173.16 ADVERTISING DEVICE IN BUSINESS AREA.
Subdivision 1. Effective date.
After June 8, 1971, advertising devices in a business area
shall comply with the standards stated in this section.
Subd. 2. Size limitations, inside and outside corporate limits.
(a) In a business area within
a corporate limit the maximum area of a sign face, whether a single sign face or each face of two
back-to-back or V-type signs, shall not exceed 1,000 square feet including border and trim,
but excluding base and apron supports and other structural members, except as provided under
subdivision 5. The maximum size limitation stated in this subdivision shall apply to each side of a
sign structure and signs may be placed back-to-back, side by side, or in a V-type construction, but
not more than two displays to each facing and such sign structure shall be considered as one sign.
(b) In a business area outside corporate limits the maximum area of a sign face, whether a
single sign face or each face of two back-to-back or V-type signs, shall not exceed 750 square
feet including border and trim, but excluding base and apron supports and other structural
members, except as provided under subdivision 5. The maximum size limitation stated in this
subdivision shall apply to each side of a sign structure and signs may be placed back-to-back,
side by side, or in a V-type construction, but not more than two displays to each facing and such
sign structure shall be considered as one sign.
Subd. 3. Lighting.
(a) Advertising devices shall not be erected which contain, include or are
illuminated by any flashing light or lights, except those giving public service information such as,
without limiting the generality of the foregoing, time, date, temperature, weather, or news.
(b) Advertising devices shall not be erected or maintained which are not effectively shielded
so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way
of an interstate or primary highway, of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or impair
the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle; or which otherwise interfere with any driver's
operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited.
(c) Outdoor advertising devices shall not be erected or maintained which shall be so
illuminated that they interfere with the effectiveness of or obscure any official traffic sign, device,
Subd. 4. Spacing.
(a) Advertising devices shall not be erected or maintained in such a place
or manner as to obscure or otherwise physically interfere with an official traffic control device
or a railroad safety signal or sign, or to obstruct or physically interfere with the drivers' view of
approaching, merging, or intersecting traffic for a distance of 500 feet.
(b) No advertising device shall be erected closer to any other such advertising device on
the same side of the same highway facing traffic proceeding in the same direction than (1) 500
feet on any interstate highway or fully controlled freeway in a zoned or unzoned commercial
or industrial area within or outside an incorporated city, (2) 300 feet on a primary highway in
a zoned commercial or industrial area outside an incorporated city, (3) 400 feet on a primary
highway in an unzoned commercial or industrial area outside an incorporated city, (4) 100 feet
on a primary highway inside an incorporated city; provided, however, that this provision shall
not prevent the erection of double-faced, back-to-back, or V-type advertising devices with a
maximum of two signs per facing; provided further, however, that such spacing requirements
shall not apply as between any off-premise advertising device permitted under the provisions
of Laws 1971, chapter 883.
(c) The above spacing between advertising devices does not apply to structures separated
by buildings or other obstructions in such a manner that only one sign facing located within the
above spacing distances is visible from the highway at any one time.
(d) On interstate highways or fully controlled-access freeways outside of incorporated cities,
no advertising device may be located adjacent to or within 500 feet of an interchange, intersection
at grade, or safety rest area. Said 500 feet shall be measured along such highway from the
beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit from or entrance to the main traveled way.
(e) On primary highways outside of incorporated cities, no advertising device may be located
closer than 300 feet from the intersection of any primary highway at grade with another highway,
or with a railroad; provided that advertising may be affixed to or located adjacent to a building
at such intersection in such a manner as not to cause any greater obstruction of vision than that
caused by the building itself.
Subd. 5. Local control.
(a) Whenever a bona fide county or local zoning authority has made a
legitimate determination of customary usage and in the judgment of the commissioner, reasonably
provides for size, lighting and spacing control of advertising devices, such determination shall be
accepted in lieu of the provisions of this chapter in the zoned commercial and industrial areas
within the geographical jurisdiction of such authority.
(b) All county and local zoning authorities shall give notice to the commissioner of
transportation of the establishment or revision of any commercial and industrial zones pursuant
to subdivision 1. Notice shall be by certified mail sent to the Office of the Commissioner of
Transportation in St. Paul, Minnesota, within 15 days after the effective date of the zoning change
(c) The commissioner may not disapprove any zoning ordinance adopted by a county or local
zoning authority that has the effect of establishing a business area unless the zoning ordinance
would result in the loss to the state of federal highway funds.
History: 1965 c 828 s 16; Ex1967 c 9 s 15A; 1971 c 883 s 10; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1976
c 166 s 7; 1978 c 674 s 60; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1992 c 572 s 3