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Chapter 672-6 GRANTING, RENEWAL, AND REVOCATION OF PERMITS FOR OUTDOOR ADVERTISING

Rule 672-6-.01 Definitions

The following terms, as used in the Rules of this Chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context thereof indicates to the contrary:

(a) "Abandoned" or "Discontinued": Any sign adjacent to a state-controlled route that has not contained a message for six consecutive months and which has not had a message displayed within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice by certified mail from the department. The addition of a 'for rent' panel or a phone number shall not qualify as a message for purposes of this subsection, but a self promotional copy covering at least one entire sign face, advertising copy benefitting charitable, nonprofit, religious, or other noncommercial groups shall qualify as a message.
(b) "Agent": A person properly authorized in writing to represent and bind another.
(c) "Administrative Law Judge": An individual who is authorized to hear administrative appeals in contested cases as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 50-13-41(a).
(d) "Board": The State Transportation Board of Georgia.
(e) "Comprehensive Zoning Plan": Means a zoning plan or ordinance adopted by either a city or a county in accordance with the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law O.C.G.A. § 36-66-1et seq.A Comprehensive Zoning Plan shall be reviewed and accepted by the Board for outdoor advertising purposes if it, (1) effectively zones the entire city or county and, (2) does not utilize strip or spot zoning. For Outdoor Advertising purposes only, if the zoning of jurisdiction is not approved by the State Transportation Board the Department may treat the jurisdiction as unzoned until such time that said zoning is approved as being acceptable for Outdoor Advertising purposes.
(f) "Conforming Sign": Those signs defined by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(1),(4),(5), and 32-6-73(1).
(g) "Controlled Routes": The primary system as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(16).
(h) "Department": The Department of Transportation of the State of Georgia.
(i) "Destroy" or "Destroyed": An act which renders the sign useless for its intended purpose, though it may not literally demolish or annihilate the sign. A sign is destroyed when it is no longer in existence due to factors other than vandalism or other criminal or tortuous act. A sign is destroyed when sixty percent (60%) or more of the upright supports of a sign structure are physically damaged such that normal repair practices would call for: in the case of wooden or metal I-beam sign structures, replacement of the broken supports; or, in the case of metal sign structures, replacement of at least thirty percent (30%) of the length above ground of each broken, bent, or twisted support.
(j) "Display" or "Face": That portion or side of an outdoor advertising sign which is designed, intended or is used to advertise or inform. In the event that a sign facing consists of two or more separate but physically connected slats or similar devices which are designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform, then each such separate device shall be considered a separate display or face. An owner identification placard shall not be considered a portion of the display or face. A changeable panel or readerboard, with the ability to change information shall be considered a part of the display only if it references the static advertisement on the board, changes no more often than once per minute and encompasses no more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the display area.
(k) "Engineer": The Chief Engineer, acting directly or through a duly authorized representative, such representative acting within the scope of the particular duties assigned to him and within the authority given him.
(l) "Expired" or "Lapsed" Permits or Revisions: Is a properly issued permit or revision which is no longer valid because it's conditions have not been completed or revised within the applicable time frame. This includes failure to pay any applicable fees. Permits which have expired solely as a result of failure to pay fees may be referred to as lapsed for purposes of O.C.G.A. § 32-6-75.3(j) and State Transportation Board Rules 672-14-.02.
(m) "Facing": Either side of an outdoor advertising sign.
(n) "General Office": Georgia Department of Transportation, 600 West Peachtree Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30308.
(o) "Illegal Sign": Those signs defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(6).
(p) "Interchange": Any entry or exit point from the main travelled way of a limited access highway.
