City extends period for public engagement for Comp Plan outline

From staff reports

The City of Beaufort will extend the period for public comment on the working outline of the 2021 Comprehensive Plan through Sept. 7.

Previously, the online public comment period was going to close Aug. 20. The Department of Community and Economic Development will also conduct stakeholder meetings from mid-August through Sept. 7.

“We want to ensure that all stakeholders and all residents have ample opportunity to read and contribute to this document,” City Manager Bill Prokop said in a release.

In addition, the City just launched a community engagement platform, called Civil Space, that will allow it to gather feedback and input on specific projects. The first project on this platform is the working outline of the Comprehensive Plan, which can be found at https://bit.ly/3s3E7Tc.

“Civil Space will give us many opportunities to engage more easily in an online format with our residents,” Prokop said. “We encourage the public to give us feedback on the Comp Plan through this platform.”

The Comprehensive Plan is the document that guides all decisions related to planning, zoning, and development in the City of Beaufort, as required by South Carolina law. It was last updated in 2009. The new working outline was informed by the current Comprehensive Plan, the City’s Strategic Plan, the Civic Master Plan, and the Beaufort 2030 Future Vision exercise.

“This process has been a collaborative effort between city staff, the Lowcountry Council of Government planning staff, the DesignWorkShop consultants, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, and the public,” Department of Community & Economic Development Director David Prichard said. “The plan addresses demographics, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing, land use, transportation, priority investment and resiliency. It is designed to provide background information that will help inform future decisions and the formulation of goals and objectives going forward.”

The timetable for passage of the Comprehensive Plan has changed to allow for more extensive public engagement. Important dates going forward include:

Aug. 16 through Sept. 7 – Conduct stakeholder meetings.

Sept. 7 – Close electronic public comment time for the Comprehensive Plan.

Sept. 7 through Oct. 8 – Incorporate comments from council, planning commission, staff, and the public.

Sept. 14 – Present synopsis of comments at City Council work session

Oct. 12 – Public Hearing on proposed Comprehensive Plan.

Oct. 18 – Present draft-final of the Comprehensive Plan to the MPC.

Oct. 26 – Present draft-final of the Comprehensive Plan to council at Work Session.

Oct. 27 through Nov. 9 – Incorporate final revisions.

Nov. 16 – Present final Comprehensive Plan to City Council for approval.

Find out more about the Comprehensive Plan process at http://www.cityofbeaufort.org/491/Comprehensive-Plan.

Participate through Civil Space at https://cityofbeaufort.civilspace.io/en/projects/beaufort-s-comprehensive-plan-2021.

Comments on the plan can also be emailed to Senior Planner Dan Frazier at dfrazier@cityofbeaufort.org.

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