Signs shall not be erected or maintained which are structurally unsafe or in substantial disrepair.
Signs outside of business areas which are lawfully in existence on March 18, 1972 but which do not conform to the requirements herein are declared nonconforming and shall be removed by the end of the 5th year from said date.
A sign lawfully erected after March 18, 1972 and which subsequently does not conform to this section shall be removed by the end of the 5th year after it becomes nonconforming.
Signs lawfully erected, but which do not conform to the requirements of sub. (3) (c)
, are declared nonconforming but are not subject to removal, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. To allow such signs to exist, to perform customary maintenance thereon or to change the advertising message thereof, does not constitute a violation of sub. (3)
, but to enlarge, replace or relocate such signs, or to erect additional signs, shall constitute a violation subjecting the sign to removal without compensation, unless upon completion of such work all signs upon the property conform to the requirements of sub. (3)
Should any commercial or industrial activity, which has been used in defining or delineating an unzoned area, cease to operate, the unzoned area shall be redefined or redelineated based on the remaining activities. Any signs located within the former unzoned area but located outside the unzoned area, based on its new dimensions, shall become nonconforming.
The department shall give highest priority to the removal or relocation of signs advertising products of general availability in commercial channels when such signs fail to conform under this subsection.
(6) Just compensation.
The department shall pay just compensation upon the removal or relocation on or after March 18, 1972, of any of the following signs which are not then in conformity with this section, regardless of whether the sign was removed because of this section:
Signs lawfully in existence on March 18, 1972.
Signs lawfully in existence on land adjoining any highway made an interstate or primary highway after March 18, 1972.
Signs lawfully erected on or after March 18, 1972.
The just compensation required by sub. (6)
shall be paid for the following:
The taking from the owner of such sign, all right, title and interest in and to the sign and the owner's leasehold relating thereto, including severance damages to the remaining signs which have a unity of use and ownership with the sign taken, shall be included in the amounts paid to the respective owner, excluding any damage to factories involved in manufacturing, erection, maintenance or servicing of any outdoor advertising signs or displays.
The taking of the right to erect and maintain such signs thereon from the owner of the real property on which the sign is located.
(8) Agreed price.
Compensation required under subs. (6)
shall be paid to the person entitled thereto. If the department and the owner reach agreement on the amount of compensation payable to such owner in respect to any removal or relocation, the department may pay such compensation to the owner and thereby require or terminate the owner's rights or interests by purchase. If the department and the owner do not reach agreement as to such amount of compensation, the department or owner may institute an action to have such compensation determined under s. 32.05
(9) Sign information.
On and after March 18, 1972 all signs, or structures on which there are displays, shall have stated thereon the names and addresses of the owner thereof, and the date of its erection; but if the address of the owner is on file with the department it need not be stated thereon.
On or after January 1, 1972, no person shall engage or continue to engage in the business of outdoor advertising in areas subject to this section without first obtaining a license therefor from the department. The fee for the issuance of a license or for the renewal thereof shall be $250 payable in advance. Each license shall remain in force until the next succeeding December 31 and may be renewed annually.
Application for license or a renewal thereof shall be made on forms to be furnished by the department, shall contain such information as the department requires and shall be verified under oath by the applicant or an authorized officer or agent. Renewal applications shall be filed on or before the December 1 preceding the expiration date. Upon receipt of an application containing all required information, in due form and properly executed, together with any bond required by par. (c)
and upon payment of the required license fee, the department shall issue a license to the applicant or renew the existing license.
No license to engage or continue to engage in the business of outdoor advertising shall be granted to any applicant who does not reside in this state or, in the case of a foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company not authorized to do business in this state until such applicant files with the department a bond payable to the state and with a surety approved by the attorney general, in the sum of $5,000 conditioned upon the licensee observing and fulfilling all applicable provisions of this section. Upon default thereof the department may enforce the collection of such bond in any court of competent jurisdiction. The bond shall remain in effect so long as any obligation of such licensee to the state remains unsatisfied.
The department may, after a hearing with 30 days' prior written notice to the licensee, revoke the license if the department finds that the licensee has knowingly made false statements in the application or is violating this section. Such revocation shall not become effective if within 30 days after written notice of the findings has been given to the licensee, he or she corrects such false statement or terminates any such violation.
(10m) Annual permit fee requirement.
The department may promulgate a rule requiring persons specified in the rule to pay annual permit fees for signs. The rule shall specify that no permit fee may be charged for an off-premises advertising sign that is owned by a nonprofit organization. If the department establishes an annual permit fee under this subsection, failure to pay the fee within 2 months after the date on which payment is due is evidence that the sign has been abandoned for the purposes of s. Trans 201.10 (2) (f)
, Wis. Adm. Code.
