Planning & development
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I find out how a piece of property is zoned?
Answer: The quickest way to determine which zoning district a piece of property is located is to visit the Planning & Development Department, and staff will locate the property on the current zoning map. Staff may also be able to assist you over the telephone if you can accurately describe the property by address or tax map number. Our number is 803-550-9554
Question: I am opening a new business in Cayce. Do I need to get a permit for my business sign?
Answer: Yes. You must permit all signs for your new business. Please contact the Cayce Planning & Development Department as limits to the size and height of signs are applied.
Question: How do I determine if my business is allowed at the location I selected?
Answer: The City's Zoning Ordinance permits certain types of businesses in specific areas of the City. Zoning staff will assist you in determining whether a specific location is appropriately zoned for your business. Call us at 803-550-9554.
Question: I want to put a utility building in my residential backyard. Do I need to get City approval?
Answer: Yes. All accessory structures (utility buildings, detached carports, playhouses, etc.) must be reviewed by City staff to determine if the proposed structure meets setbacks and building codes requirements. A permit for construction is required even if the storage building is pre-fabricated. If you are planning to construct a structure that is less than 200 square feet, a permit is not necessary. Please contact the Planning & Development Department for more information.
Question: I want to run a business out of my home. Does the City have special requirements?
Answer: Yes. You must obtain a home occupation certificate from the Planning & Development Department and a City of Cayce business license. If you own the residence, please provide us with a copy of your deed. If you rent your residence, please provide us with a notarized letter from the property owner/property manager authorizing you to have a business at your residential address.
Question: What are your operating hours?
Answer: The Planning & Development Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Question: I want to purchase a copy of the City's Zoning Ordinance. Where do I purchase it and how much does it cost?
Answer: A copy of the Zoning Ordinance is $25.00. The Ordinance can be purchased at the Planning Department. You may also download it from our website at http://www.cityofcayce-sc.gov/files/planning/Zoning%20Ordinance%20(Working%20Copy%2012-5-13)edited%207-16-14.pdf
Question: How often does the Planning Commission meet?
Answer: The Planning Commission meets monthly, generally on the third Monday of each month.
Question: How can I find out who owns a piece of property?
Answer: Contact the Lexington County Tax Assessors office at the Lexington County Courthouse. They keep current records of property owners and sales transactions for property tax purposes. Their office is located at the Lexington County Assessor’s Office, 212 South Lake Drive, Suite 201, Lexington, SC 29072. The phone number is (803) 785-8190.
Question: Is a permit or license required by the City for a garage or yard sale?
Answer: A permit is required to hold a garage or yard sale as long as no more than one sale occurs each quarter per calendar year by any one individual, household group, family, multi-unit property or subdivision. This is a standard set forth by the State of South Carolina.
Please confirm that garage or yard sales do not violate your neighborhood covenants. This only applies if you are located in a neighborhood with covenants or deed restrictions.
Do not block the public Right-Of-Way, such as streets or sidewalks with merchandise.
Do not negatively impact the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on public Right-Of-Ways.
No signs may be posted off-premises.
Do not nail or place signs on trees, utility poles, sign posts, parkway or other city property. It is permissible to place a sign in your own vehicle, but it must be properly parked on the street to advertise your sale. Advertising in a newspaper is a good alternative.
One single-face sign, not larger than 2-feet by 3-feet, may be posted on the premises where a sale is being conducted for the duration of the sale and must be removed immediately thereafter.
Question: How do I annex my property into the City of Cayce?
Also, directional signs not to exceed 3 square feet are allowed in the Right of Way for 24 hours before the garage sale. The cost of the permit is $5.00.
Answer: First contact the Planning and Development staff at 803-550-9554 for a preliminary discussion. We will make sure that your property is eligible for annexation and that the use will be appropriate in the Zoning Ordinance. Once that is done, an application will need to be completed. From there it will go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and the to the City Council for 2 readings.
Question: Where do I get an address?
Answer:The Department of Planning and Development assigns addresses in the City of Cayce based on the guidelines of the Addressing and Road Naming Ordinances of the County. Any structure that has power, water, septic, or requires a permit should have a unique address assignment.
Question: Why do I need an address?
Answer:Addresses are essential to the E911 system. Addresses are vital for rapid response in an emergency. Any structure that has power, water, septic, or requires a permit should have a unique address.
Question: Do I have to post my address?
