Protecting a way of life!

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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

County Calendar:

Meetings Location:


Edgefield County Council 

County Council Chambers 

225 Jeter Street

Edgefield, SC

UPDATE: 7-19--2021  


Under Meetings + Events 

Tuesday July 20, 2021

5:00 pm 

Documents and Details


CITIZENS Stay informed and stay involved let your voice be heard.



Moratorium approved:                ONLY Applies to Major              Subdivisions NOT to PUD/PD

    High density already in place      not affected. Business, towns,      industries not affected 

 2.  Planning  Commission - UPDATE

       Once a week meetings - LMO 

Development Regulations


Under Meetings + events 

Small group meetings 13 held less than 200 people attended.  

Edgefield County 2010 census: 24,233 people. 22,000 parcels of land.   


Scroll to the bottom to get more information. Will be changed. 


Here is the link to view the flip boards for questions being asked by citizens. 




If you need help or have a question contact here:


Citizen Comments Link:  here


1.  Information cover page:  here


2.  Click on map: Interactive Map  here 

     FIND YOUR PROPERTY: on the map: 

     name search - last name first 

     in the box at the  top left, locate your           property  see what zone  the planners         have  chosen as the best  use of your         land (Zone Category) :

Rural Agricultural  RA

Rural Conservation RC

Rural Estate  RE

Residential  Subdivision RS

Residential Village    RV

Light Service Commercial  LSC

General Service Commercial  GSC

Light Industrial Manufacturing LIM

General Industrial Manufacturing  GIM

Custom designed for developers :

Custom Residential Development (not listed)

Planned Unit Development (not listed) 

No Zoning (not listed)

3.  Click on(376 pg text) LMO Draft  here   

      Notes to navigate: Set Like a Book

Page 1 - Organization of  Ordinance

Page 3 - Table of Contents 12 Chapters

Page 25 - Table 2-1 Principle Use

Table Columns: 

Principal Use - then each of zone column  -

find your zone and follow down the column

A = allowed  Blank = prohibited

S = special exception C = conditional

4. Scroll through the chapters to get more  details -

Zoning means giving control to County

What seems to be clear - there is too much flexibility for interpretation between planning staff and developers.

while citizens are held to higher restrictions.  Zoning can be changed and designed for the developers.  

Silence assumes consent. 


Economics is the focus.  

Friday  April 9, 2021

Economic Development Meeting

Member list: here

Meeting Video : here 

SUMMARY : The Moratorium is important and the Comprehensive Plan reversal is important :  Keep it Rural and grow smartly: 

People we need to listen carefully to this discussion. Citizens want one thing - preserve the ruralness of the county and manage growth and the government seems to be after swinging the doors wide open for the growth. until we get the combined mindset for the best vision for Edgefield County we will stagnate. No one seems to understand how fast this high density growth is coming. We need a big pause and get this right. don't destroy what we cherish in an effort to not "miss an opportunity". Economic development meeting.

53:32 / 1:06:10·

At the 23:25 minute mark he explains that it isn't like we will be devoid of rules....we have some in place. right now and we do have some zoning in the county. Listen to what is said. We had a strong Comprehensive Plan and growth was coming what we are not ready for is all this unchecked fast growth. That is why we need the pause Moratorium on the major subdivision. and we hear why the one county council member is against the moratorium. And note people in Florida and in California. I spoke to people who have moved here from those places and what they want is not what is offered as the "market". Once again we have someone whose ideas are all about other places not in Edgefield County. The county will never be ready for what we have been thrown into. That is not harmonious with Edgefield county. 

At the 37:32 minute mark discussed is that the comprehensive plan and or the LMO has to be rewritten. They have to match. 39.54 it is stated that a company coming in will be looking not just in the area but within a radius of 30 -45 minutes for workers. So doesn't that tell us that we do not have to have all the crammed in housing for workers? That is the emergency in my opinion we are moving way too fast on the major subdivision development. 41:00 minute mark got to set a goal and keep Edgefield rural feel. Terrence D. Culbreath says it well got to have smart growth to keep it rural. And yes we want to keep those we have here rather than push them out.

The comprehensive plan had in place limits to keep high density at bay. Planning staff assists the developer in designing the zoning/plan. What is not stated is that the planning commission can control somewhat the large crammed in developments through the comprehensive plan. And that is why we need the moratorium so the Planning Commission can put back in their toolbox the "smart growth" tools. 53:32 minute mark he states that the planning commission can make suggestions to lot size etc. So the planning commission has power to do so and as he stated the planning department is the ones who follow what the County Council wishes are. So when Tommy Paradise stated over and over and over again "we have to smooth the way for the developers so they will choose us rather than a surrounding county.....that was the marching orders. And that needs to change. And yes that Comprehensive plan 3rd reading wording change did have a major impact on the county. Tavern Hill developer Todd Brown now on the planning commission stated when asked if the county council had not changed the wording would they have developed tavern Hill and his answer was NO not based on the rate of return. You can spin it anyway you want but those are the facts.


