468-66-030  <<  468-66-050 >>   468-66-200

Sign classifications and specific provisions.

Signs shall be classified and restricted to the provisions following:
(1) Type 1 - Directional or other official signs and notices. Directional or other official signs and notices may be erected and maintained on private property or public property, other than state highway right of way, for the purposes of carrying out an official duty or responsibility. The signs may only be installed by public offices or public agencies within their territorial or zoning jurisdiction and shall follow federal, state, or local law.
(a) Type 1(a) - Directional sign. A directional sign may only be installed in accordance with the provisions following:
(i) Publicly or privately owned places - Directional signs for publicly or privately owned places that feature natural phenomena; historical, cultural, scientific, or educational opportunities; areas of scenic beauty, or outdoor recreation areas:
• Publicly owned places - Directional signs for public places owned or operated by federal, state, or local government, or their agencies;
• Privately owned places - Directional signs for nonprofit privately owned places that feature scenic attractions. The attractions must be nationally or regionally known, or of outstanding interest to travelers.
(ii) A sign message shall be limited to identification of the activity or attraction and directional information. Directional information is limited to that which helps the motorist locate the activity, such as providing mileage to the activity, highway route or exit numbers.
(iii) Descriptive words, phrases, and photographic or pictorial representations of the activity or attraction are prohibited.
(iv) Type 1(a) signs shall not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim but excluding supports.
(v) The department must approve the proposed installation location.
(vi) Along the interstate system and other limited access highways having grade separations (interchanges), a sign shall not be located within two thousand feet of an interchange or rest area, measured from the ramp physical gore, or within two thousand feet of a parkland or scenic area.
(vii) Type 1(a) signs shall not be spaced closer than one mile apart.
(viii) Visible to a state route approaching an activity or attraction, a maximum of three signs per direction of travel are allowed for each activity or attraction.
(ix) Type 1(a) signs located along the interstate system shall be within seventy-five air miles of the activity or attraction.
(x) Type 1(a) signs located along the primary and scenic systems shall be within fifty air miles of the activity or attraction.
(b) Type 1(b) - Official sign. An official sign may be installed subject to the provisions following:
(i) Type 1(b) signs may only be erected and maintained by public offices or public agencies.
(ii) Type 1(b) signs may only be located within the governing jurisdiction of the public office or public agency.
(iii) Type 1(b) signs shall follow federal, state, or local law.
(iv) Type 1(b) sign message content is limited to providing information that furthers an official duty or responsibility.
(v) Type 1(b) signs shall not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim but excluding supports.
(vi) Type 1(b) signs may be historical markers authorized by federal, state, and local law.
(vii) Type 1(b) signs are not regulated by the act with regard to visibility to highways, zoning requirements, number of signs, or spacing.
(c) Type 1(c) - Service activity sign. A service activity sign may be installed subject to the provisions following:
(i) Type 1(c) signs shall contain only the name of a nonprofit organization, its address, and the time of its meeting or service.
(ii) Type 1(c) signs shall not exceed eight square feet in area.
(iii) Type 1(c) signs are not regulated by the act with regard to visibility to highways, zoning requirements, number of signs, or spacing.
(2) Type 2 - For sale or lease sign. A Type 2 sign may only advertise the sale or lease of the parcel of real property upon which the sign is located. The name of the owner of the property offered for sale or lease, or the owner's agent and phone number shall not be displayed more conspicuously than the words "for sale" or "for lease." No other message may be displayed on the sign.
(a) Type 2 signs shall not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim but excluding supports.
(b) Not more than one Type 2 sign may be installed that is visible to traffic proceeding in any one direction on an interstate, primary, or scenic system highway.
(c) The act does not regulate Type 2 signs with regard to zoning requirements or spacing.
(3) Type 3 - On-premise signs.
(a) Type 3(a) - On-premise sign. A Type 3(a) on-premise sign may only advertise an activity conducted on the property upon which the sign is located.
(i) A Type 3(a) on-premise sign shall be limited to advertising the business or the owner, or the products or services offered on the property. A sign consisting mainly of a brand name, trade name, product or service incidental to the main products or services offered on the property, or a sign bringing rental income to the property, is not an on-premise sign.
(ii) A Type 3(a) on-premise sign more than fifty feet from the advertised activity may not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim but excluding supports. The act does not regulate the size of Type 3(a) on-premise signs located within fifty feet of the advertised activity.
(iii) A Type 3(a) on-premise sign located at a shopping center, mall, or business combination is not authorized more than fifty feet from the individual activity it advertises, unless it is installed together with a Type (3)(b) business complex on-premise sign as described in (b)(i) of this subsection.
(b) Type 3(b) - Business complex on-premise sign. A Type 3(b) business complex on-premise sign may display the name of a shopping center, mall, or business combination.
