Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/25/1994 01:15 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  TAPE 94-51, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 008                                                                   
  HB 367 - CONTROL OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING                                      
  REP. JAMES motioned that HB 367 be moved from committee.                     
  Number 013                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER felt there should be discussion on the                       
  REP. HARLEY OLBERG, Prime Sponsor of HB 367, testified that                  
  HB 367 would allow certain restricted exceptions to the                      
  state's limitations on outdoor advertising, thereby                          
  addressing the need for improved directional signage to                      
  accommodate the state's traveling public.  These changes                     
  would facilitate efforts by roadside businesses to direct                    
  motorists to available services and products.  In response                   
  to suggestions made by members of committees of both bodies                  
  last session, he wanted them to consider CSSB 367 today.  CS                 
  for HB 367 allows one new exception to the state limitation                  
  on outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices.                          
  Directional signs could be placed in zoned or unzoned                        
  commercial or industrial areas along the state highway                       
  subject to stringent restrictions.  The draft bill would                     
  also codify two existing DOT/PF programs in statute.  They                   
  are space leasing program and the tourist oriented                           
  directional signage program.  CS for HB 367 would help many                  
  small business owners while not negatively impact the                        
  scenery visible from Alaska's highways.  He strongly                         
  encouraged support for this bill and asked that a committee                  
  substitute be drafted, which would be version k.  The two                    
  changes in the CS are one, page 3, line 6.  He said it used                  
  to read business adjacent to the highway, and it has been                    
  cleaned up to say activities conducted on or abutting the                    
  leased property, and the other one on line 20 of page 3, a                   
  municipality may regulate directional signs allowed under AS                 
  19.25.105(a)(6) in a way that is more restrictive than AS                    
  19.25.105(a)(6) by an ordinance that is adopted after the                    
  effective date of this act.                                                  
  Number 126                                                                   
  REP. NORDLUND inquired what the problem is that necessitates                 
  this legislation.                                                            
  Number 129                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG responded that the problem is, along the                         
  highway, say between Tok and Glenallen, a mom and pop                        
  operation are not allowed to have any sign off of there                      
  directing people to their business.  This bill would allow                   
  them, within fifty miles of their operation, to place a                      
  maximum of up to four signs, with directions on them, on                     
  private property.  This allows for private property                          
  placement only.                                                              
  Number 183                                                                   
  REP. PHILLIPS remarked that along the Sterling Highway they                  
  have some taxidermists, and he bought a beautiful piece of                   
  property along the bluff of Cook Inlet, as well as a house                   
  as a museum/workshop for the tourists.  He put a beautiful                   
  hand crafted wood sign on his property along the highway,                    
  and was ordered to remove the sign.  The cost to an                          
  individual is astronomical as a result of a stupid law.                      
  Number 188                                                                   
  REP. NORDLUND expressed a concern that we could end up with                  
  a plethora of signs along the highway that would not be very                 
  attractive and he wanted to know what sort of limitations                    
  are in this legislation to prevent that from occurring.                      
  Number 201                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG responded that in his area of the state, the                     
  shear lack of private property would be the most effective                   
  Number 219                                                                   
  REP. PHILLIPS remarked that she is very much in support of                   
  this legislation and would encourage all committees to                       
  support this legislation.                                                    
  Number 249                                                                   
  CHRYSTAL SMITH, Alaska Municipal League, testified that the                  
  Municipal League has no problems with the concept of the                     
  bill, but has a problem with the municipalities being able                   
  to control the signs within their boundaries.  She felt that                 
  Representative Olberg's amendment was a back-door approach                   
  to solving the problem and she felt that a municipality                      
  should not have to open up their sign ordinances again to                    
  comply with this legislation.  She proposed that the bill be                 
  amended at page 3, line 20, stopping after AS 19.25.080 to                   
  19.25.180, which would say that you could enact ordinances                   
  that regulate signs that are more restrictive.                               
  Number 292                                                                   
  REP. JAMES remarked that in the Interior there are a lot of                  
  people who can't find where they are going and she felt the                  
  municipality should be just as interested as finding their                   
  Number 308                                                                   
  MS. SMITH responded that that was true, but the decision                     
  needed to be made in the local environment and if a                          
  municipality already had a sign ordinance that said x, y, z,                 
  that then they shouldn't have to go back into their                          
  ordinance because of a change in state law.                                  
  Number 322                                                                   
  LYNN STANTON testified via teleconference from Seward that                   
  she supports the bill as it is presently written.                            
  Number 332                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER inquired as to the applicability of the                      
  section relating to municipalities.  He asked if what was                    
  being said was that a municipality may have a more                           
  restrictive sign ordinance if they want.  He asked if there                  
  was any reason they have to adopt it after enactment of this                 
  Number 339                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked, if we exclude the municipalities from the                 
  more liberal provisions of this bill, can they then by                       
  ordinance take advantage of the exception granted?                           
  Number 363                                                                   
  JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Legislative Legal Counsel, Division of                      
  Legal Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, testified that                   
  what is trying to be attempted here is that we are allowing                  
  the municipalities to enact sign ordinances that are                         
  anything that they want.  They can be more restrictive than                  
  the state, they can do whatever they want, except in this                    
  area.  This new allowance for signs that the legislature is                  
  creating is that this is such a new area, no one's been able                 
  to enjoinder that and any previous sign ordinance to this                    
  that could be out there; they are saying this is something                   
  we want everybody to look at, including the municipalities.                  
