1999 Montana Legislature

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     Section 1.  Section 60-1-103, MCA, is amended to read:

     "60-1-103.  General definitions. Subject to additional definitions contained in this title that are applicable to specific chapters or sections and unless the context otherwise requires, terms are defined as follows the following definitions apply:

     (1)  "Abandonment" means cessation of use of right-of-way or an easement or cessation of activity on the right-of-way or easement with no intention to reclaim or use again. Abandonment is sometimes called vacation.

     (2)  "Bridge" means any bridge constructed by the department, together with all appurtenances, additions, alterations, improvements, and replacements and the approaches to the bridge, lands used in connection with the bridge, and improvements incidental or integral to the bridge.

     (3)  "Commission" means the transportation commission provided for in 2-15-2502.

     (4)  "Condemnation" means taking by exercise of the right of eminent domain.

     (5)  "Construction" means supervising, inspecting, actual building, and all expenses incidental to the construction or reconstruction of a highway, including locating, surveying, mapping, and costs of right-of-way or other interests in land and elimination of hazards at railway grade crossings.

     (6)  "Control of access" means the condition in which the right of owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons to access, light, air, or view in connection with a highway is fully or partially controlled by public authority.

     (7)  "County road" means any public highway opened, established, constructed, maintained, abandoned, or discontinued by a county in accordance with Title 7, chapter 14.

     (8)  "Department" means the department of transportation provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 25.

     (9)  "Director" means the director of transportation, a position provided for in 2-15-2501.

     (10) "Easement" means a right acquired by public authority to use or control property for a designated purpose.

     (11) "Eminent domain" means the right of the state to take private property for public use.

     (12) "Federal-aid highway" means a public highway that is a portion of any of the federal-aid highway systems.

     (13) "Federal-aid highway systems" means all of the systems named as part of the systems and their urban extensions.

     (14) "Federal-aid interstate system" means that system of public highways selected by the commission in cooperation with adjoining states, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

     (15) "Federal-aid primary system" means that system of connected public highways designated by the commission, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

     (16) "Federal-aid secondary system" means that system of public highways not in the federal-aid primary or interstate systems selected by the commission in cooperation with the boards of county commissioners, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

     (17) "Fee simple" means an absolute estate or ownership in property, including unlimited power of alienation.

     (18) "Highway" includes rights-of-way or other interests in land, embankments, retaining walls, culverts, sluices, drainage structures, bridges, railroad-highway crossings, tunnels, signs, guardrails, and protective structures.

     (19) "Highway", "road", and "street", whether the terms appear together or separately or are preceded by the adjective "public", are general terms denoting a public way for purposes of vehicular travel and include the entire area within the right-of-way.

     (20) "Highway authority" means the entity at any level of government authorized by law to construct and maintain highways.

     (21) "Maintenance" means the preservation of the entire highway, including surface, shoulders, roadsides, structures, and traffic-control devices that are necessary for the safe and efficient use of the highway.

     (22) "Public highways" means all streets, roads, highways, bridges, and related structures:

     (a)  built and maintained with appropriated funds of the United States or the state or any political subdivision of the state;

     (b)  dedicated to public use;

     (c)  acquired by eminent domain; or

     (d)  acquired by adverse use by the public, jurisdiction having been assumed by the state or any political subdivision of the state.

     (23) "Right-of-way" is a general term denoting land, property, or any interest in land or property, usually in a strip, acquired for or devoted to highway purposes.

     (24) "Scenic-historic byway" means a public road or segment of a public road that has been designated as a scenic-historic byway by the commission, as provided in [section 2].

     (25) "State highway" means any public highway planned, laid out, altered, constructed, reconstructed, improved, repaired, maintained, or abandoned by the department."

     Section 2.  Scenic-historic byways program -- advisory council -- expenditure of funds. (1) There is a scenic-historic byways program. The commission may designate roads to be included as part of the program and may add or delete roads from the program. The commission may not designate a road as a scenic-historic byway without the concurrence of the affected local governments and the agencies responsible for maintenance and operation of the road. A road or right-of-way across federal land that was granted by 43 U.S.C. 932 and recognized by 43 U.S.C. 1701 may be considered for inclusion in the program.

