This is an official version.
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Newfoundland Regulation 1999
Sign Regulations, 1999
(Filed September 29, 1999)
Under the authority of section 63 of the Urban and Rural Planning Act, the minister with the approval of the Lieutenant‑Governor in Council makes the following regulations.
1. Short title
4. Permit required
5. Control lines
7. Exempted signs
8. Application for permit
9. Eligibility to erect sign
10. Considerations for granting permit
11. Validity of permit
12. Renewal licences
15. Entry permitted
17. Appeal board
19. Signs on private land
20. Prohibited sign placement
21. Signs not permitted
22. Physical requirements
23. Standards for off-site promotional signs
24. Permissible signs
25. Grouped signage
1. These regulations may be cited as the Highway Sign Regulations, 1999.
2. In these regulations
(a) "accommodations" means a facility licensed under the Tourist Establishment Regulations that provides overnight accommodations for remuneration and includes
(i) a hotel,
(ii) a motel,
(iii) a bed and breakfast facility,
(iv) a housekeeping cabin,
(v) a campground, and
(vi) a trailer park;
(b) "Act" means the Urban and Rural Planning Act;
(c) "appeal board" means an appeal board established under section 7 of the Act;
(d) "art gallery" means a gallery for the display of artistic works as defined by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation;
(e) "authority" means the Government Service Centre of the Department of Government Services and Lands or another authority, council or board that may be assigned by the minister to administer these regulations in specific areas of jurisdiction designated by him or her;
(f) "campground" and "trailer park" means a commercial establishment comprising land used or maintained as sites for tents, tent trailers, travel trailers, pick-up campers or other recreational vehicles providing sleeping accommodation whether or not there is a charge made for the use of the ground so used in camping or parking but does not include a residential trailer park;
(g) "community festival" means a special occasion sponsored or sanctioned by a federal, provincial or municipal government for a definitive time period;
(h) "community service sign" means a sign erected by a service or nonprofit organization or other similar group stating a message of general community interest that is not the promotion of a business, commercial enterprise or product;
(i) "community welcome sign" means an advance sign erected by an incorporated municipality and including only the name of the community, its population, its motto or slogan and its Coat of Arms or similar device;
(j) "control line" means a conceptual line paralleling the centre line of the highway or the centre line of the nearest lane of a divided highway, at a distance perpendicular to the centre line as established under section 5;
(k) "Corridor No. 1" means an area along the entire length of all provincial highways, 8.5 metres wide and immediately adjacent to the right hand side of the highway gravel shoulder, reserved for, in order of precedence, regulatory, warning, direction, guide and fingerboard information signs;
(l) "Corridor No. 2" means an area of finite length designated by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation with the edges nearest the highway to be not less than 10 metres from the highway gravel shoulder, and reserved exclusively for off-site promotional signs for qualified establishments as listed in the Schedule;
(m) "craft shop" means premises whose principal use is the sale of crafts produced in the province, as defined by the Department of Development and Rural Renewal;
(n) "eating establishment" means a building or part of a building designed or intended to be used or occupied for the purpose of serving the general public with meals and refreshments at individual tables or booths with a minimum seating capacity of 10 persons;
(o) "farmer and fish market" means a seasonal retail premises established for the exclusive sale of agricultural and fishery products produced in the province and includes U‑Pick operations and fish-out ponds;
(p) "fingerboard sign" means a sign, fabricated and installed by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation in Corridor No. 1 along highways, for establishments as listed in the Schedule;
(q) "maximum eligible off-route distance from highway intersection" means the distance between a highway intersection and an establishment located on an off-route;
(r) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer the Act;
(s) "museum" means premises used for the display of provincial and other artifacts, and includes an archaeological site, as approved by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation;
(t) "off-site promotional sign" means a sign erected in Corridor No. 2 along highways, for establishments as listed in the Schedule and to standards as designated in section 23;
(u) "premises promotional sign" means a sign, located on the front of the premises, advertising the promotion of products or services provided on the premises and which are of a short duration;
(v) "premises sign" means an advertisement that directs attention to an active business, service, industry or other activity which is sold, offered, or conducted, other than incidentally on the property upon which that advertisement is located or to which it is affixed, and shall include a sign located at the entrance to the road, other than a public road or street, leading to an establishment situated off the highway;
(w) "protected road" means a road designated under section 61 of the Act;
(x) "renewal licence" means a licence issued annually by the authority for all off-site promotional signs erected in Corridor No. 2;
(y) "repeater sign" means a fingerboard sign located in Corridor No. 1 on the off highway in areas where travellers are required to make critical directional changes after exiting the main provincial highway and showing only the name, direction and distance to the establishment;
(z) "service club" means a corporate society or association of people which is the owner, lessee, or occupant of an establishment used solely for objects of a recreational, social or athletic nature, but not used for pecuniary gain;
