As a result of recent legislation several changes pertaining to the control of outdoor advertising will become effective on July 1, 2014. These changes include expansion of the logo sign program to include limited access highways, alterations to sign permitting, several exemptions to permitting, and new opportunities for commercial sponsorship of signs. In addition to those changes, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) inventory all signs in the state and maintaining an inventory of those signs.
This legislation clarifies that FDOT may permit signs only on commercial and industrial parcels, or in commercial or industrial areas. Sign permits may only be granted in commercial and industrial zones, as those zones are defined by the local government; however, industrial or commercial zones are considered to be those areas appropriate for commerce, industry, or trade, regardless of how those areas are labeled. To qualify as a commercial or industrial area, there must be three or more distinct commercial or industrial activities within 1,600 feet of each other, and at least one of those activities must be located on the same side of the highway and within 800 feet of the proposed sign location.
For further information or guidance on these issues, please contact Gary K. Hunter, Jr.