Many local governments had lighter meeting schedules in July, but there is still a lot to report. These are some of the important issues that we are following:
- Stormwater Design Manual: Two fee increases and some additional changes to beef up the county’s stormwater management program were approved by county council this week. Your association has been involved in drafting the changes.
- RV Park Ordinance: The county does not have an ordinance to regulate RV parks. County council gave final approval to the new ordinance this week.
- Zoning: On August 8, voters in the Fork Number 2 election precinct will go to the polls to vote on whether to zone the area. You can read more about that referendum by clicking here.
City of Anderson
- Sign Ordinance: Your association weighed in on the ordinance with city council. The ordinance is well-written and necessary, but we have a concern was setting a 10-year time limit for replacing signs that don’t comply with the new ordinance. We are meeting with the city before city council gives final reading of the ordinance on August 14.
Pickens County Council gave second reading in July to issuing $12,750,000 in general obligation bonds to fund the Highway 183 expansion project. Final reading may be on their August 7 agenda.
- Impact Fees: Clemson commissioned an impact fee study and incorporated a new fee structure into their budget. They gave first reading to a new impact fee ordinance in July.
- New sewer on I-85: County council gave first reading to a $25 million general obligation bond to help fund sewer expansion at exits 1, 2, and 4 on I-85. These sewer expansions will help facilitate a regional goal of sewer at all of the i-85 exits between the Savannah River and the Greenville County line.
Impact fees continued to be studied and proposed throughout the Western Upstate. In addition to Clemson’s proposed new fees, Easley is phasing in an impact fee and Pickens County Council recently retained a consultant to study impact fees in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Lead Paint Rule Updated by EPA
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency updated their lead paint rule to address lead dust in homes, apartments, and childcare centers. The new acceptable threshold for lead dust is effectively 0. The rule also requires a dwelling or childcare center to be tested for lead if a child tests positive for lead. You can read more about the new rule by clicking here.
Special Elections and Regular Elections
We continue to see the need for special elections in the Western Upstate. We have already had three special elections for vacancies on city councils in Easley, Seneca, and Liberty.
Recently, two more cities have vacancies they will need to fill:
- Central Town Councilman L.C. Hayes resigned July 28. Filing for that seat will be open August 18-28.
- Pickens City Councilman Patrick Lark resigned July 4. Filing closed on that seat this week.
That is five special elections in our area in one year. Both special elections will be held November 7 with the regular elections for multiple cities in the Western Upstate.
There will be regular elections in these cities on November 7:
- Pendleton: Ward 2 and 4
- Belton: Mayor, Ward 2, 4, and 6
- Honea Path: Ward 1, 3, 5
- Easley: Mayor, Ward 1, 3, 5
- Central: 3 at-large seats plus the special election (4 total seats)
- Pickens: Mayor, 3 at-large seats, plus the special election (5 total seats)
- Liberty: Mayor and 2 at-large seats
- Seneca: 4 at-large seats
- Walhalla: Mayor, 3 at-large seats, plus a special election (5 total seats)
- Westminster: Mayor and 3 at-large seats
Walhalla and Pickens city councils could see five of seven council members replaced next year.
Elections are an important way that your association represents you and helps make a strong market for real estate. Through RPAC, we support pro-business candidates who understand the importance of a vibrant economy for real estate. You can help by supporting RPAC. It’s easy. Your association includes a voluntary contribution to RPAC on your annual dues invoice. Pay it, and you are an RPAC supporter. If you haven’t supported RPAC this year, I encourage you to do so by clicking here.
Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs