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Spring 2005-14 Repeal of new signs law proposed

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Number 59
Spring 2005

Repeal of new signs law proposed

Bill 277, filed with the Senate of Puerto Rico, proposes to repeal the recently-enacted Uniform Law on Signs and Advertisements (Act No. 355 of December 22, 1999) and re-adopt the prior law governing the subject matter.

Statement of motives

The statement of motives of the new bill states that the Uniform Law incorrectly attempted to regulate the matter, since previous legislation followed the vision and provisions of the federal laws that incorporated our public roads into the national system. It also indicates that the Uniform Law, while detailed, is too permissive, so that its rationality is questionable since it does not take into consideration the importance of the public interest regarding the conservation, protection and restoration of the environment, which has been the public policy for years. Furthermore, the Uniform Law imposes a complicated system of substantive and procedural requirements for complying with the registry established by it.

Proposed repeal

For this and other reasons, the bill intends to repeal the Uniform Law and re-adopt Act No. 427 of May 13, 1951, as amended, and its related regulations. The powers and faculties of the Puerto Rico Planning Board would be restricted, however, so that regulations to be promulgated be imposed uniformly in Puerto Rico. Also, regulations must be in harmony and must assure compliance with the agreement reached by the Commonwealth with the Federal Highway Administration, and must require a separation between signs of no less than 700 feet.

Not visible from roads

Furthermore, under the provisions of the bill, no signs or advertisements would be permitted if the same are visible from any road, except in limited circumstances, such as:

safety signs,

directional signs,

certain signs or advertisements in rural roads.

Signs and advertisements that have been registered under the current law would be grandfathered until their registration expires.


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