BAR ok’s Taco Bell, asks council to require COA for LED lights – The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County

February 25, 2022 by No Comments

BLYTHEWOOD – After a few questions about color and materials
that will be used in the construction of a Taco Bell that is planned or
Blythewood Road, the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) voted unanimously to
approve a certificate of appropriateness for the restaurant.

Following the meeting, one of three presenters, Bob Wiseman, representing Flynn Restaurant Group,  told The Voice that he expected construction to begin within 60 days and that the restaurant should be open in early fall. The restaurant will be located at 209 Blythewood Road, next to Zaxby’s.

BAR’s Plan to limit LED

In other business, the board discussed limiting the use of
LED window lighting in the commercial areas of the town, but it was not on the
agenda to be voted on.

It was the third time the board has suggested cracking down
on LED window lighting that has cropped up in windows of at least one business
in town.

In December, Town Council voted against limiting LED
lighting after two black-owned businesses told council they had been harassed
by town employees to remove their LED lighting even though there was no town
ordinance against it.

In January, the BAR pursued limiting LED lighting again,
requesting Williamson to provide draft language and to bring the board
additional images of business window signs with LED lights.

That draft, included these suggested revisions to the sign
ordinance: “Lighted signs for advertising (not incidental signs like “Open” or
“Closed”) must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Board of
Architectural Review” and “Lighted window signs for advertising must receive a
Certificate of Appropriateness. Incidental signs (like “open” and “closed” can
be reviewed administratively to ensure compliance.”

Continuing the discussion Monday night in a new attempt to
prohibit most LED lighting in the windows of commercial buildings, chairman Jim
McLean asked, “Is there a need for the BAR to regulate anything beyond the
open/closed aspects of signage?”

 “Do we want to ask the town [council] to write
an ordinance to give us [the BAR] the say-so on essentially, what is
acceptable,” Mclean asked. “It doesn’t mean it won’t be permitted, but it gives
us say-so on what the possibilities are.”-

McLean acknowledged that the board would not be able to vote
since the matter was not listed for action on the agenda.

 “Is it the wishes of
the board to have it [LED lighting] as a certificate of appropriateness for all
lighted window signs beyond open/closed signs?” Town Administrator Carroll
Williamson asked.

 “That would be my
position, and if anything needs to be grandfathered in, it should be
considered,” he said.

 “Based on comments
the board has made, it’s unanimous,” McLean said to Williamson.

 “If I could just work
with you, Mr. Chairman, and draft language, then we can work on a process for
that,” Williamson said.

Following the meeting, Williamson confirmed to The Voice
that the proposed ordinance to require LED lighting to have a certificate of
occupancy will not be on the town council agenda Monday night.

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