This statutory database is current through the 2003 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2004, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 6 - Local Government - Provisions Applicable to Special Purpose Districts and Other Political Subdivisions
PLANNING BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Declaration of purpose.
The intent of this chapter is to enable municipalities and counties acting individually or in concert to preserve and enhance their present advantages, to overcome their present handicaps, and to prevent or minimize such future problems as may be foreseen. To accomplish this intent local governments are encouraged to plan for future development; to prepare, adopt, and from time to time revise, a comprehensive plan to guide future local development; and to participate in a regional planning organization to coordinate local planning and development with that of the surrounding region. As aids in the implementation of the comprehensive plan local governments are encouraged to adopt and enforce appropriate land use controls, and cooperate with other governmental authorities.
The provisions of this chapter are declared to be necessary for the promotion, protection, and improvement of the public health, safety, comfort, good order, appearance, convenience, prosperity, morals, and general welfare.
Any county or municipality may, but shall not be required to, exercise any of the powers granted by this chapter. Whenever such a governing authority shall elect to exercise any of the powers granted by this chapter, such powers shall be exercised in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
Church-related activities; zoning ordinances in single family residences.
(A) For purposes of this section, "church-related activities" does not include regularly scheduled worship services.
(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no zoning ordinance of a municipality or county may prohibit church-related activities in a single-family residence.
Effect of chapter on certain planning organizations.
This chapter shall not have any effect upon the powers and duties of any planning organization, either local or regional, existing prior to July 3, 1967.
Authorization and geographic groupings for regional councils of government; participation by municipalities.
The governing bodies of the counties are authorized to create regional councils of government by means of an agreement approved by the governing bodies of the participating counties and approved by the Governor. The regional councils of government, including more than one county, shall be grouped in accordance with the following geographic areas:
1--Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg;
2--Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick and Saluda;
3--Chester, Lancaster, Union and York;
4--Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland;
5--Allendale, Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg;
6--Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter;
7--Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion and Marlboro;
8--Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg;
9--Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester; and
10--Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper.
At least two counties within the foregoing geographic groupings shall be necessary participants in order to form such regional councils of government, and no county shall belong to more than one such regional council of government. The governing bodies of municipalities lying within a county which is a part of one of the foregoing geographic areas may participate as a member of such regional council of government, irrespective of whether the county within which such municipality lies is or is not a member, by approval of the agreement creating the regional council of government, and no municipality shall belong to more than one such council of government. In those municipalities which may be bisected by county lines, the municipality shall participate in the geographic grouping, as set forth above, within which the major portion of its population lies.
In Georgetown County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 515 of 1996.
Terms of regional council agreement.
Such agreements herein provided for shall describe the area served by the organization, provisions for representation, financing, and other matters not inconsistent with the provisions of this article.
Members of regional council; representatives on policy-making body.
Each county and municipality executing the agreement creating the regional council of government must be a member. Representation of members on the policymaking body of the regional council of government must be as prescribed in the agreement creating the council of governments. The agreement shall specify the procedure for the appointment of representatives of the member local governments; provided, however, at least a majority of the members of the policymaking body must be members of the governing bodies of the participating cities and counties. Provided, further, that a resident member of the General Assembly may be appointed by their respective resident county legislative delegation from each county comprising the council with these members serving ex officio. If a county has no resident member of the General Assembly, then the county council shall select a member of the General Assembly who represents some or all of the county in question to serve ex officio, but no member is required to serve pursuant to such selection. The representatives of the members serving on the policymaking body shall serve without salary for a term of four years; however, these representatives may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The regional council of government shall adopt bylaws designating the officers and their method of selection and providing for the conduct of its business.
Powers and duties of regional councils.
In discharging its responsibilities, the regional council of government shall have the power and duty to:
(1) Prepare studies and make recommendations on such matters as it deems appropriate;
(2) Coordinate and promote cooperative programs and action with and among its members and other governmental and nongovernmental entities, including those of other states;
(3) Study and make recommendations on matters affecting the public health, safety, general welfare, education, recreation, pollution control, utilities, planning, development and such other matters as the common interest of the participating governments may dictate;
(4) Provide continuing technical assistance, and information to the member local governments and other agencies and individuals;
(5) In general, the regional council of government shall have the power to carry on such planning activities and the development of such studies and programs as it deems to be in the interest of the area;
(6) Acquire and dispose of real and personal property necessary to the conduct of its business;
(7) After coordination with the appropriate State, local and Federal agencies, the regional council of government may adopt such plans and programs as it may from time to time prepare. Such plans and programs as are adopted shall constitute the recommendations of the regional council of government.
Cooperation with and acceptance of funds from other agencies.
A regional council of government may cooperate with, contract with, and accept funds from Federal, State, or local governments, public or semi-public agencies or private individuals or corporations. It may expend such funds and it may carry out such cooperative undertakings and contracts.
