October is National Community Planning Month

As stated by the American Planning Association, October is designated National Community Planning Month, to celebrate the role that planning plays in building great communities.

Planners strive to improve the quality of life by taking a holistic perspective that leads to safer, more resilient, more equitable and economically strong communities. Our city has some of the best city planners in our region, who have worked very hard on many projects in our strategic plan.

What is the main tool of municipal planning? One of the primary means used by planners to achieve this is through the comprehensive planning process.

Bluffton is currently working with MKSK as a senior professional planning consultant to rewrite the city plan as required by the state of South Carolina.

Our draft global plan is called Blueprint Bluffton and is expected to be completed and adopted by June 30. The title speaks for itself, because that’s exactly what it says: a real master plan for our city.

The first part of the project is community engagement, which included roundtables, online surveys and one-on-one meetings. This process has elicited over 1,000 responses and we continue to receive feedback.

Comments focused on perceived strengths, which included the local restaurants and businesses, the old town, the people, and the small town vibe of Bluffton. Weaknesses and areas for improvement included traffic and the rapid pace of development.

The final plan will include analysis and targets for the following: population, economic development, natural resources, resilience, housing, land use, cultural resources, transportation, community facilities.

The stages of the project are: research, review and context; Initial community engagement; Needs assessment; Vision and political orientation, refinement of the plan, adoption of the plan.

Blueprint Bluffton will serve as a vision for the city and the community, and will be used to guide development, review projects, and guide future policies and projects.

Public input is essential to make this project a success. There will continue to be requests for comment, including online polls, community meetings, and town planning commission and city council meetings.

More information is available on the city’s website at https://www.townofbluffton.sc.gov/721/Blueprint-Bluffton-Comprehensive-Plan, or contact Charlotte Moore, the Project Manager, at 843-706 -4561 or cmoore @ townofbluffton .com.

If you have any questions about our wonderful city, please feel free to contact City Hall at 706-4500 or email Lisa Sulka at [email protected]

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