(11) Department removal.
Any sign erected in an adjacent area after March 18, 1972, in violation of this section or the rules promulgated under this section, may be removed by the department upon 60 days' prior notice by registered mail to the owner thereof and to the owner of the land on which said sign is located, unless such sign is brought into conformance within said 60 days. No notice shall be required to be given to the owner of a sign whose name is not stated on the sign or on the structure on which it is displayed, or whose address is not stated thereon or is not on file with the department.
(12) Federal compliance.
The department on behalf of the state is authorized and directed to seek agreement with the secretary of transportation of the United States acting under the provisions of 23 USC 131
, as amended, that the provisions of this section are in conformance with that federal law and provide effective control of outdoor advertising signs as set forth therein.
(13) Federal funds.
The department may accept any allotment of funds by the United States, or any agency thereof, appropriated to carry out the purposes of 23 USC 131
, as amended, from time to time. The department shall take such steps as are necessary from time to time to obtain from the United States, or the appropriate agency thereof, funds allotted and appropriated, under 23 USC 131
for the purposes of paying the federal government's 75% of the just compensation to be paid to sign owners and owners of real property under 23 USC 131
(g) and this section.
(14) Department rules.
The department may promulgate rules deemed necessary to implement and enforce this section. The department shall promulgate rules to restrict the erection and maintenance of signs as to their lighting, size, number and spacing when such signs are visible from the highway but outside the adjacent area. The department shall by rule establish a priority system for the removal or relocation of all signs not specified in sub. (5) (d)
which fail to conform to the requirements of sub. (5)
(15) Funds required.
Despite any contrary provision in this section no sign shall be required to be removed unless at the time of removal there are sufficient funds, from whatever source, appropriated and immediately made available to the department with which to pay the just compensation required and unless at such time the federal funds, required to be contributed to this state under 23 USC 131
have been appropriated and are immediately available to the state for the payment of compensation which is eligible for federal participation.
If any provision or clause of this section or application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable. If any portion of this section is found not to comply with federal law and federal billboard removal compensation that portion shall be void without affecting the validity of other provisions of the section.
(17) Transportation fund.
All fees collected for the issuance of permits provided for under this section shall be paid into the transportation fund.
(18) Hearings; transcripts.
Hearings concerning sign removal notices under sub. (11)
or the denial or revocation of a sign permit or license shall be conducted before the division of hearings and appeals as are hearings in contested cases under ch. 227
. The decision of the division of hearings and appeals is subject to judicial review under ch. 227
. Any person requesting a transcript of the proceedings from the division of hearings and appeals shall pay the amount established by the division of hearings and appeals by rule for the transcript.
History: 1971 c. 197
; 1975 c. 196
; 1977 c. 29
, 1654 (1)
, (8) (a); 1977 c. 43
; 1977 c. 418
s. 924 (48)
; 1979 c. 90
; 1979 c. 154
; 1981 c. 347
; 1983 a. 92
; 1989 a. 56
; 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 16
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 109
; 2005 a. 149
See also ch. Trans 201
, Wis. adm. code.
This section is the exclusive remedy for determining just compensation for signs meeting the criteria of sub. (6). Compensation includes the value of the sign structure, leasehold value, and location, but it does not include attorney fees. Vivid, Inc. v. Fiedler, 219 Wis. 2d 764
, 580 N.W.2d 644
This section did not prevent the leaseholder of a sign subject to an administrative order for removal due to discontinuance of a legal nonconforming use from pursuing judicial review of the administrative review of the order under s. 227.52. Eller Media, Inc. v. Division of Hearings and Appeals, 2001 WI App 269, 249 Wis. 2d 198
, 637 N.W.2d 96
Persons in the business of erecting on-premise signs are subject to the licensing requirement of sub. (10) (a). 66 Atty. Gen. 295.
Outdoor sign regulation in Eden and Wisconsin. Larsen, 1972 WLR 153.
Vegetation obstructing view of outdoor advertising signs. 84.305(1)(c)
"Natural vegetation" means vegetation that the department has allowed to become established and remain in the right-of-way of a highway.
"Planted vegetation" means any of the following:
Vegetation that has been planted in the right-of-way of a highway as part of a landscape project approved by the department for which there is a project plan.
Individual trees or shrubs in a landscaped area that the department has allowed to become established naturally and that are specifically noted on a recorded project plan for a landscape project approved by the department.
