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RULE §25.406Major Shopping Area Eligibility

(a) Eligibility criteria. To be eligible to have a major shopping area guide sign, the major shopping area must:

  (1) consist of 10 or more retail commercial establishments:

    (A) that have a combined gross building area of 650,000 or more square feet;

    (B) that are located within close proximity to one another;

    (C) that have a unifying architectural design theme for the commercial establishments;

    (D) at least two of which are anchor retail businesses, that have a combined gross building area of 150,000 or more square feet; and

    (E) that are planned, developed, and managed as a single property;

  (2) be located not farther than three miles from an interchange with an eligible highway; and

  (3) be located with driveway access to the eligible highway access road (frontage road), ramp, intersecting crossroad or city street.

(b) Variances.

  (1) A person may request a variance from the requirements of the major shopping area guide sign program. A request for a variance will only be considered if the existing requirements preclude participation in the program.

  (2) A variance may be requested for waiver of the requirement of:

    (A) eligibility;

    (B) location of the major shopping area;

    (C) placement of the sign; or

    (D) type of highway, except the highway must be on the state highway system.

  (3) A person may submit a request for a variance to the department's local district engineer indicating:

    (A) which requirement of the program it does not meet; and

    (B) the variance requested.

  (4) The department may require additional documentation following generally accepted engineering standards, which shall include, but not be limited to:

    (A) traffic studies;

    (B) maps indicating ramps, major arterials, ingress and egress points, existing signs, and distances;

    (C) traffic flow analysis including traffic counts to and from the major shopping area;

    (D) crash data and analysis;

    (E) detailed site plan of the major shopping area, including but not limited to available parking, driveways, and location in reference to eligible urban highways.

  (5) The executive director may grant a variance if he or she determines it is feasible to place the sign at the location and the sign meets the requirements of the Texas MUTCD; and

    (A) the variance will substantially promote traffic safety;

    (B) the variance will substantially improve traffic flow;

    (C) an overpass, highway sign, or other highway structure unduly obstructs the visibility of an existing commercial sign; or

    (D) the variance is necessary to substantially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of communicating the information needed by people to safely and efficiently use the transportation system.

  (6) The executive director will indicate the reason for granting or denying a variance in writing.

  (7) A variance will not be granted if the executive director finds that:

    (A) a major shopping area is located on an intersecting crossroad or city street whose name can be easily identified with the major shopping area and has existing advance and exit guide signs; or

    (B) the major shopping area parking is so insufficient that it causes undue congestion of the roadway system.

Source Note: The provisions of this §25.406 adopted to be effective November 17, 2005, 30 TexReg 7497; amended to be effective January 4, 2007, 31 TexReg 10830; amended to be effective June 19, 2008, 33 TexReg 4685

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