In 2019 a change was made to Edgefield County’s Comprehensive Plan on its third reading. The change impacted zoning districts and led in part to smaller lot sizes in large subdivisions.
In 2020 a group of concerned citizens circulated a petition to change the Comprehensive Plan back to its wording on its second reading. In February of 2021, a large number of Edgefield County’s residents attended a public forum to voice concerns over the writing and development of the County’s Land Management Ordinance or LMO.
At its March 2021 meeting, the Edgefield County Council passed a ninety-day moratorium on large residential developments on a first reading. The moratorium went into effect on March 18, 2021. There will be a public hearing regarding the moratorium at the Council’s April 13, 2021 meeting. If the moratorium passes on its third reading, the 90-day clock officially starts. However, state law allows the moratorium to begin when it is legally advertised, as it was on March 18 before the 90 days begins.
The County Council will vote on the moratorium two more times for a total of three readings. The County Council also voted at its March meeting to have the Planning Commission make a recommendation to return the Comprehensive Plan back to its original wording in its second reading.
The Planning Commission voted 6-0 (One member was absent) for that change in its March 2021 meeting. The Council will vote in April to change wording of the County’s Comprehensive Plan to what it was on its second reading. The wording change will require the Council to vote for the change for three readings at its April, May, and June meetings.
In the near future, County property owners will receive a post card detailing how to get information about the County’s LMO and on when small meetings are to be held provide for additional public input.
I would like to express my general thoughts on development, Public comments, and the overall content of the draft LMO. Detailed comments on the LMO have been provided via the website noted in the subject postcard and have been asked to be made Public and to provide a response to specific issues.
I have lived in many communities over the years from heavily developed (Washington DC) to very small (7 streets in my hometown) and everything in between. I have discovered that a well-balanced (diverse in both terms of Humans and Nature) provides the best quality of life and social cohesion for all species. Society is starting to recognize the value of conservation and protecting Mother Nature. The concept of Ecosystem Services, for example seeks to place a dollar value on what Nature provides to Humans for free. Trees produce clean air, provide food, shade, and other valuable services for all species, including Humans. Traditional subdivisions and businesses make no comparable contribution to a community, and in fact, displace and/or eliminate basic quality of life factors for all living organisms. Sustainable zoning considers how development should support sustainability of natural resources, and a major study provides evidence that traditional development is incompatible with biodiversity and offers a more advanced thinking on how to support both.
Why have more advanced and better zoning/planning approaches for Edgefield citizens not been included in the proposed LMO? Where is the “Smart” in Smart Growth and how will all Edgefield residents (both Human and non-Human creatures we share the county with) be protected from simply being paved over. Economic development must not be just about making money. More development does not automatically translate into more prosperity for everyone.
I could go on, but you get the point. I would like my comments published and welcome any intelligent, objective, fact based response.