Density and Dimensional Changes in the AR & AG Zoning Districts
Recreational Equipment Storage 
Mobile Housing Units
Meggett's Mayor and Councilmembers are committed to protecting the quality of life for Meggett's residents now and for generations to come while also respecting existing land uses. Meggett enjoys the distinction of being perhaps the most rural town in Charleston County other than the long-existing industrial area on Yonges Island. And this charming, rural character is what has drawn many of our residents to Meggett and caused many folks who were born and raised here to continue to call Meggett home.

For over a century, Meggett's isolation at the southern end of Charleston County has served to minimize the typical subdivision type development and sprawl that has overtaken community after community: West Ashley, James Island, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and all the beach communities. Even Johns Island is being transformed into suburbia, becoming almost unrecognizable in the last 10 years. With these formerly rural areas being developed out, only the northern and southern ends of the County remain predominantly rural. In fact, Hollywood and Ravenel are now experiencing the sprawl of Charleston's Metropolitan area with numerous new subdivisions planned for Hollywood, including 200-300 new homes behind the Piggly Wiggly.

The Mayor and Councilmembers believe that the proposed zoning modifications will allow Meggett to retain its rural character in perpetuity, even as our neighboring towns are suburbanized. As importantly we believe that Meggett's existing reputation as a desirable location will continue to grow, which in turn will maintain and enhance property values. We will not be the place for those who want the conveniences of suburbia, but there are many folks, like yourselves, who believe that rural tranquility is more desirable than suburban conveniences.

The proposed changes described below pertaining to dimensional standards for lots will apply only to new subdivisions and will not apply to existing lots. In order to provide flexibility to existing property owners, the proposed changes also include a provision entitled, “Subdivision of a Lot of Record Existing Prior to XXXX, 2021,” which allows a one-time subdivision of existing parcels resulting in no more than 2 new lots that conform to the previous dimensional standards, and the residual lot must conform to the newly enacted dimensional standards.
PROPOSED MINIMUM LOT SIZES AND WIDTHS
The newly proposed zoning regulations divide the Town into two areas, the more rural western area (closer to Edisto) and the somewhat more developed eastern area (closer to Charleston). In the eastern area, non-waterfront lots would have to be a minimum of 3 acres, and in the western area, non-waterfront lots would have a minimum size of 5 acres. These sizes reflect existing development patterns. Additionally the eastern area abuts Hollywood where much greater density is permitted whereas the western area abuts unincorporated Charleston County where the zoning is typically one lot per 10 acres. The existing minimum lot size in both areas is presently 2 acres.

For areas along our marshes, creeks, and rivers (those areas that abut the SCDHEC-Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management [OCRM] Critical Line), the minimum lot size would be 2 acres compared to the existing minimum lot size of 1 acre. This increase in lot size is intended to preserve the scenic nature of our waterways, protect water quality, and avoid the type of dense development seen along waterways in Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island, etc.

For both upland and waterfront properties, minimum lot widths would be increased. Waterfront lots would have a minimum width of 200 feet along the waterfront. As proposed, minimum overall lot width would also be 200 feet for waterfront lots, but the Mayor and Councilmembers plan to consider retaining the current overall 150 foot minimum lot width for waterfront lots to allow for pie shaped lots that increase from at least 150 ft along a road to a minimum of 200 feet along the OCRM Critical Line. For non-waterfront lots, the minimum lot width would increase to 200 feet for 3 acre lots and 250 for 5 acre lots in order to place more space between homes.
UPDATES PERTAINING TO RECREATIONAL VEHICLES AND MOBILE HOMES 
The Mayor and Councilmembers have determined that the Town's zoning regulations do not adequately protect the quality of life and appearance of our town with respect to RVs and mobile homes.  Some non-resident property owners use RVs as a "weekend getaway" which nearby permanent residents find objectionable.  Therefore, the proposed zoning modifications clarify the definition of an RV and allow for their occupancy only while building a permanent residence.  Requirements for screening stored RV are also included.  These requirements would not apply to boats or other types of stored equipment.  To improve the safety and  durability of mobile homes, requirements have been added to siting standards that would only apply to new mobile homes.
The purpose of this survey is to learn the opinions of Meggett residents and property owners.  Please keep the following points in mind.

