Sign Installation

The Division of Utility and Railroad Safety of the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has begun a campaign to educate the real estate industry about compliance with the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act. The Act essentially provides that notification must be made to “Miss Utility,” who then is to mark utility lines, when excavating on another’s property. Excavation had been interpreted to include placing any real estate sign into the ground, including wire signs inserted by hand.

VAR relayed its concerns about the strict interpretation of the Act to staff at the SCC. In response, they proposed adopting advisory language to make clear that real estate agents or sign installers inserting wire signs by hand do not have to notify Miss Utility. At a recent meeting of the SCC Damage Prevention Advisory Committee, VAR’s Associate Counsel Blake Hegeman spoke in support of this language. After minor revisions, the Committee approved the following:

A person who inserts a wire sign holder into the ground by hand is not required to notify the notification center. However, the State Corporation Commission’s Damage Prevention Advisory Committee encourages contacting the notification center to avoid the potential for utility line damage and/or physical injury. (July 13, 2009)

As you can see, this language does not change the statute and only includes wire signs inserted by hand. Placing any other real estate sign still requires a call to Miss Utility. If you have any questions about this or any other matter please don’t hesitate to contact Blake, Lem or John.

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5 Responses to Sign Installation

  1. If an agent has to dig that deep in the ground for a real estate sign, they must plan on being on the market for quite some time :)

    appreciate the update

  2. Rick Sale says:

    There seems to be some confusion as to where you place the sign. Some managers are advising their agents you must call only if you are placing signs in the utility easement in front of the property. This was stated in the notice sent to all members by the RAR. However when the RAR was questioned about signs only in utility easements the answer was completely diffrent and advised agents to call Miss Utility when placing a sign anywhere on the property.
    As Brokers and agents we depend on our local associations for the RIGHT information and I am not sure we have it at this time.

  3. I use these giant post signs. I’m not even sure what qualifies for a wore sign – those little ones with 2 tiny wires – like they sell at Vista Print?? I’m still trying to find where to purchase those white flags locally. Lowes did not have them in white (only pink and orange). And I don’t like the idea of keeping a can of white areosol paint in my car. Knowing my luck, it would explode! And it’s not pretty on the ground, recyclable, or good for the enviroment.

  4. The act states when excavating on another’s property… Does that mean the owner can install the real estate sign for us since it is their property? “Hi, here’s your sign. You can install it, but I can’t.”

    How many employees are there around the state that mark utility lines for Miss Utility? Imagine the number of homes listed each year and the burden it will create for these guys. Now add the addtional time lag between getting Miss Utility to the property and the installation of the sign.

    Am I the only one thinking this is a bad idea?

  5. lol I like that, Carl Pautlitz. I don’t think that would go over too well with most of my clients, how about you? lol

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