Florida Senate - 2014                              CS for SB 218
       By the Committee on Transportation; and Senator Grimsley
       596-00650-14                                           2014218c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to transportation; amending s.
    3         337.403, F.S.; providing an exception for payment of
    4         certain utility work necessitated by a project on the
    5         State Highway System for municipally owned utilities
    6         or county-owned utilities located in rural areas of
    7         critical economic concern and authorizing the
    8         Department of Transportation to pay for such costs
    9         under certain circumstances; amending s. 479.16, F.S.;
   10         exempting certain signs from the provisions of ch.
   11         479, F.S.; exempting from permitting certain signs
   12         placed by tourist-oriented businesses, certain farm
   13         signs placed during harvest seasons, certain
   14         acknowledgement signs on publicly funded school
   15         premises, and certain displays on specific sports
   16         facilities; providing that certain provisions relating
   17         to the regulation of signs may not be implemented or
   18         continued if such actions will adversely impact the
   19         allocation of federal funds to the Department of
   20         Transportation; directing the department to notify a
   21         sign owner that the sign must be removed if federal
   22         funds are adversely impacted; authorizing the
   23         department to remove the sign and assess costs to the
   24         sign owner under certain circumstances; amending s.
   25         479.262, F.S.; clarifying provisions relating to the
   26         tourist-oriented directional sign program; limiting
   27         the placement of such signs to intersections on
   28         certain rural roads; prohibiting such signs in urban
   29         areas or at interchanges on freeways or expressways;
   30         providing an effective date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 337.403, Florida
   35  Statutes, is amended to read:
   36         337.403 Interference caused by relocation of utility;
   37  expenses.—
   38         (1) If a utility that is placed upon, under, over, or along
   39  any public road or publicly owned rail corridor is found by the
   40  authority to be unreasonably interfering in any way with the
   41  convenient, safe, or continuous use, or the maintenance,
   42  improvement, extension, or expansion, of such public road or
   43  publicly owned rail corridor, the utility owner shall, upon 30
   44  days’ written notice to the utility or its agent by the
   45  authority, initiate the work necessary to alleviate the
   46  interference at its own expense except as provided in paragraphs
   47  (a)-(h) (a)-(g). The work must be completed within such
   48  reasonable time as stated in the notice or such time as agreed
   49  to by the authority and the utility owner.
   50         (a) If the relocation of utility facilities, as referred to
   51  in s. 111 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, Pub. L. No.
   52  84-627 627 of the 84th Congress, is necessitated by the
   53  construction of a project on the federal-aid interstate system,
   54  including extensions thereof within urban areas, and the cost of
   55  the project is eligible and approved for reimbursement by the
   56  Federal Government to the extent of 90 percent or more under the
   57  Federal Aid Highway Act, or any amendment thereof, then in that
   58  event the utility owning or operating such facilities shall
   59  perform any necessary work upon notice from the department, and
   60  the state shall pay the entire expense properly attributable to
   61  such work after deducting therefrom any increase in the value of
   62  a new facility and any salvage value derived from an old
   63  facility.
   64         (b) When a joint agreement between the department and the
   65  utility is executed for utility work to be accomplished as part
   66  of a contract for construction of a transportation facility, the
   67  department may participate in those utility work costs that
   68  exceed the department’s official estimate of the cost of the
   69  work by more than 10 percent. The amount of such participation
   70  is shall be limited to the difference between the official
   71  estimate of all the work in the joint agreement plus 10 percent
   72  and the amount awarded for this work in the construction
   73  contract for such work. The department may not participate in
   74  any utility work costs that occur as a result of changes or
   75  additions during the course of the contract.
   76         (c) When an agreement between the department and utility is
   77  executed for utility work to be accomplished in advance of a
   78  contract for construction of a transportation facility, the
   79  department may participate in the cost of clearing and grubbing
   80  necessary to perform such work.
   81         (d) If the utility facility was initially installed to
   82  exclusively serve the authority or its tenants, or both, the
   83  authority shall bear the costs of the utility work. However, the
   84  authority is not responsible for the cost of utility work
   85  related to any subsequent additions to that facility for the
   86  purpose of serving others.
   87         (e) If, under an agreement between a utility and the
   88  authority entered into after July 1, 2009, the utility conveys,
   89  subordinates, or relinquishes a compensable property right to
   90  the authority for the purpose of accommodating the acquisition
   91  or use of the right-of-way by the authority, without the
   92  agreement expressly addressing future responsibility for the
   93  cost of necessary utility work, the authority shall bear the
   94  cost of removal or relocation. This paragraph does not impair or
   95  restrict, and may not be used to interpret, the terms of any
   96  such agreement entered into before July 1, 2009.
   97         (f) If the utility is an electric facility being relocated
   98  underground in order to enhance vehicular, bicycle, and
   99  pedestrian safety and in which ownership of the electric
  100  facility to be placed underground has been transferred from a
  101  private to a public utility within the past 5 years, the
  102  department shall incur all costs of the necessary utility work.
