Lexington County officials are struggling to come up with a residential blight prevention plan.
The challenge is developing controls satisfactory for suburban neighborhoods, where many residents favor them, while excluding rural areas where the idea is unpopular, council members say.
“We’ve got to figure out how to do it in a way that is beneficial and doesn’t hurt,” Councilman Jim Kinard of Swansea said.
Requirements under consideration include specifying that grass can be no more than 12 inches high and that buildings be maintained so they do not become dilapidated.
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Many of the proposed standards for home upkeep are similar to those in half of the county’s 14 municipalities.
Conservative groups are attacking the push for a plan as burdensome.
“It’s seen as piling on,” said Councilman Todd Cullum of Cayce. “This is one of those times when we need to be very deliberative.”
Initial interest in putting the standards into effect only in areas chosen by council members faded amid complaints that it would produce a confusing checkerboard of where the requirements apply.
Settling on a plan acceptable to both sides promises to be difficult, said Councilman Bobby Keisler of Red Bank.
The center of the county that he represents is a mix of neighborhoods with homeowners for and against the idea.
“It’s going to be very, very tough for anything to find sufficient support,” Keisler said.