BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County Council on Monday voted in favor of rezoning several hundred acres in the Cordesville community from preservation residential zoning to agricultural zoning.

In 1987, the lots were zoned as agricultural. Then, in 1997, 62 parcels of land were rezoned to R-15 without the knowledge of many landowners. The county gave land owners the option to switch back to the original zoning without charge.

County Council sent out a release prior to the meeting reading in part:

“Berkeley County is working to rezone specific parcels in the Cordesville community to remedy possible procedural errors from the late 1990s. In order to reach this goal, the County’s Planning and Zoning Department is utilizing proper due process and actively engaging with Cordesville property owners.”

Many conservation groups opposed the change, arguing that rezoning the properties would lead to overdevelopment of the area.

During the meeting, some councilmembers took steps to mitigate concerns, noting that much of the land would remain protected under easements or by national parks regardless of the zoning.

Likewise, some councilmembers noted that the change in zoning is optional, and some landowners may choose not to rezone.