2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
SENATE SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1,
TO SENATE BILL 495
February 19, 2018 - Offered by Senator Petrowski.
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:
84.30 (5) (br) of the statutes is created to read:
(br) 1. In this paragraph:
a. “Copy" means the advertising or other information or images on a sign face 6
created to communicate to the public.
b. “Copy change" means the process of substituting copy on a sign face, which 8
may include removing a face and substituting another face or other processes such 9
as painting on wood, metal, or vinyl, affixing printed paper or vinyl to the face, 10
changing the message mechanically, or electronically changing the copy from a 11
c. “Customary maintenance" on a sign includes nailing, bolting, fastening, 2
cleaning, and painting; replacing its components with equivalent or similar 3
components; except as provided in this subd. 1. c., replacing structural components, 4
including upright supports; making copy changes; upgrading existing illumination 5
for energy efficiency or worker safety; adding catwalks or handrails to address 6
safety; installing an apron to a sign structure to display identification of the sign 7
owner; or replacing the sign face. “Customary maintenance" does not include repairs 8
that involve, within a period of 36 consecutive months, replacing more than 60 9
percent of the wooden upright supports of a sign or replacing more than 30 percent 10
of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted upright metal support of 11
d. “Destroyed," with respect to a nonconforming sign, means that upright 13
supports are physically damaged such that, within a period of 36 consecutive 14
months, in the case of a sign structure with wooden upright supports, more than 60 15
percent of the supports are broken and, under normal repair practices, would need 16
to be replaced or, in the case of a sign structure with metal upright supports, more 17
than 30 percent of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted support 18
would, under normal repair practices, need to be replaced.
e. “Sign face" or “face" means the material components of a sign on which the 20
advertising or other information is displayed including any trim, border, or molding.
f. “Substantial change," with respect to a nonconforming sign, includes 22
increasing the number of upright supports; changing the physical location; 23
increasing the square footage or area of the sign face; adding changeable message 24
capability; or adding illumination, either attached or unattached, to a sign that was
previously not illuminated. “Substantial change” does not include customary 2
g. “Substantially the same," with respect to a nonconforming sign, means that 4
no substantial change has been made to the sign since it became nonconforming.
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 7
are, upon notice by registered mail from the department to the sign owner, declared 8
nonconforming but are not subject to removal, except as provided in subds. 4. and 5.
3. Subject to subd. 4., a sign described in subd. 2. shall remain substantially 10
the same as it was on the date it became nonconforming. To allow a sign described 11
in subd. 2. to exist, to perform customary maintenance on such a sign, or to change 12
the advertising message on such a sign, does not constitute a violation of sub. (3) or 13
4. Except as provided in this subdivision, to make a substantial change to a sign 15
described 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 18
exist. If the department determines that a change to a sign constitutes a violation 19
of sub. (3) or (4), the department shall notify by registered mail the sign owner and 20
the owner of the property upon which the sign is located of the alleged violation. If 21
the alleged violation is remedied within 60 days of receipt of the notice under this 22
subdivision, the activity does not constitute a violation of sub. (3) or (4).
5. a. Except as provided in subd. 5. b., and notwithstanding subd. 3., a sign 24
described in subd. 2. that is destroyed is subject to removal without compensation.
b. Notwithstanding subds. 3. and 4., if a nonconforming sign is damaged or 2
destroyed by a criminal or tortious act, the sign may be repaired or replaced. If the 3
sign is replaced, the replacement sign may not incorporate any elements that 4
constitute a substantial change from the sign that was damaged or destroyed. The 5
repair or replacement of a sign under this subdivision is not limited to activities 6
constituting customary maintenance.
6. A sign described in sub. (3) (a) that is declared nonconforming as provided 8
in subd. 2. may not be converted to any sign described in sub. (3) (d), (e), (f), or (h).
(1) This act first applies to nonconforming signs in existence on the effective 11
date of this subsection.