'); } -->
A flap over commercial building color standards that stemmed from the opening of a bright yellow and green office building in Lake Wylie has prompted York officials to consider the need for more specific regulations in the city.
The York City Council gave initial approval last week to a measure that would place a 90-day ban on activities such as the painting of masonry and stucco siding and the painting of roof surfaces.
One more council vote is required before the temporary ban would go into effect.
City Manager Charles Helms said the temporary ban on such improvements would give city leaders time to study the issue and decide if the city should draft a proposal with more specific regulations.
“I want our gateway corridors to look good coming into town,” Helms said after the Sept. 5 City Council meeting. “That was my concern. I just want the town to be very presentable.”
Helms said existing city regulations don’t prevent building owners from painting shingles or brick. “If you’ve got an existing building, you can do what you want to, really,” Helms said.
“You could paint a building purple,” he told the council, referring to the lack of existing regulations. “Right now, it could be painted any color. I just thought that taste is not what York wants to see.”
The York County Council took up the same issue after Auto Money Title Loans opened last month at 4573 Charlotte Highway in the Lake Wylie area. The building was painted a neon yellow, and the roof shingles and shutters a bright green. The colors resulted in several complaints from area residents.
The County Council last week gave initial approval to an ordinance that could set up color and design standards for commercial properties on S.C. 49 and require existing businesses to fit in. Neutral colors would be the rule.
Helms said another building on U.S. 321 in York, owned by the same company, is painted with similar colors.
The proposed ordinance in York would place a 90-day ban on the painting of masonry, EIFS and stucco building facades, the painting of roof surfaces and the installation of wall signs above a roof. Helms said the city’s planning commission would study the issue during that time.
The original proposal considered by the York council called for a 180-day ban on such activities. However, council member Bill Miller said he couldn’t support a ban for such a long time.
“We’re trying to increase economic development,” Miller said. “And 180 days is six months.”
Mayor Eddie Lee suggested shortening the ban to 90 days, and Miller agreed. The measure was approved unanimously.
Lee said more specific regulations regarding painting buildings and homes are in effect in York’s historic district, which covers the downtown area. However, they are not in effect outside that area, he said.
Lee called the Lake Wylie building “gaudy” and “attention getting.” He asked planning director David Breakfield if the planning commission could study the issue during a shorter, 90-day painting ban and recommend action.
Breakfield said the planning commission could take up the issue and draft a recommendation for the council to consider.