Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

Agreement

FOR CARRYING OUT NATIONAL POLICY RELATIVE TO CONTROL OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING IN AREAS ADJACENT TO THIS NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INTERSTATE AND DEFENSE HIGHWAYS AND THE FEDERAL-AID PRIMARY SYSTEM.

THIS AGREEMENT, made and entered into this 1st day of May, 1968 by and between the United States of America represented by the Secretary of Transportation acting by and through the Federal Highway Administrator, hereinafter referred to as the "Administrator", and the Department of Transportation of the State of Delaware, represented by the State Highway Department acting by and through its Chairman, hereinafter referred to as the "state".

WITNESSETH:

WHEREAS, Congress has declared that Outdoor Advertising in areas adjacent to the Interstate and Federal-Aid Primary System should be controlled in order to protect the public investment in such highways, to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel and to preserve natural beauty; and,

WHEREAS, Section 131(d) of Title 23, United States Code authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to enter into agreements with the several States to determine the size, lighting and spacing of signs, displays and devices, consistent with customary use, which may be erected and maintained within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way within areas adjacent to the Interstate and Federal-Aid Primary System which are zoned industrial or commercial under authority of State Law or in unzoned commercial or industrial areas, also to be determined by agreement; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of said agreement is to promote the reasonable, orderly and effective display of outdoor advertising while remaining consistent with the National policy to protect the public investment in the Interstate and Federal-Aid Primary Highways, to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel and to preserve natural beauty; and

WHEREAS, Section 131(b) of Title 23, United States Code provides that Federal0Aid highway funds apportioned on or after January 1, 1968, to any State which the Secretary determines has not made provision for effective control of the execution and maintenance along the Interstate System and the Primary System of outdoor advertising sings, displays and devices which are within six hundred and sixty feet of nearest edge of the right-of-way and visible from the main traveled way of the system, shall be reduced by amounts equal to 10 per centum of the amounts which would otherwise be apportioned to such state under Section 104 of Title 23, United States Code until such time as such State shall provide for such effective control; and

WHEREAS, the State, subject to confirmation and ratification by its General Assembly, desires to implement and carry out the provisions of Section 131 of Title 23, United States Code, and the national policy in order to remain eligible to receive the full amount of all federal-aid highway funds to be apportioned to such state on or after January 1, 1968, under Section 104 of Title 23, United States Code; and

WHEREAS, the State and the Federal Highway Administrator entered into an agreement on June 23, 1961, whereby the State agreed to control the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices in areas adjacent to the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways in accordance with the provisions of Section 131 of Title 23, United States Code, and the national standards as in effect on June 30, 1965; and

WHEREAS, Section 131(j) of Title 23, United States Code, provides that a State shall be entitled to receive the bonus payments as set forth in the agreement provided the State maintains the control required by that section whichever control is stricter; and

WHEREAS, the State desired to implement and carry out the stricter provisions in order to remain eligible to receive payment of the one-half of one percent increase in the federal share payable on account of any project on the Interstate System within the State.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Parties hereto do mutually agree as follows:

