Tryon applies for program designed to fix problems blocking downtown success

Published 1:19 pm Monday, September 27, 2010

Tryon may get some help soon in identifying and eliminating regulations that might be inhibiting healthy downtown business.

The town agreed last week to apply to participate in a N.C. Department of Commerce program through the Office of Urban Development and the Community Planning Program.

Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree explained that the program is seeking up to three Main Street communities to participate. Tryon has been a member of the Main Street program for the past couple of years, so the town qualifies for the assistance.

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The N.C. Main Street and the Community Planning Program have developed a new toolkit to help eliminate zoning rules that are blocking downtown success and will be using three communities as test areas for the toolkit, Hembree said. The selected communities will receive customized solutions for broken zoning that may hinder downtown development. This fits very well with several goals of the towns strategic plan.

Hembree said if the town is accepted into the program, an issue with the towns sign ordinance could be addressed. Some town officials have mentioned that they feel businesses downtown are not helped by the towns sign ordinance, especially restrictions that prohibit businesses located on side streets to be seen from Main Street.

Hembree said the only cost to the town if Tryon is accepted into the program would be paying mileage for planners to travel to Tryon from Raleigh.