York County Mulling Residential Development Moratorium

The York County Council is mulling an unspecified moratorium on new residential development, and could begin taking steps toward that end at its next regular meeting on Monday, March 7th. 

Members of the Council asked planning staff earlier this year to explore the development of an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), as well as an ordinance to require developers to install private streets in all new neighborhoods. An APFO, which is legal in South Carolina under most circumstances, would prevent any new development from being approved before the necessary public infrastructure (roads, schools, public safety, etc.) was in place to support it.

At a meeting hosted this week by the York County Home Builders Association, County Planning Director Audra Miller said the Council will discuss next Monday whether to direct staff to begin the process of drafting an APFO — a process that could take as long as nine to 12 months. Should decide to move forward, they will also have the first reading of an ordinance to enact what would likely be a rezoning moratorium until an APFO is approved by the Council.

The moratorium being considered would affect any development in the northern portions of York County, outside the incorporated areas within the Fort Mill or Bethel townships — both the Lake Wylie area and the area between the Catawba River and the North Carolina state line.

The moratorium ordinance, which Miller says she is drafting with the County Attorney and County Manager, would be heard by the York County Planning Commission on March 14th, and then be followed by a public hearing before County Council on March 21st. A vote to approve the moratorium could happen as early as Monday, April 4th.

Miller wouldn’t divulge what the moratorium would affect, although members of Council have asked for it to be effective on all preliminary plats. But Councilman Michael Johnson, who initially proposed the moratorium, said he ‘didn’t intend for it to stop development in its tracks.’

REBIC will be working with the York County HBA to advocate against the adoption of any moratorium in York County, as well as the adoption of an APFO ordinance that would restrict any new residential development.

Any builders and developers doing business in York County are strongly encouraged to attend next Monday’s County Council meeting and make their voice heard on this issue. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the York County Agricultural Building, 6 South Congress St., in York. 

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