Upstate county holding public meeting as it plans for future growth

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​The county will discuss proposed changes to the Unified Development Standards Ordinance.

Updated: 5:13 PM EDT May 30, 2023

By: Jennifer Ready, Anchor/Reporter

Pickens County is hosting a public meeting Thursday night to discuss proposed changes to its Unified Development Standards Ordinance. County Administrator Ken Roper said the ordinance regulates growth in the county.

“It’s a document that’s served us well for many years, but it’s 20 years old now, so County Council, in a proactive move, said let’s get back into that ordinance and look at how current conditions don’t match with that old language, current growth patterns don’t match with what the regulations are in place,” said Roper.

According to Roper, the county is expecting to see 40% population growth before 2030.

“We know we’ve got what everybody wants, and we know that that growth is coming, but we know that there are things that are unique about our community,” said Roper. “Our farmland, our natural areas, our rural nature particularly in the northern parts, middle and northern parts of the county, that the folks here don’t want to see that change, that’s what we love about this county.”

Roper said the balance is managing the future growth expected while also protecting the farmland and natural areas.

“We’ve got to balance the areas of growth, we’ve got to balance your rights to private property and our community’s rights to keep its unique nature,” said Roper.

Members of the community will have an opportunity to provide their feedback, ask questions and express concerns during the meeting Thursday.

“One of the potentials is to look at how can we protect the natural areas, the more rural areas by encouraging the growth that we know is coming to go ahead and go towards the municipalities, go ahead and go towards where the sewer infrastructure already is, where the road infrastructure already is,” said Roper. “If we can encourage growth in those areas instead of in our more rural areas, we feel like that would be a huge step forward and make everyone have more peace of mind.”

The meeting will be held on June 1 at 6 p.m. at the Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Library in Easley. Citizens can also email questions or comments to by May 31.

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