The Charleston County government is set to hold a series of public workshops through August to review the county’s 10-year comprehensive preservation and development plan and gather input on proposed changes and additions.
Per state law, the plan — which was adopted in 1999 — must be reviewed at least once every five years and updated at least once every 10 years. The most recent update was adopted in 2018.
“It helps inform staff and decision makers as to what the community and general public would like to see in the coming years,” said Joel Evans, director of the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission. “It’s a forward-looking plan.”
“During the last round of public input, we heard a lot about drainage and flooding issues,” said Andrea Melocik, deputy director of the Planning and Zoning Commission. “After that, we ended up creating a resilience element in the comprehensive plan.”
In addition to the new resilience element, the plan dedicates chapters to several other elements that influence life in Charleston County, including land use; economic development; natural resources; cultural resources; population; housing; transportation; community facilities; priority investment, implementation and coordination; and energy.
The energy element is more in the spotlight this time, however, as Evans said the team is looking to add more sustainability efforts to the plan. Instead of adding a new element to the plan, they plan to tie it into the existing energy element, she said.
The current energy element identifies steps which need to be taken to prepare for a changing style of living through conservation and renewable energy. Evans added that because the county now has a sustainability officer, more conservation and climate efforts are being pushed at the county level.
Other elements that are being looked at heavily this review period include a focus on land use.
“We had a public input survey open for this review in November 2022 through the start of this year,” Melocik said. “A lot of what we heard now was about traffic and making sure that land-use decisions are based on infrastructure being available alongside development.”
Evans said it’s key that county leaders get as much public input into the plan as possible.
“We want it to really reflect what the public’s concerns are for the county and their vision for the future of the county as it grows,” he said.
The workshops will be completed over the summer. In the fall, the Planning and Zoning Commission will consider suggestions and input from the community. The commission will then put together a recommendation for the final draft for County Council to vote on in the winter.
All public workshops are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:
- June 7. Berkeley Electric Cooperative. 1135 Main Road. Johns Island
- June 14. Baxter-Patrick James Island Library. 1858 S. Grimball Road. James Island
- June 28. Wando Mount Pleasant Library. 1400 Carolina Park Blvd. Mount Pleasant
- July 12. Bees Ferry West Ashley Library. 3035 Sanders Road. West Ashley
- July 26. Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Building. 4922 O’Hear Ave. North Charleston
- Aug. 28. Jane Edwards Elementary. 1960 Jane Edwards Road. Edisto Island
County residents can also submit comments online and read the full comprehensive plan at charlestoncounty.org. The deadline for online comment submissions is Aug. 30.
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