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Murrells Inlet: Center’s paint runs afoul of county code

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

The new Murrells Inlet Community Center will be repainted after officials discovered it violates the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor Overlay Zone color code.

The new community center is at 4450 Murrells Inlet Rd. but is within 500 feet and visible from Highway 17 and is zoned “general commercial,” making it subject to the overlay zone’s color restrictions, according to Boyd Johnson, the county planning director.

The building’s exterior walls are dark brown with light brown trim. Work orders called for the opposite: walls painted a color called “Likable Sand” and trim a chocolate brown. The paint colors were circled on the permit request.

“We are correcting our mistake,” Johnson said. “The bottom line is that they are going to repaint the building. It will conform to the color chart.”

Johnson said county workers painted the community center rather than the contractor in order to save money. “Somehow in the field, the colors got switched,” he said.

The community center will not benefit from an upcoming review of the Waccamaw Neck color chart that came from a hearing involving Frank’s Restaurant in Pawleys Island. Owners painted the restaurant’s exterior walls a red brick color and were granted a variance by the county Zoning Board of Appeals. Members of the appeals board wanted brick red paint added to the color palette because any color of brick is acceptable. That led to a review of all the colors.

The appeals board decision was its first on a design issue. Previous appeals went to an Architectural Review Board, but it was disbanded by County Council after it granted a variance for the design of the roof at a Publix supermarket now under construction at Pawleys Island Plaza.

Johnson said the county would follow current zoning law. “If we make somebody else repaint a building — and we’ve done that — we’re going to do ours too,” he said. “As soon as county staff can free up, we’ll be over there painting. I might have a paint brush.”

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