Richland Planning Commission restarts land development code process

The Richland County Planning Commission met on May 9, to officially restart mapping efforts for the rewrite of the County’s 2021 Land Development Code (LDC), which regulates land use, growth and development.

On May 3, County Council voted to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would give the Planning Commission more time to gather community input and provide a better understanding of the approval process.

In their meeting on May 9, commission members discussed the need to add special meetings to the regular calendar in order to carry out the mapping process expeditiously. To maximize chances for public participation, the updated calendar will include both evening and daytime meetings.

The first special meeting was on May 18 in Richland County Council Chambers, 2020 Hampton Street, Columbia.

At that meeting, commissioners intend to discuss a proposed “baseline zoning map” that will serve as a starting point for potential modifications to the 2021 LDC text. In preparation, commission members will examine the Zoning District Equivalencies table in the 2021 LDC to determine whether it effectively accomplishes its purpose of setting a baseline for creating the new zoning map. That information will go to County staff and form the basis of a discussion.

The full public hearing schedule has not been approved; however, all Planning Commission meetings and work sessions will be open to the public and streamed online whenever possible.

The County’s LDC governs the types of uses, location and size of a development within various zones, as well as establishing the procedures for reviewing development proposals. The LDC also controls various development and subdivision standards and the division and platting of land, as well as road layout and other infrastructure requirements.

County Council adopted the new LDC text on November 16, but it is not in effect because it requires approval of an amended zoning map, which has not yet occurred. The text received its first reading at County Council’s Zoning Public Hearing on September 28. The second reading approval came on October 19, and an additional public hearing was held at Council’s meeting on November 9.

Richland County planning staff is working to develop the new zoning map, which must be reviewed by the Planning Commission before going to County Council for three readings and a final vote.

Read more about the major differences in Richland County’s existing 2005 LDC and the new 2021 version:

Find more updates and public information about the 2021 LDC update process visit