Lexington County just implemented a six month moratorium on all new developments. This governmental overreach will result in less housing inventory, higher prices and the end of affordable housing in the County Plus it will do nothing to stem the growth demand in the county. How many roads can they build in six months?!?!?
But don't think this could not happen to you. Mount Pleasant has a moratorium and Greenville considered one too. The government's poor planning is now your problem! Earl McLeod, Executive Director of the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina, joins me to discuss what is happening and how to address the issue with your county council members.
Plus a combined episode of "Its the End of the World as We Know It" and Gary's Good News Only. Could this be the end of the media's panic porn on Covid. Doubtful.
Dirt with Gary Pickering, South Carolina's only podcast dedicated to the real estate agents crowd, and greetings and salutations from the offices of Blair Cato. I'm Gary picker and you're somewhat talented, very opinionated, and often correct host and this week, we have a doozy of a show. We are going to talk to you today about what Lexington County is doing to screw builders, developers, real estate agent, anyone who was land, and basically anybody who just wants to buy a house in Lexington County, but don't think if you don't live in Lexington County, that you're okay, you're free in this Nope. The city of Greenville even tried and contemplated this same type of overreach as well. So you need to learn what these counties, states, municipalities, what all of them can do that will greatly affect your business. Now, this week, we're going to have Earl McLeod, he is the executive director of the Building Industry Association, that's basically the Home Builders Association, and our local market, and he's going to join us to break down what's going on what they've done, why they've done it, and how we're going to get out of this huge mass. We're also gonna have a very special edition of the end of the world as we know it in Gary's good news, only a role in these two segments and the one big old mass, and we're going to talk about some of the media panic porn. And so we're gonna talk about a lot of great COVID stuff, and go from there. If you do like our podcast, and looks like a lot of you do, because we're way over 8000 downloads so far. But if you like us, please like us, share us and subscribe to us now, or overcloud, Executive Director of the BA in central South Carolina, Earl, he has the BA and a lot of people's opinion, Earl has been at the forefront of protecting builders, developers, real estate agents. For many years, I've been in this business for 26 years. I don't ever remember a time, Earl McLeod wasn't doing everything he could to help trying to make sure that you as a real estate agent, you as a developer, you as a builder, and just general homeowners are protected and have the best access to quality housing. If you're not a member of the VA, you should be because the VA is out there fighting for you, and trying to make sure that you're able to do what you do without counties like Lexington and others overreaching and doing things they shouldn't be doing. So Earl, thank you very much for being here and talking about this very important subject. You're even glad to be with you. And it is a very important topic. So we appreciate the opportunity to share with your audience what what we've learned so far. Tell me what is going on in Lexington County. Selection county has given first reading to a moratorium that would limit all new applications for residential subdivisions of 10. Lots or more, or any subdivision with lots less than one half acre that was made effective immediately as of April 13. How so utilize a little known tool called the pending ordnance doctrine. So they gave first reading to the moratorium and invoked the pending ordinates doctrine which made it effective immediately. What exactly is this moratorium in layman's speak, do basically we can't build any more lot, it pretty much blocks any new applying for a new residential subdivision. Those that were already considered to be fully formally submitted, will go forward. Those were basically you had not submitted the engineering for a subdivision. Even though you may have bought the property, even though you may have started your initial engineering, and incurred tremendous amount of cost per stop for 180 days from the third reading of this ordinance. So it's probably more like 220 days from April 13. And it could be extended, that we're talking well into November if not longer. Very, very true. And most of these developers are probably have borrowed money and are gonna continue to have to make these payments. While they are basically shut down for six months. The developer builders are certainly we expect this quite a few have incurred a loss. But you know, equally important are those property owners that may have felt that their property was being sold at the highest best use, or there may have been pending contracts that is very likely that the builder developers will have to walk away from those contracts or renegotiate the price based on the actions of county council. That's very true because most builders or developers when they bought us land, they usually have a four to six month due diligence period which allows them to walk so if a builder or developers in a process of doing due diligence And this just gets levied. I would imagine most of those builders developers is gonna say Thanks, but no thanks on your property is very likely that that will happen because we expect in this 180 day period, that there will be changes to the zoning land development code. See, you don't know what you might be required to do at the end of the moratorium. So