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Signs point to ordinance violations

York County Council member Michael Johnson used this photo to illustrate to fellow council members that companies that place temporary signs are not following the rules. He said this picture was taken at S.C. Highway 160 and Sutton Road on a Friday afternoon well before 6 p.m., the earliest time at which signs can be placed.

York County Council member Michael Johnson used this photo to illustrate to fellow council members that companies that place temporary signs are not following the rules. He said this picture was taken at S.C. Highway 160 and Sutton Road on a Friday afternoon well before 6 p.m., the earliest time at which signs can be placed.

York County Council member Michael Johnson reminded everyone at the council meeting Oct. 6 that all county ordinances should be taken seriously, including the temporary sign ordinance.

The ordinance provides restrictions for signs that serve a variety of purposes, such as announcing grand openings and advertising special events, as well as promoting real estate developments.

Developers of planned developments are required to submit an application for a permit for temporary signs to the county’s Planning and Development Services Director along with a map illustrating where the signs will be located, and pay a fee of $300 per development being advertised.

The ordinance requires that signs be a minimum of 75 feet from any intersection, and builders are limited to four signs per development, to name a couple of the restrictions. Temporary signs are also supposed to be used only on weekends between 6 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Monday, with an exception for holidays.

Developers whose signs violate any of the restrictions are subject to a $475 fine per day per violation, as well as the suspension of all permits, building inspections and issuances of certificates of occupancy.

Signs that advertise current subdivisions have similar guidelines, but developers are required to pay only $31.01 a year to post the signs.

Johnson said the ordinance is not being enforced, and that the county either needed to take action or amend the ordinance. Council members did not share Johnson’s enthusiasm on the matter, but he claimed the signs are endangering drivers – especially at intersections – and that large groups of signs don’t reflect well on the aesthetics of the county.

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