HOPKINS, S.C. — Richland County is redeveloping their zoning codes as the county continues to grow. To help with any questions residents may have, they're hosting public forums.
During these information sessions, property owners can ask any questions they may have about the new plans.
Barbara Duckett attended one of those meetings on Wednesday night. She wanted to know how the zoning changes would affect her 20-acre property in Hopkins.
After speaking with the zoning team she told News 19, “There will be a little change, but a positive change.”
The Ducketts learned that they will be able to farm on their land. “If we wanted to farm the land, we could do that.”
According to Richland County, the new map is not simply an update but an entirely new land development code.
Another resident who asked that we didn’t use her name said she was concerned big businesses would be moving into her neighborhood.
“I live in the Lower Richland area, down by the national park, and I was very concerned to see what changes were going to be made," she said. "We’re going to have a light commercial development on the corner of Lower Richland and Bluff Road. I think it's going to be good for the people that live in that area.”
According to Brian Crooks, Planning Services Manager with Richland County, the new zoning plan is the framework for the growth of the county. He says the mission is to create better communities in Richland County through a public planning process.
"The map is going to be the how and where those regulations of the zoning code itself would be playing out on different properties," said Crooks.
Crooks says this new plan provides a greater range and type of housing choices, along with preserving our rural communities. "We’re really trying to make rural areas rural.”
Crooks says 60% of properties across the county will see only slight to no change, with the greatest change in the rural areas. Crooks says those rural areas will have more freedom than in the past.
According to Richland County, zoning has been in place since 1977.
The new zoning plans will be implemented on May 2nd.
For upcoming public sessions, head to the Richland County website.