"Specimen tree" means a live tree with a trunk measuring 12 or more inches in diameter as measured at 3 feet from the ground.
"Unzoned commercial or industrial area" means an area that is not zoned by state or local law, regulation, or ordinance, and on which a sign is located within 500 feet of one or more permanent structures devoted to an ongoing commercial or industrial activity.
"Vegetation" means any tree, shrub, hedge, or other woody plant, and includes planted vegetation, natural vegetation, and specimen trees. "Vegetation" does not include grass.
"Viewing zone" means, with respect to a sign, the area commencing at the point on the main-traveled way of the highway nearest the sign and extending, in a direction opposite of the direction of travel in the nearest through traffic lanes, in a line along the highway parallel to the highway pavement edge for a distance of 1,000 feet.
Notwithstanding ss. 66.1037
, upon application, the department may issue permits to sign owners for the trimming, removal, or relocation of vegetation that is located in the right-of-way of a highway under the jurisdiction of the department for maintenance purposes and that obstructs a sign if any of the following applies:
The sign is 800 feet or less from another sign and, because of an obstruction to sight by planted vegetation in the highway right-of-way, there is no portion of the viewing zone along which, for a distance of 243 continuous feet, the entire face of the sign is viewable.
The sign is more than 800 feet from another sign and, because of an obstruction to sight by planted vegetation in the highway right-of-way, there is no portion of the viewing zone along which, for a distance of 350 continuous feet, the entire face of the sign is viewable.
Subject to par. (b)
, within a distance of 500 continuous feet along any portion of the viewing zone, any portion of the face of the sign is not viewable because of an obstruction to sight by natural vegetation in the highway right-of-way.
Subject to par. (b)
, the sign is located in a zoned industrial area and, within a distance of 600 continuous feet along any portion of the viewing zone, any portion of the face of a sign is not viewable because of an obstruction to sight by natural vegetation in the highway right-of-way.
In measuring the distance in continuous feet along the viewing zone under par. (a) 3.
, the department shall not include in its measurement any part of the viewing zone where any portion of the face of a sign is not viewable because of an obstruction to sight by a specimen tree in the highway right-of-way.
Subject to pars. (d)
and sub. (4)
, a permit issued under this section authorizes the permittee to trim obstructing vegetation or remove or relocate obstructing individual plants to the extent necessary to eliminate the obstruction and remedy any condition specified under sub. (2) (a) 1.
A permit issued under this section shall specify the vegetation or the portion of the highway right-of-way to which the permit applies.
An application for a permit under this section shall specifically describe the work proposed by the applicant. The department shall grant or deny an application for a permit under this section, and notify the applicant of the department's decision, within 60 days of receipt of the application. Within 30 days of receipt of the application, the department shall determine whether the application is complete and, if not, the department shall return the application to the applicant and inform the applicant of what information, specifically described, must be provided by the applicant to complete the application. The department may not deny an application for a permit under this section based solely upon receipt by the department of an objection or complaint from a property owner or municipality receiving notice under par. (c)
, but the department may consider the objection or complaint in determining whether to grant or deny the application for a permit. If the department denies an application for a permit under this section, the department shall notify the applicant of reasons for the denial.
Any person who makes application for a permit under this section shall, at the time of the application, provide written notice of the application, including contact information for the department, to all of the following:
The owner of any property adjacent to the vegetation specified in the permit application if the work proposed in the permit application includes removal or relocation of individual plants and any of the following apply:
The adjacent property is in a zoned commercial or industrial area or an unzoned commercial or industrial area and the sum of the diameters, as measured at 3 feet from the ground, of all trees specified in the permit application having a trunk of at least 4 inches in diameter exceeds 20 inches.
The adjacent property is not in a zoned commercial or industrial area or an unzoned commercial or industrial area and the sum of the diameters, as measured at 3 feet from the ground, of all trees specified in the permit application having a trunk of at least 4 inches in diameter exceeds 12 inches.
The municipality in which any property adjacent to the vegetation specified in the permit application is located if any of the following apply:
The adjacent property is in a zoned commercial or industrial area or an unzoned commercial or industrial area and the sum of the diameters, as measured at 3 feet from the ground, of all trees specified in the permit application having a trunk of at least 4 inches in diameter exceeds 30 inches.
The adjacent property is not in a zoned commercial or industrial area or an unzoned commercial or industrial area and the sum of the diameters, as measured at 3 feet from the ground, of all trees specified in the permit application having a trunk of at least 4 inches in diameter exceeds 20 inches.
A permit issued under this section may not authorize trimming, removal, or relocation of vegetation located within a municipality and within 10 feet of the nearest edge of the highway pavement without prior approval for the trimming, removal, or relocation from the municipality.
A permit issued under this section may not authorize the permittee to trim, remove, or relocate vegetation in existence prior to the erection of the sign obstructed by the vegetation. Nothing in this paragraph prohibits the department from issuing a permit authorizing the trimming, removal, or relocation of vegetation that, at the time the sign was erected, did not obstruct the view of the sign.
The department shall make every effort to issue permits under this section that authorize the permittee to fully remedy the condition giving rise to the need for the permit as described under sub. (2) (a) 1.
, but the department, in its discretion and for the purpose of causing the least disruption to the landscape design in the highway right-of-way, may issue permits authorizing trimming, removal, or relocation of vegetation in a manner that results in the distance of 243 feet specified in sub. (2) (a) 1.
, 350 feet specified in sub. (2) (a) 2.
, 500 feet specified in sub. (2) (a) 3.
, or 600 feet specified in sub. (2) (a) 4.
, being noncontinuous if the permit allows the permittee to minimize sight obstruction of the sign along the applicable portion of the viewing zone.
A permit issued under this section may not authorize the permittee to clear-cut any highway right-of-way. The permit authorizes the permittee to trim, remove, or relocate only the vegetation specified in the permit, or only vegetation within the area of the right-of-way specified in the permit, in accordance with the terms of the permit.
Each permit issued under this section shall authorize the permittee to employ 3rd-party contractors, including any arborist or landscape contractor, to perform work authorized under the permit. A permittee shall be responsible for any such work performed by a contractor on behalf of the permittee that is not authorized by the permit as if the work were performed directly by the permittee.
Each permit issued under this section shall require a permittee that removes planted vegetation to either relocate the planted vegetation or reimburse the department for the value of the planted vegetation. The department shall present to the permittee the department's calculation of the value of the planted vegetation, and the permittee may elect to relocate the planted vegetation or to reimburse the department for the value of the planted vegetation as determined by the department.
The department shall determine the value of the planted vegetation, for purposes of par. (a)
, based upon either the reasonable replacement cost of the vegetation or another suitable method established by the department, which method may include use of a vegetation value chart that is publicly available and generally accepted in the landscaping industry.
If the department issues a permit under this section authorizing removal of vegetation, the department shall provide to the permittee prior to commencement of the work an estimate of the value of the vegetation to be removed and a detailed explanation of the department's objectives in planting this vegetation or allowing this vegetation to become established.
The department shall have authority to supervise and determine how the work authorized under a permit issued under this section is carried out. The department may require as a condition or restriction under any permit issued under this section that the work authorized under the permit meet standards established by the department.
Nothing in this section prohibits a sign owner and the department from voluntarily negotiating for, and the department from authorizing without the issuance of a permit under this section, the trimming, removal, or relocation of any vegetation in a highway right-of-way in order to provide an unobstructed view of a sign, except in situations where sub. (3) (d)
would apply if a permit were issued under this section. Nothing in this section restricts the department's authority with respect to departmental maintenance operations in the rights-of-way of highways under the department's jurisdiction.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the department under this section, or by the department's failure to act on an application within the time limits specified in this section, is entitled, upon request, to a contested case hearing before the division of hearings and appeals in the department of administration, and to judicial review thereof, in accordance with ch. 227
History: 2005 a. 465
Regulation of junkyards. 84.31(1)
Declaration of purpose; public nuisances.
In order to promote the public safety, health, welfare, convenience and enjoyment of public travel, to protect the public investment in public highways, to preserve and enhance the scenic beauty of lands bordering public highways, to attract tourists and promote the prosperity, economic well-being and general welfare of the state, it is declared to be in the public interest to regulate and restrict the establishment, operation and maintenance of junkyards in areas adjacent to interstate and primary highways within this state. All junkyards in violation of this section are declared public nuisances.
In this section:
"Automobile graveyard" means an establishment or place of business which is maintained, used, or operated for storing, keeping, buying or selling wrecked, scrapped, ruined or dismantled motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts. Ten or more such vehicles constitute an automobile graveyard.
"Department" means the department of transportation.
"Illegal junkyard" means a junkyard which is established, expanded or maintained in violation of any statute or rule promulgated thereunder or local ordinance.
"Industrial activities" mean those activities generally recognized as industrial by local zoning authorities in this state, including scrap metal processors, except that none of the following activities shall be considered industrial: