.42.055 are each amended to read as follows:
department is authorized to ((
permit the erection of)) erect
roadside area information panels or displays adjacent to the state highway
system within this state. The department (( shall)) may contract
with private persons for the erection and operation of the information panels
or displays. Compensation to the contractors shall be derived solely from the
reasonable fees that the contractors will be permitted to charge participating
businesses for making and exhibiting business signs and displays and for
rendering services to tourists. (( No state funds may be expended in
materials, personnel, or in any other form for the construction, fabrication,
printing, painting, selling, or maintenance of these panels or displays.))
Sec. 6. Section 8, chapter 96, Laws of 1961 as last amended by section 227, chapter 7, Laws of 1984 and RCW 47.42.080 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any sign erected or maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter or rules adopted hereunder that is designed to be viewed from the interstate system, the primary system, or the scenic system is a public nuisance, and the department, the chief of the Washington state patrol, the county sheriff, or the chief of police of any city or town shall notify the permittee or, if there is no permittee, the owner of the property on which the sign is located, by certified mail at his last known address, that it constitutes a public nuisance and must comply with the chapter or be removed.
(2) If the permittee or owner, as the case may be, fails to comply with the chapter or remove any such sign within fifteen days after being notified to remove the sign he is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition to the penalties imposed by law upon conviction, an order may be entered compelling removal of the sign. Each day the sign is maintained constitutes a separate offense.
(3) If the permittee or the owner of the property upon which it is located, as the case may be, is not found or refuses receipt of the notice, the department, the chief of the Washington state patrol, the county sheriff, or the chief of police of any city or town shall post the sign and property upon which it is located with a notice that the sign constitutes a public nuisance and must be removed. If the sign is not removed within fifteen days after such posting, the department, the chief of the Washington state patrol, the county sheriff, or the chief of police of any city or town shall abate the nuisance and destroy the sign, and for that purpose may enter upon private property without incurring liability for doing so.
(4) Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the provisions contained in RCW 47.42.102 requiring the payment of compensation upon the removal of any signs compensable under state law.
(5) Any sign erected or maintained on state highway right of way contrary to this chapter or rules adopted under it is a public nuisance, and the department is authorized to remove any such sign without notice.