In response to residents’ feedback, Richland County Council will consider a vote to restart the mapping process for its Land Development Code (LDC) rewrite. The restart will provide an opportunity to incorporate input from community members into the mapping process.
An ordinance that will set parameters for restarting the mapping process will now go before Council at its meeting Tuesday, May 3.
“This restart would present an opportunity to further engage with the community on this issue,” said Leonardo Brown, Richland County administrator.
“We have already held more than 50 public meetings across the County and spoken individually with hundreds of citizens, but the recent attention on this process and misinformation surrounding it leads us to understand we need more time to reach as many people as possible, gather their feedback and explain why we are modernizing the Land Development Code,” Brown said. “We deeply value the input of residents, and restarting the mapping process underscores our commitment to transparency and accountability.”
The LDC is the adopted law of the County regulating land use, growth and development. It governs the types of uses, location and size of a development within various zones, as well as establishing the procedures for how development proposals are reviewed. The LDC also controls various development and subdivision standards (e.g., parking, landscaping, signs, addressing, building form, and open space within a development) and the division and platting of land, as well as road layout and other infrastructure requirements.
Richland County’s current LDC was adopted in 2005. As the County grows, changes to the LDC are necessary to accommodate evolving and future needs.
The LDC was rewritten with several core objectives in mind, including:
- being more user-friendly
- implementing the policies of Plan Richland County
- aligning zoning districts and uses with current best practices
- modernizing development standards
- promoting green development
County Council adopted the new LDC text on Nov. 16, 2021, but it is not in effect because it requires approval of an amended zoning map, which has not yet occurred. The text received first reading at County Council's Zoning Public Hearing on Sept. 28. Second reading approval came on Oct. 19, and an additional public hearing was held at Council’s meeting Nov. 9.
Richland County planning staff is working to develop the new zoning map, which must be reviewed by the Planning Commission before going to County Council for three readings and a final vote.
While the Planning Commission began reviewing the staff’s initial zoning map recommendation in March, confusion among some members of the public and media prompted the County to reconsider the current process schedule, which would have seen the LDC take effect in July.
If Council approves first reading for the process amendment at its May 3 meeting, it will restart the mapping process and create more opportunities for public input at the Planning Commission and staff level before the new 2021 LDC and future zoning map go into effect.
Read more about the major differences between the current 2005 LDC and the new 2021 version here: www.richlandcountysc.gov/Portals/0/Departments/Planning/LDC%20Rewrite_Big%20Changes%20to%20Expect%20in%20the%20New%20LDC.pdf.
Find more updates and information regarding the LDC rewrite at: www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Departments/Planning-Development.