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Can permanent signs for a business be installed in a DOT right of way?

Ken Little

Q. Permanent signs on Porters Neck Road for Porters Neck Plantation & Country Club are located in a right of way. Is this legal per the N.C. Department of Transportation or New Hanover County zoning? I thought all signage for private businesses had to be on private property.

A. “There are policies and procedures that allow for certain signage to be installed within the (DOT’s) right of way,” according to Jessi Leonard, a Division 3 highway maintenance engineer.

Those types of requests are handled through the local DOT district office, which would approve or deny the signage requests based on current guidelines.

“Due to policies changing and developing over the years, there are signs within the right of way that may have been installed under different guidelines,” Leonard said. “Typically, the department does not require these to be removed unless there are safety concerns, such as sight distance being obscured.”

Porter’s Neck Plantation & Country Club is located at 8403 Vintage Club Drive, near Porter’s Neck Road.

Leonard said a few different signs are posted for the country club, “so if there are questions on a particular one, we will be glad to provide further information.”

Leonard can be reached at the DOT office at 910-341-0300.

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