Disbursement of funds to regional councils of government.
The State Treasurer shall remit to each regional council of government its share of state funds upon approval by the Division of Budget and Analyses of the State Budget and Control Board.
Spending plan prior to receipt of funds by regional council; annual audit.
Before receipt of state funds, each regional council of government shall submit a plan for the expenditure of appropriated funds to the State Budget and Control Board. Within ninety days following the end of the fiscal year, each council of government shall submit to the board a copy of an audit of appropriated funds to be performed by an independent certified public accountant.
Employment of staff and expert assistance.
The regional council of government may employ such staff, consultants and other expert assistance as it deems necessary.
Appropriation of funds for expenses of council; audit; annual report.
The member local governments may appropriate funds to meet the expenses of the regional council of government. The council shall keep books of account which shall be independently audited at least once in each calendar year. A copy of the audit report shall be provided to the member cities and counties. The regional council of government shall make an annual report of its activities to the member cities and counties.
Appropriation of funds, facilities and equipment for council by political subdivisions.
The governing authorities of the local governmental entities within the designated geographic area of each council of governments may appropriate funds, loan, lease, or sell facilities, equipment and supplies to the council of government.
Allocation of appropriation to regional councils.
Fifty percent of the amount appropriated in the annual general appropriations act for the regional councils of governments must be divided equally among the ten districts. The remaining fifty percent must be allocated in proportion to the population of each district according to the most recent United States census.
Councils declared to be public agencies; exemption from taxation; participation in State Retirement System; services of State Purchasing Department.
Each council of government established under authority of this article exists for nonprofit and public purposes and is a public agency, and the carrying out of the purpose of each council of government is exclusively for public benefit and its property is public property, and no council of government is required to pay any state or local ad valorem tax, income tax, or other taxes from which public agencies are exempt. Councils of government may participate in the State Retirement System and utilize the services of the State Purchasing Department of the Division of General Services.
Duties of local or regional councils organized under other laws.
Each local or regional council of governments organized under another provision of law shall submit an informational copy of all plans or studies which it adopts from time to time to the appropriate regional council of governments created under this article.
Certain laws shall not be invalidated by article.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to repeal the provisions of Act No. 160, approved by the Governor on April 7 1971, the provisions of which shall continue in full force and effect; provided, nothing herein contained shall invalidate any act providing for regional councils of government limited to the geographical area of a single county.
LOCAL PLANNING -- OFFICIAL MAP
"Official map" defined.
"Official map" means a map or maps showing the location of existing or proposed public street, highway, and public utility rights-of-way, public building sites and public open spaces adopted by the governing authority of a municipality or county in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. A public building site is one on which a building is to be constructed for public use with public funds.
Authorization for and purpose of official maps.
Counties and municipalities may establish official maps to reserve future locations of any street, highway, or public utility rights-of-way, public building site or public open space for future public acquisition and to regulate structures or changes in land use in such rights-of-way, building sites or open spaces. This authority is declared necessary in order to promote and preserve the public safety, economy, good order, appearance, convenience, prosperity, and general welfare and is one of the several instruments of land use control authorized by this chapter for the implementation of comprehensive plans, or parts thereof, adopted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Establishment of official map.
The governing authority of a municipality may establish an official map of the municipality. The governing authority of a county may establish an official map of the unincorporated areas of the county. Such official maps may show the location of existing or proposed public street, highway and utility rights-of-way, public building sites, and public open spaces. The official map may include the whole or any part or parts of the municipality or county within the jurisdiction of the establishing governing authority. The governing authority shall certify the fact of the establishment of the official maps to the clerk of the circuit court of the county.
The official map may consist of any number of separate maps which need not be drawn to the same scale; however, such maps shall be indexed on a single map depicting the area of jurisdiction of the governing authority.
Creation of maps by planning commission showing recommended lines of streets or highways, public building sites, public utilities or public open space.
After the local planning commission shall have prepared and adopted a comprehensive plan or at least the major street portion of such plan and upon receiving approval thereof by the appropriate governing authority, the local planning commission may make or cause to be made surveys for the exact location of the lines of proposed new, extended, widened and otherwise improved streets and highways in the whole or in any portion of the municipality or county and to make and certify to the governing authority a map or maps of the area thus surveyed on which are indicated the lines recommended by the local planning commission as the mapped lines of the rights-of-way required for future streets and highways and for future extensions, widenings and other improvements to existing streets and highways.
