2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
February 19, 2018 - Offered by Senator Petrowski.
SB495-SSA1,1,2 1An Act to create 84.30 (5) (br) of the statutes; relating to: the removal of
2nonconforming outdoor advertising signs along highways.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB495-SSA1,1 3Section 1 . 84.30 (5) (br) of the statutes is created to read:
SB495-SSA1,1,44 84.30 (5) (br) 1. In this paragraph:
SB495-SSA1,1,65 a. “Copy" means the advertising or other information or images on a sign face
6created to communicate to the public.
SB495-SSA1,1,117 b. “Copy change" means the process of substituting copy on a sign face, which
8may include removing a face and substituting another face or other processes such
9as painting on wood, metal, or vinyl, affixing printed paper or vinyl to the face,
10changing the message mechanically, or electronically changing the copy from a
11remote location.
1c. “Customary maintenance" on a sign includes nailing, bolting, fastening,
2cleaning, and painting; replacing its components with equivalent or similar
3components; except as provided in this subd. 1. c., replacing structural components,
4including upright supports; making copy changes; upgrading existing illumination
5for energy efficiency or worker safety; adding catwalks or handrails to address
6safety; installing an apron to a sign structure to display identification of the sign
7owner; or replacing the sign face. “Customary maintenance" does not include repairs
8that involve, within a period of 36 consecutive months, replacing more than 60
9percent of the wooden upright supports of a sign or replacing more than 30 percent
10of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted upright metal support of
11a sign.
SB495-SSA1,2,1812 d. “Destroyed," with respect to a nonconforming sign, means that upright
13supports are physically damaged such that, within a period of 36 consecutive
14months, in the case of a sign structure with wooden upright supports, more than 60
15percent of the supports are broken and, under normal repair practices, would need
16to be replaced or, in the case of a sign structure with metal upright supports, more
17than 30 percent of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted support
18would, under normal repair practices, need to be replaced.
SB495-SSA1,2,2019 e. “Sign face" or “face" means the material components of a sign on which the
20advertising or other information is displayed including any trim, border, or molding.
SB495-SSA1,3,221 f. “Substantial change," with respect to a nonconforming sign, includes
22increasing the number of upright supports; changing the physical location;
23increasing the square footage or area of the sign face; adding changeable message
24capability; or adding illumination, either attached or unattached, to a sign that was

1previously not illuminated. “Substantial change” does not include customary
SB495-SSA1,3,43 g. “Substantially the same," with respect to a nonconforming sign, means that
4no substantial change has been made to the sign since it became nonconforming.
SB495-SSA1,3,85 2. Notwithstanding par. (a) or (b), signs described in sub. (3) (a), (d), (e), (f), or
6(h) that were lawfully erected but that no longer conform to applicable requirements
7are, upon notice by registered mail from the department to the sign owner, declared
8nonconforming but are not subject to removal, except as provided in subds. 4. and 5.
SB495-SSA1,3,139 3. Subject to subd. 4., a sign described in subd. 2. shall remain substantially
10the same as it was on the date it became nonconforming. To allow a sign described
11in subd. 2. to exist, to perform customary maintenance on such a sign, or to change
12the advertising message on such a sign, does not constitute a violation of sub. (3) or
SB495-SSA1,3,2214 4. Except as provided in this subdivision, to make a substantial change to a sign
15described in subd. 2. or to erect additional signs shall constitute a violation of subs.
16(3) and (4). In determining whether a change to a sign constitutes a violation of sub.
17(3) or (4), the department may not consider any changes to that sign that no longer
18exist. If the department determines that a change to a sign constitutes a violation
19of sub. (3) or (4), the department shall notify by registered mail the sign owner and
20the owner of the property upon which the sign is located of the alleged violation. If
21the alleged violation is remedied within 60 days of receipt of the notice under this
22subdivision, the activity does not constitute a violation of sub. (3) or (4).
SB495-SSA1,3,2423 5. a. Except as provided in subd. 5. b., and notwithstanding subd. 3., a sign
24described in subd. 2. that is destroyed is subject to removal without compensation.
1b. Notwithstanding subds. 3. and 4., if a nonconforming sign is damaged or
2destroyed by a criminal or tortious act, the sign may be repaired or replaced. If the
3sign is replaced, the replacement sign may not incorporate any elements that
4constitute a substantial change from the sign that was damaged or destroyed. The
5repair or replacement of a sign under this subdivision is not limited to activities
6constituting customary maintenance.
SB495-SSA1,4,87 6. A sign described in sub. (3) (a) that is declared nonconforming as provided
8in subd. 2. may not be converted to any sign described in sub. (3) (d), (e), (f), or (h).
SB495-SSA1,2 9Section 2. Initial applicability.
SB495-SSA1,4,1110 (1) This act first applies to nonconforming signs in existence on the effective
11date of this subsection.