Protecting a way of life!

Get Informed.
Stay Informed.

Check

News to Know
and Meetings + Events pages for updates!

Connecting People  :  Empowering Voices

Working together to make Merriwether the best place to live, work, and play

 IN LOVING MEMORY....

Li

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Linda Chavous Anderson

    1948 - 2022

 

Your patience is appreciated as we take time to grieve the loss of MCC's founder/leader and Merriwether Community's biggest advocate.  

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As we regroup and determine the next steps in moving forward, we will need the following:

  • Someone to take over management of this website.

  • Someone to take over management of the MCC Facebook page.

  • Individuals to take up the mantel of attending and monitoring meetings.

  • Someone to take responsibility for planning community events such as the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

If you are interested, email Tanya & Genia at rebel82@bellsouth.net.

REDISTRICTING - 

2020 was a census year which ended December 31, 2020.  Districts are being redrawn for council, schools, house and senate seats.   It seems that due to the virus and lack of citizen participation in the census reporting process EC reports a reduction of 5% population this is important for our representation as  well as for funding allocations.  Sadly this will be used to guide planning and funding for he next 10 years when the next census will be done again.

 

 

New Law Enforcement Center Capital Project Sales Tax Passed

Advertiser Article:

Conditions of the jail 

Tour of Edgefield  County Jail  here

Total projected revenue $10,097,269 projected cost $28 million which will leave over half in the balance. Questions remain.

 

EC Board of Education  update: 11-12-2020

Draft for Merriwether Elementary and the Merriwether Middle was presented here  

 

See:MES/MMS Addition Proposal

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Unintended consequences:  

Comprehensive Plan & Zoning 

ISSUES ACROSS THE STATE:

Similar issue in Greenville:  here

            Anderson County:  here

Land Use and "The Cobra Effect"

Strong Towns: here

This is a reassessment year - property values matter....They affect our taxes  among other things.

County-wide Reassessment Program

Edgefield County is in the process of a Countywide Reassessment Program which all counties are required to implement every five years under South Carolina law. The current reassessment is expected to be completed by December 31, 2020. 

This year was a census year which ends December 31, 2020.  Districts will be redrawn for council, schools, house and senate seats.  It is important if you have not completed your census do so it matters not only for our representation but for funding allocations as well. 

What do you want our community to look like when it grows up?  What is important to you to your tax dollars? 

lWhat lessons have you learned through this crisis?  What are the real necessities you discovered you need other than toilet paper?  Tell us your thoughts.

      STRONG TOWNS  ARTICLES 

Strong Towns is a huge proponent. While we may not agree with all their ideas, you can find many great articles 

Here is a group of interesting ideas:  

Illusion of Wealth here

Why Suburban Growth is a Ponzi Scheme here

The Virtue of Uniformity  here

The Trillion Dollar Question Facing Every Major American City      here

Well Worth the Read

There are many great articles at Strong Towns. Here's the list check them out:

here

Why Suburban Growth is a Ponzi Scheme here

Building together

share your ideas and knowledge.

New businesses needed

New businesses coming

What is unique about Edgefield County?

Let's talk!

Merriwether Community Coalition's  Purpose is Connecting our Community, Sharing Information, Being the voice and Building Together for  the future of this rural community we call home! Come join with us. 

YOU NEED TO KNOW: 

Do you have an opinion and want to give input?

Contact your represetative. 

Do you know what district you are in?       Map              here

Do you know who represents you?            Council          here

Do you know who are on committees?       Lists               here

CURRENT ISSUES + HOT TOPICS:

Census Results  - Due September - October

Council redistricting Map - Due February 2022

Council final approval zoning - February 2022 

Council Election  - November 2022

QUESTIONS + Decisions - Citizen Input

1.  Should the chairman be elected by the               citizens or chosen by the Council? 

2.  How many districts?

3.  Where should the $5.3 Million Recovery Act        money be used? 

4.   Development Codes - Planning Commission        reviewing & updating. Zoning 

5.   Capital Sales Tax - New Law Enforcement            Center - Location and design 

6.   Districts to be redrawn according to census

      data. 

How It Is Done: 

DECISION MAKERS are elected by the citizens to represent the wishes and best interest of the people  in each district. 

 Edgefield County has 5 Council Districts with one representative in each district.  The members elect the Chairman and Vice Chairman each January.  

By law the Comprehensive Plan must be reviewed ever 5 years and updated every 10 years.  Citizens spoke, petitioned and the County Council heard - COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 3rd reading change WAS REVERSED. 

ZONING - DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS ARE BEING UPDATED .

CHANGES ARE IN THE WORKS.  HOW WILL THEY AFFECT YOU AND YOUR PROPERTY?

 

CURRENT DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL PROCESS:

You only see the tiny yellow signs when development requires a public hearing.  

         ZONINGMassive Growth - The Process

The Vision is more rooftops : Smooth the way for Development. Less citizen input 

  • Building and Planning Department Approval: They are not required to be announced to the public.

  • Minor subdivisions: Subdivisions of 10 lots or less that do not create a new street.

  • Exempt subdivisions: Any subdivision where all lots are 5 acres or more that do not create a new street.

  • Residential and accessory buildings: These are handled through the permitting and inspection process.

 

Subdivisions such as  Coronet have to be presented to the Planning Commission and hold a public hearing. Citizen notification is through publishing in the local paper and placing a small sign near the property.

 

Subdivisions like Windsor (445 mixed housing units )  and Tavern Hill (212 mixed housing units)  are Planned Development (PUD & PD).  Prior to the June 4, 2019 Comprehensive Plan language change the typical subdivision in Edgefield County minimum lot size was .50 acre per house.  See News to Know for full details of the change.

