A message from City of Newcastle Code Enforcement Office
Signs placed in rights-of-way along city streets and state highways has been a topic generating complaints for many years. Signs placed in highway and city rights-of-way are illegal according to state statutes and municipal ordinances. In addition, signs placed in these areas can cause sight obstruction for motorists, leading to accidents. Furthermore, too many signs placed along highways and city streets give the appearance of a cluttered city. Below, I have provided a condensed version of some state and municipal regulations regarding the placement of signs. Please feel free to visit the city’s website to read all the specific rules/regulations regarding signs. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Oklahoma State Statute 69, Article 12, Section 1208
(a) The rights-of-way acquired by the Department shall be held inviolate for state highway and departmental purposes, and no physical or functional encroachments or uses shall be permitted within such rights-of-way.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, maintain or operate any gasoline pump, driveway canopy, building, sign, fence, post, or anything or structure on or overhanging any right-of-way, or upon or overhanging any street occupied by a designated state or federal highway, and the construction or maintaining of any such thing or structure on or overhanging any federal or state highway shall constitute a public nuisance, which may be summarily abated by the Commission or its officers, agents, servants and employees in the manner provided in this article.
(c) This section shall not apply to the lawful use of such rights-of-way for the erection and operation of facilities of a public utility.
City of Newcastle Codified Ordinances CHAPTER 155: SIGN REGULATIONS
• Unless specifically permitted in another section of this chapter, no sign or advertising media shall be erected on or over the public right-of-way.
• The use of any boulevard, street, parkway, park road or park, under the control of the city for any political, social, civic or charitable non-accessory advertising purpose within full view of those traveling on a public road is prohibited. The city’s use of these areas to display public information or the placement of decorations is excluded from this regulation.
• The painting, scattering or spreading in any manner along any public right-of-way or public property of any bills, wastepaper, paper, cloth or other materials used in advertising is prohibited.(examples would be realty signs not placed on the actual property being sold, community advertisement signs advertising for a development, advertising for services (services such as fences, HVAC, pet grooming, lawn services)
• The owner of any property on which a sign is located shall be responsible for the conditions of the area in the vicinity of the sign and shall be required to keep this area clean, sanitary and free from noxious or offensive substances, rubbish and flammable waste materials.
• Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, no sign shall be erected which constitutes an obstruction to view of operators of motor vehicles on public streets or entering the streets from private property.
NON-ACCESSORY SIGN definition- A sign or advertising device which directs attention to an activity, service or product sold or offered elsewhere than on the premises on which the sign is located.
• Non-accessory signs shall only be permitted as a primary land use in appropriately zoned areas as outlined herein. (Putting this more simply-Signs for businesses cannot be placed anywhere other than on that property where the business is located unless in the appropriately zoned area and approved)
• No person shall post or tack any advertisement, bulletin or sign, of any kind, upon any telephone, electric, light pole, hydrant, drinking fountain, traffic-control device or upon any fence, tree, house or other building in the city, without the consent of the owner.
Code Enforcement has and will continue to remove signs illegally placed in the highway and municipal rights-of-way. Please assist us in keeping Newcastle streets free of clutter by avoiding placing signs in rights-of-way. If you have any questions regarding the placement of signs, feel free to contact City Hall for clarification.
Eric Barnett, Newcastle Code Enforcement