The Lady’s Island Plan, in development for more than a year, summarizes the results of a broad-based community planning process for Lady’s Island. Stimulated by a highly-attended community meeting – Designing Lady’s Island — in February, 2017, the plan has been developed through a collaborative effort between Beaufort County, the City of Beaufort, the Town of Port Royal, multiple community organizations, advocacy groups, and many citizens. It includes a summary of the forces and trends influencing the island, a vision that reflects the values of the community, guidelines for new development, recommendations for managing growth relative to infrastructure, and actions needed to make the plan a reality.
This is first time that a plan has been prepared just for Lady’s Island. (Click here to read the entire plan.)
There are many plans prepared by many agencies that apply to Lady’s Island – but this is the first time that it has been addressed as an entity. Beaufort County and the City of Beaufort have worked hard and effectively to coordinate planning efforts, but it is difficult for the public to navigate through the multiple documents prepared by the two local governments. Intense growth pressures on the island are bringing new urgency to the people who care about the future of Lady’s Island. This plan is designed to integrate the strategies and actions from these jurisdictions into one cohesive document.
But this effort is more than just a synthesis of existing plans. It takes a fresh look at the island, and it concludes that new approaches and ideas are needed. Growth pressures continue on the island, and efforts are needed to manage growth beyond what is in existing plans. Otherwise growth may overwhelm the island’s natural and infrastructure systems. And to be sure, managing smart growth requires continued planning and implementation that crosses boundaries and disciplines. There is a lot of hard work ahead.
Lady’s Island is the gateway to the Sea Islands, but a place that people are coming to, not just traveling through. It will be a diverse community boasting a planned mixture of rural areas; stable, residential and mixed-use neighborhoods; and dispersed village centers hosting small businesses and local institutions. Natural resources will abound: water views, access and natural resource protection are all important to quality of life. A well-planned network of connected roadways serving motorists as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic will join the island and its surroundings. New development will respect the human scale of the island and the character of Lowcountry life. Lady’s Island will be a place where smart development complements the limitations of island geography, driven by supportive governments and active residents working together to achieve this shared vision
The Lady’s Island Plan has been reviewed and endorsed by a large number of local entities including the Sea Island Coalition, SC Coastal Conservation League, Lady’s Island Business & Professional Association, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the Beaufort County Planning Commission, the Town of Port Royal Town Council, the Northern Plan Implementation Committee and the Beaufort County Natural Resources Committee.
On Monday, April 22, the Lady’s Island Plan will be before the Beaufort County Council for adoption; on Tuesday, April 23, the Plan will before the City Council in Beaufort. Both meetings are open to the public, and we encourage you to show your support for a growth plan for Lady’s Island by joining us then!