  • The survey will be open for submissions from March 17, 2021 to April 23, 2021.
  • One submission, either online or paper, per Meggett property owner or resident who is 18 years of age or older.
  • The Town will provide the survey in both a paper and online format. 
  • To ensure only qualified respondents, your name and address will be required on your survey submission.   
  • Reference links are provided with each question to view the proposed amended ordinance and any supporting documents related to the question.  Click on the link to view the ordinance or support documents.  
  • Please direct any problems or questions related to the survey to Stephanie Smith at slsmith@townofmeggettsc.org or by phone 843-889-3622. 
  • Strikethrough words (words) are proposed words to be removed and underlined words (words) are proposed words to be added to the amended ordinances.
  • Definitions:
    • Accessory Structure: A use, structure, or part of a structure customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of a zoning lot or of a structure.  Not the primary dwelling/home.
    • Legal Non-Conforming Lots:  A legal non-conforming lot is one that, at the time of its establishment, met the minimum lots size requirements for the zone in which it is located but which, because of subsequent changes to the minimum lot size applicable to that zone, is now smaller than that minimum lot size.  These lots are still buildable and must follow all other current zoning requirements other than lot size and width.  
    • OCRM Critical Line: The DHEC - OCRM Critical areas are the coastal waters, tidelands and beach systems along the Atlantic Ocean. The boundary for these areas are defined as the “OCRM Critical Line”.
Zoning Questionnaire: Part 1
Chapter 4: AR & AG Zoning Density and Dimensional Standard Changes

Question Title

* 1. Increasing dimensional and density standards for lots occurring along the OCRM Critical Line from 1 acre to 2 acres per dwelling.  

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes

Explanation: No lot may be subdivided smaller than 2 acres*.  Existing lots that are less than 2 acres would become legal non-conforming lots and be developable under the current zoning requirements except for the lot size and width for a single dwelling. 
*
Subdivision of a Lot of Record prior to these dimensional & density changes may fall under a provision allowing no more than two new lots to be created using previous zoning regulations.   (See 4th paragraph of introduction for more information.)

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* 2. Increasing Maximum Density for lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line from 2 acres to 3 acres or 5 acres per dwelling unit.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes
Map showing 3 acres vs. 5 acres

Explanation: Lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line must have minimum 3 or 5 acres per dwelling unit if passed*.  All existing lots that are less than 3 or 5 acres would  become legal non-conforming lots and be developable under the current zoning requirements less the lot size and width. 
*Subdivision of a Lot of Record prior to these dimensional & density changes may fall under a provision allowing no more than two new lots to be created using previous zoning regulations. (See 4th paragraph of introduction for more information.)

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* 3. Increase OCRM Critical Line Minimum Width for lots occurring along the OCRM Critical Line from a total of 150 ft. to 200 ft. of OCRM Critical Line frontage along the OCRM Critical Line by a straight extended line.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes


Explanation: Lots occurring along the OCRM Critical Line must have minimum of straight 200 ft. of frontage of the OCRM Critical Line if passed*.  All existing lots that are less than 200 ft. would  become legal non-conforming lots and be developable under current zoning requirements less the lot width. 
*Subdivision of a Lot of Record prior to these dimensional & density changes may fall under a provision allowing no more than two new lots to be created using previous zoning regulations. (See 4th paragraph of introduction for more information.)

Question Title

* 4. Increase Minimum Lot Width for lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line from 130 ft. to 200 ft. of frontage with minimum 3 acre lots.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes

Explanation: Lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line must have minimum lot width of 200 ft. of  property frontage if passed*.  All existing lots that are less than 200 ft. would become legal non-conforming lots and be developable under current zoning requirements except for the lot width. 
*Subdivision of a Lot of Record prior to these dimensional & density changes may fall under a provision allowing no more than two new lots to be created using previous zoning regulations. (See 4th paragraph of introduction for more information.)


Question Title

* 5. Increase Minimum Lot Width for lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line from 130 ft. to 250 ft. of frontage with minimum 5 acre lots.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes

Explanation: Lots not occurring along the OCRM Critical Line must have minimum lot width of 250 ft. of  property frontage if passed*.  All existing lots that are less than 250 ft. would  become legal non-conforming lots and be developable under current zoning requirements except for the lot width. 
*Subdivision of a Lot of Record prior to these dimensional & density changes may fall under a provision allowing no more than two new lots to be created using previous zoning regulations. (See 4th paragraph of introduction for more information.)

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* 6. Decrease the Minimum Interior Side Setback for an Accessory Structure from 10 feet to 5 feet.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes

Explanation: If passed, Accessory Structures would be permitted for placement as close as 5 ft. off the Interior Side Setback on lots in the AG and AR Zoning Districts.  Currently all accessory structures must be at least 10 feet off interior property lines.   Front/Street side, Rear and OCRM Critical Line setbacks would remain unchanged.  

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* 7. Decrease Maximum Building Cover from 30% to 20%.

Reference Link(s):
AG/AR Density and Dimensional Standards Changes

Explanation: If passed, total structure coverage may not exceed 20% of the lot size in the AG and AR Zoning Districts.  Existing lots with less than 30%, but more than 20% maximum building coverage  would become legal non-conforming lots with this change.  

Zoning Questionnaire: Part 2
Chapter 4& 17: Recreational Equipment Storage, Manufactured Housing Units, and Definitions

Question Title

* 8. Removal of "Major" and  “with a length of more than 25 feet” from the definition for Major Recreational Equipment.

