City of Charleston will re-enforce ordinance forbidding businesses from obstructing sidewalks

Charleston, South Carolina – If you are walking down the street in Charleston, you will no longer have to watch out for sandwich boards and pedestal signs on sidewalks because the city will start enforcing a city rule that forbids businesses from obstructing pedestrians.

When the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of people on the sidewalks, making it hard for businesses to stay open, the rule was put on hold for a while.

Individuals with disabilities have lately started complaining to the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator that the signs on sidewalks make it difficult or impossible to move.

Starting on May 16, enforcement agents will begin issuing citations to companies that fail to comply with sign requirements. Prior to enforcing the rules, the city will consult with companies to ensure that they are aware of their obligations.

Businesses may request permission that allows them to operate outside of the rules. It is possible to get an encroachment license if specific requirements are fulfilled, and Sidewalk Café permits “authorize food-and-beverage service in a public right-of-way right next to the business.”

Monica Doyle


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