Legislative Update in Pennsylvania

April 2013Articles In the Zone

House Bill No. 270 proposes to establish the "Highway Corridor Enhancement Act," which would authorize municipalities to acquire highway corridor conservation easements and provide for highway corridor overlay zoning and outdoor advertising permits.

Representative Bernie O’Neill, who represents the 29th Legislative District, which includes portions of Bucks County, was the prime sponsor of House Bill No. 270. In connection with House Bill No. 270, Representative O'Neill authored a memorandum that, in part, stated the following: "The proposed Highway Corridor Enhancement Act will enable municipalities to assure the reasonable, orderly and effective display of outdoor advertising devices. The bill also seeks to protect public investment in highways, promote the welfare, convenience and recreational value of public travel and preserve the natural beauty of our state."

Representative O'Neill added that House Bill No. 270 re-emphasizes existing local zoning powers and authorizes municipalities, among other things, to acquire highway corridor conservation easements in accordance with applicable law, establish Highway Corridor Overlay Districts, pursuant to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, and provide for a permitting process for the construction, location and maintenance of outdoor advertising devices.

As for the status of House Bill No. 270, it has not yet been passed. Shortly after it was introduced, it was referred to the Committee on Local Government, where it remains.