The Charleston County Comprehensive Plan is an expression of the County's intent for where and how future growth and development should occur. The plan identifies parts of the County that may or may not be appropriate for certain types of growth, given the Lowcountry's unique character and natural conditions. The Plan is created through an extensive public planning process where input is gathered to help shape the future of how and where growth should occur.
Charleston County Council adopted its first Comprehensive Plan in 1999 after a two-year long planning process. The 1999 plan was the first prepared under the 1994 Comprehensive Plan Enabling Act. The Plan was subsequently reviewed in 2003, updated in 2008, and reviewed again in 2013-2014 (find out more about the most recent review below). The current version of the plan was most recently adopted on January 6, 2015.
The Plan should be a tool to use in evaluating future proposals and policy changes to ensure consistent decisions are made. The Plan should also provide guidance to land owners and developers on what is appropriate in the County. The Comprehensive Plan contains 10 elements. Each element is comprised of existing conditions, a goal, needs, and strategies to accomplish the Plan's goals. These terms, often used to describe policy recommendations, are described below:
Vision: the comprehensive, overarching statement of the desired future of the County. The ultimate set of ideals to which the County should aspire.
Goal: a statement of desired end-state or target. Tied very closely to the Vision and focused on a specific Plan element. Provides particular guidance for where the County should be in the future and sets the tone for the individual Element strategies.
Strategy: a recommended course of action or task the County or its designated agency could undertake in pursuit of a Goal or Vision. Provides focused and achievable guidance on specific topics under the Plan element headings. Ties the implementation of the Plan to the Goals and Vision.
Implementation Initiatives: work tasks that are reviewed annually and implement the Plan strategies.
Charleston County adopted its first Comprehensive Plan in April 1999. Title 6, Chapter 29 of the South Carolina Code of Laws requires that the Comprehensive Plan be reviewed at least once every five years and updated at least once every ten years. Thus, the first five-year review was adopted in November 2003; the first ten-year update was adopted in November 2008, and the second five-year review was adopted in October 2013 and implemented by January 2015. The Charleston County Planning Commission has begun working on the second ten-year update, which is due by November 2018. Because the 2013-2014 review of the Plan was so comprehensive, the 2017-2018 ten-year update will focus on the following objectives:
The Planning Commission will be reviewing individual elements of the Comprehensive Plan at the remainder of their meetings in 2017 (dates are listed below – all meetings will begin at 2:00 PM and will be held in Council Committee Room, B-225, Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston, SC 29412). Meeting agendas will be available prior to each meeting here.
April 10, 2017
May 8, 2017
June 12, 2017
July 10, 2017
August 14, 2017
September 11, 2017
October 9, 2017
November 13, 2017
December 11, 2017
Following each meeting, the materials presented will be available by clicking the drop-down menu below.
Following Planning Commission’s initial review of the Plan, a public input gathering campaign will take place. Workshops will be held in various locations around the County, and citizens will have a variety of ways to provide input on the proposed amendments to the Plan. For more information about the Ten-Year Update, please contact the Zoning/Planning Department at (843) 202-7203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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