Surf City considering lifting ban on LED signs


SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — A change could be in the air for some businesses in this small beach town.

Surf City could be looking a little brighter. A few business owners asked the town’s planning board to consider lifting the ban on LED signs.

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“We don’t want another Myrtle Beach, and no none of us want another Myrtle Beach here,” Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said. “Nothing against Myrtle Beach, but that’s just not the type of beach we have.”

LED signs are currently banned in Surf City, except on government buildings and schools.

Mayor Medlin says they don’t want any large, flashy, rotating signs.

“More like board signs. In other words where they can put up specials for the day, special announcements, holiday sales,” Medlin said. “Something like that I think is what they’re talking about.”

The main concern for some businesses in the area is maintaining the small town feel of Surf City.

“The charm about this town is it is a little town,” Carolina Shores Natural Soaps employee Laurie Patrone said. “There are no big hotels and high rises and none of that big, flashy stuff. That’s what’s so special about this.”

Patrone moved to Surf City from Chicago three years ago.

She says she fell in love with the town after vacationing there for 14 years and doesn’t want to see it lose what drew her in many years ago.

“We don’t want this to turn into Myrtle Beach,” she said. “Big, flashy, Vegas, strip club, lights, neon lights all over the place. You know?”

But she says if rules are put in place for the signs, it may not be so bad.

“If they keep it controlled and maintained and it’s classy and not to much, then I think it could be okay,” Patrone said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see ‘oh what business is back there?’ It could definitely benefit for some of the business owners.”

No matter what happens, Patrone wants to make sure everyone who visits can enjoy the character of Surf City.

“It’s just this quaint little place that I think everyone who comes here they just fall in love with it like I did so many years ago,” she said.

Mayor Medlin says there has been no vote on this yet, it’s still with the planning board.

Once they have a proposal in place, it will then head to town council.

A vote would then happen after public comment was heard.