(q) "Lease" or "Outdoor Advertising Lease": A written agreement between the property owner and sign company to allow the erection and maintenance of a sign.
(r) "Mixed Use Zoning": Property zoned mixed use pursuant to state or local zoning laws or ordinances as a part of a comprehensive zoning plan. The Department may consider this type of zoning acceptable for outdoor advertising purposes only if the property in the vicinity of the location under consideration is primarily commercial or industrial.
(s) "On Site" or "On Premise" Sign: Those signs authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(3) and 32-6-73(3).
(t) "Primary Use": Is a determination by the Department for the purpose of evaluating applications for outdoor advertising permits. For a permit to be issued in a zoned commercial or industrial area, the primary use of the property must be determined to be consistent with its commercial or industrial zoning. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to: the expressed reasons for the zoning designation/change, the zoning of the surrounding area, the actual land uses nearby, the existence of development and construction plans, certified by a licensed professional engineer, for commercial or industrial development scheduled to begin within two years, the assessment of real estate taxes at commercial/industrial rates, the presence of utilities such as water, electricity, and sewage, the existence of access roads or dedicated access to the newly zoned area, and the existence of commercial or industrial activities which, if unzoned, would qualify an area as an unzoned commercial or industrial area under 672-6-.01(y). No one of the above factors is determinative.
(u) "Property Owner": The owner of the land on which outdoor advertising authorized by the Georgia Code of Public Transportation, is sought to be erected or maintained.
(v) "Residence Owner": The owner of a residence within three hundred (300) feet of the existing or proposed location of outdoor advertising authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(1),(4),(5), and 32-6-73(1). For the purpose of these Rules,"residence" shall mean a building or structure in which one or more persons actually maintain living quarters although it may be temporarily vacant and said premises are used primarily for residential purposes.
(w) "Spot Zoning": The process of designating a small parcel, or portion of a parcel of land for a use classification different from and less restrictive than that of the surrounding area to qualify for purposes either implied or expressed, the parcel for Outdoor Advertising permits, which proposed classification is made without any consideration overall of the neighboring land use.
(x) "Strip Zoning": The process of designating a narrow strip of land no more than 250 feet wide, measured perpendicular to the right of way, consisting of either a single parcel or contiguous parcels, for a use classification different from and less restrictive than that of the surrounding area which proposed classification is made without any consideration overall of the neighboring land use character.
(y) "Unzoned Commercial or Industrial Areas": For purposes of outdoor advertising, those areas or districts as defined in O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(25). Additionally, one or more commercial or industrial activities must meet the following criteria before an outdoor advertising permit application will be granted:
1. The activity shall maintain all necessary business licenses as required by applicable state, county or local law or ordinances;
2. The activity shall have direct vehicular access from a public road that is normal and customary for ingress and egress by the public to the activity as well as adequate parking to accommodate public access;
3. If there is a permanent structure, the activity shall include customary facilities such as indoor restrooms, running water, functioning electrical connections, and adequate heating and shall be equipped with a permanent flooring from material other than dirt, gravel or sand;
4. The activity, if open to the public, shall be open during hours that are normal and customary for that type activity in the same or similar communities; and
5. If there is a permanent structure or building, it shall have a permanent foundation, built or modified for its current commercial or industrial use, and the building must be located within 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the controlled route. Where a mobile home or recreational vehicle is used as a business or office, the following conditions and requirements shall also apply:
a. A self-propelled vehicle shall not qualify for use as a business or office for the purposes of these rules.
b. All wheels, axles and springs shall be removed.
c. The vehicle shall be permanently secured on piers, pad or foundation.

