Section 11: Relocation

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This section provides for the relocation of certain signs along regulated highways within the State of Texas that would otherwise be precluded. All requirements under this section are to be complied with to the extent that they are not in conflict with the provisions of this section.

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When a sign within the proposed highway right of way is to be relocated to accommodate a regulated transportation project, the department may issue a permit for the new sign location if the location meets the following requirements.

A new sign permit application shall be submitted but will not require payment of a permit fee. Sign relocation shall be in accordance with all local codes, ordinances, and applicable laws. The department shall initially determine that the permit is necessary to avoid excessive project costs and/or a delay in the completion of the project. The existing sign to be relocated must be an off-premise sign legally erected and maintained.

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Priority of Location

To receive a new permit for relocation, an existing sign must be relocated on a part of the same parcel of land on which the sign was situated before relocation in a location that is allowed under this section.

If the sign owner can demonstrate that the location is not physically or economically feasible for a sign structure, the sign owner, on approval by the department, may relocate the sign to any other location that is allowed. The owner is not entitled to additional relocation benefits if the sign structure is relocated further than 50 miles from the location of the existing sign.

If the sign is relocated to a county that is not covered by the existing license and bond, the license must be amended to include that county prior to obtaining approval of the department. No fee is required to amend a license.

If possible, the sign is to be placed in the same relative position as to line of sight.

The relocated sign must be within a zoned commercial or industrial area or an unzoned commercial or industrial area, except that an unzoned commercial or industrial area may include only one recognized commercial or industrial activity.

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The relocated sign location must meet the following spacing criteria:

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  • The sign may not be placed where it is likely to cause a driver to be unduly distracted in any way or where it will obscure or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device, or obstruct or interfere with the driver's view of approaching, merging, or intersecting traffic, whether the intersection be of two or more highways or the intersection of a highway with a railroad.
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  • The sign may not be placed within 500 feet of a public park that is adjacent to a regulated highway. This prohibition applies on either side of the highway on a nonfreeway primary system; and on the side of the highway adjacent to the public park on an interstate or freeway primary system.
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  • If the sign is to be placed outside an incorporated municipality along an interstate or freeway highway, the sign may not be located in areas adjacent to or within 500 feet of:
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    • interchanges, intersections at grade and rest areas; or
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    • ramps, their acceleration and deceleration lanes. (Such distances shall be measured along the highway from the nearest point of beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit from, or entrance to, the main-traveled way).
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  • The sign may not be erected along the interstate and freeway primary systems closer than 500 feet apart on the same side of the highway.
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  • The sign may not be erected along the nonfreeway primary system located outside of municipalities closer than 300 feet apart on the same side of the highway.
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  • The sign may not be erected along the nonfreeway primary system in municipalities closer than 100 feet apart on the same side of the highway.
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  • The sign may not be erected within five feet of any highway right of way line.
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Size, Configuration and Construction

The size, configuration and construction of the relocated sign must conform to the following provisions:

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  • The maximum area for any one sign face shall be 1,200 square feet, with a maximum height of 25 feet and a maximum length of 60 feet.
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  • The maximum size limitations shall apply to each sign face visible to approaching traffic.
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  • The area shall be measured by the smallest square, rectangle, triangle, circle, or combination thereof which will encompass the entire sign.
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  • Sign faces may be placed back-to-back, side-by-side, stacked, or in "V" type construction with not more than two displays to each facing. The sign structure and faces shall be considered one sign.
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  • A sign face that exceeds 350 square feet in area may not be stacked or placed side-by-side.
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  • In no event shall the size of the sign face, the number of sign faces, or lighting, if any, of the relocated sign exceed the size, number of faces, or lighting, if any, of the existing sign.
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  • The relocated sign will be constructed with the same number of poles and of the same type of materials as the existing sign.
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  • The relocated sign must not exceed the maximum height set forth under Sign Standards - Size.

The sign replacement site is to be approved by the department prior to the removal of the existing sign. A permit may be issued pursuant to this section if a sign is designated by the owner as personal property and the sign owner receives relocation benefits, or if the sign is designated by the owner as realty, valued and purchased according to TxDOT 's sign valuation schedules, and retained by the sign owner. A permit may not be issued under this section to relocate a sign purchased through an eminent domain proceeding.

The spacing requirements set forth above do not apply to signs separated by buildings, natural surroundings, or other obstructions which cause only one sign located within the specified spacing to be visible at any one time; or on-premise or directional or official signs, nor shall measurements be made from these signs.

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Cessation of Activities

When a commercial or industrial activity ceases, and a sign other than an exempt sign is located within 800 feet of at least one recognized commercial or industrial activity located on the same side of the highway as the sign, the sign will be considered nonconforming.

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Waiver of Damages

The sign owner must enter into a written agreement with the acquiring agency waiving and releasing any claim for damages against the acquiring agency and the State for any temporary or permanent taking of the sign in consideration of the payment by the acquiring agency of relocation benefits for the relocation of the sign.

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An existing permit may be amended by the Executive Director to authorize:

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  • a monopole sign face overhanging the proposed right of way to be shifted to the remainder;
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  • a multipole structure located partially in the proposed right of way to have the poles in the right of way moved to the remainder and the face shifted to the relocated poles; or
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  • the sign to be bisected and the face size reduced.
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Relocation within a Certified City

If a displaced sign is subject to the jurisdiction of a municipality certified to control outdoor advertising pursuant to 43TAC §21.151 relating to Local Control, and the sign will be relocated within that municipality, permission to relocate the sign must be obtained only from the certified municipality, in accordance with the municipality's sign and zoning ordinances. A permit from the municipality will be required in order to receive relocation benefits from TxDOT . A separate permit from TxDOT is not required and the specific requirements for a relocation permit need not be met.

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