(aa) "sign", subject to section 6, means a word, letter, model, placard, board, device or representation, whether illuminated or not, in the nature of and employed wholly or in part for the purposes of advertisement, announcement or direction, excluding those things employed wholly as a memorial, functional advertisement of local government, statutory undertakers and public transport undertakers, and includes any boarding or similar structure used or adopted for use for the display of advertisements;
(bb) "sign plaza or sign kiosk" means grouped signage or regional interpretation material placed in a lay by or pull off, in a location approved by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, the construction and maintenance of which is the responsibility of a sponsoring organization including a regional tourism, development or business association or board;
(cc) "theme park" means a development whose primary function is the provision of amusement facilities and the attraction of the public into selected areas of the province and includes amusement parks with a minimum of 3 attractions, including golf courses, skiing operations, recreational resorts and walking or hiking trails;
(dd) "tour operation" means a development established for the purpose of providing guided tours in areas of special interest; and
(ee) "tourism attraction" means a physical site or event with the primary function or ability to attract a traveller by providing experience of a
(iii) scientific, or
nature, based on cultural and natural heritage resources or recreational facilities and services, but does not include
(v) a shopping centre, or
(vi) a recreational and an entertainment establishment which is commonly found in or near most urban areas that offer limited tourist attractions, including a bowling alley, cinema, sports field or an arena;
(ff) "tourism service" means a service that caters to the needs of travellers while outside their normal place of work and residence and includes
(i) accommodation facilities,
(ii) eating establishments, and
(iii) fuel stations; and
(gg) "trailer dumping station" means a facility used for receiving or dumping liquid wastes from recreational vehicle holding tanks.
3. These regulations apply to all highways constructed and maintained by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation within the province.
4. (1) A person, corporation, partnership, association or other organization shall not erect or place any type of sign within the designated control lines of a highway, unless a permit for the sign has been issued by the authority.
(2) The erection or placement of a sign within control lines shall be carried out only in accordance with these regulations and those conditions outlined in the permit.
5. (1) A control line is established on each side of every highway.
(2) Every control line shall be 400 metres distant, measured horizontally, from the centre line of the roadway or the centre line of the nearest lane of a divided highway.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), within the boundaries of each incorporated municipality or the built up established areas of unincorporated communities, the control line shall be 100 metres distant, measured horizontally, from the centre line of the roadway or the centre line of the nearest lane of a divided highway.
6. The following are not signs within the meaning of these regulations:
(a) a posting of a candidate at a federal, provincial or municipal election, or regional school board election;
(b) a temporary sign relating to federal or provincial public works;
(c) a notice required by law to be posted;
(d) a regulatory, warning, directional, guide or informational sign erected by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation;
(e) a sign placed by a telephone, telegraph or electric power company to indicate danger;
(f) a sign not exceeding 0.5 square metres advertising the sale or rent of a building or lot upon which the sign is located;
(g) a flag, emblem or insignia of a nation, country or province; and
(h) one temporary sign related to building construction located on the site on which the work is being carried out.
7. The following signs do not require a permit from the authority:
(a) a sign erected by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation within Corridor No. 1 along a highway, and relating to services provided by federal, provincial or municipal governments;
(b) a gateway or theme route sign erected by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation in Corridor No. 1;
(c) a fingerboard sign, including a repeater sign, erected by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation within Corridor No. 1 along a highway, and relating to services for the travelling public;
(d) one nameplate not exceeding 0.2 square metres in area on a dwelling house, or within the courtyard of a dwelling;
(e) one nameplate on a dwelling house or within the courtyard of a dwelling, not exceeding 0.2 square metres in area and relating to the office of a professional person located in it;
(f) a notice board not exceeding 1.1 square metres in area relating to the operations being conducted on the land of an agricultural holding or farm;
(g) a directional sign or notice board on land used or specifically reserved for forestry purposes which shall
(i) relate to forestry operations, the location of logging operations conducted on the land, matters related to forest conservation or the prevention of fire, and
(ii) not exceed 1.1 square metres in area, be located no closer than 1.5 kilometres from each other, be located beyond the back slope of a highway ditching and the face of the sign shall be orientated in a manner parallel to the highway;
(h) a notice board not exceeding 1.1 square metres in area relating to operations conducted on the land used for mining or quarrying, located beyond the back slope of a highway ditching and with the face of the sign orientated parallel to the highway;
(i) one notice board on site occupied by a church, school, library, art gallery, museum, hospital or cemetery not exceeding 1.1 square metres in area placed no closer than 3 metres to a street line;
(j) a sign not exceeding 1.1 square metres in area indicating the location of a municipal or municipal planning area boundary, located beyond the back slope of a highway ditching; and
(k) a premises and a premises promotional sign provided that the sign does not adversely affect traffic flow or safety on any road or street.
