Beaufort News

City begins planning remaining areas outside downtown Beaufort

After planning how the city of Beaufort's downtown areas will develop in the future, officials are shifting their focus to outlying areas of the city.

They are beginning the next part of a process aimed at creating a plan for how the area will develop for the next 100 years. Previous planning focused on downtown and areas surrounding Ribaut Road between Boundary Street and Port Royal. The next round will include Lady's Island and out into Burton that are outside city's core.

Redevelopment Commission Chairman John Verity called the properties a "patchwork" and said the discussions during upcoming planning "charettes" will allow participants to get a feel for county and city boundaries.

Changes are already under way for many of the areas, including improvements to Boundary Street and realigning its intersection with Robert Smalls Parkway, the Spanish Moss Rail-Trail and Beaufort Commerce Park. The future of other areas also has been discussed, including the Beaufort County Airport on Lady's Island, Whitehall Plantation and the Marine Corps Air Station.

Mayor Billy Keyserling said public participation in the charettes is crucial to the planning process because it allows residents to voice concerns and ideas about the future of their neighborhoods.

The Boundary Street redevelopment plan could begin as early as this summer and the rail-trail construction could begin this fall.

"The area around the rail-trail and the Beaufort Plaza and that whole area is going to be affected soonest because we've got money already, so people can see what its going to look like and what is going to be done," Verity said.

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