Watchdog Report – December 19th


In early November, I reported on our government affairs accomplishments during the last year.  You can read that report by clicking here.  (use attachment or link to the blog post from November 2)

One thing you can be certain of, government never takes a break.  And with the number of jurisdictions where we engage, it’s rarely slow.  Where do we work?  City and council councils and planning commissions in Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee counties.  We also monitor school districts and water and sewer authorities.  In total, we are involved in 37 different governmental bodies just in the Western Upstate.

These are some of the issues on which we are currently working:

Pickens County UDSO and Moratorium

Since February, Pickens County has imposed a moratorium on subdivisions of 50 lots or larger.  I can point to one event that led to these actions: in December 2022, the Pickens County Planning Commission considered a 1,265-lot subdivision on 300 acres in the Daucus area.  More than 200 people attended in opposition. 

County Council extended the moratorium once already.  The moratorium has been in effect for almost 11 months.  And now county council is considering extending the moratorium again because they haven’t finished work on amendments to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance.  These are some of the proposals that county council appears ready to adopt:

  • Zoning-like density and use standards for residential development in the county.
  • A $3,400 impact fee on new homes, and much higher for businesses.
  • New road design and construction standards.
  • Updated stormwater management regulations.
  • Standards for townhomes, RV parks, and tiny homes.

The county has put off additional measures for affordable and safe housing. 

Your association has been working directly with council members and staff on the ordinance.  We also have plugged into resources at the SC Realtors Association to help us understand and more effectively engage in the zoning standards being considered by the county.

Pickens County Council met again December 18 about the ordinance, and we expect them to hold a public hearing and final vote on January 8 on the ordinance amendments.

Anderson County Transportation Projects Sales Tax

Road funding is a major challenge for most counties, especially those in the Upstate.  Counties that are meeting their needs have enacted a local option sales tax to help with road funding. 

Spartanburg County became the first in the Upstate to enact a sales tax for roads.  Voters there approved a referendum on November 7.  The referendum passed 55% to 45%.  But a similar referendum in Greenville County failed in 2014, 30% to 70%.  Realtors in Spartanburg and Greenville supported both referendums.

On December 5, Anderson County Council gave second reading to an ordinance to ask the voters for permission to impost a penny sales tax for roads in Anderson County.  Final reading will be on January 2, 2024.  If county council agrees, Anderson voters will vote in November on whether they want to impose a sales tax on themselves.

Your association’s Government Affairs Team is studying the sales tax and will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors early next year. 


Annexation has become a political flashpoint, particularly in Pickens County.  Anti-development activists have opposed annexations even when the property owner voluntarily asks to be annexed. 

As a result, Pickens County Council adopted a resolution calling on the cities in the county to enact a moratorium on annexations.  In addition, at the request of Pickens County Council, legislators from Pickens County have introduced legislation to require that the county council to agree to an annexation.

Your association’s Government Affairs Team is studying the annexation issue, particularly as it relates to private property rights, and may recommend a position to the Board of Directors.

How you can help

A lot is happening.  And we expect a lot more in the new year.  There are two important ways you can help:

  1. Vote
  2. Contribute to RPAC

RPAC is an important part of our association’s advocacy efforts.  Success hinges on the election of Realtor Champions.  My favorite quote, at least recently, is that there are two kinds of politicians—those who raise money, and those who lose. 

RPAC’s objective is to cooperate as an association to raise money for the campaigns of candidates who will champion Realtor issues.  If you haven’t already contributed to RPAC, click here to contribute. Any amount will help.

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs