Common Questions: Residential Planning

Can I remove trees from my property?

Yes the city does not regulate the removal of trees on a developed residential property. However, should the tree be located within a drainage easement, we ask that you contact Berkeley County's roads and bridges office to request an encroachment permit, if required.

What is the process for constructing a shed on my property?

A shed is considered an accessory structure and requires a permit from the city. Accessory structures must be at least 5 feet from the property line and may not be constructed in an easement. There are height and material regulations that apply to the construction of sheds as well. Please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning for further guidelines regarding accessory structures or visit City Hall to obtain a permit from the Permitting Department.

Do I need a permit to do an addition on my home?

Yes you are required to apply for a permit and submit all necessary supplemental materials. The city wants to ensure any work provided for your property meets the standards of the current building code, meets the requirements for our local wind zone, and doesn't alter the engineered drainage pattern of your neighborhood. These components are important to ensure the integrity of the structure and to protect your interests. The Department of Planning and Zoning will review the permit application and conduct a site visit on your property, when necessary. To obtain an additions checklist please contact the Permitting Department.

I have a home-based business, can I put a sign in my front yard?

No home-based businesses may not advertise for their businesses on the residential property, as a Customary Home Occupation is allowed only when there is no exterior indication of the business or occupation. For additional information regarding the sign ordinance you may refer to Section 151.084 of the Zoning Ordinance.

I am moving and need to order a POD, do I need a permit?

There is a permit requirement, as we want to make sure we have the opportunity to guide you toward the proper placement of the POD while it is located on your property. We must ensure it is not placed in a right-of-way, in an easement, or blocking an emergency route from your home. The permit is good for 30 days, and there is a nominal fee.

Common Questions: Commercial Planning

What are the requirements for adding a sign for my business?

There are numerous options available to you for adding signage. Many of your options are determined by the location of your business, so to simplify the process, we suggest you contact the planning office. We want to ensure you get the most current information possible and that you can take full advantage of the options available to you. Please do note that all signs must first be reviewed and approved by the City's Architectural Review Board.

We have been told that pennants, flags, banners, and animated blow-ups are not allowed. May I place temporary signs instead?

The city's sign ordinance allows each business standard signage as well as the ability to include temporary banners for special events with a permit. Other temporary signage such as pennants, animated signage, marketing flags, and "bandit" signs are prohibited due to safety and appearance standards. Planning Department staff will be glad to provide more specific information regarding the signage available to any business.

What are the requirements if I need to add a dumpster location for my business?

Please be aware that all refuse areas must be screened on three sides with a six foot wall or fence and shall be finished with landscaping at the base of the wall or fence. We want your business to be as attractive as possible, so we ask that trash collection areas must not be the visual focal point of the parking area and not be located within the front yard setback or street frontages of corner lots

Is it permissible to move my merchandise out onto the front sidewalk or parking lot during business hours?

We certainly understand the wish to use every marketing tool available for your business. However, the vast majority of businesses are located in areas of the city where there can be no outdoor display of merchandise.

I wish to update the exterior of my business. What type of review is necessary?

The scope of the improvements you wish to make will determine the information required. Please contact the Permitting Department for more specific information. Please be reminded that any and all changes made to commercial properties must be reviewed and approved by the city's Architectural Review Board.

Do I need a permit to remove a tree from my property?

A permit is not required to remove a tree; however, we ask that you please give our office a call so we may visit your site and determine how best to meet the city's tree ordinance.

Is a permit required before I bush hog or clear the property?

The clear cutting of trees is expressly prohibited within the city. In order to ensure the requirements of both the state's storm water regulations and the city's tree ordinance are met, we require that a permit for land clearing be approved prior to any land disturbance. Someone in the Planning and Zoning Department will be glad to walk you through the process.