Town may limit use of LED signs in windows of businesses in Blythewood

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Planning Commission voted at its regular monthly meeting last week to recommend that town council approve two text amendments to the Town’ sign ordinance. The amendments to Chapter 155 of Blythewood’s Code of Ordinances would provide a definition for window signs and also address the use of window signs that use LED lighting.

“LED strip lighting has become more common, not just here necessarily, but across unincorporated Richland County and Columbia,” Town Administrator Carroll Williamson said. “All commercial buildings in Blythewood go before the Board of Architectural Review and it’s really affected how the town is being developed,” he said.

“Bright, colorful LED lights are really not in keeping with the traditional look that has been the focus of the BAR review and it really stands out like a sore thumb,” Williamson continued. “Rather than wait for all of this to come to Blythewood, we thought we would go ahead and head it off.”

If the Blythewood town council agrees with staff and the planning commission, then Chapter 155 of Blythewood’s Code of Ordinances will be amended to include the definition of a window sign as, “one affixed to the interior or exterior of a window or placed immediately behind a window pane.”

The Commission also voted to add a section to the ordnance exempting window signs from the permit requirements in Section 155.429 of the Town’s sign ordinance providing they do not include LED strip lighting or similar lighting material except for incidental signs less than four square feet in size, such as an ‘open’ sign, or as seasonal holiday lighting between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

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