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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsMay 2016

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2 DE Admin. Code 2601
The text of 2 DE Admin. Code 2601 shall be in the form attached as Exhibit "A".
IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 15th DAY OF APRIL 2016.
1.1 The following rules and regulations are issued under the authority granted to the Department by Section 1103, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code.
3.1 Under Section 1101, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code, the General Assembly has declared that it is in the public's interest to control the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices in areas adjacent to the NHS in order to protect the public investment in such highways.
3.2 The General Assembly by enactment of Section 1103, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Code directed the Department to enforce the provisions of Chapter 11 and to issue regulations to implement the policy and accomplish the purpose of the Chapter.
The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"A controlled area" shall mean, and "controlled areas" shall include any area inside the boundaries of the State of Delaware which is adjacent to and within 660 ft. of the edge of the right-of-way of a highway of the NHS, and after July 1, 1975 beyond 660 feet.
"Abandoned Sign" means any sign in which the owner has not demonstrated an interest by maintaining it in good condition.
Administrator” means the Secretary of Transportation of the United States.
"Agri-produce signs" shall mean those signs located on the property of a farmer indicating the sale of seasonal agricultural products.
"Centerline of the highway" means (1) a line equidistant from the edges of the median separating the main-traveled ways of a divided highway, or (2) the centerline of the main-traveled way of a non-divided highway, or (3) the centerline of each of the main-traveled ways of a divided highway separated by more than the normal median width or constructed on independent alignment.
"Commercial or industrial activities for purposes of unzoned commercial or industrial areas" means those activities generally recognized as commercial or industrial by zoning authorities within the State of Delaware, except that none of the following activities shall be considered commercial or industrial:
"Customary maintenance" means the action necessary to keep a sign in good condition by (1) replacement of parts damaged or worn by age and (2) painting of areas exposed to the weather as the major portion of the sign, but shall not include either maintenance which would be necessary for signs over 50% damaged or in 50% disrepair or maintenance which would increase the size or monetary value of the sign.
Decorative residential subdivision sign” means a non-official sign erected at a main entrance to a residential subdivision for the purpose of identifying the subdivision, and consisting of a message area containing only the name of the subdivision, and a supporting structure, constructed in accordance with current laws and regulations.
"Department" means the Delaware Department of Transportation.
"Directional and other official signs and notices" shall mean and include only official signs and notices, public utility signs, service club and religious notices, public service signs, and directional signs.
"Directional signs" means signs containing directional information about public places owned or operated by Federal, State or local governments or their agencies; publicly or privately owned natural phenomena, historic, cultural, scientific, educational, and religious sites; areas of natural scenic beauty, and areas which are naturally suited for outdoor recreation, deemed to be in the interest of the traveling public.
"Division" means the Division of Maintenance and Operations under the Department of Transportation.
"Double-faced or back-to-back" shall mean those configurations of multiple sign structures as those terms are commonly understood, except that in no instance shall these terms include two or more signs which are not in the same ownership, which are not physically contiguous, or which are not connected by the same structure or crossbracing, or in the case of back-to-back signs located more than 15 feet apart at their nearest points.
"Erect" means to construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, attach, create, paint, draw, or in any other way 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 a sign or sign structure, display or device.
"Free standing sign" means an outdoor advertising sign, sign structure, display or device including its ground-anchored supporting elements, that is entirely self-supporting upon the ground, and not attached to, anchored to, mounted upon, secured by, supported by, stabilized by, or in any other way dependent upon, any other structure or device.
"Freeway" means a controlled-access or limited-access street, road, or highway, whether or not part of the Interstate system.
Gateway sign” means any sign, display, or device intended for its purpose to provide information to the traveling public advising motorists they are entering the boundaries of a political subdivision or established non-incorporated area of the State.
Historical Marker” means plaques and signs placed throughout the state to commemorate and visually educate the public about the people, places, and events that are significant to Delaware’s state, local, and national history.
"Illegal Sign" means any sign, display or device which was erected and/or maintained in violation of the Delaware Law.
"Illuminated Sign" means any sign that is lighted internally or externally and shall be defined as illuminated whether or not the light is attached directly to the sign structure.
"Information Center" means an area or site established and maintained at a safety rest area for the purpose of providing information to the public of places of interest within the State and other information the Department deems to be in the public interest.
