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Get Involved in Planning for Dorchester County’s Growth

Post Date:03/12/2018 9:00 AM

As the area once again finds itself facing a significant growth spurt, many are asking how we will be able to accommodate the projected growth while managing our infrastructure needs and preserving and protecting resources we value.  It is in this arena that Dorchester County is updating our Comprehensive Plan.  A Comprehensive Plan is a state mandated document that plans for the physical, social, cultural, and economic growth of a community.  The plan contains nine elements: land use, transportation, natural resources, cultural resources, economic development, housing, population, community facilities, and priority investment, and it contains a comprehensive list of goals and strategies with an action plan to facilitate their implementation.

The single most important factor of a Comprehensive Plan is that it is a community driven document.  The direction of the plan, which will guide County policy for the foreseeable future, will be based on input received from participating members of the community.  While the County has hired consultants and is using a citizen’s advisory committee, they merely facilitate the process - the meat of the document comes from you, the community.

The County hosted two sets of public workshops over the past several months to introduce the consultants, conduct a visioning exercise, and receive feedback on the strengths, opportunities, aspirations and desired results for the County. I would like to take a moment to express my most sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who attended those meetings. 

The next set of meetings will take place this week and focus on two key topics: land use and transportation. For anyone who has expressed a concern about area growth and development this is your opportunity to be part of the process.

Where should growth occur, what will that growth look like – will it be clustered into small dense pockets or spread like butter for miles?  What will the transportation network look like and how will it fit with land use? These two elements, transportation and land use, are a major focus of this Comprehensive Plan and it is vital that we hear from as much of the community as possible. Future development policies will be based on the input received at this meeting and in order to accurately reflect the desires of the community, your voice needs to be heard.  Growth is coming – this is our chance to do it right.

Please mark your calendars for one of the following meetings:

  • Tuesday, March 13th, 6pm – 8pm at Ashley Ridge High School, 9800 Delemar Highway
  • Wednesday, March 14th, 6pm – 8pm at Ridgeville Community Center, 105 School Street
  • Thursday, March 15th, 6pm – 8pm at St. George Council Chambers, 201 Johnston Street

For those unable to attend, opportunities for input will be available this website. The website contains information about the Comprehensive Plan, the process, the advisory committee, as well as prior and upcoming meetings. You can also visit the page to complete a questionnaire from the last session.

Please plan to attend one of these meetings and let your voice be heard.

Kiera Reinertsen
Director of Planning & Zoning