Public hearing set for land development changes
Though there's not a lot of construction going on in Barnwell County, it may be a little simpler to develop land in the future if County Council passes an amendment to its land development regulations.
Council will discuss the third and final reading of the amendment during their regular Jan. 8 meeting. Residents can voice their opinions on the changes during a 6 p.m. public hearing, immediately before the meeting.
"There are not any substantial changes," said Barnwell County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr. of revising the 2007 agreement. "It's more fine tuning."
One change is the removal of certain steps in the process of gaining approval to develop land in the unincorporated areas of the county. It does not affect land development in the county's towns, which have their own regulations.
"Some things were a little redundant," said Williams.
If the amendment passes, the sections establishing the procedure for tentative approval and the related preliminary plat specifications would be deleted. It does not affect the final plat procedure.
J.D. Mosteller, the county's attorney, said he doesn't see any problems with taking out the step. "This will make it more streamlined," he said.
The amendment would also strengthen the vested rights of land developers. Vested rights ensure land developers their property's zoning status will not change for two years after they file their plan of development, said Mosteller.
While the current regulations afford the state mandated two-year time limit of vested rights, the amendment would add up to five annual extensions.
Mosteller said the extensions help protect a land developer's initial investment if it takes them a while to develop the land, an occurrence that could happen.
The amendment also omits filing fees for developers when they submit their final plat, which Williams said "is not a revenue generator."
A minor change is the wording of who approves street names for new roads to align it with a 1991 road naming ordinance. While the Barnwell County Emergency Management Office and Post Office already have final say in the name, the current regulations list the county's planning commission as having the final say.
A complete copy of the regulations can be found at www.barnwellcounty.sc.gov
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