Some Tega Cay residents are upset over what they claim is an overzealous attempt by the city to regulate signs, especially the ones advertising yard sales. Frustrated residents are puzzled by what they see as a new set of restrictions getting in the way of their attempt to get rid of clutter and make a few bucks.
Actually, what's new is the enforcement. The city adopted the rules in 2004, but until now violations were pretty much ignored. The rules don't appear to be asking too much. Signs are limited to three square feet, they cannot be installed more than three days before an event and must be removed the next day. They can be on private property with the owner's approval or on roadways with the city's permission.
The city also forbids yard sales that last longer than two consecutive days.
It's a reasonable approach to keep what has the potential to be a problem under control. Residents should have the right to advertise their yard sales or post a landmark for guests coming to party, and enforcement officials should take care not to remove signs that are compliance. However, a proliferation of signs left unattended after an event or signs that exceed the size restrictions can be a nuisance and they certainly detract from the natural beauty of the Tree City.
What's an even greater concern are the unsightly signs that dot the Hwy. 160 corridor and other major roads in Fort Mill Township. York County officials should take their cue from Tega Cay - and the Town of Fort Mill, which also got serious about regulating signs - remove the dozens of illegal outdoor advertisements and fine the individuals and businesses that put them there.
Plan ahead for safety
It was quite the stormy period in our area from the July 4 weekend through last week. By the time you're reading this we may have had some additional storms pass through.
These weren't the run-of-the-mill showers we've needed to help stave off the next stage of drought, but violent thunderstorms that produced lightning that set one home ablaze and felled huge trees that crushed homes and cars and downed power lines. Luckily, there were no serious injuries.
The recent weather and the fact that it's hurricane season makes this a good time to pass along some safety tips. Homeowners should use professional services to evaluate the trees around their homes and remove any that are a potential danger. Families and individuals should always have a supply of emergency items such as flashlights, batteries, candles, nonperishable food and a battery-operated radio. More important, everyone should devise and practice an escape plan for fleeing a burning home.
When traveling in a storm, take care to drive slowly, especially when going through standing water. If you come across downed power lines, leave them alone, but do call the fire department.
There's nothing we can do about inclement weather, but with some planning and common sense we can hopefully avoid tragedies.