Today's generation in Beaufort owes a lot to those of decades and centuries ago who planned, built and preserved the charming city.
As a result, the city has a personality and authenticity that other communities can only dream about having. It has a sense of place that enhances the quality of life and undergirds the economy.
That's why today's generation owes it to the city's heritage to sit up and pay attention as City Council considers sweeping changes to the city's planning philosophy and zoning restrictions.
More importantly, it owes it to future generations to see that the golden goose remains golden.
The city website states: "The Civic Master Plan lays the groundwork for a prosperous and resilient city for another 300 years to come."
Residents and property owners need to make sure that happens. It starts with getting familiar with the proposed master plan, which is now available on the city's website. The public also must pay attention to the "form-based codes" that would replace current zoning.
A series of public presentations and workshops about the "civic master plan" is now under way -- the next one scheduled for Wednesday morning and the last one set for May 1.
It is widely accepted that this represents a major turning point for the city. The public needs to pay attention, get informed and offer feedback now.