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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 120. Rules and Regulations Controlling Outdoor Advertising and Directional and Other Signs and Notices
3/29/2020

24VAC30-120-80. Definitions.

Part II
Directional and Other Official Signs and Notices (Located Off Highway Right of Way)

The following definitions apply to directional and other official signs and notices which are erected and maintained within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right of way of interstate, federal-aid primary and national highway systems, which are not erected on the highway right of way and which are visible from the main-traveled way of the system.

"Directional and other official signs and notices" means only official signs and notices, public utility signs, service club and religious notices, public service signs, and directional signs.

"Directional signs" means signs containing directional information about public places owned or operated by federal, state, or local governments or their agencies; publicly or privately owned natural phenomena, historic, cultural, scientific, educational, and religious sites; and areas of natural scenic beauty or naturally suited for outdoor recreation, deemed to be in the interest of the traveling public.

"Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish.

"Federal or state law" means a federal or state constitutional provision or statute, or an ordinance, rule or regulation enacted or adopted by a state or federal agency or a political subdivision of a state pursuant to a federal or state constitution or statute.

"Freeway" means a divided arterial highway for through traffic with full control of access.

"Interstate system" means the national system of interstate and defense highways, described in § 103(e) of Title 23, United States Code.

"Maintain" means to allow to exist.

"Main-traveled way" means the through traffic lanes of the highway, exclusive of frontage roads, auxiliary lanes and ramps.

"National highway system" means the federal-aid highway system described in subsection (b) of § 103 of Title 23, United States Code, and regulations adopted pursuant to that law, or as defined in § 33.2-1200 of the Code of Virginia.

"Official signs and notices" means signs and notices erected and maintained by public officers or public agencies within their territorial or zoning jurisdiction and pursuant to and in accordance with direction or authorization contained in federal, state or local law for the purposes of carrying out an official duty or responsibility. Historical markers authorized by state law and erected by state or local government agencies or nonprofit historical societies may be considered official signs.

"Parkland" means any publicly owned land which is designated or used as a public park, recreation area, wildlife or waterfowl refuge or historic site.

"Primary system" means the federal-aid highway system described in § 103(b) of Title 23, United States Code.

"Public service signs" means signs located on school bus stop shelters, which:

1. Identify the donor, sponsor, or contributor of said shelter;

2. Contain safety slogans or messages, which shall occupy not less than 60% of the area of the sign;

3. Contain no other message;

4. Are located on school bus shelters which are authorized or approved by city, county, or state law, regulation or ordinance, and at places approved by the city, county, or state agency controlling the highway involved; and

5. May not exceed 32 square feet in area. Not more than one sign on each shelter shall face in any one direction.

"Public utility signs" means warning signs, informational signs, notices, or markers which are customarily erected and maintained by publicly or privately owned public utilities, as essential to their operations.

"Rest area" means an area or site established and maintained within or adjacent to the highway right of way by or under public supervision or control for the convenience of the traveling public.

"Scenic area" means any area of particular scenic beauty or historical significance as determined by the federal, state, or local officials having jurisdiction thereof, and includes interests in land which has been acquired for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of scenic beauty.

"Service club and religious notices" means signs and notices whose erection is authorized by law, relating to meetings of nonprofit service clubs or charitable associations, or religious services, which signs do not exceed eight square feet in area.

"Sign" means an outdoor sign, light, display device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing which is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform any part of the advertising or informative contents of which is visible from any place on the main-traveled way of the interstate or federal-aid primary highway.

"Single route" means one numbered highway or a combination of numbered highways affording a means of reaching an advertised activity from any one point.

"State" means any one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.

"Visible" means capable of being seen (whether or not legible) without visual aid by a person of normal visual acuity.

Statutory Authority

§§ 33.2-210, 33.2-1200, and 33.2-1220 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR385-01-13 § 2.1, eff. April 1, 1976; amended, Volume 11, Issue 10, eff. March 8, 1995; Volume 31, Issue 07, eff. December 31, 2014.

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