Reference Link(s):
Recreational Equipment

Explanation:

MAJOR RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT - Any boat, boat trailer, camper or other recreational vehicle with a length of more than 25 feet.

This change would allow all Recreational Equipment to fall under one definition.  

Question Title

* 9. Change Special Exception to Conditional Use for Recreational Parking

Reference Link(s):
Recreational Equipment

Explanation: Currently the Table of Permitted Uses has Recreation Vehicle Parking by Special Exception only.  This change would allow Recreational Vehicles to be parked on lots in the AR and AG districts by the Conditions in the attached pending ordinance (Reference Link), not by obtaining a Special Exception.

Question Title

* 10. Add Condition 4.11.10 under Conditions for Recreational Vehicle Parking in the Table for Permitted Uses

Reference Link(s):
Recreational Equipment

Explanation: Condition 4.11.10 would be the full required conditions needed to park a Recreational Vehicle on a lot located in the AG and AR Districts.  The condition would read as follows:

 No such equipment shall be used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes when parked or stored on a residential lot or in any location not approved for such use except for use for temporary housing while the owner’s permanent home is under construction on that parcel.

The Recreational Equipment must be buffered by a wooden, metal, or tiered vegetative buffer maintained by the owner preventing the Recreational Equipment from being seen from the street.

Before inhabiting the recreational equipment on this temporary basis, the owner must obtain an approved building permit and a zoning permit for the permanent home from the Town.  The owner must notify the Town before it begins the temporary habitation and may occupy the recreational equipment no longer than twelve (12) months, with a one-month extension for exceptional circumstances that may be granted by the Town’s zoning official in that official’s sole discretion. During the temporary habitation, the recreational equipment must be tied into an approved septic or wastewater system.

Question Title

* 11. Amend Article 4.12.1 Accessory Storage of Major Recreational Equipment, Temporary Habitation

Reference Link(s):
Recreational Equipment

Explanation: Remove “Major” and add “Temporary Habitation” after Equipment and add additional requirements, it would read as follows:

No such equipment shall be used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes when parked or stored on a residential lot or in any location not approved for such use except for use for temporary housing while the owner’s permanent home is under construction on that parcel.

The Recreational Equipment must be buffered by a wooden, metal, or tiered vegetative buffer maintained by the owner preventing the Recreational Equipment from being seen from the street.

Before inhabiting the recreational equipment on this temporary basis, the owner must obtain an approved building permit and a zoning permit for the permanent home from the Town.  The owner must notify the Town before it begins the temporary habitation and may occupy the recreational equipment no longer than twelve (12) months, with a one-month extension for exceptional circumstances that may be granted by the Town’s zoning official in that official’s sole discretion. During the temporary habitation, the recreational equipment must be tied into an approved septic or wastewater system.

Question Title

* 12. Amend 4.11.9 Manufactured Housing Unit:

Reference Link(s):
Manufactured Housing Unit

Explanation: Any new manufactured housing unit would require a foundation of brick and a buffer could be required based on property placement.

Manufactured Housing Units placed in all zoning districts shall be skirted by brick. manufactured skirting or other materials suitable for exterior use, including corrosion- resistant metal, fiberglass/plastic, wood/wood siding (both must be protected from the elements by water resistant solution/substance), decay resistant/pressure treated lumber, and masonry. The enclosed crawl space must be ventilated. Manufactured Housing Units must comply with FEMA requirements. The Manufactured Housing Unit must be buffered by a tiered vegetative buffer maintained by the owner preventing the Manufactured Housing Unit from being seen from the street.

Question Title

* 13. Remove the words “manufactured housing” and adding the words “modular building”.

Reference Link(s):
Manufactured Housing Unit

Explanation: The difference between a manufactured housing unit and a modular home needs to be clarified in the Town’s Zoning and Land Development Regulations.

Manufactured Housing Units (AKA Mobile Home) - Any residential dwelling Unit Constructed to Standards and Codes Set Forth by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. Article 5401). The term does not include recreational vehicles, travel trailers or motorized homes licensed for travel on highways, nor manufactured housing modular building units designed and built to meet applicable requirements of South Carolina Modular Buildings Construction Act.

Zoning Questionnaire: Part 3
Demographic Questions

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* 14. Please choose the answer that best describes you.

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* 15. Please choose the option that best represents your lot(s) in Meggett.  

Reference Link(s):
3 ac. vs. 5 ac. Map

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* 16. Your name and address is required for your survey submission to count.
This information is to ensure no duplicate surveys are submitted. 

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* 17. Please share any other comments you have below:

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* 18. Did you find this survey to be easy to understand?

Thank you for completing this survey.  

If you have any questions or concerns about your survey submission, please contact Stephanie Smith, Town Administrator, at 843-889-3622 or by email, slsmith@townofmeggettsc.org.

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