EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Edgefield County Council approved Tuesday the first change to its newly implemented and controversial zoning ordinance.
Although the change wasn't particularly dramatic or consequential, it provided good experience for zoning officials and the council, County Administrator Wayne Adams said. The change was made during a public hearing.
Councilman Willie Bright brought the problem with the zoning map to light earlier this month. The county's tax parcel maps were erroneously changed in 1983 to show the Sandy Run subdivision, in Trenton, as being much larger than it is.
When Mr. Bright asked for the subdivision to be zoned, the mistake on the tax maps carried over into the zoning maps. He said he discovered the error when a man living in the part mistakenly zoned was filing for a permit to put a mobile home on his property. The man was denied the permit.
Mr. Bright said he realized that 33 lots that were not part of the subdivision accidentally were zoned. Those lots do not meet the covenant restrictions of Sandy Run subdivision, officials said.
"While this was a technical change to the ordinance, the process prescribed in state law still has to be followed," Mr. Adams said. "Even technical changes have to go through the legislative, planning review and public hearing process."
The planning commission already reviewed the change and recommended that the county council approve it. If the council passes the ordinance on third reading, the lots will be changed from residential district to unzoned.
"A big concern the public expressed about zoning prior to its enactment was that zoning could be changed administratively, without the council's approval or the public's involvement," Mr. Adams said. "Clearly, that would violate both the spirit and the letter of the law."
Reach Katie Throne at (803) 279-6895.
The Edgefield County Council will make its final decision on the change to the newly implemented zoning ordinance at its regular meeting Aug. 1.