Chapter 4: Control of OAS under the Highway Beautification Act

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Section 1: Jurisdiction

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Scope of Control

TxDOT regulates signs erected and maintained along interstate and primary highways. The control applies to any sign located within 660 feet of the highway right of way, which is visible from the main-traveled way of the highway. Outside of urban areas, this control extends to include any sign located more than 660 feet from the highway right of way if the sign is visible from, and erected for the purpose of being seen, whether legible or not, without visual aid by a person with normal visual acuity, from the main traveled way of the highway. Before erecting or maintaining an outdoor advertising sign, other than an exempt sign, along an interstate or primary highway, a sign owner must first obtain an Outdoor Advertising License from the TxDOT ROW Division. After the license is issued, the licensee may apply for a sign permit. The application for a sign permit is made to the ROW Division for review and inspection.

Some cities have been certified by TxDOT to control signs within their jurisdiction. In that case, an Outdoor Advertising License is still required, but the City is authorized to issue the sign permit. In the case of electronic signs, a permit from TxDOT is also required. The criteria for size, lighting and spacing established by a town or city having comprehensive zoning must be at least as restrictive as the criteria contained in the Agreement with the Secretary of Transportation (Federal-State Agreement), provided such control is consistent with the purposes of the Federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and with local customary use.

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