York County Council Debates Growth Management Tools

At its regular meeting this week, the York County Council continued a debate over how to deal with what they perceive to be ‘runaway residential growth’ in the Ft. Mill and Lake Wylie areas.

The residential moratorium ordinance introduced last month will still be up for a second reading on Monday, May 16th, at which point Council members are expected to introduce an amendment to remove the language impacting preliminary plats, which is illegal under South Carolina law. It will then go to to the Planning Commission in June, before a public hearing and final vote later that month.

While the moratorium proposal seems to be losing momentum, the County Council continues to evaluate other growth management strategies, including:

  • Requiring all (or at least more) rezoning applicants to complete a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA), which could potentially give Council the ability to deny projects based on inadequate road capacity or require improvements to be constructed by the developer. Planning Director Audra Miller is in the process of drafting an updated TIA ordinance, and may present it to Council as early as June.
  • Adoption of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Council reviewed this draft document at a recent 3-hour work session, and hope to adopt it by August. The York County Planning Commission is expected to review the Plan and make a recommendation when it next meets on May 9th.
  • Developing a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which would detail the road and sewer improvements necessary to accommodate projected growth. Audra Miller has recommended that the County piggyback this effort on the Thoroughfare Study currently being completed by RFATS, the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area planning organization, which should be ready by October.

Also this week, the Council considered and approved the first reading of an ordinance creating a Lake Wylie Protective Overlay District, which would eliminate apartments, townhomes, condominiums and hotels as a permitted use within one mile of the 470′ elevation of the lake, and establish a maximum number of residential permits to be issued annually for each development in the area.

Though the first reading was approved by a 6-1 vote, many members of Council expressed concerns about the legality of portions of the ordinance, particularly the language capping the number of single-family permits to be issued annually in the protected area. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for May 16th. 

REBIC will continue to meet with members of the County Council and express our opposition to both a rezoning moratorium and an overlay district that would imperil vested development rights.

 

 

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