"Interstate System" means that portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways located within the State of Delaware officially designated as such, or as may hereafter be designated as such, by the Department and approved by the Secretary of Transportation of the United States pursuant to the provisions of Title 23, United States Code.
"Lease (license, contract, or easement)" means an agreement in writing, by which possession or use of land or interests therein is given by the owner to another person for a specified period of time.
"Legible" means capable of being correctly read as text or accurately identified or understood as a symbol or illustration without visual aids or enhancements, by a person of normal visual acuity.
"Maintain" means to allow to exist in accordance with state law.
"Main-traveled way" or “traveled ways” means those parts of a street, road, or highway intended for and used by traffic, and are exclusive of acceleration, deceleration, auxillary, or turn lanes, ramps, shoulders. It does not include such facilities as frontage roads, turning roadways, or parking areas.
National Highway System” or “NHS” means those streets, roads, and highways that comprise the current National Highway System within this State, and those streets, roads, and highways that were parts of the Interstate System or the Federal-aid Primary System as they existed on June 1, 1991, as declared by the Congress of the United States in Title 23, United States Code.
"Nonconforming Sign" is one which was lawfully erected, but which does not comply with the provisions of the Laws of the State of Delaware or State regulations passed at a later date or which later fails to comply with such law or regulations due to changed conditions.
"Official signs and notices" means signs and notices erected and maintained by public officers or public agencies within their territorial or zoning jurisdiction and pursuant to and in accordance with direction or authorization contained in Federal, State or local law for the purposes of carrying out an official duty or responsibility or historical marker authorized by State law and erected by State or local government agencies or nonprofit historical societies may be considered official signs.
"On premises signs" shall mean those signs, displays and devices advertising the sale or lease of property upon which they are located and those signs, displays, and devices advertising activities conducted on the property on which they are located.
"Outdoor Advertising" or "Outdoor Advertising Signs" shall mean and shall include any outdoor sign, light, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or other thing which is not an on-premise sign as defined in this regulation and is designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform, any part of the advertising or informative contents of which is visible from any place on the main traveled way of the NHS.
Panel” or “sign panel” means a subdivision of a face, and may be so distinguished by borders or boundaries of paint, tape, strips of wood, metal or plastic, contrasting colors, or the like, that visually separate it from an adjoining panel; or it may consist of a separate piece of material physically separated (as by a gap or space) from an adjoining panel.
"Parkland" means any publicly owned land which is designated or used as a public park, recreation area, wildlife or waterfowl refuge or historic site.
"Political subdivision" means any municipal or county government duly established under the provisions of the Delaware Code.
"Public service signs" means signs located on school bus stop shelters.
"Public utility and railroad signs" means warning or informational signs, notices, or markers which are customarily erected and maintained by publicly or privately owned public utilities or railroads, as essential to their operations.
"Safety rest areas" means an area or site established and maintained within or adjacent to the right-of-way by or under public supervision or control, for the convenience of the traveling public.
"Service club and religious notices" means signs and notices, whose erection is authorized by law, relating to meetings of nonprofit service clubs or charitable associations, or religious services.
"Scenic area" means any area of particular scenic beauty or historical significance as determined by the Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction thereof, and includes interests in land which have been acquired for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of scenic beauty.
"Section" means the Roadside Control Section under the Division of Maintenance and Operations.
"Sign facing" or “face” means a single sign message separated from other sign facings by border or trim.
"State law" means a State constitutional provision or statute, or an ordinance, rule, or regulation enacted or adopted by a state agency or political subdivision of a State pursuant to a State constitution or statute.
Variable message sign” or “VMS” means a sign or portion thereof where the message copy includes characters, letters or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged electronically or mechanically without touching or physically altering the primary surface of the sign. Message copy may be changed in the field or from a remote location.
V-type” means a sign structure consisting of two faces joined at one vertical edge; or two structures under the same ownership with a vertical edge of each separated by not more than 15 feet along their entire lengths; and forming an angle of not greater than 120 degrees between them.
"Zoned commercial or industrial areas" means those areas which are zoned for business, industry, commerce or trade pursuant to a State regulation or local zoning ordinance.
