As part of the ongoing comprehensive update process for the Land Development Code (LDC), Richland County Council has approved an ordinance to keep the current 2005 LDC in place until a revised text and map are adopted.
County Council originally adopted a comprehensive LDC text revision in November 2021, in anticipation that it would take about six months to review and approve the accompanying zoning map. However, earlier in 2022, County Council and the Richland County Planning Commission decided more time was needed to engage the public and make additional changes, and they directed County planning staff to “restart” the LDC and zoning map amendment process.
The latest procedural ordinance from County Council, approved at its meeting Tuesday, July 12, effectively puts the November 2021 LDC text approval on hold until the Planning Commission and County Council complete the process of reviewing and approving an amended zoning map and any related changes to the 2021 LDC text. For residents and property owners, this means any current proposal to develop a property will be processed under the rules of the 2005 LDC.
“As we continue working to update the Land Development Code, it is necessary for the County Council to take procedural measures like this to ensure a smooth transition process,” said Leonardo Brown, Richland County administrator.
“It’s important for our citizens to know that this procedural ordinance does not change what they or their neighbor can do with their property, but rather it clarifies that the 2005 LDC already in place remains active until the County creates and approves an updated map and text. Richland County is committed to reaching as many people as possible, gathering their input, and communicating what is happening with the Land Development Code update. We deeply value the input of residents, and we appreciate their engagement so far in this process,” Brown said.
More About the LDC
The LDC and accompanying zoning map are adopted County ordinances that regulate land use, growth and development outside of cities and towns. They govern the types of uses, location and size of developments within various zones, as well as establishing the procedures for how development proposals are reviewed.
The LDC also controls various development and subdivision standards such as 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.
The 2005 LDC has been amended many times since the last comprehensive revision the same year. In 2015, County Council and the Planning Commission determined another comprehensive review and update was needed, as the 2005 version lacked graphics, did not have a user-friendly design, and was inconsistent with the County’s comprehensive plan. The reasoning of Council and the Commission is that, as Richland County adapts to changes in technology, lifestyles and economic conditions, corresponding changes must be made to the LDC to assure that development happens in a logical and planned fashion.
The 2021 LDC update was prepared with several core objectives in mind, including:
- to be user-friendly
- to implement the policies of Plan Richland County (the current comprehensive plan)
- to align zoning districts and uses with current best practices
- to promote sustainable development practices
The Richland County Planning Commission is now working to develop the new Zoning Map, which cannot be considered by County Council until the Planning Commission completes its review and provides a recommendation. The Planning Commission is holding a series of meetings and work sessions on the topic, which are open to the public and streamed live.
Updates, public notices and other information regarding the Land Development Code comprehensive update can be found online: https://www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Departments/Planning-Development.