Planning for the future

  • Friday, January 31, 2014

Residents will have the opportunity to help plan the future of Summerville this February, when the Town hosts a master-planning workshop.

The week of Feb. 24 – 28, the Lawrence Group will facilitate a design workshop, also known as a charrette, before beginning to write the Summerville Vision Plan.

Town Council awarded the Lawrence Group a contract to design the master plan late last year.

During the week, members of the public will be able to visit the Cuthbert Community Center at Azalea Park to see designs, provide suggestions and voice concerns to a variety of members of the consultant team.

“What is here now that you want to make sure is not lost?” said Madelyn Robinson, the director of Town Planning and Economic Development. “What is not here that you would really like to have? What is that one thing that would make your quality of life better? These are the kinds of questions we want to know the answer to.”

The specific operating hours of the charrette haven’t been established yet, although officials are currently discussing morning hours on Monday and Friday, and extended all-day hours Tuesday through Thursday, Robinson said.

Those who will be unable to attend the charrette may also voice their concerns digitally by sending an email to visionplan@summervillesc.gov.

The Town has recently started advertising the charrette using posters and a video presentation, in hopes of fostering a large community turnout.

Robinson said the Lawrence Group has been researching the Town since November, “reviewing ordinances, looking at staff loads and development structures, talking with stakeholders and other jurisdictional partners” to help develop background information.

A closing presentation will take place on March 6, when the group will review all of its findings.

“In late spring or early summer we will get those first initial drafts to review and comment on, I can guess there will be some back and forth, and by late summer we should be able to present a plan to Council to vote on,” Robinson said. “The hope is that by the end of this year Council will have adopted a vision plan.”

She mentioned the Oakbrook area, the historic downtown and a large undeveloped property behind the North Main Market shopping center as focal points for the plan.

Summerville Mayor Bill Collins urged citizens to take the charrette seriously in his letter on the Town website.

“This will not be just another report to be put on the shelf to collect dust,” he wrote. “I plan to use it as a handy roadmap for our future and plan to work with council to make those recommendations a reality.”

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