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    Subdivision 1. Scope. For the purposes of Laws 1971, chapter 883, the terms defined in this
section shall have the meanings herein given them.
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered subd 16]
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1971 c 883 s 2]
    Subd. 4.[Renumbered subd 23]
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1971 c 883 s 2]
    Subd. 6. Various signs and notices defined. Directional and other official signs and notices
shall mean:
(a) "Official signs and notices" mean signs and notices erected and maintained by public
officers or public agencies within their territorial jurisdiction and pursuant to and in accordance
with direction or authorization contained in federal or state law for the purposes of carrying
out an official duty or responsibility. Historical markers authorized by state law and erected by
state or local governmental agencies or nonprofit historical societies, star city signs erected
under section 173.085, and municipal identification entrance signs erected in accordance with
section 173.025 may be considered official signs.
(b) "Public utility signs" mean warning signs, notices, or markers which are customarily
erected and maintained by publicly or privately owned public utilities, as essential to their
(c) "Service club and religious notices" mean signs and notices, not exceeding eight square
feet in advertising area, whose erection is authorized by law, relating to meetings and location of
nonprofit service clubs or charitable associations, or religious services.
(d) "Directional signs" means signs containing directional information about public places
owned or operated by public authorities as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 23,
section 460.2, paragraph (b), or their agencies, publicly or privately owned natural phenomena,
historic, cultural, scientific, educational, and religious sites, and areas of natural scenic beauty or
naturally suited for outdoor recreation, deemed to be in the interest of the traveling public. To
qualify for directional signs, privately owned attractions must be nationally or regionally known,
and of outstanding interest to the traveling public.
(e) All definitions in this subdivision are intended to be in conformity with the national
standards for directional and other official signs.
    Subd. 7.[Renumbered subd 20]
    Subd. 8. Adjacent area. "Adjacent area" means any area adjacent to the right-of-way of an
interstate or trunk highway.
    Subd. 9.[Renumbered subd 17]
    Subd. 10.[Renumbered subd 22]
    Subd. 11.[Renumbered subd 19]
    Subd. 12. Advertising area. "Advertising area" means that portion of the advertising face
of an advertising device which includes the border and trim thereof, but excludes the base and
apron supports and other structural members.
    Subd. 13.[Renumbered subd 21]
    Subd. 14.[Renumbered subd 24]
    Subd. 15.[Renumbered subd 18]
    Subd. 16. Advertising device. "Advertising device" means any billboard, sign, notice,
poster, display, or other device visible to and primarily intended to advertise and inform or to
attract or which does attract the attention of operators and occupants of motor vehicles and shall
include any structure erected primarily for use in connection with the display of any such device
and all lighting or other attachments used in connection therewith except "star city" signs erected
under section 173.085.
    Subd. 17. Business area. "Business area" means any part of an adjacent area which is (a)
zoned for business, industrial or commercial activities under the authority of any law of this
state or any political subdivision thereof; or (b) not so zoned, but which constitutes an unzoned
commercial or industrial area as herein defined.
    Subd. 18. Commercial or industrial activity. "Commercial or industrial activity" for the
purposes of unzoned commercial or industrial areas means an activity generally recognized as
commercial or industrial by zoning authorities in this state, except that none of the following
activities shall be considered commercial or industrial:
(1) Outdoor advertising devices.
(2) Agricultural, forestry, ranching, grazing, farming and related activities, including, but not
limited to, temporary wayside fresh produce stands.
(3) Transient or temporary activities.
(4) Activities not visible from the main traveled way.
(5) Activities more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way.
(6) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence.
(7) Railroad tracks and minor sidings.
    Subd. 19. Erect. "Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach,
create, paint, draw or in any other way to 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 an outdoor advertising structure or device.
    Subd. 20. Interstate highway. "Interstate highway" means any highway at any time officially
designated as a part of the national system of interstate and defense highways by the commissioner
of transportation and approved by the appropriate authority of the federal government.
    Subd. 21. Maintain. "Maintain" means to allow to exist.
    Subd. 22. Primary highway. "Primary highway" means any highway, other than an
interstate highway, at any time officially designated as a part of the federal aid primary system
by the commissioner of transportation and approved by the appropriate authority of the federal
government, and which shall include state trunk highways designated as such by Minnesota
    Subd. 23. Scenic area. "Scenic area" means an area within which control and regulation of
the erection and maintenance of advertising devices may be exercised to the extent herein provided
and such areas shall include only those established as such by the commissioner of transportation.
    Subd. 24. Unzoned commercial or industrial areas. "Unzoned commercial or industrial
areas" means those areas which are not zoned by state or local law, regulation, or ordinance, and
on which there is located one or more permanent structures devoted to a commercial or industrial
activity or on which a commercial or industrial activity is actually conducted whether or not a
permanent structure is located thereon, and the area along the highway extending outward 800 feet
from and beyond the edge of such activity. Each side of the highway will be considered separately
in applying this definition. All measurements shall be from the outer edges of the regularly
used buildings, parking lots, storage or processing, and landscaped areas of the commercial or
industrial activity, not from the property lines of the activity, and shall be along or parallel to the
edge of the pavement of the highway.
History: 1965 c 828 s 2; 1967 c 299 s 9; Ex1967 c 9 s 1,2; 1969 c 1129 art 3 s 1; 1971 c
883 s 2; 1975 c 61 s 5; 1976 c 166 s 7; 1982 c 617 s 16; 1984 c 417 s 17; 1985 c 25 s 1,2;
1996 c 455 art 3 s 26; 1999 c 238 art 2 s 29

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes