Gathered inside of the Rollins Edwards Community Center, this month residents shared their vision for what Summerville could look like decades into the future.
Transportation opportunities, storm water management, natural resources and commercial development were a few of the topics community members discussed during a July 23 workshop focusing on the town’s comprehensive plan.
Residents also inquired about the progress made so far on the town’s update of its comprehensive plan, a long-range plan that informs the majority of planning and zoning decisions made by town staff. State law requires the plan to be revised every five years and fully updated every 10 years.
The current plan includes chapters for the following elements: future land use, transportation design, priority investment, population, natural resources, energy, housing, community facilities, economic development, cultural resources and travel demand from the Berkeley-Dorchester-Charleston Council of Governments (BCDCOG). Additionally, the town has included the elements of resiliency and affordable housing.
Resident Mark Pilgrim said his group talked a lot about the balance of residential and commercial property within town.
“We realize that residential is coming but we need more commercial (use) to fund a lot of the amenities and infrastructure to go along with the residential,” Pilgrim said.
Other residents said the town should focus on maintaining existing infrastructure before focusing on new development.
“I don’t think we need more (growth),” said Carolyn Ganis.
She suggested that the town make changes to intersection of Old Trolley Road and Dorchester Road to alleviate traffic in the Oakbrook area.
Jessi Shuler, director of planning for the town, said public input is vital in the process of updating the town’s comprehensive plan.
“The idea is to have a vision for Summerville that is what the people of Summerville want to see,” Shuler said. “If we don’t get (community) input, it’s hard to have an accurate vision.”
The town hired the firm Houseal Lavigne Associates to complete the update on the document. Representatives from Houseal Lavigne were present at the workshop, answering questions from community members. To view the plan or offer feedback, visit the company website.
The town anticipates completing the plan by the end of 2019.