Richland County’s newest educational effort aims to simplify zoning and land use, a process that directly impacts residents and landowners but can easily be misunderstood.
With its “Zoning Made Easy” campaign, the County’s Planning and Development Department intends to break down the often complicated process of zoning and foster easier dialogue with residents. The campaign comes as the County rewrites its Land Development Code (LDC), a set of regulations for land use, growth and development.
“Dialogue is important when it comes to map amendments, code language and understanding land development,” said Tommy DeLage, assistant Zoning administrator. “The Zoning Made Easy series is designed to benefit the community by providing a better understanding of zoning, which will help citizens engage in a more informed discussion.”
Residents can view the first component of Zoning Made Easy online: a video titled “Zoning 101: What Is Zoning?” available on the County’s YouTube page. The video explains zoning and land development in general and addresses how Richland County uses zoning to promote safety, public health and welfare.
“Zoning 101” will be part of a continuing video series. Along with providing information on zoning and the rezoning process, the series will give an overview of zoning districts, which regulate different uses for land in the County.
How Zoning and the LDC Connect
In addition to the videos, as part of Zoning Made Easy, the County will produce graphics, pamphlets and other materials explaining the processes and applications involved with zoning and the new LDC. The County expects to adopt the LDC this summer; once it is finalized, an abridged version will also be included in the educational effort.
The LDC is one of several tools Richland County uses to control growth. Zoning Made Easy will highlight how the LDC interacts with the County’s comprehensive plan, which guides decision making for the County.
“The comprehensive plan includes the goals and objectives for how growth should occur, and the LDC is the tool for how that growth will occur,” said Brian Crooks, interim Planning Services manager. “The policies adopted within the plan inform the actual regulation within the LDC.”