Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Westfall (Koller)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on
Transportation by a vote of 10 to 6.

This substitute makes various changes regarding Missouri's
billboard laws and regulations.  The substitute:

(1)  Allows erection of directional signs for certain
educational institutions (Vatterott College);

(2)  Allows the use of temporary cutouts or extensions on
conforming or nonconforming billboard signs;

(3)  Allows existing stacked structures to be considered legal
nonconforming and allows them to be maintained.  Current law
treats structures built before August 28, 1999, as conforming
until they are replaced or rebuilt;

(4)  Requires a 1,000 foot spacing between sign structures on
all classes of highways.  Signs existing before the effective
date of the substitute will not have to meet these spacing
requirements and will be deemed legal nonconforming, provided
the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway
Administration allows the use of temporary cutouts and
extensions on nonconforming signs.  If cutouts and extensions
are not allowed, signs erected before the effective date of the
substitute will be considered conforming;

(5)  Excludes the area across the highway from a business as
included in the commercial area unless it also has commercial

(6)  Adopts an actual use standard for allowing signs in
commercially zoned areas.  Signs cannot be built on commercially
or industrially zoned property unless a commercial business is
located within 600 feet of the sign;

(7)  Modifies the standard for determining whether the primary
use of property is commercial or industrial.  In making this
determination, the commission will consider whether there is an
owner or employee on the premises for at least 20 hours per week;

(8)  Requires vegetation permits to be issued in accordance with
the commission's rules and regulations.  No permit is needed by
utility facilities and rural electric cooperatives to trim or
cut vegetation;

(9)  Allows any person to erect a business sign in an
agriculturally zoned area of a zoned county; and

(10)  Increases permit fees from $28.50 to $200 and inspection
fees from $28.50 to $50.

The substitute has an emergency clause.  (The Senate did not
adopt the emergency clause.)

FISCAL NOTE:  Not available at time of printing.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say the bill is an attempt to reach a
compromise on the billboard issue.  A 15% reduction in the
number of signs would be accomplished.

Testifying for the bill were Missouri Outdoor Advertising
Association; and Scenic Missouri.

OPPONENTS:  Those who oppose the bill say that the compromise
only benefits the largest sign companies that represent only 1%
of Missouri's different outdoor advertising permit holders.  It
also infringes on peoples property rights and promotes bad
economic conditions.  Many property owners and small sign
companies may be put out of business.

Testifying against the bill were Marcellous W. Kronk; Bill
Davis; Joe Spatafora, Jr.; Roger Bax; and Elliot-McDonald
Outdoor Advertising.

Robert Triplett, Legislative Analyst

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated November 26, 2001 at 11:47 am