The County Outdoor Advertising Control Act (Act) defines advertisements as any notice or representation employed wholly or partly to draw the public’s attention to or promote any product or service.
The Act does not apply to a notice or display setting out (a) directions to a property for sale, lease or exchange where the display is not visible from a highway; the name of the owner or occupant of a premises or to identify a premises; (b) information wholly as a memorial, railway or road signal or a placard or other object borne by an individual; (c) an advertisement on enclosed land that is not easily visible outside by the enclosure or public; relating to the location or direction of a religious institution; relating to a public education or medical institution; incorporated in the fabric of a building but not including an advertisement fixed to or painted on a building; displayed inside a building, and not within one metre of any external door, window or other openings making it visible from outside; or displayed on or in any vehicle normally employed as a moving vehicle that has license from another county; a notice or sign displayed on any premises or land in order to advertise the fact that a person is carrying out a professional, business or trade at those premises; or a building or land as a means of identification, direction or warning; (e) an advertisement of a product, goods, or services sold by persons on the premises of a sports, cultural or social arena on a regular basis, or advertisement of any products, goods, or services marketed or promoted on the premises of an arena pursuant to a sponsorship marketing plan.
One requires a license to run an outdoor advertisement, which can be secured upon making an application in the prescribed form to the respective County Executive Committee member (CEC). The application will entail the application fee; written consent from a person entitled to issue the consent; the details such as dimensions, layout on every building line and servitude on the site; location; an artistic impression showing the detail, location, and measurements of the proposed advertising sign; a diagram of the property laying out the position of the proposed advertisement in relation to other free-standing advertisements and the closest two boundaries of the property; and any other information required by County legislation.
The CEC must consider the application within fourteen days upon receipt, and where the applications are more, the applications will consider them in the order they were received; after that, the CEC will approve or reject the application – where there is a rejection, the reasons ought to be provided. It is important to note that approval can be issued with certain conditions. The decision on an application must be given within seven days of making that decision.
The Act does not provide for license timelines – it is reserved for the County Governments to provide such timelines. However, on matters renewal, the advertiser needs to apply for the renewal one month before the current license expiry.
The CEC, upon giving at least a 21-day notice (the notice period also applies when there is a need to set conditions on an existing license), may revoke a license due to the design being prejudicial to operations to the area it is located; constitutes or has become a danger to any person or property; or obscures any other advertisement, natural features, architectural feature or visual line of civic, architectural, historical or heritage of significance.
A person aggrieved with the CEC’s decision can apply to the Court within 14 days to review the decision. In general, without the Court’s intervention, the advertisement must be removed within seven days – or expiry of an outdoor advertising license.