Mt. Pleasant mural controversy prompts change in law

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A campaign to save a popular Mt. Pleasant mural could soon result in a change of law.

A zoning administrator's decision to cite the Moe's mural on Houston Northcutt Blvd. for violating the local sign ordinance prompted a wave of backlash last Dec. Town leaders took steps Monday to alter existing laws and clarify how murals should be regulated.

According to the town's current ordinance, a sign includes anything which attracts customers to a business and is subject to restrictions such as size and quantity. However, members of the Judicial and Legal committee met Monday and voted 4-0 to refine the current sign ordinance to exclude murals and drawings on buildings that "contain no copy, symbols or other references to products or services."

Town officials said they still trust business owners would still come to zoning officials first to avoid confusion.

According to Mt. Pleasant Councilman Mark Smith, who advocated for the ordinance amendment, the proposed change would affect future murals.

"There's no question based on the significant outpouring of support that all of us have heard, there's a movement to allow the display of art," Smith said. "

However, Smith said the pending ordinance could give Moe's owner the opportunity to appeal.

Smith also said thus far, there's been no effort to enforce the current zoning violation and remove the Moe's mural.

Full town council is set to vote on the amended ordinance next Tuesday.

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