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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Chapter 5501:2-6 | Specific Service Sign Program

 
 
 
Rule
Rule 5501:2-6-01 | Definitions.
 

(A) "Agreement" means an agreement or contract between the program manager and each entity participating in the "Tourist-Oriented Directional" sign program, the "Business Logo" sign program, or the "Traffic Generator Sign" program.

(B) "Alternative fuel" means a vehicle fuel other than gasoline or diesel, liquid propane gas, compressed natural gas, electric or other fuel that may become available in the future.

(C) "Commercial activity" means a farm market, winery, a bed and breakfast, lodging that is not a franchise or part of a national chain, antiques shop, craft store, or gift store.

(D) "Contracted Program manager" means a private person or business, selected by the director to manage a sign program(s) for the department.

(E) "Convention center" means a building(s) that hosts conventions, industrial shows, and the like.

(F) "Director" means the director of the Ohio department of transportation or his designee.

(G) "Department" means the Ohio department of transportation.

(H) "Expressway" means a divided highway with partial control of access.

(I) "Fee" means the amount of money assessed for participation in the program.

(J) "Freeway" means a divided highway with full control of access.

(K) "Immediate area" means within ten miles of the tourist-oriented activity.

(L) "Interchange" means a system of interconnecting roadways in conjunction with one or more grade separations that provides for the movement of traffic between two or more roadways or highways on different levels.

(M) "Interstate system" has the same meaning as in section 5516.01 of the Revised Code.

(N) "Intersection" means the intersection of a state or United States highway and any other dedicated public highway as found in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(O) "Legend message" means a word providing the name of a business.

(P) "Logo sign panel" means a reflectorized sign mounted on the specific service sign showing the trademark logo, non-trademark logo, legend message or combination thereof for a motorist service available on a crossroad at or near an interchange.

(Q) "Modern sanitary facilities" in addition to the definition of a sanitary facility, may also include baby care and related facilities and should be provided for persons with a disability, as well as the elderly and people with babies or young children.

(R) "Motorist services" means gas, food, lodging, camping or attraction services.

(S) "Non-trademark logo" means a business logo that is not registered as a trademark with the appropriate U.S. governmental agency.

(T) "Right -of -way permit" means a permit issued by the director, or his designee, to the program manager to occupy the highway right -of -way in or on the approaches to an intersection.

(U) "Rural areas" means any areas not meeting the definition of an urban area.

(V) "Sanitary facility" means a designated area for use by the general public that includes a toilet and sink and may include a urinal and/or shower.

(W) "Shopping center" means a complex of retail establishments offering goods and/or services for sale to the public.

(X) "Specific service sign" means a guide sign that provides road users with business identification and directional information for services and for eligible attractions.

(Y) "Tourist-oriented activity" means any lawful cultural, historical, recreational, educational, or commercial activity a major portion of whose income or visitors are derived during the normal business season from motorists not residing in the immediate area of the activity and attendance at which is no less than two thousand in any consecutive twelve-month period.

(Z) "Tourist-oriented directional signs" means signs advertising a tourist-oriented activity available within ten miles and meeting the additional criteria within this chapter.

(AA) "Trademark logo" means a business logo that is registered as a trademark with the appropriate U.S. governmental agency.

(BB) "Traffic generator sign" means a sign that directs the traveling public to a private or public facility that generates a minimum volume of traffic on a routine basis as determined by the department.

(CC) "Trailblazing signs" means signs that are installed on the road leading away from an intersection directing to any business/activity/attraction that is not visible from this road.

(DD) "Urban area" means an area having a population of fifty thousand or more according to the most recent federal census and designated as such on federal aid urban area maps prepared by the department.

Last updated January 3, 2024 at 2:50 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.108
Amplifies: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.108
Five Year Review Date: 2/2/2023
Prior Effective Dates: 3/14/1996, 10/6/1997
Rule 5501:2-6-02 | Program manager.
 

(A) The director of the department hereby establishes a business logo sign program, a tourist-oriented directional sign program and a traffic generator sign program.

(B) If the director of the department decides to operate, maintain, and/or market the business logo sign program, the tourist-oriented directional sign program or the traffic generator sign program through a private person or entity, the methodology for selection will be based on criteria established by the director through an open request for proposal process. When issued, the request for proposal will be open for response for thirty days. In awarding the contract, the director will consider the skill, expertise, prior experience, and other qualifications of each applicant. Any such contract executed will be for such initial and renewal terms as the director determines appropriate.

(C) The department or the contracted program manager shall be responsible for:

(1) Marketing the program.

(2) Determining eligibility to participate in the program.

(3) Collecting all fees associated with the program from participating businesses.

(4) Paying all expenses for the program.

(5) Contacting utility companies (including the department) for possible conflicts.

(6) Developing, subject to the approval of the director, all applications for the program to include all necessary information as the director needs to ensure eligibility.

(7) Developing, subject to the approval of the director, all forms, applications, agreements, and other documents necessary for carrying out the program. The right-of-way permit is excluded from this provision as it is an existing document utilized by the department.

