2015 ORS 377.735¹
Exemptions from sign permit requirements
  • historic signs
  • rules

(1) The permit requirements of ORS 377.700 (Short title) to 377.844 (Enforcement of rules regarding health and safety) do not apply to:

(a) Signs of a governmental unit, including but not limited to traffic control signs or devices, legal notices or warnings.

(b) A temporary sign on private property if:

(A) The sign does not exceed 12 square feet;

(B) The sign is not on a permanent base;

(C) The sign does not remain in place for a period of more than 60 days in a calendar year, except that a sign erected by a resident on the residents residential property may remain in place for longer than 60 days in a calendar year;

(D) No person receives compensation or anything of value as defined by the Department of Transportation by rule for displaying the sign; and

(E) The sign complies with ORS 377.720 (Prohibited signs).

(2) The Department of Transportation may adopt rules that, for good cause shown, allow a person displaying a temporary sign to obtain a variance from the restrictions in subsection (1)(b) of this section. The department shall not consider the content of the sign in deciding whether to allow a variance.

(3) The department shall adopt rules for the approval and preservation of historic signs. Rules adopted under this subsection may not be based on or allow consideration of the content of the signs.

(4) The department shall adopt rules for the erection and maintenance of permanent signs that do not exceed six square feet and that provide messages for the safety or convenience of the public.

(5) ORS 377.700 (Short title) to 377.844 (Enforcement of rules regarding health and safety) do not apply to a sign erected or maintained within a city more than 660 feet from the nearest edge of the right of way of a state highway, unless the sign is designed to be viewed primarily from the state highway. [1971 c.770 §14; 1973 c.790 §6; 1975 c.336 §5; 1977 c.265 §3; 1987 c.336 §5; 1993 c.741 §58; 1999 c.877 §7; 2007 c.199 §10]

Notes of Decisions

For good cause shown means that determina­tion must be based on whether applicant has demonstrated sufficient reason for variance. Lombardo v. Warner, 340 Or 264, 132 P3d 22 (2006)

To extent consistent with orderly processing of variance requests, decision re­gard­ing variance request must be rendered in sufficiently timely fashion to make display of sign meaningful. Lombardo v. Warner, 340 Or 264, 132 P3d 22 (2006)

Notwithstanding that any message might be related to on-premises or off-premises ac­tivity, requiring permit for highway signs relating to off-premises activities while granting permit exemp­tion to highway signs related to on-premises activities is unconstitu­tional content-based regula­tion of speech. Outdoor Media Dimensions v. Depart­ment of Transporta­tion, 340 Or 275, 132 P3d 5 (2006)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Concerning ownership of sign structures, (1976) Vol 38, p 158; permits for exempted signs, (1976) Vol 38, p 158; removal of residential direc­tional signs not located on premises to which they refer, (1980) Vol 40, p 277; regula­tion of temporary po­lit­i­cal signs, (1982) Vol. 42, p 372

Notes of Decisions

Exclusion of on-premises signs from regula­tion as outdoor advertising signs is not content-based discrimina­tion against noncommercial speech. Outdoor Media Dimensions, Inc. v. State of Oregon, 150 Or App 106, 945 P2d 614 (1997), affd 331 Or 634, 20 P3d 180 (2001)

Imposi­tion of content-neutral regulatory require­ments does not infringe on protected speech. Outdoor Media Dimensions v. Depart­ment of Transporta­tion, 340 Or 275, 132 P3d 5 (2006)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

City and county police power for removal of billboards and signs; compensa­tion or amortiza­tion period, (1974) Vol 36, p 1145

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 377—Highway Beautification; Motorist Information Signs, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors377.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 377, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano377.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.