(i) Where a business complex erects a Type 3(b) on-premise sign, the sign structure may display additional individual business signs identifying each of the businesses conducted on the premises. A Type 3(b) on-premise sign structure may also have attached a display area, such as a manually changeable copy panel, reader board, or electronically changeable message center, for advertising on-premise activities and/or presenting public service information.
(ii) Type 3(b) on-premise signs are not regulated by the act with regard to size. Any Type 3(a) on-premise sign and any display area, installed together with a Type 3(b) on-premise sign, may not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area, including border and trim.
(c) Type 3(c) - Future site on-premise sign. A Type 3(c) future site on-premise sign may only display the name of a business activity, or other activity of interest to motorists, planned for the property upon which the sign is located and the anticipated opening date of such activity.
(i) The owner, or owner's representative, shall by letter notify the department at least thirty days prior to the installation of the proposed Type 3(c) future site on-premise sign. Said notice shall include the location, sign message, and installation date.
(ii) Type 3(c) future site on-premise signs may remain until the business activity is operational, but shall not exceed one year from the planned installation date. The sign must be removed at the end of one year after the planned installation date if the business activity is not yet operational.
(iii) Type 3(c) future site on-premise signs shall not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area.
(d) Type 3(d) - Temporary political campaign sign. A Type 3(d) temporary political campaign sign may express a property owner's endorsement of a political candidate or ballot issue.
(i) Type 3(d) temporary political campaign signs are limited to a maximum size of thirty-two square feet.
(ii) Type 3(d) temporary political campaign signs must be removed within ten days after an election. After primary elections, temporary political campaign signs endorsing a successful candidate may remain up to ten days after the succeeding general election.
(e) Not more than one Type 3(a) or 3(b) sign, visible to traffic proceeding in any one direction on an interstate system highway; on a primary system highway outside an incorporated city or town or commercial or industrial area; or on a scenic system highway, may be permitted more than fifty feet from the advertised activity. Not more than one Type 3(c) sign may be installed visible to traffic proceeding in any one direction on an interstate system highway; on a primary system highway outside an incorporated city or town or commercial or industrial area; or on a scenic system highway. The act does not regulate Type 3(d) signs with regard to the number of signs installed, visibility from highways, zoning requirements, or spacing.
(i) For Type 3(a) on-premise signs, the fifty-foot distance from the advertised activity shall be measured from the sign to the nearest portion of that building, storage, or other structure or processing area, which is the most regularly used and essential to the conduct of the advertised activity as determined solely by the department.
(ii) For Type 3(b) on-premise signs, the fifty-foot distance from the advertised activity may be measured in the same manner as for Type 3(a) on-premise signs, or may be measured fifty feet from the nearest portion of a combined parking area.
(f) A Type 3(a) or 3(b) on-premise sign more than fifty feet from the advertised activity shall not be erected or maintained at a greater distance from the advertised activity than one of the options following, as applicable, selected by the owner of the business being advertised:
(i) One hundred fifty feet measured along the edge of the protected highway from the nearest edge of the main entrance to the activity advertised;
(ii) One hundred fifty feet from any outside wall of the main building of the advertised activity; or
(iii) Fifty feet from any outside edge of a regularly used parking lot maintained by, and contiguous to, the advertised activity.
(g) Electronic signs may be used only as Type 3 on-premise signs and/or to present public service information, as follows:
(i) Advertising messages on electronic signboards may contain words, phrases, sentences, symbols, trademarks, and logos. A single message or a message segment must have a static display time of at least two seconds after moving onto the signboard, with all segments of the total message to be displayed within ten seconds. A one-segment message may remain static on the signboard with no duration limit.
(ii) Displays may travel horizontally or scroll vertically onto electronic signboards, but must hold in a static position for two seconds after completing the travel or scroll.
(iii) Displays shall not appear to flash, undulate, or pulse, or portray explosions, fireworks, flashes of light, or blinking or chasing lights. Displays shall not appear to move toward or away from the viewer, expand or contract, bounce, rotate, spin, twist, or otherwise portray graphics or animation as it moves onto, is displayed on, or leaves the signboard.
(iv) Electronic signs requiring more than four seconds to change from one single message display to another shall be turned off during the change interval.
(v) No electronic sign lamp may be illuminated to a degree of brightness that is greater than necessary for adequate visibility. In no case may the brightness exceed 8,000 nits or equivalent candelas during daylight hours, or 1,000 nits or equivalent candelas between dusk and dawn. Signs found to be too bright shall be adjusted as directed by the department.
(h) The act does not regulate Type 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), and 3(d) on-premise signs located along primary system highways inside an incorporated city or town or a commercial or industrial area.
