2019 Comprehensive Plan Update
Adopted July 23, 2019
On July 23, 2019, the Town Council gave final reading approval to Ordinance 2019-06, which adopted a new comprehensive plan for the Town of Seabrook Island. The 2019 plan is a complete update and re-write of the town's previous comprehensive plan, which was adopted in July of 2009.
As required by law, the 2019 comprehensive plan is made up of nine individual elements, each of which is an expression of the Council's overarching policy goals:
A copy of each element may be viewed by clicking the appropriate link under the "Plan Elements" header on this page.
For more information about the comprehensive plan, please contact Tyler Newman, Zoning Administrator, by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a comprehensive plan?
The South Carolina Local Government Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act of 1994 (S.C. Code of Laws, Sec. 6-29-310 et seq) requires all municipalities and counties in the state to develop and maintain a planning process which will result in the systematic preparation and continual re-evaluation and updating of those elements considered critical, necessary and desirable to guide development and redevelopment of areas within their jurisdiction.
The planning process for all planning elements must include, but not be limited to:
State law also requires that planning elements must include consideration of potential conflicts with adjacent jurisdictions and regional plans or issues.
What topics are covered in a comprehensive plan?
A local comprehensive plan must include, but not be limited to, the following planning elements:
A local government may incorporate additional elements into its comprehensive plan above and beyond those required by state law.
All planning elements must be an expression of the Planning Commission's recommendations to Town Council with regard to the wise and efficient use of public funds, the future growth, development, and redevelopment of its area of jurisdiction and consideration of the fiscal impact on property owners. The planning elements, whether done as a package or in separate increments. together comprise the comprehensive plan for the jurisdiction at any one point in time.
The Planning Commission shall review the comprehensive plan, or individual elements of the plan, as often as necessary, but not less than once every five years, to determine whether changes in the amount, kind or direction of development of the area or other reasons make it desirable to make additions or amendments to the plan. The comprehensive plan, including all nine elements, must be updated at least every ten years.
Why does Seabrook Island need a comprehensive plan?
While the town is required to have a comprehensive plan by state law, it is also important to periodically review and update the plan on a regular basis to reflect changes in data, trends and best practices. Updating our plan ensures the town:
Who is responsible for updating the town's comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan is a community-wide effort and requires broad-based participation from town staff, elected officials, representatives from local businesses and community organizations, and the public. A comprehensive plan update also requires coordination with regional jurisdictions, including neighboring municipalities, counties and special purpose districts.
The town engaged in several public outreach activities during the month of August 2018. Public comments were solicited via a community survey, and several small group meetings were held with a variety of stakeholders from throughout the community.
The process of collecting and analyzing data, as well as preparing the plan itself, was led by staff from the Charleston County Planning Department. Additional support was provided by town staff.
The Seabrook Island Planning Commission was responsible for reviewing and recommending the draft comprehensive plan to Town Council for adoption. The Planning Commission met monthly between July 2018 and May 2019 to review and provide comments on the draft elements. The Planning Commission voted to endorse the draft document during a Special Called Meeting on March 20, 2019, and authorized its distribution for public review and comment. Following the public comment period, the Planning Commission formally recommended the draft comprehensive plan to Town Council for adoption.
Following the Planning Commission's review and recommendation, the draft comprehensive plan was adopted by an ordinance of Seabrook Island Town Council on July 23, 2019, following two readings and a public hearing.
What is the difference between a comprehensive plan and a zoning ordinance?
The comprehensive plan is an advisory document that provides an overall vision for the community. The comprehensive plan outlines the town's policy goals and identifies strategies for implementing and achieving those goals.
Unlike the comprehensive plan, the town's zoning ordinance is a regulatory document that carries the force of law. The zoning ordinance is an integral part of the town’s Development Standards Ordinance, and regulates the type, scale, design and intensity of new development. The zoning ordinance is one of the primary tools used to implement many of the recommendations contained in the comprehensive plan. To highlight the link between a jurisdiction's comprehensive plan and its zoning ordinance, state law requires that municipalities and counties must adopt a Land Use Element in its comprehensive plan before they can adopt a local zoning ordinance.
Why is it important for the community to participate in the comprehensive planning process?
As a community-wide master plan, the town's comprehensive plan depends on the active participation of local residents and business owners, as well as representatives from various public, private, and non-profit organizations.
To ensure that our comprehensive plan is a reflection of our community's overall vision and values, the town provided several opportunities for public participation. By participating in the comprehensive plan update, the participants had an opportunity to provide valuable feedback on the planning process, as well as the future growth and development of the town. By expressing their ideas and opinions, our residents and business owners have helped shape the future of the Town of Seabrook Island.