Committee on Right of Way, Utilities and Outdoor Advertising Control


AASHTO Liaison
Casey Soneira, Program Manager for Engineering
csoneira@aashto.org

Federal Memos

This section contains memorandums from FHWA regarding the Highway Beautification Act. Contact Jenny Hall at jennifer.hall@modot.mo.gov if you have additional memos to be included on this website.


Bonus State Issues

Date: November 30, 2004
State: FHWA
Subject: Guidance on Bonus Act Repayments
From: Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Directors of Field Services Division Administrators, Division of Realty Professionals
Brief Description: Provides guidance for implementing existing polcy under Title 23 Secion 131 on the question of the process for state repayment of amounts received under the Bonus Act for control of outdoor advertising. Click here to view the memorandum.

On Premise Signs

Date: August 6, 2007
State: Iowa
Subject: Development Directory Signs
From: Catherine O’Hara, Outdoor Advertising Control Specialist- Office of Real Estate Services
To: Mike LaPietra, Iowa Division
Brief Description: Provides feedback to July 2007 request to review proposed changes to Iowa Code to adopt new definitions for “development directory signs”. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: March 31, 2005
State: Arizona
Subject: On Property Advertising Signs
From: Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Robert E. Hollis, Arizona Division Administrator
Brief Description: Provides feedback on pending Arizona legislation affecting “on-premise” signs. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: January 25, 1996
State: Virginia
Subject: Class 2, On-Premise Sign Requirements
From: Kevin Miller, Virginia State Senate
Brief Description: Class 2, on-premises sign requirements apply to those signs adjacent to interstate, national highway system, or federal-aid primary highways. Click here to view the memorandum.

Nonconforming Signs

Date: September 9, 2009
State: FHWA
Subject: Destroyed Sign Guidance
From: Gerald Solomon, FHWA
To: FHWA
Brief Description: Provides information to assist Division Offices in determining whether a state is maintaining “effective control” of destroyed signs to meet the requirements of the Highway Beautification Act and implementing regulations including 23 CFR 750.707(d)(6)(i). Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: March 10, 2005
State: Tennessee
Subject: Nonconforming Outdoor Advertising Signs Destroyed by Natural Disasters
From: Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Mr. Bobby W. Blackmon, Division Administrator Nashville, Tennessee
Brief Description: Concurs with Tennessee Division’s decision to work with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to achieve compliance with the prohibition against the reconstruction of storm-damaged nonconforming signs. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: March 8, 2005
State: FHWA
Subject: Guidance on Adjustment of Nonconforming Outdoor Advertising Signs
From:Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Directors of Field Services Division Administrators, Division of Realty Professionals
Brief Description: Provides guidance on the question whether nonconforming signs may be adjusted where action by the state transportation agency obstructs visibility of the sign from the highway. Consistent with previous guidance, the provisions of the HBA and its implementing regulations do not permit such adjustments to nonconforming outdoor advertising signs. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: November 14, 2000
State: Florida
Subject: Catwalks Added to Nonconforming Signs
From: Bill Wade
To: Juanice Hagan, Florida DOT
Brief Description: FHWA does not have an issue with catwalks for the purpose of safety on nonconforming signs and does not consider that a substantial change. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: July 20, 1999
State: Florida
Subject: Destroyed Nonconforming Signs
From:Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Mr. James St. John, Division Administrator
Brief Description: Review of Florida HB 1535 section 24 provides that the owners of any nonconforming buildings, houses, businesses, or other appurtenances to real property damaged or destroyed during the June and July 1998 wildfires may elect to repair or rebuild such nonconforming structures. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: September 1, 1995
State:Virginia
Subject: Lighting Nonconforming Signs- Virginia
From: F.D. Luckow, Chief, Program Requirements Division
To: Roberto Fonseca-Martinez, Virginia Division Administrator
Brief Description: Answers the question whether the new owners of certain nonconforming signs may add lights on a separate structure, but not on the nonconforming sign itself. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: June 23, 1992
State: Montana
Subject: Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, signed into law June 22, 1992
From: Merlin J. Voegele, Division Right of Way Officer
To: John Rothwell, Director Montana Department of Transportation
Brief Description: Public Law 102-302, relating to Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, signed into law June 22, 1992, amends 23 U.S.C. 131(n) making the expenditure of section 104 funds for the purpose of acquiring and removing nonconforming signs entirely discretionary with respect to the state. A state may use Federal-aid funds to acquire nonconforming signs but if it chooses not to do so, there is no risk of penalty. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: January 17, 1977
State: FHWA
Subject: Blank Signs
From: Chief, Real Property Acquisition Division
To: Regional Federal Highway Administrators
Brief Description: Clarifies the definition of what constitutes a blank sign under Federal Regulations. Click here to view the memorandum.

Acknowledgment / Banner Signs

Date: August 10, 2005
State: FHWA
Subject: Optional Use of Acknowledgment Signs
From: J. Richard Capka, Acting Administrator
To: FHWA
Brief Description: FHWA allows the use of signs to acknowledge the provision of highway related services. State and local programs for acknowledgment signs are growing in popularity because they can provide additional revenue for highway facility maintenance program. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: October 29, 2003
State: FHWA
Subject: Interim Policy on Acknowledgment Signs on Highway Rights of Way
From: Mary E. Peters, Administrator
To: FHWA
Brief Description: Addresses an interim policy for the use of acknowledgment signs on highway rights of way. The FHWA’s interim policy permits acknowledgment signs on highway rights of way, forbids advertising signs on the highway right of way, and restricts the placement of acknowledgment signs and messages from certain high risk areas. This memorandum supersedes the Adopt-a-Highway Signs memorandum issued November 9, 2001. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: November 9, 2001
State: FHWA
Subject: Adopt-a-Highway Signs- Interpertation
From: Dennis C. Judycki, Deputy Executive Director
To: FHWA
Brief Description: Rescinds April 27, 2001 FHWA memo. Futher guidance will be forthcoming after FHWA considers the AASHTO Task Force recommendations. In the interim, States should follow their existing guidelines on Adopt-A-Highway signing. To the extent possible, these guidelines should ensure that Adopt-A-Highway signs serve only as an acknowledgement, not an advertisement. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: April 27, 2001
State: FHWA
Subject: Adopt-a-Highway Signs- Interpretation (rescinded in November 9, 2001 memorandum)
From: Vincent F. Schimmoller, Deputy Executive Director
To: Directors of Field Services, Division Administrators
Brief Description: Advertising a business is not the intent of the Adopt-A-Highway program. The FHWA considers the use of any commercial message, including trade logos, slogans, telephone numbers, and Internet addresses, on an Adopt-A-Highway sign to be advertising and, therefore, not in conformance with the MUTCD. The sign text and lettering shall be the alphabet series (fonts) in the Standard Highway Signs book to indicate the sponsor. Click here to view the memorandum.

ODA Control Pilots

Date: August 30, 2005
State: FHWA
Subject: Guidance on the Approval Process for Outdoor Advertising Control Pilots
From: Susan Lauffer, Director, Office of Real Estate Services
To: Division Administrators, Division Realty Professionals
Brief Description: Provides guidance for implementing existing policies on the approval process for Outdoor Advertising Control pilot projects. This guidance details the standards for evaluating pilot proposals and the procedural requirements for approval of a pilot. FHWA will monitor the results of this guidance and revise as appropriate. Click here to view the memorandum.

History and Interpretation of the Highway Beautification Act

Date: October 16, 2017
State: Texas
Subject: Amendments to Chapter 21 related to Commercial Signs
From: Michael T. Leary, Director, Planning and Program Development
To: Gus Cannon, Director of Right of Way Division Texas Department of Transportation
Brief Description: Addresses FHWA’s concerns and comments to the proposed amendments as a result of the invalidation of the Texas Highway Beautification Act. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: November 17, 2016
State: FHWA
Subject: Request for Opinion on the Meaning of the term “Outdoor Advertising Signs”
From: Robert J. Black, Senior Attorney Advisor
To: Virgil Pridemore, Director of Realty Services FHWA
Brief Description: Clarifies as to whether signs placed inside a building, but aimed towards passing motorists, were “outdoor advertising” signs subject to control by the State under the Highway Beautification Act. Click here to view the memorandum.

Date: July 15, 2011
State: FHWA
Subject: Clarification on April 9 Information Memo on Installation of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels on Outdoor Advertising
From: Nelson Castellanos, Director Office of Real Estate Services
To: Division Administrators, Division Realty Specialists
Brief Description: Clarification on April 9 Information Memo on Wind Turbines and Solar Panels on Billboards. Click here to view the entire memorandum.

Date: April 8, 2011
State: FHWA
Subject: Installation of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels on Outdoor Advertising
From: Nelson Castellanos, Director Office of Real Estate Services
To: Division Administrators, Division Realty Specialists
Brief Description: Addresses the installation of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels on Outdoor Advertising. Click here to view the entire memorandum.

Older Memos (1967-1966) Available on Request

Bus Shelter Signs

Memo (1978) Available On Request

CEVMS Signs / Tri-Vision Signs

Date: September 25, 2007
State: FHWA
Subject: Guidance on Off-Premise Changeable Message Signs
From: Gloria M. Shepherd, Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty
To: Division Administrators
Brief Description: Provides guidance to Division offices concerning off-premises changeable message signs adjacent to routes subject to requirements for effective control under the Highway Beautification Act. Clarifies the application of the FHWA July 17, 1996 memorandum on the subject. Click here to view the memorandum.

Old Memos (1990-1998) Available on Request

Logo Signs

Date: September 21, 2006
State: FHWA
Subject: Interim Approval to Display More than Six Specific Service Logo Panels for Type of Service
From: Jeffrey Paniati, Associate Administrator for Operations
To: FHWA
Brief Description: Interim approval to all State and local highway agencies the option of displaying up to 12 logo panels for any one specific service type (i.e., Gas, Food, Lodging, Camping, Attraction, and 24-Hour Pharmacy) by using no more than two specific service signs. Click here to view the memorandum.

Vegetation

Old Memos (1977-1992) Available on Request