(4) Type 4 - Off-premise signs; and
(5) Type 5 - Off-premise signs. Type 4 off-premise signs are distinguishable from Type 5 off-premise signs only by message content. Type 4 off-premise sign messages are those that do not qualify as Type 5 sign messages described in (b) of this subsection.
(a) A Type 4 sign shall be located within twelve air miles of the advertised activity. A Type 4 sign that displays any trade name which refers to or identifies any service rendered or product sold, used, or otherwise handled more than twelve air miles from such sign shall not be permitted unless the name of the advertised activity, which is within twelve air miles of such sign, is displayed as conspicuously as such trade name.
(b) A Type 5 sign displays a message of specific interest to the traveling public. On Type 5 signs, only information about public places operated by federal, state, or local governments, natural phenomena, historic sites, areas of natural scenic beauty or outdoor recreation, and places for lodging, camping, eating, and vehicle service and repair is deemed to be in the specific interest of the traveling public. A trade name is authorized on a Type 5 sign only if it identifies or represents a place of specific interest to the traveling public; or identifies vehicle service, equipment, parts, accessories, fuels, oils, or lubricants being offered for sale at such place. The display of any other trade name is not permitted on Type 5 signs.
(c) Type 4 and Type 5 signs are restricted in size to the following:
(i) Visible to interstate highways, signs may not exceed twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one hundred fifty square feet in area including border and trim but excluding supports.
(ii) Visible to primary highways, the maximum area for any one sign, except as provided in (c)(iii) of this subsection, shall be six hundred seventy-two square feet with a twenty-five-foot maximum height and a fifty-foot maximum length, including the border and trim but excluding the base or apron, supports, and structural members. Cut-outs and extensions may add up to twenty percent of additional sign area.
(iii) Each sign face of a double-faced (flanking and side-by-side) sign may not exceed three hundred twenty-five square feet.
(d) The spacing of Type 4 and Type 5 signs along interstate highways and visible to traffic traveling in one direction shall be restricted as follows:
(i) Type 4 and Type 5 signs visible to traffic approaching an intersection of the main-traveled way of an interstate highway and an exit roadway may not exceed the number following:
Distance from intersection
Number of signs
0 - 2 miles. . . .
0
2 - 5 miles. . . .
6
More than 5 miles. . . .
Average of one sign per mile
The specified distances shall be measured to the nearest point of intersection of the traveled way of the exit roadway and the main-traveled way of the interstate highway.
(ii) Not more than two such signs may be permitted within any mile distance and no such signs may be permitted less than one thousand feet apart.
(iii) Type 1, 2, and 3 signs shall not be considered in determining compliance with the above spacing requirements.
(iv) Type 4 and Type 5 signs may not be permitted adjacent to interstate highway right of way within the limits of an interchange, including its entrance or exit roadways.
(v) Type 4 and Type 5 signs visible to interstate highway traffic, which has passed an entrance roadway, may not be permitted within one thousand feet of the point where the entrance roadway intersects with the interstate highway. The distance shall be measured from the intersection point farthest from the preceding interchange.
(vi) Not more than one Type 4 or Type 5 sign, advertising activities conducted as a single enterprise or giving information about a single place, may be erected or maintained in such manner as to be visible to traffic moving in any one direction on any one interstate highway.
(e) The spacing of Type 4 and Type 5 signs visible to primary highways shall be restricted as follows:
(i) On limited access highways, no two signs may be spaced less than one thousand feet apart, and no sign may be located within three thousand feet of the center of a grade separated interchange, a safety rest area, or an information center, or within one thousand feet of an at-grade intersection. Not more than a total of five sign structures may be permitted per mile, including both sides of the highway. Double-faced (flanking or side-by-side) signs are prohibited.
(ii) On nonlimited access highways inside the boundaries of incorporated cities or towns, not more than a total of four sign structures, including both sides of the highway, may be permitted within a space of six hundred sixty feet or between platted intersecting streets or highways. There shall also be a minimum of one hundred feet between sign structures, including both sides of the highway.
(iii) On nonlimited access highways outside the boundaries of incorporated cities or towns, the minimum spacing between sign structures on each side of the highway shall be five hundred feet.
(iv) Back-to-back signs and V-type signs shall be considered one sign structure.
(f) The minimum space between sign structures located on the same side of the highway shall be measured between two points along the nearest edge of pavement. The measurement points are established at the origin of lines extending perpendicular from the edge of pavement to the apparent centers of the sign structures.
