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Welcome to the City of Georgetown, SC, FAQ
Today is Thursday, July 31, 2014.

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General Questions

What is the population of Georgetown?

There are approximately 10,000 residents within the city limits of Georgetown.

How far is the City of Georgetown from Charleston? How far from Myrtle Beach?

Georgetown is 60 miles from Charleston and 36 miles from Myrtle Beach.

Are the local plantations open to the public?

The majority of the plantations in the area are privately owned and are open to the public only once a year, during the spring Annual Plantation Tour sponsored by the Women of Prince George, Winyah Episcopal Church.

Where can I register to vote?

You can register to vote at:

Board of Elections and Registration Office
303 North Hazard Street
843-545-3339
843-545-3342 (fax)

or at the

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
214 Ridge Street

www.scvotes.org

Age requirement: You can register at age 17 IF you will be 18 on or before the next general election.

You must be registered 30 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote.

How do I obtain a copy of a City ordinance?

On the Internet www.municode.com under FreeResources, click on online codes. You may view and/or print any ordinance.

You may come by City Hall at 120 North Fraser Street and check with the City Clerk in the Administration Department, download the City Clerks record or call 843-545-4001 and ask to speak with the City Clerk.

When does City Council meet?

City Council meets the third Thursday of every month at 5:30 PM in the Council Chamber at City Hall, located at 120 North Fraser Street.

How do I get on the City Council agenda?

You may call 545-4002 or come by City Hall at 120 North Fraser Street and speak with the City Clerk. In order to be placed on the agenda, you need to notify the Clerk 10 days before the meeting.

Housing & Community Development

Is my home or business located in the historic district?

The boundaries for the City of Georgetown National Register Historic District are Church Street to the north, Wood Street to the west, the Sampit River to the south and Meeting Street to the east.

Can I cut a tree in my yard?

The City has a tree protection ordinance that applies to trees on private property. Call the Building and Planning Department to determine if your tree is on the City's list of significant trees.

If I want to start a business, how do I proceed?

First, you can schedule a meeting with the Building & Planning Department to check zoning and discuss what it is you want to do. Then, we will schedule a Technical Review meeting with the Fire, Water/Sewer, Electric, and Public Works departments to answer any questions/issues the business might run into. Finally plans and a building permit, if needed, must be submitted to the Building & Planning Department for review and approval.

Do I need plans?

Commercial new build or renovation would require an engineer stamped set of plans. Larger jobs may require an architect. A General Contractor must pull the permit for commercial jobs. Residential construction requires engineer stamped plans for foundations and framing. They must be certified to 130 mph wind load.

What about flood zones?

Call or stop by the Building & Planning office at City Hall and we can help determine the type of flood zone you fall under using the local Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Then we can advise you how to proceed to help protect your property from the hazard of flooding.

What do I need to do to get the power turned on at my home or business?

Stop by City Hall to fill out an electric/power application. Electrical turn-on that requires an inspection will be required to install smoke detectors and Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI’s). Then the approval will be give to the Electric Department and the power will be turned on.

What is the current Building Code Edition that we use?

All building codes are the 2006 edition except for the electrical code, which is 2008.

How can you find out if your contractor is licensed with the State?

You can either look them up through the LLR website at www.llr.state.sc.us or call the Building & Planning office at 545-4010.

How can I find a property address in the City of Georgetown?

Simply call 545-4010 with the property owner and TMS# and someone will get you the street address. Reminder: everyone is required to have house numbers posted on their home or business. They must be three (3) inches in height or five (5) inches if building is over 50’ setback from the road.

Do I need a permit to put a storage shed in my yard?

Yes, all accessory structures need a building permit. A site plan showing zoning setbacks, proof of wind load, and anchoring plans must also accompany permit.

How do I get information on a parcel in Georgetown County, outside the City limits?

Call the Building Department for Georgetown County at 545-3116.

What are the procedures for filing a variance request?

