(1) Standards for off-premise permitted signs are found at 75-15-113, MCA, and include the additional standards in this rule.

(2) Off-premise permitted signs must comply with the following spacing requirements:

(a) signs adjacent to an interstate highway, limited-access primary or National Highway System (NHS) highway must be a minimum of 500 feet apart on the same side of the roadway;

(b) signs adjacent to nonlimited access primary or NHS 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 a controlled route, must not be located within 500 feet of an intersection in rural areas, or within 140 feet of an intersection in cities or towns, unless the sign is a bench with a maximum height of three feet at its highest point, or the sign is erected with the height above ground level (HAGL) of at least eight feet as measured at a right angle from the surface of the roadway at the centerline of the controlled route;

(d) 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;

(e) the minimum distance between signs shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement of the controlled route between points directly opposite the signs; and

(f) multi-faced signs shall be considered as a single sign.

(3) Off-premise permitted signs on controlled routes must not have any of the following characteristics, or the sign shall be subject to permit revocation and sign removal:

(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) signs that are illegal, destroyed, abandoned, or discontinued;

(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 an intersection, 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 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; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 1440, Eff. 8/20/16.