(g) The minimum space between sign structures located on opposite sides of the highway shall be measured in the applicable manner following:
(i) Along tangent sections, sign spacing is measured between two points along the edge of pavement in the increasing milepost direction of travel. One measurement point is established at the origin of a line extending perpendicular from the edge of pavement to the apparent center of the sign structure located in the increasing direction of travel. The second measurement point is established at the origin of a line extending perpendicular from the edge of pavement to the apparent center of the sign structure located in the decreasing direction of travel.
(ii) Along horizontal curve sections, sign spacing is measured between two points on the edge of pavement along the arc on the inside of the curve. One measurement point is established at the origin of a line extending perpendicular from the edge of pavement to the apparent center of the sign structure located along the highway in the increasing milepost direction of travel. The second measurement point is established at the origin of a line extending perpendicular from the edge of pavement to the apparent center of the sign structure located along the highway in the decreasing milepost direction of travel.
(h) Type 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 signs shall not be considered in determining compliance with the above spacing requirements.
(i) Type 4 and Type 5 signs may be permitted within commercial and industrial areas adjacent to interstate and primary highways, provided that spacing is available as specified in (d) and (e) of this subsection.
(j) Type 4 and Type 5 signs are not permitted visible to the scenic system.
(k) Pursuant to the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, a National Scenic Byway Demonstration Project is established on State Route 101, from the Astoria/Megler Bridge to Fowler Street in Raymond and from the junction with State Route 109 near Queets to the junction with State Route 5 near Olympia. No new Type 4 or Type 5 signs may be permitted within the limits of this project. Type 4 or Type 5 signs installed prior to July 25, 1993, may remain as nonconforming signs.
(6) Type 6 - Landmark signs.
(a) Type 6 signs shall have been lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, and have historic or artistic significance, including signs on farm structures or natural surfaces.
(b) Historic or artistic significance shall be determined by the department and approved by the Federal Highway Administration.
(c) Within the limits of the National Scenic Byway Demonstration Project identified in (5)(h) of this subsection, Type 6 signs may remain as nonconforming signs.
(7) Type 7 - Public service signs located on school bus stop shelters. Type 7 signs may display safety slogans or messages, and identify the donor, sponsor, or contributor of a school bus stop shelter. No other message(s) may be displayed.
(a) Safety slogans or messages must occupy at least sixty percent of the sign area, and appear more predominant than the name of the donor, sponsor, or contributor.
(b) Type 7 signs may be located on school bus stop shelters only as authorized or approved by state law or regulation, or city or county ordinance or resolution, and may be installed visible to primary and scenic system highways.
(c) Type 7 signs may not exceed thirty-two square feet. A sign shall not protrude above the roofline or beyond the sides of the school bus stop shelter.
(d) Not more than one sign on each shelter may face in any one direction.
(e) The act does not regulate Type 7 signs with regard to zoning requirements or spacing between Type 7 signs and other types of signs.
(8) Type 8 - Temporary agricultural directional signs. Type 8 signs provide directional information to places of business having seasonal agricultural products for sale.
(a) Type 8 signs may display the business name, product(s) for sale, travel direction, and travel distance to the nearest mile from the state highway to the business.
(b) Type 8 signs may not exceed thirty-two square feet.
(c) There shall be at least three hundred feet spacing between Type 8 signs.
(d) Not more than two signs advertising a place of temporary agricultural business may be installed visible to traffic proceeding in one direction of travel on any one state route.
(e) Premises on which the seasonal agricultural products are sold must be within fifteen air miles of the state highway.
(f) Type 8 signs may be posted only during the period of time the seasonal agricultural product(s) is being sold.
(g) Any necessary supplemental follow-through signs along city streets or county roads must be installed before the Type 8 signs may be installed visible to the state highway.
(h) The signs may be installed visible to primary system highways outside incorporated cities or towns, and scenic system highways.
(i) Type 8 signs may not be installed visible to interstate highways, including interstate highways that are also part of the scenic system, or visible to primary system highways within incorporated cities or towns.
(j) The act does not regulate Type 8 signs with regard to zoning requirements or spacing between Type 8 signs and other types of signs.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.120. WSR 14-22-055, § 468-66-050, filed 10/30/14, effective 11/30/14. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW and Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations part 750. WSR 06-03-005, § 468-66-050, filed 1/4/06, effective 2/4/06. Statutory Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW and RCW 47.42.060. WSR 99-24-083 (Order 195), § 468-66-050, filed 11/30/99, effective 12/31/99. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW and RCW 47.01.101(5). WSR 94-12-049 (Order 144), § 468-66-050, filed 5/27/94, effective 6/27/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. WSR 88-22-002 (Order 116), § 468-66-050, filed 10/20/88. Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.42 RCW. WSR 85-17-012 (Order 96), § 468-66-050, filed 8/12/85. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.42.060. WSR 80-05-055 (Order 55), § 468-66-050, filed 4/18/80. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-66-050, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-40-040.]
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