More Red Tape On The Way?

Below is an email that many of us received today from the Home Builders Association. Some of these bullet points sound borderline intrusive. I hope that “Red Tape” does not get in the way of my soon to be installed black shutters…. FJ

Call To Action
The City of Columbia Planning Commission will discuss the adoption of “Interim Measures for Community Character Protection” for the following neighborhoods at their meeting on Monday, December 3rd beginning at 5:15 pm in City Council Chambers – Cottonwood, Heathwood, Hollywood/RoseHill, Shandon, Wales Garden, and Sherwood Forest.

If you own properties in these neighborhoods your homes/investments could be affected in the following ways:

  • If you want to expand or change your house in any way that is visible from the street (additions, shutters, screen doors, convert porch to room, etc.) except paint color, you will need permission from the Design Development Review Commission (DDRC).
  • All residential structures used as housing are affected.
  • All changes made to your house must make your home look consistent with the other houses in the neighborhood (height, materials, design).
  • The Design Development Review Commission’s decisions are appealable only to SC Circuit Court (not City Council). This process could take several years.
  • If you have a large lot and you want to subdivide and sell it, you no longer can do so in most circumstances.
  • If you want to demolish your house, you will need permission from the DDRC.
  • If you want to demolish an old house that will cost more to renovate than rebuild, you probably cannot do so anymore

We expect some favorable amendments to be offered to the interim measures requiring a majority vote of the property owners to opt in for the “community protection measures” rather than a decision of those that may have attended a meeting of the Homeowners Association. You need to attend the Planning Commission meeting in support of this amendment.

You should also plan to attend the Public Hearing before City Council on January 16, 2008 at 10:00 am. This may be the last chance you get to speak for yourself and your investments.


  1. This is absurd. When you own your own lot and/or house, you should be able to do what you want on it within some reasonable limits, but not these.

  2. No kidding. I was reading some of the documents today, regarding one of Columbia’s neighborhoods that is already under this sort of jurisdiction. One of the items it mentions, is that if a homeowner doesn’t have shutters now, or documentation that shutters ever existed (a picture, i guess), then the house can’t have shutters now. What!?

    The rules even mention that a homeowner can’t put a storm door on their house. It also reads that a homeowner can’t just replace windows if they want.

    If a homeowner wants to modernize their windows so that they can save money on their electric bill, should they have to wait months for permission? I’m all for a more perfect Columbia, but there must be a better way.

  3. bring back Sherman and let’s start over

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