City amends temporary sign regulations

Charles Warner Editor

September 20, 2013

UNION — Businesses in the City of Union will now be able to use mobile or temporary signs to advertise special events or sales for up to 105 days.

Union City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to amend the section of the city zoning code governing the use of temporary signage. The changes were prepared and proposed by the city Planning Department and grew out of a meeting between city staff and local business owner Katherine Pendergrass. The department’s report to council states that Pendergrass relies heavily on temporary signage to advertise her seasonal tax service. During the meeting options for amending the code’s regulations for temporary signage were discussed. Staff also conducted research on the temporary signage regulations of other Upstate municipalities.

As a result of those discussions and that research, the planning department developed the amendment which changes the wording in some of the definitions included in the code, adds definitions, and deletes some sections. These changes include:

• Temporary signs are now defined as “a sign or display designed to be displayed for a limited period of time.” The category includes “banners and mobile signs temporarily displayed for purpose of informing the public of a sale or ‘special’ offer.”

For mobile signs, the limited period of time is “not to exceed 105 days upon receipt of a permit from the Zoning Administrator, and may not be renewed for a period of 30 days. A maximum of one active permit per each tax parcel.”

Prior to the amendment, a mobile sign could be displayed for no more than 15 days and could not be renewed for six months.

• Banners are now defined as “a sign intended to be installed either with or without a frame possessing characters, letters, illustrations, or ornamentation applied to plastics, paper, or fabric of any kind, excluding flags and emblems of professional, religious, education, or non-profit organizations.”

The amendment also added language stating that banners may be displayed for a period of not more than 90 days “upon receipt of a permit from the Zoning Administrator, and may not be renewed for a period of 30 days. A maximum of one active permit per business under separate agreement.”

• Also added to the code is language defining signs off-premises as “a sign advertising a use, facility, service or product that is not located, sold or manufactured on the same premises as the sign.”

• The amendment also included the intent of the regulations which states that “signs are vital tools for promoting goods and services offered by local businesses; therefore, adopting reasonable and uniform regulations for their placement is the responsibility of the City Council” … “All signs, unless otherwise provided, must be placed or erected on the same property where the activity or business is being operated or carried out.”

• Billboard continue to be banned in the city, but the amendment states that “all billboards and their support structures existing on or before June 21, 2005 are herein declared nonconforming uses and structures.”

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com