After getting approval from a regional planning group that will review three plans for form-based code -- by Beaufort County, the city of Beaufort and the town of Port Royal -- one of those plans is two votes away from taking effect.
The Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission unanimously recommended the Port Royal form-based code and an accompanying map at a meeting Monday night. Commission member Alice Howard was absent.
The code differs from the traditional zoning that's now in place in much of Port Royal and is based more on a building's appearance than its intended use. Port Royal has used a hybrid system for more than a decade that included areas of form-based and traditional zoning.
Commission chairman Joe DeVito thanked members of a citizen advisory committee, who, together with town staff and a consultant, have painstakingly edited hundreds of pages of code during the past year to tailor it to Port Royal's needs.
Advisory committees with all three governments are working off a single draft given them by Beaufort County and making it specific to residents' and businesses' needs.
The Port Royal code was brought to the commission in November, but members chose not to act until after meeting with the advisory committee in a public work session and going over the details.
"I think the hours and hours and days and days made it easier for us," commission member James Crower said of the work the advisory committee did.
Before the vote, town planner Linda Bridges made a short presentation on a handful of final changes that make zoning slightly more flexible for gas stations in three areas. Consultant Brian Herrmann "attended" via video chat on Bridge's phone in case he was needed.
The code will go to Town Council for approval after the start of the new year, Bridges said. Along with a public hearing and two votes, council members and the town manager have said they would prefer a public work session to discuss the code.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
- A look at potential new development rules for Port Royal, Nov. 10, 2013
- A divided Port Royal Council OKs money for form-based code study, Nov. 10, 2010
- Panelists push residents to speak out on proposed building code changes, Oct. 17, 2013
- Access to form-based code documents concerns some Beaufort residents, Feb. 24, 2013