Planned Development Process  - How it works:

  • Developer applies and presents subdivision plans to Building and Planning

  • Planning Commission reviews and if approved recommends to Council

  • County Council holds 3 readings and if approved developer moves forward

  • Can be applied for anywhere in the County

  • High Density due to lot size being removed from Comprehensive Plan & zoning map.

 

Edgefield County and the Merriwether area are exploding with unplanned growth. After a year of research, planning, citizen involvement, and public hearings Edgefield County’s Comprehensive Plan, a road map for planning the future of Edgefield County was amended on its 3rd and final reading to allow for higher density housing units against what the consultant recommended and citizens wanted. 

UPDATE:  LMO GONE - DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS BEING REVIEWED AND REWRITTEN. 

Currently Chapter 24 - . 

 

The  development regulations &  ordinances will establish how areas will look, what is allowed, and what is not allowed (residential areas, businesses, farms, etc.). Also of importance is what the process will be for approving anything submitted to Building and Planning. What will staff approve, what will need to be submitted to the Planning Committee, and what will need to have three readings and a public hearing for approval? Look at current ordinances here. Chapter 24.  LMO Scrapped. 

 All the documents mentioned can be found  on the Home page,  News to Know page, and  Meetings + Events.

The Edgefield County Comprehensive Plan identifies the Merriwether District as a prime location to focus growth. Stating: Fortunately for the county, the Merriwether area and the southern end of the US-25 (Edgefield Road) corridor generally have less productive agricultural lands. Therefore, less important agricultural lands are likely to be lost on a large scale to industrial or residential growth in the next five years.   

Growth is not coming, it is here! 

It is not just happening in Merriwether, it is happening all across Edgefield county , the State and our Nation. Land is being cleared and dense housing units are on the rise!  Choose to Remain Unique

Merriwether and most of Edgefield County represents for many a refuge from the hectic areas surrounding us.  Citizens say  "we do not want to be Columbia County nor NA with all the fast paced growth." Yet here we are.  Watching what has happened in other areas, citizens understand this fast paced massive growth by those seeking to increase revenue discover rather than improving the lives of those citizens, those changes have had detrimental effects on the high quality lifestyle everyone seeks. We understand if you wait long enough that evidence will show itself. Listen to what one Columbia County Planning Chair has to say here.....EC we are hurling head long into the same situation, one we have tried to avoid. Edgefield County is a unique place to live, work, and play and that is what we should be highlighting. That is what people discover and come daily to enjoy, just as we do. This massive, high density, and fast growing progress has negative impacts on infrastructure, schools, roads, police, fire and EMS services. Listen to what this Chair (above link) has to say about when this was zoned and what he recommends you do before you purchase property....visit the Planning commission, check with the police and with the schools for future plans....and what good does that do when those things can all change with zoning requests. Also not shown in the abbreviated news was this is a PUD development much like Windsor. When you are not paying attention this is what happens. The last phase of planning - zoning ordinances are now being reveiwed  and updated. 

​​​​How Are We Affected?

As surrounding areas and neighboring communities become densely populated and overcrowded, developers are focusing on large land parcels for new housing developments. Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) offer the highest profitability therefore they seek the highest density. Plans for more of these higher density developments are under consideration. Planned developments consist of a mix of larger lots, smaller lots, town homes and possible commercial within the community. They will both contain greenspace and HOA facilities. Schools affected in these subdivisions will be Merriwether Elementary, Merriwether Middle, Fox Creek, and Strom Thurmond.

Developers care little how this affects our county it is all about profit for them.   TOOLS for the planning commission are disappearing daily to help curb what is happening.  Hence we have a 68 townhome subdivision on 14 acres being applied for in the middle of a subdivision with 1+ acre sized lots.  This impacts no only their quality of life it impacts their property values as well.  This is also prone to flooding.

Another subdivision Hollow Oak has been applied for on 79 acres with 79 housing units on 1/2 acre lots with wells and septic tanks. Neither of these will be harmonious to surrounding areas. 

 

The rural life that we so love, the reason many moved to Edgefield County and the reason that family members with deep roots choose to remain here, is rapidly changing. Without input from taxpayers for planned and controlled change, our community will soon morph into another overloaded, densely populated suburb that feeds the surrounding economy. Our quiet, relaxing community will be non-existent. This is not limited to the Southern end of the county, the danger exists in all parts of the county as the Comprehensive Plan has opened the door to high density growth which no one wants in this rural setting. Without the incentives being provided for developers, growth is coming daily just not in the fast uncontrolled manner which profiteers desire.

I Am Only One Person, What Can I Do?

  • Stay Informed! - Information is posted on this website, on the County Website (you can go to their page and sign up for updates), and on Facebook pages (see Important Links for lots of starting points). Share information! Attend Meetings! Volunteer and donate for community events! Speak up, or wake up one day to bulldozers at your back door. Help design and shape the future of Edgefield County. Speak up, for silence is considered approval. Share this information with your neighbors and friends .

  • Do you know who your County Council Representative is? Contact your county representative! You are not limited to just your representative -  contact all county council representatives and let your voice be heard! Do you know the various committees that meet and make decisions for citizens of Edgefield County? Do you know how you are affected by those decisions? The best way to know what is going on is to be informed and not wait until decisions are made that affect you personally.

  • Use our Contact form to let us know your contact information and your area of interest. Your information will never be shared, sold, or published. Confidentiality is held in high regard and will always be respected.

 

Stand up For what you want, unite with others and give voice to preserving what you value. 

People choose here because it is unique and set apart from the surrounding cookie cutter clutter.   Citizens let's design our own community not the developers!

Together we can make a difference.  Moving forward together  to  positively shape the future of this rural community we call home!