While I’m always here to help (and this week alone have been involved fixing multiple “county issues”) our local Richland County Councilman is the first point of contact for any county issues – particularly zoning and development. As your State Representative, I have no vote on those matters. However, I did want to share this article with you that I ran across this week. I’m certain many of you are interested and can provide great input as the county seeks to update their standards.

New Land Development Manual Aims to Better Protect Water, Road QualityWednesday, June 27, 2018

Richland County is seeking input on a new set of guidelines aimed at limiting the negative effects construction projects may have on the surrounding environment.

The “Land Development Manual” establishes minimum standards for engineers, developers, plan reviewers, inspectors, contractors and other parties to abide by during the planning, designing and construction of land development and redevelopment projects in Richland County. The manual specifically targets stormwater issues and puts measures in place to ensure privately built roads meet S.C. Department of Transportation standards.

“Richland County development standards have not been significantly updated since 2001,” said Tracy Hegler, Richland County Director of Community Planning & Development. “We are requesting and encouraging input from every resident, developer, design professional and special interest group within the County.”

The Land Development Manual has four main objectives:

*Reduce how stormwater affects the water quality of nearby waterways (Stormwater is untreated water that enters storm drains and flows directly into nearby creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds or dams. Pollutants that enter storm drains can negatively affect the animals and plants that rely on those waterways, and debris that enters storm drains can contribute in localized flooding.)
*Protect areas downstream of a construction project from adverse stormwater impacts
*Accept into the County’s road maintenance inventory roads built to specific standards
*Explain all County procedures associated with land development or redevelopment regulations

Residents are asked to review a working draft of the Land Development Manual online at richlandcountysc.gov/ldm and submit feedback about the draft document by contacting Engineering Associate and Plan Reviewer Kathleen Hatchell at Hatchell.Kathleen@richlandcountysc.gov or 803-576-2383.

The deadline to submit comments is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

Residents can view a hardcopy of the manual at Richland County Development Services on the first floor of the County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia.