OKLAHOMA CITY — If federal assistance is granted, outdoor church signs will be allowed to be up to three times bigger.
According to current regulation, church signs are limited to eight square feet. Representative Brown is requesting the size be increased to 32 square feet.
“We have been working on this issue for approximately ten years. The request would accommodate the needs of our religious organizations. In addition, changing the size to 32 square feet would be beneficial to the safety of the traveling public,” Brown said in a statement.
ODOT requested a size variance from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2009. While still waiting for the decision in 2013, House Bill 2643 was passed by the Oklahoma Legislature.
The bill allows church signs, displays or devices to increase in dimension from the current maximum of 8 square feet to 32 square feet.
But in March of 2014, the request for variance was denied by USDOT, declaring that the larger signs would be illegal in Oklahoma.
ODOT was also instructed to take action under the Highway Beautification Act to have these signs over eight square feet removed, according to a press release.
But Representative Brown is strong in his stance.
“I am unaware of any size restrictions for church signs in the original Highway Beautification Act. I have contacted each member of Oklahoma’s federal delegation to request their assistance in obtaining this waiver for a variance for outdoor church signs,” Brown said. “In addition to benefiting Oklahoma’s church communities, this waiver would allow the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to reassign their much needed resources to address more critical issues.”