Change is Here!
Community + County News
Liaison assignments for County Council members:
When the new 2021 assignments are made will post:
Not posted yet current 3-21-21 posts: here
Fire Board : Cooper
Hospital Board of Trustees : Kennion
Planning Commission :
County Transportation Committee : Kennion
Countywide Recreation Committee : Kennion
Economic Development Committee : Cooper & Talbert
Tri-County Sanitary Landfill Committee : Campbell & Talbert
Three Rivers Solid Waste : Campbell
Upper Savannah Council of Government : Cooper & Talbert
ARTS Citizens Advisory Committee : Campbell & Cooper
LMO (Zoning) Steering Committee Members:
George Thornton -resigned
Edgefield County Council Retreat Presentations
Each of the 7 files is a PDF of the presentations given at the County Council Retreat in January.
Capital Funding Presentation Draft
Capital Project Sales Tax (CPST)
Edgefield County Recreation Program
FY 2020-2021 Budget Calendar
Heritage Preservation Trust
Land Management Ordinance
Opinion: LMO - Zoning - Planning Commission
Having followed the rapid rise in growth for Edgefield County I am of the opinion that Edgefield County planning is in a mess. There seems to be a race against someone's clock to get as many rooftops and developments in this County before someone discovers that it is out of control. Edgefield County has been experiencing growth for many years as people leave surrounding areas to come to the peace we have here in our rural countryside. We have always welcomed quality growth. The fast growth we are currently experiencing does not fit in harmony with the surrounding communities. This is what citizens stressed as the most desired feature in the Comprehensive Plan. Citizens spend 2 years working on that plan and supported what was written in that document, up to the 3rd reading change. That change created many negative results for citizens and left the Planning Commission's hands tied. The only thing they appear to be able to do is rubber stamp what ever is presented to them. There seems to be an unwritten rule about picking the winners and losers for developments. The process is so fast paced, Planning Commission members nor citizens can possibly give sufficient thought to these proposed developments. This appears to be by design. Notice of pending development first appears in the form of a tiny yellow sign so small it is barely noticed by a passersby. This gives notice of a public hearing within 15 days. Additionally, it is published in the local newspaper. All meeting the legal requirements. More assistance is given to the potential developers than the taxpaying citizens of the County.
It also appears that those on the planning commission have little to no experience and are simply being guided by staff knowledgeable in the planning process including the County Attorney making sure they understand they have no choice but to approve. Though time and again we hear residents/taxpayers express their concerns during public hearings those concerns are ignored or simply told that isn't what the planning commission must consider. The planning commission members seem to be chosen specifically to follow some unknown plan. Seems when one raises concerns about the process they are replaced with a more congenial or unknowledgeable member. There are so many applications the PC voted at the December 2020 meeting to have more monthly meetings rather than slowing the process down to give citizens, staff and commissioners more time to study what is happening around them. At the November meeting, Mr. Jim Oliver, voted Planning Commission chair, suggested a pause for any more developments until the LMO Zoning be completed otherwise he stated that they might as well raise their hands right then and simply say they all were approved. He understood that the Planning Commissions hands were tied. At that meeting Mr. Oliver and Mr. Gabriel voted against the Anniston Point subdivision stating they did not believe it met the Comprehensive Plan as being harmonious with the surrounding area.
At the December County Council meeting, Chairman Scott Cooper replaced Jim Oliver with Todd Brown, developer of Tavern Hill subdivision, property across the street from Mr. Cooper's family farm and property previously owned by Scott Cooper's cousin. At the January County Council meeting a citizen requested that a moratorium be placed on new developments to give time for the zoning ordinances to be established. This would provide better opportunities for planning. Hopefully this would help Edgefield County ensure we did not end up with something we did not want stated the citizen. No comment was made by any council member. The indication seems to be developers want to get as many things approved as possible before they can be reigned in. All the more reason to get this PETITION signed to give citizens an opportunity to VOTE for harmonious quality planned Growth. Citizen input on their quality of life should be considered over fast paced out of control growth.
We do not want to be the next Columbia County.
What many may not know is that all the developer has to do is bring the application in, go through the process and they have 2 years to even begin the building process and should something happen to stop the process it can just sit and will not have to go through another process unless there is a major change to the development plan.
Citizens provided input into that Comprehensive Plan and supported it up to the 3rd reading.
Here is the question if citizens supported the plan who is Mr. Cooper to determine that he has the right to change the will of the people to satisfy his vision and to convince 2 other members to go along with his desire against their constituents will while not informing the other 2 council members. This action clearly knew that to put it before the citizens would not gain support therefore it was done in the dark.
That 3rd reading change to the Comprehensive Plan has had a major negative impact and should never have happened to our citizens. Take the time to attend these meetings or at the very least look at the videos and determine for yourself.....does this seem right to you? If not please sign the PETITITON. Have questions - ask.
Citizen Call To Action: The Reason
CITIZEN PETITION - Citizens did not and do not want high density developments across Edgefield County
Introduction to High Density in Edgefield County:
Comprehensive Plan & Land Management Ordinance (zoning) High Density Subdivisions History - The change - minutes
Edgefield County approved a new Comprehensive Plan as amended June 2019. Click the link to the right to read the entire plan.
The beginning portion shows data from the 2010 Census plus projections.
Chapter 7 begins the Land Use Information with categories and explanations.
Chapter 9 shows the Priority Investment Program. The last page shows the future Land Use Plan (zoning) map.