This is what should guide Edgefield County Government: 


Association of




  Edgefield County is a member

      resources available 



Edgefield County Council 

County Council Chambers 

225 Jeter Street

County Council Meeting

Information under Meetings + events: 

March 8, 2021 

County You Tube here 

March 2, 2021

County You Tube view it here

Planning Commission  Meeting

LMO draft (zoning)  Public hearing

Public Hearing Held less than 1/2 attendees were let in - February 11, 2021.

Sweetwater Baptist Church

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm 

County You Tube view it  here

WANT TO GET INVOLVED: get on the list




Want to protect your rural way of live say NO to Zoning. 

We thought citizen participation protected us - once you put anything in the hands of the council they have the control and can and have proven will change to something we don't want. 


Edgefield Advertiser Article

Series Part I Petition Circulating  

Series  Part II Petition For Change     

Series Part III County Council Member Shares Positions on Development and Comprehensive Plan (make smaller)

Edgefield County Resident's Concerns About Comprehensive Plan & Land Management Ordinance is Growing


Largest Growth Area -

Merriwether - Windsor

Tavern Hill

Anniston Pointe

Murrah Estates 

Where we are today - Read the Opinion in  the News to Know


Want a chance to Reverse the Change

Sign the Petition 


Questions contact us 



Patriot's Smokehouse BBQ in Clark's Hill Thurs-Sat 11-8 pm.

Park Row Edgefield - during business hours

Bay's Firearms and Range in Belvedere

Monday - Friday 9:00 - 6:00 

Saturday 8:00 - 5:00




hear it for yourselves: 

See why  Planning Commission hands are tied ....listen to Commissioner Jim Oliver and Frank Gabriel stand with the citizens.  November meeting Mr. Oliver was voted as Chair of the committee. lISTEN TO THE CITIZENS AND THE DISCUSSION Beginning at 1:44 minute mark through the Anniston Point worksession and approval process. 

November video here

December County Council meeting Chairman Scott Cooper replaced  Mr. Oliver with Tavern Hill Deverloper Todd Brown. 



December  Planning Commission meeting action: 

Fast Tract Approval  

Planning Commission voted to hold 

Multiple Planning Commission Work Sessions a Month When Needed In order to facilitate the timely review of prospective developments, applied developments, and the draft Land Management Ordinance, the Planning Commission may consider having an additional work session meeting in a month when needed. Likely will be 4th Thursday of the month. 

Rest of the documents under: Planning Work session & Meeting

December 10 under Meetings + Events: here

Citizens have little control as objection after objection by surrounding landowners are given little support by the planning staff and county administration.

Look at previous meeting videos for yourself.  The are found under the Meetings + Events page. County Council meetings and documents are listed along with Planning Commission workshops and meetings.

EDGEFIELD COUNTY Citizens are - Losing our uniqueness one parcel at a time. Anyone who thinks you are immune needs to wake up.

When you see the little yellow Public Hearing signs it is usually too late!!!!!!

 Reason for the Petition


Developers can put development anywhere

you are not immune because you are rural today. 







County Chair and 2 other council members.  Not what the citizens supported. Yes we are continuing until it is done!!!  If You want to participate.   contact us here



Sign the  CITIZEN  Petition

Use your voice - Reverse the Comprehensive Plan 3rd reading  surprise change see minutes here  that allowed the  high density developments citizens did not want.


EC Board of Education  update: 11-12-2020

Draft for Merriwether Elementary and the Merriwether Middle was presented here  


See:MES/MMS Addition Proposal


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.


Unintended consequences:  

Comprehensive Plan & Zoning 


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 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:


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!

Knowledge Is Power​ - Purpose - Share Information One With Another 

How easily a community/county can be changed - from rural to urban

He who has the knowledge has the power to control what happens in this County and to our quality of life. The purpose of this site is to share information  and work together to help shape our County.  We seek to unify our community to protect our quality of life for ourselves and generations to come.

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


In 2018 Edgefield County hired Robert Ford and Company to prepare a new comprehensive plan the previous review & update (mandated every 5 years) had been done in 2015 - by law it is required to be updated  not rewritten  every 10 years with review every 5 years.  At his initial presentation for the plan, Mr. Ford stated that Edgefield County should focus on what makes us unique.   

As stated in the comprehensive plan: The County also should strive to preserve the quality of life enjoyed by Edgefield County citizens, workers, and visitors as growth and development occurs.




Citizens attended and participated in year long meetings working on this plan. Throughout the process the citizens expressed their desire and support for planning which allowed for growth that was in harmony with the low density rural  area.  The Planning Commission recommended  to County Council the completed plan which had support of the citizens.   The County Council held two readings with the 2nd  reading being a public hearing.  At the 3rd reading of this ordinance June 4, 2019 County Council Meeting, amendments were controversially adopted by a 3 - 2 vote. Read for yourself the meeting minutes here.  This action changed the Edgefield County Comprehensive Plan allowing high density, residential development throughout Edgefield County. Lot sizes were removed from the traditional residential subdivisions and densities were removed from the zoning map.  These were the removed densities: 

  • Estate Residential minimum lot size was 1 house on 5 acres

  • Suburban Residential minimum lot size was 1/2 acre to 2 or 3 acre.

