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(A) Purpose of district.
(1) The Highway Corridors Overlay District is an effort on the part of the town and the unincorporated area of the county to create areas of development that are well planned and attractive with consistent standards.
(2) The intended effect of the district is that new development, redevelopment and substantial improvements to existing development will follow the same buffering, landscaping, signage, and site design standards consistently from property to property, thereby promoting decreased traffic congestion, increased traffic safety, improved aesthetics, and a higher quality of commercial development.
(B) Boundaries. The boundaries of the HC-OD are generally described as being along Chuck Dawley Boulevard, U.S. Highway 17 North, and Long Point Road, and are more accurately depicted on the official zoning map.
(C) Permitted uses. This is an overlay district. As such, the permitted uses are determined by the underlying or primary zoning district classification in effect.
(D) Additional development requirements.
(a) Front buffers.
a. Fifteen feet along all portions of Chuck Dawley Boulevard, U.S. Highway 17 North, U.S. Highway 17 west of where the Isle of Palms Connector intersects, the south side of U.S. Highway 17, as well as Old Georgetown Road (both front and back) in the Loop area, and along Long Point Road between the SPA Wando Terminal and I-526;
b. Fifteen-foot front buffers to retain all trees six-inch diameter breast height (DBH) and greater in size. Encourage the retention of existing natural vegetation in buffers, but require the following minimum plantings per 100 linear feet: three canopy trees, three understory trees and 25 shrubs.
a. Fifty feet along remaining portions of U.S. Highway 17 east of the Isle of Palms Connector (with the exception of the Old Georgetown Highway Loop area) and along Long Point Road between I-526 and Whipple Road. Provided, however, these requirements may be superseded or amended subject to the provisions of § 156.201(I)(1)(a) through (f).
b. Fifty-foot buffers to contain the following minimum plantings per 100 linear feet: six canopy trees, ten understory trees, and 40 shrubs. Provided, however, these requirements may be superseded or amended subject to the provisions of § 156.201(I)(1)(a) through (f).
(b) Rear and side buffers. As per current Charleston County and Town standards, encourage the retention of existing natural vegetation in buffers.
(c) Applicable to all buffer areas.
1. All required plant material must be accommodated within the buffer.
2. Drainage swales may be placed in the buffer only when trees are not endangered and only when the swale meanders through the buffer in an unobtrusive manner.
3. These swales may not be designed to hold water, only to direct water.
4. With the exception of permitted free-standing signs, structures may not be placed within the buffer.
(d) Parking lot landscaping. Refer to Charleston County/Town parking ordinances.
(e) Street trees. In areas of required 15-foot front buffers, one live oak must be planted every 50 feet along the inside edge of the front property line. This may help satisfy buffer planting requirements.
(2) Curb cuts.
(a) No more than one curb cut per 250 feet.
(b) Shared access is required when there is less than 250 feet of frontage.
(3) Tree preservation. As per current Charleston County/Town tree ordinances.
(a) Parking lots must be to the side of a main structure's corridor facade, or within a courtyard surrounded on three sides of a proposed structure.
(b) Required number of spaces as per Charleston County/Town standards.
(a) Free-standing signs.
1. Must be monument or pedestal in design.
2. Must not exceed 50 square feet per sign face and 20 feet in height.
3. One sign per major road frontage.
(b) Shopping center free-standing signs.
1. A shopping center may erect one monument or pedestal free-standing sign per street frontage, up to a maximum of two signs per center.
2. One square foot of free- standing signage will be permitted per each linear foot of shopping center building frontage, up to a maximum of 150 square feet per sign.
(c) Illumination of free-standing signs.
1. Internal illumination will be permitted in areas of 15-foot buffers.
2. In areas of 50-foot buffers, no internal illumination will be permitted, only external indirect illumination.
3. In all areas, flashing or moving signs shall be prohibited.
(d) Wall signs. One square foot of wall signage will be permitted per each linear foot of building frontage, up to a maximum of 100 square feet of wall signage.
(e) Shopping center wall signs.
1. Each individual store unit will be permitted one square foot of wall signage per each linear foot of shop frontage, up to a maximum of 100 square feet.
2. Wall signs for individual shopping center tenants must be uniform in design.
(f) Off-premises signs. Off-premises signs shall not be allowed in the overlay areas.
(6) Building materials.
(a) No building elevation constructed of unadorned concrete masonry units or corrugated and/or sheet metal shall front upon any existing public rights-of-way.
(b) Mechanical equipment, whether ground level, raised, or rooftop, shall be shielded and screened from public view.
(7) Height limitations. Building height shall be as specified in § 156.102.
(8) Loading areas.
(a) Structure shall be oriented so that loading areas are in no manner visible from residential districts, from existing or planned future public rights-of-way.
(b) Loading areas may be oriented toward adjoining developed properties that are commercially zoned or toward adjoining properties eligible for future commercial development, if, and only if, they are entirely screened from view by the use of solid fencing or appropriate landscaping.
(c) Garbage dumpsters shall be screened and buffered in accordance with the county/town zoning ordinance.
(9) Utility lines. All utility lines such as electric, telephone, CATV, or other similar lines serving individual sites, as well as all utility pad fixtures and meters, should be shown on the site plan.
(a) Site lighting shall be of low- density, from a concealed light source fixture, and shall not spill over into adjoining properties, roadways, or in any way interfere with the vision of oncoming motorists.
(b) Lighting fixtures shall be limited in height to 18 feet.
(c) Lighting standards will be of a directional type capable of shielding the light source from direct view from any adjoining residential or agricultural parcel and public right-of-way.
(1) The standards contained herein shall apply to all properties within the designated Overlay District areas, regardless of Charleston County or Town jurisdiction.
(2) The additional development requirements shall apply to all types of new development, redevelopment and substantial improvements, except single-family residential uses.
(a) SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVE- MENTS are defined as more than 50% of the current construction cost of existing improvements.
(b) Overlay District provisions shall apply to uses other than those of a residential nature, such as churches or non-institutional group dwellings that are located in single-family zoned areas.
(3) When this Overlay District section does not address a particular situation, the existing town or county regulations shall apply.
(Ord. 96027, passed 6-11-96; Am. Ord. 99012, passed 4-21-99; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 06015, passed 5-15-06; Am. Ord. 06092, passed 1-9-07; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14)