Richland County calls for input on land development

A draft of Richland County’s revamped Land Development Code (LDC) is available for public review, and residents will soon have several opportunities to comment on the new policies before the code is finalized.

What does the LDC do?
The LDC is a set of regulations for land use, growth and development in the county. The code governs everything from how a development can be used, to location and size requirements within various zoning districts, to how development proposals are reviewed. The LDC also controls various development and subdivision standards, including parking, landscaping, signs, the division and platting (mapping) of land, road layout, and other infrastructure requirements.

Why is the county rewriting the code?
Richland County adopted its current LDC in 2005. By rewriting the code, the county aims to develop regulations that:

• are user-friendly for all residents
• implement the county’s vision for where and how growth occurs
• align zoning districts with current best practices
• bring development standards into the 21st century
• support more green and sustainable development.

While the LDC has seen minor revisions since its adoption in 2005, the current process involves a comprehensive overhaul and is nearly three years in the making. Since 2017, the county has obtained comments from stakeholders on development-related concerns, analyzed the current code, which led to a code assessment, and produced a consolidated draft of the new code.

The current LDC draft is based on comments and feedback regarding the consolidated draft, along with other items. Major changes to this version of the code include: new overall densities for special purpose and residential zoning districts; a new special-purpose district, HM (Homestead District); and new options for green building features, among others.
Richland County aims to adopt the new LDC text by mid-summer.

How can residents give input?
“Richland County has worked diligently to shape the plans for the community’s long-term future,” said County Council Chair Paul Livingston. “The Land Development Code will serve as a guiding presence in the county for years to come, so it is important that residents be involved in this process.”

Starting May 10, residents and property owners will have multiple ways to learn more about and comment on the new LDC:

• Meetings with Richland County staff: Residents can discuss concerns, ask questions and submit comments during one-on-one in-person, phone and Zoom appointments with Community Planning and Development staff during business hours on Mondays and Fridays.

Use the county’s scheduler app to set up an appointment or e-mail county staff directly:
• Brian Crooks, interim Planning Services manager ([email protected])
• Tommy DeLage, assistant Zoning administrator ([email protected])
• Public forums: These virtual Zoom meetings are scheduled in the morning and evening for residents’ convenience and will also be streamed live and recorded on the county’s YouTube page. For more information, visit the Events page.
– 11:30 am, May 25
– 9:30 am, May 26
– 3:30 pm, May 26
– 6 pm, May 27
• Public comment period: Residents can submit comments on the draft LDC directly via the project website or by emailing Crooks or DeLage.
Residents with questions about the LDC rewrite can also contact staff directly via Community Planning and