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LAKE WYLIE --
In a week, York County Council will have its first opportunity to review changes that could affect businesses along the S.C. 49 corridor of Lake Wylie.
“It’s going to take some thinking through and making sure we find a balance between promoting the business efforts that we continue to promote, and at the same time meet the community’s needs,” said Dave Pettine, county planning director.
Pettine addressed the council at its Aug. 20 meeting about possible rules determining what color schemes or design standards should be used in Lake Wylie. During a community meeting two weeks ago, many residents complained to county staff about recent business appearances, particularly the Automoney Title Loans’ building green-and-yellow paint scheme.
“There was just a tremendous amount of response,” said Councilman Bruce Henderson, who represents Lake Wylie.
Company employees say the bright building draws in customers and no county rules were violated, and the county agrees. Still, county staff would like to see that when new business moves in, their appearance won’t be one that “isn’t within the community’s character,” Pettine said.
The concern is an important one, Henderson said, and isn’t unique to Automoney. Signs along the corridor also have been an issue.
“They were tolerant enough to deal with one or two, but when it started to be a snowball effect, it was time to get involved with this because it was definitely going to kill some property values,” he said.
The county has options for restricting color choices if the community wants restrictions. Generally, new ordinances involve a grandfathering period, where someone in violation is given a period of time to meet the new rule.
Current work includes neutral color schemes. Only commercial buildings would be impacted. Henderson said the idea isn’t to promote some vision he has of Lake Wylie, but to serve what his constituents are saying.
“The people I represent, I want to represent their vision, and that becomes my vision,” he said.
What is certain is, at least initially, only part of Lake Wylie would be impacted.
“This would really only pertain to the Lake Wylie Overlay, which right now only governs the corridor from Buster Boyd Bridge down [S.C.] 49 to the Three Points intersection [S.C. 274, 557 and 49],” Pettine said.
County staff is expected to have an ordinance for Council review by its Sept. 4 meeting, and efforts to clean up sign ordinance rules should “proceed forward as planned” for that same date, Pettine said. Henderson asks residents to come out to voice their views for or against the ordinance.
Council Chairman Britt Blackwell said the idea of staff and the community working toward creating a desired look is a sign of flexibility from planners and should be commended.
“I’m not saying right or wrong, but it just appears like part of that area has kind of got the Hilton Head mentality,” Blackwell said of Lake Wylie. “It’s nice to see we do have flexibility [in] certain areas of the county to meet those requested needs.”