Community Development Code nears completion, maps available

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Beaufort County is close to finalizing its long-awaited Community Development Code, which will replace its current Zoning and Development Standards Ordinance.

The Joint Review Committee, made up of members of the Planning Commission and County Council, has been meeting for the last 12 months making changes to the draft code.  The committee will hold its final meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and decide whether to forward the draft code to the Planning Commission to begin the formal adoption process.  Adoption of the code consists of reviews by the Planning Commission, the Natural Resources Committee, and three readings by Beaufort County Council.  Throughout this process, the public is invited to provide comments.

A draft code has been available online for the last year, but to date, no draft zoning maps have been made available to the public. Starting Wednesday, February 19, the public will be able to view the draft maps online and forward comments and questions to county staff. For a majority of residents and property owners in unincorporated Beaufort County, there will be very little change in zoning. However, the new code will be much more user friendly; provide a much more common-sense approach to land use, density and open space; and provide the tools to develop mixed-use walkable neighborhoods in appropriate areas of the county.

“I’m very proud and excited to have been part of this process over the last few years. I’m also looking forward to seeing how this new code will improve the future of Beaufort County and its neighboring municipalities,” said Councilman and Chairman of the Joint Review Committee and Natural Resources Committee Brian Flewelling.

The Joint Review Committee’s final meeting will take place at 3 p.m., Wednesday, February 26, in the Executive Conference Room of the Administration Building in Beaufort.

The maps of the new proposed zoning districts will be available for online review at www.bcgov.net.  Those who have questions or concerns about the new proposed zoning districts can call the Beaufort County Planning Department at 843-255-2140 or email Barbara Childs at barbarac@bcgov.net.