The pattern most similar to the current trend for development in the Upstate, dispersed development is a low-density pattern that promotes sprawling growth across the rural landscape of the region.

Characteristics include:

  • Less development in existing city centers;
  • Added growth scattered throughout the region;
  • Jobs and businesses separated from residential areas;
  • Increased dependence on roads and automobiles
  • New roads needed to connect development in outlying areas;
  • Uses more than one million acres of primarily rural land in the Upstate for development in 30 years


  • "Small town feel" may lessen as growth extends in an uncoordinated manner into the undeveloped areas;
  • Higher per person costs for infrastructure caused by extension of roads, water, and sewer lines to outlying areas.
  • Increased dependence on oil and gasoline due to longer commutes
  • Increase in traffic congestion and traffic accidents
  • Does not promote a healthy lifestyle due to lack of walkable/bikeable communities
  • Fewer opportunities for mass transit, since originations and destinations will not be in concentrated areas;
  • Large, connected tracts of undeveloped land will be developed into smaller units, which will shrink wildlife habitats and reduce farming opportunities;
  • Rural areas/lands will be encroached by development and may be converted to developed areas;
  • Sensitive environmental areas may be destroyed;
  • Leapfrogging of newer development to areas beyond existing development may lessen property values of existing development
  • Uses more than one million acres of primarily rural land for development in 30 years in the Upstate