Charleston looks to the future of the Middle and Upper Peninsula for the next 20 years
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – It’s no secret that the city of Charleston isn’t the city it was 20 years ago, and city staff are planning for the future. of the peninsula for the next two decades.
Charleston Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability Robert Summerfield said the new peninsula plan will focus primarily on the Neck and Upper Peninsula.
“We’re trying to make it more people-oriented where it hasn’t been people-oriented in the past,” Summerfield said.
Summerfield said these areas are transitioning from being more industrial and commercial to more mixed-use neighborhoods.
He also said the city wants to focus on development in the area with public transit, namely the planned Lowcountry Rapid Transit bus line, and employment centers in mind.
“The downtown plan is over 20 years old,” Summerfield said of the outgoing plan. “The peninsula has seen significant changes in these 20 years, so we need to be more forward-thinking in our efforts.”
Summerfield said the city would consider rising sea levels and flooding as well as community concerns about divestment in historically black neighborhoods on the peninsula.
He adds that with this new plan, the city will go into it with an open mind.
“There are a lot of opportunities for change, especially in the middle and upper peninsula region,” Summerfield said. “There are many opportunities to connect our existing historical frameworks and networks to these areas where change is occurring.”
The city also allocated $350,000 to hire consultants to help the planning department develop the peninsula plan.
Summerfield said community input will be needed over time.
“We want to make sure that we move forward and make recommendations on things that are going on that we look at holistically,” he said, “and so we have a better understanding of what the community wants the peninsula to be. looks like 10, 20, 30 years from now.
Summerfield said they expect a community meeting on the peninsula plan to be held as early as this fall, and that the plan itself will take between 12 and 18 months.
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