After the local planning commission shall have prepared and adopted a comprehensive plan or at least the public building sites, public open spaces or public utilities portion of such comprehensive plan, and upon receiving approval thereof by the appropriate governing authority, the local planning commission may make or cause to be made, from time to time, surveys of the exact location of the boundary lines of proposed new and enlarged sites for public buildings, public parks, public playgrounds, public utilities and other public open spaces in the whole or in any portion of the municipality or county and to make and certify to the governing authority of the municipality or to the governing authority of the county maps of the areas thus surveyed on which are indicated the locations of the lines recommended by the planning commission as the mapped boundary lines of future public building sites, public parks, public playgrounds, public utilities and other future open space areas.
The making or certifying of such maps by the planning commission shall be in the form of a recommendation and shall not of itself constitute the opening or establishment of any street or highway or public building site or public park, public playground, public utility or other public open space or the taking or acceptance of any land for such purpose.
Adoption of and hearing on map of proposed boundary lines.
After the local planning commission shall have made and recommended to the appropriate governing authority maps on which are indicated the locations of the lines recommended by the planning commission as the mapped boundary lines of future streets and highways, future street and highway extensions and widenings, future public building sites, public parks, public utilities, public playgrounds and other future public open space areas, the appropriate governing authority may adopt such maps as the official maps.
Before adopting the map as the official map, the governing authority shall hold a public hearing thereon which shall be advertised and conducted according to the lawfully prescribed procedures for that municipality or county. If no established procedures exist, then at least fifteen days' notice of the time and place of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or county.
Procedure for making additions and modifications to map.
The governing authority of the municipality or the governing authority of the county from time to time may make additions to or modifications of its official maps.
No change in or departure from the maps shall be made until such proposed changes or departures shall first have been submitted to the local planning commission for review and recommendation. The local planning commission shall have thirty days within which to submit its report. If the local planning commission fails to submit a report within the thirty-day period, it shall be deemed to have recommended that the changes or departures be approved. Before taking such action, the governing authority shall hold a public hearing thereon, according to the provisions set forth in this chapter.
No permits for construction or change in land use allowed within mapped lines; procedure for appeal.
After adoption of any official map by the governing authority of the municipality or the governing authority of the county no permit shall be issued for the construction, improvement, repair or moving of any building or structure and no change in land use shall be made on any land located within the mapped lines of any street or highway, public building site, public utility line, or public open space as shown on the official map. In cases where any permit has been refused under this authority, the following appeal procedure may be utilized by any affected property owner:
(1) An appeal shall be presented to the appropriate local planning commission.
(2) The local planning commission shall evaluate the appeal and make a report within thirty days to the governing authority and to any other appropriate public agency. If no report is made within thirty days, the planning commission shall be deemed to have recommended that the appeal be granted.
(3) The local planning commission's report shall recommend:
(a) That the governing authority take official action to exempt the affected land from the restrictions of the official map; or
(b) That the governing authority take official action to authorize the issuance of desired permits subject to specified conditions; or
(c) That the governing authority initiate appropriate action to acquire the property.
(4) Upon receipt of the report of the local planning commission the governing authority shall within one hundred days:
(a) Take official action to exempt the affected land from the restrictions of the official map; provided, that such exemption shall have no effect on any applicable zoning restrictions pertaining to permitted uses; or
(b) Take official action to authorize the issuance of the denied permits subject to specified conditions accepted by the owner; provided, that such conditions shall not be contrary to any applicable zoning restrictions pertaining to permitted uses; or
(c) Either enter into an agreement to acquire or institute condemnation proceedings to acquire the property affected. Action to acquire such property may be instituted by the governing authority or other appropriate public agency.
Failure of the governing authority to act within one hundred days of the receipt of the report of the local planning commission shall be deemed to constitute approval of the proposed appeal. Thereupon, denied permits shall be issued upon demand.
Procedure for obtaining exemption of property from restrictions of official map.
After adoption of any official map by the governing authority of the municipality or the governing authority of the county any property owner owning property located within the mapped lines of any street or highway, public building site, public utility line, or public open space as shown on the official map, may apply to the local planning commission for exemption of such property from the restrictions of the official map. When such application has been made the following procedure shall be utilized:
(1) The local planning commission shall evaluate the application and make a report within thirty days to the governing authority and to any other appropriate public agency. If no report is made within thirty days, the planning commission shall be deemed to have recommended that the application be granted.
(2) The local planning commission's report shall recommend:
(a) That the governing authority take official action to exempt the affected property from the restrictions of the official map; or
(b) That the governing authority initiate appropriate action to acquire the property.
(3) Upon receipt of the report of the local planning commission the governing authority shall within seventy-five days:
(a) Take official action to exempt the affected property from the restrictions of the official map; provided, that such exemption shall have no effect on any applicable zoning restrictions pertaining to permitted uses; or
(b) Either enter into an agreement to acquire or institute condemnation proceedings to acquire the property affected. Action to acquire such property may be instituted by the governing authority or other appropriate public agency. Failure of the governing authority to act within seventy-five days of the receipt of the report of the local planning commission shall be deemed to constitute granting of the application.