Signs at Morris the horse banned in Tryon

Published 10:00 pm Monday, January 25, 2016


By Leah Justice

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Tryon commissioners directed staff and its planning board to identify suitable alternative locations for signs. The discussion on alternative locations will be discussed during council’s February meeting.

During the January meeting, Commissioner Crys Armbrust said he attended the last planning board meeting where the board presented a good option for advertising events at the three Town of Tryon signs, located at the three entry points into Tryon from Columbus, Landrum and Saluda.

During the public hearing, resident Jerry Soderquist said he probably has the best view of Morris from his residence and Tryon visitors seem to want to stop and take pictures of Morris and they have difficulty avoiding taking pictures of the sign of the day.

Commissioner Bill Crowell said the planning board is talking about placing extensions at the town entrance signs so coming into town people can see that there’s a Rotary pancake dinner, for instance.

Resident Joyce Kimpton said it’s beginning to sound like instead of straightening up signs at Morris, the town is beginning to put up more signs.

“Instead of cleaning up, it sounds like we’re cluttering up,” said Kimpton.

Armbrust said Morris is the memory spot for every visitor who comes to our community and the town should do its best to make sure that’s the best visit to Tryon.

Crowell spoke of sandwich board signs, like the Red Cross and Bingo signs, saying he thinks there should be a certain number of those type signs acceptable at Morris for certain events.

Town attorney Bailey Nager said the railway says there can’t be signs in the right of way and the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) also says no signs in the right of way but it’s at their discretion whether to enforce it or not.

Commissioner Bill Ingham said the only thing that bothers him is that the practice of advertising events at Morris has been going on for 40 years, such as having Bingo every Friday night.

Crowell and Ingham at one point said they’d like to somehow allow certain events to still be advertised at Morris, but Nager said a new ruling from the Supreme Court will make that difficult because you can’t allow some signs, such as for nonprofits, but not allow other signs.

“It’s a lot easier to just say no signs,” said Nager.

The banning of signs within 10 feet of Morris (the Morris historical marker sign is 11 ft. from the statue), is an addition to the town’s sign ordinance and will go into a list of signs that are prohibited in the town.