it's be very highly speculative to move forward with any deals at this point. Just not knowing what to take a come out and say minimum of three acres per lot, they could come out and say, how sighs 5000 square feet and they could do anything? absolutely anything. What is Lexington say? Is the rationale or the reason behind this? So I'm gonna give you a long answer to your question, because perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this to me is that Lexington County provides their agendas on a on the Friday, before Tuesday. So on Friday, April 9, we review all agendas. And we saw that this moratorium was on their agenda for Tuesday's meeting. There had been no previous discussions in public of a moratorium, there's been no outreach to stakeholders to discuss why they thought it necessary to impose such a drastic measure. There at first reading was no opportunity for the public to comment. In fact, we were not able to even see the ordinance a copy of the ordinance until they voted. And they provided it at the end of the meeting. All very sacred. Very. So to answer your question. We're not exactly sure they say they need a pause. You know, they, we've seen comments in local articles that say that we're growing rapidly, and they the infrastructure needs to be upgraded. And we need to there's a traffic problem. I mean, those are all things we're well aware of, what are they gonna do in six months to alleviate that recently, they go build roads. I mean, build more schools in six months, but what they said they're gonna do. Realistically, I don't think there's anything they could do have any consequence. They could certainly work toward updating their comprehensive plan, which they've already started in that process is underway. There's several ordinances that are being amended and underway right now dealing with setbacks and things that seem to be that are important to members of county council, why we have to invoke a moratorium and to continue to move and not move forward is a mystery to me and those interested parties, it seemed like they think they put this moratorium that people just quit moving to Lexington. And that's not going to be the case. And we know from VA has had many meetings with your economist who talks about the rapid growth of Colombia, it's growing like crazy, it's going to continue to grow. And just because a county city state neighborhood or whatever doesn't want it to happen, I don't think means it won't happen. I don't understand the rationale behind is this affecting entire county and all areas of unincorporated Lexan. County. So it would not include those areas within the jurisdiction of the town of Lexington or the town of Gilbert, or the town of Irma. But it would basically prove all your rural areas, because we're good developments going on. Yeah, I mean, there's nowhere else to go. There's no there's not 50 acres in downtown Lexington to build. But there may be 50 acres rule area down near downtown that would be able to be built and I do a split we'll see more annexations by local towns that are welcoming the growth and when that can provide the services needed. So I think those areas surrounding town election will continue to see that growth. And builders and developers will choose to seek annexation so that they can provide the so much needed housing today. You You're aware and I'm sure your audience is aware though inventory of available housing is the lowest that I can remember and many people that have been in this business even longer than that. Go every member having such low inventory, less than a month. Yeah, people want houses need housing, and Lexan county is moving to eliminate additional housing thing about growth as it brings new tax dollars in which then allows these counties to provide better schools, more schools, more hospitals more rooftops, which brings in more and better retail and more restaurants, which is what people want and And I don't understand how they think not providing the people what they want is good government, it seems to me as their failure to plan is now become our problem. Yeah, I think we all share in the problems to some degree. But the builders, developers have to comply with what the current rules regulations are. And they're doing that. And now they're being punished for complying with what the current rules and regulations allow. But you're right, rooftop spring commercial development, which pays a very higher property tax rate, which is all the municipalities, jurisdictions seek that commercial property tax. So what is commercial also bring IRL jobs? Absolutely. And jobs, were out there providing incentives to create new jobs. And we're not going to have anywhere for those employees to work. Once a city gets to a million people in that area, then it opens the door for other higher level businesses, that certain types of industries just will not come to a community that doesn't have a million residents, because there's not enough workforce for them. We need to continue to grow in a responsible manner. We all agree with that. But we need the growth so that we continue to bring in these good high paying jobs. And we need housing that is affordable, attainable for those employees, for our children, for our grandchildren. How is this gonna affect affordable housing? There's no way for it to go but up. Right, you take we've got a perfect storm right now with the tremendous increase in the price of lumber and building materials, which is increased the price of a home in just the past 12 months, somewhere around 14 to $16,000 house just in building materials. Combine that with the low inventory and, you know, your listings are getting full price. There's there's no good negotiating, other than there's bidding wars on the available house out there. And now this movement to