Lexington County is receiving strong public support for new condo and “tiny house” restrictions.

The Lexington County Council’s move to place restrictions on new apartment complexes and multifamily housing projects received widespread support at a public hearing held Nov. 15.

New proposed amendments to county laws governing housing development would limit new apartment complexes to no more than 200 units. The changes would also require three miles of separation between multifamily housing projects. Buffers will be needed to ensure that housing projects are separated enough for green spaces.

The new regulations will also address street access directions for apartment complexes. A residential development with 200 or more residential units must provide two unobstructed access points to the street, as well as add address requirements for “tiny homes,” which are buildings 400 square feet or less. The new “tiny homes” regulations will apply the same rules as mobile homes.

Lexington County Community Development Director Robbie Derrick noted that the housing and “tiny house” amendments could eventually be packaged together in larger documents, with other changes proposed, with those fully detailed documents potentially getting a public hearing in the future. .

Newly elected Lexington City Councilman Will Allen was among the residents who expressed strong support for the regulations.

“There is a huge undercurrent of support” for the restrictions, he said.

Limiting apartment complexes to 200 units is reasonable, said Leisha Hofstetler, a Chapin resident. She also expressed her support for “screening” systems in the new restrictions, which would provide green spaces and barriers surrounding housing projects.

Some residents simply expressed their “thank you” to the council during the hearing.

While some residents expressed support for these regulations, some residents said more efforts need to be done to reassure citizens that the emergency response required from law enforcement, firefighters and EMS teams is adequate. One resident complained that it took police hours to respond to a break-in at her home.

Increasing staffing in the Police Department has been a priority for the City of Irmo over the past few months. The city has increased salaries and upgraded benefits in an effort to retain employees.

The County Board heard no opposition to the new regulations plan at the public hearing. But the district called on residents to send emails expressing both positive and negative opinions.

In an interview with the Chronicle after the hearing, Council Vice President Darrell Hudson said the new regulations were not ready for final approval. He added that the Council will continue to review the amendments and make amendments to them. He said the official adoption of the new rules would take a few more weeks.

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(Tags for translation)Lexington County Development

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