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Zoning & Planning Department

   

 

 

Zoning and Land Development Regulations Ordinance

2014 Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Housing Needs Assessment

   
Comprehensive Plan
   

Zoning and Land Development Regulations Ordinance

   
Community Projects Current Projects
   

 

 

Functions

 

Administration of Zoning and Subdivision applications for the unincorporated portions of the County
Addressing in the unincorporated portions of the County and assist municipalities with addressing
Issuance and Enforcement of Zoning Permits and tree protection
Research and Expertise for the County's Planning Process
Provide technical planning assistance and zoning permitting to the Towns of Kiawah Island, Meggett, and Rockville

 

The Zoning & Planning Department administers the County's Comprehensive Plan ordinance (ten year update adopted by County Council on November 18, 2008) and the Zoning and Land Development Regulations ordinance (adopted by County Council on Nov. 20, 2001 as amended) and prepares various studies and plans related to the current and future use of land in Charleston County. This Department serves as the professional and technical staff for the County Planning Commission, which is an advisory body to County Council.  The Zoning & Planning Department also serves as the professional and technical staff for the County's Board of Zoning Appeals and to the Towns of Kiawah Island, Meggett and Rockville.
 

 

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This Department Does

 

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Process applications for: zoning permits, subdivision of land, rezonings, planned developments, variance requests, special exception requests, site plan review, Zoning & land Development Regulations Ordinance text amendments, Comprehensive Plan amendments and appeals of administrative decisions

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Coordinate with police, fire and Emergency Services departments to assure accuracy, consistency and agreement of addresses, street names and any newly annexed properties for use by the 9-1-1 emergency system

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Analyze U.S. Census and statistical data

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Assist in region-wide planning

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Enforce County ordinances related to land use and tree protection

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Plan for the  protection of the County's natural and man-made environments

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Plan for the efficient and attractive future development of Charleston County

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Provide support and expertise to members of County Council,  the Charleston County Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and to other departments of County Government

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Conduct studies to develop background information for plans

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Review and approve subdivision plats in compliance with Charleston County development regulations

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Maintain records of annexations within the County

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Assist municipalities in preparing comprehensive plans and land development regulations

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Provide technical design services for County Capital Improvement projects

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Provide graphic design services to other County departments

 

This Department Does Not

 

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Answer 9-1-1 calls (See Emergency Medical Service )

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Install street name signs (See Public Works )

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Assign tax map numbers (See Geographic Information Systems )

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Provide copies of tax maps or aerial photos (See Geographic Information Systems)

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:

How can I find out what zoning regulations pertain to a piece of property?

A:

If your property is within the jurisdiction of Charleston County, you can find the zoning on the County’s web page (www.charlestoncounty.org) by clicking “GIS” under the online services and follow the instructions.  You can also call or visit the Planning Department to find out the zoning classification for your property and what regulations apply. The municipalities in the County also have planning and zoning regulations and you should contact them directly.

 

Q:

If I want to change the zoning on my property, what should I do?

A:

You should contact the Zoning & Planning Department to set up a pre-application meeting regarding re-zoning of a property

 

Q:

I have a large lot and would like to cut off a portion to give to my son/daughter. What steps do I take?

A:

First, contact the Zoning & Planning Department to determine if it is possible to do so based on the size of the lot and current zoning. If it is possible to subdivide the property, you should schedule a pre-application conference with staff to review what you want to do prior to expending a lot of time, money and effort in the plan that may not work. You can subdivide property according to the procedures contained in Chapter 8 of the Zoning and Land Development Regulations ordinance. Once the plat is reviewed and approved by Charleston County, it is then recorded in the office of the Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC).

 

Q:

What role does the Zoning & Planning Department play in the development of commercial, office or multi-family projects?

A:

The Zoning & Planning Department coordinates the Site Plan Review process involving County, state and local agencies. This "one stop shopping" concept allows the developer one point of contact for the project.

 

Q:

What role does the Zoning & Planning Department play in the construction of new buildings?

A:

The Zoning & Planning Department ensures that a plat meets subdivision and zoning requirements. In addition, this Department ensures that building plans comply with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's drainage and septic tank regulations and meet accessibility requirements.

 

Common Terms

 

Plat-- A drawing of the property that is drawn to scale showing all essential data pertaining to the boundaries and subdivisions of a tract of land, as determined by a survey. A plat must be prepared, signed and sealed by a registered professional land surveyor licensed by the state of South Carolina. Note: A plat must be approved by a governmental entity and recorded by the Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC).

 

Site Plan-- An engineer's scaled-size drawing of a parcel, showing the location of proposed and existing structures.

 

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History

 

On March 14, 1942, the S.C. General Assembly passed the County Planning Act, permitting Charleston County to create a Planning Board. A month later, the Board of Commissioners appointed members to the board. On January 3, 1943, the commissioners hired a Planning Technician/Director. By March 24, 1943, the County Board of Commissioners approved the Planning Board's recommendations for an interim zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and regulations for tourist courts and trailer camps. On December 27, 1944, the Commissioners created the Board of Adjustment and appointed its members.

 

In June 1945, the Legislative Delegation, who at the time controlled the County's fiscal activities, declined funding for continuation of the Planning Board's activities. The Planning Director and Assistant Director resigned, leaving no administrative entity to enforce planning legislation.

 

Upon recommendation of the Chairman of the Planning Board Advisory Committee, in 1953 County Council created the Planning Department to write and administer the County's Subdivision Ordinance, which was adopted in 1955. Enabling legislation passed by the S.C. General Assembly authorized adoption of this ordinance and subsequent zoning ordinances.

 

The Planning Act of 1994 mandated that by May 3, 1999, all South Carolina counties must bring plans and zoning ordinances into conformity with the provisions of the act. This law specifies how local governments must organize their planning commissions and boards of zoning appeals, processes applications and enforces ordinances. It also requires each Planning Commission to develop comprehensive plans with public participation and make recommendations to the local governing bodies. Charleston County adopted the first Comprehensive Plan for the County on April 20, 1999 and adopted the 10 year update of the Plan on November 18, 2008.  The County's Zoning and Land Development Regulations  ordinance was adopted on November 20, 2001, and amended accordingly.

 

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Contact Information

(In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1)

 

Zoning & Planning Department
Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 202-7200
(843) 202-7222 (Fax)

 

Planning  Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals
c/o Planning Department
Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 202-7200
(843) 202-7222 (Fax) 

 

Office Hours

Public Services Building
Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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