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The Florida Senate

2019 Florida Statutes

F.S. 479.024
479.024 Commercial and industrial parcels.Signs shall be permitted by the department only in commercial or industrial zones, as determined by the local government, in compliance with chapter 163, unless otherwise provided in this chapter. Commercial and industrial zones are those areas appropriate for commerce, industry, or trade, regardless of how those areas are labeled.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Parcel” means the property where the sign is located or is proposed to be located.
(b) “Utilities” includes all privately, publicly, or cooperatively owned lines, facilities, and systems for producing, transmitting, or distributing communications, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, water, steam, waste, and stormwater not connected with the highway drainage, and other similar commodities.
(2) The determination as to zoning by the local government for the parcel must meet all of the following criteria:
(a) The parcel is comprehensively zoned and includes commercial or industrial uses as allowable uses.
(b) The parcel can reasonably accommodate a commercial or industrial use under the future land use map of the comprehensive plan and land use development regulations, as follows:
1. Sufficient utilities are available to support commercial or industrial development; and
2. The size, configuration, and public access of the parcel are sufficient to accommodate a commercial or industrial use, given the requirements in the comprehensive plan and land development regulations for vehicular access, onsite circulation, building setbacks, buffering, parking, and other applicable standards or the parcel consists of railroad tracks or minor sidings abutting commercial or industrial property that meets the criteria of this subsection.
(c) The parcel is not being used exclusively for noncommercial or nonindustrial uses.
(3) If a local government has not designated zoning through land development regulations in compliance with chapter 163 but has designated the parcel under the future land use map of the comprehensive plan for uses that include commercial or industrial uses, the parcel shall be considered an unzoned commercial or industrial area. For a permit to be issued for a sign in an unzoned commercial or industrial area, there must be three or more distinct commercial or industrial activities within 1,600 feet of each other, with at least one of the commercial or industrial activities located on the same side of the highway as, and within 800 feet of, the sign location. Multiple commercial or industrial activities enclosed in one building shall be considered one use if all activities have only shared building entrances.
(4) For purposes of this section, certain uses and activities may not be independently recognized as commercial or industrial, including, but not limited to:
(a) Signs.
(b) Agricultural, forestry, ranching, grazing, farming, and related activities, including, but not limited to, wayside fresh produce stands.
(c) Transient or temporary activities.
(d) Activities not visible from the main-traveled way, unless a department transportation facility is the only cause for the activity not being visible.
(e) Activities conducted more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way.
(f) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence.
(g) Railroad tracks and minor sidings, unless the tracks and sidings are abutted by a commercial or industrial property that meets the criteria in subsection (2).
(h) Communication towers.
(i) Public parks, public recreation services, and governmental uses and activities that take place in a structure that serves as the permanent public meeting place for local, state, or federal boards, commissions, or courts.
(5) If the local government has indicated that the proposed sign location is on a parcel that is in a commercial or industrial zone but the department finds that it is not, the department shall notify the sign applicant in writing of its determination.
(6) An applicant whose application for a permit is denied may request, within 30 days after the receipt of the notification of intent to deny, an administrative hearing pursuant to chapter 120 for a determination of whether the parcel is located in a commercial or industrial zone. Upon receipt of such request, the department shall notify the local government that the applicant has requested an administrative hearing pursuant to chapter 120.
(7) If the department determines in a final order that the parcel does not meet the permitting conditions in this section and a sign exists on the parcel, the applicant shall remove the sign within 30 days after the date of the order. The applicant is responsible for all sign removal costs.
(8) If the Federal Highway Administration reduces funds that would otherwise be apportioned to the department due to a local government’s failure to comply with this section, the department shall reduce transportation funding apportioned to the local government by an equivalent amount.
History.s. 5, ch. 2014-215; s. 26, ch. 2014-223.