Section 479.261, Florida Statutes 2007
479.261 Logo sign program.--
(1) The department shall establish a logo sign program for the rights-of-way of the interstate highway system to provide information to motorists about available gas, food, lodging, and camping services at interchanges, through the use of business logos, and may include additional interchanges under the program. A logo sign for nearby attractions may be added to this program if allowed by federal rules.
(a) An attraction as used in this chapter is defined as an establishment, site, facility, or landmark which is open a minimum of 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year; which charges an admission for entry; which has as its principal focus family-oriented entertainment, cultural, educational, recreational, scientific, or historical activities; and which is publicly recognized as a bona fide tourist attraction. However, the permits for businesses seeking to participate in the attractions logo sign program shall be awarded by the department annually to the highest bidders, notwithstanding the limitation on fees in subsection (5), which are qualified for available space at each qualified location, but the fees therefor may not be less than the fees established for logo participants in other logo categories.
(b) The department shall incorporate the use of RV-friendly markers on specific information logo signs for establishments that cater to the needs of persons driving recreational vehicles. Establishments that qualify for participation in the specific information logo program and that also qualify as "RV-friendly" may request the RV-friendly marker on their specific information logo sign. An RV-friendly marker must consist of a design approved by the Federal Highway Administration. The department shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 120 to administer this paragraph, including rules setting forth the minimum requirements that establishments must meet in order to qualify as RV-friendly. These requirements shall include large parking spaces, entrances, and exits that can easily accommodate recreational vehicles and facilities having appropriate overhead clearances, if applicable.
(2) The logo sign program may be implemented at qualified interchanges on the interstate highway system. All interchanges with logo signs erected on the effective date of this section are qualified and additional interchanges may be qualified pursuant to this section.
(3) Logo signs may be installed upon the issuance of an annual permit by the department or its agent and payment of an application and permit fee to the department or its agent.
(4) The department may contract pursuant to s. 287.057 for the provision of services related to the logo sign program, including recruitment and qualification of businesses, review of applications, permit issuance, and fabrication, installation, and maintenance of logo signs. The department may reject all proposals and seek another request for proposals or otherwise perform the work. If the department contracts for the provision of services for the logo sign program, the contract must require, unless the business owner declines, that businesses that previously entered into agreements with the department to privately fund logo sign construction and installation be reimbursed by the contractor for the cost of the signs which has not been recovered through a previously agreed upon waiver of fees. The contract also may allow the contractor to retain a portion of the annual fees as compensation for its services.
(5) Permit fees for businesses that participate in the program must be established in an amount sufficient to offset the total cost to the department for the program, including contract costs. The department shall provide the services in the most efficient and cost-effective manner through department staff or by contracting for some or all of the services. Such annual permit fee shall not exceed $1,250.
(6) This section does not create a proprietary or compensable interest in any logo sign site or location for any permittee, and the department may terminate permits or change locations of logo sign sites as the department determines necessary for construction or improvement of transportation facilities or for improved traffic control or safety.
(7) The department may adopt rules to establish requirements for qualification and location of logo sign sites, qualification and distance of businesses, permit application and processing, and other criteria necessary to implement this program and to provide for variances when necessary to serve the interest of the traveling public or when required to ensure equitable treatment of program participants. However, the department or its agent may erect logo signs only where spacing requirements allow at least one logo sign structure on the main road, one logo sign structure on the ramp, and all necessary traffic control signs for each direction of travel.
History.--s. 6, ch. 96-201; s. 31, ch. 97-280; s. 1, ch. 2005-141.