18.6.231 OFF-PREMISE SIGN STANDARDS
(1) Standards for off-premise permitted signs are found at 75-15-113, MCA, and include the additional standards in this rule, unless otherwise controlled by standards for the specific type of sign (church and service clubs, directional, cultural, noncommercial, or official) as found in these rules.
(2) Off-premise permitted signs on controlled routes must comply with the following spacing requirements:
(a) signs adjacent to an interstate highway or limited-access primary highway must be a minimum of 500 feet apart on the same side of the roadway;
(b) signs adjacent to primary highways must be a minimum of 300 feet apart on the same side of the roadway;
(c) signs, whether or not visible to the main traveled way of the interstate system or other controlled route, must not be located within the limits of a grade separated interchange, including its entrance or exit roadways. The limits of an interchange shall include 500 feet beyond the beginning or ending of the gore, or pavement widening, for each entrance or exit roadway, along the controlled route and all interconnecting roadways;
(d) signs, whether or not visible to the main traveled way of a controlled route, must not be located within 500 feet of any of an intersection, intersecting roadway, junction, property driveway, or connecting roadways with approaching or merging traffic in rural areas, or within 140 feet of an intersection, intersecting roadway, junction, property driveway, or connecting roadways with approaching or merging traffic in cities or towns;
(e) signs must not be located within 500 feet of any of the following that are adjacent to the controlled route unless the signs are in an incorporated area:
(i) public parks;
(ii) public forests;
(iii) public playgrounds; or
(iv) scenic areas designated as such by the department or other state agency having and exercising this authority;
(f) official and on-premise signs shall not be counted nor shall measurements be made from them for purposes of determining compliance with off-premise sign spacing requirements;
(g) the minimum distance between signs shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the signs;
(h) multi-faced signs shall be considered as a single sign or structure.
(i) side-by-side signs on individual structures are considered as two signs for both spacing and permit requirements.
(3) Off-premise permitted signs on controlled routes must comply with the following size requirements:
(a) signs, including the total number of sign faces facing the same direction, must not exceed 672 square feet in area, including border and trim, but excluding base or apron, supports, or other structural members;
(b) signs must not exceed 48 feet in length;
(c) signs must not exceed 30 feet in height, as measured from a right angle from the surface of the roadway at the centerline of the controlled route, or from a point on the sign structure which is at the same elevation as the crown of the roadway to the top of the highest sign face;
(d) signs within 500 feet of any intersection, intersecting roadway, junction, property driveways, approaching or merging traffic must be erected with the height above ground level (HAGL) of not less than 8 feet.
(4) Off-premise permitted signs on controlled routes which have any of the following characteristics shall not be erected:
(a) signs advertising activities that are illegal under state or federal laws, rules, or regulations in effect at the location of such signs or at the location of such activities;
(b) illegal, destroyed, abandoned, or discontinued signs;
(c) signs that are not clean and in good repair;
(d) signs that are not securely affixed to a substantial structure;
(e) signs which attempt or appear to attempt to direct the movement of traffic or which interfere with, imitate, or resemble any official traffic sign, signal, or device;
(f) signs that include directions or directional elements (e.g., an arrow indicating a turn) in locations which are so close to a turning point there is insufficient time to signal and turn safely;
(g) signs which prevent the driver of a vehicle from having a clear and unobstructed view of at-grade intersections, junctions, property driveways, approaching or merging traffic, official traffic control signs, or other traffic control devices;
(h) signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights;
(i) signs which have lights that change intensity or color, lasers, strobe lights, or other lights with stroboscopic effect;
(j) signs which use lighting in any way unless it is so effectively shielded as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way of the highway, or is of such low intensity or brilliance as to not cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or to otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle;
(k) signs which move or have any animated or moving parts;
(l) signs which are erected or maintained upon fences, power poles, traffic signal poles or boxes, street lights, trees, or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features;
(m) signs located within ten feet of a property line of a residential zoning district or an existing residential use which do not aim the light fixture away from the property line, residential use area, or right-of-way line and shield the side closest to the property line, residential use area, or right-of-way line so that the light fixture illuminates only the face of the sign;
(n) roof signs, inflatable signs, snipe signs, banners, pennants, wind-operated devices, sandwich signs, moving signs, freestanding signs, flashing signs, beacon light signs with moving or alternating or traveling lights;
(o) signs located in a scenic area or parkland area;
(p) signs located within government owned right-of-way limits, except for specific information signs and tourist oriented directional signs under 60-5-501, MCA.
History: 75-15-121, MCA; IMP, 75-15-113, 75-15-121, MCA; NEW, Eff. 12/8/75; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 1855, Eff. 7/4/96; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 2476, Eff. 11/27/08; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 185, Eff. 1/27/12.