I. Definitions

  1. The term "Act" means Section 131 of Title 23, United States Code (1965) commonly referred to as Title I of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.
  2. Commercial or industrial activities shall mean those activities generally recognized as commercial or industrial by zoning law in this State, except that none of the following activities shall be considered commercial or industrial:
    1. Outdoor advertising signs.
    2. Forestry, ranching, grazing, and farming, including, but not limited to, wayside fresh produce stands.
    3. Transient or temporary activities.
    4. Activities not visible from the main traveled way.
    5. Activities more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way.
    6. Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence.
    7. Railroad tracks and minor sidings.
  3. Zoned commercial or industrial areas mean those areas which are zones for business, commerce, or trade pursuant to a comprehensive State, County or local zoning ordinance or regulation.
  4. Unzoned commercial or industrial areas mean those areas not zoned by State, County or local ordinance or regulations on which there is located one or more permanent structures devoted to business or industrial activity or on which a commercial or industrial activity is actually conducted, whether or not a permanent structure is located thereon, and the area along the highway extending outward 600 feet from an beyond the edge of such activity. Each side of the highway will be considered separately in applying this definition. All measurements shall be from the outer edges of the regularly used buildings, parking lots, storage or processing areas of the commercial or industrial activities, not from the property lines of the activities, and shall be along or parallel to the edge of the pavement of the highway.
  5. National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and Interstate Systems means the system presently defined in and designated pursuant to subsection (d) of Section 1C3 of Title 23, United States Code.
  6. Federal-Aid primary highway means any highway within the portion of State Highway System as designated, or as may hereafter be so designated by the State, which has been approved by the Secretary of the Transportation, pursuant to the subsection (b) of Section 103 of Title 23, United States Code.
  7. Traveled Way means the portion of the roadway for the movement of vehicles, exclusive of shoulders.
  8. Main-traveled way means the traveled way of a highway on which through traffic is carried. In the case of a divided highway, the traveled way of each of the separated roadways for traffic in opposite directions is a main-traveled way. It does not include such facilities as frontage roads, turning roadways, or parking areas.
  9. Sign means any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard or other thing which is designed, intended or used to advertise, to inform, or to attract the attention of the traveling public, any part of the advertising, informative, or attention attracting contents of which is visable from any highway.
  10. Erect means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish, but it shall not include any of the foregoing activities when performed as an incident to the change of advertising message or customary maintenance and repair of a sign or sign structure.
  11. Safety rest area means an area or site established an maintained within or adjacent to the highway right-of-way by or under public supervision or control, for the convenience of traveling public.
  12. Information center means an area or site established and maintained at a safety rest area for the purpose of informing the public of places of interest within the State and providing such other information as the State may consider desirable.

II. Scope of Agreement

This agreement shall apply to the following areas:

  1. All commercial or industrial zones within the boundaries of any incorporated municipality, as those boundaries existed on September 21, 1959, and all those areas where the land use as of September 21, 1959, was clearly established by State law as industrial or commercial within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of all portions of the Interstate System within the State of Delaware in which the outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices may be visible from the main-traveled way of said system.
  2. All other zoned and unzoned commercial and industrial areas within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the Interstate System, except those areas adjacent to portions of the Interstate System which are constructed on right-of-way, the entire width of which has been acquired on or before July 1, 1956, in which outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices may be visible from the main-traveled way of the system.
  3. All zoned and unzoned commercial and industrial areas within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of all portions of the Federal-Aid primary system within in the State of Delaware in which outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices may be visible from the main-traveled way of said system.

III. State Control

The State hereby agrees that, in all areas within the scope of this agreement, the State shall effectively control, or cause to be controlled, the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices erected subsequent to the effective date of this Agreement other than those advertising the sale or lease of the property on which they are located, or activities conducted thereon, in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. In zoned commercial or industrial areas, the State may certify to the Administrator, as notice of effective control, that there has been established within such areas comprehensive zoning which regulates the size, lighting and spacing of outdoor advertising signs consistent with the purpose of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and with customary use;
  2. In all other zoned and unzoned commercial and industrial areas, the criteria set forth below shall apply.

Size of Signs

  1. The maximum area for any one sign shall be 1,200 square feet with a maximum height of 25 feet and maximum length of 60 feet, inclusive of any border and trim but excluding ornamental base or apron, supports and other structural members.
  2. The area shall be measured by the smallest square, rectangle, triangle, circle or combination thereof which will encompass the entire sign.
  3. A sign structure may contain one or two signs per facing and may be placed double-faced, back to back or V-type at one location but in no event shall the total area of any facing exceed 1,200 square feet.
  4. A sign which exceeds 600 square feet in area may not be on the same sign facing with any other sign.