Call or stop by the Building & Planning Department to fill out a Variance Request Application. This application requires a fee of $150.00 paid prior to the variance request being presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Then staff will add your variance request to the next month’s meeting agenda BZA_calendar_2012.docx. You or someone representing your variance request must be present at the BZA meeting for questions.

Where can I get a copy of my Plat?

All plats are kept on file in the Register of Deeds office located at the old Georgetown County Court House at 129 Screven Street.

Where can I have a Yard Sale and can I put up a yard sale sign?

You may have a yard sale on any private property within the City limits with owner permission and a $3 Yard Sale permit. No signs shall be located in City right-of-ways. They must be placed on private property and shall not be located in any site triangle as set forth in Section 402 “Vision Clearance” of this ordinance.

How can I get the Zoning or Flood Zone determination on a piece of property in the City?

Simply call the Building & Planning Department at 545-4010 and someone will help you with that information.

How can I get a Letter of Zoning Compliance from the City of Georgetown?

Just call the Building & Planning Department at 545-4010 with the tax map number (TMS#) or the property address and staff will compose you a zoning letter for that particular property.

How do I find out about permanent or temporary signage for my business?

Call the Building & Planning Department at 545-4010 and someone will help you with the sign regulations involving Type, Number, Area, Location, etc. Do I need a sign permit? Yes, all signs, both temporary and permanent, must have a sign permit which can be found online or in the Building & Planning office at City Hall.

What are the procedures for filing a violation complaint?

You may call the Building & Planning Department at 843-545-4010 if your complaint is relating to Overgrown Lots, Signage, Business Licenses, Dilapidated Structures, or Litter.

If I receive a Notice of Violation, what must I do?

Complete the task of the violation before the due date and let the Code Enforcer know it has been completed for inspection.

What happens if the offender fails to remedy the violation?

You will be issued a summons from the Code Enforcer with a court date to appear before a municipal judge to issue the penalty.

What are the deadlines for submitting an application to appear before a Board or Commission?

Board & Commission calendars may be found here:

ARB Meeting Dates 2013.pdf

BZA Meeting Dates 2013.pdf

PC Meeting Dates 2013.pdf

Where can I find the minutes for past meetings of the Architectural Review Board (ARB), Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), or Planning Commission (PC)?

Simply visit our website at www.cogsc.com then click on the particular board or commission you are looking for. These specific web pages for each board or commission will have all the recent meeting minutes for download.

Why do I need to appear in front of the Architectural Review Board (ARB) if I live in the Historic District?

The board shall consider demolition, new construction, exterior alteration/renovations, windows, fences, lighting, gutters, roofs, shutters, railings, etc.

Employment

Where do I pick up an application?

You can pick one up from City Hall at 120 North Fraser Street, select the link below, or call 843-545-4001.
Hours are 8:30 to 5:00 Mon-Fri.

Employment Application

When can I submit an application?

The City only accepts applications when there is a position advertised.

Where do I find job advertisements for the City?

The Georgetown Times, The Sun News Website, SC Employment Security Office, The City of Georgetown website.

Finance

Where is the utility billing office located?

City Hall, 120 North Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC

What are your hours of operation?

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Where can I pay my utility bill?

There are several options for paying your utility bill:

Pay in person
City Hall, 120 North Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC

Pay at drop box
Located beside the drive-through window at City Hall

Pay at drive-through
Located at City Hall 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday

Pay Online
Online Bill Pay

Pay by Phone
Pay by calling a Customer Service Representative between 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM at 843/545-4000

Can my bill be drafted?

Yes, Call Customer Service 843/545-4000 for a draft form to be mailed to you.
You can make your request in person at the office, or you may fax a copy of a voided check to the finance department 843/546-5435 with a bank draft authorization form.

How do I apply for residential service?

