Most recent Beaufort Civic Master Plan ready for public review

emoody@beaufortgazette.comAugust 5, 2013 

CITY OF BEAUFORT

After three months of revisions, the most recent version of a plan that maps growth in the city of Beaufort is ready for public inspection.

The Civic Master Plan is being prepared for adoption by City Council. It is posted to the city's website so the public can review it before a presentation and work session Aug. 22, tentatively set for 5 p.m.

"I think it is going to be something our community can be proud of," city planner Libby Anderson said.

Redevelopment Commission chairman Jon Verity said there are seven to eight pages of notes and changes -- from spelling corrections to rewriting the section about the Beaufort Depot -- that accompanies the most recent draft to help people identify changes.

Also new is what's not there -- drawings, including plans for the Beaufort Downtown Marina and Ribaut Road, that drew complaints.

The plan is intended to guide city officials and residents as they consider building projects, commercial ventures and public works. However, it is not a law and is subject to revision as the need arises, Anderson said.

After the Aug. 22 meeting, the commission will review and vote on the plan at 5 p.m. Sept. 5. The Metropolitan Planning Commission is expected to review and vote on it at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16.

City Council will then consider the recommendations of both boards. Extra time has been scheduled at the start of the first public hearing before council on Oct. 8, in case more changes or discussions are needed, Verity said.

"We didn't want to make them feel rushed," he said.

The plan could come for a first vote as early as Oct. 24. Two votes are needed for adoption.

The Civic Master Plan is one of two planning projects underway. The second, a form-based zoning code, is on hold until a civic plan is approved. The committee of more than 20 members paused because its members believed the master plan could help guide their work, Verity said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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