eliminate additional housing is going to make housing less affordable, unattainable for the people that can least afford our plus supply demand, our public safety officers, our employees, your workforce housing, teachers. Yeah, I mean, that's the problem is as they continue to make more or less and less houses, we know the builders are going to go through their inventory very soon unless something changes. So as the builders run through their inventory, there's no inventory of builders left and Lexington, it then turns completely to resale. There is no inventory and resale. So those that are on the market prices are going to skyrocket. And as you said this 150 to 200,000. Market, you forget I think the prices are going to go higher and higher. And I think the availability is going to be less Now have you seen I know you work a lot with local but you also do a lot with a state HBA. Have you all seen these types of moratoriums and other counties before? To my knowledge, Gary, there's never been a county in South Carolina to adopt a countywide moratorium. Mount Pleasant has adopted moratoriums over the years, the city of climpson has adopted a moratorium. Greenville had under discussion. The sia Greenville moratorium at the same time that this took place. But they actually held meetings with the public stakeholders. And they decided to move forward and not about the moratorium. That's good news. I've heard Mount Pleasant doing in the past. And one of my friends who's a lawyer down there said all it did was increase the cost of housing and the supply dwindled. But this wouldn't affect an individual who owns land building on their own land, would it? It would not in long as you're building less than 10 subdivisions of that property. I think their intent was if a family owned a piece of land and wanted to give 40 acres to each of the three children, you'd still be allowed to do that. And economically, it's just not very economically feasible to develop a six or a seven lot subdivision is higher. Absolutely. And there seems to be a push and effort to allow those that are upper income levels. And maybe not be very accommodating to those that are not I know that you'd so many go about this passing with very little fanfare, but it was kind of hidden from everybody. I know that the realtors Association today in the state newspaper came out and oppose that. So Are y'all working together with the realtors associations Estate Association? I know Byron and Nick are probably all over this. Are y'all working with him? What steps are y'all doing to try to fix this or stop this? We are working together and we have also reached out to the local chamber. of commerce. We have many people involved with the building and providing materials and services to homes that are chamber members. So we're asking them to reach out to those chambers and publicly join us in opposition to this moratorium. This is not good for the area is not good for any business. So we would hope that those chambers would also speak up publicly in opposition to the moratorium, but basically, it's going to take citizenship pressure to get this to go away at this point. It is and what the members of county council they're hearing from those people that don't like the traffic that don't want that new home in their backyard, the typical NIMBY arguments, I've got mine and you don't get to get yours. A lot of the opposition actually seemed to be coming from those that are recently moved to the area is a very selfish approach, actually. And that I won't my dream, but I'm not with you have yours by me and it just doesn't work. You can't just say Lexington County is not going to grow anymore. We're going to we're capping it at this number of residents and nobody else can grow to move here. It's just it's not going to work. It never has worked places and I just don't see that. passing these moratoriums is going to stop anything, what can assistant do just contact her Councilmember I complain, they need to contact the council members and talk about the impact that has on them and their families. And it needs to be done quickly. We cannot determine exactly the schedule for second and third reading of the ordinance even though it is effective as of Tuesday, April 13. Still requires two more votes. We've been told that perhaps there might not be a public hearing on the ordinance, which I don't think is certainly appropriate. That would not be referred to the Planning Commission, which is typical of any ordinance that would amend the zoning ordinance, or, you know, deal with planning. And this is supposed to be a planning tool. Yet, we've been told and won't go to planning commission for discussion. A few minutes that we have left. I do want to kind of shift to something you mentioned earlier that doesn't really relate to this anymore. But you mentioned about the price of lumber and construction things I understand I've done a couple of podcasts where we talked about the price of lumber going up. I understand the price of hv AC units is going up. Is that also correct? The CPI has crossed the board I heard today from a builder that he can't close on housing because he can't get paint. Hey, okay, get the sheetrock mud. It's almost across the board anymore. We've had delays and windows and doors, six to eight weeks. delays in getting appliance packages. A lot of this goes back to the shutdown that occurred over the past 14 months. In the demand for homes. People want to be in a home, we were told to go home, we were told to stay home. And now we're being told we can't build on do we see any relief at all coming down on lumber prices or any of this stuff? We can't see anything in the near future. We we've reached out through our national association of homebuilders to the bad administration, many members of the Cabinet to make