     (2) Notwithstanding the provision of 2-15-122, the commission shall appoint an advisory council for the scenic-historic byways program.

     (3) The advisory council is a technical oversight council composed of no more than 11 members who must have expertise in one or more of the subjects of tourism, visual assessment, Montana history, resource protection, economic development, transportation, or planning. One member of the advisory council must be a representative of the Montana chamber of commerce.

     (4) The advisory council shall:

     (a) assist the department and the commission in designing the program;

     (b) review applications for nominating roads to the scenic-historic byways program; and

     (c) recommend to the commission roads that should be included in or deleted from the scenic-historic byways program.

     (5) The department, upon the direction of the commission, may expend any funds appropriated for or otherwise available to the scenic-historic byways program.

     Section 3.  Scenic-historic byways program -- rules. (1) The department shall adopt rules to effectively administer the scenic-historic byways program. The rules must include the criteria that will be considered for designating a road for inclusion in the scenic-historic byways program.

     (2) In developing the criteria, to be included in the rules, for designating a road for inclusion in the scenic-historic byways program, the advisory council, commission, and department shall specifically address:

     (a) factors that allow each locality choosing to participate in or seeking participation in the scenic-historic byways program the opportunity to:

     (i) enhance the experience of the traveling public;

     (ii) stimulate or allow for economic development and new marketing strategies; or

     (iii) preserve intrinsic resources for the benefit of future generations;

     (b) a methodology by which a locality choosing to participate in or seeking participation in the scenic-historic byways program may participate in the national scenic byways program, described in section 1047 of Public Law 102-240;

     (c) means by which a road may be excluded from designation as a scenic-historic byway by:

     (i) an incorporated municipality for a road or segment of a road within its jurisdiction; or

     (ii) a landowner for a road or segment of a road adjacent to the landowner's private property;

     (d) factors to be considered in assessing the intrinsic, scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, educational, or natural qualities of the road nominated for inclusion in the scenic-historic byways program;

     (e) factors to be considered in a locality's corridor management plan, including that the plan:

     (i) serves as a visioning tool to provide direction for enhancing and marketing the corridor, but not as a land management document, zoning tool or mandate, highway improvement scoping or prioritization document, or highway management document;

     (ii) accommodates commerce and commercial vehicles and maintains a safe and efficient level of highway services;

     (iii) protects private property rights, including assurances that the private property rights of a person who owns land adjacent to or visible from the road are not in any way diminished by the road being designated a scenic-historic byway or are accommodated through mutually agreeable compensation;

     (iv) precludes the locality having adopted the corridor management plan from establishing goals or commitments outside the locality's jurisdiction; and

     (v) has accommodated all jurisdictions affected or to be affected by the designation of a road as a scenic-historic byway; and

     (f) procedures to ensure that localities choosing to participate in the scenic-historic byways program:

     (i) may exclude from designation any segment of a highway that is inconsistent with the state's criteria for designating scenic-historic byways. Within an excluded segment, a locality may allow off-premises advertising in the form of billboards or painted signs, subject to applicable federal, state or local laws.

     (ii) may use signage recognized as exceptions or as information signs in all areas along a designated route, provided that the signage complies with 23 U.S.C. 131, Title 60, chapter 5, part 5, Title 75, chapter 15, part 1, and all applicable, state or locally adopted rules, requirements, and restrictions.

     Section 4.  Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective July 1, 1999.

     (2) On passage and approval, the commission may establish and appoint members to a scenic-historic advisory council and the department may promulgate rules to effect the purposes of the scenic-historic byways program.

     Section 5.  Codification instruction. [Sections 2 and 3] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 60, chapter 2, and the provisions of Title 60, chapter 2, apply to [sections 2 and 3].

     Section 6.  Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.

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