Report Title:

Advertising Devices; Signs; Residential Real Property



Requires reasonable limitations the size and commercial use of signs on residential real property.



H.B. NO.













RELATING to outdoor advertising.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that reasonable limits are required to protect the rights of Hawaii residents to display signs on residential property while preserving neighborhoods from the visual blight created by excessive and inappropriate signs. These reasonable limits will not affect the posting of signs by the overwhelming majority of residents, but will eliminate signs of excessive size and concentrations that degrade the beauty of our communities. The limits will also increase the visibility and effectiveness of signs legally displayed. Regulations governing signage on public property and in nonresidential areas are unchanged by this Act and remain in place.

The legislature further finds that the United States Supreme Court has stated that local governments have the power "to address the ills that may be associated with residential signs." City of Ladue v. Gilleo, 512 U.S. 43, 58 (1994). Federal courts have upheld the regulation of signs by municipalities that reasonably restrict the size and physical characteristics. See, Baldwin v. Redwood City, 540 F.2d 1360 (9th Cir. 1976), certiorari denied sub nomen; Leipzig v. Baldwin, 431 U.S. 913 (1977); G.K. Limited Travel v. City of Lake Oswego, 436 F.3d 1064, 1081 (9th Cir. 2006). Reasonable limitations on the size and physical qualities of the sign, without regulation of any type of specific speech or content, is "content neutral" and does not raise the issues raised in Runyan v. McCrary, 762 F.Supp. 280 (D.Hawaii 1991), and Ross v. Goshi, 351 F.Supp. 949 (D.Hawaii 1972).

The purpose of this Act is to provide reasonable limits on signs on residential real property without restricting the content of the sign.

SECTION 2. Chapter 445, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part IV to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"445- Residential real property; limitations. (a) No sign or outdoor device may be displayed on residential property if:

(1) The sign or device is larger than four feet by two feet;

(2) The total area of all signs or devices displayed on each dwelling unit exceeds sixteen square feet; or

(3) The owner or tenant of the property receives payment or valuable consideration for the display of the sign or device.

(b) Nothing in this section is intended to invalidate any provision relating to signs or outdoor advertising devices in any county ordinance, house rules or bylaws of a condominium or apartment building, or lawful provisions in a private contract in effect prior to the effective date of this Act.

(c) For purposes of this section:

"Condominium" shall have the same meaning as defined in section 514B-3.

"Dwelling unit" shall have the same meaning as defined in section 521-8.

"Residential real property" shall have the same meaning as defined in section 508D-1."

SECTION 3. Section 445-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"445-121 Penalty. (a) Any person violating any provision of sections 445-111 to 445-121 or section 445- , shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $500, or imprisoned not more than one month, or both."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.