SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County’s zoning ordinances have been a topic of discussion for years. And like any kind of change the process has been a slow one. One of the processes led to a current ordinance governing the county, the performance zoning ordinance, known as PZO.

“We’ve had it in effect for a long time in the southwest corridor, prior to that we had a tremendous amount of community engagement, we had probably 40 stakeholders or more who were involved in our planning process,” said Manning Lynch, Spartanburg County Council Chairman. 

PZO would replace the unified land management ordinance, known as ULMO, which still governs development in the rest of the county, and allows for more developments to be put up in residential areas.

“The ULMO is easier to use, and simpler to understand,” said Robbie Romeiser, Spencer Hines Properties. “It has its faults, let’s not ignore the need to update it, but let’s go back to the basic foundational document of the ULMO and update it.”

As county council is looking into rolling the PZO out to the rest of the county, developers are pushing for a different direction.

“We recommended to council that they consider number 1, not rolling out the PZO to the entire county, and number 2 repealing the PZO in its current southwest corridor and going back to being governed by the ULMO and making some tweaks to the ULMO,” said Romeiser.

PZO is designed to make it harder for a commercial business to locate in a residential area, something that was implemented as a protection.

“It’s important because any time you’re dealing with land use issues, you have the potential to affect somebody’s property rights,” said Lynch.

Developers said the restrictions are making it harder to accommodate for the growth the county is seeing.

“We want to make the growth as user friendly as possible for people who have been here a long time, as well as people that want to live here and want to develop the area to accommodate the growth,” said Romeiser.

Moving forward, county council and ULMO advocates are hoping an agreement comes soon that can work for everyone.

“We’re trying to gain more feedback from the community from stakeholders and property owners and all that and see if we can smooth out some of the rough spots and anticipate what some of the problems are,” said Lynch.