5.1 Section 1121, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code provides that signs within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right of way and visible from the main traveled way of the NHS shall be limited to the following types:
6.1.3.2 Signs located in such a manner as to obscure or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic control device (“TCD”), or obstruct or interfere with the driver's view of approaching, merging, or intersection traffic.
6.1.3.3 Signs which are erected or maintained upon trees or utility poles or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.
6.1.3.4 Obsolete signs.
6.1.3.5 Signs which are structurally unsafe or in disrepair.
6.1.3.6 Signs which move or have any animated or moving parts.
6.1.3.7 Signs located in rest areas, parklands or scenic areas.
6.2.2 All dimensions include border and trim, but exclude supports.
6.3.1.1 Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights are prohibited. The use of a variable message sign (VMS) as defined in Section 4.0 of these regulations shall be prohibited for directional signs.
6.4.5 In determining the distance between signs facing in the same direction and those within a seventy-five air mile radius, signs beyond the 660' limit shall not be considered.
6.6.2 A determination by the State agency to which a request is referred as to whether or not a privately owned facility is eligible for directional signing will be binding on the Department.
7.1.5 A gateway sign erected under this section shall meet one of the following requirements:
8.1.1 Permits as defined in Section 19.0 will not be required for official signs and notices. An Official sign or notice shall be erected however, only after first securing approval of the Department. Requests for approval to erect such signs shall be made and processed in the same manner as for directional signs (See Section 6.0).
8.1.3.1 Signs and notices erected and maintained by public officers or public agencies within their territorial or zoning jurisdiction and pursuant to and in accordance with direction or authorization by Federal, State or local law for the purposes of carrying out an official duty or responsibility.
8.1.4.1 Signs located in such a manner as to obscure or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official TCD, or obstruct or interfere with the driver's view of approaching, merging, or intersection traffic.
8.1.4.2 Signs which are erected or maintained upon trees or utility poles or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.
8.1.4.3 Obsolete signs.
8.1.4.4 Signs which are structurally unsafe or in disrepair.
8.1.5 Size
8.1.5.1 The following limits are applicable to official signs and notices:
8.1.5.1.1 Maximum area 15 square feet
8.1.5.1.2 Maximum height 5 feet
8.1.5.1.3 Maximum length 5 feet
8.1.6 Lighting
8.1.6.1 Signs may be illuminated, subject to the following restrictions:
8.1.6.1.1 Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent or moving light or lights are prohibited, except those giving public service information. The use of a variable message sign (VMS) as defined in Section 4.0 shall be prohibited for official signs and notices.
8.1.6.1.2 Signs 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 or which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle or which otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited.
8.1.6.1.3 Signs so illuminated as to interfere with the effectiveness of or obscure an official traffic sign, device, or signal are prohibited.
8.1.7 Spacing
8.1.7.1 Each location of official sign or notice sign must be approved by the Department.
8.1.7.2 An Official sign or notice shall be located beyond 2,000 feet of an interchange, or intersection at grade along the Interstate System or other freeways (measured along the Interstate or freeway from the nearest point of the beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit from or entrance to the main-traveled way).
8.1.7.3 An official sign or notice shall be located beyond 2,000 feet of a rest area, parkland, or scenic area.
10.1.1 The erection of a public utility or railroad sign may be undertaken without Department approval. Such signs will, however, be limited to warning signs, informational signs, and notices or markers which are customarily erected and maintained by publicly or privately owned public utilities or railroads as essential to their operation.
10.3 Lighting
10.4 Spacing
11.1.1.2 Signs and notices of charitable associations.
11.1.2.2 Signs which are erected or maintained upon trees or utility poles or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.
11.1.2.3 Obsolete signs.
11.2 Size
11.3 Lighting
11.4 Spacing
11.5 Number
12.1.1 No public service sign shall be erected or maintained without first securing a permit from the Department as required by these regulations. Applications for permits shall be processed in accord with procedures promulgated by the Department. A certification by the Department of Public Instruction Education (DOE) that each shelter on which signs are or are to be erected is needed to provide shelter for students at that location shall accompany each application. Applications and approval shall be processed in accord with procedures promulgated by the Department.
