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Lexington County unveils comprehensive growth plan at Jan. 5 meeting

Public is encouraged to participate in virtual meeting presenting the Grow with Us plan, based on the latest data from 2020 US Census

LEXINGTON, S.C. — Lexington County is revealing a proposed 10-year growth plan for public input during a virtual meeting 6-7:30 p.m. on January 5. The Grow with Us comprehensive plan is available for review online so that residents may be prepared to give feedback on the plan for handling and planning for growth in the county.

Those interested in listening in on or commenting during the virtual meeting must register to attend at growwithuslexco.com.

Planning Director for Lexington County, Holland Leger, told News19 that the drafted plan addresses "housing, permits, and where growth will occur, while also addressing transportation."

According to Leger, after hearing feedback from the public, many areas like those near Chapin and Swansea will stay rural, while urban areas like Cayce and West Columbia may continue to be developed. Many expressed interest in more public parks and greenways in the county too.

Leger emphasized the importance of planning ahead for growth, so that infrastructure doesn't suffer. 

The temporary stop on permits occurred in April 2021 but has since been lifted.

Once Grow with Us receives public feedback from this January meeting, Leger said the next step is to bring the final plan to Lexington County Council sometime in February. The council will then hold public hearings and vote on the plan.

Leger explained that the Grow with Us plan will not be law, but a guiding framework for councilmembers to use when passing ordinances and laws.

Municipalities throughout South Carolina are planning and presenting 10-year plans for growth based on the latest data from the 2020 US Census.

Some of the data highlights pertaining to Lexington County include:

  • Lexington County was one of the fastest growing counties in the state, adding 79,000 new residents between 2000-2018.
  • The county is projected to have an additional 150,000 residents by 2040.
  • The population density is higher in the eastern part of the county, close to Irmo and Columbia, and along the Saluda and Congaree rivers.
  • The majority of the land in Lexington County can be categorized as Unimproved Residential (38.81%), Rural (34.13%) or Single Family Residential (15.75%). The remaining 11.3% of land is predominantly Mobile Home Residential (2.99%) and Commercial (2.93%), with Industrial and Utilities accounting for 1.88% of land use.
  • Speaking of housing, according to the data, the majority of housing units in Lexington County are detached single family homes (67.5%) or mobile homes (18.7%). The remaining 13.8% is a mix of attached homes and apartments.
  • Most of the jobs in Lexington County are clustered in municipalities near the river system, around Columbia Metropolitan Airport, or along interstates and major roads.
  • Of those that work in Lexington County: 54,354 live and work there; 73,345 live elsewhere but work within the county; and 71,805 live in the county but work elsewhere.

More information can be found at growwithuslexco.com.

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