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Lexington County Councilman Darrell Hudson ask for crowd to attend public hearing on zoning change T

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lexington County Councilman Darrell Hudson is hoping that people care enough about a zoning change proposed by some councilmembers that they will attend a public hearing Tuesday to show support for the change. The Lexington County Council will hold that public hearing on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 6 p.m. so that the general public can make comments regarding Ordinance 19-03.

The current draft of the ordinance would amend the existing Lexington County zoning ordinance to create Article 13 – Restrictive Residential Density District. The goal of the ordinance is to address concerns regarding increased residential growth within the more densely populated and rapidly growing unincorporated areas of Lexington County. The word unincorporated means areas that are outside the legal limits of any town or city in the county. If passed, that’s where this would apply, in the county and not inside town’s or cities. Most towns and cities have their own zoning rules that apply.

The exact wording of the key portion of the draft is this: “The ordinance will apply only to new residential detached or mobile home activities proposed following the enactment of these regulations. If passed, the maximum allowed density limits for new developments of residences or mobile homes shall be four dwelling units per exact acre. However, existing, developing or approved residential development projects that exceed the maximum allowed density will be allowed to continue." This would seem to indicate that if you have already been approved to build or place a home or homes, or a mobile home or homes, or you’ve already started building to the existing standard, you could finish your home or project. There are some other zoning regulations that apply to multiple mobile homes on one piece of property, so check on those if you’re trying to do that. You can see the whole DRAFT ordinance by clicking here. (ORDINANCE). The county has a list of zoning definitions conveniently listed on their website that you can also read for yourself by clicking here and going to section 12.10. (DEFINITIONS)

If you look at those definitions, it appears that this would make the number of single-family houses you could build, or mobile homes you could place on an acre of land, four per acre in the newly designated area. This is if the ordinance is passed in its current form. In most areas, you can put more than that now.

This new area is called a Zoning Overlay District. There’s a map included in the county’s draft ordinance that you can access with the links included at the bottom of this story. By looking at the map, it looks as if the district would run west down I-20 from the Lower Saluda River and include almost all of Lexington. Please remember, in a town, their rules apply. The line would then cut across country from I-20 just between South Lake Drive and Longs Pond Road until it hit Calks Ferry Road. It would stay on the east side of Calks Ferry up to Hwy. 378. There it would come back toward Lexington on Hwy. 378 for just a bit and then go out to the shores of Lake Murray. It would follow the water’s edge back to the Lower Saluda again. That would include all of Hudson’s council district and a part of several others.

Hudson says that this is not a moratorium on building at all. It would simply change the density or how many homes you could build on a piece of property. He says that the people in his district, which covers a large part of Lexington and some areas west toward Lexington High School, have asked for this change to slow down growth. “Until we get the roads and other infrastructure in place to deal with growth, they don’t want the explosion of small homes packed into subdivisions that have been being built in my district.” Hudson said those are designed and planned to maximize profits for the developers without taking into consideration the people who have called the area home for years.

The public hearing will be held at the Lexington County Administration building, located at 212 S. Lake Dr., Lexington, S.C., on the second floor in the Dorothy K. Black Council Chambers. This is the tall glass building right behind the Judicial Center at the corner of Lake and Main. If any needs special accommodations to participate in the public hearing, they can contact the Lexington County Council office at (803) 785-8103, or email dburnett@lex-co.com at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.

To learn more about the ordinance, or to read its exact language, or to see the map that applies, click here: ORDINANCE

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