7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions related to the calculation of penalties for unlawful outdoor
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ allows the Department of Transportation to issue a citation and levy a fine for a
14 person guilty of unlawful outdoor advertising;
15 ▸ amends provisions related to the calculation of penalties for unlawful outdoor
16 advertising, including:
17 • when to begin counting days on which a violation exists; and
18 • what days are omitted from a calculation based on changes in the sign found to
19 be in violation; and
20 ▸ makes technical changes.
21 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23 Other Special Clauses:
25 Utah Code Sections Affected:
27 72-7-508, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 260
29 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30 Section 1. Section 72-7-508 is amended to read:
31 72-7-508. Unlawful outdoor advertising -- Adjudicative proceedings -- Judicial
32 review -- Costs of removal -- Civil and criminal liability for damaging regulated signs --
33 Immunity for Department of Transportation.
34 (1) Outdoor advertising is unlawful when:
35 (a) erected after May 9, 1967, contrary to the provisions of this chapter;
36 (b) a permit is not obtained as required by this part;
37 (c) a false or misleading statement has been made in the application for a permit that
38 was material to obtaining the permit;
39 (d) the sign for which a permit was issued is not in a reasonable state of repair, is
40 unsafe, or is otherwise in violation of this part; or
41 (e) a sign in the outdoor advertising corridor is permitted by the local zoning authority
42 as an on-premise sign and the sign, from time to time or continuously, advertises an activity,
43 service, event, person, or product located on property other than the property on which the sign
44 is located.
45 (2) The establishment, operation, repair, maintenance, or alteration of any sign contrary
46 to this chapter is also a public nuisance.
47 (3) Except as provided in Subsections (4) and (10), in its enforcement of this section,
48 the department shall comply with the procedures and requirements of Title 63G, Chapter 4,
49 Administrative Procedures Act.
50 (4) (a) The district courts shall have jurisdiction to review by trial de novo all final
51 orders of the department under this part resulting from formal and informal adjudicative
53 (b) Venue for judicial review of final orders of the department shall be in the county in
54 which the sign is located.
55 (5) If the department is granted a judgment in an action brought under Subsection (4),
56 the department is entitled to have any nuisance abated and recover from the responsible person,
57 firm, or corporation, jointly and severally:
58 (a) the costs and expenses incurred in removing the sign; and
59 (b) (i) $500 for each day the sign was maintained following the expiration of 10 days
60 after notice of agency action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201;
61 (ii) $750 for each day the sign was maintained following the expiration of 40 days after
62 notice of agency action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201;
63 (iii) $1,000 for each day the sign was maintained following the expiration of 70 days
64 after notice of agency action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201; and
65 (iv) $1,500 for each day the sign was maintained following the expiration of 100 days
66 after notice of agency action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201.
67 (6) (a) Any person, partnership, firm, or corporation who vandalizes, damages, defaces,
68 destroys, or uses any sign controlled under this chapter without the owner's permission is liable
69 to the owner of the sign for treble the amount of damage sustained and all costs of court,
70 including a reasonable attorney's fee, and is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
71 (b) This Subsection (6) does not apply to the department, its agents, or employees if
72 acting to enforce this part.