Answer:Yes. Per state law, Title 23 Chapter 47, all addresses should be posted on the structure or feature that is addressed. We recommend posting the address at the entrance to the driveway if the number posted on the home is not clearly visible from the road. The number can be posted on the mailbox or on a post beside the road.
Question: How are roads named?
Answer:Roads are most often named as a part of the development process. If you have questions about naming a road or would like to reserve a road name please call or visit the Department of Planning and GIS (803-785-1454) located on the 3rd floor of the County Administration Building in Lexington. Once the County reserved a road name, the City of Cayce Planning Commission then has to approve the name.
Question: Where do I report a problem with road name signs?
Answer:To report a problem with a road sign, please contact the either Kara Carmine or James Denny at 803-796-9020 and the City will contact the appropriate agency to create a work order to have the problem resolved.
Question: How do I subdivide my property?
Answer: First contact the Planning and Development staff at 803-550-9554 for a preliminary discussion. We will ensure that the subdivision will meet the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. The property will then need to be surveyed and that survey presented to the Planning & Development Department for consideration.
Question: What are subdivision restrictions/covenants?
Answer:These are private restrictions that are placed in effect by the developer of the property (parcels, lots, or tracts) during the development stages prior to the sale of such parcels, lots, or tracts. The City does not require covenants and restrictions for subdivisions.
Question: How can I get a copy of the restrictions for my subdivision?
Answer:Restrictions, often referred to as “Covenants and Restrictions”, are usually recorded in the Register of Deeds Office by the developer. They may be available for viewing online at the Register of Deeds section of the County web site or you may get a copy at the Register of Deeds Office in the County Administration Building. The Covenants and Restrictions should be in the closing documents from when the property was purchased.
Question: Who enforces the Covenants and Restrictions?
Answer:Subdivision regulations must be enforced in a private manner by the developer or the property owners of the subdivision.
Question: What is a private road?
Answer:Any road or driveway used for access to three or more parcels of land and which is not publicly maintained by Cayce, the County, or the State of South Carolina, is a private road.
Question: Can I subdivide property that is accessed by private road?
Answer:Approval by the Cayce Planning Commission is required for the subdivision of property accessed by a private road.
Question: I want to divide my property in order to give it to my children. Is this considered a subdivision?
Answer: Yes. Any dividing of property is considered a subdivision and each new lot or parcel must be provided with access to a publicly maintained road (or an approved private road), adequate storm drainage, water, sewer and meet all of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance.
Question: The Register of Deeds Office told me that I need approval by the City of Cayce before they could record my plat. Is that correct?
Answer: All plats to be recorded in the Register of Deeds Office that are within the corporate limits of Cayce must be reviewed and approved by the City of Cayce Planning & Development Department in conjunction with rules and regulations of Stormwater Management, Public Works, and the Lexington County Environmental Health Department (DHEC). Each new lot must be provided with access to a publicly maintained road (or an approved private road), adequate storm drainage, water, and sewer and meet all of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance.
Question: What is required for the approval of my plat?
Answer:In order to have your plat approved for recording, the following items are reviewed:
1. Access - A plat of a lot/parcel must show access to a publicly maintained road, which meets the requirements of the City of Cayce’s Access Policy. In order for a lot/parcel to be accessed from a private road, approval by the Planning Commission is required.
2. Water and Sewer Availability - Any lot less than 1 acre in area must be approved by the Lexington County Environmental Health Department for septic system suitability or proof must be provided to show that an existing sewer service is available from a public utility. Any lot 1 acre or larger is usually not reviewed for water and sewer availability.
3. When Can a Subdivision be Reviewed Over-the-Counter - In most cases, a plat showing 1 or 2 lots can be reviewed as a simple over-the-counter plat provided the total acreage of the lot being subdivided equals the total sum of the acreage of the two lots being created. Subdividing which creates a total of three or more lots must go through a formal subdivision review by staff. Generally, the subdividing of a lot on a privately maintained road cannot be approved as a simple over-the-counter plat.
4. Recordable Quality - plats submitted for approval must bear the original signature of a South Carolina Registered Surveyor and include the surveyor’s embossed seal.
Question: My house is located in a subdivision and I want to fence in my back yard.
Answer: The City of Cayce does very little to regulate residential fencing. Keep in mind that some private subdivision restrictions/covenants may regulate and/or prohibit fencing. If your subdivision has such private restrictions in effect, they would be recorded with the County Register of Deeds and are not enforced by the Planning and Development Department. If you plan on constructing a fence of 7 feet or greater in height, you are required to apply for a construction permit.