Provided, however none of the following, but not limited to the following, shall be considered commercial or industrial activities for the purpose of outdoor advertising:

1. outdoor advertising structures;
2. agricultural, forestry, ranching, grazing, farming and related activities, including but not limited to wayside fresh produce stands;
3. transient or temporary businesses and activities, including weekend or seasonal flea markets without permanent structures. All businesses and activities that qualify must be established at least 90 days before the location is eligible;
4. activities not visible from the main traveled way;
5. activities more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right-of-way;
6. activities conducted in a building principally used as a residence; and
7. railroad tracks, minor sidings, cell towers, and other utility facilities.
(z) "Urban Areas": The area within the incorporated boundaries of a municipality having a population of 5,000 or more or an adjacent area within the latest boundaries designated and fixed by the outdoor advertising urban area boundary maps on file in the Atlanta Office of the Department of Transportation and more specifically defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(26).
(aa) "Zoned Commercial or Industrial Areas": Those areas or districts as defined in O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(29), under a comprehensive zoning plan approved by the State Transportation Board. Additionally, the primary use of the area or district must be consistent with its zoning designation. A Planned Unit Development (PUD) plan which has not been approved by the local government shall not be considered zoning.

Rule 672-6-.01A Outdoor Advertising Permit Fees

The Department shall publish a "Schedule of Outdoor Advertising Fees" on the Department website.

Rule 672-6-.02 Forms

All forms referred to in these Rules may be obtained from the Georgia Department of Transportation by accessing the address of the Outdoor Advertising Unit on the Department's official webpage.

Rule 672-6-.03 Requirement of a Permit

(1) Signs Requiring a Permit:
(a) Conforming Signs. The following are required to obtain a permit prior to the construction or erection of a sign, and for the continued maintenance of signs authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(1),(4),(5), and 32-6-73(1):
1. Signs within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right of way of all controlled routes and visible from the main traveled way which are:
(i) Directional and other official signs and notices as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-7-71(2) and (13);
(ii) Outdoor Advertising signs in zoned commercial or industrial areas which provide information in the specific interest of the traveling public;
(iii) Outdoor Advertising signs in unzoned commercial or industrial areas which provide information in the specific interest to the traveling public.
2. Signs beyond 660 feet from the nearest edge of right-of-way of all controlled routes and visible from the main traveled way outside of urban areas, and are:
(i) Directional and other official signs and notices as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(2) and (13).
(b) Nonconforming Signs. Signs which were lawfully erected but do not comply with the provisions of State law or regulations due to changes in State law, changes in rules and regulations or changed conditions beyond the control of the sign owner since the erection date of the sign are required to obtain a permit for their continued maintenance. For all such signs, on or after March 24, 1980, an application for a nonconforming permit must be filed with the Georgia Department of Transportation in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 32-6-79(e).
(c) Routes Added to Controlled System. Signs that were erected on roads or highways on routes which were subsequently added to the primary system are required to file an application for a permit within sixty (60) days of written notification by the Department. In such instances, those signs that meet the requirements for a conforming sign will be issued a conforming permit. All other signs will be issued nonconforming permits.
(d) No permitted sign may imitate or give the appearance of an "official" highway sign.
(2) Signs that do not require a Georgia Department of Transportation permit:
(a) Signs authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(2) and 32-6-73(2), which advertise the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located; provided that the message only consist of "This Property For Sale" or some facsimile thereto; phone number and address of the seller or renter. The name or logo of the agent, seller or renter may be displayed but must comprise an area no greater than 25% of the total area of the sign. Signs advertising vacant land or commercial properties must include a plat or brief description of the property.
(b) Signs authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-72(3) and 32-6-73(3), provided that all signs as defined by such provisions, meet the following criteria:
1. The sign must be located within one hundred (100) feet of the activity advertised by the sign. The distance from the sign to the activity shall be measured by the shortest straight line distance from the sign to the nearest regularly used building, parking lot, driveway, storage or processing area, or other area physically used in a manner necessary to, or customarily incident to, the activity and contiguous to the activity;
2. The following will not be considered as use of an area in a manner necessary to, or customarily incident to, the activity:
(i) Any activity unrelated to the advertised activity;
(ii) Any activity which, although carried on as a part of the advertised activity, serves no reasonable or integrated purpose to the activity;
(iii) Any activity which could reasonably be conducted within a reasonable proximity to the advertised activity but which is separated by some distance, especially where such activity is located at or near the end of a narrow strip of land contiguous to the highway right-of-way; and
(iv) Narrow strips of landscaped area along the highway right-of-way.
3. The sign must be on the same property on which the advertised activity is located. The following will not be considered to be the same property:
(i) Tracts of land held in different estates or interests;
(ii) Tracts of land separated by a public road, a railroad, or a river; and
(iii) Tracts of land not under common ownership.
4. The word "activity" for the purpose of this part shall be defined as the name of the place of business or attraction and may include a description of the goods or services that are available at that location by name.
(c) Signs beyond 660 feet from the nearest edge of the rights-of-way on all controlled routes which are also inside of urban areas.

Rule 672-6-.04 Application for a Permit

(1) Necessary forms and general information can be obtained at the General Office or a District Office of the Department. Three forms are required, a copy of your W-9, an Application for Outdoor Advertising and a Local Government Certification for Outdoor Advertising. The forms require the following information in addition to the information specified by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-74:
(a) The description of the location of the outdoor advertising sign including, but not limited to, the GPS coordinates.
(b) A description, including the proposed or actual size, type of construction and height above ground level and above the pavement level of the nearest lane of the main traveled way of the outdoor advertising sign; A shop drawing of the sign to be placed indicating the plan, elevation, and side views of the sign. Approximate sign elevation above the nearest edge of the roadway and location from property line. Sign configuration and face sizes.
(c) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the applicant. The name, address, and telephone number of the landowner.
(d) A sketch identifying the sign location along the state route by mile post and/or distance to nearest intersecting road or permanent roadway feature.
(e) Evidence satisfactory to the Department of the property owners' consent to the erection and maintenance of the outdoor advertising sign and including a right of entry for the Department, or its agent or contractor or assignee, to inspect or carry out any lawful order or activity relating to the outdoor advertising sign. A lease submitted to the Department in accordance with this Section shall contain language to the effect of such a Right of Entry in favor of the Georgia Department of Transportation. In the absence thereof, the property owner, its agent or a Lessee appointed as agent by the property owner, shall execute any and all necessary forms to effectuate a Right of Entry in compliance with this Section as required by the Georgia Department of Transportation;
(f) A completed local government certification by the Public Official having jurisdiction over such matters that the proposed structure is located in an area appropriate for such construction under local laws, ordinances or regulations, if locally regulated, or that the jurisdiction has no such controls;
(g) A statement by the applicant that he will comply with O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-70 through 32-6-97;
(h) Any other relevant information reasonably necessary for the Department to evaluate the application; and
(i) Required application fees in the Schedule of Outdoor Advertising Fees as found on the Department website.
(2) Where to file: Applications and the renewal of same are to be submitted to the Outdoor Advertising Unit. General Information and necessary forms may be obtained online through the Department's official webpage or at a District Office by accessing the addresses of the Outdoor Advertising Unit on the Department's official webpage. However, no field checks or preliminary qualification of a sign or proposed site will be performed by the Department until a complete application package and fee have been submitted.

