Brunswick County commissioners Monday approved some rule changes designed to make it easier for small businesses to get started in the county.
Proposals included relaxing some of the stringent requirements governing landscaping, lighting and parking that caused headaches for business owners trying to comply with them.
One change approved at Monday's board workshop bumps the number of parking spaces a lot must have before it needs a landscape island up from 10 to 20. Another decreases the number of trees needed as a buffer between a business and the road.
They are all part of the county's unified development ordinance, which dictates land use for all types of development.
But one major proposed change did not make it past the commissioners.
Under current rules, most buildings that face a public roadway must have a decorative facade that makes it more appealing to the eye.
A proposed change would exempt buildings less than 30,000 square feet from those rules. That would allow small businesses to avoid the higher building cost.
The changes come after nearly a year of work by the committee tasked to review the current set of rules.
The goal was to make the rules easier to understand and to remove some requirements that business owners said were burdensome. One of the main problems, business owners said, was that the rules were geared toward urban areas, when much of the county is still rural.
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