Chapter 9: Control of OAS along Rural Roads

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Section 1: Authority for Sign Control on Rural Roads

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State Statute and Commission Rules

In 1985 the Legislature of the State of Texas enacted House Bill 1330. Article 2 of House Bill 1330 is codified as Article 6674v-3, V.A.C.S. Article 2 of such legislation provides for control of outdoor advertising signs along all roads outside the corporate limits of cities, towns and villages in the State of Texas. Article 2 also directed the Texas Transportation Commission to administer and enforce that Article and authorized the Commission to adopt rules to regulate the erection and maintenance of signs covered under the Article; the Commission has adopted rules in accordance with the statute.

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Administration of Program

Except as otherwise described in the sections that follow, the Rural Road Sign Control Program is administered in essentially the same manner as the Highway Beautification Sign Control Program. However, there is no provision in Article 6674v-3, V.A.C.S. for acquisition of signs. On-premise signs, as well as off-premise signs, are subject to regulation under this program.

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TxDOT Control

TxDOT controls signs erected and maintained along rural roads located outside the corporate limits of cities, towns and villages in Texas. The control extends to any sign visible from the main-traveled way of a rural road.

Certain signs may be exempt from TxDOT control under the rural road program. These are:

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  • certain roads in the ETJ of a city, town or village that has adopted an ordinance to control signs in that area, and
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  • off-premise portable signs in certain counties.

The ROW Division outdoor advertising field compliance staff should contact all cities within their jurisdiction, to find out if the city wishes to exercise local control of sign permits within their ETJ. If a city opts to control it, it must provide a copy of their ordinance to the District, which will check it for compliance and keep it on file.

Additional exemptions are defined under Exempt Signs in this chapter

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City Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

Article 3 of Article 6674v-3, V.A.C.S. provides for regulation in city extraterritorial jurisdictions. The law provides that a municipality may extend the provisions of its outdoor sign control ordinance into its ETJ and enforce the ordinance in that area. The law further provides that a municipality may, in lieu of regulatory ordinances, allow TxDOT to regulate outdoor signs in its ETJ by filing a written notice with the Commission.

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