This blog discussed on April 22 Lexington County Council’s move to suspend all new subdivision applications for six months. The Council indicated it planned to review its standards during the six-month moratorium. The ordinance applied to applications to develop ten or more lots for new housing, subdivisions with lots of less than half an acre, and developments with some “attached land use activities.”
There has been quite a lot of activity on this topic since the ordinance was initially passed.
In a suit brought by The Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina, Circuit Court Judge Debra McCaslin on May 4 struck down the ordinance, stating the closed-door executive session violated the Freedom of Information Act. The County argued that the ordinance was proper as an emergency measure because of the impact of new subdivisions on schools, roads and county services.
On May 6, the Council reinstated the moratorium but eliminated subdivisions of less than half an acre.
Completed applications will continue to move through the system.
We have seen other counties and municipalities impose similar freezes. Notably York County and Hilton Head Island have taken similar action in the past.
We are in the middle of a “sellers’ market”, with inventory in housing being a major impediment to residential sales. This moratorium is likely to exacerbate that situation in the midlands.