  Any sign ordinances the municipality has enacted prior to                    
  this can never have engendered this possibility, because it                  
  wasn't out there.  It wasn't an option in Alaska.  The                       
  thought of this language is that if a municipality wants to                  
  be more restrictive in this particular area, because they                    
  haven't been able to consider this, any previous sign                        
  ordinance has not been able to consider this exception that                  
  is now there, and thus they would have to adopt a new                        
  section, not a new sign ordinance.                                           
  CHAIRMAN PORTER inquired whether a municipality had in place                 
  an ordinance that would preclude, and we are now voiding it                  
  and making them revisit it.                                                  
  Number 412                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT responded yes for this particular statute.                     
  Number 415                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Chrystal Smith if she know of anybody                  
  that had this kind of restriction that this would fit under.                 
  Number 419                                                                   
  MS. SMITH responded that she was not sure.  She reiterated                   
  the point that municipalities that have sign ordinances                      
  regulate the size and type of sign within their boundaries                   
  and should not have to revisit their ordinances as a result                  
  of passage of CSHB 367.                                                      
  Number 433                                                                   
  DAVID KAMRATH, Legislative Assistant to Representative                       
  Harley Olberg, Prime Sponsor of HB 367, commented that this                  
  bill allows for criteria that a business must be at least                    
  twenty miles away and that seventy-five percent of the                       
  business receipts must come from tourists, so you are not                    
  going to have every business in town putting up signs.                       
  Another point to be made is that the zoned and unzoned areas                 
  along the rural highways, the only thing that is zoned or                    
  unzoned is where a business is located and in operation.  A                  
  business must be there, open, and must contact a property                    
  owner down the highway for permission to put a sign on their                 
  Number 452                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT remarked that this exception only applies to                   
  those areas that are zoned industrial or commercial.  This                   
  exception of allowing signs would not exist in those                         
  residential areas and other zoned areas.  Again, it only                     
  applies to interstate and primary highways within those                      
  municipalities.  So it doesn't apply to those roads that are                 
  not part of the interstate or primary system of this state.                  
  Number 468                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER remarked that he hopes that doesn't appear                   
  to be too adverse to those municipalities.                                   
  Number 477                                                                   
  REP. KOTT inquired as to what we have on the books at this                   
  time that would require those businesses who erected a sign                  
  to actually maintain the sign.                                               
  Number 491                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that the exceptions and also the                     
  existing language for signs in statute require that they be                  
  erected and maintained pursuant to DOT's directions.  The                    
  DOT fights with people all the time about signs.  Jeff                       
  Otteson from DOT has been testifying on how DOT requires and                 
  maintains signs.  The DOT has in AS 19.25 dealing with                       
  offending signs and how they can be required to be                           
  maintained or taken down.                                                    
  REP. PHILLIPS moved the CS for HB 367, version K.                            
  CHAIRMAN PORTER, hearing no objection, moved the adoption of                 
  CSHB 367, version k.                                                         
  Number 553                                                                   
  REP. NORDLUND inquired what are the DOT requirements for the                 
  type, size and lighting.                                                     
  Number 567                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that you have the requirements that                  
  the letters be a specific size relating to the speed limit                   
  associated with the road.  Also, if the road has a certain                   
  amount of traffic on it, the lighting has to be of a certain                 
  type.  The sign can be reflective, but it can't be                           
  reflective to the extent that it could blind certain                         
  Number 584                                                                   
  REP. GREEN inquired whether there was any provision in the                   
  bill that would require the mom and pop operation to remove                  
  the sign if they closed the establishment.                                   
  Number 589                                                                   
  Mr. KAMRATH responded that the DOT has the regulation                        
  authority to monitor that type of situation.                                 
  Number 607                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that Section 19.35.150, existing                     
  law, provides that an advertising sign, display or device                    
  which violates the provisions of this chapter is a public                    
  nuisance and the department is required under that statute                   
  to give thirty days notice of an unconforming or illegal                     
  sign.  That would be a sign that doesn't meet these                          
  requirements or isn't maintained.  Thus, the DOT can order                   
  the removal of the sign, or after thirty days the DOT can                    
  remove the sign and charge the cost of removal to the owner                  
  of the property.                                                             
  Number 620                                                                   
  REP. KOTT inquired, if this statute were to be implemented,                  
  would we see signs like the Marlboro at Harley's bar one                     
  mile down the road type of signs.                                            
  Number 627                                                                   
  MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that we do put requirements on what                  
  the signs can advertise, on page 6.  It actually has to                      
  indicate the specific business and must provide directional                  
  information and is limited to those situations.                              
  Number 635                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG remarked that the sign must be for an individual                 
  business entity that is a significant interest to the                        
  traveling public.                                                            
  Number 644                                                                   
  REP. PHILLIPS motioned to move CSHB 367 from committee with                  
  individual recommendations and fiscal notes as indicated.                    
  CHAIRMAN PORTER, hearing no objections, declared CSHB 367                    
  discharged from committee.                                                   
  The House Judiciary Committee Standing Committee was                         
  adjourned at 2:40 p.m.                                                       

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