Section 45-2-180.01Regulation of billboards in unincorporated areas; enforcement; variances; appeals.
(a) This section shall apply only within the unincorporated areas of Baldwin County.
(b)(1) In the unincorporated areas of Baldwin County, the county commission may regulate and shall have exclusive zoning authority to regulate billboards, including, but not limited to, the size and location of any billboards. Within the planning jurisdiction of a municipality that regulates billboards, the county commission shall regulate and shall have exclusive authority to regulate billboards which regulation and enforcement shall be no less stringent than the regulation of billboards by municipal ordinance within the corporate limits of the municipality. The regulations shall be adopted by resolution or ordinance of the county commission at a regularly scheduled meeting of the commission. Any resolution or ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall have standards as to distance between signs not less than the distances provided pursuant to Division 3 of Article 9 of Chapter 1 of Title 23.
(2) Any resolution establishing a zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may provide for civil penalties for each day of violation. The ordinance shall provide for notice and a hearing before the assessment of the penalties.
(3) Any resolution establishing a zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may be enforced by the county commission by an action against the owner of the land where the sign is located for injunctive relief in the Circuit Court of Baldwin County. In addition, any violation shall be public nuisance. Upon a finding that a sign violates the ordinance or resolution, the county commission may remove the sign and all costs of removal shall be assessed against the landowner and recorded as a lien on the property until satisfied.
(4) Any resolution establishing a zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall authorize a variance process to be determined by the county commission.
(5) Any resolution establishing a zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall include a variance appeals process for any party aggrieved by a final variance decision of the county commission to appeal therefrom to the Circuit Court of Baldwin County.
(6) In the case of any unincorporated area of Baldwin County covered by subdivision (1) which is also in an overlapping municipal planning jurisdiction or an area which has established a planning and zoning district, the most stringent regulation shall apply.
(7) This section shall not affect any highway covered by Division 3 of Article 9 of Chapter 1 of Title 23.
(Act 2001-497, p. 873, §§1, 2.)