• North Carolina Senate Passes Billboard Bill

    House Bill 645 has passed the North Carolina Senate with some changes and now goes back to the House for concurrence.  If the House concurs the Bill will go to the Governor for approval.

    Looks to Insider like the Bill makes some common sense changes to North Carolina’s billboard statutes in a way which is designed to reduce just compensation claims against taxpayers.  Here’s what the bill does.

    In order to minimize just compensation claims the bill allows any condemned billboard to be relocated:

    • within a 2 mile radius
    • within 660 feet of a national highway
    • in a commercial or industrial area
    • not above 50 feet in height

    The bill allows any non-condemned fully conforming billboard legally to be relocated:

    • once every 10 years
    • within 250 feet of the original land parcel
    • within 660 feet of a national highway
    • in a commercial and industrial area
    • not above 50 feet in height.

    A legal non-conforming billboard may be relocated on the same site so long as:

    • the structure is like material
    • the size is not increased
    • the height of the sign does not exceed 50 feet
    • the relocation is not denied by a federal official

    The North Carolina DOT cannot deny a relocation permit due to vegetation and a sign owner is allowed to remove vegetation blocking a relocated billboard.

    Insider’s take: A common sense set of rules which will minimize just compensation claims against North Carolina taxpayers.  “The relocation of an outdoor advertising sign will typically be substantially less expensive to the state department of transportation than acquisition of the sign” says an April 2019 study by the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.  Opponents of HB 645 claim it will lead to a proliferation of digital billboards although Insider can’t see how after reading the bill.

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