The Joint Planning Commission of Greenwood County is the local body that makes recommendations concerning the physical, social, and economic growth, development and redevelopment of the community. By South Carolina Code, the local planning commission has the responsibility to prepare and periodically revise plans and programs for development and redevelopment.
Specifically, the Joint Planning Commission prepares and recommends for adoption by the appropriate governing body:
- Zoning ordinances including maps and amendments.
- Regulations for the subdivision or development of land and amendments and to oversee the administration of these regulations.
- An official map and amendments showing the exact location of existing or proposed public streets, highways, and utility rights-of-way, and public building sites, together with regulations to control the erection of buildings or other structures or changes in land use.
- A landscaping ordinance setting forth required planting, tree preservation, and other aesthetic considerations for land and structures.
- A capital improvements program setting forth projects required to implement plans, including an annual listing of priority projects for consideration by the governmental bodies responsible prior to the preparation of the capital budget.
- Policies and procedures to facilitate implementation of planning elements.
The Planning Commission is made up of 15 members who are appointed by the various local governments: 7 appointments from Greenwood County, 5 appointments from the City of Greenwood, and 1 appointment each from the Towns of Ninety Six, Troy, and Ware Shoals. These appointments are based on the population distribution throughout the County.
The Planning Commission holds regular meetings on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Greenwood County Courthouse in accordance with a schedule that is approved at the beginning of the year.
The Planning Commission meetings include public hearings on various items on the agenda. These items typically require public notification in a local newspaper, posting of signs on the subject property, and written notification to adjacent property owners.
Long-range planning items and rezoning requests are reviewed by the Planning Commission and a recommendation is made to the appropriate county, city, or town council. The county, city, or town council reviews the requests with the Planning Commission recommendation and may either approve the item after two or three readings (dependant upon the jurisdiction), amend the item, deny the request, or table the item for further information or study.
Preliminary and final development reviews and variances to the Land Development Regulations are reviewed by the Planning Commission without a public hearing. Once the Planning Commission makes a decision on these items, it is approved or denied and does not go through the county, city, or town councils.