Rule 672-6-.05 Conditions for Issuance of Approved Permit

(1) An applicant agrees that an approved permit is subject to the following conditions:
(a) Signs shall be erected, maintained and operational within 12 months of issuance of the permit or prior to the expiration of any extension granted in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 32-6 74.
(b) The permit holder shall provide notice of completion to the Department within ten (10) days of completion of construction or revision of a permitted sign, including revisions made under O.C.G.A. § 32-6-75(c). The notice shall include an electronic photograph of the sign as viewed from the main travelled way of the roadway from which the sign is permitted, and an electronic photograph showing the permit identification tag and where it is affixed to the structure.
(c) Maintenance of Illegal Signs. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 32-6-79(f), the Department has the right to refuse to issue a permit to any person, firm or corporation whom the Department determines is maintaining or is allowing to be maintained an illegal sign or signs as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(6);
(d) Liability of the Department, its officials, agents or employees. Any permit issued by the Department is subject to the following conditions: The applicant agrees by accepting any permit issued by the Department to indemnify and save harmless the Department, its officials, employees or agents, the State of Georgia and any political subdivision thereof from responsibility for any damages or liability arising from the erection or maintenance of any structure approved under the permit. Permits will only be issued to the landowner where the sign is located or someone with written proof of the landowner's consent to the erection of the sign as specified in 672-6-.04(1)(e).
(e) Conforming Signs:
1. A maximum of one outdoor advertising sign will be allowed per location and a maximum of two displays will be allowed per facing.
(i) Outdoor advertising structures which contain more than one display and are not classified as a double-faced, back-to-back, or V-type sign shall be considered two signs. For the purposes of these Rules, the following limitations are placed on the use of the terms "single-faced","double-faced","back-to-back", and "V-type" signs:
(A) "Single-faced signs" shall be one continuous physically connected structure constructed in a straight line with one display facing one direction of travel;
(B) "Double-faced signs" shall be one continuous physically connected structure constructed in a straight line with two abutting displays facing one direction of travel;
(C) "Back-to-back signs" shall be considered a single sign where two double-faced or single-faced signs or a combination thereof are placed parallel to each other facing two directions of travel and being constructed so that the signs are behind one another and that if one is smaller it shall not project laterally beyond either edge of the larger sign and being separated by no more than 15 feet, if separated;
(D) "V-type signs" shall be considered a single sign when two double-faced or single-faced signs or a combination thereof are placed facing two directions of travel in a "V formation" with the angle formed by the intersection of each being no greater than 90 degrees and if not actually intersected, that each shall be located no further apart at their nearest points than 15 feet.
2. Permit identification tag. A permit identification tag shall be attached to the sign support nearest to the main traveled way before attachment of any outdoor advertising display and must be visible from the main traveled way.
3. Spacing requirements. A sign may not be so located that when considered in light of any permit previously granted to the applicant or any other person, the spacing requirements, set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-75 and 32-6-76, would be violated. The following methods of measurement will be used by the Department:
(i) Sign Spacing. The minimum distances between sign structures shall be measured along the nearest edge of pavement between points directly opposite the closest points of the signs as applied to sign structures located on the same side of the highway;
(ii) Interchange Spacing. If the sign is located outside of the corporate limits of a municipality and adjacent to an interstate highway within 500 feet of an interchange, intersection at grade, or safety rest area, the foregoing 500 foot zone shall be measured along the interstate highway from the furthermost point at which the pavement commences or ceases on either side to widen at exits from or entrances to the main traveled way;
(iii) All spacing measurements shall be measured perpendicular to and along the nearest edge of the pavement;
(iv) The following signs within controlled areas are not counted when determining spacing requirements:
(A) Official signs and notices, public utility signs, service club and religious notices and public utility signs as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(13),(18),(19), and (22);
(B) Signs advertising the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located;
(C) "On premise" signs as defined herein;
(D) "Illegal signs" as defined by O.C.G.A. § 32-6-71(6), except illegal signs on the same property, or other property owned by the applicant or landowner for which application is being made for a permit for a sign;
(f) Nonconforming Signs:
1. The following restrictions are placed on the maintenance of any nonconforming sign:
(i) There must be existing property rights in the sign;
(ii) The right to continue a nonconforming sign is confined to the sign owner or his transferee;
(iii) A nonconforming sign removed for any reason may be moved to a conforming area, but cannot be reestablished at a new location as a nonconforming use.
(iv) Routine maintenance may be performed, but the sign must remain substantially the same as it was on the effective date of the State law or regulations which rendered the sign nonconforming. Extension, enlargement, replacement, rebuilding, adding lights either to the sign or in any manner which results in the illumination of a sign that did not previously have lights, or re-erection of a fallen or damaged face, or rebuilding or replacement of the foundation or poles are not routine maintenance and shall be considered a substantial change. Routine maintenance will be limited to:
(A) replacement of nuts and bolts;
(B) additional nailing, riveting or welding;
(C) cleaning and painting;
(D) manipulating the level or plumb of the device, but not to the extent of adding guys, struts for stabilization of the sign structure; and
(E) a change of the advertising message, including changing the faces, as long as similar materials are used and the sign face is not enlarged.
(v) At no time may changes be made in a nonconforming sign which would increase the value of the sign;
(vi) A nonconforming sign may continue as long as it is not abandoned, destroyed, discontinued, or purchased by any governmental agency. Any sign suffering damage in excess of normal wear may be repaired after:
(A) notifying the Department in writing of the extent of the damage, the reason the damage is in excess of normal wear, and providing a description of the repair work to be undertaken; and
(B) receiving written notice from the Department authorizing the repair work as described above. If said work authorization is granted, it shall be mailed to the applicant within 30 days of receipt of the information described in (1) above.