Application for permit
8. (1) An application for a permit to erect a sign shall be made to the authority in the form prescribed by it.
(2) An applicant shall furnish with an application made under subsection (1) those plans and specifications that the authority may require.
(3) Upon request, the authority shall supply to an applicant a copy of the application form and a description of the plans and specifications required to be furnished with the application.
Eligibility to erect sign
9. To be eligible for a fingerboard sign, an off-route establishment must be located within the respective maximum eligible off-route distance from a highway intersection as described in the Schedule.
Considerations for granting permit
10. (1) The authority may issue a permit for the proposed sign if it is satisfied that the sign conforms to the regulations and shall consider
(a) the topography, physical condition and natural features of the land upon which the sign is to be erected;
(b) the protection of the highway as a safe and convenient traffic way;
(c) the design, location and construction of the proposed sign; and
(d) the shape and size of the proposed sign and the size and type of lettering proposed.
(2) The authority shall consult with all government departments, municipalities, agencies, officials and persons considered necessary with respect to these considerations as well as the appropriateness of the material or copy proposed.
(3) The authority shall attach to a permit those conditions required to ensure that the proposed sign is made suitable for the purpose it is intended to serve and may permit development for a limited time as considered necessary.
Validity of permit
11. A permit for a sign is valid for a period of one year and failure by the applicant to initiate construction before expiration of the first permit year shall require reapplication to the authority.
12. (1) All off-site promotional signs require an annual renewal licence to be issued April 1 of each fiscal year.
(2) A renewal licence shall not be issued until the authority is satisfied that the sign is maintained to its satisfaction, and conforms to these regulations and the conditions attached to the permit.
13. Permit fees shall be charged for off-site promotional signs as prescribed in the Schedule.
14. (1) The authority may cancel a permit or a renewal licence for the holder's failure to comply with these regulations or a condition attached to the permit or renewal licence.
(2) Where a permit to erect a sign has been issued by the authority but
(a) the development relating to the sign discontinues;
(b) the conditions of the permit are not fully executed; or
(c) a permit is cancelled due to the contravention of these regulations,
the authority may order the developer or the owner to remove the sign and to landscape as necessary, and the developer or the owner shall carry out the order of the authority and shall put the site in a clean and safe condition to the satisfaction of the authority and a government department having responsibility in the area.
15. The authority, or an inspector or person designated by the authority to administer these regulations, may enter upon public or private land for the purpose of enforcing these regulations, and may at all reasonable times enter a building upon the land for the purpose of making surveys or inspections or obtaining information relative to the carrying out of a work which the authority regulates.
16. (1) An inspector shall record a violation of these regulations which comes to his or her attention, and report an infraction to the authority.
(2) Where a violation has occurred, the authority shall immediately notify the developer or owner of the nature of the infraction, and shall prescribe remedial action.
(3) Where the developer or owner of a sign does not comply with a directive issued by the authority under subsection (2), the authority may order that person to stop the development or work connected with it pending final adjudication in a prosecution arising out of the development.
17. (1) The appropriate appeal board as established and defined under section 7 of the Act shall determine an appeal from the decision of the authority with respect to the application of these regulations.
(2) A person intending to appeal to the appeal board shall deposit with the secretary of the board a notice of appeal indicating the grounds of the appeal and stating the name and address of the appellant and including the required appeal fee within 30 days of the date of decision of the authority.
(3) Where an appeal made by an appellant under subsection (1) is successful, an amount of money equal to the fee paid by the appellant under subsection (2) shall be paid to him or her by the authority.
(4) The decision of the appeal board shall be communicated in writing to the appellant and the authority and is final and binding upon all parties subject only to an appeal to the Court of Appeal upon a point of law or jurisdiction.
18. Notwithstanding sections 6 and 7, a sign shall not be erected, posted or placed where in the opinion of the authority that sign is
(a) hazardous to road traffic by reason of its siting, illumination or structural condition;
(b) detrimental to the amenities of the surrounding areas or length of highway; or
(c) not maintained to the satisfaction of the authority.
Signs on private land
19. A permit shall not be issued for a sign proposed on privately owned land unless the application for the permit is made by the owner of the land upon which the sign is to be erected, or the written approval of the owner has been obtained by the developer and submitted with the application for the permit.
Prohibited sign placement
20. A sign shall not be erected, posted or placed
(a) within, on or over a highway or street intersection unless otherwise recommended by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation;
(b) within 300 metres, or a distance specified by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, of the intersection of 2 or more highways, or from the crossing of a public road with the exception of premises advertisements;
(c) so as to reduce sight distance not otherwise limited;
(d) at a location where, in the opinion of the authority, it would constitute a danger or an obstruction or might otherwise cause confusion with respect to the motoring public, traffic lights or signals, or traffic signs;
(e) at a location where, in the opinion of the authority, a scenic or desirable view might be obstructed or interfered with;
(f) at a location which is objectionable to residents of the immediate area; and
(g) on a sign erected by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation.
