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2015 Florida Statutes

F.S. 479.16
1479.16 Signs for which permits are not required.The following signs are exempt from the requirement that a permit for a sign be obtained under this chapter but are required to comply with s. 479.11(4)-(8), and the provisions of subsections (15)-(19) may not be implemented or continued if the Federal Government notifies the department that implementation or continuation will adversely affect the allocation of federal funds to the department:
(1) Signs erected on the premises of an establishment which consist primarily of the name of the establishment or identify the principal or accessory merchandise, services, activities, or entertainment sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished on the premises of the establishment and which comply with the lighting restrictions imposed under s. 479.11(5), or signs owned by a municipality or a county located on the premises of such municipality or county which display information regarding governmental services, activities, events, or entertainment. For purposes of this section, the following types of messages are not considered information regarding governmental services, activities, events, or entertainment:
(a) Messages that specifically reference any commercial enterprise.
(b) Messages that reference a commercial sponsor of any event.
(c) Personal messages.
(d) Political campaign messages.

If a sign located on the premises of an establishment consists principally of brand name or trade name advertising and the merchandise or service is only incidental to the principal activity, or if the owner of the establishment receives rental income from the sign, the sign is not exempt under this subsection.

(2) Signs erected, used, or maintained on a farm by the owner or lessee of such farm and relating solely to farm produce, merchandise, service, or entertainment sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished on such farm.
(3) Signs posted or displayed on real property by the owner or by the authority of the owner, stating that the real property is for sale or rent. However, if the sign contains any message not pertaining to the sale or rental of the real property, it is not exempt under this section.
(4) Official notices or advertisements posted or displayed on private property by or under the direction of any public or court officer in the performance of her or his official or directed duties or by trustees under deeds of trust or deeds of assignment or other similar instruments.
(5) Danger or precautionary signs relating to the premises on which they are located; forest fire warning signs erected under the authority of the Florida Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and signs, notices, or symbols erected by the United States Government under the direction of the United States Forest Service.
(6) Notices of any railroad, bridge, ferry, or other transportation or transmission company necessary for the direction or safety of the public.
(7) Signs, notices, or symbols for the information of aviators as to location, directions, and landings and conditions affecting safety in aviation erected or authorized by the department.
(8) Signs or notices measuring up to 8 square feet in area which are erected or maintained upon property and which state only the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises.
(9) Historical markers erected by authorized public authorities.
(10) Official traffic control signs and markers erected, caused to be erected, or approved by the department.
(11) Signs erected upon property warning the public against hunting and fishing or trespassing.
(12) Signs of up to 8 square feet which are owned by and relate to the facilities and activities of churches, civic organizations, fraternal organizations, charitable organizations, or units or agencies of government.
(13) Signs placed on benches, transit shelters, modular news racks, street light poles, public pay telephones, and waste receptacles, within the right-of-way, as provided for in s. 337.408 are exempt from this chapter.
(14) Signs relating exclusively to political campaigns.
(15) Signs measuring up to 16 square feet placed at a road junction with the State Highway System denoting only the distance or direction of a residence or farm operation, or, outside an incorporated area where a hardship is created because a small business is not visible from the road junction with the State Highway System, one sign measuring up to 16 square feet denoting only the name of the business and the distance and direction to the business.
(16) Signs placed by a local tourist-oriented business located within a rural area of opportunity as defined in s. 288.0656(2) which are:
(a) Not more than 8 square feet in size or more than 4 feet in height;
(b) Located only in rural areas on a facility that does not meet the definition of a limited access facility, as defined in s. 334.03;
(c) Located within 2 miles of the business location and at least 500 feet apart;
(d) Located only in two directions leading to the business; and
(e) Not located within the road right-of-way.

A business placing such signs must be at least 4 miles from any other business using this exemption and may not participate in any other directional signage program by the department.

(17) Signs measuring up to 32 square feet denoting only the distance or direction of a farm operation which are erected at a road junction with the State Highway System, but only during the harvest season of the farm operation for up to 4 months.
(18) Acknowledgment signs erected upon publicly funded school premises which relate to a specific public school club, team, or event and which are placed at least 1,000 feet from any other acknowledgment sign on the same side of the roadway. The sponsor information on an acknowledgment sign may constitute no more than 100 square feet of the sign. As used in this subsection, the term “acknowledgment sign” means a sign that is intended to inform the traveling public that a public school club, team, or event has been sponsored by a person, firm, or other entity.
(19) Displays erected upon a sports facility, the content of which is directly related to the facility’s activities or to the facility’s products or services. Displays must be mounted flush to the surface of the sports facility and must rely upon the building facade for structural support. As used in this subsection, the term “sports facility” means an athletic complex, athletic arena, or athletic stadium, including physically connected parking facilities, which is open to the public and has a seating capacity of 15,000 or more permanently installed seats.

If the exemptions in subsections (15)-(19) are not implemented or continued due to notification from the Federal Government that the allocation of federal funds to the department will be adversely impacted, the department shall provide notice to the sign owner that the sign must be removed within 30 days after receipt of the notice. If the sign is not removed within 30 days after receipt of the notice by the sign owner, the department may remove the sign, and the costs incurred in connection with the sign removal shall be assessed against and collected from the sign owner.

