Developers interested in building new subdivisions must adhere to new regulations now that McDuffie County commissioners have approved a set of new guidelines that govern such developments.
The issue, which involved a 90-minute discussion between commissioners, the planning and zoning director, a developer and the county attorney, resulted in the issue being approved in a 4-1 vote.
Commissioner Darrell Wester, who cast the lone opposing vote, said it was "wrong, unreasonable and unfair" for county commissioners to impose such regulations for private landowners. He said McDuffie County's rules are more restrictive than the ones that Columbia and Richmond counties have.
"And we're a lot more rural than they are," he added.
County Attorney Sammy Fowler clarified several points during the discussion. Mr. Fowler mentioned that commissioners could even think about the possibility of granting variances in certain cases.
McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton said he realizes much more work needs to go into refining the subdivision regulations, but it's a matter that will take time.
"It could take a long time and a whole lot of thought," Mr. Newton said. "The zoning regulations are a good thing, and we're going to put them into place."
McDuffie County Planning Director Fred Guerrant said the county "had virtually non-existent regulations" when it came to subdivisions.
In other business, commissioners unanimously agreed to grant a zoning change request for Arthur Grimaud, a local developer, who is interested in building a subdivision in the area of I-20 and Georgia Highway 150 (Cobbham Road).
The homes there would be at least 2,500 square feet.
Mr. Grimaud said he would build five to six homes at a time and construct the proper sidewalks along the front of them, as required By county regulations.