12.2 Public Service signs shall be limited to the following:
12.2.3 Which contain no other message.
12.3 Size
12.3.1 Public service sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in area.
12.4 Lighting
12.4.1 Lighting of public service signs is prohibited.
12.5 Spacing
12.5.1 Only two public service signs shall be permitted at any one location. Signs will only be approved for a shelter provided it does not in any way obscure or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device TCD, or which obstructs or interferes with the driver's view of approaching, merging, or intersection traffic, or which interferes with the safe and free flow of traffic in any way.
13.1.1 Section 1114, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code exempts on premise signs from all provisions of Subchapter 1, except that such signs shall be subject to the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Department as required by Section 1103 of Subchapter 1, Chapter 11 of Title 17. Consistent with the stated policy of Chapter 11 of Title 17 for protecting the public's investment in highways and enhancing the natural scenic beauty, the following shall apply to all on premise signs which are erected and maintained within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any interstate highway in this State, and which are visible from the main traveled way of such systems.
13.3.2.1 Any lands not used as an integral part of the principal activity, or
13.3.2.2 Any land used for a separate purpose unrelated to the advertised activity, or
13.3.2.7 With the exception of agri-produce signs, any land in excess of 50 feet from the principal activity or accessory uses.
13.4.1 The following signs, displays, and devices shall be considered as having as their purpose, (1) the identification of the activity located on the premises or its products or services, or (2) the sale or lease of the property on which the sign is located:
13.4.2.2 Which consists principally of brand or trade name advertising, or
13.4.2.3 Which advertises a product only incidental to the principal activity, or
13.4.2.4 Which advertises, in addition to the activities conducted on the premises, activities not conducted on the premises, or
13.4.2.5 One which in addition to the sale or lease aspects of the property advertises any product or service not located upon and unrelated to the business of selling or leasing the land on which the sign is located.
13.5 Applications
13.6 The following "on premise" signs are prohibited:
13.6.6 Signs which move or have any animated or moving parts except as provided in subsection 13.8 below.
13.7 Size
13.7.1 On premise signs 32 square feet or less are exempt from the provisions of this section.
13.8.1.2 Signs 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 highway or which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any vehicle, or which otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited.
13.8.1.3 A sign may be so illuminated provided it does not interfere with the effectiveness of or obscure an official TCD.
13.9.1 Spacing requirements shall not apply to “on premise” signs except for sale or lease signs shall be limited to a total of two for any one property.
13.10.1 Decorative residential subdivision signs which basically indicate the name of the individual suburban community are, for the purposes of these rules and regulations, considered a type of on premise signs and are allowable provided:
13.10.1.5 The above provisions in this section apply to decorative residential subdivision signs erected adjacent to any state maintained roadway within this State.
14.1.2.1 Free standing agri-produce signs shall be allowed to remain erected only during the seasonal period from May 1 through September 30 of the item being advertised. During the off season signs of this type shall be removed.
14.1.2.2 Free standing signs may be located more than 50 feet but no more than 500 feet from the activity and on the same property as the activity being conducted.
14.2 Size
14.2.1 The following limits are applicable to agri-produce signs:
14.2.1.1 Maximum area 32 square feet
14.2.1.2 Maximum height 8 feet
14.2.1.3 Maximum length 8 feet
14.2.1.4 Total sign area allowable per site - 100 square feet (maximum)
14.3 Lighting
14.4 Spacing
14.5 Number
14.6 Safety of traveling public
15.1.1 Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, no signs, displays, or devices will be permitted to be erected or maintained unless it is within an area zoned as commercial or industrial under authority of State law. Permits shall be required for all such signs. Applications and permits shall be processed in accordance with procedures promulgated by the Department.
15.1.2 Signs, displays, and devices erected and maintained within all other zoned industrial and commercial areas shall be subject to the following conditions and requirements.
15.2.1 Signs advertising activities that are illegal under Federal or State laws or regulations in effect at the location of those signs or at the location of the activity.
15.2.4 Obsolete signs.
15.2.5 Signs which are structurally unsafe or in disrepair.
15.2.6 Signs not in conformance with applicable wind pressure requirements determined by adopted local building code or 25 pounds per square foot, whichever is greater.
15.3 Size
15.3.1 The maximum area for any outdoor advertising sign facing shall be 1,200 square feet with a maximum height of 25 feet and a maximum length of 60 feet.
