On Monday night, Dorchester County Council passed the second reading of an ordinance to change the standards and process for traffic studies that are required when developers are looking to build in the county.
The ordinance currently requires developers to hire a consultant to conduct a traffic study that examines the impact on local roads caused by new development. But now, officials want to change the process so that the county picks the consultants that conduct the studies rather than the developer.
Director of Dorchester County Planning and Zoning Kiera Reinertsen told News 2 on Monday that change will ensure that builders are doing as much as they are supposed to do to offset development and make the process more efficient.
“It improves coordination between the county and the consultants,” said Reinertsen. “When doing these types of traffic studies, [we’re] able to have that reaction with the consultants… it’s just more efficient.”
The ordinance currently requires and will continue to require that developers pay for the costs of traffic studies.
County Council still needs to pass one more reading of the ordinance before the changes can become effective.
The proposed changes mirror an ordinance passed by Summerville Town Council earlier this year that also ensures that the town selects consultants to conduct traffic studies.
Reinersten says the county will work with the same consultants as the town.