The town of Port Royal has new zoning rules.
Town council unanimously approved a form-based code Wednesday night, becoming the first of three governments working on related codes to do so.
Form-based code focuses more on a building's appearance than its intended use, as traditional zoning does.
The town, Beaufort County and the city of Beaufort have been working on the proposed code for more than three years. The county commissioned a draft code, which the municipalities are tweaking to make specific to their needs and properties.
Port Royal's citizen code advisory committee finished its review in the fall, and the joint Beaufort/Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation in December. Port Royal council gave initial approval to the changes in March.
"To the citizens who worked on that committee, thank you for your hard work," Mayor Sam Murray said. "I know it wasn't easy (and involved) a lot of reading."
Reed Armstrong of the Coastal Conservation League, who closely watches zoning changes and projects for potential environmental hazards, offered the briefest of comments after the vote.
"I have only one word," he said, "congratulations."
The city of Beaufort is restarting its citizen advisory committee after a hiatus while the Civic Master Plan was being worked on and approved.
Beaufort County Council is expected to take its first vote within the next month or two, with a final vote expected before the end of summer, planning director Tony Criscitiello said.
Four forums are being planned across the county to present the proposed code to residents and gather feedback, he said.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.