West Pelzer approves new sign ordinance

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By David Meade
West Pelzer Town Council held a short worksession to discuss a new sign ordinance, before approving second reading on the ordinance later in the regular council meeting Tuesday.
Mayor Blake Sanders read portions of the ordinance stating what type signs are permitted or not permitted.
Sanders said non-conforming signs, already in place but not allowed by the new ordinance, will be allowed to stay unless there is renovation work of 50 percent or more of the appraised valued of the property.
The mayor said the council may look at a sunset date later for non-conforming signs.
The ordinance also requires new signs to be placed on a building or on the ground, and will not allow tall pole signs, strobe, neon or flashing lights visible beyond the property line.
Permanent freestanding business sign sizes permitted are up to 36 square feet in area for a single business and 120 square feet for a sign for multiple businesses.
Only one freestanding sign is allowed for each developed site and must be no higher than eight feet above grade.
Signs on buildings are limited to 20 percent of the front surface of the building, not to exceed 36 square feet.
There are many other guidelines. There was also some discussion about several non-conforming signs in the town.
Council approved a bid by Lee’s Well Drilling and Pump Service to close an abandoned well on the town’s O’Dell Community Center property. Council unanimously approved the bid of $2500 after Mayor Sanders explained that the only other bid received did not specify an estimate for the amount of time it would take, which would be billed at $95 per hour.
The Town announced Council meeting dates for 2019 and quarterly Planning Commission meeting dates.
Following a public hearing on the Sign Regulation ordinance, council unanimously approved second reading on the ordinance. Councilmembers Donnie Jeanes and Vicky Farmer were not present.
Council also amended the agenda to consider a debt recovery ordinance, which was approved.
The ordinance allows the Municipal Association of SC to collect delinquent debt by submitting claims to the SC Dept. of Revenue. The ordinance will allow the recovery of debt by allowing property to be sold at auction for utility payments and fines.
Will Ragland, of Mill Town Players, appeared before council to request the town consider funding of $1200 for a new sign being erected in front of the Pelzer Auditorium.
Ragland said the new lighted sign will allow advertising of events and the location of the Mill Town Players and the Historic Pelzer Auditorium to the many cars that pass by on Hwy. 8.
He said most of the people who come to the shows are from Greenville, Simpsonville, Anderson and Easley and when they come many patronize local restaurants.
Ragland said they have about $7000 left to fund the cost of the sign which is around $25,000. Additional work on curbs and gutters, entry way and landscaping will bring the total cost of the project to $32,000.
The lighted 9×5 sign will have a digital screen which can be changed, he said.
Councilman Jim Riddle said, “I think it is a great thing you are doing down there.”
Ragland responded that the low ticket price of only $10 per show is one reason the theater company has been successful.
“We keep our tickets low at $10. If someone wants to come see a show they can.”
Mayor Sanders said the town’s restaurants are busy on show nights.
The request was unanimously approved with funding coming from the town’s hospitality tax.