Beaufort panel recommends adoption of Civic Master Plan; changes expected

emoody@beaufortgazette.comOctober 3, 2013 

  • In other business, the commission:

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding to swap city-owned land at 905 and 907 Prince St. with the Baptist Church of Beaufort property at 811 King St.

  • The decision came after a closed door meeting, which city attorney Bill Harvey said covered contractual issues. No additional specific information was given.

    Chairman Jon Verity said he did not know going into the session that a vote would be required afterward. Developer Steve Tully is interested in starting the 811 renovation so time is of the essence, Verity said.

    The church has also agreed to the memorandum, according to the document.

  • Discussed progress of the Boundary Street redevelopment project. Consultant Craig Lewis said it will be ready for bid -- for work between Neal and Ribaut roads -- as soon as all permit issues are resolved.

  • Got an update on the Lafayette Street Project. Developers continue to wait on final S.C. Department of Transportation permitting.

  • Received an update about the Lowcountry Housing Trust from executive director Michelle Mapp.

Just because Beaufort's Redevelopment Commission recommended City Council adopt the Civic Master Plan, that doesn't mean the document won't change again.

The commission approved the draft plan Thursday night on a 5-2 vote, with commissioners Henrietta Goode and Wendy Zara voting against it.

The plan outlines development of vacant and important properties, road and transportation changes, access to water, stormwater needs, parks, and areas targeted for economic development.

"We're not the approval body," commission chairman Jon Verity said in an effort to address some concerns about the document . "We're the moving-it-on body... This doesn't end public input; this just moves things to the next stage."

Additional revisions will be presented to the Metropolitan Planning Commission when it reviews and possibly votes on the plan Oct. 21. Once that vote occurs, the Civic Master Plan moves to City Council.

A hearing on the plan before council is scheduled for Tuesday. It will gather additional input on the document from the public. Mayor Billy Keyserling said council will not conduct a hearing on the draft until the planning commission votes.

Thursday's commission vote was made with the understanding Historic Beaufort Foundation representatives will continue to work with the city's Office of Civic Investment on additional edits and changes.

Foundation representatives and some commissioners advocated holding off on a vote until more edits were done.

"My thing is, when we pass it on, let's make sure it's what we want to pass on," Goode said.

Zara said she hadn't had time to review the most recent draft, which was emailed to commissioners Thursday.

"Did you read the changes between noon and the meeting today?" she asked fellow commissioners. "I didn't. I didn't have time to."

Follow reporter Erin Moody at

Related content:

Work, edits continue on Beaufort's proposed Civic Master Plan, Sept. 24, 2013

Redevelopment Commission, residents: more work needed on Beaufort Civic Master Plan, Sept. 5, 2013

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