MOUNT PLEASANT - Kim Brown lives in the East Cooper countryside with six dogs, four cats and 52 chickens.
She and her husband Arthur like it that way.
So when Charleston County began tinkering a bit with the Urban Growth Boundary she worried about city rules coming to the two acres she calls home. It's the sort of thing that drove her away from Sullivan's Island.
"That, and you couldn't whistle," she said, referring to one of the quirkier aspects of island ordinances governing public behavior.
The county is reviewing and revising the location of the urban boundary for consistency with the City of Charleston and the Town of Mount Pleasant. The City of North Charleston does not have an Urban Growth Boundary. The idea of such coordination between jurisdictions is to follow parcel boundaries and geographic features where possible, said county Planning Director Dan Pennick.
Currently, areas such as Sol Legare Road on James Island are in the urban boundary within the county, but in the City of Charleston the location is considered rural, Pennick said.
At a county Planning Department public workshop on Thursday night at Wando High School, Brown eyed a map to get a better idea of where her property stood in relation to the urban boundary. The event was the last of a series of meetings that the department held to get feedback from the public on a five-year update to the Comprehensive Plan, which guides development.
Brown said that it was worrisome when a sprawling residential development began building near her home about a mile north of the high school off U.S. 17. She wants to keep that kind of progress away.
"I just feel like it's going to ooze out," she said of the creeping sprawl.
Defining the urban boundary has led to some spirited discussions, said County Councilman Herb Sass.
"There are some areas where the Urban Growth Boundary is more controversial than others, like John's Island," Sass said.
Being within the urban boundary matters when it comes to developing infrastructure such as water and sewer service, and having conveniences such as a corner store, Pennick said.
"Our area is changing all the time. How do we accommodate that change and manage it so that it doesn't overwhelm us?" Pennick said.
The new, proposed urban boundary has revisions that officials described as minor that were recommended by the county Planning Commission.
The Planning Department staff will take input received from the public back to the Commission in September. The Commission will recommend changes to County Council at a hearing in October, Pennick said.
Copies of the draft Comprehensive Plan are available for viewing at www.charlestoncounty.org, where comments are being accepted until July 15.
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