COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

Conserving Land Protects The Balance Of Human And Nature

Based on the 2012 Census, South Carolina's population increased by 2.1 percent (98,000 people) between April 2010 and July 2012. Meanwhile, the tri-county area population increased by 4.9 percent (33,000 people), making this area the 12th fastest growing metropolitan region in the nation. As the Lowcountry continues to expand, it is our responsibility to respond with thoughtful development placed where it adds value, not cost.

  • In the United States, urban sprawl consumes two million acres of land each year. Currently, SC ranks 5th nationally in urban sprawl.
  • Sprawling communities need longer public roads, increase the cost of new water and sewer hookups by 20 to 40 percent, impose higher costs on police and fire depts. and schools. These costs are passed to business and residents through higher taxes and fees. In most cases, sprawling developments do not generate enough property taxes to cover these added costs.
  • Shifting only 25% of anticipated low-density development to more high compact development could save billions over time.
  • In the 2001 State Survey respondents viewed growth management as one of the most important problems facing SC, ranking higher than taxes, crime, and transportation.
  • Residential development in particular costs communities more than they stand to gain in taxes. Conserving land makes more economic sense over the long term in many situations
  • Wasteful land use is the problem, not development itself. From 1982 to 2007, the U.S. population grew by 30 percent. During the same time period, developed land increased 57 percent.