Given the amount of work already put into the city of Beaufort's Civic Master Plan -- not to mention the number of concerns and recommendations still pouring in to city officials -- there should be no great rush for City Council to approve it.
Mayor Billy Keyserling and other officials had hoped to conduct the first of two votes required for the plan's adoption at the council's Oct. 8 meeting. However, both the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission and the Beaufort/Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission would have to sign off on it first.
Although the Redevelopment Commission could keep the city on schedule if it approves the plan at its Oct. 3 meeting, the Metropolitan Planning Commission delayed its decision because it received so many comments during and after its Sept. 16 meeting. The commission isn't scheduled to meet again until Oct. 21, so it would have to call a special meeting if it is to stay on the city's timetable.
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No need for that. There is little consequence to delaying council approval by a few weeks -- or even longer.
The council's deadline is self-imposed. And the Civic Master Plan -- which includes ideas for redevelopment, water access and other public projects -- is touted as a document to guide the next 100 years of city growth. A delay would hardly send damaging ripples through the coming century.
Keyserling, to his credit, stated as much as City Council's work session Tuesday.
"We don't want to hold things up," Keyserling said, "... but we don't want to not include anyone."
If the City Council hearing is delayed, it would probably move to Oct. 22; a first vote would likely come Nov. 12 or after.
Beaufort can wait that long. A well-vetted, widely accepted document is a much higher priority than meeting an arbitrary, self-imposed deadline.