73 (7) The following criteria shall be used for determining whether an existing sign within
74 an interstate outdoor advertising corridor has as its purpose unlawful off-premise outdoor
76 (a) whether the sign complies with this part;
77 (b) whether the premise includes an area:
78 (i) from which the general public is serviced according to normal industry practices for
79 organizations of that type; or
80 (ii) that is directly connected to or is involved in carrying out the activities and normal
81 industry practices of the advertised activities, services, events, persons, or products;
82 (c) whether the sign generates revenue:
83 (i) arising from the advertisement of activities, services, events, or products not
84 available on the premise according to normal industry practices for organizations of that type;
85 (ii) arising from the advertisement of activities, services, events, persons, or products
86 that are incidental to the principal activities, services, events, or products available on the
87 premise; and
88 (iii) including the following:
89 (A) money;
90 (B) securities;
91 (C) real property interest;
92 (D) personal property interest;
93 (E) barter of goods or services;
94 (F) promise of future payment or compensation; or
95 (G) forbearance of debt;
96 (d) whether the purveyor of the activities, services, events, persons, or products being
98 (i) carries on hours of operation on the premise comparable to the normal industry
99 practice for a business, service, or operation of that type, or posts the hours of operation on the
100 premise in public view;
101 (ii) has available utilities comparable to the normal industry practice for an entity of
102 that type; and
103 (iii) has a current valid business license or permit under applicable local ordinances,
104 state law, and federal law to conduct business on the premise upon which the sign is located;
105 (e) whether the advertisement is located on the site of any auxiliary facility that is not
106 essential to, or customarily used in, the ordinary course of business for the activities, services,
107 events, persons, or products being advertised; or
108 (f) whether the sign or advertisement is located on property that is not contiguous to a
109 property that is essential and customarily used for conducting the business of the activities,
110 services, events, persons, or products being advertised.
111 (8) The following do not qualify as a business under Subsection (7):
112 (a) public or private utility corridors or easements;
113 (b) railroad tracks;
114 (c) outdoor advertising signs or structures;
115 (d) vacant lots;
116 (e) transient or temporary activities; or
117 (f) storage of accessory products.
118 (9) The sign owner has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
119 the advertised activity is conducted on the premise.
120 (10) (a) (i) After issuing a written warning for a first offense of Subsection (1)(b) or
121 (e), the department may issue a citation to a person who has violated Subsection (1)(b) or (e).
122 (ii) If the department issues a citation as described in Subsection (10)(a)(i), the
123 department may impose a fine not to exceed $500.
124 (iii) A fine imposed under Subsection (10)(a)(ii) shall be deposited in the
125 Transportation Fund.
127 for a violation of Subsection [
128 years, the department may bring an action to enforce in any state court of competent
129 jurisdiction against a person, firm, or corporation that satisfies one or more of the following
131 (i) has a present ownership interest in the sign;
132 (ii) had an ownership interest in the sign on one or more of the days the sign was in
133 violation of Subsection [
134 (iii) has a present ownership interest in the property upon which the sign is located, or
135 in a unified commercial development as defined in Section 72-7-504.6;
136 (iv) had an ownership interest in the property upon which the sign is located, or in a
137 unified commercial development as defined in Section 72-7-504.6, on one or more of the days
138 the sign was in violation of Subsection [
139 (v) received or became entitled to receive compensation in any form for the unlawful
140 outdoor advertising; or
141 (vi) solicited the advertising.
143 (i) the provisions of Subsections (7) and (8) apply; and
144 (ii) the defendants have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
145 the advertising in question is lawful under this part.
147 the department is entitled to recover from the defendants, jointly and severally, $1,500 for each
148 day on which the sign was used for unlawful off-premises outdoor advertising.
149 (e) (i) Subject to Subsection (10)(e)(ii), for purposes of calculating the number of days
150 on which the sign was used for unlawful off-premises outdoor advertising as described in
151 Subsection (10)(d), the department shall count each day that the sign was maintained after the
152 first notice of agency action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201.
153 (ii) For purposes of calculating the number of days on which the sign was used for
154 unlawful off-premises outdoor advertising as described in Subsection (10)(d), if a sign was
155 modified, removed, disabled, or relocated after the receipt of notice of violation, and thereafter,
156 prior to judgment, was reinstalled, relocated, substituted, or reactivated in an unlawful manner,
157 the department shall count each day that the sign was maintained after the first notice of agency
158 action was filed and served under Section 63G-4-201.
159 (iii) The calculations described in Subsections (10)(e)(i) and (ii) are only applicable for
160 actions taken for violations of this Subsection (10) for which:
161 (A) the owner of the sign was never issued an off-premise outdoor advertising permit;
163 (B) at least one condition described in Subsection (7) exists.