History.s. 14, ch. 20446, 1941; s. 4, ch. 26959, 1951; s. 2, ch. 65-397; s. 5, ch. 67-461; ss. 14, 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 7, ch. 71-971; s. 4, ch. 75-202; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 17, 25, 26, ch. 84-227; s. 76, ch. 85-81; s. 1, ch. 88-245; s. 28, ch. 91-220; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 45, ch. 94-237; s. 33, ch. 95-257; s. 1, ch. 97-89; s. 410, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 99-385; s. 29, ch. 2000-266; s. 21, ch. 2012-7; s. 11, ch. 2014-169; s. 18, ch. 2014-215; s. 39, ch. 2014-223; ss. 57, 58, ch. 2015-2.
1Note.As amended by s. 18, ch. 2014-215, and s. 39, ch. 2014-223. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Section 479.16 was also amended by s. 11, ch. 2014-169, and that version reads:

479.16 Signs for which permits are not required.Signs placed on benches, transit shelters, modular news racks, street light poles, public pay telephones, and waste disposal receptacles within the right-of-way, as provided under s. 337.408, are exempt from this chapter. The following signs are exempt from the requirement that a permit be obtained under this chapter but must comply with s. 479.11(4)-(8):

(1) Signs erected on the premises of an establishment which consist primarily of the name of the establishment or identify the principal or accessory merchandise, services, activities, or entertainment sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished on the premises of the establishment and which comply with the lighting restrictions imposed under s. 479.11(5), or signs owned by a municipality or county located on the premises of such municipality or county which display information regarding government services, activities, events, or entertainment. For purposes of this section, the following types of messages shall not be considered information regarding government services, activities, events, or entertainment:

(a) Messages that specifically reference any commercial enterprise.

(b) Messages that reference a commercial sponsor of any event.

(c) Personal messages.

(d) Political campaign messages.

If a sign located on the premises of an establishment consists principally of brand name or trade name advertising and the merchandise or service is only incidental to the principal activity, or if the owner of the establishment receives rental income from the sign, the sign is not exempt under this subsection.

(2) Signs erected, used, or maintained on a farm by the owner or lessee of such farm and relating solely to farm produce, merchandise, service, or entertainment sold, produced, manufactured, or furnished on such farm.

(3) Signs posted or displayed on real property by the owner or by the authority of the owner, stating that the real property is for sale or rent. However, if the sign contains any message not pertaining to the sale or rental of the real property, it is not exempt under this section.

(4) Official notices or advertisements posted or displayed on private property by or under the direction of any public or court officer in the performance of her or his official or directed duties or by trustees under deeds of trust or deeds of assignment or other similar instruments.

(5) Danger or precautionary signs relating to the premises on which they are located; forest fire warning signs erected under the authority of the Florida Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and signs, notices, or symbols erected by the United States Government under the direction of the United States Forestry Service.

(6) Notices of any railroad, bridge, ferry, or other transportation or transmission company necessary for the direction or safety of the public.

(7) Signs, notices, or symbols for the information of aviators as to location, directions, and landings and conditions affecting safety in aviation erected or authorized by the department.

(8) Signs or notices measuring up to 8 square feet in area which are erected or maintained upon property and state only the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises.

(9) Historical markers erected by authorized public authorities.

(10) Official traffic control signs and markers erected, caused to be erected, or approved by the department.

(11) Signs erected upon property warning the public against hunting and fishing or trespassing.

(12) Signs of up to 8 square feet which are owned by and relate to the facilities and activities of churches, civic organizations, fraternal organizations, charitable organizations, or units or agencies of government.

(13) Signs relating exclusively to political campaigns.

(14) Signs measuring up to 16 square feet placed at a road junction with the State Highway System denoting only the distance or direction of a residence or farm operation, or, outside an incorporated area where a hardship is created because a small business is not visible from the road junction with the State Highway System, one sign measuring up to 16 square feet, denoting only the name of the business and the distance and direction to the business.

(15) Signs placed by a local tourist-oriented business located within a rural area of opportunity as defined in s. 288.0656(2) which are:

(a) Not more than 8 square feet in size or not more than 4 feet in height;

(b) Located only in rural areas on a facility that does not meet the definition of a limited access facility as defined by department rule;

(c) Located within 2 miles of the business location and at least 500 feet apart;

(d) Located only in two directions leading to the business; and

(e) Not located within the road right-of-way.

A business placing such signs must be at least 4 miles from any other business using this exemption and may not participate in any other directional signage program by the department.

(16) Signs measuring up to 32 square feet denoting only the distance or direction of a farm operation which are erected at a road junction with the State Highway System, but only during the harvest season of the farm operation for a period not to exceed 4 months.

(17) Acknowledgment signs erected upon publicly funded school premises which relate to a specific public school club, team, or event which are placed at least 1,000 feet from any other acknowledgment signs on the same side of the roadway. The sponsor information on an acknowledgment sign may constitute no more than 100 square feet of the sign. For purposes of this subsection, the term “acknowledgment sign” means a sign that is intended to inform the traveling public that a public school club, team, or event has been sponsored by a person, firm, or other entity.

(18) Displays erected upon a sports facility the content of which is directly related to the facility’s activities or where products or services offered on the sports facility property are present. Displays must be mounted flush to the surface of the sports facility and must rely upon the building facade for structural support. For purposes of this subsection, the term “sports facility” means an athletic complex, athletic arena, or athletic stadium, including physically connected parking facilities, which is open to the public and has a permanently installed seating capacity of 15,000 people or more.

The exemptions in subsections (14)-(18) may not be implemented or continued if the Federal Government notifies the department that implementation or continuation will adversely impact the allocation of federal funds to the department. If the exemptions in subsections (14)-(18) are not implemented or continued due to notification from the Federal Government that the allocation of federal funds to the department will be adversely impacted, the department shall provide notice to the sign owner that the sign must be removed within 30 days. If the sign is not removed within 30 days after receipt of the notice by the sign owner, the department may remove the sign, and the costs incurred in connection with the sign removal shall be assessed against and collected from the sign owner.