York County residents will have a chance to, quite literally, shape the face of the county.
On Thursday, county planners will unveil a new outline of its land-use map in a public workshop at Oakridge Middle School in the Lake Wylie area. The map has been drawn up using public comments and suggestions gathered at previous workshops and online – part of the process of drawing up the county’s 2025 comprehensive plan.
The workshop will be organized as a “drop-in.” Citizens can stop by any time between 6 and 7:30 p.m. to ask questions and make the case for their preferred changes with county planners and design consultants.
“Just come with ideas and be ready to participate,” said Steve Allen, York County’s planning services manager.
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This workshop will be the latest in a series hosted by the county as officials update the comprehensive plan, a document that guides the county’s decision-making when it comes to handling new developments. State law requires counties to maintain and update the plan every 10 years.
Last month, county planners held a similar open-house event in Rock Hill to review the public’s input on topics ranging from economic development and transportation needs to the county’s parks and recreation opportunities. This week’s meeting will focus exclusively on land-use standards.
But other issues still could come out of the meeting, since land-use standards can affect other developments – from where businesses could open to the routes of future roads.
“Land use is tied to housing, the environment, transportation, natural resources,” Allen said. “That’s all intertwined with land use.”
One of the main components of the revised map will be the results of the Growth Chip Game, an interactive online map that allowed users to make their own suggestions for land use. The game was put together by Land Design consultants and was open to public additions on the yorkforward.com website for three weeks in May. The now-completed map can be viewed at tinyurl.com/mp3hqhw.
Thursday’s public meeting will be the last of several for planning staff that day, who will also meet to refine land-use proposals with the citizens’ advisory committee for the plan, the York County Planning Commission, and other stakeholders like the economic development board and municipal planners across the county.
“It’s going to be a long-day workshop with different groups,” said Diane Dil, York County’s long-range planner.
County officials stress the comprehensive plan is different from ongoing efforts to tighten York County’s zoning standards. The comprehensive plan doesn’t set zoning standards, but the land-use standards it sets will be referenced when county officials are making decisions.
“In the future, when we design changes to the zoning ordinance, it could incorporate the comprehensive plan,” Allen said. “First, we formulate the plan, and then we can tweak the ordinance to meet those goals.”
Planners hope to hear a wide range of opinions about land use and the planning process on Thursday, so they can include the most public input possible when they finalize the plan later this year. The next community meeting in the process is planned for August, with the theme: “Putting the Plan into Action.”
“You don’t have to support the suggestions,” Allen said. “Even if it’s not positive, we want to hear from you.”
Bristow Marchant • 803-329-4062
Want to go?
What: “Shape Our Future” workshop on York County’s comprehensive land-use plan
Where: Oakridge Middle School, 5650 S.C. 557, Clover (near Lake Wylie community)
When: 6-7:30 p.m., with a “drop-in” format
More information: yorkforward.com