Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/15/1994 03:42 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 the only order of business before the committee today.  The                   
 chairman calls the first witness.                                             
 Number 024                                                                    
 DAVID SKIDMORE, Aide to Senator Frank, begins to brief the                    
 committee on the changes to SB 157.  (Senator Frank arrives shortly           
 and takes over the briefing.)                                                 
 Number 037                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK says SB 157 will allow businesses to put up                     
 directional signs for tourists.  State highway sign laws are more             
 restrictive than federal law, and SB 157 would make more allowances           
 for highway signs in state law than are currently there.  Under               
 federal law, signs are allowed in areas that are zoned commercial             
 or industrial, but they are not allowed under state law.  The                 
 committee had some legitimate concerns about a possible                       
 proliferation of signs under SB 157, so we tried to limit the focus           
 of the bill.  The limitations that were added to the proposed                 
 committee substitute restrict signs to within 50 miles of the                 
 business, and signs are limited in size to eight by twelve feet.              
 The bill also puts in statute two programs that the Department of             
 Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT) currently has in policy so           
 that those programs will continue in the future.  Those programs              
 are the Airspace Leasing Program, which allows businesses to lease            
 space in right-of-ways between the business and the highway, and              
 the Tourist Orientational Directional Signs (TODS) Program.  TODS             
 is a good program, but it is only available for rural areas.                  
 Number 091                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks what is considered a rural area under             
 the TODS program.                                                             
 Number 092                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK thinks it is related to whether or not an area is               
 within a mass transit designation, such as AMATS or FMATS.  Mr.               
 Skidmore confirms that definition.                                            
 Number 112                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS ask Senator Frank if the problem addressed             
 by SB 157 is an ongoing problem.                                              
 Number 114                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK replies it is an ongoing problem.  One thing intended           
 by the bill is to cause sign laws to be enforced and administered             
 equally throughout the state.                                                 
 Number 125                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP notes that Jeff Ottesen of DOT is available on                 
 teleconference to answer any questions.                                       
 Number 128                                                                    
 SENATOR KERTTULA asks why SB 157 does not address political                   
 Number 141                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK states he personally agrees with Senator Kerttula               
 that if a person owns property, that person should be able to put             
 up a sign of any type, with probably no exceptions.  Senator Frank            
 comments he thinks it is a matter of a right to free speech, not a            
 right to free speech unless you're within 660 feet of a federally             
 funded highway.  Senator Frank would hope SB 157 wouldn't take on             
 a different connotation and a lot of opposition if it were to be              
 broad enough to allow political signage.                                      
 Number 154                                                                    
 SENATOR KERTTULA states there probably is the right of private                
 property if a sign is posted on private property.  He is not sure             
 the government doesn't run in to some severe problems if signs are            
 posted on private property.                                                   
 Number 163                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Jeff Ottesen if he would like to                  
 Number 167                                                                    
 JEFFREY OTTESEN, DOT, Chief of Rights-of-Way, states Senator                  
 Frank's description of SB 157 is very accurate.  The bill relaxes             
 state law and basically makes it parallel to the federal law.  The            
 bill would allow for signs in locations that federal law also                 
 allows signs.  Those locations would primarily be in areas zoned              
 commercial or industrial; or in areas of the state where there is             
 no zoning, signs would be allowed in areas that have the                      
 characteristic of commercial or industrial land use.                          
 Number 182                                                                    
 SENATOR KELLY asks Mr. Ottesen if DOT supports SB 157.  Mr. Ottesen           
 responds that DOT does support SB 157.                                        
 Number 200                                                                    
 SENATOR KERTTULA comments on political signage and says he thinks             
 it is a trespass of private property to make a person take down a             
 sign on their property.  Rights-of-ways are a concern of his,                 
 because private property is taken for that purpose.                           
 Number 212                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK notes that SB 157 would only authorize signs in areas           
 that are zoned commercial or industrial, or have commercial or                
 industrial characteristics, if the area is unzoned.                           
 Number 215                                                                    
 SENATOR KELLY states the draft committee substitute is more                   
 acceptable to him than the original bill.  His only concern is                
 allowing signs 50 miles from the business.  That distance seems a             
 little far to him.                                                            
 Number 220                                                                    
 SENATOR KERTTULA comments that a 50 mile distance is only about a             
 thirty-five minute drive.                                                     
 Number 223                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK says the reason the maximum distance specified is 50            
 miles, is the travelling public generally wants to know of a                  
 location's existence approximately 50 miles ahead of the location.            
 So allowing signs 50 miles from the business is for the convenience           
 of the travelling public.                                                     
 Number 229                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS comments it makes sense to him to allow                
 signs 50 miles from the business location.                                    
 Number 234                                                                    
 SENATOR FRANK says there is a limitation of four total signs per              
 business, in order to lessen the probability of a proliferation of            
 Number 236                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asks if a committee member will move the adoption of           
 the committee substitute for SB 157.                                          
 Number 237                                                                    
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS moves the adoption of CSSB 157(TRA).                   
 Number 239                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objections, notes that CSSB 157(TRA) has           
 been adopted in lieu of the original bill.                                    
 Number 242                                                                    
 SENATOR KELLY comments he can see signage abuses and sign wars                
 between businesses coming as a result of SB 157.                              
 Number 248                                                                    
 SENATOR KERTTULA makes a motion to move CSSB 157(TRA) from the                
 Senate Transportation Committee with individual recommendations.              
 Number 250                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders CSSB 157(TRA) released           
 from committee with individual recommendations.                               

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