Rule 672-6-.06 Revision of a Conforming Permit

(1) In accordance with requirements of the O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-75 and 32-6-76, the following limited revisions may be made in a previously approved conforming permit and sign upon the submission of a written request from the permit holder or his authorized representative and receipt of the Department's approval prior to the making of the revisions, providing, no alterations or additions are to be made until written approval has been granted by the Department of Transportation:
(a) The number of faces of the outdoor advertising;
(b) The number of facings of the outdoor advertising;
(c) An increase in the size of the outdoor advertising;
(d) The addition of illumination; and
(e) The addition of a readerboard.
(2) Revisions under O.C.G.A. § 32-6-75(c)shall require an Application for Multiple Message Supplement.
(a) Signs with the ability to change copy, regardless of technology, must obtain a multiple message supplement prior to erection.
(b) Revisions in display technology must obtain a multiple message supplement approval prior to erection.
(c) Conditions for issuance of Multi-Message Outdoor Advertising Supplement:
1. Proposed sign locations, regardless of technology, shall not be located within 5,000 feet of an existing or approved multi-message sign on the same side of the road.
2. Contact information of a capable and authorized person to make prompt modifications to the displays and lighting levels should the need arise. In the event the contact person is unobtainable or unresponsive, the permit holder grants to the Department the authority to access and disable the sign in cases of emergency or when the sign poses a threat to public safety.
3. Displays shall contain static messages only, changed instantaneously, through transitions that do not have the appearance of moving text or images. In any event, such signs may not have movement, or the appearance of or illusion of movement, of any part of the sign structure, design, or pictorial segment of the sign, including the movement of any illumination or the flashing, scintillating or varying of light intensity.
4. Dark backgrounds with light lettering or symbols are preferred between dusk and dawn to reduce potential hazardous effects. In any event glare or excessive brightness that poses a threat to public safety is to be avoided.
5. Should the Department, at its discretion, find the sign, any display or effect thereon, to cause glare or impair the vision of the traveling public or which otherwise interferes with the operation of the roadway facility, upon request, the owner of the sign shall promptly reduce the intensity or contrast of the sign to a level acceptable to the Department, or make any other changes necessary to reduce the interference with the operation of the roadway facility. Failure to make changes on the request shall be cause for revocation of the multi-message permit.
6. Should any endangered or threatened species of wildlife be found nesting or foraging on or in close proximity to the structure, the sign face shall remain frozen until such a time as the Department, in conjunction with the sign owner and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, determines the appropriate remediation to minimize potential harm from the sign or changes to the sign face.
7. Electronic signs shall, in addition to the requirements set out above, comply with the conditions for multiple message signs contained in the Official Code of Georgia annotated and any other applicable laws, rules or regulations.
(3) The sign shall be operating in accordance with the permit within twelve (12) months of approval or shall expire without further notice. The permit holder shall provide the Department notice when the sign begins operating in accordance with the multi-message supplement.

Rule 672-6-.07 Renewal, Initial Permit Extension and Transfer of Permits

(1) Effective Date of Renewal- All permits shall expire on the first day of April the year following issuance and shall be renewed between January 1st and April 1st each calendar year.
(2) Renewal Notice- The Department shall furnish an itemized list of permits to the last known address of each permit holder in December of each year. Permit holders shall review the information and use the notice to update permit information and pay renewals. Permit holders shall indicate any permit not to be renewed and any unlisted permits and provide supporting documentation to the Department. as well as any discrepancies with supporting documentation to the Department. A copy of the notice with appropriate fees for each permit being renewed, the proposed removal date for any sign which permit is not being renewed, and the supporting documents for contested permits shall be submitted by April 1st. The Department shall record renewal payments and respond to any discrepancies in writing within 30 days of receipt.

Permit holders will be notified by certified mail of permits not renewed by the renewal date of April 1st. and given 45 days to renew or remove the sign. Upon expiration of the 45 day period, any sign not renewed or removed shall be deemed illegal as a matter of law and subject to removal without further administrative proceeding.

(3) Situations in which renewal will not be issued. When the conditions set forth in subsection (1) of Section 672-6-.07 of this Rule have been followed, a renewal will be issued by the Department, except when:
(a) The applicable permit identification tag issued by the Department is not attached to the sign support or is not attached in the manner prescribed herein; or
(b) The applicant's permit has been revoked by the Department pursuant to these Rules; or
(c) The permit has been issued through error and corrections have not or cannot be made by the sign owner; or
(d) The sign has been abandoned or discontinued.
(4) Transfer of Permits:
(a) Permits are transferable upon proper notice to the Department under the following conditions:
1. Notice must be given within 30 days of the change in ownership of the sign;
2. The application must be on forms prescribed by the Department and such forms shall require:
(i) that the transferee agree to the terms and conditions of the original or revised permit or the permit in use at the time of transfer;
(ii) a statement of the date of the transfer attested to by both seller and purchaser;
(iii) evidence satisfactory to the Department that such transfer is acceptable to the landowner to the extent that he agrees to the continued maintenance of the sign on his property;
3. Transfers will not be made if renewal fees are not current.
(b) Penalty for Non-Compliance. Failure to timely and properly comply with this provision shall be grounds for revocation of the permit.
(5) "Initial Permit Extension" - The initial permit erection period may be extended one twelve month period as long as the application for extension and fees are received a minimum of 30 days before the expiration date. Only one extension may be granted for a permit. The permit holder may not apply for a new permit at the same location where a permit has been extended until the business day following the expiration date of any extension.

