Watchdog Report – October 31st


The local government scene has been quieter than normal, but that is because most of our cities are planning for elections on November 7.  Every city in the Western Upstate except two—Anderson and Clemson—will hold elections in less than two weeks.  Later this week we will send you a Voter Guide in a separate email.

Local city councils are legislating, but their agendas have been light with a couple of notable exceptions.

Clemson’s Planning Commission considered an ordinance this month to require guest cottages, commonly called accessory dwelling units, to be reviewed and approved by the Board of Architectural Review.

Anderson City Council wrapped up nine months of work on new council district boundaries for elections.  It was tough work for them because two districts grew significantly in the last 10 years, requiring the district lines to be moved to balance the representation by each city councilmember.

Oconee County is updating their sign ordinance to allow commercial signs to be automated, not unlike the sign at your association office. 

Anderson County Council met recently for a full day of strategic planning.  I was invited to speak on growth issues.

At the county level, Pickens County Council continues to work on the Unified Development Standards Ordinance.  They will take up second reading of an ordinance on November 6 that will:

  • Require subdivisions of 11 houses or larger must be open space subdivisions, with 40% minimum open space.  They also are establishing a minimum lot size, although the size has not been determined.
  • They are creating a matrix of density and uses that looks like zoning but will not be zoning. 
  • They will impose an Impact fee, but they have not determined the amount. 
  • They will limit RV parks, townhomes, and tiny homes.
  • Stormwater standards also will be increased.
  • Developers will be required to conduct a traffic study for new developments, and turn lanes and other traffic mitigation measures will be required. 

Good news for Pickens County Realtors is the announcement last week that widening of SC 183 between Greenville and Pickens has been fully funded.  The $95 million project will widen 183 between SC 462 in Greenville County and the City of Pickens, including replacing the bridge across the Saluda River.

At the state and federal level, your SC Association of REALTORS® is finalizing it’s legislative agenda for 2024.  A key element will continue to be to clearly regulate short-term rentals.  And now that the US House has chosen a Speaker, expect your National Association of REALTORS® will ask for your help soon in advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

How you can help

There are two important ways you can help:

  1. Vote
  2. Contribute to RPAC

Watch for our Voter Guide later this week, and if you haven’t already contributed to RPAC, click here to contribute.  Any amount will help.

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs