Signs along Highway 17 could get facelift

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - County leaders are working on changes to clean up the look of Highway 17 Business.

There's a new proposal to bring in new rules to makeover storefronts along the heavily used road.

The newly proposed planning overlay could mean big changes as far as what drivers see along the south end of Highway 17 Business.

Leaders think a facelift for that entrance to the county will ultimately help out with local business.

Many owners say right now it's really needed.

"Without a doubt," said local business owner Ansel Lovell. "I think here, 501, any area that has an interest to Myrtle Beach needs to clean up their act. I think they really do."

The proposed guidelines could affect new stores trying to open off Highway 17 Business as well as old ones making renovations.

It will bring changes to the crucial parts of businesses that reel customers in - the storefronts, parking, and landscaping.

Signage is also a big item on the list since many people see 17 Business as cluttered with different store signs.

Local business owners say they think new rules will be a good idea for the area, but when every penny counts in this economy, they do have some concerns about how it will affect them.

"If you want to put a sign out there you should be able to without having to check in with people," said business owner Johnny Canto.

"I would certainly hate to have to make an immediate change," said Lovell. "But as new businesses come in, and as older businesses remodel, there needs to be guidelines to enhance the entrance to Myrtle Beach in all directions."

All existing businesses don't have to worry about instantly making any changes to their stores.

If this proposed overlay is passed by county council, you can expect to see the effects roll out over the next few years.

As an example, there are already similar guidelines in place now along Highway 501 and in the restaurant row area.

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