Signs not permitted
21. Signs shall not be permitted which, in the opinion of the authority,
(a) contain reading matter which cannot be comprehended at the posted approach speed;
(b) contain symbols, slogans or lighting similar to those used for traffic control and warning; or
(c) are illuminated or reflectorized so as to cause undue glare or distraction on the highway with respect to the motoring public, or employ high intensity reflectorized material.
22. A sign including supporting structures shall
(a) be maintained in good and proper repair;
(b) be painted front and back or suitably finished or preserved;
(c) be properly designed and constructed; and
(d) with the exception of a sign related to a community festival and farmer or fish market and a temporary sign for recreation activity provided for in section 25, be fixed on a permanent structure or foundation.
Standards for off-site promotional signs
23. Off-site promotional signs shall have the following minimum standards:
(a) they shall be spaced a minimum longitudinal distance of 150 metres from each other;
(b) they shall be as near the left hand edge of Corridor No. 2 as possible to prevent one sign obstructing the linear sight of the subsequent adjacent sign;
(c) the size of the sign shall be as contained in the Schedule;
(d) unless otherwise approved, the copy shall consist of 3 sections with the top line stating the name of the establishment, the bottom lime providing the direction to the premises and the middle area of the sign, with a maximum of 3 lines of copy, providing information including the type of establishment, time period of operation, speciality, slogan, and a logo or symbol if utilized;
(e) with respect to the sections described in paragraph 23(d), the size of the lettering shall be to the minimum standards of the authority and shall not be less than 25 cm high for the top line, 15 cm high in the middle area, and 20 cm high for the bottom line, unless otherwise approved;
(f) all lettering shall be placed on a solid neutral contrasting background;
(g) the lettering on the bottom line shall be standardized and shall conform, in type and size, to the standards established by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation for direction signs;
(h) signs shall not be illuminated but the lettering may be reflectorized; and
(i) signs shall be single sided with all information facing oncoming traffic.
24. The following signs may be permitted along all highways:
(a) off-site promotional signs located in Corridor No. 2 as listed in the Schedule with not more than one on each approaching route, up to a maximum of 4 per operation, with the design, size, shape, location and material construction subject to the approval of and a condition required by the authority;
(b) a premises sign, as described in section 24, the illumination and material construction of which shall meet the requirements of the authority having regard to the safety and convenience of the highway users and the general amenities of the surrounding area;
(c) a community welcome sign for an incorporated community erected behind Corridor No. 1, one in each direction along the highway, not more than 2 kilometres from the community and not more than 9 square metres in area, and including only the name of the community, its population, its motto or slogan, and its Coat of Arms or similar device;
(d) a placard indicating the motto, slogan, Coat of Arms or similar device of an incorporated service club of the type and nature which is standard to that club, attached to an approved community welcome sign in a manner and of a size, shape and design as required by the authority;
(e) a temporary sign for recreational activity located at the intersection of a road to the site of an expected duration of not more than 6 months;
(f) one directional or informational sign at the intersection of a road to the site of a large industrial enterprise located off a main provincial highway; and
(g) a community service sign errected in Corridor No. 1 on sites approved by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation.
25. (1) Where there is sponsorship by a municipality, regional tourism development organization, regional economic development board or some similar organization and where, in the opinion of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, sight distances and terrain permit the construction of a pull off or lay by, a sponsoring organization may, with the approval of the authority, after the submission of plans and drawings, construct a pull off or lay by for the purpose of providing grouped signage for the promotion or interpretation of an area's amenities, attractions, accommodations and services.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), grouped signage includes sign kiosks and plazas.
(3) The construction of a lay by or pull off and the placement of grouped signage and their continued upkeep and maintenance in accordance with conditions and standards established by the authority shall be at the cost and responsibility of the sponsoring organization.
(4) All provisions of these regulations with respect to the placement of a sign in Corridor No. 2, its upkeep or removal shall apply to a sign kiosk, plaza or other device as if it were signage in Corridor No. 2.
26. The Highway Sign Regulations, Consolidated Newfoundland Regulation 768/96, are repealed.
27. These regulations are considered to have come
into force on
Eligible Tourism Attractions and
(a) HST included
(b) Seasonal or temporary signs for the life of the event – The sign must show the commencement and closing dates of the event and can be erected a maximum of one month before the start of the event and must be removed a maximum of 10 days after the event concludes.
(c) Seasonal signs – The sign must not be erected more than 3 days before the opening of the establishment, and must be removed within 3 days from the closing of the establishment.
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