As used in sections 5516.01 to 5516.14 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Advertising device" includes any outdoor sign, display, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, placard, poster, billboard, or any other contrivance designed, intended, or used to advertise or to give information in the nature of advertising, or any part thereof, the advertising or informative contents of which are visible from the main traveled way of any highway on the interstate system or primary system in this state.
(B) "Visible" means capable of being seen and comprehended without visual aid by a person traveling the posted speed limit on the main traveled way of the highway.
(C) "Interstate system" means that portion of the interstate system, or the national highway system, located within this state.
(D) "Erect" means to construct or allow to be constructed, but it shall not include any activity when performed as an incident to the change of advertising message or normal maintenance of a sign or sign structure.
(E) "Maintain" means to preserve, keep in repair, continue, allow to exist, or restore.
(F) "National policy" means the provisions of 23 U.S.C.A. 131 and the national standards, criteria, and rules promulgated pursuant to such provisions.
(G) "Primary system" means the federal-aid primary system in existence on June 1, 1991, and any highway that is not on such system but that is on the national highway system.
(H) "Zoned commercial or industrial areas" means those nonagricultural areas which are reserved for business, commerce, or trade, pursuant to local zoning laws, regulations, or state laws.
(I) "Unzoned commercial or industrial area" means an area not zoned by state or local law, regulation, or ordinance, in which there is located one or more commercial or industrial activities. Such area may also include the lands along the highway for a distance of eight hundred fifty feet immediately adjacent to such activities. This distance shall be measured from the buildings, parking lots, storage or processing areas of the activities, and along or parallel to the near edge of the main traveled way of the highway. This distance shall not include land on the opposite side of the highway from such activities, nor land predominantly used for residential purposes. An area shall be considered predominately residential if fifty per cent or more of the eight hundred fifty feet immediately adjacent to the activities contains land used as residential property. Each side of the highway will be considered separately in applying this definition.
(J) "Commercial or industrial activities" means those activities generally recognized as commercial or industrial by zoning authorities of this state. The following activities shall not be considered commercial or industrial:
(1) Activities relating to advertising structures;
(2) Agricultural, forestry, ranching, grazing, farming, and related activities, including, but not limited to, activities relating to wayside fresh produce stands;
(3) Transient or temporary activities;
(4) Activities not visible from the main traveled way;
(5) Activities located more than six hundred sixty feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way;
(6) Activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence;
(7) Activities relating to railroad tracks and minor sidings;
(8) Activities relating to highways, roads, and streets.
(K) "Directional and official signs and notices" means those signs and notices that are required or authorized by law and conform to the rules for such signs and notices as adopted by the director in accordance with 23 C.F.R. 750.151 to 750.155.
(L) "Nonconforming advertising device" means an advertising device that was:
(1) Lawfully in existence prior to December 7, 1971;
(2) Lawfully on any highway made a part of the interstate system or primary highway system on or after December 7, 1971;
(3) Lawfully erected prior to any revision in the law effective December 7, 1971; or
(4) Lawfully erected but:
(a) No longer in compliance with the provisions of state law enacted or rules adopted at a later date; or
(b) No longer in compliance with state laws or rules due to changed conditions, including, but not limited to, zoning changes, highway relocation, highway reclassification, or changes in restrictions on sizing, lighting, spacing, or distance of advertising devices.
Illegally erected or maintained advertising devices are not nonconforming signs.
(M) "Scenic byway" means any linear transportation corridor as designated or as may hereafter be so designated by the director under the Ohio scenic byways program as having outstanding scenic qualities.
(N) "Director" means the director of the Ohio department of transportation.
(O) "Commercial or industrial zone" means those areas established by any state, county, municipal, or other local zoning authority as being most appropriate for business, commerce, industry, or trade. Any action taken by a state, county, municipal, or other local zoning authority that is not part of comprehensive zoning and is created primarily to permit outdoor advertising devices shall not be considered a commercial or industrial zone for purposes of this chapter.
(P) "Last permit holder" includes any of the following:
(1) The most recent holder of the advertising device permit;
(2) A business, cooperative, corporation, enterprise, joint venture, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, or subsidiary, the viability of which is dependant on its relationship with the most recent holder of the advertising device permit;
(3) Any person or entity that is closely related to or closely connected with the most recent holder of the advertising device permit.
(Q) "Professional sports facility" means all or a portion of a stadium, arena, motorsports complex, or other facility, including all parking facilities, walkways, and other auxiliary facilities that may be used for or in connection with the sports facility or its operation, the primary purpose of which is to provide a site or venue for the presentation to the public of either of the following:
(1) Events of one or more major or minor league professional athletic or sports teams that are associated with the state or with a city or region of the state;
(2) Motorsports events.
Effective Date: 06-30-1997; 09-16-2004; 2007 HB67 07-03-2007 .