|(a) Eligibility. A facility eligible for a TOD sign
panel is a winery or other business or non-profit entity including
a farm, ranch or other tourist activity that meets the following requirements:
(1) General criteria. An eligible facility must:
(A) derive a major portion of its income or visitors
during the normal business season from highway users not residing
within 50 miles from the facility;
(B) provide a tourist-oriented service or tourist-oriented
product of significant interest to the traveling public;
(C) comply with all state and federal laws relating
(i) provision of public accommodation without regard
to race, religion, color, age, sex, or national origin; and
(ii) licensing and approval of service facilities;
(D) be located within five driving miles from the eligible
(E) provide modern restroom facilities and drinking
(F) be clean and in good repair; and
(G) be in compliance with provisions regarding illegal
signs as defined in the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (23 USC
(2) Specific requirements. In addition to the general
requirements, an eligible facility must meet the following specific
requirements for at least one of the following categories of TOD sign
(A) Wineries. To be eligible for a TOD sign panel a
(i) produce wine on the premises;
(ii) conduct regularly scheduled public tours of the
grounds or facilities or provide such tours upon walk-up request;
(iii) market the product on the premises as a retail
(iv) have a wine tasting area on the premises; and
(v) have a winery permit issued by the State of Texas.
(i) To be eligible for a TOD sign panel an agritourism
(I) sow, cultivate, or produce an agricultural product
(II) devote a minimum of five acres of land to the
production of an agricultural product;
(III) conduct regularly scheduled public tours of the
grounds or facilities or provides such tours upon walk-up request;
(IV) market the product on the premises as a retail
(V) be open twelve months a year or during the normal
(ii) Examples of eligible agritourism businesses include,
but are not limited to, farms, ranches, herb farms, wildflower farms,
and farmers markets.
(C) Other commercial tourist-oriented businesses or
(i) To be eligible for a TOD sign panel, an eligible
commercial tourist-oriented applicant must:
(I) provide a unique or unusual commercial or non-profit
service or product of significant interest to the tourist community;
(II) offer services of interest to tourists upon walk-up
request, such as retail sales, tours, overnight accommodations, or
use of on-site services or facilities;
(III) be open for business at least five days a week,
and one of the five days must be Saturday or Sunday; and
(IV) be a tourist destination or an accommodation that
is not part of a franchise or national chain.
(ii) Examples of eligible commercial tourist-oriented
businesses include, but are not limited to, art/craft centers, art
galleries, auction houses, amphitheaters, amusement parks, antique
businesses, aquariums, arboretums, arenas, auditoriums, bed and breakfasts,
boat landings/marinas, civic centers, concert halls, equestrian centers,
fairgrounds, golf courses, museums, natural attractions, pavilions,
stadiums, water oriented businesses, and wildlife preserves.
(3) Ineligible facilities. Facilities excluded from
participation in the TOD sign program include, but are not limited
to, adult entertainment facilities, animal shelters, cemeteries, convenience
stores, funeral homes, gas stations, industrial parks or plants, media
facilities, local jails, local police or sheriffs' offices, movie
theaters, office parks, radio stations, television stations, truck
terminals, post offices, medical facilities, retirement homes, veterans
facilities, veterinary facilities, mobile home parks, and residential
or commercial subdivisions.
(4) Final determination of eligibility. The department
will make all final determinations regarding an applicant's eligibility
to participate in the TOD sign program.
(1) Applications for eligible facilities desiring to
participate in the TOD sign program are available upon request from
(2) An eligible facility desiring to participate in
the TOD sign program must submit an application to the contractor
and verify that all eligibility requirements are met. Applications
must be submitted to the location stated on the application form.
The contractor will verify the eligibility of each applicant.
(3) Applications will be reviewed by the contractor
and applicants will be notified in writing of the application being
approved or disapproved according to the following schedule.
(A) Within 30 days the contractor will notify the business
(i) the application has been received; and
(ii) that the application is complete, or that additional
information is required to complete the application.
(B) The contractor will approve or disapprove the application:
(i) within 60 days after the business submits the application
if no additional information is required; or
(ii) within 30 days after the date the business submits
all of the additional information requested by the contractor under
subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(c) Specifications for TOD sign assemblies and sign
(1) Sign assembly. A TOD sign assembly shall:
(A) have a blue background with a white reflective
(B) meet all applicable provisions of the MUTCD;
(C) have background material which conforms with department
specifications for reflective sheeting; and
(D) be fabricated, erected, and maintained in conformance
with department specifications and fabrication details.
(2) Order of priority. TOD sign panels will be assigned
to eligible facilities in the following priority: wineries, agritourism,
and other commercial tourist-oriented businesses.
(3) Content. A TOD sign panel will contain no more
than the following items as space limitations will allow:
(A) a maximum of two lines of text describing the name
of the eligible facility;
(B) a directional arrow indicating the direction of
and distance to the eligible facility; or
(C) a symbol or icon depicting the type of eligible
facility as designed and approved by the department.
(4) Panel limitations. Each TOD sign assembly may have
no more than three TOD sign panels.
