Lexington County Restricts Housing Options

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Lexington County Council gave first reading to Ordinance 20-03 (Restrictive Residential Density District) and invoked the pending ordinance doctrine.  The ordinance was offered by Councilman Darrell Hudson after being discussed in Executive Session.
The County Planning Commission voted last month to not recommend the Restrictive Residential Density District, for implementation within the Zoning Ordinance. ·
The Planning Commission felt that a potential new Comprehensive Plan would better address growth and traffic concerns and that regulations could then be considered based off of the guidance from the new Comprehensive Plan and they felt that the proposed regulations could have a negative impact on smaller homes that would be of interest to the aging population.

Ordinance 20-03 encompasses the requirements that were proposed in Ordinance 19-03 plus the addition of a ¼ acre minimum lot size for single family and individual mobile home lots, minimum road widths of 24 feet (24 feet of asphalt), and the inclusion of all of Council District 3 and 7.   The proposed overlay also includes portions of Council Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8   A Public Hearing will be scheduled for Ordinance 20-03 but no time frame has been announced.
The proposed changes will affect projects that have been presented to County staff at Development Review Meetings (DRM).  The Zoning Ordinance, Section 151.40 states “If County Council enacts a pending ordinance doctrine for proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance during the six month period, new development submittals received after the enactment of the pending ordinance doctrine, including those which development review meetings have been held, may be required to conform to the pending amendments.”  Any project submitted for review following Council’s action on January 15, 2020 will not be approved unless it conforms to Ordinance 20-03.  There are non-conformity provisions provided to allow the expansion of existing, developing, and/or approved residential developments that do not currently conform to the proposed regulations.  Such expansions are permitted provided the expansion is directly contiguous to the existing development, connectivity between the existing and new phases is provided, and the developer for the expansion of the new phase is the same entity as the existing phases. 

All provisions of Ordinance 20-03 are effective as of January 15, 2020 because Lexington County Council has once again invoked the pending ordinance doctrine which does not allow for any public input nor advance notice to property owners of any changes in the use of their property.

Contact Members of Lexington County Council with your concerns and/or questions.