Question: I see many “stick in the ground” type signs and signs on utility poles and road signs along the roadways, are these allowed?
Answer: The Zoning Ordinance does not allow signs to be placed within road rights-of-way, or sign placement on utility poles or road/street signs.
Question: When is a building permit required?
Answer: Application for a permit shall be made to the Building Official and a permit shall be obtained prior to commencing any of the following activities: Construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion or demolition of a building or structure, including the installation or altering of any equipment regulated by the International Building Code; Change of Occupancy of an existing structure when a new certificate is required by the International Building Code; movement of a lot line that increases the hazard to or decreases the level of safety of an existing building or structure; removing or disturbing any asbestos containing materials during demolition, alteration, renovation of or additions to buildings or structures.
Also, a building permit will be required as the Building Official deems necessary. If you have any questions please contact the Building Official at 803-550-9502
Question: Who may apply for a building permit?
Answer:Any person applying to the Building Inspections Division for a permit shall furnish prior to the issuance of the permit, either satisfactory proof to the building official that he is duly licensed as a contractor in the State of South Carolina or file an Owner/Builder Affidavit with the permit application indicating that he is exempt from the licensing requirement.
Question: May someone else obtain a permit for me?
Answer:Certain professionals employed in connection with the project may also obtain permits. The owner may also have a designated agent to obtain permits. An agent is anyone the owner has given authority to act on his or her behalf. Evidence of this authority may be provided as a signed statement on the permit application or a check for permit fees bearing the owner's name and signature.
Question: Should I purchase the permit or let my contractor purchase it?
Answer:It is our opinion, in almost all instances, the contractor should be required to obtain the permit as part of the project agreement. This is simply because the permit holder is the party responsible for the work and complying with the codes and regulations.
If the owner is not performing this work his or her self, with members of his/her immediate family or with W-2 employees of his/her company, the contractor actually doing the work is required to be licensed and must obtain the required permit, not the owner.
An owner wishing to do some of the work his or her self may qualify to be listed as a subcontractor on the permit for this portion of the work. If you decide to purchase permits yourself, you are responsible for all code requirements and if portions of the project are subcontracted, you must use licensed subcontractors and have those subcontractors properly listed on your permit.
Question: What type of permit do I need?
Answer:The City of Cayce issues a combination permit when work on a project involves the building trade and at least one other specialty trade. In these cases, a general contractor or the owner, if he/she qualifies, must obtain the permit and list all subcontractors working on the project. If only one trade is involved in the project, the appropriately licensed contractor or exempt person obtains the permit.
Question: How long is a permit valid?
Answer:A permit remains valid for as long as the work is proceeding, and an inspection is performed within the last 6 months. If the work is halted or abandoned for a period of at least 6 months, the permit may be suspended. Extensions may be granted by the Building Official. Letters are sent to permit holders advising them that a permit has expired. The permit holder must apply for an extension in writing and receive approval prior to proceeding with the project.
The Planning & Development Department, as the permit issuer, must have approved inspections recorded in our files for a permit to remain active. If you haven’t started your project or called for any inspections in 180 days or more, your permit will expire. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to prove to the Building Official that work has not been suspended or abandoned. Extensions are not guaranteed.
Question: May a permit be voided?
Answer:Permits may only be voided by the Building Official when false or fraudulent information has been provided on the application. Otherwise, the permit may be cancelled by the applicant.
Question: Who can apply for a permit?
Answer:Application for a permit shall be made by one of the following: owner or lessee of the relevant property, agent of either owner or lessee of the relevant property, the Registered Design Professional (RDP) associated with the work or any of their agents, the Licensed Contractor associated with the work or any of their agents. The full name and address of the owner, lessee, and applicant shall be provided in the application. If the owner or lessee is a corporate body, when and to the extent determined necessary by the Building Official, the full name and address of the responsible officers shall also be provided.
Question: Who can obtain a permit?
Answer:Any person applying to the Planning & Development Department for the construction, removal, or improvement of any structure shall furnish prior to the issuance of a permit, either satisfactory proof to the Building Official that he is duly licensed as a contractor in the State of South Carolina of file an Owner/Builder Affidavit with the permit application indicating that he is exempt from the licensing requirement.