  103         (g) An authority may bear the costs of utility work
  104  required to eliminate an unreasonable interference when the
  105  utility is not able to establish that it has a compensable
  106  property right in the particular property where the utility is
  107  located if:
  108         1. The utility was physically located on the particular
  109  property before the authority acquired rights in the property;
  110         2. The utility demonstrates that it has a compensable
  111  property right in all adjacent properties along the alignment of
  112  the utility; and
  113         3. The information available to the authority does not
  114  establish the relative priorities of the authority’s and the
  115  utility’s interests in the particular property.
  116         (h)If a municipally owned utility or county-owned utility
  117  is located in a rural area of critical economic concern, as
  118  defined in s. 288.0656(2), and the department determines that
  119  the utility is unable, and will not be able within the next 10
  120  years, to pay for the cost of utility work necessitated by a
  121  department project on the State Highway System, the department
  122  may pay, in whole or in part, the cost of such utility work
  123  performed by the department or its contractor.
  124         Section 2. Section 479.16, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  125  read:
  126         479.16 Signs for which permits are not required.—Signs
  127  placed on benches, transit shelters, modular news racks, street
  128  light poles, public pay telephones, and waste receptacles within
  129  the right-of-way, as provided under s. 337.408, are exempt from
  130  this chapter. The following signs are exempt from the
  131  requirement that a permit for a sign be obtained under the
  132  provisions of this chapter but must are required to comply with
  133  the provisions of s. 479.11(4)-(8):
  134         (1) Signs erected on the premises of an establishment,
  135  which signs consist primarily of the name of the establishment
  136  or which identify the principal or accessory merchandise,
  137  services, activities, or entertainment sold, produced,
  138  manufactured, or furnished on the premises of the establishment
  139  and which comply with the lighting restrictions imposed under
  140  department rule adopted pursuant to s. 479.11(5), or signs owned
  141  by a municipality or a county located on the premises of such
  142  municipality or such county which display information regarding
  143  government services, activities, events, or entertainment. For
  144  purposes of this section, the following types of messages shall
  145  not be considered information regarding government services,
  146  activities, events, or entertainment:
  147         (a) Messages that which specifically reference any
  148  commercial enterprise.
  149         (b) Messages that which reference a commercial sponsor of
  150  any event.
  151         (c) Personal messages.
  152         (d) Political campaign messages.
  154  If a sign located on the premises of an establishment consists
  155  principally of brand name or trade name advertising and the
  156  merchandise or service is only incidental to the principal
  157  activity, or if the owner of the establishment receives rental
  158  income from the sign, then the sign is not exempt under this
  159  subsection.
  160         (2) Signs erected, used, or maintained on a farm by the
  161  owner or lessee of such farm and relating solely to farm
  162  produce, merchandise, service, or entertainment sold, produced,
  163  manufactured, or furnished on such farm.
  164         (3) Signs posted or displayed on real property by the owner
  165  or by the authority of the owner, stating that the real property
  166  is for sale or rent. However, if the sign contains any message
  167  not pertaining to the sale or rental of the that real property,
  168  then it is not exempt under this section.
  169         (4) Official notices or advertisements posted or displayed
  170  on private property by or under the direction of any public or
  171  court officer in the performance of her or his official or
  172  directed duties, or by trustees under deeds of trust or deeds of
  173  assignment or other similar instruments.
  174         (5) Danger or precautionary signs relating to the premises
  175  on which they are located; forest fire warning signs erected
  176  under the authority of the Florida Forest Service of the
  177  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and signs,
  178  notices, or symbols erected by the United States Government
  179  under the direction of the United States Forestry Service.
  180         (6) Notices of any railroad, bridge, ferry, or other
  181  transportation or transmission company necessary for the
  182  direction or safety of the public.
  183         (7) Signs, notices, or symbols for the information of
  184  aviators as to location, directions, and landings and conditions
  185  affecting safety in aviation erected or authorized by the
  186  department.
  187         (8) Signs or notices measuring up to 8 square feet in area
  188  which are erected or maintained upon property and state stating
  189  only the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises
  190  and not exceeding 8 square feet in area.
  191         (9) Historical markers erected by duly constituted and
  192  authorized public authorities.
  193         (10) Official traffic control signs and markers erected,
  194  caused to be erected, or approved by the department.
  195         (11) Signs erected upon property warning the public against
  196  hunting and fishing or trespassing thereon.
  197         (12) Signs not in excess of up to 8 square feet which that
  198  are owned by and relate to the facilities and activities of
  199  churches, civic organizations, fraternal organizations,
  200  charitable organizations, or units or agencies of government.
  201         (13) Except that signs placed on benches, transit shelters,
  202  and waste receptacles as provided for in s. 337.408 are exempt
  203  from all provisions of this chapter.
  204         (13)(14) Signs relating exclusively to political campaigns.
