Letter to Editor

Response to Hixon, 2/3 Edition

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views  and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

Just read a very interesting article in our little town paper-The Edgefield Advertiser, involving a state representative.

Was I shocked? Nope. That article details THE very reason people in real estate and development should NOT be in office.

Petitioning for change is a civil last resort for people trying to address a wrong committed by government.

We elect people based on what they say their values are. My values don’t lie in dollars and numbers written on a page meant to convey monetary worth.

A representative government is meant to do just that, represent the people that voted them into office.

Title 6 Chapter 29 give developers and those in real estate precedence over smaller landowners and rural people.

That law grants developers their OWN zoning districts that they use anywhere, regardless of zoning in place,  while the existing property owners are restricted to control the mess said developers make. 

Is that why we vote? Did we vote for this? THE REMOVAL OF A WAY OF LIFE ON OUR OWN PROPERTY?

Edgefield is not the only county dealing with this. There are groups across the state trying to stop this corruption from happening. 

It’s funny how everyone talks about how we need to preserve our rural communities yet a law exists that is being exploited and being used to run over rural country people such as I, that only want to hold on to what we have. 

Even our county comprehensive plan is full of talk about how important rural land and agriculture are, yet the people that are supposed to protect  the things that their constituents value… are not. 

We vote these people into office based on what they say before they get there and once in office it is legal for them to utilize this law and ignore our wishes. Not only that, they can take away property rights and every aspect of rural living that we value and choose to live here for in the first place. ZONING. LMO…

Developers can exploit this law and ruin our way of life. They are actively doing so, across t

Developers can exploit this law and ruin our way of life. They are actively doing so, across the state.

Title 6 Chapter 29 gives ample room for self interest and corruption. This law encourages such action.

Laws meant to protect We The People are being exploited for self gain. 

If we are going to allow developers to come in and place small lot residential housing (High density) in the middle of completely rural areas,  pastures, and hay fields with rural people that don’t want it, then at the very least those people should get the same rules the developers get. You don’t take away my right to own a chicken, or have a garden, or plant what the heck I want on my own land in order for this to happen. 

THERE IS YOUR EQUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. 

You don’t restrict the disadvantaged to give the one with more resources the power to ruin a simple way of living. 

I  just watched a video in which someone in a Builders Association is bragging because he sued a county for trying to stop him from running over everybody in the rural area he was trying to build a subdivision in. He utilized that law and won his case. Little people restricted, rich people bulldoze. 

Enough is enough.

State law needs a major revamp, and WE need to stand up now.

What we are watching play out here in little old country Edgefield is NOT about property rights at all.

It is a case of rich man wants the land and to heck with whomever he has to run over to get it.

I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a smart gal, I’m just a country girl that wants to mind my own business, on my own land, not hurting a soul.

Instead, I have been thrust into a battle to keep the very real right to live as I see fit on my own property. Is it justice, equal justice that state law is being exploited so that a developer can come in and make a whole lot of money while removing my ability to live the way I want to?

I just watched a video in which someone in a Builders Association is bragging because he sued a county for trying to stop him from running over everybody in the rural area he was trying to build a subdivision in. He utilized that law and won his case. Little people restricted, rich people bulldoze. 

Enough is enough.

I have stayed here, in tiny rural Edgefield because of my rural freedom. I will not go down without a fight.  

You don’t You don’t bother looking at petitions Mr. State Legislator? 

Well then. 

Incomplete Timeline:

2018: 

NO zoning exists.

2014 Comp Plan in full effect with land use categories that are specific to countywide ORDINANCES that regulate small lot development. Specifically called The Subdivision Ordinance.  (I printed them out before they disappeared).

Onward;

Very high developer fees exist that actually instilled some responsibility for infrastructure costs on developers.

Please note: Comp plan is mandated (Title 6 Chapter 29) to be completely rewritten every 10 years, so 2024 is time for next rewrite. County ordinances also exist to regulate cafo and industry. 

2/28/18:

99 acres of Chairman Cooper’s family land sold to 2 local developers for 1 million dollars.SLH Investments.

Big investment for developers limited on profit by the current county ordinances and developer fees, but I digress. 

Same year, complete comp plan update initiated by Chairman Cooper, 5 years early. Consultant hired for rewrite & goes thru mandated PUBLIC INPUT process, presents plan based on PUBLIC INPUT to Council.

After 2 public hearings and on the 3rd and final reading of Comp Plan Chairman Cooper motions to remove density and acreage requirements from comp plan. Cooper, Talbert, Kennion-majority vote. Other 2 council members were shocked. Documented in meeting minutes. Small lot residential development is NOW ALLOWED througjhout entire county. 

Developers now have the exclusive use of PUD/PD zones in which their development plan IS the actual zoning restrictions/requirements. 

Sometime in early 2019 developer fees are reduced by 90%. On video.

Tax dollars will now be used to incentivize development by helping to pay for infrastructure costs.

1/7/20: 

One of the developers that purchased Chairman Coopers family land is documented on video, during the 2nd reading for Tavern Hill stating that he would NOT have bought the land in early 2018 had he not been able to get the zoning density to make the profit to cover the 1 million dollar investment on Chairman Cooper’s family land.

Nothing here is untrue. It is all documented fact and there is more to the story. 

I am tired. I have been at this for 2 years, watching it unfold, powerless to stop it.

Megan Pe

One Response to "Letter to Editor"

  1. Linda Anderson   February 25, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    We have gotten along with out the “protections” of this government for all these years so can someone tell me how anyone thinks those who have demonstrated that have little to no regard for actually representing the people they were elected to represent are going to represent out best interest. One more thing since the consultant and planners tell us that this zoning map is 20 years down the road why is anyone putting zoning in place that will likely change with the next 5 year review. And as the population ages they made decide they want something totally different be done with their land so why should they have to make application to change it? Seems to me all that is happening is that the county if putting in place zoning to further help the developers while controlling what private property owners can do with they own property. Want a shed in your back yard….ask for a variance. Want a tree house in you back yard. Make application ….All this amounts to is HOA everywhere.. Time people wake up and look at those restrictions. What happens is that the HOA becomes responsible for what the developers hand over when they reach a certain build out. Whether you are for or against this LMO (Zoning) to me lies strictly in the eye of the beholder. Are you wanting to live your life in this county in its beauty of rural or if you are seeking to divest your self of the biggest profit you can make. It is easy to tell which side you stand upon. Growth is coming – it is already here but we spent 2years + telling everyone that we did NOT want to be Columbia County. June 4, 2019 our dream was dealt a mighty blow. As Americans we stand for what is right and just and this LMO is neither right nor just.

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