Spacing of Signs

  1. Interstate and Federal-Aid Primary Highways
    1. Signs may not be located in such a manner as to obscure, or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device, obstruct or interfere with the driver’s view of approaching, merging or intersecting traffic.
  2. Interstate Highways and Controlled Access Highways on the Federal-Aid Primary System
    1. No two sign structures shall be spaced less than 500 feet apart;
    2. No sign structure may be located within 500 feet of an interchange or intersection at grade, safety rest area, or information center along the Interstate or freeway (UNREADABLE) point of the beginning or ending of (UNREADABLE) at the exit from or entrance to the main traveled way). In the case where ramps exist only on one side of the roadway crossed by the above highways, no sign structure shall be located within 500 feet of the centerline of the intersected roadway in the opposite direction from the ramps.
  3. Non-Controlled Access Federal-Aid Primary Highways
    1. Where the distance between centerlines of intersecting streets or highways is less than 1,000 feet, three sign structures, with a minimum spacing between structures of 100 feet (double-faced, V-Type and/or back to back), may be permitted between such interesting streets or highways.
    2. Where the distance between centerlines of intersecting streets or highways is 1,000 feet or more, minimum spacing between sign structures (double-faced, V-Type and/or back to back) shall be 300 feet.
    3. No freestanding sign structure may be located within 100 feet of the right-of-way line of an intersection at grade, unless a building or other obstruction exists between such sign and such intersection so that the sign does not add to obstruction of motorists’ view of approaching intersection.
  4. Explanatory Notes
    1. Official and "on premise" signs, as defined in Section 131(c) of Title 23, United States Code, shall not be counted nor shall measurements be made from them for purposes of determining compliance with spacing requirements.
    2. The minimum distance between signs shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway.

Lighting

Signs may be illuminated, subject to the following restrictions:

  1. Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent or moving light or lights are prohibited, except those giving public service information such as time, date, temperature, weather or similar information.
  2. Signs which are not effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled ways of the Interstate or Federal-Aid primary highway and which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any vehicle, or which interferes with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle.
  3. No sign shall be so illuminated that it interferes with the effectiveness of or obscures an official traffic sign, device or signal.
  4. All such lighting shall be subject to any other provision (UNREADABLE) under the jurisdiction of the State.

C. The State and local political subdivisions shall have full authority under their own zoning laws to zone areas for commercial or industrial purposes and the action of the State and local political subdivision in this regard will be accepted for the purpose of this agreement. At any time that a political subdivision adopts comprehensive zoning which includes the regulation of outdoor advertising the State may so certify to the Administrator and control of outdoor advertising in industrial or commercial areas will transfer to subsection A of this section.

IV. Interpretation

The provisions contained herein shall constitute the minimum acceptable regulations and standards for effective control of signs within the scope of this agreement.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to abrogate or prohibit the State from exercising a greater degree of control of outdoor advertising than that required or contemplated by the Act or from adopting standards which are more restrictive in controlling outdoor advertising than the provisions of this Agreement if so authorized by the State legislature.

In controlling outdoor advertising adjacent to Interstate and Federal-Aid primary highways pursuant to the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and this agreement, the State shall not be required to remove or cause to be removed any sign advertising any natural wonder or scenic or historical attractions until a reasonable length of time subsequent to the promulgation of national standards for such signs pursuant to Section 131(c) of Title 23, United States Coe.

In the event the provisions of the Highway Beautification Act are amended by subsequent action of Congress or the General Assembly of the State of Delaware shall adopt legislation inconsistent with the terms of this agreement, the parties reserve the right to re-negotiate this agreement or to modify it to conform with any such amendment or legislation.

State Legislation

Section I through V of this agreement shall become effective on the date when state legislation shall become effective which authorizes the carrying out of all of the provisions of Title I of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.

The parties hereto agree that Federal-Aid highway funds apportioned to the State shall not be subject to reduction as provided by Section 131(b) o Title 23, United States Code for failure to carry out any of the obligations assumed hereunder until 90 days have elapsed after the adjournment of the next regular session of the State Legislature.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have executed this agreement of Lease the day and year aforesaid.

STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
STATE OF DELAWARE

Title: Approval Signatures - Description: This image is of three signatures of officials from the State of Delaware in 1968. Their positions are unreadable in the original.

ATTEST:

Title: Approval Signatures 2 - Description: This image is of the signature of the FHWA Administrator in 1968Title: Approval Signatures 2 - Description: This image is of the signature of the FHWA Administrator in 1968.

Updated: 09/05/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000