Beaufort News

Public input wanted in intense Beaufort design process

The city of Beaufort's possible future is laid out on tables.

A dozen city planners are working this week to mesh dozens of ideas into a cohesive plan to guide officials' decisions for the next 100 years.

The Office of Civic Investment is having a week-long workshop at City Hall to make plans for the area around Beaufort Memorial Hospital and the Technical College of the Lowcountry, as well as areas to the north and south. The public is encouraged to stop by, take a look and offer feedback.

A previous charrette focused on downtown.

The charrette is the follow-up to a month of meetings with community groups, neighborhood associations, Ribault Road residents and large employers such as Beaufort Memorial Hospital and TCL. That input is being combined into plans that map out how Beaufort could change over the next few years, few decades and 100 years.

"In the end, what the city gets is a combined toolbox of intervention strategies," said Craig Lewis, co-director of the Office of Civic Investment.

Pin-up sessions, in which the plans are tacked on the wall to be critiqued, are 5 to 7 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. An informal pin-up session will be held all day Monday as planners prepare for the final presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The charette's location on the second floor of City Hall provides a view of Ribault Road and a portion of the area under review.

As Lewis looked out the window, he spotted a pedestrian stuck in the middle of Ribault while attempting to cross the road. Hundreds of people cross the road every day, dodging traffic, because it is only designed for cars, he said. Eventually, Ribault could have bike lanes, cross walks and other pedestrian-friendly features, Lewis said.

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