Any community, board of county commissioners, municipality, county, city, a specific region or area of the state, or other governmental or quasi-governmental agency which is part of a specific economic area located along the Highway Beautification Control System of the State of Nebraska may petition the Department of Transportation for an exemption from mandatory removal of any legal, nonconforming directional signs, displays, or devices as defined by 23 U.S.C. 131(o), which signs, displays, or devices were in existence on May 5, 1976. The petitioning agency shall supply such documents as are supportive of its petition for exemption.
The Department of Transportation is hereby authorized to seek the exemptions authorized by 23 U.S.C. 131(o) in accordance with the federal regulations promulgated thereunder, 23 C.F.R., part 750, subpart E, if the petitioning agency shall supply the necessary documents to justify such exemptions.