June, 2019, at the 3rd reading for the Comprehensive Plan (see approved minutes PDF here, the following change conversation starts at the bottom of page 5), the Plan was amended:
Original: Suburban Residential – "This category indicates single-family residential land uses and lots in a suburban scale subdivision pattern typical of development from the 1950’s to the 1990’s." "Average lot size may vary from 1/2 acre to 2 or 3‐acre lots depending on sewer service or requirements for septic tank fields. Some areas within this category may have deeper lots to ensure building and septic field site development.
Approved Change: Suburban Residential – "This category indicates single-family residential land uses and lots in a suburban scale subdivision pattern typical of development from the 1950’s to the 1990’s." "Natural conditions, connectivity to utilities, and the market are to determine lot sizes. Some areas within this category may have deeper lots to ensure building and septic field site development."
Original: Estate Residential This category features very low density single family residential development on large lots. The overall density of residential development is projected to be about one house on five acres. However, the minimum lot size in this land use area is assumed to be approximately two (2) acres in size to provide developers with flexibility in creating affordable home sites. Water, power, and communications cables are assumed to be tied to the local dedicated street system with substantive added costs in extending into deep lots. The areas in this land use category are not considered likely to provide adequate densities to support the expansion of extensive public sewer collection systems or wastewater treatment and may require higher costs for other utilities as a trade‐off for more land.-
Approved Change: Estate Residential – This category features very low density single family residential development on large lots. However, the minimum lot size in this land use area may vary on the basis of suitable topography and access to utilities. It is assumed that some portions of this area may be developed at 0.5 units per acre (approximately two acres in lot size) or conditional higher densities where appropriate to provide developers with flexibility in creating affordable home sites. Water, power, and communications cables are assumed to be tied to the local dedicated street system with substantive added costs in extending into deep lots. The areas in this land use category are not considered likely to provide adequate densities to support the expansion of extensive public sewer collection systems or wastewater treatment and may require higher costs for other utilities as a trade-off for more land.
The results of this change allowed for higher density housing to be utilized for the Windsor Subdivision (445 housing units) and Tavern Hill (212 housing units) ,approved on February 4th during the County Council meeting (see Meetings + Events for meeting details). This category definition leaves it open to broad interpretation and flexibility for the developer and decision makers. This change directly took out the protections from high density that citizens specifically requested and that existed prior to the change in language.
Monthly we are seeing new applications being presented for higher density developments througout the county.
If you care how this planning impacts you and your property get informed. Go to the County Website for the GIS here put in your address and it will bring up your property information. You can then click on the map and search around to see what is around your property, who owns it etc. On the left hand side of the map you can put in what layers you want to see.....roads, parcel numbers, etc. The links and information below for the LMO Zoning will allow you to see what is being suggested about zoning and what will be allowed. There is a lot of information that will affect you and your life. Ask questins.
The next Step - LMO Ordinance: ZONING
These will apply to ALL unincorporated areas of the County - The draft has been prepared by those on the Steering Committee - Planning Committee and those with a stake in the Ordinance . When these are complete the whole Ordinance will be DELETED and there will be no cross reference to see how it was changed Why not a cross reference? Why would you not want citizens to know what they lost and what was added. Do you know that we currently have 9 land use categories and when finished we will have 15 WHY? the consultant states to give the developers more flexibility. Why would they need that if all they have to do is present a plan and the zoning is designed for them.
Land Management Ordinance Now resumed
Suspended: August 5, 2020 - January 1, 2021
A confusing matter so study it carefully - short time to review and they are picking your zone and setting up what they think your land use should be. Let me repeat that....they are choosing!
The County Consultant wants Citizen Input - Citizens review the below links including the Zoning Map - check what it means for your property and see what land uses will be allowed. There is a lot of information we need to check very carefully. Here is what we must look over.
Edgefield County cover page: here
LMO Draft 376 pages here
Interactive Zoning Map App here
Now Resumed and on a fast track to get it done.
The Land Management Ordinance (zoning) has been recommended by the Steering Committee to the Planning Commission. The process was been suspended August 5, 2020 - January 1, 2021. The staff continued working on this and on an as needed basis with the Consultant to assist the PC in preparing the recommendations for new Land Management Ordinance guidelines for future development to County Council. You can click on the LMO comparison to view the different categories being used in other areas to see what is being considered for our County. This process will determine the categories; what is contained in those categories; and what is allowed, what is not allowed, and where these zoning areas are located in the County. During this time the Planning Commission is seeking citizen input into: Check here for the current draft being considered by the Steering Committee.
Meeting video/zooms are under meetings and Events
If you have questions or wish to be heard you will need to send an e-mail - Also if you wish to receive the meeting notices, agendas for the meetings or any documentations regarding the Planning Commission contact County Planner
Office: (803) 637-2101
Documents related to Planning Commisson Steering Committee Meetings: LMO- Zoning Possible extended schedule.
Agenda Minutes (Feb) - here
Zoning District Summary - here
Zoning Map - New Draft - here
Zoning Map -previous with Densities - here
Full Information : Zoning Draft - full version here (a work in progress)
LMO Steering Committee Meeting
February 25, 2020
The LMO (Land Management Ordinance (zoning) Steering Committee schedule can be found on the Meetings + Events page. Any questions regarding the LMO Steering Committee should be directed to the County’s Planner Kevin Singletary
Election year hangs in the balance. January 2021 will see new officials in several offices and many of the same faces. Let us pray for guidance and representatives who will serve the wishes of the people they take an oath to serve.
The Edgefield County Board of Education's website
has been updated to include this Referendum Page. This update shows the progress made with the bond that voters passed November 2018. Take a moment or two to look this over.
County-wide Reassessment Program - Completed
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.
Census Year ends December 31,2020 . This information will be used to determine the new county council district lines as well as the new school districts. It is important to make sure you are counted. To avoid an in person visit make sure you complete the census form.