Section 9-8-26

Land-use regulations - Procedure for adoption; amendment, repeal, etc.; contents; publication, etc.

(a) The supervisors of any district shall have authority to formulate regulations governing the use of lands within the district in the interest of conserving soil and soil resources and preventing and controlling soil erosion. The supervisors may conduct such public meetings and public hearings upon tentative regulations as may be necessary to assist them in this work. The supervisors shall not have authority to enact such land-use regulations into law until after they shall have caused due notice to be given of their intention to conduct a referendum for submission of such regulations to the owners of lands lying within the boundaries of the district for their indication of approval or disapproval of such proposed regulations and until after the supervisors have considered the result of such referendum. The proposed regulations shall be embodied in a proposed ordinance. Copies of such proposed ordinance shall be available for the inspection of all eligible voters during the period between publication of such notice and the date of the referendum. The notices of the referendum shall recite the contents of such proposed ordinance or shall state where copies of such proposed ordinance may be examined. The question shall be submitted by ballots upon which the words "For approval of proposed ordinance No ____, prescribing land-use regulations for conservation of soil and prevention of erosion" and "Against approval of proposed ordinance No ____, prescribing land-use regulations for conservation of soil and prevention of erosion" shall be printed, with a square before each proposition and a direction to insert an X mark in the square before one or the other of said propositions as the voter may favor or oppose approval of such proposed ordinance. The supervisors shall supervise such referendum, shall prescribe appropriate regulations governing the conduct thereof, shall take charge of all ballots and count them and shall publish the result thereof. All owners of lands within the district shall be eligible to vote in such referendum. Only such landowners shall be eligible to vote. No informalities in the conduct of such referendum or in any matters relating thereto shall invalidate said referendum or the result thereof if notice thereof shall have been given substantially as provided in this section and said referendum shall have been fairly conducted. The qualifications of voters shall be determined in the same manner as set forth in subsection (c) of Section 9-8-23. The supervisors shall not have authority to enact such proposed ordinance into law unless at least four fifths of the votes cast in such referendum shall have been cast for approval of the said proposed ordinance. The approval of the proposed ordinance by four fifths of the votes cast in such referendum shall not be deemed to require the supervisors to enact such proposed ordinance into law. Land-use regulations prescribed in ordinances adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section by the supervisors of any district shall have the force and effect of law in the said district and shall be binding and obligatory upon all owners of lands within such district. Any owner of land within such district may at any time file a petition with the supervisors asking that any or all of the land-use regulations prescribed in any ordinance adopted by the supervisors under the provisions of this section shall be amended, supplemented or repealed. Land-use regulations prescribed in any ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be amended, supplemented or repealed except in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this section for adoption of land-use regulations. Referenda on adoption, amendment, supplementation or repeal of land-use regulations shall not be held more often than once in 12 months.

(b) The regulations to be adopted by the supervisors under the provisions of this section may include:

(1) Provisions requiring the carrying out of necessary engineering operations including, but not limited to, the construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, dikes, ponds, ditches and other necessary structures;

(2) Provisions requiring observance of particular methods of cultivation including, but not limited to, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, lister furrowing, sowing, planting, strip cropping, seeding and planting of lands to water-conserving and erosion-preventing plants, trees and grasses, forestation and reforestation and prevention, and control of fire in woodlands;

(3) Specifications of cropping programs and tillage practices to be observed;

(4) Provisions requiring the retirement from cultivation of highly erodible areas or of areas on which erosion may not be adequately controlled if cultivation is carried on; and

(5) Provisions for such other means, measures, operations and programs as may assist conservation of soil resources and prevent or control soil erosion in the district, having due regard to the legislative findings set forth in Section 9-8-21.

The regulations shall be uniform throughout the territory comprised within the district except that the supervisors may classify the lands within the district with reference to such factors as soil type, degree of slope, degree of erosion threatened or existing cropping and tillage practices in use and other relevant factors and may provide regulations varying with the type or class of land affected, but uniform as to all lands within each class or type.

(c) Copies of land-use regulations adopted under the provisions of this section shall be printed and made available to all occupiers and owners of lands lying within the district.

(Acts 1939, No. 147, p. 202, §8; Code 1940, T. 2, §664.)