The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 called for control of outdoor advertising, including removal of certain types of signs, along the nation’s growing Interstate Highway System and the existing federal-aid primary highway system. It also required certain junkyards along Interstate or primary highways to be removed or screened and encouraged scenic enhancement and roadside development.
Under the original HBA, there were two categories of nonconforming signs, nonconforming “compensable” and nonconforming “grandfathered.”
A nonconforming “compensable” sign was lawfully erected but did not comply with the provisions of state law or regulations passed at a later date. These signs violated zoning or land use provisions and generally were located in rural areas (i.e. agricultural and residential land uses). The removal of such signs require just (cash) compensation.
A nonconforming “grandfathered” sign was a sign located in an otherwise legal location (i.e. commercial and industrial area), that was nonconforming due to size,space or lighting restrictions. Such signs could remain, and did not have to be removed. A grandfathered sign was allowed at its particular location for the duration of its normal life subject to customary maintenance. If removed by a state or locality, the sign required just compensation.
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