Code of Alabama

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Modified:2016-10-25 08:20:50
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Body:Section 23-1-271


For the purposes of this division, unless otherwise indicated, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

(1) ADJACENT AREA. An area which is adjacent to and within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any interstate or primary highway, which 660 feet distance shall be measured horizontally along a line normal or perpendicular to the centerline of the highway.

(2) BUSINESS AREA. Any part of an adjacent area which is zoned for business, industrial, or commercial activities under the authority of any law of this state or not zoned, but which constitutes an unzoned commercial or industrial area as defined in this section.

(3) CENTERLINE OF THE HIGHWAY. A line equidistant from the edges of the median separating the main-traveled ways of a divided highway or the centerline of the main-traveled way of a nondivided highway.

(4) COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES FOR PURPOSES OF UNZONED INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL AREAS. Those activities generally recognized as commercial or industrial by local zoning authorities in this state, except that none of the following activities shall be considered commercial or industrial:

a. Outdoor advertising structures;

b. Agricultural, forestry, ranching, grazing, farming, and similar activities, including, but not limited to, wayside fresh produce stands;

c. Activities normally or regularly in operation less than three months of the year;

d. Transient or temporary activities;

e. Activities not visible from the main-traveled way;

f. Activities more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way;

g. Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence;

h. Railroad tracks and minor sidings; or

i. Areas which are predominantly used for residential purposes.

(5) DIRECTOR. The State Department of Transportation.

(6) ERECT. To construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way bring into being or establish, but it shall not include any of the foregoing activities when performed as an incident to the change of advertising message or customary maintenance of the sign structure.

(7) INFORMATION CENTER. An area or site established or maintained at safety rest areas for the purpose of informing the public of places of interest within the state and providing such other information as the director may consider necessary.

(8) INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. Any highway at any time officially designated as a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways by the director and approved by the appropriate authority of the federal government.

(9) MAINTAIN. To allow to exist.

(10) MAIN-TRAVELED WAY. The through traffic lanes exclusive of frontage roads, auxiliary lanes, and ramps.

(11) MOTORIST DIRECTIONAL SIGNS. Any signs, displays, or devices giving directional information pertaining to food services, lodging, gasoline and automotive services, resorts, attractions, campgrounds, truck stops, natural wonders, scenic and historical sites, and areas suited for outdoor recreation.

(12) PRIMARY HIGHWAY. Any highway, other than an interstate highway, officially designated as a part of the federal-aid primary system by the director, approved by the appropriate authority of the federal government, as of June 1, 1991, or any highway which is not on the federal-aid primary system, but which is or becomes a part of the National Highway System.

(13) REMOVING AUTHORITY. Any governmental entity.

(14) SAFETY REST AREAS. An area or site established or maintained within or adjacent to the right-of-way by or under public supervision or control for the convenience of the traveling public.

(15) SIGN. Any outdoor advertising sign, display, device, notice, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing which is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform, any part of the advertising or informative contents of which is visible from any place on the main-traveled way of any portion of an interstate highway or primary highway.

(16) UNZONED COMMERCIAL, BUSINESS, OR INDUSTRIAL AREA. The land occupied by the regularly used building, parking lot, storage or processing area of a commercial, business, or industrial activity, and the land within 600 feet thereof on each side of the highway. The unzoned area shall not include:

a. Land on the opposite side of an interstate or primary freeway highway from an unzoned commercial, business, or industrial area, as defined above;

b. Land predominantly used for residential purposes;

c. Land zoned by state or local law, regulation, or ordinance;

d. Land on the opposite side of a nonfreeway primary highway which is determined scenic by the State Department of Transportation.

All measurements shall be from the outer edges of the regularly used buildings, parking lots, storage or processing areas of the commercial or industrial activities, not from the property lines of the activities, unless the property lines coincide with the limits of the regularly used buildings, parking lots, storage or processing areas and shall be along or parallel to the edge or pavement of the highway.

(17) URBAN AREA. An urbanized area so designated by the Bureau of the Census, within boundaries fixed by responsible state and local officials, subject to approval by the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, or an urban place as designated by the Bureau of the Census having a population of 5,000 or more and not within any urbanized area, within boundaries fixed by responsible state and local officials, subject to approval by the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation.

(Acts 1971, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 276, p. 4544, §3; Acts 1978, No. 383, p. 347; Acts 1979, No. 79-672, p. 1183; Act 2016-301, §1.)