With two automotive dealerships building new facilities in Beaufort, city officials are considering loosening rules on how businesses display vehicles for sale.
Two amendments to loosen restrictions were initially approved by the City Council on Tuesday. Both require second votes.
The changes would allow businesses more space to show vehicles in front of their buildings, keep vehicle hoods open and use balloons and other attention-grabbing displays.
Vaden Automotive Group of Beaufort and Stokes Honda Cars of Beaufort are building new dealerships.
Councilman George O'Kelley was concerned this could allow other businesses to display merchandise near roads.
Planning director Libby Anderson pointed out there are restrictions that items typically used inside, like furniture and mattresses, cannot be displayed more than five feet from buildings.
Outdoor merchandise displays, especially of indoor items, has been controversial, and Mayor Billy Keyserling said he hoped the council was "not opening the gates on something that not too long ago we had to rein in."
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.