Development standards and their impact on farm community

When the Oconee Planning Commission welcomes public comment on a draft plan for land use development standards, the commission chairman is hopeful that someone representing the county’s agricultural committee will say a word of support.  Mike Smith, the planning chairman, this week sought to enlist the support of the county agricultural advisory board during its Monday meeting this week in Walhalla.  According to Smith, a draft of development standards has been in the works for one year and the issue has been ping-ponged back and forth between the county council and the planning commission, with the next development to be a commission public hearing on the evening of October 4.  A question was raised by a member of ag advisory board about whether existing South Carolina laws adequately protect farming interests from encroachment by land use not conducive to rights to farm.