(8) Establishing, subject to the approval of the director, an application procedure for interested applicants.

(9) Covering or otherwise obscuring seasonal tourist-oriented directional signs during off-seasons.

(10) Determining circumstances as to when the posting of hours of operation are appropriate for tourist-oriented attractions.

(D) The department or the contracted program manager shall enter into agreements with the participating entities based on fees established by rules adopted through Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(E) Any program manager contracted may allow for a reasonable profit to be earned for carrying out a sign program.

(F) Any contract entered into between the department and the program manager shall require the contracted program manager to abide by all rules promulgated by the department for the operation of the applicable sign program.

(G) Any contracted program manager shall document and maintain records of all businesses who participate in and who are contacted regarding the participation in the program and provide copies of all records to the department upon request at no charge.

(H) All actions taken by a contracted program manager are subject to the approval of the director.

(I) At three-year intervals, the department or the contracted program manager shall verify that the entity for which a program sign is installed, remains in compliance with all appropriate rules, regulations, agreements, laws, and any other requirements and furnish a written certification of this fact to the director.

Last updated January 2, 2024 at 2:05 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.108
Amplifies: 4511.101, 4511.103 and 4511.108
Five Year Review Date: 12/18/2028
Prior Effective Dates: 4/23/2018
Rule 5501:2-6-03 | Interchange eligibility.
 

(A) No tourist-oriented directions signs or trailblazer markers shall be placed at interchanges on state system expressways and freeways but may be placed within the rights-of-way of those portions of rural state highways that are not on the interstate system and at at-grade intersections on expressways.

(1) If the intersection crossroad is not a rural state highway, the program manager will notify the appropriate governmental authority that tourist-oriented directional signs will be erected directing traffic across their roadway facility. If trailblazing signs are required, the program manager shall obtain consent legislation or written permission from the appropriate local legislative body. The form, content and any modifications or special clauses to the consent legislation shall have the prior approval of the director and will not be considered binding without such approval.

(2) If trailblazing signs are required for a tourist-oriented activity and permission for erecting trailblazing signs cannot be obtained from the appropriate local authorities having jurisdiction, that particular activity will not be eligible for tourist-oriented directional signs at that intersection.

(B) All other location eligibility, criteria, sign requirements, and sign specifications will be determined by the director based upon the manual of uniform traffic control devices, the department traffic engineering manual and sound engineering practices.

Last updated January 2, 2024 at 2:05 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.108
Amplifies: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.105, 4511.106
Five Year Review Date: 12/18/2028
Prior Effective Dates: 8/3/2001, 1/11/2013
Rule 5501:2-6-04 | Business eligibility.
 

(A) Only those businesses located in Ohio that provide gas, food, lodging, camping or attraction, are open to the general motoring public, are not operated on a "reservation only," "membership only," or "appointment only" basis, and meet the following additional criteria may be considered for the business logo sign program:

(1) To qualify for a gas logo sign panel, a business shall:

(a) Be located within five miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus.

(b) Provide vehicle services to include gas, and/or alternative fuel, oil and water.

(c) Be operated continuously for at least sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, all weeks of the year.

(2) To qualify for a food logo sign panel, a business shall:

(a) Be located within five miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus.

(b) Have all required licensing or approval.

(c) Be operated continuously to serve food for a minimum of seven hours per day at least six days per week.

(d) Provide modern sanitary facilities unless the business operates as a drive-thru, take-out, or carry-out only.

(3) To qualify for a lodging logo sign panel, a business shall:

(a) Be located within five miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus.

(b) Have all required licensing or approval.

(c) Provide adequate sleeping accommodations.

(d) Provide modern sanitary facilities.

(4) To qualify for a camping logo sign panel, a business shall:

(a) Be located within fifteen miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus.

(b) Have all required licensing or approval.

(c) Provide adequate parking accommodations.

(d) Provide sanitary facilities and drinking water.

(5) To qualify for an attraction logo sign panel, a business shall:

(a) Be located within five miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus for an attraction located in an urban area or within fifteen miles driving distance of the nearest ramp terminus for an attraction located in rural areas.

(b) Have as its primary purpose the provision of amusement, historical, cultural, or leisure activities for the public.

(c) Have regional significance.

(d) Provide adequate parking accommodations.

(e) If a convention center, have the overall meeting room capacity to accommodate at least one-thousand persons.

(f) If a shopping center, have a minimum of four hundred thousand square feet of gross usable floor space under roof.

(B) Only those tourist-oriented activities located in Ohio that meet the following criteria may be considered for the tourist-oriented directional signing program:

(1) Be open to the general motoring public, and not operated on a "reservation only", "membership only", or "appointment only" basis, throughout the normal business season for that particular type of tourist-oriented activity.

(2) Is not eligible at that intersection for inclusion in the business logo sign program established under section 4511.101 of the Revised Code.

(3) Is located within ten miles of the highway for which signing is sought.

(4) If the tourist-oriented activity offers food the following additional criteria apply:

(a) Not be a franchise or part of a national chain.

