County planners push for agriculture preservation districts in lieu of development moratorium – UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL – Upstate Business Journal

The Greenville County Planning Commission voted unanimously at its Sept. 22 meeting to recommend amending the county’s zoning ordinance to create an agriculture preservation district.
The measure had been proposed by county councilman Joe Dill Sept. 7 in response to a desire among residents in his northern Greenville County district to preserve the rural character of their communities.
The proposal adds language to the county’s zoning ordinance defining the agricultural zoning district and spells out acceptable uses for property bearing that zoning designation.
Among the acceptable uses defined in the new language are agritourism, timber production, fishing lakes and ponds, riding academies and animal production, among others.
In making the proposal, Dill said he wanted to give county residents a means for protecting the rural character of their property. He also said that if the county council approved adding the agricultural preservation district to the county’s zoning ordinance, another proposal he put forward — imposing a six-month moratorium on new housing developments — might no longer be necessary.
With the Planning Commission’s approval, the measure will go before the county council’s Planning and Development Committee next month. If approved there, it will then go before the full council for consideration.
In introducing the proposal to planning commissioners, County Zoning Administrator Joshua Henderson said staff recommended adoption of the measure as it would give county planners an additional tool.
Commission Chairman Steven Bichel said he wholeheartedly supported the measure. Commissioner Mark Jones said that as a farmer in the southern part of the county he has waited a long time for this zoning option to become available.
“After all these years, it is so good to see this,” Jones said.

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