You will need to come to the Customer Service Office at City Hall and apply in person with a copy of your lease agreement or landlord conformation form. Information required includes:

  1. Name of person requesting service.
  2. Address for which the service is being requested.
  3. Date you want the service connected.
  4. Social Security number.
  5. Drivers license number or picture ID
  6. Home telephone number.
  7. Name of any other adults in the household.
  8. Address to mail the bill if different from the service address.

Is there a deposit/service charge for connection?

Yes.
All customers pay an $5 service charge per service (Electric, Water, Waste Water).
Most customers will need to pay a deposit. Please call customer service at 843/545-4000 for amounts.

Can my bill be paid by credit card?

Yes, Master Card and Visa are accepted. To make a payment using your credit card you may pay online HERE, call Customer Service at 843/545-4000, or come to our office in City Hall located at 120 North Fraser Street, Georgetown SC

How often is my meter read?

Hourly.

How often is my account billed?

Monthly.

When should I expect to receive my first utility bill?

Your first utility bill should arrive within 45 to 60 days after applying for service.

What is the average amount of water used per person, per household?

Based on the national average, the amount used is 500 cubic feet (3,740 gallons) per person per month.

Police

How do I contest a traffic citation?

Persons issued a SC Uniform Traffic Ticket by a Georgetown Police Department have several options. They may simply post the bond amount (as indicated on the face of the ticket) in the form of a cashier's check or money order mailed to the "Court Address" recorded on the ticket. The bond must arrive at the court prior to the assigned court date, which is also indicated on the face of the ticket. Persons who mail in the appropriate bond amount are not required to appear in court. Their non-appearance and posted bond will be accepted as a "no-contest" plea. Citizens may desire to plea guilty to a lesser offense (to reduce insurance costs, license points, or fine amounts).

To request a reduction, simply appear in court on your assigned date and meet with the officer, who will appear before the judge with you. If you desire to contest the charge, you must appear in court on the date indicated on your ticket. You may request a "bench trial," wherein the Municipal Judge hear testimony and evidence from you and the charging officer and renders a decision immediately. If you desire a trial by jury, you must post the bond indicated (prior to your court date) and request a trial by jury in writing. You will receive a new court date from the Municipal Clerk of Court, usually within approximately six weeks.

Electric

What is green power?

It is electricity generated by renewable resources like solar, wind, and methane gas from decomposing garbage. These resources are replenished naturally and minimize harm to the environment.

Read more FAQs on Green Power from Santee Cooper.

What do I do if my power is out?

First of all, check your breakers or fuses. Once you have verified that it is not a problem inside your house, call the Electric Department at 545-4600. Our phones are answered by Electric Department personnel during business hours and by an answering service after hours. They can dispatch someone to investigate your outage.

What if the outage is due to a hurricane?

Please be patient. If the outage is the result of a large storm or hurricane, it could take a while for our crews to restore power to the entire city. After an initial evaluation of the outage, we will give top priority to health care and public safety facilities. After these services are restored, we will concentrate on areas where we can restore service to the most customers.

If you have food in the freezer, keep the door closed. Frozen food will keep for 24 hours or more if the door is not opened. If it is an extended outage, placing ice in the freezer may help food keep for longer periods of time. Have batteries for flashlights and radios on hand.

What do I do if there is a line down on the ground?

Don't touch it!! Always assume that a downed line is energized and can hurt you. Call the Electric Department immediately at 545-4600.

How do I apply for a new service?

You will need to make your initial application with the Billing Department at City Hall. Customer Service representatives will set up your account and inform you of any application fees and deposits which may be required. You will also need to contact the Electric Department to arrange for an on-site evaluation of your service location. At this point, physical service arrangements will be discussed with you, i.e. the size of your service, the location of your meter base, any work necessary by the Electric Department, and work that will be required by you or your contractor.

Meter bases for residential service are provided by the Electric Department and can be obtained at our Office at 800 Church Street. A copy of your Electrical Permit will be required prior to the issue of a meter base. Electrical Permits can be obtained from the Building and Planning Department at City Hall.

What do I do if my power has been disconnected?

Call the Billing Department at 545-4044 to make arrangements for payment of any past due bills or late charges. Service cannot be restored until the Billing Department has received payment.

I need to do some excavation on my property. How do I know if there are any underground lines where I need to dig?

Call SC811 by dialing 811 on your phone or toll-free at 1-888-721-7877, and give them information about your location and the excavation that will take place. The City's Electric Utility and Water Utilities Departments will both receive notice from PUPS about the excavation on your property and will send someone within three days to locate any underground facilities that could create conflicts.

Digging without knowing where underground utilities can be very dangerous.

What do I do if I would like a security light in my yard?

Just as with a new service, you need to call the Billing Department to have this light added to your account. Then an Electric Department representative will arrange to meet you to discuss where the light can be installed.

My security light needs to be repaired. What do I do?

Call the Electric Department at 545-4600. The repair and maintenance are included in your monthly charge for the light, so there will be no additional charges to you for this service. Likewise, if there is a street light on your street that needs to be repaired, call the Electric Department and we will take care of it.

Kaminski House

Who was Kaminski?

The Kaminski House Museum was given by Julia Kaminski to the City of Georgetown in 1972 in memory of her husband, Harold Kaminski and his mother, Rose Baum Kaminski. Harold Kaminski served as Mayor of Georgetown from 1931 to 1935. He served in the U.S. Navy during both World War I and World War II and was one of the officers on duty on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on the Naval Base there. He survived the attack to return to Georgetown where he lived until his death in 1953.

Who owns the Museum?

The Kaminski House Museum is owned and operated by the City of Georgetown.

How much does it cost to go through the museum?

The cost for adults is $7.00, $5.00 for senior citizens, and $3.00 for children (ages 6-12). No charge for children 5 and under. AAA and group discounts available.

Do I have to take a guided tour or can I just go through it by myself?

Guided tours only. The tour takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Call for tour times.

Where is the Visitor's Center?

The Georgetown Vistor Center is located in the Harper Building at 531 Front Street.

Where are the public restrooms?

Public restrooms are located at the Kaminski House Museum and at the corner of Front and Screven Streets.

What is the house next door to the Kaminski House Museum, and is it open to the public?

The house next door is the Stewart-Parker House, located at 1019 Front Street, is owned by The Colonial Dames of America in South Carolina and is leased by the City of Georgetown.

Tours are available to the public.

Can you rent the House or grounds for weddings and other special events?

The Stewart-Parker House and the lawn of the Kaminski House Museum are both available for weddings and other special occasions.

Engineering

What do I do if I want the ditch in front of my house piped and covered?

The City will pipe an existing ditch if it is deemed appropriate to do so. The Engineering Department will provide a cost estimate approved by the Water Utilities Field Services Superintendent for materials necessary to complete the job. The materials must be supplied by the property owner or paid for in full at City Hall before the work can begin. Open ditches are piped according to the Stormwater Division's schedule.

Who do I call if I want a driveway to my house or business?

If you do not have a residential driveway entrance to your property, you must contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) at 843-546-2405 and request one. If you already have one residential driveway and would like an additional one, the Engineering Department will provide a cost estimate approved by the Water Utilities Field Services Superintendent for time and expense necessary to complete the job. This driveway does not include concrete, asphalt, or rock; driveway is described as a means of entering or exiting property from or to the street measuring at least 15 feet in width.

All commercial driveways must be installed by the owner.

Where do I find information concerning whether or not water and/or wastewater service is available to a parcel?

The Engineering Department maintains all maps containing water and wastewater mains. Copies of maps may be provided upon payment of copying fees. If water and/or sewer is not available, it shall be the Water Utilities Manager's decision as to whether or not a connection shall be made to existing facilities at the owner's expense. A septic system or a water well is permitted in special circumstances upon approval from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

A developer desiring to connect a new subdivision to existing utilities will be required to install the water and/or sewer facilities at his own expense. Facilities must be installed to City standards and may be deeded to the City upon completion. Plans should be submitted to the City for approval.

