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Land Use Planning

The Department of Planning & Development is responsible for current and long-range land use planning for the unincorporated area in the County.  The primary long-range planning effort is the preparation and maintenance of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  A Comprehensive Plan is a policy adopted by County Council which outlines where and what types of growth are appropriate for the future.  The Comprehensive Plan serves as the foundation for how land is developed and the location of public facilities such as schools, parks and related government buildings. 

Another important part of  land use planning is the subdivision of property.  The land development regulations governing how property is subdivided is contained in the County’s Land Development Regulations.  The regulations are also known by the term "subdivision regulations". These rules govern how property is developed and how infrastructure, like roads, drainage and utilities are provided as part of creating development. 

No. The regulations only apply to land that is outside any incorporated town limits.  The County has six (6) municipalities: Walterboro, Cottageville, Edisto Beach, Williams, Lodge and Smoaks. Some have their own regulations while others have no regulations.  You need to consult the appropriate jurisdiction if you plan to subdivide.

The subdivision of property requires the preparation of a plat by a South Carolina Licensed Land Surveyor.  Before a plat can be recorded at the Register of Deeds, it must be approved by the Office of Planning & Development for compliance with zoning regulations (i.e., lot size, lot width and access).  If approved, the plat can be taken to the Register of Deeds and recorded.

The Planning Commission is a nine (9) member Commission appointed by County Council whose primary duties are to prepare the local comprehensive plan, prepare any land use regulations and make recommendations regarding the rezoning of property.  The Commission also approves new roads and reviews proposed subdivision developments. The Commission meets on the fourth Monday of the month, when there are cases to be heard.

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