New Jersey Administrative Code
Title 16 - TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 41C - ROADSIDE SIGN CONTROL AND OUTDOOR ADVERTISING
Subchapter 8 - OFF-PREMISE SIGNS
Section 16:41C-8.1 - General requirements

Universal Citation: NJ Admin Code 16:41C-8.1

Current through Register Vol. 56, No. 6, March 18, 2024

(a) A sign shall be considered an off-premise sign used for the purpose of the business of outdoor advertising in the following circumstances:

1. If the property owner or sign owner receives compensation for the use of the sign. However, if the payment of compensation for the use of the sign is a condition of a bona fide and principal use of the property and the compensation is paid by the entity whose use or activity is displayed on the sign, the sign shall be considered an on-premise sign; or

2. If a sign consists principally of brand name or trade name advertising and the product or service advertised is only incidental to the principal activity, conducted on the premises where the sign is displayed.

(b) The premises on which an activity is conducted shall be determined by physical facts rather than property lines. The following are not part of the premises on which an activity is conducted and any signs located on such lands shall be deemed off-premises advertising:

1. Land separated by a roadway, highway, or other obstruction shall not be considered part of the premises. However, where lands are developed into one integrated and commonly identified site, the lands shall not be deemed to be separated. An integrated site shall have a unified overall site design, shared parking, integrated roadway, and pedestrian systems, common management and rights of constituent businesses to use the common facilities. Examples of an integrated site are a shopping mall divided by an internal street or a pedestrian overpass connecting a development with its parking garage; or

2. Narrow strips of lands that are contiguous to the property but separated from the activity.

(c) The following general requirements shall apply to off-premise signs:

1. The evaluation of a sign's compliance with the minimum spacing requirements shall only consider off-premise signs that are visible on the same side of the highway, except as stated below:
i. Directional signs, service club signs and religious signs, school bus stop shelter signs, and transit bus shelter signs shall not be considered in evaluating spacing requirements.

ii. Wall signs that are located on opposite sides of the same building or on opposite sides of adjacent buildings shall not be considered in evaluating spacing requirements between them, provided that no parts of these signs can be seen simultaneously by traffic travelling in the same direction. Such signs shall be considered in evaluating the spacing requirements to roof signs and ground signs located on the same side of the highway.

iii. Signs that are located on opposite sides of the structural steel of the same bridge shall not be considered in evaluating spacing requirements between them provided that no part of one sign can be seen simultaneously with a part of the other sign.

iv. A sign on a railroad bridge, overpass, building, or other structure that spans a highway or ramp shall be considered in evaluating spacing requirements to any other sign if both signs are visible to motorists traveling in the same direction, and the other sign is located on the driver's right side.

2. The measurement of distance between signs shall be made in the following manner:
i. The minimum spacing distance between permitted locations shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the edge of the sign face nearest the pavement edge, and shall apply only to permitted locations on the same side of the highway. The point of measurement for back-to-back signs shall be the midpoint between the nearest edge of the back-to-back sign faces.

ii. Where a sign located over a highway is considered in measuring the spacing between permitted locations, the minimum distance between it and another sign shall be measured from the sign face of the overhead sign to the point of measurement specified in (c)2i above. Measurements shall only be made to permitted locations on the driver's right side based on the direction of travel to view the overhead sign.

3. Not more than two sign faces or displays at a permitted location shall be visible to traffic traveling in the same direction. If two sign faces are placed to be visible to traffic traveling in the same direction (side-by-side or one above another), the total combined area and dimensions of the advertising surfaces shall not exceed the maximum area and dimensions allowed. If sign faces are not visible to traffic travelling in the same direction (placed back-to-back or in a V-type construction), the maximum advertising surface area and dimensions shall apply to the sign faces on each side of the sign.

4. No off-premise sign will be permitted that will be visible to any highway or portion of a highway that has been designated as a scenic byway or has been nominated for designation as a scenic byway.

5. No off-premise sign will be permitted beyond 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of an interstate or Primary System highway outside of urban areas if it is visible from the main-traveled way.

6. No off-premise outdoor advertising sign shall be erected along or be visible to the main-traveled way or any ramp of the Garden State Parkway.

7. No off-premise advertising sign shall be erected within the protected area or protected zone of a scenic corridor where it can be seen from any point within any portion of a scenic corridor.

8. Any lawful on-premise message may be displayed on a sign authorized for off-premise use, provided that the sign is erected and maintained in accordance with this chapter.

9. No off-premise outdoor advertising sign shall be erected along or be visible to the main-traveled way or any ramp of that portion of the New Jersey Turnpike not incorporated into the Federal Aid Interstate Highway System.

(d) Off-premise signs that are visible to the main-traveled way of any portion of an interstate highway or other limited access highway within 660 feet of the right-of-way shall comply with the following:

1. Off-premise signs within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way will only be permitted in zoned and unzoned commercial or industrial areas.

2. No sign shall be located within 500 feet of an interchange, intersection at grade, or safety rest area. This restriction prohibits any sign on either side of the highway that would be visible to a main-traveled way where it would be within 500 feet of the beginning or ending of pavement widening, within 500 feet of the point of gore, or any point between those features where the pavement is widened. This distance shall be measured along the pavement edge of the highway nearest those points.
i. If an interchange lacks a point of pavement widening, a sign shall not be located in that direction within 1,000 feet of the point of gore.

3. The minimum spacing between permitted locations shall be 1,000 feet.

4. The maximum width of the advertising surface area of any sign shall be 60 feet. The maximum height of the advertising surface area of any sign shall be 25 feet, and the maximum advertising surface area 1,000 square feet, except where the sign is erected upon or attached to a building. In such event, the maximum height of the advertising surface area of a wall or roof mounted sign shall be 30 feet, and the maximum advertising surface area shall be 1,200 square feet.

(e) Off-premise signs that are visible to the main-traveled way of any portion of a non-limited access highway on the Primary System within 660 feet of the right-of-way shall comply with the following:

1. Off-premise signs within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way will only be permitted in zoned and unzoned commercial or industrial areas.

2. The minimum spacing between permitted locations shall be 300 feet.

3. The maximum width of the advertising surface area of any sign shall be 60 feet. The maximum height of the advertising surface area of any sign shall be 25 feet, and the maximum advertising surface area 1,000 square feet, except where the sign is erected upon or attached to a building. In such event, the maximum height of the advertising surface area of a wall or roof mounted sign shall be 30 feet, and the maximum advertising surface area shall be 1,200 square feet.

(f) All other off-premise signs shall comply with the following:

1. The minimum spacing between permitted locations shall be 300 feet.

2. The maximum width of the advertising surface area of any sign shall be 60 feet, the maximum height of the advertising surface area shall be 30 feet, and the maximum advertising surface area shall be 1,200 square feet.

3. Off-premise signs will only be permitted in zoned and unzoned commercial or industrial areas.

(g) Off-premise signs visible only to pedestrian traffic such as boardwalks, train station platforms, and the like shall not be subject to the spacing requirements of this chapter.

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