sure that they're aware of just how severe This is, as well as our congressional delegation is no simple answer. But production has got to be increased to meet the demand. Mr. Bass get supply and demand. But it seems unusual of some things that are just not available that we can't understand why to show our audience how forward thinking that URL and the BA have been on this topic. I remember three years ago, I think it was three if not four years ago, when we took the bus trip to Washington to meet with our representatives. I remember you being in Lindsey Graham's office and telling them that this exact problem was going to happen. Y'all told them there was a problem with lumber that lumber prices were going to skyrocket and we needed help on getting this lumber situation under control. That was three if not four years ago. That just tells us how good of a job you guys do at the VA looking ahead at issues that we're going to have yours worse than we ever anticipated though you take the sheet of OSB which is your wall sheathing or, or your roof sheathing. I mean 14 months ago that was six months a sheep today is over 60 does a thing of the past. It keeps saying affordable housing but affordable housing means builders building for houses and houses at a loss they got to pass on those costs are it's amazing to me I thought Mike Satterfield CEO group Southern homes, been in this business for 35 years and he says, You know, I feel like I'm starting for the first time. So every day is something different. That is just the buy Experience doesn't help me anymore. It's all new or old. We appreciate everything that the VA does in our industry. Every real estate agent needs to be a part of the VA, your dollars that you contribute to the VA, and to the PACs goes so far to helping resolve issues like the issue we're seeing at Lexington, which could have been an issue in Greenville, which you know, and helping us with the lumber issue. So, Earl, our last question for you is how can somebody join the VA? Now I'm sure that if they contacted you, you'd be glad to provide them an application. Amen. Also, you can go to our website, www ba of Central SC comm you can join online, Yury, let me just stress how important it is that our real estate community contact members of county council and talk to them about the economic consequences of this action. We've they got to hear from the business community, the real estate community and those that want to buy a home that paint very much agree. Well, I really do appreciate you joining us today, and love to have you back in the future. And now it's my special episode of the end of the world as we know it. And here is good news all tied into one. So the question is is fearmongering on the COVID virus dying? Is it not going to be any more media panic porn or not? And it's my caveat that I'll give you the same caveat always give me which is Look, I recognize that COVID is daily and that people have died from COVID. But the media has done a tremendously poor job of covering COVID. And let's talk about how things are changing. So Friday night, Bill Maher, who the famous comedian came out and took aim at the media is panic porn. During the pandemic he cited a Dartmouth study that showed that nearly 90% of the US national media coverage was negative in comparison to other countries even as conditions were getting much better. He also then cited a Gallup survey that showed that the vast majority of Democrats incorrectly estimated overestimated the probability of being hospitalized from COVID with 41%, believing that at least 50% chance 50% chance that if you got COVID that you would be hospitalized for the true answer is only one to 5%. And only 10% of Democrats got that correctly what 20% 26% of Republicans said the same. So even regardless of party, this is not a political argument. This is just talking about how bad the media and which media outlet you listen to has a direct effect on how much panic porn you're getting. Now the HBO star even blasted the Atlantic magazine for shame in the media, his use of the beach photos, as concerning further spread of the virus, even though he says is increasingly looks like the beach is the best place to avoid sunshine, he says is the best disinfectant. And vitamin D is a key to a robust immune system. Texas lifted his COVID restrictions recently in their infection rates actually went down, in part because people were getting outside to let the sun and the wind do their thing. And he finishes by saying this look as to what I'm saying, I don't want politics mixed in with my medical decisions. I don't want to mix it with my sports, quite frankly. And that's all we're hearing now. And now that's even in politics. That's all we do. If their side says COVID is nothing our side says it has to be everything. So I think he nailed that on the head. The second part he gets into his kind of social media what role they're having in this problem. He said a lot of people think Dom because about talking about OBC becoming the third rail in America is a key piece of the puzzle. By far the most pertinent factor and COVID Would you dare not speak its name? Imagine how many people's lives could have been saved with there have been a national campaign. All of Michelle Obama's let's move program with the urgency of the pandemic behind it. Well, more said, if the media and the doctors made the point to keep saying but there is something you can do, but we'll never know because they never did it. Because the last thing you want to do is say something that's quite insensitive, you would literally rather die. Instead we were told just to lock down unfortunately the killer was already inside our house and her name is Little Debbie. Now it's funny but it's also very true. Now to see how things are changing. Even Slate Magazine