What Is the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan?
As a comprehensive plan, One Berkeley will provide a blueprint for the future. Developed by the Planning Commission through a public process, then adopted by County Council, One Berkeley will document the community’s vision and provide a roadmap to get there.
One Berkeley and other comp plans, as required by the State of South Carolina, are reviewed and validated every five years and fully updated every ten years. The 2010 Berkeley County Comprehensive Plan and the 2015 Review are available here.
Why Are Creating the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan?
Clearly, Berkeley County has changed over the last decade and today faces new challenges related to growth, infrastructure, housing and more.
The SC Legislature also prescribes elements that must be incorporated into comprehensive plans. Counties must include an inventory of current conditions, identify long-range needs and goals for these elements and, lastly, strategies to achieve these goals. Currently, there are nine required elements:
- Cultural Resources
- Natural Resources
- Community Facilities
- Land Use
- Priority Investment
While mandated by law, the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan is much more than a plan to be completed per state law and put on a shelf. A regular Comprehensive Plan update provides opportunities for our community to create a shared vision, identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a sound strategy for the future.
What Does the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan Do?
The One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan provides for an opportunity to capture the history of Berkeley County and express the shared community vision of what the county means now and what it should be in the future.
This long-range strategic planning document provides a framework for county elected leaders, appointed officials and staff to develop policies that realize the community’s vision. It is the county’s goal for the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan to be a living document that will be easy-to-read, interactive and a valuable reference tool for officials and alike. We hope you will offer your voice and opinions as the county engages in this community conversation.
Why Should I Care About the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan?
Will the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan Change Zoning?
What Role Does the Planning Commission Play in the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan?
How will the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan be used after it is created?
How is COVID-19 impacting the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan process?
What is the timeline for the One Berkeley Comprehensive Plan?
Although every Comprehensive Plan addresses each of the nine elements, the planning process used is unique to each community. One Berkeley will be developed using a Scenario Planning process, giving the community an opportunity to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of different vision plans.
Phase I: Data Gathering
Earlier in 2020, the One Berkeley Team began collecting data and information on changes in demographics and other conditions since 2010. More importantly, the team worked with agencies that provide critical public services and facilities to document current capacities and anticipated future needs.
Phase II: Visioning
The remainder of 2020 will be devoted to gathering your ideas about what aspects of the County are most valued and what challenges will be faced in the future. Community members are being asked to also share how they envision new residents and businesses being accommodated within the County.
In early 2021, participants in the planning process will have an opportunity to compare how various scenarios achieve the identified visions. Public input on these scenarios will help to identify the preferred vision for Berkeley County’s future.
Phase III: Plan Construction
A draft plan based on the preferred vision will be prepared by the Planning Commission and presented to the public in mid-2021. Following a review period, the plan will be presented to County Council for its consideration.
What Is Scenario Planning?
The essential requirement for any growth scenario is that it is plausible, within the realm of what exists today or what could be in the future.
Each growth scenario contemplated for One Berkeley will include a theme, story and map to convey big ideas or important decisions facing the community. Their roots will be in a series of community meetings in the fall of 2020, which will be further refined by the project team to incorporate additional thoughts and ideas evaluated for the new comprehensive plan.
Detailed information about the alternative growth scenarios will be posted to the project website as it becomes available.
Ultimately, the scenarios themselves will be fictitious stories about the future and offer an objective view of the trade-offs associated with competing growth alternatives. Information presented for the Scenario Planning and Likely Impacts Analysis will be almost entirely data-driven, and the findings and conclusions presented from the analysis will respond to the data considered. It will be important to put this information in the context of the overall planning process for the Comprehensive Plan, and weigh recommendations from the analysis against the community vision and guiding principles created for the new Comprehensive Plan.