  205         (14)(15) Signs measuring up to not in excess of 16 square
  206  feet placed at a road junction with the State Highway System
  207  denoting only the distance or direction of a residence or farm
  208  operation, or, outside an incorporated in a rural area where a
  209  hardship is created because a small business is not visible from
  210  the road junction with the State Highway System, one sign
  211  measuring up to not in excess of 16 square feet, denoting only
  212  the name of the business and the distance and direction to the
  213  business. The small-business-sign provision of this subsection
  214  does not apply to charter counties and may not be implemented if
  215  the Federal Government notifies the department that
  216  implementation will adversely affect the allocation of federal
  217  funds to the department.
  218         (15)Signs placed by a local tourist-oriented business
  219  located within a rural area of critical economic concern as
  220  defined under s. 288.0656(2) which are:
  221         (a)Not more than 8 square feet in size or more than 4 feet
  222  in height;
  223         (b) Located only in rural areas on a facility that does not
  224  meet the definition of a limited access facility as defined by
  225  department rule;
  226         (c)Located within 2 miles of the business location and at
  227  least 500 feet apart;
  228         (d)Located only in two directions leading to the business;
  229  and
  230         (e)Not located within the road right-of-way.
  232  A business placing such signs must be at least 4 miles from any
  233  other business using this exemption and may not participate in
  234  any other directional signage program by the department.
  235         (16)Signs measuring up to 32 square feet denoting only the
  236  distance or direction of a farm operation which are erected at a
  237  road junction with the State Highway System, but only during the
  238  harvest season of the farm operation for a period not to exceed
  239  4 months.
  240         (17)Acknowledgement signs erected upon publicly funded
  241  school premises which relate to a specific public school club,
  242  team, or event which are placed at least 1,000 feet from any
  243  other acknowledgement sign on the same side of the roadway. The
  244  sponsor information on an acknowledgement sign may constitute no
  245  more than 100 square feet of the sign. For purposes of this
  246  subsection, the term “acknowledgement sign” means a sign that is
  247  intended to inform the traveling public that a public school
  248  club, team, or event has been sponsored by a person, firm, or
  249  other entity.
  250         (18)Displays erected upon a sports facility the content of
  251  which is directly related to the facility’s activities or where
  252  products or services offered on the sports facility property are
  253  present. Displays must be mounted flush to the surface of the
  254  sports facility and must rely upon the building facade for
  255  structural support. For purposes of this subsection, the term
  256  “sports facility” means an athletic complex, athletic arena, or
  257  athletic stadium, including physically connected parking
  258  facilities, which is open to the public and has a permanent
  259  installed seating capacity of 15,000 people or more.
  261  The exemptions in subsections (14)-(18) may not be implemented
  262  or continued if the Federal Government notifies the department
  263  that implementation or continuation will adversely impact the
  264  allocation of federal funds to the department. If the exemptions
  265  in subsections (14)-(18) are not implemented or continued due to
  266  notification from the Federal Government that the allocation of
  267  federal funds to the department will be adversely impacted, the
  268  department shall provide notice to the sign owner that the sign
  269  must be removed within 30 days. If the sign is not removed
  270  within 30 days after receipt of the notice by the sign owner,
  271  the department may remove the sign, and the costs incurred in
  272  connection with the sign removal shall be assessed against and
  273  collected from the sign owner.
  274         Section 3. Section 479.262, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  275  read:
  276         479.262 Tourist-oriented directional sign program.—
  277         (1) A tourist-oriented directional sign program to provide
  278  directions to rural tourist-oriented businesses, services, and
  279  activities may be established for intersections on rural and
  280  conventional state, county, or municipal roads only in rural
  281  counties identified by criteria and population in s. 288.0656
  282  when approved and permitted by county or local government
  283  entities within their respective jurisdictional areas at
  284  intersections on rural and conventional state, county, or
  285  municipal roads. A county or local government that which issues
  286  permits for a tourist-oriented directional sign program is shall
  287  be responsible for sign construction, maintenance, and program
  288  operation in compliance with subsection (3) for roads on the
  289  state highway system and may establish permit fees sufficient to
  290  offset associated costs. A tourist-oriented directional sign may
  291  not be used on roads in urban areas or at interchanges on
  292  freeways or expressways.
  293         (2) This section does not create a proprietary or
  294  compensable interest in any tourist-oriented directional sign
  295  site or location for any permittee on any rural and conventional
  296  state, county, or municipal road roads. The department or the
  297  permitting entity may terminate permits or change locations of
  298  tourist-oriented directional sign sites as determined necessary
  299  for construction or improvement of transportation facilities or
  300  for improved traffic control or safety.
  301         (3) Tourist-oriented directional signs installed on the
  302  state highway system must shall comply with the requirements of
  303  the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and rules
  304  established by the department. The department may adopt rules to
  305  establish requirements for participant qualification,
  306  construction standards, location of sign sites, and other
  307  criteria necessary to implement this program.
  308         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.