Should city code restricting signs apply to Project Jackson signs?

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News 12 at 6 o’clock / Monday, June 17, 2013

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- They’re on street corners, yards and pretty much anywhere else. You don't have to look hard to spot one of the signs.

"I've seen them just en route to the grocery store, throughout Hammond's Ferry, out to Lowe's you see them, Martintown Road. There's quite a few of them out on the streets,” said Scott Gudith.

The signs show a thumbs-up for Project Jackson -- a simple design that carries a big message for some big changes. Project Jackson is the code name for a $150 million public-private venture that would bring the GreenJackets, a parking garage and a luxury hotel, among other things, to the North Augusta riverfront.

"I’m 100 percent opposed to it, and I think I've made that very clear as well as a lot of others in the community,” Gudith said.

Gudith is against the project whose financing will still have to be approved by both the Aiken County Public School Board and the Aiken County Council.

But back to the signs, can they still be up or does city code negate that?

"I reviewed the code. It's very clear. It's 30 days for any sort of temporary sign, which this falls under that category, I believe,” Gudith said.

Gudith is right. North Augusta Development Code has an entire section about signs. When it comes to signs like these, the code is clear.

“Signs announcing or promoting a temporary cause or event may be erected no earlier than thirty (30) days prior to an event and shall be removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the completion of the event for which the sign was displayed,” the code reads. “Temporary signs may be erected on a parcel in compliance with this Article for no more than thirty-two (32) days in any one hundred eighty (180) day period.”

North Augusta zoning tells News 12 that that includes all signs, even if they’re within the confines of someone’s yard.

"It certainly has been beyond, as far as I believe, 30 days, so it should just be a matter of time before these signs start coming down,” Gudith said.

So far, the city hasn’t ripped up any signs whether they’re thumbs-up or thumbs-down versions.

But will they?

City Administrator Todd Glover says the city is aware of the ordinance, and they intend to comply. However, he says the city hopes to comply in a more cordial manner. Glover says the city might send friendly reminders to citizens, but he says, at some point, the signs will be taken down. However, Glover says it’s difficult to gauge if the signs have been up for more than 32 days. While he tells News 12 that the majority have, he says others have been erected more recently.

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