By Lia Sestric
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Charleston County Code Enforcement has stepped up patrol of signs in unincorporated areas. The move was sparked by concerned citizens who say prohibited signs were littering their communities.
"They asked for us to do a little more with our enforcement efforts and spread public awareness on the prohibited signs and the regulations," Charleston County Code Enforcement Officer, Brandon White said.
Out of 11 signs the county prohibits, so-called "snipe" signs are the most popular. Within the last six months, code enforcement officers have confiscated nearly 400 countywide.
In May, code enforcement presented the county with an awareness plan. On Thursday they will meet again where they will discuss the progress and dissemination of information to the public.
"These type of signs (snipe) are prohibited and we are trying to get the word out both to residents and the business community to inform them that these are littering the roadways."
White says they will mail a newsletter to area residents and provide brochures about sign regulations and littering. They will also hold a few neighborhood community meetings.
White says they normally confiscate a sign when they see an illegal one while out on the road, or they will get a call from a concerned citizen.
"Generally we will give everyone a warning, inform them of the zoning regulations and we will fax them the sign regulations," he said.
After the warning, owners of the illegal signs could face penalties, including a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.
"We really don't want to fine anyone just want them to comply with the ordinance," he said. "Going to court and issuing the summons is really a last resort to solve the problem."