What's Up With Wrapped Vehicles?

January 25, 2017 | Posted By: Connor Watkins

Vehicle Wraps

In the past few months, wrapped vehicles have been a hot topic for conversation. From the size of the vehicle to where it can be parked on a business owner’s property, it’s apparent that many of you need clarification on the current ordinance and an opportunity to share your suggestions. The current ordinances are listed at the end of this article.

On Monday, President/CEO Otis Rawl went before Town Council and proposed amendments to the ordinances that dictate the parking of wrapped vehicles on public and private property and the violations and penalties that accompany them. According to Councilman Todd Carnes, adaptation to these ordinances could be on the horizon very soon.

Monday night at our work session, Town Council was provided with a proposal by Lexington Chamber President Otis Rawl regarding wrapped vehicles. Many years ago an ordinance was put in place disallowing wrapped vehicles from parking adjacent to the right away, as more and more large branded box trucks were crowding the right of way and effectively adding additional signage to their property in this way, which was less than ideal. Over time, however, we have found that this ordinance has had a negative impact on businesses who have wrapped cars/vans/SUVS and park them normally in spaces in front of their businesses or elsewhere, which are often adjacent to right away as well.

As often happens, this inconvenience to business owners has been an unintended consequence of the earlier ordinance and not the intent at all. Therefore, we asked our town attorney and zoning director to propose an amendment to the existing ordinance that would allow wrapped cars/vans/SUV’s to park in any available parking place within the town limits. This amendment should be before council within 30 days and I feel it will be supported by all. We appreciate your partnership in business in the Town of Lexington and are always happy to address your concerns, as we want to set our local businesses up for success whenever and wherever possible.

With progress beginning, we need the input of the business community. Join President/CEO Otis Rawl on Wednesday, February 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the Greater Lexington Chamber for a discussion of wrapped vehicles and where they can legally park in the Town of Lexington. John Hanson, Director of Planning, Building & Technology, will be helping Otis in leading the discussion and answering questions.

Come prepared with questions and suggestions so that the Greater Lexington Chamber can work together with Town officials to create amendments to the current ordinances listed below. Useful Link: Code of Ordinances for the Town of Lexington, South Carolina

Councilman Steve Baker sees the flexibility of these ordinances as an opportunity. “The fewer restrictions that are placed on businesses, the higher likelihood that businesses will thrive,” said Baker. “I am of the opinion that the restrictions placed on wrapped vehicles go beyond what are necessary and would like to see the restrictions eased in this scenario.”

When you read the ordinances pertaining to vehicle signage, don’t be overwhelmed! The bread and butter is in codes 159.04.14 and 159.07.02. The codes following those explain how the violations and penalties are processed and enforced.

159.04-14 - VEHICLE SIGNS

Signs on vehicles, either attached to or painted on vehicles, or any type which are conspicuously parked in close proximity to the right-of-way and are obviously parked in such a way as to advertise any business to the passing motorist or pedestrian are prohibited.

159.07.02 - INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSES

Maximum number of signs. Except as otherwise specifically stated in these regulations, no more than two (2) business signs, of any type shall be permitted for each street frontage on a lot on which an individual business is located.

159.10.03 - IMPOUNDMENT OF SIGNS

(A) If any sign requiring a permit is erected without a permit, or if any sign is erected in violation of these regulations, the Town Administrator shall have the authority to give the owner thereof written notice of such violation. The notice shall include a brief statement of the particulars in which the violation is to be remedied. If the sign has been permitted, notice to the person receiving the permit shall be sufficient. If a sign has not been permitted, and the owner is not known, a highly visible sticker reading “VIOLATION” shall be attached to the sign for a period of ten (10) days. If the sign owner cannot be found, the duty to perform corrections or removal of the sign will be upon the property owner on whose property the sign is located.

(B) If within ten (10) days the owner of the sign fails to contact the Zoning Administrator, bring the sign into conformance with these regulations, and obtain a sign permit, the Building Official shall have the authority to have the sign removed and impounded without further notice and the cost of removal shall constitute a lien against the property on which the sign is located. The Town shall not be liable for any damage to the sign or property as a result of such removal.

(C) The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to remove and impound, without notice to the owners thereof, any signs placed within any street right-of-way, signs attached to trees, rocks or other natural features, and signs attached to telephone and utility poles.

159.10.04 - VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

(A) Any person violating, by act or omission, any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00), thirty (30) days in jail, or both, at the discretion of the court.

(B) Where such an act or omission is continued in violation of the provisions of this chapter after notice of such violation by the Zoning Administrator, each and every day during which such act or omission continues shall be deemed a separate violation.

(C) The owner or tenant of any building, structure, premises, or part thereof, and any sign company, contractor, architect, surveyor, builder, engineer, agent or other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violations may each be found guilty of a separate offense and suffer the penalties herein provided.