Judge files full order

A South Carolina judge has filed a full order of his earlier ruling in favor of a set of Oconee County zoning challengers. It’s an approximate 15-page order that details Judge Lawton McIntosh’s ruling in favor of Jean Jennings, David McMahan and others in their challenge of Oconee County’s agricultural residential zoning classification. The plaintiffs had sought traditional rural zoning for their property near Lake Keowee and objected to the county’s decision to impose an agricultural residential. They view the zoning applied to their property as a limit on their use of it agriculturally. McIntosh agreed with their contention that the zoning “explicitly contradicts” South Carolina’s Right to Farm Act. The judge’s order concludes with “the Court finds that the Agricultural Residential zoning district, by the language in its intent and definition section, attempts to regulate agricultural operations and agricultural facilities outside the scope of state provisions; therefore, such regulations are null and void as they apply to agricultural operations and agricultural facilities that would otherwise be lawful under state provisions and the Right to Farm Act.” The order, filed yesterday in the Common Pleas Court, apparently starts the clock on a period in which Oconee County may appeal the decision.