Sign ordinance clarified

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Williamston Police Chief Tony Taylor said the enforcement of the town’s sign ordinance will apply to signs placed in rights-of ways, primarly at intersections, crosswalks, stop signs and traffic signals.

The ordinance will also apply to political signs, however political signs and others maybe placed on private property with the permission of the land owner, Chief Taylor said.

According to Taylor, Williamston’s sign ordinance currently states that, “No sign, whether temporary or permanent, except traffic signs and signals and information signs erected by a public agency approved by the zoning administrator, is permitted within any street or highway right-of-way.”

Taylor said the ordinance is currently under review by town officials and the town’s Public Safety Committee.

“The Town has determined that proper procedures for obtaining permits and oversight were not established by past administrations, and we are in the process of developing those procedures,” Chief Taylor said.

The Public Safety Committee, which is made up of the Chief of Fire, Chief of EMS, Chief of Police, and Councilman Harvell, have been reviewing the enforcement and safety aspects of the Sign Ordinance.

“The Committee has made a determination that temporary signs at Stop Signs, Red Lights, Utility Poles and Cross Walks have the potential of being a traffic flow distraction may cause traffic accidents,” Taylor said. “Therefore, the Public Safety Committee is asking the public not to place any signage in the above-mentioned places. If the signs are placed in these areas, they will be removed,” Chief Taylor said.

This will be enforced by the Police Department pursuant to the following state statute:

SECTION 57-25-10. Unlawful to display, place or affix posters within right-of-way. SC State Law It is unlawful for a person to display, place, or affix a sign, as defined in Section 57-25-120(3), within a right-of-way and visible from the main-traveled way of the highway. A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.