Permit extension requests may be denied including, but not limited to, the following reasons:

(a) Request not filed by the deadline; or
(b) Maintenance of an illegal sign by permit holder; or
(c) Maintenance of an unauthorized sign on permit property; and
(d) Renewals not paid.

Rule 672-6-.08 Revocation or Expiration of a Permit

(1) If the Department believes that a permit holder has violated the conditions or certifications of his permit, the Department shall give thirty (30) days written notice by certified mail to the permit holder notifying him of said violation or violations. The notice shall contain the following information:
(a) Permit Number;
(b) Location and Description of Sign;
(c) The section or sections of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated or these Rules which are being violated.
(2) A Permit or renewal thereof may be revoked when:
(a) Vegetation has been poisoned, cut, or otherwise unlawfully destroyed on state rights-of-way at the sign location by or at the direction of the sign owner or the landowner;
(b) A permit has been issued in error;
(c) A renewal has been issued in error;
(d) The revision of a permit has not been completed in accordance with Section 672-6-.06 or an approved revision has been abandoned;
(e) The permit holder has violated any section of these rules and regulations or the O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-70 through 32-6-97; and
(f) The sign has not had any advertising message for a period of 12 months.
(3) Permits shall expire for the following reasons:
(a) Failure to erect and operate the sign within twelve (12) months of the issuance of the permit or within the term of an approved supplement;
(b) An approved revision has not been completed or is not operating within twelve (12) months; and
(c) Failure to pay renewal fees within the time allotted under O.C.G.A § 32-6-74 and 672-6-07.

Rule 672-6-.09 Appeals

An appeal from an adverse action by the Department may be made under the practices and procedures set forth in Rule 672-1-.05, Rules of the Georgia Department of Transportation, as long as the appeal is filed within 30 days following the Notice by the Department.

Should a permit holder fail to request an Administrative hearing in accordance with 672-1-.05 prior to the expiration of the thirty (30) days following the Notice of Violation, the permit shall be revoked without further notice or hearing, the sign deemed illegal, and the Department shall be permitted to have the sign removed in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 32-6-96.

Rule 672-6-.10 Destruction of Property on the Rights-of-Way

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 32-6-75.3 and 32-6-81, trees, shrubs, or other property on the state right-of-way shall not be unlawfully destroyed, altered, replaced, or removed. The Department will prosecute any infraction of this provision and the permit or permits for the signs adjacent to such infraction may be revoked. In order to revoke a permit the Department shall not be required to obtain a criminal conviction for the destruction of the property.

(a) Prior to revocation of a permit the Department shall give 30 days' written notice via certified mail to the permit holder and the landowner, this notice shall inform the landowner and permit holder of the right to request a hearing in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-13-13et seq.
(b) The Department may seek as an additional remedy at the same Administrative Hearing, in addition to revocation of the permit, a prohibition of the erection or maintenance of any signs within 500 feet on either side of that sign site or sites for a period not to exceed five (5) years.

Rule 672-6-.11 Conversion of Permits

(1) When the Department determines that a conforming sign has become nonconforming, the Department shall notify the permit holder by certified mail of the changed status. In an unzoned area, if the business used to qualify a sign permit as conforming has been inactive for 6 months or more, the Department may convert the permit to non-conforming upon notice to the permit holder.
(2) If a permit holder believes a non-conforming sign has become eligible for a conforming permit, the permit holder may apply for conversion to a conforming permit by submitting an Application for Outdoor Advertising Permit and an application fee. If the Department determines the sign is eligible for conversion, the existing permit will be converted to conforming status.

Rule 672-6-.12 Reserved