The Outdoor Advertising Act and Regulations require:
- 500 foot separation from another permitted billboard on the same side of the freeway
- Electronic billboards must be at least 1,000 feet from another permitted electronic billboard
- Maximum height of the advertising display area is 25 feet and maximum length is 60 feet and does not exceed 1,200 square feet in size
Caltrans requires that applicants obtain a license to operate an outdoor advertising display and a permit for a specific location(s) of proposed advertising signs. Click here for Caltrans website with more information.
Draft City Regulations
Oakland is considering amending certain parts of Titles 14 and 17 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) to establish regulations for 1) a new Advertising Sign Combining Zone, 2) Advertising Sign Criteria 3) a new Major Sign Permit, and 4) a new approvals process.
Below are links to the specific Chapters of Titles 14 and 17 of the Oakland Municipal Code as they relate to advertising signs.
Amendments to the Oakland Municipal Code would apply the following criteria to a new Advertising Combining Zone:
- Public and private property
- Commercial or industrial zoning
- Caltrans requirements per the Outdoor Advertising Act
The following criteria would not apply to a new Advertising Sign Combining Zone:
- Residential neighborhoods including areas zoned DCE-3 and HBX
- Neighborhoods adjacent to a Scenic Highway, e.g. MacArthur Freeway
- Neighborhoods adjacent to Classified Landscaped Freeways
See a map of the areas under consideration for advertising signs in the Draft Advertising Sign Combining Zone Map. To submit feedback on draft areas, please visit our Konveio webpage.
Caltrans requires the following criteria for advertising signs that are visible from interstates:
- Located outside of and up to 660 feet from the freeway
- Located outside of any stream, creek, or drainage channel
- An existing business activity must be within 1,000 feet of a proposed billboard on either side of the freeway
The City of Oakland is considering the following as requirements in addition to Caltrans requirements and seeks feedback on the following criteria:
- Areas directly adjacent to Interstates 80, 580, and 880 as identified in the Draft Advertising Sign Combining Zone Map.
- Avoiding locations in designated historic districts, local landmarks, and buildings with an A or B historic rating
- Specific locations where static Advertising Signs are appropriate
- Specific locations where digital Advertising Signs are appropriate
Oakland is considering a new permit type for new advertising signs or existing advertising signs that request to be moved to an area within the Advertising Sign Combining Zone. The Major Sign Permit could include specific conditions of approval e.g., "that the advertising sign does not prevent the site from being redeveloped" and "that the advertising sign is of a quality and scale appropriate to the Commercial or Industrial Zone in which it is located."
Similar to a Major Conditional Use Permit, applicants would be required to obtain a Major Sign Permit specific to advertising signs and accompanied by findings which will be established as part of the amendments to Oakland Municipal Code Title 17 - Planning.
The Major Sign Permit would be the regulatory mechanism by which entitlement for a billboard is first considered and recommended by the Planning Commission to the City Council for final approval. This procedure for consideration includes a requirement that a legislative Agreement be executed and approved at City Council concurrent with the Major Sign Permit under the provisions of the Oakland Municipal Code Title 14 – Signs.
A legislative Agreement would be required to be considered concurrent with all Major Sign Permits. The purpose and intent of the legislative Agreement would be to document the community purpose and benefits to be gained for the affected community. Because the legislative Agreement would be governed by the provisions of OMC Title 14, all Agreements entered into between the applicant and the City would require final approval by the City Council.
Amendments to Titles 14 and 17 would describe the process by which a project sponsor applies for a Major Sign Permit and a legislative Agreement for review and recommendation by the Planning Commission for full approval by the City Council.