Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Planning and Zoning and Licensing, Oh My!

We've all heard the old adage of "you've got to plan the work in order to work the plan." One of the most important roles for local elected officials is planning for the long-range growth in the community.

Council will set the vision for the type of growth the city should pursue. Then, planning staff and a variety of volunteer boards are responsible for different parts of implementation.

While the arrangement for every city is determined by its council, cities could have a planning and zoning staff, a planning commission, a board of zoning appeals and an architectural review board. It's easy to get all of these roles and  responsibilities confused, so take a look at this simple graphic that illustrates the relationship among all the players. Also read about a day in the life of a zoning director.

There are many approaches a city can take to  make sure  development regulations attract investment, rather than push it toward competitors. Learn about a new approach called form-based codes that can expedite the development process, provide predictability to private and public entities, support creation of high-value development, and allow flexibility as the community grows.

In 2003, the General Assembly amended the South Carolina Comprehensive Planning Act by adding orientation and continuing education requirements for planning and zoning officials (both staff and commission members). Learn where these officials can get this training and find out what's required each year.

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