South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

County Governments

Below is listing of South Carolina coastal counties. All those seeking to undertake activities in one of these counties must comply with applicable county regulations, in addition to the State and Federal regulations listed elsewhere on this website. Residents of incorporated areas may have local, city or town regulations in addition to the county regulations. Please contact the appropriate person in your county (and if applicable, local) office to ensure you are complying with the most recent requirements. Some documents require Adobe Reader to access. A free copy can be downloaded from the Adobe site.

In Beaufort County the Zoning Department issues initial permits. If applicable, the Building Codes Department issues building permits. Some forms needed to complete this process are available here.
Go to the Beaufort County webpage

In Berkeley County the Building and Code Enforcement Department is in charge of ensuring code compliance and issuing building permits. Many of the forms that are necessary to get a building permit can be found here. The full text of the ordinances can be found at this site. You might have to contact the Planning and Zoning Department if you are subdividing land or if you need land rezoned, a variance, special exception permit or to appeal a decision.
Go to the Berkeley County webpage

In Charleston County the Building Inspection Services Department is in charge of making sure applicable standards for various aspects of construction, such as plumbing and electrical, are met for the county and unincorporated parts. However, the Zoning and Planning Department is in charge of actually issuing permits. If you live in an incorporated area there may be additional local regulations. Links to city and town websites are provided on the County webpage.
Go to the Charleston County webpage

Colleton County has its Building Codes online. Colleton County's Planning and Development office issues building permits.
Go to the Colleton County webpage

Dorchester County does not have its county regulations posted online. However contact information for the various departments is posted online here. The rules about the Ashley River Historic District have recently changed. These changes are posted online at this site.
Go to the Dorchester County webpage

In Georgetown County, the Building Division and Permits is the department in charge of building codes and permits, and ensures compliance with building codes, performs inspections and issues all the requisite permits. Their website is located here.
Go to the Georgetown County webpage

In Horry County the Planning and Zoning Department is in charge of writing land development regulations and provides information on zoning ordinances and certificates of compliance. The Code Enforcement Department issues building permits and does fire inspections for commercial buildings in unincorporated areas.
Go to the Horry County webpage

Jasper County Zoning and Land Development Regulations are online. The Building Department is responsible for issuing new building permits.
Go to the Jasper County webpage

Last Updated October 29, 2010


This project was supported through a generous grant from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. The principal investigator is Professor Kim Diana Connolly at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Two law students, Keith Bartlett and Valerie Cochran, provided invaluable work toward project completion. Technical assistance with web design was provided by USC School of Law webmaster Tobias Brasier. Broken links should be reported to lawweb@law.sc.edu. This website is NOT intended as legal advice, and particularized analysis by professionals should be sought wherever appropriate.