City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp., No. 25261.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtBURNETT, Justice
Citation344 S.C. 43,543 S.E.2d 538
PartiesCITY OF MYRTLE BEACH, Respondent, v. JUEL P. CORPORATION and Gay Dolphin, Inc., Petitioners.
Docket NumberNo. 25261.
Decision Date12 March 2001

344 S.C. 43
543 S.E.2d 538

CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH, Respondent,
v.
JUEL P. CORPORATION and Gay Dolphin, Inc., Petitioners

No. 25261.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard February 8, 2001.

Decided March 12, 2001.


344 S.C. 44
Howell V. Bellamy, Jr., and Douglas M. Zayicek, of Bellamy, Rutenberg, Copeland, Epps, Gravely & Bowers, of Myrtle Beach, for petitioners

Michael W. Battle, of Battle & Vaught, of Conway, for respondent.

344 S.C. 45
BURNETT, Justice

This case involves the proper construction of a Myrtle Beach city ordinance concerning abandoned and obsolete signs. Myrtle Beach Code § 902.4.7. We granted certiorari to review a decision of the Court of Appeals holding petitioners' sign could be deemed abandoned regardless of petitioners' intent. City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp. and Gay Dolphin, Inc., 337 S.C. 157, 522 S.E.2d 153 (Ct.App.1999). We reverse.

FACTS

In the early 1970s, petitioners purchased Ed's Hobby Shop in Myrtle Beach. The shop includes a rooftop sign, which is arguably the most prominent sign location in Myrtle Beach.

In 1979, Myrtle Beach enacted a zoning ordinance which prohibited rooftop signs in certain areas of the city, including the area where petitioners' sign was located. Section 902.8.3 of the zoning ordinance provided that rooftop signs had an amortization period of three years. In 1985, after the conclusion of a lengthy legal challenge to the city's comprehensive sign ordinance, the city notified petitioners that its ordinance had been declared legal, constitutional, and enforceable, and ordered petitioners to remove the rooftop sign from Ed's Hobby Shop. Petitioners, through an agent, responded by alerting the city to former S.C.Code Ann. § 57-25-195 (Supp. 1980) (repealed in 1990), which would have required the city to pay just compensation for the sign. Rather than compensate petitioners for the sign's removal, the city chose not to enforce its 1985 letter.

In 1989, in the imminence of Hurricane Hugo, petitioners removed the sign facing to minimize damage from the storm. Shortly after the storm had passed, petitioners received a letter from the city informing them the sign was more than 50% damaged and could not be restored. Petitioners asked for repair estimates from three different sign companies, all of which agreed with petitioners' estimate that the sign was only 10% damaged. Petitioners approached the city's Director of Construction Services with these estimates, and, when he refused to concede their damage estimate, presented the estimates to the city manager. Petitioners attempted to reach

344 S.C. 46
a settlement with the city manager in which petitioners would agree to remove the rooftop sign in exchange for a permit for a unipole sign

For the next five years, the sign remained vacant. Neither petitioners nor the city pursued formal appeals or informal negotiations. During this time, however, petitioners continued to pay Highway Department fees and maintain electricity to the sign. In the fall of 1994, petitioners installed new sign...

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8 practice notes
  • Heilker v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals, No. 3374.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 23, 2001
    ...of the court to so hold.") (quoting Conway v. City of Greenville, 254 S.C. 96, 101, 173 S.E.2d 648, 650 (1970)), rev'd on other grounds, 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001); Historic Charleston Found. v. Krawcheck, 313 S.C. 500, 505-06, 443 S.E.2d 401, 405 (Ct.App.1994) ("[W]e will not rever......
  • Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 3964.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 21, 2005
    ...S.C. 129, 542 S.E.2d 743 (Ct.App.2001). The determination of legislative intent is a matter of law. City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp., 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001); Charleston County Parks Recreation Comm'n v. Somers, 319 S.C. 65, 459 S.E.2d 841 (1995); Goldston v. State Farm Mut.......
  • Boehm v. Town of Sullivan's Island Bd. of Zoning Appeals, Appellate Case No. 2015-001230
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2018
    ...at 489, 536 S.E.2d at 897 (quoting City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp. , 337 S.C. 157, 177, 522 S.E.2d 153, 164 (Ct. App. 1999), rev'd , 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001) ). "As with statutes, the lawmakers' intent embodied in an ordinance ‘must prevail if it can be reasonably discovered......
  • Denene, Inc. v. City of Charleston, No. 25829.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 24, 2004
    ...prevented officers from responding to more serious crimes in the area. Citing City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp. & Gay Dolphin, Inc., 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001), appellants argue that the ordinance should be strictly construed because it is in derogation of their "common law righ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Heilker v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals, No. 3374.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 23, 2001
    ...of the court to so hold.") (quoting Conway v. City of Greenville, 254 S.C. 96, 101, 173 S.E.2d 648, 650 (1970)), rev'd on other grounds, 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001); Historic Charleston Found. v. Krawcheck, 313 S.C. 500, 505-06, 443 S.E.2d 401, 405 (Ct.App.1994) ("[W]e will not rever......
  • Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 3964.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 21, 2005
    ...S.C. 129, 542 S.E.2d 743 (Ct.App.2001). The determination of legislative intent is a matter of law. City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp., 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001); Charleston County Parks Recreation Comm'n v. Somers, 319 S.C. 65, 459 S.E.2d 841 (1995); Goldston v. State Farm Mut.......
  • Boehm v. Town of Sullivan's Island Bd. of Zoning Appeals, Appellate Case No. 2015-001230
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2018
    ...at 489, 536 S.E.2d at 897 (quoting City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp. , 337 S.C. 157, 177, 522 S.E.2d 153, 164 (Ct. App. 1999), rev'd , 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001) ). "As with statutes, the lawmakers' intent embodied in an ordinance ‘must prevail if it can be reasonably discovered......
  • Denene, Inc. v. City of Charleston, No. 25829.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 24, 2004
    ...prevented officers from responding to more serious crimes in the area. Citing City of Myrtle Beach v. Juel P. Corp. & Gay Dolphin, Inc., 344 S.C. 43, 543 S.E.2d 538 (2001), appellants argue that the ordinance should be strictly construed because it is in derogation of their "common law righ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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