What are the requirements for installing water, wastewater, and stormwater mains for new developments?

All water mains 4 inches in diameter or greater shall be C-900 PVC or ductile iron. Two inch water mains shall be Schedule 40 PVC or galvanized iron.

Water services 3/4 and 1 inches diameter shall be Type K roll copper on the City's side of the meter.

All wastewater mains 8 inches in diameter or greater shall be SDR-35 PVC or ductile iron. Wastewater services 4 and 6 inches in diameter shall be Schedule 40 PVC or ductile iron and shall have a cleanout at the property line or edge of easement.

All plans shall be submitted to the City for review prior to construction.

Utilities may be deeded to the City upon SCDHEC approval.

What are the requirements for submittal of stormwater plans?

All new developments in excess of one acre, except single-family house parcels, shall be required to submit for approval by the Engineering Department prior to development, a stormwater management plan designed and stamped by a professional engineer registered in the state of South Carolina.

Tract developments between two and five acres proposing a thirty percent increase or 30,000 S.F. (whichever is less) in surface impermeability should have a post development discharge rate not to exceed the predevelopment rate of a 10 year, twenty-four-hour storm for the same storm event.

Tract developments five acres or more proposing a fifteen percent increase or 40,000 S.F. (whichever is less) in surface impermeability shall not exceed the predevelopment rate of a 10 year, twenty four hour storm for all rainfalls up to a 25 year, twenty-four-hour storm.

All other tract developments shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The owner must pay a minimum $300.00 review fee to the City for each stormwater management plan.

Plans shall meet all requirements of the Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), and construction permits must be submitted to the City prior to construction.

Municipal Court

Where do I pay parking tickets or fines?

You may mail payment to:

PO Drawer 939
Georgetown, SC 29442

or pay at the Municipal Court on Highmarket St (by KFC) for City tickets
or pay at the Municipal Court on Cleland St for County tickets.

Where is court held?

Court locations may vary so please call 843-545-4020 for confirmation of your court location.

Water Utilities

What is REU?

A residential equivalency unit, REU, is equal to one single-family residence as determined by the existence of one water or electric meter, whether the structure is occupied or vacant. The number of REU's of a multifamily complex, boarding house, mobile home park, garage apartment and similar residential use shall be determined by the number of water or electrical meters, whichever is greater, on the subject by property.

What is the Stormwater fee and how often is it billed?

The Stormwater management fee is billed each month on the city utility bill for an occupied single-family lot and is two dollars ($2.00) per REU. Semiannually or annually, the city shall respectively bill twelve dollars ($12.00) or twenty-four dollars ($24.00) per REU to each inactive water or electric account. In the event a water or electric account serves a vacant property with no impervious surface, no fee shall be assessed.

What is the fee for a residential lot with more than a single family use?

The Stormwater management fee billed each month for a residential lot with more than a single-family use shall be based on one REU times the electric or water meters, whichever is greater. Structures designed for short-term occupancy such as bed and breakfast establishments and overnight boarding houses shall be considered commercial uses.

What is the fee for commercial, industrial, non-profit, or public property?

The Stormwater management fee for a commercial, industrial, non-profit, public, or semipublic property shall be based on one REU times 6.3 times the number of acres within the property per month. Any commercial property less than one acre shall be considered one acre when computing the fee. In the event a water or electric account is inactive, the city shall bill the fee semiannually or annually.

What is the fee for multiple tenants on commercial properties?

Multiple tenants on commercial properties shall be billed monthly on a prorated basis based on the percentage of structure they occupy. The total fee shall be divided among the tenants based on the square footage of the structure they occupy divided into the total square footage of the structure.

What is the Stormwater Management appeals board and how are they appointed?

The city council appoints a three-person board to review appeals regarding the Stormwater management fee.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 


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