15.3.2 The area shall be measured by the smallest square, rectangle, triangle, circle, or combination thereof which will encompass the entire sign.
15.3.4 A sign structure may contain one or two signs per facing and two sign facings may be placed back to back or V-type at one location but in no event shall the total area of any facing exceed 1,200 square feet.
15.3.5 A sign which exceeds 600 square feet in area may not be on the same sign facing with any other sign.
15.4 Lighting
15.4.1 Signs may be illuminated, subject to the following restrictions:
15.4.1.1 Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights are prohibited, except as defined in subsection 15.4.1.5 below.
15.4.1.2 Signs which are not effectively. shielded as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled ways of any highway and which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of a driver of any motor vehicle, or which otherwise interferes with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited:
15.4.1.3 Signs so illuminated as to interfere with the effectiveness of, or obstructs an official TCD is prohibited.
15.4.1.4 All such lighting shall be subject to any other provisions relating to lighting of signs presently applicable to all highways under the jurisdiction of the Department.
15.5 Spacing
15.5.1 For Interstate and controlled access highways, the structure for outdoor advertising sign shall be at least 500 feet from any similar structure.
15.5.2 For non-controlled access highways, outside incorporated areas, the structure for any sign shall be at least 300 feet from any similar structure. For non-controlled access highways within incorporated areas, the structure for any sign shall be at least 100 feet from any similar structure.
15.5.3 When structures are separated by building or other artificial obstructions in such a manner that only one sign facing located within the above spacing distances is visible from the highway at one time, variances may upon application be granted by the Department.
15.5.4 The minimum distance between structures shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement between points directly opposite the signs along each side of the highway and is applicable only to structures located on the same side of the highway.
15.5.5 Outside incorporated areas outdoor advertising signs shall be located 500 feet (minimum from any interchange, intersection, at grade, safety rest area or information center (measured along the Interstate or freeway from the beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit or entrance to the main traveled way).
15.6 Non-Conforming Signs
15.7 Control by Political Subdivisions
At its discretion, the Department may require that any resident, non-resident or foreign corporation engaged in the business of outdoor advertising prior to the issuance of any permit for the posting or display of any advertisement or the erection, use or maintenance of any advertising structure shall furnish and file with the Roadside Control Section a bond payable to the State of Delaware with surety approved by the Department, and in the sum of $5,000.00, conditioned that said individual company or corporation fulfills all the requirements of law and regulations and orders of the Department relating to the display of advertisements or the erection of advertising structures. Such bond shall remain in full force and effect until such obligations of such licensee to the State are satisfied.
17.2 Alterations
17.3 Relocation of Signs
17.4.2 Discontinued signs
17.4.2.1 A non-conforming sign which has displayed obsolete or damaged advertising matter or has not displayed advertising matter for a period of six months subsequent to receipt of written notice from the Department shall be considered as a discontinued sign and shall be required to be removed by the owner without compensation.
17.4.3 Abandoned signs
17.4.3.1 Non-conforming signs which are in need of substantial repair either to the face or support structure and are not repaired within a period of six months after receipt of written notice from the Department shall be considered as an abandoned sign and shall be required to be removed by the owner without compensation.
17.4.4 Destroyed signs
17.4.5.1 All costs incurred by the Department shall be the responsibility of the sign owner of any signs listed in subsections 17.4.2, 17.4.3 and 17.4.4 of this section that are removed by Division personnel.
19.1.1 Section 1104, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code includes provisions for:
19.2.1 Each permit shall be valid for the period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of each calendar year.
19.2.2 Permits granted during any month of the year shall expire on December 31 of the same calendar year.
19.3.2 When a change in fee is necessary, the new fee shall become effective for all new permits immediately upon receipt of Department approval and for renewals on January 1 of the next calendar year following approval.
19.3.3 The fee for a portion of the calendar year will be the same as determined necessary for the entire calendar year.
20.1.1 Subsection (a) of Section 1103 1110, Subchapter 1, Chapter 11, Title 17 of the Delaware Code provides for the Department to certify a political subdivision as having effective control when such political subdivision has established and is enforcing regulations as to the size, spacing, and lighting of outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices in zoned commercial and industrial areas within its zoning jurisdiction.
22.2 Each day that a violation is allowed to continue beyond the legal notice shall be considered a separate offense.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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