published an article on Saturday and they've been one of the main leaders of panic porn, and they said stop wearing mask outside that studies were showing outdoor transmission of viruses extremely rare. Even the washington post which I call the Washington compost said that it was clear it was safe to be outside flashback to his coverage of large gatherings last year at the likes of Ozark as possible super spreaders and even talk about how the Super Bowl out crowded people were going to die. Mr. Panic poured himself from singing and Dr. ie sch Ashish Jha said he expects days to begin lifting outdoor mass mendacious the next few weeks. He says we've known for year that outdoor infections are extremely rare. Now he's the head of Dean of Brown University School of Public Health. He said this on Sunday. He then said they only happen when you have a large packed rally for instance. So if you're not participating, one of those Think it's pretty safe to be out and about walking around without a mask, especially in large parts of the country where infection numbers are unreal are under reasonable control. So my question is this. Why you just now telling us this? If you've known for a year, why have you not said anything for a year? Because panic sales, that's the bottom line. So just how piss poor as are already now informed as Americans will look at this chart. I mentioned this earlier, Bill Maher mentioned this. Democrats believe 41% of them believe there's a 50% chance you will go to the hospital if you can track COVID 28% of Republicans and 35% of independents think there's a 50% chance. In fact, 88% of Democrats are wrong on it. All, but 30% of Republicans and all the 23% of independents are wrong on it. So regardless which party you're in, people are wrong about it, the right answer is one to 5% closer to one to five, that just shows you the vast majority of people have been so misinformed by the government including falchi on this, should we be worried about re infections and cases? We shouldn't be because when you want people to take the vaccine, but then you constantly come out with these penipuan. And I don't know who these idiots are that decided this was the way to market taking the vaccine to have Fauci get up there and tell people that you still can get COVID you still got to keep wearing your mask, you still got a social distance. You shouldn't go to ballgames you shouldn't go to concerts, you can't eat in a restaurant, and then expect somebody to take the vaccine because what's the point? So let's talk about somebody who's actually not a hacker name is Monica Gandhi. She is a epidemiologist who actually knows what she's talking about the University of California, San Francisco, she said breakthrough infections, according to CDC, his own numbers, if you take out the 29% of the 5814, who are asymptomatic, the rate of breakthrough infection is actually a very Are you ready for this? 0.00005 which is to put it in percentage number is 0.005%. In her words, that's utterly amazing if she took the sympathy a sympathetic asymptomatic people out because she says that actually shows the vaccines working and asymptomatic people don't typically infect people. Another study showed that reinfection reinfection chances after vaccine are almost completely non existence 0.0075% and the possibility of death at this point is less than being struck by lightning. There are probably 100 things you do throughout the day that is typically more likely to kill you think COVID after you've been vaccinated. So how about panic or porn when they shame people in mass squaring well, Cal Becker reported. He goes on to mention the numerous studies since April 20 April of 2020, which said the first one was mask have no effect for cell protection or protect the third parties may 20 of may 22,020 mask could even increase the risk of infection. Another study may 2020 said no mask had no effect in a CDC study of all study. That's the CDC study. A July study cloth mask have no effect on COVID December 2020 masks continue to cause a rise in bacterial pneumonia which I believe nobody washes it arm things. February 2020, no evidence supporting the effectiveness of non medical and medical facemask March 2021, which was just a few weeks ago, they did a study for over nine months to shed mask reduce causes in case death only by a range of point 5% and the confident razor that was 95% which basically rendered it statistically meaningless. And then of course, Stanford just came out with a study of April 2021, which I have to read you a few sentences of this, the existing scientific evidence challenged the safety and efficacy of wearing face masks as preventive intervention from COVID-19. The data suggests that both medical and non medical face masks are quote ineffective to block human to human transmission of viral and infectious diseases such as so a SARS COVID dash two or COVID-19. Support against the use of the face mask wearing face masks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effect. And I won't go into all of these things. But it says government policymakers and health organizations should utilize proper and scientific evidence based approach with respect to wearing face mask when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health. point being is at least people now are finally understanding we have looked 15 months of real life data that we can lean on to really find out what truly is happened with COVID. There's no conjecture, there's no supposition. We actually know because we've lived it for 15 months. And that is Gary's good news. Oh, well, I hope you enjoyed this week's show with Earl I really appreciate him, helping us to learn more about what's going on in Lexington. I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend and we'll Tune in again next week.