Comprehensive Plan Drop-In Meeting:
Mon. April 15th (2:00-4:00 PM)
Seabrook Island Town Hall
The town will host a public drop-in meeting at Seabrook Island Town Hall on Monday, April 15th, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The purpose of this meeting is to gather public input on proposed amendments to the town’s comprehensive plan as part of a 10-year plan update.
Over the last 8 months, the Seabrook Island Planning Commission has prepared draft updates for all 9 elements contained within the comprehensive plan. The Planning Commission is now in the process of presenting these draft updates for public review and comment prior to formally recommending the draft document to Town Council for review and adoption. A copy of each draft element may be viewed by clicking the appropriate link under the "Draft Elements" header on this page.
During the drop-in meeting, residents and property owners will have an opportunity to review the proposed updates at their own pace, ask questions of town and county staff and submit written comments and suggestions prior to leaving the meeting.
Residents may also view the draft documents and submit comments electronically by clicking here.
For more information about the comprehensive plan update, please contact Joe Cronin, Town Administrator, by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at email@example.com.
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 an update to the town's comprehensive plan is required by state law, it is also important to update our plan on a regular basis to reflect changes in data, trends and best practices. Updating our comprehensive plan will ensure the town:
Doesn't the Town of Seabrook Island already have a comprehensive plan?
The town's current comprehensive plan was adopted on July 28, 2009. An update was completed and adopted on March 24, 2015.
The current comprehensive plan has guided local land use and policy decisions over the last 9+ years. Under state law, the town must update its comprehensive plan (including all required elements) every 10 years. An updated comprehensive plan will help ensure that new development is consistent with the community's overall goals and vision.
Who is guiding the effort to update 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, will be led by staff from the Charleston County Planning Department. Additional support was provided by town staff.
The Seabrook Island Planning Commission is responsible for reviewing and recommending the draft comprehensive plan to Town Council for adoption. The Planning Commission has met monthly since July 2018 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 will incorporate any necessary changes into the plan prior to formally recommending it to Town Council for adoption.
Once the draft comprehensive plan is completed and has received a formal recommendation of the Planning Commission, the plan must be adopted by an ordinance of Seabrook Island Town Council, 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 should I participate in the comprehensive plan update?
As a community-wide master plan, the town's comprehensive plan update will depend 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 will provide several opportunities for public participation. By participating in the comprehensive plan update, you will have an opportunity to provide valuable feedback on the planning process, and the future growth and development of the town. By expressing your ideas and opinions, you can help shape the future of the Town of Seabrook Island.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
For questions or comments, please contact Joe Cronin, Town Administrator, by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.