ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–Some signs you see on the sides of roads in Anderson County, could be breaking an ordinance. In fact, hundreds of illegal signs were removed last Thursday.
Leaders in Anderson County said people are placing signs in places they’re not supposed to, or not the right way. Officials said at times, if those signs are kept up too long, it could be harmful for the community.
Anderson County crews collected 1,827 illegal signs placed across the area. The illegal signs were removed from unincorporated areas.
“Most of the signs did not have permits,” said Greg Smith, Solid Waste Director for Anderson County. “The other thing to it was, they were in the 15 foot right of way,” Smith said.
Whether it’s a garage sale sign, for a business, or even an event sign, a county ordinance states a sign must be 15 feet from the edge of the pavement. The county said you also need a permit to post a sign.
“You have to be 15 feet outside the right of way, plus you have to have the property owner’s permission to put those signs there, and you have to have a permit,” Smith said.
Leaders said they’ve seen 25 to 30 signs at intersections, which could be an eyesore to the community. It the county’s goal to keep the area clean.
“I mean we’ve got visitors from all over the country coming to Anderson, using the lake, staying in our hotels on Clemson game days, and all that,” said Holt Hopkins, Deputy Administrator for Anderson County. “These signs, one, might be a benefit to a business, but when you get 25 of them in one location, it doesn’t benefit any businesses. And all it does is make our county look trashy,” Hopkins said.
The county said a 30 day permit is in place to ensure signs don’t become old, as this could cause a public safety hazard.
“Well it makes the roads look real bad when you’re putting them where you’re not supposed to. Like I said you have an assignment from development standards, a permit, that says that you can keep it up for a certain number of days. And that’s to make sure the signs don’t get old, dilapidated, start cracking up, and laying into the ground to create more litter that way,” Smith said.
“When it rains and you got little chips and they go into the ditches, it goes into the creeks, and the rivers, and the lakes and all of that. You know, that can harm fish. That can harm wildlife. The wire that these signs are put up with, it gets all rusty and all that,” Smith said. “And sometimes kids get out there and playing with that kind of stuff, you know that can be harm to them,” he added.
Signs attached to trees, telephone or utility poles are also a no go.
The county said overall, if you’re thinking about putting up any type of sign, it’s best to reach out to the development standards department before you do.
“If they are repeat offenders, they may be facing fines as well. They may lose their sign and get a fine on top of it,” Hopkins said.
Anderson County officials said a permit is not required for real estate and political signs if they’re on your own property, but it should still be 15 feet out of a right of way. The county is also working to hire someone to police illegal signs on the roads everyday.
If your illegal sign is removed from the road right of way, your sign will be held for five days at 1428 Pearman Dairy Road, Anderson SC 29625.