(5) Placement. Subject to approval by the department,
a TOD sign assembly shall be installed or placed:
(A) only on TOD eligible highways as defined in this
(B) to take advantage of natural terrain;
(C) to have the least impact on the scenic environment;
(D) to avoid visual conflict with other signs within
the highway right-of-way;
(E) with a lateral offset equal to or greater than
existing guide signs;
(F) in advance of the intersection or business entrance
on the TOD eligible highway;
(G) at least 200 feet from any other traffic control
(H) so that it does not block motorists' visibility
of existing traffic control and guide signs.
(6) Maximum number of TOD sign assemblies. The maximum
number of TOD sign assemblies will be limited to three per intersection
approach subject to the placement requirements contained in this subchapter.
(7) Existing signs. Existing regulatory, warning, destination,
guide, recreation, and cultural interest signs will not be removed;
provided, however, that subject to the written approval of the department,
such existing signs may be relocated by special permission of the
department at the sole expense and responsibility of the contractor
and only to the extent necessary to accommodate TOD signs.
(d) TOD trailblazer signs.
(1) At each turn required to be made by the traveling
public from a TOD sign to the participating facility, a TOD trailblazer
sign shall be in place directing the turn.
(2) Any costs associated with installation and maintenance
of trailblazer signs is the responsibility of the participating facility
and is not part of the TOD contract between the department and contractor.
(3) No TOD sign will be installed until all necessary
trailblazer signs have been installed by the participating facility.
(4) When trailblazer signs are required to be installed
off the state highway system, it will be the participating facility's
responsibility to contact the private property owner or appropriate
local jurisdiction for approval to install these signs.
(5) If at any time the department determines that trailblazer
signing off the state highway system is not adequate to direct the
motorist, the participating facility shall be notified. If action
is not taken by the participating facility to correct this problem
within 60 days, the TOD sign panel on the state highway system shall
be removed or covered at the discretion of the department.
(e) TOD sign panel order. Order of placement of TOD
sign panels will be determined by the department so as to maximize
the number of participating businesses.
(f) Removal of TOD sign panel.
(1) A TOD sign panel of an eligible facility shall
be removed by the contractor if the facility:
(A) ceases to exist;
(B) fails to pay the annual rental fee or other fees
within 30 calendar days of the due date as specified in the agreement;
(C) does not meet the minimum requirements as stated
in subsection (a) of this section, and all corrections are not made
within 30 calendar days of written notification;
(D) is sold, and the new eligible facility does not
continue the original tourist-oriented activity or service, or does
not meet the minimum requirements for a TODS eligible facility; or
(E) relocates and is no longer eligible for participation
in the program.
(2) If the TOD sign panel is removed due to the default
of the eligible facility to perform within the terms of the participation
agreement and this subchapter, the participation agreement is terminated
between the eligible facility and the contractor. All funds paid to
the contractor by the eligible facility are forfeited. Upon removal
of a TOD sign panel, the vacated space becomes available pursuant
to the procedures contained in this subchapter.
(3) If the TOD sign panel is removed permanently due
to actions of the department, the participation agreement is terminated
between the eligible facility and the contractor. Advance funds paid
to the contractor by the eligible facility will be pro-rated as per
the date of removal, and any remaining amounts refunded to the commercial
(g) Seasonal facilities. Seasonal facilities may participate
in the TOD sign program provided they meet the general eligibility
criteria for participation in the program.
(h) Existing winery signs prior to 2005. Notwithstanding
the requirements of this subsection, a winery that had a sign maintained
by the department prior to enactment of the TODS Program in 2005 is
eligible to participate in the TOD sign program.
(i) Variances. Variances may not be requested for any
eligibility requirements for TOD sign panels as described in this
(j) Allocation process for excess demand. The contractor
will hold a public drawing to assign TOD sign panel spaces when there
are more eligible facilities wishing to participate in the program
than TOD panel spaces available at a given location.
(1) To be eligible for the selection process for the
available TOD space(s), an eligible facility must have submitted a
qualified application before the TOD sign program application deadline.
(2) The application deadline for the initial installation
for a new or existing TOD sign assembly drawing will be set at a date
specified by the contractor and approved by the department.
(3) Qualified applications received after the deadline
will be placed on file and considered eligible for future drawings.
(A) Available TOD sign panel space(s) on the specific
TOD sign assembly will be awarded by drawing of the qualified applications
received before the application deadline.
(B) Spaces will be awarded based on the following priority:
wineries, agritourism and other commercial tourist-oriented businesses.
(C) The drawing will be held publicly by the contractor
at a date specified by the contractor and approved by the department
in the presence of two or more department employees. When additional
TOD sign panel spaces become available, additional drawings will be
held as needed at a date specified by the contractor and approved
by the department.
(D) The contractor shall notify applicants of the award
of the TOD sign panel space within 10 calendar days of the date of
the award. To accept the award, the applicant must execute a written
participation agreement with the contractor within 30 calendar days
of the date of the award. The participation agreement shall be in
a form as prescribed by the department and shall, at a minimum, contain
all applicable provisions prescribed in this subchapter.