(b) Be of historical significance or offer a menu or foods concentrated on, and representative of, a specific cultural or ethnic population that has a significant presence in, and is uniquely identified with, the region in which the activity is located.

(c) Serve at least two meals per day.

(d) Have all required licensing or approval.

(5) If the tourist-oriented activity offers lodging the following additional criteria apply:

Have all required licensing or approval.

(6) If the tourist-oriented activity offers camping the following additional criteria apply:

(a) Have all required licensing or approval.

(b) Provide adequate parking accommodations.

(c) Provide sanitary facilities and drinking water.

(C) Only those businesses located in Ohio that are open to the general motoring public, are not operated on a "reservation only," "membership only," or "appointment only" basis, and meet the additional criteria found in the department traffic engineering manual may be considered for the traffic generator sign program.

(D) Those wishing to participate in any of the department's signing programs shall apply for the program on a form provided by the department or its contracted program manager. If the application is complete and all criteria met, the applicant will be notified of such acceptance in writing. Upon receipt of the notice the applicant shall forward to the department or the program manager the applicable fee and execute an agreement with the department or the program manager.

(E) An agreement executed under paragraph (D) of this rule is valid until the business, attraction, or activity ceases to operate, is canceled at the request of the business, attraction, or activity or for failure to comply with the applicable rules and statute.

(F) Before participating in any signing program, any existing illegal signs pertaining to that business, attraction or activity shall be removed.

(G) If a business, attraction, or activity for which a sign is in place is sold, the new owner(s) shall complete a program application. If the business, attraction, or activity continues to meet all criteria the existing sign may remain in place, or a new sign may be installed if the name, logo, or symbol changes.

(H) An attraction that would otherwise be eligible to participate in the business logo sign program at a particular interchange shall not have their logo displayed at that interchange if state provided directional signs for that attraction are in place at that interchange. Attractions wishing to participate in the business logo sign program or tourist-oriented directional sign program at a particular interchange may request removal of state provided directional signs for that attraction.

(I) The director may make any reasonable variances as to the listed eligibility criteria.

(J) If any business, attraction, or activity for which a sign is in place withdraws from the program, the sign shall be removed, and any prepaid fees may be refunded on a pro-rated basis. Upon request, the sign shall be given to the business, attraction, or activity.

(K) The director, when having reasonable cause to believe that a business, attraction, or activity for which an agreement is in effect has ceased to be such a business, attraction, or activity, shall immediately and without conducting an adjudication, issue an order canceling the agreement and forward notice of the cancellation in writing to the operator of the business, attraction, or activity together with information that the cancellation may be appealed in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. If no appeal is entered within the time period specified in that section, or if an appeal is entered but cancellation of the agreement is subsequently affirmed, the director shall order the removal of the signs relating to said business, attraction, or activity.

(L) If there is reasonable belief by the director or the contracted program manager that any business, attraction, or activity is non-compliant with any eligibility requirements of the sign program, the business, attraction, or activity shall be notified in writing of the alleged non-compliance and have twenty-one days from the date the notice is sent to get into compliance. Any business, attraction, or activity that remains in non-compliance after twenty-one days will then be notified by the director, in writing, that the agreement is being canceled. The notice shall notify the business, attraction, or activity that the cancellation may be appealed in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. If no appeal is entered within the time period specified in that section, or if an appeal is entered but cancellation of the agreement is subsequently affirmed, the director shall order the removal of the signs relating to said business, attraction, or activity.

Last updated January 3, 2024 at 2:50 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 4511.101, 4511.103
Amplifies: 4511.101, 4511.102, 4511.104
Five Year Review Date: 4/23/2023
Prior Effective Dates: 1/11/2013, 4/23/2018
Rule 5501:2-6-05 | Fee schedule.
 

(A) The fee schedule for participation in the business logo sign program, the tourist-oriented directional sign program and the traffic generator sign program shall be based on all direct and indirect costs of the program and may include but is not limited to the actual cost of establishing, operating, and administering the program, including processing applications for right-of-way permits and providing necessary services for designing, maintaining, repairing, removing, replacing, and relocating signs, off-season covering, and all materials and may also be reflective of the average daily traffic count. Any money collected in excess of the direct and indirect costs of the program and any reasonable profit earned by a program manager shall be remitted to the department.

(B) The annual fee for participation in the business logo sign program is established as follows:

Average Daily Traffic (ADT)0 to 19,99920,000 to 49,99950,000 to 99,999100,000 and above
Mainline Sign and Ramp Sign per Direction (Total annual cost to display one mainline and one ramp logo panel)$975$1,150$1,325$1,500

(C) The annual fee for participation in the tourist-oriented directional sign program and the traffic generator sign program shall be established and made publicly available by the department.

(D) Additional fees may be assessed for the fabrication and installation of the signs, for any logo or symbol, for any trailblazing signs, and for any alternate headers on tourist-oriented directional signs.

Last updated April 13, 2023 at 8:42 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 4511.101, 4511.103
Amplifies: 4511.101, 4511.103, 4511.108
Five Year Review Date: 4/13/2028
Prior Effective Dates: 5/29/1995, 1/11/2013