Richland County is encouraging residents to visit the County’s website and review proposed changes to the County’s Zoning Map and Land Development Code (LDC).
The County’s Planning Commission is in the process of reviewing and making recommendations for an amended Zoning Map and related changes to the LDC text.
The next opportunity for public comment on the proposed changes is at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting in County Council Chambers of the County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. Residents can also email comments anytime: LandDevelopmentCode@richlandcountysc.gov.
“Richland County residents and business owners have told us that transparency and communication are important to them,” said County Administrator Leonardo Brown. “As such, earlier this year the County Council restarted the Code and Zoning Map amendment process in order to provide more opportunities to participate in the process.”
As the Planning Commission finishes its portion of the process and prepares a recommendation for County Council to consider in early 2023, the commission is asking the public to provide all pertinent information and comments ahead of its Nov. 7 meeting.
“Richland County residents and businesses have engaged the Planning staff and the Planning Commission throughout this process,” said Aric Jensen, Richland County assistant administrator. “The Council restarted the Code and Zoning Map amendment process to ensure ample opportunities for public engagement. We encourage anyone who wants to get involved to do so now so that the Planning Commission can consider a range of perspectives as they put together their recommendation.”
More About the LDC
The LDC and accompanying zoning map are adopted County ordinances that regulate land use, growth and development outside of incorporated 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 were needed, as the 2005 version lacked graphics, did not have a user-friendly design, and was inconsistent with the County’s comprehensive plan. Council and the commission reason 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 occurs 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 Planning Commission is working to develop an updated Zoning Map, which cannot be considered by County Council until the 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. In addition, a running log of the proposed LDC revisions is available online for residents who were unable to participate in previous meetings or need a reminder of what’s been discussed (see link below).
Find updates, public notices and other information regarding the LDC comprehensive update online: www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Departments/Planning-Development.