ST. GEORGE — Responding to complaints of overcrowded roads and schools around Summerville, Dorchester County Council put the brakes on growth Monday.
Council approved a six-month moratorium on new residential developments in Dorchester District 2. It takes effect today and expires in the middle of June.
The moratorium does not apply to District 4, which includes the more-rural part of the county west of Summerville. It also would not affect about 4,200 building permits that already have been approved.
The moratorium is intended to stop any new developments of at least 10 lots until the county updates its comprehensive plan, which guides what is built and where. Much of the county west of Summerville has no zoning controls.
The county also is working on an ordinance that would keep council from approving a new neighborhood if roads and schools could not handle the extra people.
Monday's vote on the moratorium was 6-1. Planning Committee Chairman Chris Murphy voted against it. Murphy has previously said it's a bad idea to enact a moratorium during a significant slowdown in the housing market.
The moratorium also does not include multifamily projects. Councilman Jamie Feltner proposed amending the moratorium to include new apartments and condominiums. But he withdrew the motion after learning it would delay the moratorium another month while new language was drafted.
Summerville passed a 90-day moratorium on new developments in October. Several Town Council members said they planned to extend the town's moratorium to coincide with the county's.