Dorchester County Zoning

In 2008, Dorchester County adopted the Comprehensive Plan which included the following elements: future land use, infrastructure concurrency, transportation, economic development, workforce housing, priority investment areas, community design, public facilities, population map, and road type map.

One of the first implementation items as a result of the Comprehensive Plan was the application of zoning for the northern, rural portion of the county. This portion of Dorchester County falls within an existing zoning district named “Absence of Controls.”

We  proposed a form based zoning code to the officials in Dorchester County. Form-based codes are vision-based and prescriptive, and ours is locally calibrated to closely follow the comprehensive plan. In a rural area such as upper Dorchester County, form-based codes can help create places like hamlets and crossroads that are context-sensitive and respective of their agricultural edge.

The town of Ridgeland adopted a form-based code, so this is not a new concept in South Carolina. The East Edisto development in Charleston and Dorchester Counties also operates by a form-based code and Beaufort County to the south is developing a code that will be countywide. Implementing a form-based code can move Dorchester County into the forefront and help create a landscape that is open to the business and residential growth it is expected to receive, but responsive to the form and of this new growth allowing for the creation of true communities and not unthoughtful sprawl.

Learn more about form-based codes and our code specifically by talking to planning commission and county council members as well as friends in upper Dorchester County. This process benefits from public input!

Staff Contact

[email protected] · 843.723.8035

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