This change smoothed the way for developers to introduce higher density housing units with as little as a 10 acre parcel. Apparently it is even less acreage, the latest being  7.79 acres being applied for a subdivision. 

Citizens were unaware what this change meant to their quality of life until January 2020 as these processes began. Windsor subdivision with 445 townhomes was approved next came Tavern Hill with 212.  Thus ushering in the first high density subdivisions in Edgefield County.  

The importance and the impact this change is having on the county citizens is clearly seen in Many of the approved developments (the Planning Commission meetings as well as the County Council meetings can be found on the Meetings + Events page here   Here are three such  Planning Commission meetings:  there are many others: 

June 11, 2020  beginning discussion with developer at marker 41: minutes.  here

September 10, 2020 - beginning discussion with developers and then at the 1:08 :35  - lawyer here

October 8, 2020 - impact on surrounding property owners - here

Apart from the Planning commissioners (who rely heavily on the Planning staff) here is the list of those who have expert knowledge of Planning. The planning process itself tends to lean heavily with the developers rather than the citizens: The expert list:

Hart Clark:  Director. Building and Planning Department

Kevin Singletary: Full Time Planner

Tommy Paradise:  Edgefield County Administrator (experience with Aiken Planning)

Andrew Marine:   Edgefield County Attorney( experience with Aiken Planning Committee)

Will Williams:  President & CEO - Economic Development Partnership


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.


Current zoning ordinance will be deleted and a complete new zoning ordinance will be put in place when finalized.- High Density is here and more is on the way. The Vision: more rooftops.

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. The Plan was approved by a 3 to 2 County Council vote. Read the Plan here. Find the minutes and the full details  to this meeting on the News to Know page under this section:  Comprehensive Plan & Land Management Ordinance (zoning) High Density Subdivisions  History -  The change - minutes 

Land Management Ordinance (LMO)  HOA FOR THE WHOLE COIUNTY: 

A Land Management Ordinance 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, Land Management (zoning), has been reviewed by the LMO Steering Committee and recommended  to the Plannning Committee.   should be reviewed prior to the Public Meetings: here. There remains one more meeting then to Council.

The Planning Commission and the consultant :  Currently there are 9 zoning categories and when the draft is completed there will likely be as many as 15 (this has been stated to offer more flexibility to developers.  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! This is the reason for the Petition

It is not just happening in Merriwether, it is happening all across Edgefield county - fast and furiously land is being cleared and dense housing units are on the rise! 

Merriwether and most of Edgefield County represents for many a refuge from the hectic areas surrounding us. Time and again citizens have declared "we do not want to be Columbia County nor NA with all the fast paced growth." Yet here we are. Leaders' visions are growth for revenue while citizens understand that what people are saying comes from watching what has happened in other areas, and that 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 scheduled to resume Jan. 2021.


​​​​How Am I 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.

There are other subdivisions which have been approved with more to come as Edgefield County experiences urban sprawl, as stated by our leaders. Currently land owners, developers, planning commission and our representatives are determining what our County looks like. Yes added rooftops add to the tax base but they also add to the cost of services...there needs to be a balance. More rooftops may encourage big box stores yet those impact our small business unique quality of the community.

Traffic is drastically increasing on roads ill equipped to handle such loads. Traffic will only get worse in areas concentrated with multiple housing developments and new businesses. Adding to the leaders' vision is a desire for a rail trail that has already been described as providing a safe and easy way to get to North Augusta. Is that what we want to again drive revenue to North Augusta rather than into our County?


More housing means more families, which increases the number of students in already overcrowded schools. The school bond passed November 2018  which we will pay for 25 years  will likely not  cover these exploding educational needs. Other infrastructure needs, police, fire, traffice, water and sewer will alsol add to the taxpayer costs.  Reassessments are due to arrive shortly and while we keep hering about the property values going up which is  a good thing for those who want to sell but for those who wish to live out their lives in their forever home the increased taxes are not welcome. 


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.

Choose to be Unique:

Anyone can live in high density housing, towns and cities, those surround us. Those who choose Edgefield County are seeking something different, something unique. Let's work together to preserve this rural, small town/community feel for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and those who seek to become a part of this place we call home.


I Am Only One Person, What Can I Do?

Attend meetings and read the information posted to tell you what is happening.  It is not the goal of the County to inform citizens it is the goal to smooth the way and encourage development. By the time you see the little yellow sign that reads "public hearing"  believe this it is already too late to make it change.  Just ask those who have already experienced it.  

  • 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.

  • Do you know who your County Council Representative is? Contact your county 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. If you have a vested interest in maintaining our valued quality of life, in connecting with your neighbors for the good of the community or just want to have some good ol’ fun, contact us let's share and work together to make our County the best it can be for all.    Get involved and let everyone know your desires. Designing the community we love, preserving it for future generations.  Sign the petition.

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. Together we have more influence. Together we have a better chance of positively affecting the future of the rural community we call home!