TxDOT PROPOSES REWRITE OF STATE HIGHWAY BILLBOARD RULES
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has proposed a rewrite of its billboard rules to strengthen enforcement, increase fees, and provide consistency between primary and rural road programs. TxDOT invited interested parties to participate in the rewrite process. The parties included city and county officials, TML staff, sign companies, individuals from scenic organizations, and landowners.
Of interest to cities, the proposed rules would add additional reporting requirements for any city that has chosen to be “certified” by TxDOT to enforce state billboard rules. The reporting requirements include: (1) an annual sign inventory; (2) a sign enforcement plan; and (3) reports on sign enforcement efforts.
Other changes proposed by TxDOT include: (1) a sign owner must get written permission from a city that regulates signs before receiving its permit from TxDOT; (2) the location of signs near parks; (3) the definition of “commercial or industrial area”; and (4) when roadways become subject to billboard rules. The proposed rules also address where a sign can be relocated due to a state highway project.
Comments will be accepted on these rules until January 28, 2011. A public hearing on the rules will be held on January 10, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. at the Greer State Highway Building in Austin. The full text of the proposed rules is available here.